While Berlin is a fantastic city with lots to offer, taking a day break from this hipster-cool capital and visiting the neighboring places is a great idea once in a while.
Berlin’s surroundings have several attractions and fun activities for you and your family.
From pristine parks to huge palaces and riversides, there is something for everyone. There are museums for the history-lover in you and forests for your nature-crazy partner.
So, if you plan a romantic getaway or a family day-out, this list of the 10 best day trips from Berlin will guide you to create a perfect plan ahead of your trip.
Best Day Trips From Berlin
Berlin is a great place to experience a European adventure. However, the city may feel a bit crowded and overwhelming at times.
Moreover, if you have seen the whole of Berlin, you may want to tour further afield. For that purpose, it is best to head out and make one-day and quick trips from Berlin.
Read to know where you can go on your next perfect adventure.
Potsdam is a small city located only a short hop away from Berlin. This city is the capital of Brandenburg and is famous for its historical palaces and parks.
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.
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 a very tough competition.
Moving on, the famous Sanssouci Park surrounds Sanssouci 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.
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In our list of top day trips from Berlin, Peacock Island is a must for all nature lovers. With rare plants and beautiful trees, this island is also home to many different peacocks.
The biggest highlight of this place is the Peacock Island Castle. This castle gives an impression of a romantic and exquisite ruin.
The entire island will give you an impression of an English landscape park. Besides the luxurious vegetation, you will also 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. It is a delightful place for people of all ages.
Other reachable places on the island are the Swiss Cottage, Frigate Harbor, and Russian Slide.
You can easily visit this island by bus from Berlin. However, make sure no bicycles or dogs are permissible on the island.
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Almost two hours away from Berlin sits the stunning city of Dresden. It is a riverside city with lots of theatres, extraordinary buildings, and lavish castles.
For family and fun day trips from Berlin, Dresden is a good idea. The whole city gives a visual history and destruction caused after World War II.
The city has two main squares, Theaterplatz and Schlossplatz. These small towns are home to Dresden Royal Palace, Semper Opera, The Great Garden, and many fascinating museums.
While most places are open to the public, don’t forget to book for museums, theatres, and opera shows in advance. You can always book online or through a local professional guide.
If you are in Dresden, your trip is incomplete without a walk on the Bruhl’s Terrace. It is called the Balcony of Europe. The beautiful sculptures and fountains along the way will give you a feel of being in heaven.
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 from there.
Dresden is particularly walkable. If you want to enjoy this place to the fullest, don’t forget to wear your most comfortable shoes.
Like what you are hearing? Check out these best things to do in Dresden.
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
If the weekend is right around the corner and you are still questioning where to do day trips from Berlin, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp is a worthy option.
It is one of the first few concentration camps, established in 1936. Interestingly, this camp was built by the camp inmates themselves.
Also, the SS architects further designed this camp as an ideal camp for all kinds of prisoners.
Between 1936 and 1945, almost 200,000 plus people have spent their lives as prisoners here. This also includes some famous political figures.
While most of them survived, many died during their imprisonment perio.
A visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp may feel sobering. However, it is a complete representation of how life was in a horrible Nazi Camp.
If you have any interest in the Nazis or their history, this trip may be an eye-opener.
Before you decide on a visit to the camp, book a tour. It is hard to understand everything on your own; hence a knowledgeable tour guide will come as a great help.
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If you aren’t in the mood to travel far away, the town of Spandau can be one of the most quick trips from Berlin. It is just 30 minutes from the main city center of Berlin and accessible through all kinds of public transports.
Spandau is an independent city with its economy focused on trading. However, it isn’t deprived of beautiful settlements, parks, and palaces.
The highlight of this town is Spandau Citadel. This high-walled fortress has remained the same since its construction in the 16th century.
Surrounded by a river, the square-shaped fortress has bastians 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 Prince’s Room and an old-style courtyard. Moreover, the fortress’s residential quarters are worth a visit as well.
At the end of the tour, spare some time to climb the 1345 steps of the Julius Tower. The breathtaking views will make you smile and make memories.
You rarely find short and budget-friendly romantic day trips from Berlin. However, boating through River Havel and crossing through heavenly scenery is a beautiful exception.
This river flows for 30Km within Berlin before joining River Elbe. Moreover, the river’s most beautiful stretches are around areas like Lindwerder, Schildhornand, and Pfaueninsel.
The best time to take a Havel tour is between early spring and autumn. Since the river is located on Berlin’s outskirts, Potsdam is the nearest city to visit.
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 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.
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 summers. 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.
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.
Check out these best hotels in Hamburg if you plan on staying the night.
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Visiting 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 summers.
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.
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For some of you, the best day trips from Berlin are those that will take you closer to nature. Am I right?
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 village 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.