born and raised in Germany, THI MINH HUYEN NGUYEN (YOU CAN CALL HER HUYEN) MADE THE MOVE BACK HOME After LIVING in NYC for five years. SHE PUTS US ON TO HER FAVORITE PLACES TO adventure IN HER HOME CITY OF BERLIN.
A runner, yogi, all-around sports enthusiast myself (see me climbing, see me swimming, I love moving and shaking my body in all the different ways and sharing those endorphins with friends!), it’s been amazing to discover the recreational spots here. Some of those I am sharing with you:
Tempelhofer Feld Park
If you’re in Berlin, you must visit the Tempelhofer Feld Park. Built in the 1920s, the airport closed operations in 2008 and the city of Berlin reclaimed the space making it the biggest park in town.
Instead of an actual airport, you will find a humongous space publicly accessible to anyone. Bring your bike, your skateboard, your roller skates, your yoga mat, your soccer ball, frisbee, yes, even your kite, anything is possible here. You can spend endless hours and stay from sunrise to sunset. (Fun fact: per wikipedia it’s the largest inner-city open space in the world.)
Pack a snack, lunch, or hell yeah, invite your friends for a long picnic day, this is the summer spot to be!
Prinzenbad (aka Sommerbad Kreuzberg)
Right by the U1 train station Prinzenstrasse, in the heart of the neighbourhood Kreuzberg, you will find this gem: an outdoor swimming pool. Three large pools for women, men and yes, trans and queer bodies. An additional pool for the kids. Everyone is welcome here. I adore the fact that the pool is surrounded by large trees making it a little bit hidden, shady and sunny at the same time. By the sport pool, you can sit on the side, read your book, draft your Instagram post and refresh in the water. I’ve been here several times already and it was never too crowded, so enjoy!
For the summer season, they are open from 7am-8pm, so you can go before work or leave work early to hit the pool. Hello Summer Fridays 😉
On the west side of Berlin, this super neat and beautiful red track is located in Prenzlauer Berg. Come here when you have to squeeze in a workout in the morning or want to go for an evening stroll. The facility is open from 7 AM to 9.30 PM in the summertime. What I really like about #doingthings on the track is that you don’t necessarily need to drop off your bags anywhere. With a closed track (including facility people and security), you can leave it by one of the benches and since you’ll be running laps, you’ll have your belongings in eyesight. I come here on a weekly basis, sometimes even 2x per week with my running mates. Say hi if you see me 🙂
Come ready to work out, bring some friends. I’ve heard the ice cream shop Hokey Pokey is close by, so treat yourself after 🙂
Neighbouring the Brandenburger Tor and the Berlin Zoo, the second biggest open park in the city offers beautiful trails for long walks, bike rides or jogs on soft ground. The wide fields are spacious enough for you to have your private picnics and soccer games. While this garden was initially founded as a hunting area, it is now a crucial part of Berlin’s biodiversity, inhabiting many different animal and plant species. Some of those big trees lived through the Second World War. When spending some time here, you will come across a few monuments and artworks sprinkled throughout the park as well, for example: the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted under Nazism, the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims or the Kueka Stone from Venezuela.
Major races like the Berlin Half and the Berlin Full Marathon start in this garden and lead in the direction of the Victory Column, situated in the centre of Tiergarten.
The Klub Kitchen
With so many good restaurants in town, it is hard to pick a favourite, but The Klub Kitchen was recommended by a friend and it was love at first bite?! 🙂 While the interior is kept quite simple, the food is given loads of space to shine. I came here with no expectations, and I left with a full heart and mind. The vegan and vegetarian-friendly menu invites you to stay. For a very extended lunch. Have the fresh fennel salad with the lovely dressing or the green hearty bowl. Definitely get the homemade lemonade and try some of the desserts. This kind of food reminds you that ‘you are what you eat’, it is there to nourish you and bring you back to life. Fully recommend to all of you.
Come before 12.30pm or after 1.30pm. It can get packed during lunch hours, so rather come a bit later and have a relaxed experience. Btw: This restaurant is Vietnamese and female-owned :)))
Written & Photographed by Huyen Nguyen