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Planning a trip to Berlin? Keep reading for a guide to 10 of the best day trips from Berlin, Germany!
Berlin is an incredible city full of historic sights, insane street art, delicious food, and world-class nightlife. It’s easy to spend a few days in Berlin without getting bored. However, when I’m visiting a city, I like to spend at least one day taking a day trip to a surrounding city to explore a bit further afield.
This guide is full of incredible day trips from Berlin. Here, you’ll find everything from cities, historic sites, and some of the most idyllic small towns in Germany. You can even take a day trip from Berlin to a different country!
Each day trip in this guide can be accessed by public transportation and all of the trips take less than 3 hours to reach from Berlin, making them perfect to visit on a day trip. Many of the spots are also accessible via a guided tour, which makes taking a day trip from Berlin super easy if you’re not yet comfortable navigating the train and bus system.
Are you ready to plan an incredible day trip from Berlin? Keep reading for a guide to 10 of the best day trips from Berlin, including how to get there, what to do, where to eat, and more!
A World in Reach contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a commission at no cost to you! Read my full disclosure here.
Sachsenhausen Memorial & Museum
Distance from Berlin: 21.7 miles (34.9 kilometers)
Located just 45 minuted from Berlin in Oranienburg is Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum, a haunting reminder of the horrors that occurred during the Holocaust. Sachsenhausen was a Nazi Concentration Camp that was used to hold more than 200,000 prisoners from 1936 to May 1945, the end of the Third Reich.
Visiting Sachsenhausen is an extremely sobering experience. During your visit, you will see and learn about the horrific acts committed by the Nazis within the walls of the camp. Remember that you are walking in an area where innocent prisoners were tortured and murdered. Be respectful during your visit – avoid speaking loudly, taking disrespectful photos, or behaving otherwise inappropriately.
At Sachsenhausen, there are numerous exhibits detailing the history of the camp and the horrors that occurred, including exhibits on the camp’s origins, the lives of camp prisoners, the “everyday life” of the prisoners in the camp, medical experiments that were conducted at the camp, and more. There is also a memorial dedicated to the political prisoners held at the camp.
Admission to Sachsenhausen is free; guided tours and audio guides are also available for a small fee. I highly recommend taking a guided tour of the site so that you can learn as much as possible about the history of the camp during your visit.
GETTING TO SACHSENHAUSEN FROM BERLIN
Take the S Bahn from Berlin HBF to Oranienburg HBF (30 minutes, runs hourly). From there, you can either take the bus (Bus #801, #802, or #803; 8 minutes) or a taxi (taxis can be found outside the train station) to the memorial.
You can also take a guided tour of Sachsenhausen from Berlin.
Day Trips from Berlin: Potsdam
Contributed by Soumya Gayatri from Stories by Soumya
Distance from Berlin: 21.8 miles (35.1 kilometers)
The beautiful historical city of Potsdam is one of the best day trips from Berlin. Potsdam is not only the capital and the largest city of Brandenburg but is also home to some of the most fascinating historical buildings in Europe.
For starters, the city houses the gorgeous Palaces and Parks of Potsdam that have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This includes over 150 historical buildings that were constructed between the 18th and the 19th centuries and lots of beautiful, landscaped gardens that cover almost 1200 acres. The most magnificent among them is the Sanssouci Palace with the huge Sanssouci Park.
Sanssouci Palace was the summer retreat of King Friedrich. It was here that the stunning Friedrichian Rococo architecture was born. You can view this style in abundance inside the palace. Once done, I would suggest taking a walk through the carefully manicured lawns of Sanssouci Park. Also, spend some time at the Neues Palais, another impressive Rococo mansion.
Apart from Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam also houses an old market square, the remarkable St. Nicholas Church, and a Film Museum. The red brick houses of Potsdam’s Dutch Quarter and a quaint Russian village called Alexandrowka right in the middle of the city are equally appealing. There is so much to do here that you will want to spend more than just one day in Potsdam.
Potsdam is located just about 22 miles away from Berlin. You can either drive or take a bus and it takes less than an hour to get there, making it one of the best day trips from Berlin. The best time to visit Potsdam is between April – October when the weather is warm and you can enjoy the gardens.
GETTING TO POTSDAM FROM BERLIN
Contributed by Hanna Thomas from Solar Powered Blonde
Distance from Berlin: 8.5 miles (13.7 kilometers)
Berlin is an incredible city, but if you like hidden gems venture over to Teufelsberg to experience another side to history.
Teufelsberg, German for “Devil’s Mountain,” is a huge old listening station in the Grunewald forest, a short train ride away from Berlin. It isn’t the easiest place to find, so make sure to have Google maps on your phone. This American listening station from the Cold War is now home to artists and creatives. The entire place has been transformed into one huge piece of art. As you wander through the various levels, there are huge murals, sculptures, and graffiti along the way.
There is a small fee to pay for entry, and there is also the option of a guided tour, which is led by one of the people that reside here. It doesn’t look very inviting on the way in due to all the fencing, but don’t be shy! Also, remember that you may not be allowed to take photos – just double-check as you enter.
Another amazing thing about Teufelsberg is the view. From the top of the listening tower, there is the most incredible view over Berlin. In the evening, this is also a great spot to see the sunset, but remember you then still have to walk around 30 minutes through the forest back to the train station.
The closest train station to Teufelsberg is Grunewald and the journey from Berlin takes around 30 minutes. After visiting Teufelsberg, head to the restaurant right by the station for dinner. It is delicious and very cheap – make sure to try the apple strudel!
GETTING TO TEUFELSBERG FROM BERLIN
Teufelsberg is located in Berlin, making it a very easy day trip. Simply take the S-Bahn (S5 or S7 when coming from Central Berlin) to Grunewald. From there, you will need to walk through the forest to get to Teufelsberg.
Contributed by Inma from A World to Travel
Distance from Berlin: 118.061 miles (190 kilometers)
Less than two hours from Berlin, Leipzig is one of the most interesting cities surrounding the German capital and is perfect to visit on a day trip from Berlin. Along with Hamburg, Leipzig is one of the cities that architecture lovers will enjoy the most in Germany.
Some of the highlights of Leipzig that you can’t miss during your day trip to Leipzig include:
Monument to the Battle of the Nations: If you can, start the day by visiting this memorial. It will make you see the city with different eyes. The monument commemorates Napoleon’s defeat at Leipzig, an important part of the country’s history.
Paulinum: Standing at the site of the old university church, the Paulinerkirche, destroyed during East Germany’s communist regime in 1968, the Paulinum is an interesting piece of architecture that belongs to the University of Leipzig.
Gewandhaus: After undergoing numerous renovations, this concert hall – which mainly hosts classical music – has perfected its acoustics in such a way that it well deserves to enjoy a show inside.
Panorama Restaurant: There is no better place to have lunch and enjoy Leipzig from above. With a daily menu at a good price, this place is a winner. It is located next to the Gewandhaus.
Förderverein Versöhnungskirche: Architecture aficionados will enjoy a visit to this quiet church, away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.
Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei: One of the most ‘edgy’ areas of the city. Here, artists have taken industrial warehouses and filled them with galleries and craft workshops.
Auerbachs Keller: Considered the second oldest restaurant in Leipzig, this restaurant’s extensive menu will delight everyone in the mood for properly tasting some of the Saxony cuisine’s best dishes.
GETTING TO LEIPZIG FROM BERLIN
Dresden – Day Trips from Berlin
Contributed by Stephanie Craig from History Fangirl
Distance from Berlin: 120.1 miles (193.3 kilometers)
Dresden is an easy bus ride from Berlin, with multiple pick-up and drop-off locations throughout the city. If you can only choose one day trip from Berlin I highly suggest you head to this charming city nicknamed the “Florence of the North.”
Once here, you can explore the gorgeous reconstructed Altstadt, which was painstakingly rebuilt after the Allies bombed the city during World War II. If you want to explore this part of the city’s history, you can go on a Kurt Vonnegut “Slaughterhouse-Five” tour of Dresden where you’ll learn all about the bombing campaign and Vonnegut’s experiences during the war and see the site of the former Slaughter House where he was held as a prisoner by the Nazis.
If you want to see some gorgeous baroque architecture and modern street art, head across the Elbe river to Dresden Neustadt. Here, you’ll find original architecture since this part of the city wasn’t affected by the bombs.
Other options for Dresden tours to make the most out of your day include going on a pub crawl to learn about the city’s nightlife (if you can take a late bus back to Berlin) or a river cruise on the Elbe to see the gorgeous city views from the water.
Don’t miss a visit to the Dresden Semperoper, the city’s gorgeous opera house. You can go on a tour of the interior if you won’t have time to see a live performance yourself. Otherwise, just set aside time to appreciate the building from the square in front.
GETTING TO DRESDEN FROM BERLIN
You can get to Dresden on a day trip from Berlin either by bus or train. Taking the bus is the cheapest option while taking the train is the quickest.
To get to Dresden from Berlin by bus, take a FlixBus from Berlin Central Bus Station to Dresden Central Station. Buses depart hourly and the journey takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
To get to Dresden from Berlin by train, take the Deutsche Bahn Eurocity train from Berlin HBF to Dresden HBF. Trains depart hourly and the trip takes just under 2 hours.
FUN THINGS TO DO IN DRESDEN:
Contributed by Lee and Stacey from One Trip at a Time
Distance from Berlin: 145.2 miles (233.7 kilometers)
Rostock in Northern Germany is a Hanseatic city that can be reached by ICE train in around two hours. Many cruise passengers do the opposite trip, skipping past Rostock to go and see Berlin, but in so doing miss the many delights that Rostock has to offer.
A great place to start exploring is the Rostock Cultural History Museum, just a short walk from the picturesque Universitätsplatz. Here you can learn about the history and culture of Rostock within the setting of the 13th-century monastery of the Holy Cross. The wealth of artifacts on display belies the initial impression of the museum and you can easily spend an hour or more learning a little about Rostock. Admission to the museum is free.
For a view across the city, you have Kröpeliner Tor to the east, a 13th-century gothic-style tower that also houses history exhibits. Or you can visit Sankt-Petri-Kirche to the west, a 14th-century gothic brick church. Both options provide great views across the town and best of all, you can get to the top of either by elevator.
Rostock was once a walled city, but only a small portion of the wall remains today, together with a few defensive towers that were built within it. The section between Rostock Steintor and Kuhtor, also passing Stadtmauer, is a short but well-preserved section of the walls. A longer section, though without the towers can be found curving south-east of the Kropeliner Tor.
Finally, one of the best attractions to visit, especially if you can visit around noon, is Marienkirche. Just once a day, the astronomical clock within shows the apostles circling Jesus. As well as the clock, the church contains a wealth of impressive things to see, including one of the largest stained-glass windows in Europe, the high altar, and the Baptismal font.
GETTING TO ROSTOCK FROM BERLIN
Contributed by Lyubomira from Bulgarian on the Go
Distance from Berlin: 136.8 miles (220.2 kilometers)
Nestled at the foot of the Harz mountains, Quedlinburg is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque day trips from Berlin.
If you’re looking for a fairy-like place with a medieval vibe – Quedlinburg is the place for you. The Old Town is considered to be an example of some of the oldest and best-preserved half-timbered houses, which are common in Germany. In 1994, parts of Quedlinburg, including the whole Old Town, were even added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located only about 3 hours away from Berlin, you can easily reach Quedlinburg either by train, by FlixBus, or by car. Keep in mind that there is no direct train between Berlin and Quedlinburg; in most cases, you’d have to change trains in Magdeburg. Once you arrive, the town can be explored in just a day, which makes it the perfect excursion for history and culture lovers with little time on their hands.
The tourist information center is a great starting point for your walk around Quedlinburg – make sure you grab yourself a free map of the town. Some of the most important attractions, apart from the charming typical houses, include the town hall and its square, the numerous churches, the castle mount with the Stiftskirche, and the Fachwerkmuseum – one of the oldest half-timbered houses in the whole country. Check out more things to do in Quedlinburg here.
One of the most popular places to eat in Quedlinburg is Mom’s Burger, a delicious burger restaurant in the city center, just behind the Old Town. If you’re looking for something more traditional or diverse, check out Münzenberger Klause.
Even though quite small and compact, Quedlinburg has a lot of charm and history to offer to its visitors, so be sure to put it on your list.
GETTING TO QUEDLINBURG FROM BERLIN
The cheapest and best way to get to Quedlinburg from Berlin is via FlixBus, which takes around 3 hours and costs around $15-$18 USD. Take the FlixBus from the Berlin Central Bus Station towards either Düsseldorf or Goslar, getting off in Quedlinburg. The bus runs 3 times a day.
You can also take a train from Berlin to Quedlinburg. However, the train takes longer, costs more, and requires a transfer. If you’d prefer to take a train, use Rome2Rio to plan the best route.
Poznan: Day Trip to Poland from Berlin
Contributed by Karolina from Lazy Travel Blog
Distance from Berlin: 169 miles (271.9 kilometers)
A few hours away from Berlin, across the border of Germany and Poland, is the best day trip destination. Poznan, the first capital of Poland, can be reached by train for under 20 Euros.
An old town filled with architectural marvels, a walk through the Old Market Square brings you to a colorful small town that seems to have sprouted out of a storybook. Rows of whimsically painted houses of different shades surround the grey cobblestone square and at its center, an old fountain completes the look.
Providing a contrast to the brightly colored houses is the towering Gothic structure of the Town Hall, which also houses the history museum of Poznan. Not far away is Ostrów Tumski, Cathedral Island, which marks the exact spot where Poznan was founded. Easily accessible by taking the trams 4, 8, and 17, the cathedral is open to visitors every day from 8 AM to 4 or 7 PM.
The perfect introduction to Polish cuisine, art, and culture, the small streets surrounding Old Market Square are filled with secret destinations waiting to be discovered. From small art museums to book shops, this small town has a lot of wonders to offer.
One art center that you should not miss is the Świetlica, which literally translates to a children’s playgroup in English. Do not be deceived by the name though; this was once a palace built under German rule and its uniquely-decorated interior will leave you awestruck. It is also within these alleys that one can find the locals’ favorite Tylko U Nas, a dish made up of pork chops, potatoes, and cabbage salad, at U Dziadka for just 3 Euros. Not far, just opposite the Okrąglak building is Lodziarnia Kolorowa, which serves the best ice cream in Poland. From the usual favorites to more exotic flavors, it is here that the black currant and mascarpone ice reigns supreme.
GETTING TO POZNAN FROM BERLIN
Poznan can be easily reached from Berlin via train. Take the Deutsche Bahn Eurocity Train from Berlin HBF towards either Warszawa or Gdynia, getting off at Poznan Glowny. The journey should take around 2 hours and 45 minutes; trains depart every 4 hours.
FUN THINGS TO DO IN POZNAN:
Contributed by Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan
Distance from Berlin: 179.6 miles (289.1 kilometers)
Hamburg is a surprising city of contrasts, full of industrial history and beautiful nature. Sometimes you even get both at once, like the rows of red brick warehouses lining peaceful canals in the Speicherstadt district. As Europe’s second-largest port, many of Hamburg’s attractions are centered around the water. But if you get unlucky with the weather, there are some good indoor attractions too that will keep you occupied.
One must-see is the Miniatur Wunderland, which is the largest model railway system in the world. It’s actually much more than just a model train. Divided into various countries and continents, it includes miniature recreations of all kinds of landscapes and cityscapes from around the world, with an incredible attention to detail. Miniatur Wunderland is very popular and can get crowded, so check the website for expected wait times and go outside of peak hours. Walking around the Inner Alster Lake or, better yet, exploring the lake on the St. Georg steamship, is the perfect way to round out your explorations of Hamburg.
Hamburg has some fantastic dining choices for all budgets and taste buds, including lots of great vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Try the burgers at Happenpappen (order the “bowl” version of any burger if you want something a bit healthier) and the Mad Mexican loaded fries at Fried Club.
GETTING TO HAMBURG FROM BERLIN
The quickest way to get from Berlin to Hamburg is by train, and this is definitely the most convenient option for a day trip. Take the Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express from Berlin Hauptbahnhof to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (2 hours; departs hourly).Buy tickets well in advance to get the best price.
Traveling by bus is significantly cheaper but takes more than three hours each way, so it’s not so suitable for a day trip.
Kassel – Day Trips from Berlin
Contributed by Elisa from World in Paris
Distance from Berlin: 236 miles (380 kilometers)
People looking for an offbeat destination for a day trip from Berlin can visit Kassel, in the state of Hessen. Located by the river Fulda and right in the center of Germany, Kassel is a 2 hour 40-minute ride from Berlin by train.
There’s not much left of the historic Kassel. Most of the old town was destroyed during World War II, but some historic buildings around the market hall survived and give a picturesque touch to the city. The city was once home of the Grimm Brothers, and fans of their fables will want to visit Grimmwelt Kassel, the new museum dedicated to the Grimm Brothers and their works.
In Kassel, there are also two beautiful parks worth exploring. The Karlsaue, with a beautiful Orangerie on one of its sides, is very similar to the park that surrounds the Gardens of Versailles in Paris. The Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is more hilly and best known for its Wasserspiele, a water cascade that comes to life every Wednesday and Sunday at 2:30 PM from May to October.
Kassel is a must for contemporary art lovers thanks to documenta, an internationally-renowned contemporary art show that takes place every five years from June to August. The documenta showcases the work of the world’s most famous contemporary artists inside the museums but also around the city.
Day-trippers in Kassel will want to enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants by the river or, if the weather is good, a quick eat in one of the city’s Biergartens. Kassel has 2 or 3 interesting Biergartens, perfect for meeting friends during spring and summer. Among them, Rondell is the locals’ favorite, with a large garden terrace overlooking the Fulda River.
GETTING TO KASSEL FROM BERLIN
Take the Deutsche Bahn Intercity Express train from Berlin HBF to Kassel-Wilhelmshoehe. The trip takes approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes; trains depart hourly.
As you can see, there are tons of incredible day trips from Berlin that will satisfy every traveler. Whether you’re looking to visit a historical site, a charming town, or an exciting city, there’s a day trip here from you!
No matter which day trip from Berlin you choose, you will have an incredible time full of culture, food, and lots of exploring. Have you taken any day trips from Berlin? If so, which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
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