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Use: Rules and Services

Enlarge photo: Sign indicating a protected green space (with specifications of restrictions)
Sign indicating a protected green space (with specifications of restrictions)
Image: SenUVK

The numerous public parks in the city’s area provide a wide variety of recreational opportunities. The Law on the Protection, Care and Development of Public Green and Recreation Spaces (Public Parks Law; in German) contains details about the use of these facilities. By law, the public parks are only to be used as it arises from their nature and purpose. All people are called to adhere to the benefit of the shared joy of urban green to abide by the applicable rules.

Especially popular forms of use include walks, picnicking or sunning, resting and sojourning on resting meadows and benches. Especially for children, green spaces are ideal places for various kinds of exercise. Smoking and alcohol consumption is self-evidently banned in children’s playgrounds.

Biking, skateboarding and barbecuing are not permitted in principle. This also applies to letting dogs run without a leash. These activities, which are often especially intensively practiced, can, as experience has shown, disturb the recreational opportunities of other users, and are therefore allowed only in areas especially designated for those purposes by the borough’s Departments of Green Spaces.

For more information, see:

Note

In green spaces, dogs can only run free without a leash in areas especially designed for that purpose. As a dog-owner, please ensure that your dog does not disturb other users, even in these areas. In dog runs, as elsewhere throughout public green spaces, dog-owners have the responsibility to immediately remove their animals’ excrement, for sanitary reasons.

You can download an overview of the green spaces exceptionally certified as dog runs as a List (in German). For more information about dog runs in particular green spaces, please inquire at the responsible Department of Green Spaces (in German).

Biking

Enlarge photo: Cycling in the park
Cycling in the park
Image: Holger Koppatsch

Many bicyclists in Berlin frequently look for “green short-cuts,” which let them enjoy the urban green spaces as they ride, and at the same time circumvent traffic; often, the latter is their primary purpose. The cool shade of the trees, singing birds, the scent of blossoms – these are only a few of the pleasant advantages of riding on such routes. There are just a few things to pay attention to in order to make sure nothing disturbs that enjoyment.

Biking in public green and recreational areas for the purpose of recreation is not permitted everywhere, but it is allowed on many large main pathways, which are marked accordingly. Special regard must always be paid to other users, e.g. to pedestrians or playing children.

Note

Pathways in green spaces are generally not bicycle paths, even if bicycling is allowed on them. Pedestrians and cyclists use these pathways jointly. Pedestrians always have the right of way on all pathways in green spaces! Compared to cyclists, they are the “weaker” users. Considerate and relaxed “recreational biking” is therefore the kind of behavior exactly suited to these green spaces.

Shortcuts through green spaces are not always and everywhere possible when riding on a bicycle. However, in order not to disturb or endanger other people, any green space may be used by bikers if the bicycle is pushed!

For more information about the use of pathways in certain green spaces, please inquire at the appropriate Department of Green Spaces (in German).

Further information

Bicycle transportation strategy for Berlin, bicycle routes/bicycle facilities, route planners …

Barbecuing

Enlarge photo: Grillen in Berlin
Grillen in Berlin
Image: Holger Koppatsch

In principle, you are allowed to have a barbecue on private land – as long as it does not bother your neighbours.

In public parks, however, barbecuing is prohibited under the Public Parks Law to avoid potential disorder and damage. In some parks and public green areas you will find signposted areas for barbecuing, where exceptionally may be grilled also in a public park. Please inquire at the responsible “Grünflächenamt (Department of Green Spaces)(Department of Green Spaces)” (in German) for signposted barbecue areas. At any rate, pay attention to the signposts at the locations.

Note

Please take care of the environment: If it is very dry because of a long rainless period one should not even think of barbecuing even at designated places because of fire protection and danger prevention. All too fast sparks or embers can ignite dry lawns or shrub parts and light a fire which could cause harm to plants, animals or even people. For that reason particularly in case of drought in summer a picnic is the smart alternative! In drought and heat please pay attention to temporarily imposed bans on barbecuing by the local resonsible borough departments (in German) if need be.

However, there are some rules which have to be observed so that nothing spoils the fun – in consideration for others and as a cautionary measure, which will be of benefit to all of us.

Rules

  • Bring your own barbecue. After use, please do not leave behind the barbecue in the park, take it back with you. Also a trash basket of a green space is not the right place to dispose an used barbecue.
  • Never light charcoal or a log fire directly on the grass or ground or even dig a pit to grill in! For barbecue areas in public parks applies as well as for the rest of the park: Campfires are prohibited.
  • You have to provide your own wood and charcoal. Do not collect any branches or twigs from the site: Parks are not there to supply firewood! This applies the more to park benches and other fittings.
  • Do not use highly inflammable liquids to speed up the fire (spirits, petrol or similar substances)! Avoid the danger of flash fire and burn injuries for yourselves and others.
  • Never place your barbecue directly under trees. Rising sparks could set light to branches. In addition, hot air and radiation of the embers could damage delicate foliage.
  • Do not grill anything that does not fit on your grate. The park is the wrong place to grill mutton and sucking pig. Barbecuing whole or only roughly divided animals is therefore forbidden.
  • Embers, leftovers, paper plates and packaging have to be thrown away – preferably, separated in the bins provided at home. If the containers at most barbecue areas already are overflowing, naturally the waste is – like the rest of the barbecue accessories – to be taken back.
  • Open rubbish bins are not suitable for rubbish from barbecues. Particularly leftovers entice crows, rats or foxes to clean out the bins – and to spill everything, which you thought you had disposed of in an orderly manner.
  • Take care to extinguish the embers after barbecuing, e.g. with water that you have brought in a bottle. Make sure that no fire or injury can be caused by still smoldering embers.

Keep in Mind

This is what you should take with you

  • Your barbecue (do not light a fire on the ground!)
  • Charcoal (it is forbidden to collect firewood!)
  • A bottle of water (to extinguish)
  • Bin-liners (for embers, leftovers and packaging)

This is where you should save yourself the trouble

  • Whoever sets up a barbecue at a place other than the designated areas, will be fined – for smaller offences up to 20 Euros, if you dig a pit to grill in or cause similar damage then up to 5,000 Euros.
  • Fines could also be imposed if you just dump your embers in the countryside, leave your rubbish or burn branches and twigs which you have collected at the location.

This is what you should try out

  • A picnic with cold dishes like salads, breads, cheeses, various snacks and fruit and vegetables may be at least as delicious as cooked food hot from the grill grate. A varied picnic as an easy alternative to barbecuing – Give it a try! It is also advantageous that a picnic is not limited to signposted barbecue areas.

Dog Runs

Enlarge photo: Walk in a park with a dog on leash
Walk in a park with a dog on leash
Image: Holger Koppatsch

Dogs must generally be kept on a leash in public parks, so that visitors are not disturbed by dogs running free, and plants are not damaged or destroyed. In some green spaces, there is even a general ban on dogs for that reason. These animals generally have no business on public children’s playgrounds, due to concern for the safety of children.

The requirement to keep dogs on the leash in green spaces is provided both by the Law on the Protection, Care and Development of Public Green and Recreation Spaces (Public Parks Law; in German) and by the Law on the Keeping and Walking of Dogs in Berlin (Berlin Dog Law; in German).

Note

In green spaces, dogs can only run free without a leash in areas especially designed for that purpose. As a dog-owner, please ensure that your dog does not disturb other users, even in these areas. In dog runs, as elsewhere throughout public green spaces, dog-owners have the responsibility to immediately remove their animals’ excrement, for sanitary reasons.

You can download an overview of the green spaces exceptionally certified as dog runs as a List (in German). For more information about dog runs in particular green spaces, please inquire at the responsible Department of Green Spaces (in German).

Further information

Information of the Senate Department for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti­discrimination

Information

All details stated here are subject to change. At any rate, pay attention to the signposts at the locations!

Dog bans in green spaces

(In German)

PDF-Document (64.3 kB)

Dog runs in green spaces

(in German)

PDF-Document (34.2 kB)

Any questions about a selected park?