It's Time to Explore Park Life in Berlin’s Summer

With summer supposedly on its way to Berlin, the city begins to blossom in anticipation of those rare rays of summer sun. A transformation begins: people appear happier, more carefree, elderly men stroll topless through the streets, and I’m crushed under an infinite stream of ice kaffee orders at work. But any way you look at it, we deserve some good weather here in Berlin. The winter is long, cold, gloomy and grey. When the sun arrives to thaw the frost, we jump at the opportunity to embrace its radiant glow. So it is time to venture from the dank confines of our apartments and cast off the shackles of our winter coats. It is time to don those forgotten hot pants, grab a few beers, and head down to the park!

Görlitzer Park, Kreuzberg 

For those looking to do some people watching, Görlitzer Park is for you. Go any night of the week, and you’re sure to be entertained. Situated in the heart of Kreuzberg 36, the sprawling green expanse offers a diverse range of landscapes and features. Between its large grassy sunbathing areas, its petting zoo, and of course the roaring drug trade, you’re sure to never be bored. Just bring a couple beers, sit back, relax and immerse yourself in the madness. Quite often, musicians and their instruments make an appearance and play to receptive audiences. It is not uncommon for passers-by to join in, forming ad hoc bands before your very eyes.

Volkspark Friedrichshain 

Feel like grilling up a feast? Well then get yourself to Volkspark Friedrichshain. As you enter the park, you’re met with a more reserved Friedrichshain atmosphere: this is a place to relax, catch up with friends and feast on the smoky delights of a charcoal barbeque. Groups of people are scattered across the park like sesame seeds on a burger bun. Be wary of the low-flying plastic discs that are apt to be wandering through the park’s airspace. Kids in the Volkspark sure love frisbee, but they’re not particularly skilled at it. The park is massive, so after you’ve gorged on the BBQ’s delights, take time to stroll around and work off that extra slice of haloumi that you really shouldn’t have eaten.

Park am Gleisdreieck, Outer Kreuzberg 

If for you, summer is a chance to engage your physical side and get active, then Park am Gleisdreieck should be on your radar. For some, sunshine is a chance to work on those soft winter bodies and enjoy sports with friends. The new Park am Gleisdreieck offers all of that, with a plethora of amenities and sport areas. They have everything from basketball courts to a miniature skate park, bowling lawns to vast lengths of track for jogging. So if you feel like stimulating your endorphins and exercising that summer body, or simply just want to have some fun with your mates, take a trip to Park am Gleisdreieck and work up a sweat.

Britzer Garten, Neukölln 

Britzer Garten may be a little further out, but that is the price you pay for unbridled beauty. That price is also a monetary one—a small admission (€2) is charged to visitors of the flower gardens. But the park is expansive, with exquisite flora and a pristine lake: this is the perfect place to take a book and enjoy the good weather. As it is a little further out, this is definitely a place to spend the day strolling through the gardens, mindlessly absorbing their beauty, only to stop for a picnic and feel the stress of the city gradually stripped away from your scaly, grey winter shell.

Viktoriapark, Kreuzberg

Trapped in the U8, it’s easy to forget that Berlin is a green and leafy city. Yet it is, and I advise you to walk to the top of Viktoriapark and take in the panoramic views of the city below—you’ll never doubt Berlin’s eco-credentials again. Viktoriapark’s signature feature is a large waterfall crowned with a grand, 19th-century-flavored monument at the very top. It is quite enchanting: lose yourself in its beauty, and feel yourself to another dimension in space and time. Ponder that the mountain you stand on gave Kreuzberg its name. Savour the smallness you feel. Enjoy your Berlin summer, however fleeting it turns out to be.

By Liam McGuckin

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