Perched on the banks of the Havel River, Potsdam is the former seat of the Prussian royal family. It’s the crown jewel of Brandenburg and is dotted with UNESCO listed parks, palaces and gardens. Today, estates like Schloss Sanssouci offer a glimpse of the lavish lives of Prussian kings and queens. At just 25 kilometres south-west of Berlin, Potsdam is a popular day trip for those wanting to immerse themselves in a breathtaking panorama of culture and history.
Things to do
Once the summer home of Frederick the Great, Sanssouci Palace is Potsdam’s most famous attraction. With its Rococo architecture, Italian style gardens and terraced vineyards, it’s nothing short of magnificent. Both the palace itself and the sprawling Sanssouci Park are open to the public.
New Palace is another highlight, luring visitors with its lavish exterior, central dome and ceiling frescoes. If you’re enchanted by English gardens, neoclassical Charlottenhof Palace is a must.
When you’ve had your fill of palaces why not head to the Memorial Leistikowstrasse? Also known as the KGB Prison, this Cold War relic showcases documents, photographs, letters, personal items and taped interviews from Soviet Counter Intelligence prisoners.
Alexandrowka is one of Germany’s quirkiest neighbourhoods, settled by Russians in the early 1800s. Today, locals still live in adorable wooden gingerbread’ houses. With its red brick buildings, the Dutch Quarter is an excellent place to find trendy cafes, galleries and bars.
Thanks to its proximity to Berlin, Potsdam is an easy day trip. Simply jump aboard the S-Bahn and arrive in around 30 minutes. Trains arrive at Potsdam Hauptbahnhof, with some travelling onwards to Potsdam Charlottenhof and Potsdam Sanssouci. Buses and trams operate throughout Potsdam and run to most major sites and attractions.