There are more than enough activities and attractions to keep you busy in Berlin for years, but if you are visiting for more than a few days, you may want to take a short journey out of this bustling metropolis to see some of the surrounding areas. Here is a list of five suggestions for daytrips from Berlin!
A world class city in its own right, Potsdam is just thirty minutes from Berlin. Historically a hub for trade and immigration, the architecture and attitude of Potsdam reflects this past, with its parks and palaces officially listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for their outstanding contribution to the world’s culture. With one day in this rich city, you will want to rent a bicycle, for around 11 Euros for the day. Stops at the stunning 18th century rococo Sanssouci (French for carefree) Palace and Park are a must, as is a visit to the 19th century Chinese Teahouse and a stroll through the Dutch Quarter’s picturesque redbrick houses.
The S-Bahn S7 train makes regular stops from central Berlin to the main Potsdam Hauptbahnhof station. A regional train, while more expensive, is faster and can take you directly to Potsdam-Charlottenhof and Potsdam-Sanssouci
2. Szczecin, Poland
Let’s be honest – sometimes we just want to rack up a few extra stamps in the old passport with a short daytrip, and so if you want to visit not just a different city but also a completely different country, then Szczecin (known as Stettin in German) is for you. Located on the Oder River in the vicinity of the Baltic Sea, Szczecin is the seventh largest city in Poland and a popular daytrip from Berlin. At various times in its history, Szczecin has been under Dutch, Swedish and German rule, and its architecture and culture reflect this diversity. Visitors enjoy strolling through the medieval centre, visiting the white city castle and sampling Polish perogies – all in time to get back to Berlin by evening!
Regular regional trains depart from Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof. Blogger RJ at coolblueice has clear instructions on how to save loads of money and get your ticket for less than 20 Euros roundtrip!
3. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
While a visit to a former concentration camp may not top your list of enjoyable daytrips, it is impossible to deny the popularity of tourism to these sites of terror. A visit to Sachsenhausen, a Nazi concentration camp in Orienenberg, is a harrowing and sobering experience, but one that many people find important and meaningful as they try to reconcile the horrors of the Holocaust with the modern state of Germany. Guided tours of the site, audio guides and guidebooks are available, and come highly recommended to provide interpretation of the exhibits and grounds.
A combination of train, bus and walking is required, but total time should take less than 90 minutes. Check Google maps for the most convenient routing from your hotel.
4. Spreewald Forest
If you tire of Berlin’s urban jungle, a trip to the remarkable beauty of Spreewald Forest may be the perfect daytrip for you. Located 50 miles away, this UNESCO designated biosphere consists of alder forests, grasslands and a series of 200 small channels and waterways stretching over nearly 500 square kilometres. Canoe rentals are possible, as are guided gondola tours (if you would like an English guide, alight a barge in the most touristed areas of Lübben or Lübbenau), but most of the forest area is accessible only on foot. This non-motorized transportation zone provides tranquil calm along with excellent exercise (perfect to work off all of that wurst and beer). If you decide to spend the night in the area, be sure to learn more about the area’s Sorbian culture, one of Germany’s two recognized ethnic minorities native to the country.
Take the hourly regional train RE2 from Zoologischer Garten, Hauptbahnhof, Friedrichstraße, Alexanderplatz, or Ostbahnhof to Lübben or Lübbenau
5. Best on a Budget – Kladow
If you are after a day of complete tranquility on a shoestring budget, a visit to Kladow might be what you are after. Swim in the lake, gaze at squirrels and explore popular walking trails across the Havel River. Despite the fact that Kladow is technically a part of metro Berlin, the ferry trip across the river makes it feel like much more of an intrepid journey, and the scenic natural setting will make you forget the urban centre mere minutes away.
Get the S-Bahn to Wannsee. At the ferry port catch the BVG-Fähre ferry to Kladow, which leaves on the hour (and is no additional charge, providing your S-Bahn ticket has not expired).
+++We’ll offer walking tours around Christmas time. Check out our Berlin pay-what-you-like walking tours!+++
Written by Jessica O’Neill