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Potsdam: Day Trips and Tours from Berlin

Potsdam is the capital city of Brandenburg and is located about 30 kilometers from Berlin. Built around a lush natural environment of woods and lakes, the city has a distinct architectural character that matches its history.

Potsdam was once the home of kings, playing an important role in shaping the country through the ages – from the time of the Prussian emperors, to the Cold War and beyond.

In 1990, the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making a day trip to Potsdam from Berlin an ideal option for sightseeing and retracing many historical events.

Here is everything you need to know about Potsdam, one of the most fascinating day trips from Berlin.

How to get to Potsdam from Berlin?

The city of Potsdam is about 30 kilometers southwest of Berlin and is easily accessible by car, bus, train and guided tours.

From Berlin to Potsdam by car

The easiest route from Berlin is via the A 115 in the direction of Magdeburg, Leipzig and Potsdam. When you reach interchange 6 at Potsdam-Babelsbeg, stay on the right.

Follow the road signs for Potsdam-Babelsberg and Potsdam-Zentrum and you should soon reach the city. The journey by car takes about 30 to 40 minutes.

From Berlin to Potsdam by public transport

Potsdam is easily accessible by bus and train. From the central train station in Berlin, the S-7 to Potsdam is the easiest option, as it departs every 10 minutes and takes just over 30 minutes.

You may also travel directly to Potsdam by bus from the train station, with the journey taking about half an hour.

Guided tour to Potsdam from Berlin

If you prefer to avoid the hassle of driving or taking public transportation, you can always arrange a guided tour to Potsdam. These guided tours usually include pick-up from your accommodation in the city center and take the stress out of planning.

What is the typical itinerary?

A jaunt to Potsdam will typically include visits to many impressive palaces, parks and museums, where you will learn about the city’s rich history. Travel from Berlin to Potsdam is usually by mini-bus or train and takes about half an hour.

When you reach Potsdam, you can take a guided tour or explore many of the city’s delights at your own pace. In any case, make sure to visit the Sanssouci Palace, the Dutch Quarter and Alter Markt in the historic city center.

It is straightforward to get around the city on foot, by bicycle or the local bus services and you should be able to cover all the main sites within a day.

What kinds of tours are available to go to Potsdam?

There are a few different kinds of tours available for visiting Potsdam when staying in Berlin.

Guided tours to Potsdam from Berlin

For a more budget-conscious approach to discovering the rich history of Potsdam, a guided tour will cover all bases. These tours will typically begin in Berlin and take you to all the major sites in Potsdam, such as Sanssouci Palace and Gardens and the Dutch Quarter.

Guided tours do not usually include transportation to Potsdam and may last up to six hours, depending on the places that you will visit.

Private tour to Potsdam from Berlin

If you would rather explore the city of Prussian Kings and the German Kaiser with a personal guide and all your transportation needs covered, then consider a private tour of Potsdam.

These tours tend to be more flexible by allowing you to visit the places you want at your leisure, without worrying about schedules. Depending on the places you intend to visit, private tours can last up to 10 hours.

Day trip to Potsdam plus Wannsee from Berlin

These day trips combine a visit to Potsdam with a stop at Wannsee, which is located on the southwestern edge of Berlin.

Starting in the German capital, this tour continues to Wannsee to learn about its connections to the Cold War, before carrying on to Potsdam. These tours last about 4 hours, so are ideal for travelers on a strict time schedule.

Day trip to Potsdam plus Wittenberg from Berlin

Should you not be constrained by time and have an interest in theology and history, consider a day trip from Berlin to Potsdam and Wittenberg.

After being guided through all the palaces and sights in Potsdam, the journey continues to the city intimately related to Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. These day trips include travel by mini-bus and last about 10 hours.

How much does a day trip to Potsdam cost?

Guided tours are priced between €20 and €30 per person and include the services of a guide around the city. You will likely have to pay separately for train or bus fare to reach and move around Potsdam for the tour.

On the other hand, a private tour ranges from €50 to upwards of €150 per person. Guided tours will typically include transportation and the flexibility to explore the city at your own pace.

Day trips to Potsdam plus Wannsee from Berlin cost between €25 and €50 per person, depending on whether you travel by bicycle or van. Day trips to Potsdam plus Wittenberg from Berlin cost about €50 per person.

What will you see and do?

Sanssouci Palace

Originally built as a summer palace for Frederick the Great, Sanssouci Palace is one of the most popular sites to visit in Potsdam.

With an exceptionally ornamental late baroque architectural style, it is easy to see why the Sanssouci Palace is widely regarded as the “German Versailles.”

The palace also features impressive terraced gardens and a large park, making a trip there a must for every visitor. Don’t forget to pack your camera!

Dutch Quarter

In the northern section of Potsdam, you will find the so-called Dutch Quarter that will transport you to the Netherlands.

This neighborhood stands out due to its characteristic red brick houses, with which Prussian King Fredrick William I aimed to attract Dutch engineers and artisans to the city.

Recently, the Dutch Quarter has been greatly restored to its former glories and now hosts many cafés, art galleries and antique shops.

Museum Bamberini

While Potsdam might be known for its baroque palaces, the Museum Bamberini has a clear emphasis on impressionism.

The museum’s exhibitions cover everything from the Old Masters to contemporary art movements, hosting works from iconic artists such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Signac and many more.

Located near the Old Market, the museum is easily accessible and features a café to catch your breath.

Historic City Center

Strolling through the historic city center of Potsdam is almost like travelling back in time. Over there you can marvel at the golden statue of Atlas above the old city hall, visit the St. Nicholas Church or head to the Lustgarten park to check out a city festival.

When is the best time to visit Potsdam?

The best time to visit Potsdam is during spring and autumn, when the weather is warmer and drier. Winters can be rather cold with snow, while the summers are quite humid due to the heavy rainfall in June.

Travel tips

  • It is easy to walk around Potsdam for sightseeing, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
  • If visiting early in the summer, make sure to pack an umbrella, as rainfall is common.
  • The city is bicycle-friendly, should you wish to explore the city by bike.