Friedrichshain Park: A great place for kids (and their parents)

Compared with most cities in the world, Berlin is completely overrun with playgrounds and great big green open spaces. It is one of the things that make a summer in Berlin such fun for kids and their parents. And one of the best places to enjoy it is in Friedrichshain park (better known by its German name, Volkspark Friedrichshain, which is literally translated as “the peoples’ park”).

One of the biggest and best is the Volkspark Friedrichshain, a huge green park that fills up over summer weekends. It has plenty of space to hang out and fire up a grill (it is one of the few parks in Berlin where it is legal to have a fire) and it also has some of the greatest kids’ playgrounds in Berlin. There is a busy Beer Garden, restaurant and a couple of places selling ice cream and snacks. It also has the remains of two Flak Towers that were built during the war. There isn’t much to see of them now, but you can climb to the top for some lovely views out over Berlin.

The park also offers a wide variety of experiences. If you start at the bottom of the park (or its Western edge) the first thing you will see is its sculpture garden. This is known as the Fairy Mountain (or Märchenbrunnen). It contains a lovely fountain and 106 sculptures depicting scenes from German fairy tales and was built in 1913 specifically for Berlin’s children.

Carry on walking into the park and you come across a dense criss-cross of paths leading through sunny grass fields and children’s playgrounds with imaginative climbing frames, swings and ubiquitous sandpits. Carry on and you come across large ponds surrounded by sunbathers. Leading into them is a firm favourite among children, a sloping little stream with fountains and stepping stones. On warm days the place is heaving with children, toddlers and up, all splashing happily, building dams and sliding down the little fountains.

The Friedrichshain park is dominated by the remains of two old flak-towers that were built by the Nazis as part of their elaborate air-defence system for Berlin. Now the towers are largely destroyed and covered with earth and rubble leaving them looking like steep hills with odd bits of concrete poking out. If you want some exercise this is the place to do some serious hill-work, whether on foot or by bike.

Keep going along the paths up the hill and you come to a large cafe and Beer Garden (the Restaurant Schoenbrunn) that serves nice beer and passable food.

In short, if the weather is lovely and you just want to soak up some sun and chill, there are far worse places to go than the Friedrichshain park.

How to find Friedrichshain park

The park is easy to get to using a tram. The M5, M6, M8 & M10 all pass nearby. Another option is to catch the bus, number 200, which runs from Mitte out past the park.

Read more:

Slowtravel Berlin has a great post with lovely photos at this link.

You can find out a bit more about the history of the park on Wikipedia.

Lonely Planet has a bit on some of the lovely memorials found at Friedrichshain Park.

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