Garden getaway

Despite the schizophrenic summer weather this year, you, or your out-of-towner guests, are probably still looking for some green. Time for a trip to Marzahn and the Internationale Gartenaustellung 2017 (IGA). Catch it before it ends Oct 15.

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Photo by Chantal Pinzi

In a perfect world, temperatures would be rising and Berlin would be sweltering. Regardless, you and your out-of-town visitors still want to see some green. Time to head out to beautiful, leafy… Marzahn? Since April, the far-east borough has been home to the Internationale Gartenaustellung 2017 (IGA) a mammoth horticultural exhibition which takes place in Germany every 10 years. The €40 million, 100-hectare project has engulfed Gärten der Welt, that quaint collection of gardens from various eras and regions, as well as the neighbouring Kienberg hill and Wuhletal lake valley. So in addition to old favourites like the Chinese teahouse and Italian Renaissance garden, visitors can now explore sections on sustainability and contemporary graveyard design, soak in a bit of “green” knowledge at the IGA Campus educational centre or (for an extra €3) hurtle down the Kienberg on a bobsled. Or simply hop onto the Seilbahn (aerial tramway) to Kienberg’s summit, climb the futuristic Wolkenhain lookout tower and take in the surreal panorama: an ocean of colours with Marzahn’s concrete skyscrapers looming in the background. A map of over 30 highlights is enough to keep you busy for the whole day, while the food stalls and deck chairs clustered around every corner will help you recharge. If you’re up for guided tours, open-air concerts or florist workshops (up to €15), take a look at IGA’s online events calendar.

All this garden frolicking comes at a price: a whopping €20. If you’ve already seen Gärten der Welt, which takes up over one-third of the IGA, consider coming after 5pm and paying €10 – three hours before closing time will be more than enough to explore the newly added man-made and natural wonders of Kienberg and Wuhletal. Or visit after October, when IGA closes and Gärten der Welt’s entry goes back to €7. Bonus: the Seilbahn will still be there.

IGA 2017/Gärten der Welt, Hellersdorfer Str. 159, Marzahn, daily 9-20 (€20/€10 after 5pm), through Oct 15