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Tiergarten’s highlights

July 26th, 2007

Food and Drinks in Tiergarten Park
Tiergarten’s cafés are not scattered about. They sit closer to the busy sidewalks beside the roads, or off the park altogether, where a large number of people are sure to pass. I think this comes from that innate German organization. I think it works well—though some will think it inconvenient—because when you want the park, you get into its woods and paths and open fields, and leave the noise of cafés along the streets and byways.

This being the case, you can find a café at the Victoria Column, a café inside the English Garden, and several places for lunch or snacks in the Berlin Zoo. Otherwise, the park is open for you to bring in picnic and barbecue gear. Families can find open fields for a rambunctious afternoon. Couples will find a bench within a quiet wood next to a pond. It’s really open to your imagination where and how you picnic.

berlin tiergarten_9Outside Tiergarten Park
On the Berlin city page you’ll find a full list of tourist sites, hotel and hostel neighborhoods, and places to dine day and night, and party to the wee hours. The following attractions are close enough to the park for you to enjoy during any day of your visit to Berlin.

The Reichstag is an amazing historical symbol linking German history from its darkest days under Nazi control just over 60 years ago to a rejoined society in 1990 after a long split along political ideology and one tall wall that separated East and West Berlin. Today, of course, Germany is a thriving, vibrant social center in Europe. The Reichstag houses the German government. Its glass dome symbolizes openness among its people—light shining on democracy—and some nifty architectural fusion. Visitors can walk up into the dome along spiral walkways for views across Berlin.

Built in 1791, the Brandenburg Gate was, literally, the gate through which victorious Prussian armies returned home to fanfare and … probably a hot meal. The Brandenburg Gate also divided West and East Germany for 44 years. Since German reunification, Brandenburg has become a place for people to meet, hang out, take touristy photographs, and watch an assortment of street performers. Oh, yeah: a Starbucks coffee shop sits on a corner inside the former Communist section of Berlin.

Just south of Zoo Station on the western edge of the park begins Kurfurstendamm. This is Berlin’s swanky shopping boulevard and a good place to check out German high fashion (at least in store windows; I find most people today where jeans). The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church stands at the east end of Kurfurstendamm. The old church, dating from the late 19th Century, was bombed to near destruction in World War II. Today a modern church and bell tower flank the old tower.

berlin tiergarten_8Directions to Tiergarten Park
Central Berlin’s main road is 17 of June Strasse. It cuts right through Tiergarten and ends at the Brandenburg Gate. There is plenty of parking along the street, from west of Victoria Column all the way to Brandenburg.

The U-Bahn (underground train) and S-Bahn (“fast” train) metro lines are efficient, quick, clean and safe. You buy a single- or multiple-ride ticket (tourist day passed also) at automatic kiosks, and validate them before getting on the train. Numerous stops on both lines let you off at or within a couple minute’s walk of Tiergarten Park. Wherever your hotel, hostel or apartment is in Berlin, you’re rarely far from public trans to the park. Take U2 and U9 into Zoo Station, exit through the main doors (west side) and turn left to visit the Berlin Zoo. S5, S7, S9 and S75 pass along the north and west of Tiergarten, and stops at Zoo Station, Tiergarten and Bellevue get you to the park. On the east side of Tiergarten, use S1, S2 and S25 and stop at either Potsdamer Platz or Unter den Linden (Brandenburg Gate) to enter the park. U2 also has a east-end stop at Potsdamer Platz to enter the park through the far southeast corner.

(return to Tiergarten’s main page here)

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