Forget Disney, Asterix or even Lego, these are gardens you would travel the world to see, and all in the outskirts of one city. It takes over an hour from the centre of Berlin, but at less than £2.50 for the return journey it’s a bargain. Now that the International Garden Exhibition is over entry to the park is also cheap: about 2E someone said. For that, you see all the gardens, after taking the included cable car.
The view over the gardens is spectacular. From the Kienberg Promenade, where you leave the cable car (though there is a midway viewing platform if you prefer), the route is level or downhill.
South American garden design, Chinese, then Renaissance, these will be good value all year round; the dahlia garden and English garden will not. Permanent (in a sense) is the following grave design and monuments area, which can be bypassed for the Oriental (which seems to mean Islamic, as in the Alhambra) and the Tropical or Balinese, which is amazing in its variety and guaranteed to keep visitors warm in even the coldest Berlin winter. There is a restaurant within the glasshouse built around the garden.
It will not be long before the Korean garden is repaired and reopened after storm damage, and that should be worth visiting, as most certainly is the succeeding Japanese garden. A further Chinese garden, with lake, is in the centre of the park, not far from the Christian garden that seems to take inspiration from monastic gardens.
For those interested, and Hampton Court is the exemplar, there is a maze; not far off is the Karl Foerster garden, maintaining his seasonal rotation principles after many decades.
Water gardens, generous lawns and children’s play areas can be followed by walking through mixed woodland, or perhaps a visit to the landmark viewing platform before the nearby cable station down.
It all depends on the time you have to spend there, which as winter approaches will be limited. Next summer, though, a whole day with a meal for afternoon sustenance will make a splendid day out for anyone.