Reinickendorf: Berlin’s Lesser-Known Green Oasis
Well, well, well. If it isn’t you, my dear reader, yearning for another scrumptious slice of Berlin’s hidden treasures. Today, I’m serving up a hearty helping of Reinickendorf, Berlin’s lesser-known green oasis. If you’re thinking, “Reini-what-now?”, then buckle up, grab a pretzel and let me take you on a whirligig tour of this verdant gem. And hey, if you get lost, just remember: we’re all mad here in Berlin.
Reinickendorf, the northern borough of Berlin, might not be as famous as Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain, but I assure you, it’s got a charm of its own. You could say it’s the underdog of Berlin – not quite the prom queen, but has a killer personality. So, put on your hipster glasses, grab your soy latte, and let’s dive in!
First things first: Reinickendorf is green. And I don’t mean in an eco-friendly, recycling-bin-on-every-corner kind of way (though we do love those). I mean in a leafy, grassy, oh-my-god-can-you-believe-all-this-nature kind of way. The district is home to not one, not two, but THREE lakes: Lake Tegel, Lake Hermsdorf, and Lake Waidsee. Each one has its own unique vibe – kind of like the Spice Girls of bodies of water.
Lake Tegel, the largest in Berlin, is where locals flock to soak up the sun, sail, and enjoy a bratwurst or two. And if you’re not a big fan of water, don’t worry, there’s plenty to do on dry land. The surrounding forest, the Tegeler Forst, is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with miles of trails for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding.
Now, if you’re more of a ‘I’d rather sip on a craft beer and watch the world go by’ kind of person, Lake Hermsdorf is your spot. It’s smaller, more intimate, and has a great selection of local breweries on its shores. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the hipsters in Prenzlauer Berg weeping with envy.
But let’s not forget Lake Waidsee. This hidden gem is perfect for those seeking a quieter, more secluded spot. Surrounded by thick woodland, it’s the perfect place to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and get back to nature.
But Reinickendorf is not just about lakes and forests. The district is also home to some of Berlin’s most interesting architecture. The Borsig Tower, for example, is a prime example of expressionist architecture. Towering at 65 meters, it was once the tallest building in Berlin. Nowadays, it’s a bit dwarfed by the city’s skyscrapers, but it still holds its own. It’s like the Danny Devito of Berlin’s skyline – small but full of character.
And speaking of character, let’s talk about the district’s culinary scene. Reinickendorf is a melting pot of flavors, with a rich variety of international cuisines. From traditional German fare to Vietnamese, Turkish, and Italian, there’s something for everyone. It’s like the United Nations of food.
One of my personal favorites is ‘Das Lamm und der Wolf’, a quirky, rustic restaurant that serves hearty German dishes. The moment you step in, you’re transported to a Grimm fairy tale, complete with wooden tables, vintage crockery, and wait for it – a menu written in old German script. The food is delicious, the ambiance is cozy, and the waitstaff are as friendly as they come.
But if you’re craving pizza, head over to ‘Pizzeria La Pausa’. This family-run joint serves up some of the best pizzas in town. The crust is thin and crispy, the toppings are fresh, and the tomato sauce is so good, you’ll want to drink it. No, really.
Now, no tour of Reinickendorf would be complete without a visit to the Tegel Palace. This 16th-century building is steeped in history, and was once home to the famous poet, Heinrich von Kleist. Today, it’s a cultural center, hosting concerts, exhibitions, and even a Christmas market.
And for those of you with a sweet tooth, the district is also home to one of Berlin’s oldest ice cream parlors, Eiskönigin. Serving up a dizzying array of flavors, from classic vanilla to exotic mango, this place is a must-visit. Just remember to pace yourself – brain freeze is no joke, my friend.
So, there you have it: Reinickendorf – Berlin’s lesser-known green oasis. It might not be as trendy as Neukölln or as historic as Mitte, but it has a charm all of its own. It’s the perfect place for those seeking a little peace and quiet, a touch of nature, and a dash of quirkiness. And if that’s not enough to convince you, just remember: in Reinickendorf, the beer is cold, the lakes are cool, and the locals are cooler. Prost!
But wait, there’s more!
Let’s talk about Reinickendorf’s vibrant art scene. The district is home to a number of small galleries and studios, where local artists showcase their work. The Art Center Tegel, for example, hosts regular exhibitions, workshops, and artist talks, making it a hub for the local art community.
And if you’re a fan of street art, keep an eye out for the district’s many murals, which add a splash of color to the urban landscape. The ‘Reinickendorf Fox’ mural is a particular favorite of mine. Painted by local artist ‘Das Pferd’, it depicts a giant, colorful fox, and has become something of a local landmark.
But art is not the only thing that Reinickendorf has to offer. The district is also home to a number of quirky, offbeat shops and boutiques. ‘Trödelmarkt am Borsigturm’, for example, is a treasure trove of vintage clothes, furniture, and knick-knacks. It’s the perfect place to hunt for unique, one-of-a-kind items.
And for those of you who enjoy a good book, ‘Buchhandlung am Schäfersee’ is a must-visit. This charming bookstore is packed to the brim with books, magazines, and comics, in both German and English. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and will happily help you find your next great read.
In conclusion, Reinickendorf is a district that has something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature lover, a foodie, an art enthusiast, or just someone looking for a relaxing day out, Reinickendorf has got you covered. So why not give it a visit? You might just find your new favorite spot in Berlin.
And remember, in the wise words of Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So, take a moment, look around, and soak up the beautiful, quirky, and oh-so-Berlin vibes of Reinickendorf. You won’t regret it.
Q: Where exactly is Reinickendorf located in Berlin?
A: Reinickendorf is located in the northwest part of Berlin, and it’s one of the twelve boroughs of the city. It’s bordered by Pankow to the east, Mitte to the south, and Spandau to the west. To the north, it shares a border with the Oberhavel district in Brandenburg. It’s slightly off the beaten track but well connected with the rest of the city via public transportation.
Q: What makes Reinickendorf a “Green Oasis”?
A: Reinickendorf is often referred to as a “Green Oasis” due to its numerous parks, gardens, and natural landscapes. It is home to the Tegeler Fließ Nature Park, which is a sprawling protected area offering a natural habitat to various bird species and other wildlife. The district is also famous for the Tegeler See (Lake Tegel), the second largest lake in Berlin and a favorite spot for swimming, sailing, and other water sports. In addition to these, Reinickendorf boasts of several green spaces like the Schillerpark and the Volkspark Rehberge, making it a green haven amidst the bustling city.
Q: What are some must-visit spots in Reinickendorf?
A: Some must-visit spots in Reinickendorf include the Tegel Palace (Schloss Tegel) which is a charming neo-classical mansion with a fascinating history. The Tegeler See, as mentioned earlier, is another must-visit spot, especially in the summer for its watersport activities. The Tegel Forest is a perfect spot for hiking or cycling. And for those interested in aviation, a visit to the Aviation Monument and the Museum of Berlin Airlift is essential. The Reinickendorf Church (the old village church) is another beautiful historic site that deserves a visit.
Q: How’s the food scene in Reinickendorf?
A: The food scene in Reinickendorf is a delightful mix of traditional German fare, international cuisine, and trendy cafes. It’s home to a variety of restaurants from cozy bistros to upscale dining establishments. You’ll find everything from traditional German cuisine such as Eisbein (pork knuckle) and Currywurst to Italian pizzerias, Turkish kebab shops, and Asian eateries. The district also boasts of some fantastic bakeries, where you can enjoy a Berliner (jam doughnut) or a classic pretzel.
Q: Any local events or festivals in Reinickendorf that one should know about?
A: Reinickendorf hosts several local events and festivals throughout the year. The Tegeler Harbour Festival in August is a notable event, featuring a lively fair with music, boat rides, and food stalls. The Reinickendorf Christmas Market is another crowd-puller, offering a festive atmosphere with traditional German Christmas treats, crafts, and entertainment. The district also has a thriving arts scene, with galleries like the Galerie Reinickendorf hosting regular exhibitions.
Q: How would you describe the local culture in Reinickendorf?
A: Reinickendorf has a unique local culture that beautifully combines Berlin’s rich history with a modern, laid-back lifestyle. Despite its urban development, the district has preserved its village-like charm, with its historic buildings, relaxed pace, and friendly locals. The community is diverse and inclusive, with a mix of long-time residents and newcomers, adding to the vibrant cultural fabric of the district. The local culture is also reflected in the district’s arts scene, food, festivals, and its love for outdoor activities.
Q: And finally, can you tell us a joke about Reinickendorf?
A: Sure, here you go: Why don’t they play hide and seek in Reinickendorf? Because, good luck hiding when everyone’s at the park!