There’s more to Berlin summer fun than the lakes – one of our insiders shares her favourite locations for a perfect holiday away from the tourist traps and wet crowds: The Berlin Grande Dame of performing arts curation (HAU, DAAD, Tanz im August, ADK) enjoys strolling through the landscaped gardens of Glienicke Palace.
“My tip for all-year-round, but especially for summer, is Glienicke Park and Palace, on the leafy shores of Wannsee lake. It’s only a 15-minute bus ride from Wannsee S-Bahn, and once there, you feel like you’re no longer at the edge of Berlin but in an Italian wonderland. I have been going there since the 1960s with my husband, who was an architect and very interested in landscaping. When the Prussian kings bought the property at the beginning of the 19th century, they commissioned the famous architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel to remodel the palace in a classical manner and employed landscape gardener Peter Joseph Lenné to do the park. At the time it was fashionable to travel to Italy and everyone wanted a similar atmosphere at home, hence the Italian-style pavilions such as Kleine Neugierde and Große Neugierde. Schloss Glienicke itself is a wonderful, harmonious palace with boldly coloured halls. Sometimes on weekends there are concerts in the central hall – a very romantic experience. In the castle garden, the terrace at the restaurant Lutter & Wegner is a nice place to have an excellent glass of wine – not cheap, but worth it. Here you’ll also find Berlin’s most beautiful fountain, the lion fountain, crowned by golden lions. I love to sit down next to it and enjoy the view over the water, castle and garden. This is my favourite spot in the park. From there I sometimes walk all the way up to where the ferry crosses over the Havel to Pfaueninsel. In the island’s large meadows and wonderfully flourishing summer gardens a multitude of peacocks roam free and, if you are lucky, you’ll see them fan their tail feathers. The island also boasts one of the oldest and most beautiful rose gardens in Berlin.”