Did you know Berlin is the greenest city in Europe? More than a third of the city is made up of green space – with vast woodland and a huge network of rivers, canals and lakes. It’s also green in the responsible sense: eclectic Berlin is a leader in environmental trends, it’s full of diverse cultures and ideas, cycling is increasingly replacing driving as a means of transport, and sustainability is a way of life.
Here, the eco-travel experts from Ecophiles.com share their tips on planning an eco-friendly trip to Germany’s capital:
What’s so green about Berlin?
The Guerilla Gardening Movement is popular in Berlin, with more and more Berliners creating little green areas in spaces across the city. Indoor gardening is another growing trend – it’s worth checking out indoor farm specialist InFarm in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, which grows plants and herbs in its greenhouses and sells them onto restaurants.
There’s also Park am Gleisdreieck, created on the grounds of an old U-Bahn station. It showcases how cities can successfully use contemporary landscaping even when surrounded by an urban backdrop.
Public transport in Berlin is becoming more sustainable: electro buses run through the city, and some buses use hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines. Trams run on specially built tracks to reduce both air and noise pollution.
Solar-powered boats are available as an eco-friendly way of getting around Berlin’s waterways. Tours and rentals are available from the SunCat, the Solarpolis, and Solar Water World.
Responsible and sustainable hotels and tourism companies can be found on the Berlin Green Meetings website.
Berlin’s best green spaces
Tiergarten is to Berliners what Central Park is to New Yorkers and Hyde Park is to Londoners. Centrally located right next to the Brandenburg Gate, it’s much bigger than Hyde Park and well worth a wander around.
The ‘Gardens of the World’ in the Recreational Park Marzahn is known for Europe’s largest authentic Chinese garden complete with ponds, waterscapes and pavilions as well as a Japanese Zen Garden, an Italian Renaissance Garden and a maze and labyrinth.
Britzer Garden is stunning in spring when its 2km Spring Trail is lined with blooming daffodils, tulips and grape hyacinths, as well as other beautiful flowers. Through the year the garden offers art exhibitions, gastronomy events, concerts and festivals with one of the biggest highlights being the ‘Fire Flowers and Classic Open Air’ classical concert and fireworks display in late summer.
Berlin’s Botanical Gardens are ranked in the top three most important botanical gardens in the world, with over 22,000 types of plants, and Schöneberger Südgelände is a former railway switchyard which has now been taken over by nature to create a unique and fascinating landscape.
Read more: https://www.gapyear.com/articles/travel-ideas/going-green-in-berlin