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Best Day Trips from Berlin

Berlin. Germany- Brandenburg gate at sunny day in Berlin. Germany. Brandenburg gate is a famous sightseeing of Berlin.

The atmosphere of the German capital is almost indescribable; one must go there, to fully experience it. The vibrancy of the art and cultural scene, the untamed musical and club culture, but also the many historical sites and beautiful spots for sightseeing around the city, attract both German and international visitors.

After visiting the Pergamon Museum, shopping on Ku-Damm and maybe checking night out off your Berlin list, it is time to see what interesting sites are waiting for you outside the city! Read our recommendations for day trips from Berlin!

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Day trip from Berlin to Dresden

The capital of the German Saxon Region (Sachsen), Dresden is a city known for having been the aim of a British/American bombing attack during World War II. The bombing caused damage of many significant landmarks in the city, like the Frauenkirche, the Semperoper (the Saxony State Opera House) as well as the Zwinger Palace. All three duties were carefully restored after the World War.

The Frauenkirche is the most remarkable site on Neumarkt in Dresden. It was completed in the mid 18th century, following the vision of the architect George Bähr. Another architect associated with the city is Gottfried Semper, who gave Semperoper its name! With statues of Shakespeare, Schiller, Goethe, Molière, Euripides and Sophocles mounted on the facade, Dresden’s opera house is one of the most respected venues for performing arts in the world.

You should also carve out time to visit the Zwinger Palace in Dresden and one of its most remarkable parts – Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister that houses one of the best collections of Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Flemish Renaissance art in the world! The palace itself was ordered in the late 16th, but only completed in the 18th century, and it used to serve as a space for extravagant court festivities.

To make sure that you see all the important landmarks in Dresden, you may consider booking a Dresden day tour from Berlin. A good option for budget travellers is taking the FlixBus from either Berlin Central Bus Station (the journey will the 2 hours 20 minutes) or Berlin Schönefeld Airport (travel length will be just over 2 hours). Bus fare prices start at around 10 € (approx. 11 USD) for a one-way single journey.

Day trip from Berlin to Dresden

Wonderful Cityscape, The old town of Dresden with the river Elbe after sunset with colorful sky. Evening view of Academy of Fine Arts and Baroque church Frauenkirche cathedral. Creative image.

Day trip from Berlin to Saxon Switzerland National Park

Prepare for long, relaxing walks among the lush greenery of the park and get ready to admire some of the most impressive bridges in Germany and explore ancient architecture sites. During your visit to the Saxon Switzerland National Park, make sure you do not miss the Bastei Bridge, it is an impressive bridge that seems to emerge out of a unique rock formation that it rests on. Visitors may enter the bridge free of charge to take a walk and admire the scenery.

Since the park grounds are quite vast, many visitors choose to explore the site by bike! There are many biking trails; recommended if you want to add some more activity to your day trip! Whichever way you choose to explore the park grounds, make sure you do not miss the Königstein Fortress. The fort used to serve as a prison, and now it is one of the better viewing stations from where you can admire the park grounds.

As suggested, the most convenient way to visit Saxon Switzerland National Park is on a trip from Dresden from where you can either plan a trip on your own or join a guided tour departing from Dresden. However, it is also easy to reach the National Park from Berlin. Many travellers (especially if you are travelling as a couple or a group) choose to rent a car for the day.

The prices for car rental with trusted, international companies start at around 55 USD. The route from Berlin to Saxon Switzerland National Park is approx. 250 kilometres, and if you prefer going by public transport, you can take a train to Dresden first and then take the bus S1 to the Sebnitz Busbahnhof form where you take another coach (no. 241) to reach the national park. 

Bastei bridge in the evening sun in the national park Saxon Switzerland. Elbe sandstone mountains with trees in autumn colors and rock formations

Day trip from Berlin to Potsdam

Berlin is busy and can be quite overwhelming, which is why a tranquil getaway to Potsdam tempts tourists and locals alike! The little town is known for its beautiful gardens and palaces, and its main attraction is the Sanssouci Palace. It is a stunning rococo building, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With its remarkable yellow exterior, the palace is almost impossible to miss, but make sure that you carve out time to visit the park grounds too! Within the park’s area, you will find many well-known buildings and historical structures like The Chinese House, a garden pavilion designed by Johann Gottfried Büring in the style of “Chinoiserie” that merges elements of rococo and Chinese architecture; a design popular in Europe in the 18th century.

When it comes to foreign building styles, Potsdam also invites tourists into its vibrant Dutch Quarter (“Holländisches Viertel” in German). The majority of the buildings was raised in the early 18th century, and the area is the largest concentration of Dutch-style houses outside of Holland. Make sure to dedicate some time to explore this vibrant part of the city; it is filled with cosy cafés, quirky shops and offers excellent dining options!

Potsdam is located only 35 kilometres from Berlin, and the tranquil little town is easy to reach by rail. The train journey takes approximately 30 minutes, and one-way ticket fares start at around 11 € (12,2 USD). There are over 110 daily departures from Berlin, and the trains run 24 hours.

Day trip from Berlin to Potsdam

Sanssouci Park, Potsdam, Berlin, Germany: Sanssouci Palace Sculpture

Day trip from Berlin to Leipzig

Try adding a Leipzig day trip to your itinerary; the city is associated with “Monday Demonstrations” – peaceful revolutions that eventually helped to reunite Germany. The demonstrations took place at St. Nicholas Church, an impressive cathedral built merging Gothic and Baroque style. Another religious site worth visiting is St. Thomas Church, a 13th-century cathedral that houses the famous St. Thomas Choir, one of the most prestigious in the world with concerts every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Leipzig is also famous for its museum of fine arts (Museum der Bildenden Künste). You will see works from German medieval master painters as well as Casper David Friedrich and French impressionists like Monet and Degas. If you are longing for a more complex museum experience, you should also visit the Grassi Museum that hosts three museums in one – the Museum of Musical Instruments, the Ethnographic Museum and the Leipzig Museum of Applied Arts with a stunning collection of Art Deco design items!

Especially if you are visiting the city around December, you will want to stop by the main market square in Leipzig. Hundreds of stalls and exhibitors gather on the square around Christmas selling everything from local foods and drinks to locally crafted decoration items, accessories and regional clothing. On the square, you will also find the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus), one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture in Germany! Under the arcades on the ground floor, you will find countless restaurants; a great spot to try local foods and have a glance at the bustling Leipzig city centre.

From Berlin Central Bus station you can take a direct bus (FlixBus) to Leipzig. The journey will take 2 hours and 15 minutes, and the fares start at 10 € (around 11 USD). If you are afraid to miss any of the important sites, you can also book a guided tour from Berlin to Leipzig securing a professional, English-speaking guide and Berlin hotel pick-up.

Day trip from Berlin to Leipzig

Leipzig, Germany - The Mende Fountain (Mendebrunnen), ornamental fountain located near the Gewandhaus (Concert Hall) and Leipzig University at Augustusplatz in city center of Leipzig, Germany

Day trip from Berlin to Zeppelin and Maybach Bunkers in Zossen

Are you curious to learn more about Germany’s history and visit one of the most protected and well-hidden sites from the time of World War II and the Cold War? In the town of Zossen, you will find some of the best-preserved bunkers in Germany. In the late 1930s, the German Reichpost ordered the building of the Wünsdorf Zeppelin Bunker. During World War II it served as a complex of administrative offices and turned out to be one of the most important telecommunications centres during wartime.

The bunker also played an important role after World War II! During the division of Germany, the bunker was used as a base for the German Democratic Republic. In 1992 the technological equipment was finally transferred to the Soviet Union, and the bunker opened up for guided visits.

Zossen is located only 34 kilometres from Berlin, and direct regional trains depart from Berlin approximately every 30 minutes. The journey takes around 50 minutes, and a one-way single adult ticket is 5 EUR (around 5,5 USD). Zeppelin and Maybach Bunker tours are also easy to book from Berlin if you want to secure a knowledgeable guide and convenient transportation.

Ruined old German bunker of World War II.

Day trip from Berlin to Peacock Island

Whether you want to stroll around on a sunny day, find a spot for a weekend picnic with friends or wander around and explore different landmarks, the Peacock Island or “Pfaueninsel” as it is called by the locals, should be your next Berlin-day trip destination.

The little island, which is now listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Germany, is situated on the Havel River and only accessible by ferry. One of the most significant sites on Peacock Island is “The Pflaueninsel Palace”. The castle that used to serve as a summer home for King Frederick William II, who also used the isle for gardens and a menagerie for exotic animals (the menagerie was later expanded by his successor, Frederick William III). Between April and October, visitors may enter the castle to admire the well-preserved interiors, and if you visit the island in the spring or early summer, make sure to visit the Rose Garden!

To reach the Peacock Island, take the S-Bahn from Berlin to S-Bahn Station Wannsee, and from there you can take the bus to the ferry depot. For 4 € (approx. 4,5 USD) you will get a one-way adult ticket for the ferry. Don’t expect a long cruise though, the ferry trip lasts only about a minute!

Peacock Island - Pfaueninsel, Berlin, Germany: Queen Louise Memorial Temple

Day trip from Berlin to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Visiting a former concentration camp site can be emotionally challenging, but it is also a strong experience that uncovers and brings us closer to very significant events that shaped our collective history. 

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp now serves as a memorial; it opens up for an educated dialogue, remembering the struggles, brutality, and trauma experienced by the prisoners and victims of the camp. It is now a place of mourning and commemoration. On-site, you will encounter thirteen different exhibitions that merge into an overall narrative of the camp, its history and various functions.

First, you will learn about the history of Oranienburg Concentration Camp (years 1933-1934); the site mostly served as a prison for political opponents Its history is often confused with the one of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp which was erected 2 years later in the edge of Oranienburg town. The exhibitions further cover the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp (years 1936 – 1945), and finally, they speak of the Soviet Special Camp (years 1945 – 1950). 

During the nine years, more than 200.000 people (political opponents, but also members of social or racial groups that the Nazis declared as inferior, such as Jews or Roma people) were interned in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. The camp had an industrial yard where the internees were forced to work, and from 1943 the SS used the site to make munitions.

Admission to the Memorial and the Museum is free of charge, but if you want to join a guided tour, you must pay a fee (fares differ depending on language and group size); audio guides can be rented for 3 EUR (around 3,3 USD) per person. Getting to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp from Berlin with public transportation is fairly easy; from Berlin Friedrichstrasse, you can jump on S-Bahn route S1 to Oranienburg Station. Travel time is 45 minutes, and the trains run every 20 minutes. To reach the memorial site from Oranienburg Station, you can take bus no. 804 or 821 to “Gedenkstätte”.

Day trip from Berlin to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Oranienburg Germany - Sachsenhausen National Memorial in Oranienburg Germany.

Tour around Berlin’s Third Reich Sites

If you are interested to know more about Germany’s turbulent history related to World War II, we recommend you dedicate some time to come closer to Berlin’s many significant sites from the time of the Third Reich.

Those include places like the Anhalter Bahnhof which used to serve as a deportation point for prisoners who were sent off to concentrations camps, the “Reichstag” (Germany’s architecturally impressive parliament building, where the Nazis gained power in 1933) and Herman Göring’s Former Ministry of Aviation (abbreviated RLM in German).

It can be difficult to navigate around the many sites, and we would recommend going on this tour with a guide. You can consider booking a walking tour with an English-speaking guide; it will surely give you more insight into Berlin’s World War II legacy and its role during the Third Reich.

Tour around Berlin’s Third Reich Sites

BERLIN, GERMANY - the Glass dome of the Reichstag, the view from the inside. The Reichstag is the most visited parliamentary building in the world, with an average of 8,000 people per day.q

Recommended Best Day Trips from Berlin

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Best Day Trips from Berlin

Best Day Trips from Berlin

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!