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If you’re visiting Berlin for a few days, there are many options for taking some short excursions out of the city.  But what is the best day trip from Berlin?  That’s coming right up. 

But first…

What Is My Idea Of A Day Trip?

My idea of the perfect day trip destination is a place that is somewhere within a 2 hour travel time each way.

Actually, that’s also my definition of a good weekend destination as well.  You see, I just think that when you’re only gone for a day or even a few days, traveling much more than 2 hours in each direction becomes tiring.  So I recommend keeping the travel time at 2 hours or less.

After all, if you’re on vacation you don’t want to be dragging by the end of the day.  You’re supposed to be enjoying yourself, remember?

My Favorite Day Trip From Berlin


Situated within my perfect day trip distance, Potsdam is located only 30 kilometers Southwest of Berlin’s city center. To give you another more interesting location reference, it was located just outside West Berlin after the construction of the Berlin Wall.

Potsdam has a long history, including once being the summer home of Frederick the Great, a former King of Prussia.  In fact, his home – Sanssouci Palace – still stands and is a must-see when you visit.

Today, Potsdam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that retains its authentic charm and is truly a cultural gem that is worth seeing.

And because of it’s close proximity to Berlin it makes a perfect day trip, allowing you to have a long day there without arriving back to Berlin too late at night.

What To Do In Potsdam

There are so many things to see in Potsdam that I’m not actually sure you can do them all in a single day.

Here’s a list of must-sees in Potsdam.

 Sanssouci Palace – Former palace of Frederick the Great.  This was built in 1745 and is a spectacular example of a single-story Rococo building with a dome in the center.  Be sure to walk around the Sanssouci Park grounds after touring the palace.

Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam
Sanssouci Palace

The New Palace – The New Palace, or Neues Palais at Sanssouci was built between 1763 – 1769 and was the last palace built in this area by Frederick the Great.

Neues Palais, Potsdam
Neues Palais, Potsdam

Cecilienhof – The Cecilienhof Country House was built by Kaiser Wilhelm II for his Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife Cecilie between 1913 – 1917.

Cecilienhof Country House

Russian Colony Alexandrovka – The Russian Colony Alexandrovka was established in 1826 by King Frederick William III in memory of his close friend, Czar Alexander I.

Russische Kolonie Alexandrowka, Potsdam
Russische Kolonie Alexandrowka, Potsdam

Dutch Quarter – How about a visit to the Netherlands right here in Germany?

Dutch quarter, Potsdam
Dutch quarter, Potsdam

Film Museum – This is quite interesting not only for the contents of the museum but for the building that houses it as well.

Film museum, Potsdam
Film museum, Potsdam

Glienicki Bridge – Otherwise known as the “Bridge of Spies” and not to be confused with the “Bridge of Sighs”!  For “Cold War” buffs this is great.

Bridge of Spies, Potsdam
Bridge of Spies, Potsdam

Palaces Galore

If you run out of things to do while you’re in Potsdam, you can always see more palaces!

Potsdam actually has palaces galore.  The Prussian rulers apparently loved Potsdam, and the original 17 palaces in Potsdam are spread over 3 park areas as well as the city center.

How To Get From Berlin To Potsdam

There are 3 ways you can easily do a day trip from Berlin to Potsdam.

By Car –

Potsdam is only about 35 kilometers from central Berlin.  Driving your own vehicle won’t take more than 40-50 minutes depending on the route you take.

I don’t recommend driving it yourself unless you have plans to stop elsewhere along the way.  Then having your own car could make some sense.  But since public transportation is so frequent and fast between Berlin and Potsdam, I don’t see any reason to deal with not only the drive but with finding a place to stash your car in Potsdam for the day.

By Train –

The Berlin to Potsdam train departs from Berlin Central about every 20 minutes and the trip only takes 25-35 minutes depending on the train.  The earliest departure from Berlin Central is currently around 6:30 AM.  Return trains from Potsdam to Berlin leave as late as 10:40 PM.

By Guided Tour –

It’s possible to take a guided tour from Berlin to Potsdam, and this is one of the best ways to have a relaxing day trip experience.

There is a wide range of different tours available that will include your transportation from Berlin to Potsdam, a knowledgable guide, entrance fees to different attractions, and the ability to “Skip the Line” which is handy if you’re visiting during a busy time.  In most cases, the tours will pick you up right at your Berlin hotel which makes it very convenient for you.

Here are a few different options for Guided Tours –

Viator- Berlin To Potsdam Guided Tours

Get Your Guide – Day Trips From Berlin To Potsdam

More Activities In Potsdam


Have you already been to Potsdam?  What did you enjoy best while you were there?

If this is your first visit to my blog, don’t miss my about page to learn exactly what inspired me to start this blog.

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Mary Emmer
Mary Emmer

About the Author

Mary is an online entrepreneur here at Still en Route where she uses her knowledge from a travel industry career beginning in 1984 to write about everything travel-related, sometimes with a baby boomer twist!  Read more.

2 thoughts on “The Best Day Trip From Berlin, Germany & What You Should See There”

  1. Now I want to go to Potsdam, looks beautiful and so many fun things to do. My son loves anything that has to do with film and movies, so taking him to the Film museum would be so much fun.
    Have to add Potsdam to the list, next time I go to Berlin!

    • Yes, it really is a lovely place. And it has so many of my favorite things which are palaces and castles! I actually have not been in the Film Museum but I’ve heard good things about it. I will have to save that for a future visit.


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