Day Trips from Berlin
May 10 2017
The summer is coming to Europe, and while many of us want to run away to warm beaches and have a lot of cocktails, the truth is, many end up bored at home, watching Netflix, living a regular Berlin Sunday. However, day-tripping is a great way to stop being so lazy, and you’ll be surprised to discover how little preparation and money you need to explore Berlin’s nearby surroundings. This is a short list of day trips you can take from Berlin, both within borders and abroad.
Potsdam and Wannsee
This is still technically Berlin, but it’s a trip that you can make into a full day. You can explore the green areas of both Wannsee and Babelsberg, and then jump into a tram or take a bike to Park Sanssouci. Wannsee and Babelsberg are both historical sites because of their importance during World War II (remember the Wannsee conference?) and the Berlin Wall. The palace of Sanssouci was the summer residence of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, with beautiful gardens, impressive palaces, sculptures. Don’t forget to bring him a potato to put on his grave (to thank him for saving Germany from starvation).
While Potsdam is a small city and many Berliners neglect it, it has a lot of interesting and unique things to do. You can easily explore the Dutch quarter, visit the Film Museum, and enjoy some authentic – yet not cheap – German cuisine.
A bit farther away, Leipzig is a great city for a day trip. You can take a cheap bus or a train, and in a matter of two hours you’ll find yourself in the center of the city. In a day, you can visit the famous Thomaskirche, the place where Johann Sebastian Bach worked and is now buried. Close to it, Johanna Park and Clara-Zetkin-Park are two of the greatest green areas in central Leipzig. You can explore the great modern art of the Museum der bildenden Künste, visit Nikolaikirche – the place where the peaceful protests against the Berlin wall started – or the internationally known Leipzig Opera.
Some trendy streets and hip areas can also be visited in a day trip, and I definitely recommend to walk around Karl Liebknecht Strasse in central Leipzig, or explore Plagwitz, in the south, with emerging hip coffee shops, great street art, and beautiful canals.
Rostock and Warnemünde
What about a day trip to the beach? If you’re not able to escape to Spain or Croatia for the weekend, at least get some sun in the sandy Warnemünde. This little town has all you need: beer, restaurants, public bathrooms, and the sea. However, you won’t be alone, especially when the temperature goes up. Because it’s a popular German vacation destination as well, you can taste German cuisine and explore some of the festivals that often happen in Rostock.
From the lighthouse to the deep blue of the Baltic Sea, you can take great pictures or simply sit on the sand and read a book.
Next to the Oder river in northern Poland, Szczecin is an interesting place for a day trip. You can use public transport from Berlin and get discount prices to visit it (especially on weekends). It’s a great chance to enjoy Polish food (pierogi!) and cheap beer. Szczecin is also home to many famous historical architectural sites, including the cathedral and the Haken Terrace (Waly Chrobrego).
With its hip cafes and colorful houses, Szczecin is a perfect day trip from Berlin for many reasons: it’s a new culture and a new language, you’ll actually cross a border (sometimes even with police control), and it’s very cheap. Go for the day trip, but don’t forget to bring back home some bottles of plum beer or cheap vodka!
Have you ever been to Ajijic or Lake Chapala? If so, what’d you think? Any suggestions for things to see and do in the area? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!