A huge swathe of peaceful green parkland smack in the middle of Berlin, the Tiergarten was originally designed by Peter Lenné as a hunting ground for Elector Friedrich III, but now provides a great antidote to city noise and bustle. Bus #100 between Bahnhof Zoo and Alexanderplatz crosses the park, but it’s best appreciated on foot or by bike. At least wander along the Landwehrkanal, and the pretty little group of ponds of the grand-sounding Neuer See. In summer the popular beer garden here, Café am Neuen See, rents out boats by the hour.
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Approached by great boulevards at the centre of the Tiergarten, is the eye-catching Siegessäule (Victory Column). Topped with a gilded Winged Victory, the column celebrates Prussia’s military victories. The mosaics at the column’s base show the unification of the German peoples and incidents from the Franco-Prussian War. The four bronze reliefs beside depict the main wars and the victorious marching of the troops into Berlin. The Siegessäule’s summit offers a good view of the surroundings, but is 285 stairs distant.