When I need a break from travelling and want to relax for a while in Berlin, I head to the gardens of Charlottenburg Palace.
Named after Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Frederick the Great and the first queen of Prussia, the baroque palace was constructed in 1699 and is the largest palace in Berlin.
I first visited the palace while on a school trip in 2001. I have vague memories of a beautiful light-filled ballroom, a dark crowded chapel, and the first of what has now been many rooms that house royal collections of porcelain and china.
But it’s the gardens that I really love. The formal gardens at the back of the palace are full of colourful flowers, manicured hedges, marble statues and water features. Beyond this ordered garden is a forest where you can spend the afternoon traipsing over bridges and discovering the monuments in the Charlottenburg Palace Park.
You can explore the Pavilion, view the porcelain collection in the Belvedere or make a more sombre trip to the Mausoleum of Queen Louise. If that doesn’t suit, perhaps try hunting for quirky objects hidden in the park, such as The Obelisk – a structure commemorating the date of March 11, for no particular reason other than it can.
My favourite thing is to do is to find a bench with a good view of the palace peeking through the trees, pull out a book to read and spend an hour or two chilling out, without anyone bothering me (something that never happens when I try the same thing on Museum Insel!). It is so peaceful and tranquil that the time slips by.
After spending a few hours of downtime with a view like this, I’m ready to head back in to the rush of Berlin life.
How do you recharge while travelling?
- Charlottenburg Palace is also known as Schloss Charlottenburg.
- While the gardens are free to walk around, there is a cost if you want to explore the palace. To find out more, visit the Foundation of Prussian Castles and Gardens in Berlin-Brandenburg website
- To get to Charlottenburg Schloss take the U-bahn and get out at the Richard-Wagner-Platz stop. Turn left and walk up to the end of Otto-Suhr-Allee and you will find yourself on Spandauer Damm in front of the palace.