Berlin has so many fun things to do, I couldn’t possibly name them all. After a lot of thought, I narrowed it down to my favorite six places to hang out and enjoy some of what the city has to offer.
During the years of the Berlin Wall, Mauerpark was not the lovely communal space that it is. In German, mauer means wall, so the name of the park translates to “wall park.” The strip of land running between where the flea market stalls and Bear Pit Karaoke are set up was formerly the Death Strip for that section of the wall.
Today, Mauerpark is home to Berlin’s largest flea market on Sunday’s. The park is also the location of Bear Pit Karakoe. In the afternoon, hundreds gather under the hot summer sun to drink beer, hang out and listen to other sing karaoke.. sometimes poorly. People come from all over the city to see the goods pedaled by sellers in the flea market. Once you are done perusing the stalls, find a spot on the grass, grab a cold beer, and enjoy the karaoke with some friends.
During my last week in Berlin, I made it my mission to walk through as much of the Tiergarten as I could. During my time there, I heard many people compare the Tiergarten to Central Park in New York City or Hyde Park in London.
The Tiergarten was originally royal hunting grounds to the Prussian royal family. Eventually, the hunting grounds were turned into a park for the city. Today, Berliners and tourists alike enjoy wandering through the lush greenery in the middle of the city.
While I was wandering through the park I found plenty of nooks and crannies where anyone could hide away for a day if they wanted to escape responsibilities.
The Berlin Cathedral is located on the other side of the River Spree from Museum Island. Between the catherdral and the river is a spacious open grassy area complete with a fountain. The area can be used to meet up with friends, have lunch or a picnic, or to enjoy being outdoors. Down closer to the river, there are plenty of benches to sit and watch the boats pass by on the river.
I decided against entering the church during tour hours, but I can only imagine how gorgeous the interior is.
Museum Island is located in Mitte or Central Berlin. It is made up of five iconic museums. Of course, the day I chose to go, only two of them were open. Just my luck.
I visited the Pergamon Museum and the Neues Museum. The Neues (New) Museum was by far my favorite. Aside from the cards next to the exhibits being in English, the whole museum was expertly curated. And since I had recently learned a lot about much of the civilizations within the museum in many of my history classes, it was that much more interesting.
The Pergamon Museum was also very cool, but since I was unable to read the German on the cards near the exhibit, I was unsure of what everything was.
I’ve been on the fence about my time spent here and just recently decided it was one of my favorite places. Let’s start with the fact that the entire city park is what used to be the Templehoff Airport. The airport is the site of the Berlin Airlift during the Cold War.
My favorite thing from the entire day was renting bikes with a group of friends and riding our bikes down the runway. If you have a strong imagination it might actually feel like you are flying. My one regret from that day was not taking my cameras with me on the ride around the old airport. I was planning on riding back around again, but it was just too darn hot that day and there was really no shade on the side of the park we were at.
Ultimately, I think the heat from the day and overheating a wee bit (I know, I know, drink more water) led to me being on the fence about my like or dislike of Templehoffer Feld. The park is definitely a place you have to visit in Berlin.
Gardens of the World
I wrote about how much I absolutely loved Gardens of the World a while back. And I still think it was my favorite part of Berlin. After reflecting on why I think I loved the Gardens so much, I have come to the conclusion that being in the city long term just isn’t for me. I’m completely at home in nature.
In the Garden you can be transported all over the world from Korea, Japan, and China to the Middle East, you will have plenty of different architecture to marvel at. If the specific gardens aren’t really your thing, meander through the main area.
I’ll let you in on a secret. Shh.. along one of the walking paths, hammocks are hiding behind some bushes under the shade of a tree. It was the perfect spot for an afternoon nap on a warm summer day.