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12 Best Day Trips From Berlin | Short Trips

12 Best Day Trips From Berlin | Short Trips

Berlin is a great city to visit on any European adventure. It is home to the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, iconic street art, and some of the best clubs of all time.

But just outside of Berlin there are dozens of amazing sights and small towns to see. With easy access to transportation, Berlin is the perfect central place to take a day trip from. Within an hour’s journey, you can see a lot more of Germany!

dat trips from Berlin

Read on to learn about the best day trips from Berlin.

1. Potsdam

Potsdam Germany

Potsdam is a small city located only a short ride away, making it the number one spot for those looking for a day trip from Berlin. This city is the capital of Brandenburg and is famous for its historical palaces and Dutch Quarter. 

Accessible through buses and trains, visiting Potsdam can conveniently be one of your easy and quick trips from Berlin. The city isn’t short of beautiful lakes and parks, but most importantly, the Prussian Rocco Palaces give Potsdam the status of a World Heritage site. 

While here you must see the Dutch Quarter, of course, other nearby attractions are great too, but the Dutch Quarter takes the cake.

You can take a City and Castles tour to explore the city in Potsdam.

One of the most beautiful palaces is the Sanssouci Palace. Its exquisite Chinese teahouse and vast gardens will make you fall in love with this place. Moreover, the beautiful palace fountain will leave you spell-bound. 

The Great Fountain gives a unique representation of mythological figures and the four elements. Something that you won’t find anywhere else. Sanssouci Palace can easily give the Palace of Versailles very tough competition. 

Moving on, the famous Sanssouci Park surrounds the Palace. The park has artworks, impressive buildings, and beautiful walking trails. 

The Picture Gallary and Neptune’s Grotto are two other highlights of this city. If you are a history-lover, you will find it hard to leave within one day. 

So, before you hop on a coach back to Berlin, take your time. Roam around and soak in the exquisite vibe of Potsdam. This should definitely be on your list in spending 2 days in Berlin.

See Related: Best Car Museums in Germany

2. Peacock Island

Peacock Island

In our list of top day trips from Berlin, Peacock Island is a must for all nature lovers. Just west of central Berlin, Peacock Island is an easily accessible day trip to take!

There are a lot of fun things to do here, the island is a UNESCO-protected nature reserve filled with rare plants and beautiful trees. It is also home to many different peacocks. Yes, real live peacocks!

A popular landmark on the island is the Peacock Island Castle. The tall white walls with peacocks wandering around give the castle a fairytale feel. 

The entire island will give you an impression of an English landscape park. Besides the beautiful nature, you will find many historical buildings like the Memorial temple of Queen Luise. Built in 1829, this temple deserves a definite visit. 

Further north from the temple is the very famous Dairy Farm, complete with roaming cows. It is a delightful place for people of all ages. 

Other places to visit on the island are the Swiss Cottage, Frigate Harbor, and Russian Slide. 

You can easily visit this island by bus from Berlin or by joining a Berlin River Cruise Round-Trip to Peacock Island. But note that no bicycles or dogs are allowed on the island. 

See Related: What’s the Meaning Behind the Germany Flag

3. Dresden

Dresden Germany

Just under two hours away from Berlin sits the stunning city of Dresden. It is a riverside city with lots of theatres (including the famous Semper Opera House), historic buildings, and lavish castles. 

The city, once known as the Florence of Germany, has a fascinating history. It was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt after World War II

Dresden is easily walkable, making it the perfect day trip. The city has two main squares, Theaterplatz and Schlossplatz. From here you can visit the Dresden Royal Palace, Semper Opera House, The Great Garden, and many fascinating museums. 

While most places are open to the public, don’t forget to book museums, theatres, and opera shows in advance. You can always book online or through a local professional guide. 

If you visit Dresden, you must take self walking tour of the Bruhl’s Terrace, also known as the “Balcony of Europe.” You can enjoy beautiful sculptures and fountains while walking along the Elbe river. 

While you enjoy this modern historical city, don’t forget to visit the old town. The old market square will take you to another era, and you will never want to leave. 

There are many tours to enjoy in the city, such as a walking tour, river sightseeing boat cruise, and Dresden hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

Sound like a great city to visit? Check out these best things to do in Dresden.

See Related: Best Day to Book Flights

4. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

A somber, but important, Berlin day trip is to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp from the last world war.  Just north of the German capital this concentration camp is an easy half-day trip.

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was one of the first concentration camps, established in 1936. This camp was painstakingly built by the camp prisoners themselves. 

Between 1936 and 1945, over 200,000 people spent their lives as prisoners here, including some famous political prisoners. 

A visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp is difficult but important to remember the horrible things that happened in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. 

The best way to visit Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp is by a guided tour, book the best Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp tour here. The guided tour covers transportation, admission, and information during your visit.  

See Related: Best Things to do in Wolfsburg

5. Saxon Switzerland National Park

Saxon Switzerland National Park Bastei Bridge

The Saxon Switzerland National Park is just outside Dresden, making it an easy stop over on a day trip from Berlin.

Saxon Switzerland National Park is remarkable. The region is situated between Pirna and the Czech border. There are over 700 summits for rock climbers to explore. Locals consider this one of the most beautiful places in Europe.

About a three hours South by car, Saxon Switzerland National Park is a great day trip from Berlin. You can hike, take breathtaking photos, and sit in cafes to enjoy the scenery. Book a Saxon Switzerland National Park day trip here.

See Related: Best Parks in Germany

6. Spandau Citadel

Spandau Citadel

The town of Spandau is a quick day trip from Berlin. It is only 30 minutes on public transport from the main city center of Berlin, making it a great spot for Berlin locals and tourists alike. 

Spandau is an independent city with an economy focused on trading. Being in East Germany, it is also home to beautiful settlements, parks, and palaces. 

The highlight of this town is the Spandau Citadel. One of the famous historic sites in Germany, the Citadel has remained the same since its construction in the 16th century. 

Surrounded by a river, the square-shaped fortress has bastions in each corner. A short bridge connects the fortress to a local museum that covers the history of this enchanting Citadel. 

While in the Citadel, don’t forget to see the residential quarters, the Prince’s Room, and the old-style courtyard.

At the end of the tour, spare some time to climb the 1345 steps of the Julius Tower. The breathtaking views of Eastern Germany will inspire you to take another day trip! 

See related: Public Transportation in Germany

7. River Havel

River Havel

Looking for one of the best short and budget-friendly Berlin day trips?

Taking a boat tour through River Havel to Potsdam is the way to go. 

The Havel River flows for 30Km within Berlin before joining the River Elbe. The most beautiful stretches of the Elbe River are around areas like Lindwerder, Schildhornand, and Pfaueninsel. The stretch just outside Berlin’s city center is a world heritage site.

The best time to take a romantic Havel boat tour is between early spring and autumn. Since the river is located on Berlin’s outskirts, Potsdam is the nearest city to visit on a day trip from Berlin. 

To enjoy the lovely fresh air, blue water, and long stretches of greenery, you can ride bicycles and enjoy a little picnic of your own. You can also plan to drive along the river in your car or a bus. 

However, one of the best and most convenient ways to enjoy Havel’s vastness is through a riverboat. You can either choose private excursions or sit on a large ship. 

Either way, you will have a romantic and worth-remembering experience.

The quickest route is to take a boat tour from Spandau and pass-through areas like Grunewald Tower, Breitehorn, and Lindwerder. On your way back, sit on a ship to Potsdam and then take a bus to Berlin’s city center. This route will cost less than you may plan. 

See Related: Best Day Trips from Nuremberg

8. Devil’s Bridge

Rakotzbrücke Devil's Bridge
image by Frank Wittig is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Devil’s Bridge, in Kromlauer Park near Gablenz in eastern Germany is another excellent day trip from Berlin.

The Devil’s Bridge is arched so beautifully that if you view it from afar it resembles a perfect sphere.

9. Wannsee

Wannsee

Wannsee often makes it to various lists of fun day trips from Berlin, and there is no doubt on every spot it earns.

For Berliners, Wannesse stands for two things, luxurious villas, and large inland beaches. The beaches are part of the two lakes, Kleiner and Grosser. 

These lakes provide opportunities for sailing and rowing for both locals and foreigners. Coming back to beaches, Wannesse has some of the busiest inland beaches around Europe. 

If you’re planning a visit, the best time to visit the beaches is in the summer. However, Wannsee is so crowded, you may not even find a place to put your towel. 

If you aren’t a beach person, there is a lot more you can do here. If you feel like driving, pass through Am Grossen Wannsee to enjoy the pleasant breeze and the scenic beauty along the road. 

Besides, you can take a tourist boat from Wannesse to visit Potsdam and Spandau. If you don’t like the hustle and bustle of Wannesse, hop on a bus and visit the much quieter town of  Kladow.

To explore the city you can book a private day tour of Wannsee and Potsdam from Berlin.

10. Hamburg

Hamburg

When it comes to trips you can do in one day from Berlin, Hamburg is one of the first cities that comes to mind.

Hamburg is a busy port city but has a lot more to offer than the capital. The town has UNESCO World Heritage status and has also been declared Germany’s second-most famous and largest city. 

When in Hamburg, there is nothing like getting bored.  Port Hamburg has a substantial tidal harbor and is also a place with the most attractive places to visit. One of the most famous landmarks of Port Hamburg is the Warehouse District. 

The continuous lines of tall red brick buildings will take you back to the 18th century. You will love the old architecture with a modern-day twist. 

The best way to enjoy the harbor is through a pre-booked boat ride. Another most visited attraction of Hamburg is the Miniatur Wunderland. It is a model train dreamland. 

If you are traveling with kids, prepare to spend a lot of time. With long tracks and more than a thousand trains, this wonderland holds secrets of the world’s railway industry. 

Hamburg is not short of museums. From the International Maritime Museum to the Museum of Art and Design, Hamburg is a city for all kinds of adventures. 

Before you plan a day trip to Hamburg, don’t forget to check online for any pre-bookings required for the Miniatur Wunderland and museums.  

Book Hamburg day cruise and haunted walking tour.

Check out these best hotels in Hamburg if you plan on staying the night.

See Related: Best German Gifts

11. Kopenick

Kopenick

Visiting the historic city of Kopenick is again one of the best day trips from Berlin. This city is quite similar to Spandau but very rich in lakes and woodlands. 

While in Kopenick, you will come across acres of pine, lime, and oak trees. Moreover, the city has enormous lakes perfect for rowing and boating in summer. 

On sunny days, sports enthusiasts are often seen heading to the city to enjoy all kinds of water sports. Other than the abundance of nature, Kopenick also has some eye-catching palaces. 

The Kopenick Palace is a 17th-century mansion with fantastic architecture. It stands tall on the Dhame River and is now used as the most famous Museum of Decorative Arts. 

If you have an eye for old architectural designs, a stroll around the Old Town of Kopenick will leave you fascinated. The Old Town Hall is the most beautiful building you will ever come across.

To end a fantastic day in Kopenick, take a walk on Long Bridge and enjoy the jaw-dropping views of the river and the moat. 

Get your entrance ticket now and skip long lines in your visit to the palace.

See Related: Best Parks in Berlin, Germany

12. Spreewald

Spreewald

For some of you, the best day trips from Berlin are those that will take you closer to nature. Like a boat tour in a national park.

Spreewald is a nature-heaven. There is more than one way to experience this land of trees and flowers. You can either opt for walking and cycling or take a boat to sail through the lakes.

To take a break from constant cycling and walking, you can also hire kayaks. Spreewald is a very calm and quiet place. Unlike Berlin, you may not find it very populated, which is a good thing for those who want to escape the city’s crowd. 

Quite near to Spreewald is a small village, Lehde. It has some cafes, shops, and places to buy German pickles.  The town area also gives an insight into the traditional german village life, and you will love to meet the friendly locals. 

However, as a precaution, always prefer traveling with a friend or your family. You may find some areas too isolated and even haunted.  Consider visiting Spreewald in the off-season. That’s when the water is the cleanest, and there are very few tourists around.  

Is Berlin worth visiting?

Berlin has some of the best places around. The region is surrounded by large tranquil parks and picturesque forests. It has the finest museum and galleries of European history, three opera houses as well as the largest variety of theatres.

A little-known secret about Berlin is how deep its culture is. There are so many nationalities and cultures here you are sure to learn something new. And its neighborhood streets are lined with cafes.

How do I get from Berlin to Potsdam by train?

Potsdam is easily reached in 45-min via s-bahns from Berlin. Take train S-7 from Berlin center to Potsdam main station. You may even choose regional trains, which are a bit quicker. This stop continues to the village directly to Potsdam-Charlottenhof / Potsdam-Sanssouci.

Is Potsdam worth visiting in winter?

Yes, the snow-covered streets and Christmas-light-filled Old Town make Potsdam a wonderful place to visit in winter. Whether you enjoy an idyllic winter walk in a park looking at artwork or in museums.

Is Spandau worth visiting?

Yes! Spandau is known for its historic old town and half-timbered homes. Hop aboard a fast train and enjoy a full day tour of historic buildings and homes.

FAQs

Where can you travel by train from Berlin?

Calling all history buffs and travelers! You can travel to so many places by public transport from Berlin. Within two hours you can visit dozens of amazing cities. From Potsdam to Hamburg to Dresden. The options are endless. If you are open to a long train you can make it to Prague in about 6 hours.

Where can you drive from Berlin?

Within one hour from Berlin you can drive to: Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg, Strausberg, Grünheide, Niederlehme, Konigs Wusterhausen, Zossen, Potsdam, Sanssouci Palace, Sanssouci Bildergalerie, Park Sanssouci, Botanischer Garten, Ketzin. You drive to a large number of cities outside of that, and there are many nearby towns with half-timbered houses to visit.

Which cities are close to Berlin?

Major towns in close proximity to Berlin included 125km to Magdeburg, Germany, 150km to Halle Germany, 150km to Dresden, 90km to Chemnitz, Germany, and 196km in Brunswick, Denmark.

How long do you need in Berlin?

If you have the time, stay in Berlin for a week. There are so many things to see, even remnants of the cold war, and so many nearby towns to visit. If you only have a weekend, read this itinerary to get the most out of your stay.

Where should I go for a weekend in Berlin?

Well, we have the perfect 72-hour itinerary here for you! If you are visiting Berlin for a weekend, the easiest day trip from Berlin to take is to peacock island and Potsdam.
While you are in Berlin, make sure to stop at the Third Reich national memorial and nearby attractions. Fun fact, Berlin has the best food scene in Germany. You can try nearly every nationality within the main squares!

What countries are close to Berlin Germany?

Germany is located in Central Europe, bordered by Denmark in the north, Poland and the Czech Republic in the east, Austria and Switzerland in the south, France and Luxembourg in the southeast, and Belgium and Holland in the northern part.
As you can see, just by Germany’s location alone you are sure to find a day trip from Berlin that you will enjoy.

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