Domäne Dahlem: take the U-Bahn to the farm
It's a rural retreat that couldn't be easier to access. Hop on a metro in bustling downtown West Berlin, and within 20 minutes you'll find yourself in the wide open spaces of Domäne Dahlem, a picturesque working farm and agricultural museum centred around an imposing 16th century manor house.
Fields stretch as far as the eye can see, tractors trundle down grassy lanes and, boosting the family-outing factor, there are plenty of farmyard animals to delight the kids. (They'll also love the vending machines that dispense grain for feeding poultry - a quirky take on Berlin's ubiquitous bubble gum automats).
Entrance to the grounds is free, although there's a small charge to visit the manor museum with its displays detailing the evolution of food production from 1800. Not, perhaps, the most riveting of themes, but exhibits such as a 1920s grocery store and historic butcher's shop enliven the tour.
For most, however, the 37 acres of farmland are the main draw, and with the added attractions of a garden cafe and farm shop it's easy to spend an hour or two soaking up the genuine rustic charm.
Extraordinary to think that this country escape is located a mere minute's walk from a Metro station, but that's Berlin all over: endlessly surprising.
Domäne Dahlem working farm and agricultural museum: Königin-Luise-Straße 49 (less than a minute's walk from Dahlem-Dorf Metro), 14195 Berlin.
Opening times: farm grounds 8am-8pm weekly from May to September; 8am-7pm from October to April. Check website for museum and shop opening hours and special events.