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The Hauptstadt has lots of places to go for a jog if you know where to look.
Despite having a national cuisine that few would classify as wholesome, Berliners take health and fitness rather seriously. A quick stroll around town reveals a borderline obsession with all things Bio, from supermarkets loaded with hearty, whole-grain bread, muesli and vegan goodies, to restaurants offering quinoa bowls topped with veggies. And it doesn’t stop there. Although fitness centres are abundant, you’re just as likely to find Berliners cycling, kite-boarding, playing football, doing yoga, rowing or, yes, dancing the night away to techno beats in an effort to stay in shape. The most popular pastime of all is running, as evidenced by the sheer number of joggers that take the streets, sidewalks, and parks during the warmer months.
Berlin and nearby Potsdam boast some truly spectacular palaces, including Schloss Sanssouci, an elaborately decorated neo-classical summer escape for Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, that calls to mind a miniature Versailles. Schloss Charlottenburg is considerably closer to town and features lush, manicured gardens. Although there is an entrance fee to visit the palace itself, it’s free to run around the incredibly scenic surrounding park. Stick to the path that runs around the perimeter (more or less) and you’ll work up a sweat while passing trees, sculptures and fountains.
Distance: 3.7 kilometres
It’s no accident that the annual Berlin Marathon ends up in this leafy oasis. At 210 hectares, Tiergarten is both Berlin’s second largest city park and one of its most scenic. A whopping 22 kilometres of gravel paths run through these fields and forests, meaning the possibilities for variations on a standard route are virtually endless. Start off with the classic one by looping lengthwise around the park starting at the Brandenburger Tor and heading towards the Berlin Zoo.
Distance: 6.7 kilometres
Dating all the way back to 1840, Berlin’s oldest city park is a runner’s paradise, with historic monuments including the picturesque Märchenbrunnen, or “Fairy Tale Fountain,” and the giant Peace Bell donated by the Japanese government. The park’s convenient location between Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer-Berg makes a run around the perimeter particularly lovely.
Distance: 5.8 kilometres