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Where You Can Ride Bikes On An Abandoned Airport Runway

Where You Can Ride Bikes On An Abandoned Airport Runway

If you’ve flown into Berlin in recent years, you probably would have passed through Berlin’s Tegal airport. It’s a nice airport and all, but it holds nothing to the once-great Tempelhof Airport in Berlin’s west – Europe’s most iconic pre-WWII airport. Since it’s closure in 2008, Tempelhof has gone on to become Berlin’s largest public park, letting people run wild over its abandoned runways.

First a little history: Tempelhof is a remarkable Nazi-era terminal that takes up around 300,000 square metres of imposing architecture. It was once West Berlin’s only lifeline during the Cold War, but since its closure in 2008, the incredible 900-room terminal has ceased its connection to the rest of the world.

Instead, as it stands now, Tempelhof is one of the most unique open-spaced areas in all of Berlin.  

A photo posted by Squirrel/Sarah (@i_heart_tofu) on

Thanks to its excellent location – literally right in the heart of Berlin – there have been talks over the years of scrapping the abandoned hangars and turning the space towards redevelopment. Investors were keen to turn the area into a bustling housing and commercial space, and made promises to keep the majority of the park for the residents.

But in May last year, after months of talks, the community triumphed with around 180,000 votes to keep the space exactly as it is.

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As well as the area being a mecca for outdoor activities, the hangars are now host to a number of music festivals, conferences and trade shows. Inside the terminal there’s a kindergarden, a dance school, a theatre and even the majority of the Berlin Police headquarters. 

Speaking of outdoor activities, your options are endless here – kite skating, rollerblading, bike riding, skateboarding and even – oddly – hoverboarding.

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Tempelhof Airport is located just south of Berlin’s city centre.

(Lead image: Meghan Newell/Flickr)

Keen to check it out for yourself? Fly to Europe with Qantas. 

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