When the pavement and bustle of Berlin starts to get to you, just hop on any southbound M44 bus from S-Hermannstrasse and be transported into another world. It’s only a 10-minute ride away, but it feels like an eternity once you find yourself wandering this scenic public space. Located in Berlin’s Neukölln district, this is a garden paradise even many locals are unaware of—welcome to the Britzer Garten, a gigantic green oasis in the middle of the city.
It does cost €2 to enter (€1 for children), but it’s well worth it to help support this important urban gem for future generations. Plus, since dogs and bikes are not allowed inside the gates, the fee lets you enjoy a little extra peace and quiet than in other city parks.
Britzer Garten was created in 1985 for Germany’s yearly national garden show event and has only gotten prettier with time. There are numerous landscapes and various garden groupings with something for everyone—trained roses, fountains, a central (man-made) lake, plenty of play areas for children, a small zoo of domesticated animals and even an overlook to climb! On weekends, the park is popular with families, and attractions such as mini-golf or the park’s own small-gauge railway are overfilled.
Three times per year, the park shines with an inordinate number of blooms: in early spring, the fields and hillsides are covered with different kinds of daffodils, and about a month later the park explodes in special plantings of tulips; early summer finds the rhododendrons at their peak, followed then by roses; and in late fall, the leaves around the park have turned a beautiful range of shades and the special planting areas are instead filled with dahlias, some as large as dinner plates! While it can’t beat, say, the Netherlands’ Keukenhof for the spring, the garden is nevertheless a highlight any time of year.
The small admission fee (€2 /€3 during bloom events) guarantees that the park is safe, quiet and well-maintained. There are a number of small cafes spread throughout the park, offering everything from freezer ice cream to a full dinner menu. During the week, the number of visitors is refreshingly low, making it an excellent excursion to recharge overwhelmed tourist batteries.