At last, work is over for the day! Just get out of the office and into the fresh air; it’s on your doorstep. In big cities there are so many green oases just waiting to be discovered. Tatonka has gone looking for outdoor feeling in German cities: “Expedition Life” between the main station and the pedestrian zone.

Cycling to work, an evening snack in a beer garden, at the weekend a trip to a reservoir: These possibilities to get away from the stress of daily life, even if only for a few hours, are freely available in all our towns – but a real outdoor or holiday feeling doesn’t always come up.

In Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne and other big German cities there really are green oases to be found amongst the building sites, high-rise buildings, and multi-lane jungle highways. – Did you know? Cologne is in 4th place in the list of the cleanest cities in Europe, at least according to a study by the Irish organization “Irish Business against Litter”.

The Alster in Hamburg at dusk.
The Alster in Hamburg at dusk. Photo: (c) Max Stolbinsky, flickr CC BY 2.0

Nature Swimming Pool Maria Einsiedel: Country idyll in the center of Bavaria’s largest city

Rich green meadows, shady places under impressive old trees, fun in the water just as in a natural lake: The residents of Munich enjoy the romantic country scene for swimming and sunbathing at the Maria Einsiedel pool. There are no chemical additives but only a pool where the environment is taken into consideration; this is beautiful green spot in the middle of nature and in the center of the largest city in Bavaria.

The water of the 2,750 m² pool with areas for swimmers and non-swimmers is cleaned by micro-organisms; the planted gravel pool and natural gravel filters surrounded by sunbathing meadow ensure excellent water quality, and better than that of other lakes for swimming.

Swimmers can swim their lengths in the 50 meter long pool. The active area is connected to the non-swimmer pool by a broad canal. Families can enjoy their excursion to the nature swimming pool Maria Einsiedel: On hot summer days, the generously sized paddling pool provides a cool place for little and not-so little children; then they can play and have fun on the surrounding meadowland. There are kiosks here too, when later an ice-cream or a serving of French Fries is absolutely necessary!

A relaxing boat trip in the “Venice of the North”

A short visit to the North of Germany, to Hamburg: The “Hanseatic Metropolis”, with a population of almost two million, was elected “Environment Capital of Europe” at the end of 2010 and may now pride itself on its harmony of environment protection, economic growth and quality of life.

With their efforts in respect of climate protection and mobility, city development and “green oases”, sustainable consumption and protection of resources, the people of Hamburg made an important contribution to the conservation of their green areas – almost 17% of the Hamburg urban district is parks, forests and green zones.

Relaxed canoe trip on the Alster in the sunset.
How about a relaxed canoe trip on the Alster with a view of the sunset? (c) Travelinho,

Sunset in Hamburg: There are around 130 kilometers of navigable waterways which have led to the Hanseatic capital being called “Venice of the North” – and yes, just as romantic and relaxed as in Italy, you can spend the evening on the Elbe, Fleete and Alster.

The waterway takes you past impressive landscapes, whether houses and buildings, garden allotments, industrial premises and open meadows. When you get hungry form all the paddling and sightseeing, there are opportunities for picnics on the river bank or at one of the cafés with their own moorage facilities.

And in your home town? Where are the green oases and outdoor paradises? Go on a discovery tour right on your doorstep an enjoy the summer!