The wait was worth it: This week, the International Gardening Exhibition IGA 2017 will finally open its (fence) gates in Berlin. The prestigious exhibition takes place only every ten years and will be hosted by the German capital for the first time ever. For years, the area in and around the “Gärten der Welt” (“gardens of the world”) has been dug over, planted and prepared. Now, starting on April 13, we are all invited to visit the flowering highlight of 2017 and marvel at the colourful wonders for ourselves. Here is all you need to know concerning the gardening wonderland in the far east of the city:
“An OCEAN of colours”
Such is the slogan of IGA 2017, whereat concept and venue could not be a better fit: In the heart of one the biggest concrete housing estates of all Europe, at Berlin Marzahn, the gardening exhibition aims to explore the diversity and possibilities of urban green spaces. During the next 186 days, until the exhibition ends on October 15, more than 2 million visitors are expected to pay the 250 acres exhibition grounds a visit. And the organisers have great plans, as they claim that the gardening festival will “make it possible to experience international arts of gardening and will provide innovative impulses for contemporary urban development and green lifestyle culture”. The idea is to put into flowering splendour the unique qualities and vibes of the German capital. Multi-cultural diversity is at the heart of the project; the already existing “Gardens of the World” are therefore being enlarged and doubled in size. Some of the best landscapers from five continents have thus realised a number of fascinating garden cabinets, so that you can travel the world on a leisurely walk through the fragrant plants.
A bird’s-eye view
IGA comes with a number of “highlights” (pun intended) offering amazing perspectives upon the surrounding paradise: on and around neighbouring Kienberg hill a new park has been built, the so-called Kienbergpark. Main attraction: “Wolkenhain”, a spectacular observation deck on the summit of the 102 meter hill overlooking the entire compound as well as the city itself, with views as far as Brandenburg Gate and the famous TV Tower. To you this might look just like a regular hill, but compared to the rest of flat, flat Berlin, this is a majestic mountain. Thus it is no wonder that the organisers of IGA constructed the capital’s first ever cable car here. Crossing some 1.5 kilometers from the main entrance via Kienberg to the opposite end of the park, the glass-floored cars offer dizzying views and take you all the way to the “Market Place” where you can find yummy snacks and more attractions. The best part: there is no extra fee for riding the cablecar.
IGA 2017 has so much to offer that you could probably spend a full summer there without a single moment of boredom: flower halls with changing worlds of color, water gardens and a floating lake terrace, a number of playgrounds including Berlin’s biggest water playground, as well as a 300 meter wooden footbridge across the meadows of Wuhletal, where endangered species of horses, sheep, and cattle graze. Newly erected IGA Campus comes with interesting activities and events for children, teenagers, and families who can experiment, garden, cook, and learn here together. One of the main points of the gardening exhibition is to inspire your own gardening skills, therefore you can find at i-Punkt GRÜN a counseling centre for every subject surrounding gardening, olericulture, fruit-growing, urban gardening, and much, much more.
Talking about events: there are more than 20 stages and event venues on the IGA grounds and the program is more than promising – rock and pop gigs, classical concerts, as well as educational events. The biggest shows will be held at the newly constructed Arena, a 5,000 people amphitheatre nestled in the green hills of the park. Comedians, bands, orchestras, and other stars will make an appearance almost every week here. Also worth a visit are the beautiful park festivals like romantic Cherry Blossoms Festival (April 16 & 17, 2017) and the Highland Games (July 22 & 23, 2017); not to mention the many sports- and wellness facilities.
Access, tickets and more
IGA 2017 will be open to the public from April 13 through October 15, 2017. The best way to get there is by subway U5 to “U Kienberg – Gärten der Welt”. A day pass for IGA will set you back 20.- €, with most attractions like the cable car being included already. Except for the really big shows and events there is no extra charge for such activities, too. You can find further information and the full calendar of events on the official website. IGA 2017 is a good starting point to explore the many parks and gardens of the green capital. The city of Berlin has therefore founded the network Berlin’s green spaces, including a pocket-forma city guide that you can find at local book stores.
Our team at Industriepalast Hostel Berlin looks forward to hosting you during your visit at IGA 2017 and wishes you a pleasant journey across the “OCEAN of colours”!
P.S.: Have you listened to the official hymn of IGA 2017 yet, the song “Meer aus Farben” by Berlin-based band “Berge”? Check out the image film below:
Pictures by: © IGA Berlin 2017 GmbH
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.