The Tiergarten in Berlin used to be the hunting grounds for the Prussian kings before it was transformed into the city's most popular inner-city park in the 18th century. Today, the green heart of Berlin is bordered by the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate on the eastern side, Potsdamer Platz and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe on the southeastern edge, Berlin's Zoo in the west, and Bellevue Palace, residence of the German President in Berlin on the northern rim of the park.
On 600 acres, you can enjoy leafy paths, small creeks, open-air cafes, and lush lawns (some of them permit nude sunbathing; look out for the signs that say "FKK"). It is one of the largest parks in Germany, topped only by Tempelhofer Park (previously Berlin's Tempelhof airport) and Munich's Englischer Garten. At night, enjoy the gentle lighting and subtle history of the open-air Gaslaternen-Freilichtmuseum (Gas Lamp Museum).
The street "Strasse des 17. Juni" runs through the Tiergarten; it starts at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin's most central district "Mitte" and goes all the way to Ernst-Reuter Platz in the western district "Charlottenburg."
If you are in the park on a Sunday, look for the nearby Berliner Trödelmarkt with fancy crystal chandeliers and gold door handles. Step across the street below the Tiergarten S-Bahn station for a filling platter of German food at Tiergartenquelle to complete your visit.
How to Get There
- eastern edge of the park: U and S-Bahn Brandenburger Tor
- southern edge: U and S-Bahn Potsdamer Platz
- northern edge: U Bahn Hansaplatz or S-Bahn Tiergarten
- western edge: S and U-Bahn Zoologischer Garten
The Victory Column
Berlin's Tiergarten is home to many sculptures, most of them depicting Prussian generals.
The most famous and prominent attraction is the Victory Column (Siegessäule) in the midst of the park. The slender 230 feet high monument commemorates Prussia’s victory over France in 1871. The column is topped by the golden statue of goddess Victoria, fondly called Goldelse ("Golden Elsi") by the locals. The golden statue played a supporting role in the fantastic film "Wings of Desire" by German director Wim Wenders and is a focal point during the city's boisterous Christopher Street Day (CSD) Parade (as well as the name of its most popular gay magazine).
There is an open-air viewing platform right below the giant goddess, but you'll have to climb 285 steep stairs to get there. It's worth it—you’ll be rewarded with one of the best vistas of the Tiergarten and Berlin.
Address: Grosser Stern
Transport: S-Bahn Tiergarten or Bellevue; U-Bahn Hansaplatz
See website for hours and prices
Need to recharge your batteries? You'll find two great biergartens (beer gardens) in Berlin's Tiergarten:
The idyllic Cafe am Neuen See is set at the edge of a small lake; they offer traditional German fare and homemade cakes. You can also rent paddle boats there.
Or head to the bustling beer garden Schleusenkrug right by the canal, where you can start your day with a hearty breakfast or snack on fresh grilled wurst in the evening.
Cafe am Neuen See
Lichtensteinallee 2, 10787 Berlin
Phone: 030 25449300
Getting There: U and S-Bahn Zoologischer Garten
Müller-Breslau-Straße, 10623 Berlin
Phone: 030 313 99 09
Getting There: U and S-Bahn Zoologischer Garten and S-Bahn Tiergarten