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When the skies clear and the sun is out, locals head outdoors for walks along canals and through the city’s numerous parks.
It may be best known for its brutalist architecture and soaring concrete structures, but Berlin has a surprising number of green spaces. There are more than 2,000 parks spread across the city, which range from diminutive slips of grass with a few flower beds to rolling green hills laced with winding paths. Hasenheide offers a zoo with camels, peacocks and other exotic fauna, while Tiergarten has Café am Neuen See, one of the prettiest beer gardens in town. Even the streets and the banks of the Spree are often lined with trees. A leisurely walk through any of these emerald oases is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon, while an amble through more developed urban areas often passes historic buildings and world-famous street art.
Few cities in the world can match a 300-hectare park right in the middle of town, but that’s precisely what this former airstrip has become. Though the government never intended to leave the old airport as a public park indefinitely, Berliners quickly grew attached to Tempelhofer Feld. There’s always something going on here, especially on summer evenings, when kite-boarders take to the asphalt and barbecue masters start sizzling sausages and lamb kebabs. Don’t be surprised if you stumble upon an impromptu techno rave or Taiko drumming performance.
The longest surviving section of the Berlin Wall showcases the work of more than 100 artists from around the globe, who transformed a symbol of oppression into one of freedom, peace and unity. Many of the murals have clear political messages and it’s fascinating to walk along the length of the Wall by the water.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Museumsinsel is undeniably one of the most visually striking parts of town, as well as one of the most culturally significant. The five museums on this space: the Bode Museum, Pergamonmuseum, Alte Nationalgalerie Neues Museum and Altes Museum, are certainly worthy of a visit. As intriguing as the interiors are, however, it can be equally enjoyable to admire their architectural details from outside. The surrounding area is easily one of the most photogenic in Berlin. As a bonus, you’re at an easy walking distance from some of Mitte’s buzziest streets. If you’re feeling up for a more extended meander, check out Torstraße, which is lined with boutique shops, eateries and bars.