In search of some day trips from Berlin options? A day trip to Potsdam is usually a first choice and, as many people often agree, also the best. The capital city of Brandenburg federal state is just half an hour’s drive from Berlin. Potsdam is a perfect gateway for those who wish to experience an authentic, old-style Germany.

The one we normally expect to see – with castles, glorious palaces from the 18th and 19th centuries, and huge gardens. I get it, Berlin is a modern and buzzing city, but it’s not always everybody’s “cup of tea”, right? Many Berlin visitors love to experience something different and if you are one of them, then continue reading. In the next rows, you’ll discover the best places to see in Potsdam, easily seeable in one day.

Sanssouci Palace

With its grandiose neo-baroque architecture, lash vineyard terraces, and elegance that still radiates, Sanssouci Palace is such a beauty! No wonder it is often compared with the Versailles Palace in Paris!

The Palace was built in the middle of the 18th century by Friedrich the Great who used it as a summer palace and his sanctuary. Just seeing the Palace for the first time, one cannot but not agree that the dude had some really good architectural taste!

The castle and park in front of it amaze visitors with its sheer size, many small corners, pavilions, and playful sculptures. The highlights are a long staircase that leads to the palace’s main entrance and landscaped terraces. For those who wish to explore the interior of the Palace, there are many tours available online. But even a stroll outside is enjoyable enough.

Sanssouci Park

Equally splendid in its beauty, Sanssouci Park surrounds the Palace and contributes to its charm. The park lies on 300 hectares and the main attraction is the fountain in the middle of it. The interesting features nearby include the Historic Mill and Chinese House set close to the Sanssouci Palace and its grounds. You can easily spend a day just by walking around and not getting bored.

Both, Sanssouci Palace and the Park are part of the UNESCO World Heritage list and are recognized as “an outstanding example of architectural creations and landscaping”.

Two extra tips I have here for you:

1. The best time to visit the Palace and Park is in the spring and summer when flowers in the gardens are blossoming.

2. Although does not seem at the first site, both sites are quite large so make sure to plan enough time.

Potsdam Garden and Chinese House

Potsdam Garden is a lovely park with lots of seating and shaded areas. It’s quite large, so one day of exploring everything is not enough. It is home to the most famous building here – the Chinese House.

The Chinese Teahouse is a picturesque garden pavilion whose purpose was mainly summer dinners at the time of Frederic the Great. Unfortunately, the pavilion was under construction at the time of my visit to Potsdam so I could not see the fine paintings and gilt-covered monkeys embedded within in close. The charm of the building is nevertheless obvious.

New Palace

Another inevitable spot among the best places to see in Potsdam is the New Palace.

If Sanssouci Palace was made for royal privacy, the New Palace had exactly the opposite purpose. It is a luxurious building with many ballrooms, galleries, and chambers, usually only for different festivities and extravagant balls.

The building’s neo-baroque architecture and many sculptures outside are the first eye-catching features. Even nowadays many events take place in the New Palace. There are several tours through the palace and to visitors works of art and handicrafts from the 18th century are particularly exciting.

The Dutch Quarter

Ready for number five of the best places to see in Potsdam?

The Dutch Quarter in Potsdam is a cute little quarter with houses and buildings very similar to the famous “gingerbread” houses you can find in the Netherlands. It’s mostly a residential area, but you’ll find many shops, restaurants, and cute little coffee shops over there.

Wondering what is the best time to visit the site? October is a perfect time to visit the Dutch Quarter because the autumn atmosphere makes the entire area kind of a “dreamy” place. Grab some hot drinks in one of the cafes, take a stroll along the rows of red brick houses, and admire yellow leaves and quaint architecture.

Cecilienhof Palace

Palaces in Potsdam can be found at almost every step which testify to the fact that Potsdam was once one of the wealthiest cities in Germany.

Cecilienhof Palace was the last palace built by the House of Hohenzollern that ruled the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire until the end of World War I. With red bricks, wooden material, and rocks tall chimneys remind more of the houses and buildings that you can see in the UK. The history of the place is of course what holds the visitor’s attraction the most.

The Marble Palace

Have you enjoyed watching “Bridgertone” series on Netflix? If yes, then our next site will get your attention!

Not far from Cecilienhof Palace, directly on the banks of the Holy Lake, is the Marble Palace. The strikingly open English-style building served as King Wilhelm II’s summer residence and was completed in 1793. The owner of the building did not save money on pomp and splendor. Detailed marble elements, fine wooden floors, silk chair coverings, gold, and jewelry as far as the eye can see – the Hohenzollerns were not shy about expressing their claim to power.

Norman Tower on the Ruinenber

Curious what is the best viewpoint in Potsdam? Well, certainly you will not be wrong if you head on to the Norman Tower on the Ruinenberg.  Just a few hundred meters north of Sanssouci Palace is Ruinenberg Hill. Here you will find ruins of what once was a water tank. The water tank was built in the 18th century reminiscent of the Greek temples.

The idea of making a water tank came from Frederik The Great who looked for a solution to supply the fountains in the city. An interesting fact is that the top of the Tower is walkable. Upon my visit, I saw some young people climbing, but it’s not something that I would recommend. The area is surrounded by greeneries and slightly far from the tourist’s beaten path. This makes it less crowded and more enjoyable to walk around.

New Garden

The New Garden is certainly one of the best places to see in Potsdam. This stunning area is a park by the lake and is perfect for exploring on foot! Plus, if you plan your visit slightly in the afternoon, ideally when the Sun is setting, you will find this idyllic green oasis quite adventurous! There is a pig pyramid (not sure, what is the purpose, though…), a tree cut in an elephant shape, Cecilienhof Palace, a Marble Palace… many things to explore!

Belvedere Castle on the Pfingstberg

The Belvedere Castle from the 19th century is a truly magnificent building on the Pfingstberg. It offers another stunning view of Potsdam. Known as an important venue for numerous cultural events, it is one of the best places to see in Potsdam. The whole facility is impressive. It is beautiful to look at from the outside but there are some great exhibitions inside. Wonderfully quiet and not very busy during the autumn.  With blue skies and bright sunshine, the Italian-style Belvedere looks special and magnificent. If you have ever been to Italy and loved the architecture there, you will love this place too!

What is the best way to get to Potsdam from Berlin?

Just get on the regional train (RE1) from the main train station in Berlin (Berlin Hauptbahnhof) and you will be in Potsdam in 30 minutes. Tickets can be bought online or directly at the station.

How many days are enough to see Potsdam?

One day is enough to see the most important landmarks. If you wish to see all the sites in Potsdam, then I recommend sparing two or, even better, three days. In any case, the city is so charming and beautiful that you will not get bored.

Traveling to Berlin and you want to plan the entire trip?

Check out this 4-day Berlin itinerary and make the most out of your trip!

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