Berlin’s Tiergarten is a park so vast and lush that it’s easy to forget that you’re right in the center of a metropolis. The beer garden, rental boats and countless statues are reminders you’re not lost in the woods.
The park Tiergarten (“animal garden”) is located in the district of the same name in former West Berlin. It was first established as hunting grounds for royalty in 1527 – hence the name. You can reach it by walking right into it after visiting famous sites like Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate), Reichstag, and the Siegessäule (Victory Statue). Or you can get there via several train stations, like Tiergarten station on the west end or Potsdamer Platz on the east end.
Don’t confuse Tiergarten with Tierpark (“animal park”), which is the zoo in former East Berlin, or you’ll end up on the other side of town. Of course, just to mess with you, the other big Berlin zoo is on the westside of Tiergarten; that one is called Zoologischer Garten.
The area of Tiergarten covers 210 hectares (520 acres). Until the long-closed airport Tempelhof was declared a city park a few years ago, Tiergarten was the second largest city park in Germany (after Munich’s Englischer Garten). The park features many trails, ponds, part of the Landwehrkanal (a channel), densely wooded areas and sunny clearings. It’s dissected by several streets, most recognizable the Strasse des 17. Juni, along which you can find the Siegessäule and the Brandburger Tor.
There are several places in the park, where you can buy food and drinks, like the popular Café am Neuen See. But since there are no rules in Germany against drinking alcohol in public spaces, you can bring and consume any beverages of your choice. You can also grill and be completely nude in the park.
Unlike the often overcrowded party-type parks, like Goerlitzer Park and Volkspark Friedrichshain, Tiergarten seems much more mellow, cool, green, and lush. Losing yourself among the woods is a real treat, especially on a hot day. You might even see some rabbits and maybe even a fox…
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All photos in this post were taken by Luci Westphal. By clicking on an individual image you can see a larger version – and even purchase a print if you’re so inclined.
Have you ever been to Tiergarten? Do you have a park near you? Do you have a favorite city park experience? Please tell us and the other readers about it in the comment section and keep inspiring others to take a break, go outside and have fun.