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A green paradise with a 20,000 strong plant species selection, Berlin’s Botanic Gardens is a quiet expanse in the south-western corner of the city that is of incomparable beauty and quietude to any garden in the city. It’s a place where you can easily spend hours wandering and exploring tropical greenhouses, rose gardens, alpine plants and moss houses. It is an extraordinary way to be immersed in nature so very close to the center.
An archetypal example of the Pop-Architecture movement of the 1970s, the Bierpinsel, or ‘beer brush,’ was designed by architects Ralf Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte. Previously the Turmrestaurant Steglitz (Tower Restaurant Steglitz), it acted as a restaurant and disco during the 1970s. While it is somewhat aesthetically divisive, there is something heartwarming and nostalgic about the sheer curiosity of the structure and design of it. While it is not currently open, there are rumors of it being taken over once again, returning to its former bar-based glory, and is surely worth a view for the fact there’s nothing in the city quite like it.
Stadtpark Steglitz is another quiet and secluded escape from the city, with picturesque woodlands and ponds. This lesser-known city park is even more precious for the few people there and calmness it exudes. When in need of a winter or summer stroll, dog walk or picnic – though a little trek from the center – a breath of fresh air from the more hectic patches of green in the middle of the city awaits you. With quaint, fairytale-like fountains and a rose garden, Stadtpark Steglitz is a more pleasant way to wander when in the area.
Stadtpark Steglitz, Sedanstraße, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 901393000
For an alternative architectural history tour of the city, getting out at Lichtenfelde-West takes you to a colony of villas built in the late 19th century, the oldest residential district in Berlin. Part of the Villakolonie movement, this group of buildings was designed as mansions or villas. A stark contrast to the architectural styles used in the rebuilding of the city after the war – straight lines and symmetrical designs – Steglitz offers a little collection of Art Nouveau treasures.
This cozy little Vietnamese restaurant is an unexpected little wonder in the somewhat sparse dining scene in Steglitz. Not just within Steglitz, but within the city, this hidden gem is certainly worth a visit. Doing authentic Vietnamese food exceptionally well within a friendly atmosphere, Bao is one for any pho enthusiast, and the spring rolls are definitely worth trying too. It’s a no brainer if you’re already in the area, and a culinary excuse to get to Steglitz if you are elsewhere.
Bao, Hindenburgdamm 57a, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 83203483
This cozy corner of Steglitz does hearty, rich, classic Italian food with full flavorful flair. La Marianna is not just another typical Italian restaurant lining the streets, especially with dishes like truffle spaghetti. The authentic pasta and perfectly cooked pizza bases are certainly worth a trip, along with its imaginative dishes. It’s perfect for a long evening dinner, especially during the summer nights when you can sit outside. The quiet Steglitz neighborhood makes it a calm and charming evening.
La Mariana, Feuerbachstraße 63, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 8559647
This innovative bar in the heart of Steglitz is a serious contender against the mixology-oriented establishments of the district and city. Sweet, sour, selected spirit – it’s better to describe what you’re after to the enthusiastic bartenders who will then conjure a personal creation, rather than be picking from their menu. With a wonderfully friendly atmosphere, Clandestine does the imaginative art of mixology with skill and without pretension, making it a perfect place to pursue a personalized potion.