Best Berlin Day Trips

Beyond Berlin - Day Trips From the Big City

Are you a seasoned Berlin traveler and can find everything from the Brandenburg Gate to Tempelhofer Field with your eyes closed? Then steal yourself away from Berlin and take a day trip to one of these destinations, all within 2 hours by train or car from the German capital.

From wellness and nature to culture and history, these Berlin day trips are great escape from the big city.

  • 01 of 06
    Sanssoucis Palace Gardens Potsdam
    GNTB/Dietmar Scherf

    When Frederick the Great wanted to escape the formalities of his life in Berlin, he retreated to his summer palace in Potsdam. You should do the same

    After a short local train ride from Berlin, you can enjoy the rococo style palace, surrounded by 700 acres of ornate royal gardens, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

    Then head into the Old Town of Potsdam and wander the narrow cobble stone streets of the Dutch Quarter. The lovely townhouses are home to cafes, little shops, and tasty bakeries.

    Transportation: Take the S1 or S7 to Potsdam. Takes approximately 45 minutes.

  • 02 of 06
    Small castle on Pfaueninsel
    Ingo Jezierski/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

    This destination is still within Berlin’s city limits, but it feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the German capital.

    A ferryboat brings you on to Pfaueninsel (Peacock island), a nature reserve in lake Wannsee. On the island, you'll find a dreamy castle built in the 18th century for the Prussian king and its favorite mistress. On the grounds are various greenhouses and fountains, but the best part is the free roaming peacocks and the beautiful gardens and trees. This is the perfect getaway for romantic strolls and picnics.

    Transportation: Take the S1 or S7 towards Potsdam, get off at Wannsee station, and then bus 216 or 316. To get onto the island, you will need to take a very short ferry across the water. Takes approximately 1 hour.

  • 03 of 06
    Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
    Birge Amondson, licensed to about.com

    The memorial site Sachsenhausen, a former concentration camp in Oranienburg, is a must-visit for history buffs. The camp was erected in 1936 and until 1945 more than 200,000 people were imprisoned here by the Nazis.

    Sachsenhausen was in many ways one of the most important concentration camps in the Third Reich. It was the first camp established under Heinrich Himmler (Chief of the German Police) and its architectural lay-out was used as a model for almost all concentration camps in Nazi Germany.

    Transportation: At the edge of tariff zone C, Oranienburg is the terminus of the S-Bahn line S1, as well as regional trains RE5 and RB12. The nearest station is actually Sachsenhausen (Nordbahnhof), but the RV 12 is the only train that stops there. Visitors can take bus N°804 to the camp (Gedenkstätte stop) or walk 25 minutes from Sachsenhausen.Takes approximately 50 minutes.

  • 04 of 06
    Canals in the Spreewald
    Getty Images / Konrad Wothe

    Shaped during the ice age, the landscape of the Spreewald (Spree forest) is breathtaking. More than 200 canals crisscross this stretch of marshland, dotted with pine forests, grasslands, meadows, and islands with ancient villages. The best way to explore this extraordinary biosphere reserve is by taking a trip in a traditional punting boat.

    The locals of the Spreewald still use these waterways to get to work or to go shopping. Many of them are descendants of the Slavic tribes of the Sorbs who preserved their language, traditions, costumes and recipes. Make sure to try delicious regional specialties like the Spreewald pickle.

    Transportation: Regional train to Spreewald Therme/Burg. Takes approximately 1.45 hours.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    VW Factory in Wolfsburg
    GNTB/Jochen Knobloch

    If you are a car enthusiast, head to the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg which prides itself in being the largest auto plant in the world.

    The adjacent Autostadt (car city) is an automobile theme park and offers everything from a car museum, pavilions dedicated to various VW cars, to driving courses for adults and kids. Of course you can also tour the factory itself and see how the Volkswagen is made from start to finish.

    Transportation: ICE train to Wolfsburg. Takes approximately 1.5 hours.

  • 06 of 06
    Bad Saarow
    GettyImages / Ulf Boettcher

    Bad Saarow is a small spa town 60 km east of Berlin. Located at the shore of a big lake and surrounded by hills and farmland, this is the ideal spot to kick back. Make sure to visit the state-of-the-art thermal salt-water spa, one of the best in Germany.

    End your day with a dinner at The Buehne restaurant, right next to the train station, where you can enjoy regional cuisine in the atmosphere of the 1920s.

    Transportation: Regional train to Fuerstenwalde, then local train to Bad Saarow. Takes approximately 2 hours.