Sit down, rest, feast: six beautiful picnic spots in East Berlin

It doesn’t always have to be the big trip, the mega adventure or the most beautiful lake of all time. Sometimes a dignified, cozy picnic in the countryside is exactly what heart, stomach and eyes need. Be content, enjoy, let the time pass. Splendid!

Our time is hectic and challenging. The pandemic, the Ukraine war, the desire or compulsion – depending on your point of view – for self-optimization, children, art, career. Something is always. And where are you? When do you have time to take a deep breath, to just be? Few activities are as basic and as fulfilling as a picnic.

We’ve picked six fine spots in East Berlin where all you need is a blanket, sunscreen, and a few treats. Maybe a book and a pillow if you go alone, because you can be pretty happy alone. Good self-care is an important building block for a fulfilling life. So: picnic, hooray!

Isle of Youth in Treptow

You have to go there just because of the name. Somehow you always feel a bit transported back in time when you walk over the old abbey bridge from Treptower Park to the Insel der Jugend. This little corner of Berlin has its very own charm and, because of its name, is able to remind visitors of their own youth and to come to the conclusion: We’re not that old yet! This works particularly well when you’re sitting on the jetty and sticking your toes in the water (doesn’t always work).

With a bit of luck, there will still be a bench or another spot with a view of the Spree, so you can let your eyes wander and don’t have to bump your eyes anywhere. Alternatively, just stay in Treptower Park. It really offers enough space for everyone and enough shade. And if, contrary to expectations, it should be too boring, you can charter a pedal boat or walk to the nearby beer garden.

Volkspark Friedrichshain

The classic among the city’s picnic hotspots. No matter who, what or how you are: You are in the right place here. Everyone is welcome in the Volkspark Friedrichshain, everyone feels at home. Last but not least, there is always a lot to see. You can safely leave your mobile phone in your pocket, because you don’t (usually) see so much life strolling past you every day.

Depending on where you base yourself, you can watch teenagers skate or fall, couples hold hands or argue, ducks waddle or swim. This park is pure Berlin. It’s also nice: although it’s usually very hectic, lying on the picnic blanket is a good way to switch off, because the noises mix into a big whole and result in more of a background noise.

Stralau peninsula in Friedrichshain

It lay more or less fallow for so many years and in the last decade it has become extremely, well, some say: blossomed, others say: gentrified. Be that as it may, the Stralau peninsula in Friedrichshain is and will remain beautiful despite and because of its contrasts. The lines of sight are urban, the air a mixture of big city metal avalanches (because: Elsenbrücke/Stralauer Allee right around the corner) and a fresh breeze blowing over from Rummelsburg Bay and the Spree.

There are renovated old and brick buildings, as well as modern new buildings and jetties. Everything expensive. However, many shore areas are freely accessible and invite you to picnic. You look at the same time in the countryside and in the city, on the water with passing sailboats. That’s where you start dreaming. What would it be like to live here? Would this village-traditional but metropolitan beauty wear out at some point? Do you get tired of the water view at some point, or can you never get enough of it?

Tip: Take a short stroll along the three-kilometre-long shore path that leads past the Stralau village church. This was built in the middle of the 15th century, making it one of the oldest buildings in Berlin and is – of course – a listed building. The ensemble also includes a small cemetery where, among other things, local fishing families used to be buried.

Obersee Park in Hohenschoenhausen

The Obersee and the Orankesee in Alt-Hohenschönhausen are really small, fine top locations in East Berlin. If you go for a walk here, you will quickly find a nice place to have a picnic. The Orankesee is known above all for its beautiful lido, but there are also some leisure activities on the artificially created Obersee. And above all rest! Old stock of trees, pretty villas, a bit of art along the way, here and there rustic Eastern charm.

Volkmar Otto

You can also cool off at the Orankesee: almost like on holiday.

Unfortunately you are not allowed to swim in the Obersee because it is not clean enough. But the small island in the middle, where there used to be a tea house, is a beautiful, romantic view. Ideal for a picnic away from the crowds of tourists.

Citizen Park Pankow

The idyllic Bürgerpark in Pankow, which is frequented by both families and joggers, offers many beautiful places with its extensive lawns. Either you sit on the banks of the Panke, look for a free bench in the middle of the rose borders, place yourself not far from the goat enclosure or have a picnic opposite the large playground.

And if you don’t want to lug a picnic basket, there’s a delightful little park library and cafe with pretzels, ice cream, coffee and savory fare. If you have children: It’s just a five-minute walk from the park to the Pinke-Panke children’s farm.

Quiet Park in Prenzlauer Berg

Outside of the neighborhood, this park is only known to a few Berliners. It was only conceived and opened in 2011/2012: “On the site of the former St. Marien-St. Nicolai (…) a special green area was created: Both the overgrown character and the former use of the cemetery are still visible. Parts of the grave complex and individual graves have remained standing. However, this is by no means a deterrent, but creates a special atmosphere in the park. Ideal for walking and relaxing, children can play and romp around here,” says the Visit Berlin website.

The entrance is almost opposite the fairy tale fountain in Volkspark Friedrichshain, directly at Heinrich-Roller-Straße 24. The park covers a total of almost 16,000 square meters, offers plenty of shade and an atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else in Berlin.

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