If there’s one thing Berlin doesn’t lack, it’s parks and pools. As one of Europe's greenest cities, Berlin is home to more than thirty refreshing swimming pools and about 2500 green spaces* - which makes for lots of happy Berliners when the weather is hot! Listed below are our most beloved outside spots - the Berlin pools and parks you need to know; because this is where all the fun goes down in the summer!
Mauerpark, located at the border of fancy Prenzlauer Berg, has become a very popular hang out over the last years. This former part of the Berlin Wall and its Death Strip is now home to a weekly fleamarket on Sundays, a sportpark and the Max Smelling Halle stadium. During a sunny weekend it turns into an urban oasis and gets crowded with tourists, picknicking locals and people playing music, boules or basketball. The perfect place to spend your lazy Sunday afternoon! Do also check out the famous Bearpit Karaoke (on Sunday afternoons at about 15:00) for some free entertainment.
Gleimstrasse 55, 10347 Berlin
This outstanding swimming pool, floating on the Spree river and made of an old cargo container, is one of Berlin’s best spots to hang out during hot summer days. Next to the artist-designed ‘bathing ship’ there is an open-air bar with a beach-like sunbathing area, where live concerts, parties, massages and sports classes take place. It can get pretty crowded; there’s no room for an extensive swimming workout or dynamic aqua fitness training. But the cocktails make much good!
Between November and March the Badeschiff is turned into a covered wellness area with sauna’s, a heated pool, bar and more.
Eichenstrasse 4, 12435 Berlin
3. Volkspark Friedrichshain
Volkspark Friedrichshain is Berlin’s third-largest green space, located at the border of the neighborhoods of Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain. This former vineyard is a popular leisure location these days: you can find several sunbathing areas, a lovely swan pond, playgrounds, tennis courts, a beach volleyball area, cafes, restaurants and great amenities for skating and jogging. The park is also known for its many monuments and the charming ‘Fairy Tail Fountain’ (Märchenbrunnen) which contains 106 stone sculptures representing characters from traditional German fairy tales. Between July and September the park´s Open Air Cinema hosts film classics, current box office hits, special film series and the best Berlinale movies...perfect for a lazy summer afternoon.
4. Stadtbad Neukölln, Ganghoferstrasse 3.
Stadtbad Neukölln is an alluring neo-classical pool with a ‘Greco-Roman bathhouse atmosphere’. Corinthian columns, arcades, colourful mosaics, frescoes and lion fountains make you feel like going back in time. There’s a small (19 M) and a large (25 M) pool, plus eight different sauna’s and steamrooms, a roof garden, massages, a thermal bath, solariums and much more. This public bath is not a real lap pool, but an oasis for relaxation…
Ganghoferstrasse 3, 12043
5. Görlitzer Park
Located on the site of a former railway station in Kreuzberg, Görlitzer Park is not Berlin’s prettiest or largest park, but perfect for relaxing, people-watching, spontaneous grilling or an occasional party. Its central part is a huge crater: the remains of an underground tunnel that lead into the station. Pop into the on-site café/bar Das Edelweiss to get some drinks before the party starts at one of the many surrounding bars or clubs. There’s also a swimming pool - the Spreewald Bad - on the west-most end of the park and a childrensfarm on the other side, though Görlitzer Park is not the best place to bring your children..
6. Treptower park
Treptower Park is located in the south-eastern part of the city - Alt-Treptow - and lines the banks of the Spree river, which makes it a nice location to spend your hot summer days. The park offers a broad selection of outdoor fun with several playgrounds, a boat rentall, sunbathing areas, ping-pong tables and much more. Don’t miss out on the Spreepark Berlin, an abandoned fun park that has still some remains of attractions on-site. Do also check out the monumental Soviet War Memorial on the southern half of the park; it’s really impressive.
7. Tempelhofer Park
As a former airport, Tempelhofer Park might be Berlin’s most special green space. Where else could you go skating on airstrips or sunbathing next to a plane? Opened only a year ago, this unique park with its wide open fields has already become very popular among kiters, cyslists and skaters. There are also several designated BBQ spaces, three dog parks, a café and special picknick areas. The hangars of the former airport host festivals and fairs once in a while, like the Bread & Butter fashion tradeshow or the DMY International Design Festival.
8. Stadtbad Mitte, Gärtnerstrasse 5.
This beautiful old indoor swimming pool is a true gem, especially for the architecture-geeks among us. It was built in 1930 by Bauhaus representative Carlo Jelkmann, who provided the spacious pool with a ceiling and high walls all made of glass. There’s only one 50-M pool (and some gym facilities), where kids, muscular professionals, recreationists and aquafitness-grannies all swim next to each other. Not Berlin’s biggest pool, but definitely its most charming one!
Gartnerstrasse 5, 10115 Berlin
Tiergarten is Berlin’s largest urban park and spreads over 210 hectares in the middle of the city. Forested areas, lakes, fields of flowers, streamlets, meadows and large stretches of grass turn this part of former West-Berlin into one of the cities most appealing green spaces. With more than 23 km of pathways, it’s the perfect place for cycling, strolling or jogging and you can even hire a paddle boat if you’re up for a ride along the Spree. The nearby Zoologischer Garden, situated on the south-western side of the park, is also worth a visit.
10. Sommerbad Kreuzberg, Prinzenstrasse 113-119.
As its name suggests, this ‘sommerbad’ is an outdoor swimming pool, only open during the summer months. With three large pools, two paddling pools for the little ones, terraces and a large stretch of grass there’s no lack of space, though it can be crowded during the weekends. Sommerbad Kreuzberg is located in the middle of a pleasant park, has an on site café, several snack bars and a playground. It’s a popular place to bring kids!
Prinzenstrasse 113-119, 10969 Berlin
* For the fact-geeks among us: 7% of Berlin's surface is made up of water and 18% of its 890 square kilometres are made up of green spaces. Not bad!