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Berlin for 4 nights - Time for a Potsdam day trip?

I made a previous post regarding my wife and I's trip in total a few months back and I'm currently grappling with the thought of having enough time for a Potsdam day trip. Realistically we have 3 full days in Berlin. Is it worth cutting into this time to make our way to Potsdam or should we stay put?

Current Berlin itinerary:
July 12 - Two hour WW2 walking-tour, rest of the day is open
July 13 - Museums and potentially TV tower
July 14 - Open (potentially Potsdam).
July 15 - Depart for Nuremberg

What else could we do on July 14? Was pondering maybe the Zoo and Berlin cathedral. Thanks!

Posted by
7061 posts

If it's something you want to see then, yes, there is time on a 4 night trip to do a day trip to Potsdam, especially in July when it stays light late in the evening and there are museums that are open late some nights so you could do a museum or the zoo also on the same day.

My trip to Potsdam was a walking tour with Original Berlin Walks and it was wonderful. We took the train together to the Potsdam stop and then a short bus ride to where we started the walk. All together it was about 5-1/2 hours (without the palace itself) - the palace would take another couple of hours. I didn't really need to do the palace tour so I was happy with just the grounds plus all of the other things we saw on the walk. It was a highlight of my visit to Berlin. The guide was fantastic and I learned so much during the walk.

Posted by
3984 posts

I think I'd try to maximize my time and take the 2 hour walking tour first thing in the morning then maybe a museum and/or Spree River cruise in the afternoon.

My favorite museums are the Egyptian, Gemäldegalerie and the Pergamum. The museums on the island are still undergoing a major renovation--check websites.

I haven't been inside the TV tower so I don't know how long it takes to see it. It's a presence you see from every view in the city naturally.

If you do go to Potsdam just be aware that many business close at 5 pm even in the summer. When we went to Potsdam last summer we discovered a couple of things. There is a slow way and a much faster way to get to and from Potsdam for maximizing your time, pay attention to transportation options. Also it was 100 degrees when we were there in August so we took a lake cruise on a steam boat in Potsdam. The San Souci Palace is one of my all time favorites in Europe but we didn't visit on this trip. We explored the gardens by ourselves in the heat instead as the previous time we were there it was in the middle of the winter and the gardens were barren.

If you don't go to Potsdam, you might go to the Reichstag dome if that interest you and you book tickets ahead of time.

If you don't go to Potsdam and you see something that interests you from your walking tour, go back and spend more time there.

Posted by
2487 posts

Potsdam is easily done on one's own by using the S-Bahn. From the station it's maybe a 15-minute walk to park and palace.
The Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) is a ugly pompous late-nineteenth-century building, the main quality of which is its size and location.
Better spend your precious time at the Charlottenburg palace and gardens in the western part of the city (S-Bahn: Westend; U-Bahn: Richard-Wagner-Platz).
Something quite different are some monuments of the post-war period. A much overlooked sight is the Treptower Park (S-Bahn station) along the River Spree, with its more than monumental Soviet war memorial. Another one is the Tempelhof airport (S- and U-Bahn station). This was the main base for the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949, when the city was totally isolated from then Western Germany.

Posted by
2297 posts

Potsdam is a very easy day trip and the S-Bahn gets you there in 20-30 minutes (depending on your starting point). It's definitely worthwhile.

I would however try to add a visit to the Reichstag. We pre-booked a guided tour (they are free!) and it was definitely the highlight of our trip to Berlin. The English language tour lasts about 90 minutes and then you need to allot about 30-45 min. for the glass dome for which an audio-guide is available.

http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/visits/besgrupp/fuehr

Posted by
14580 posts

Hi,

With only 3 full days for Berlin, you basically have to choose between priorities in Berlin, pressing priorities, or spend a day in Potsdam. Are there any specific sites on WW2 history you want to see in Berlin? Which ones? Museums, cemeteries, etc. How many? If so, I'd suggest staying Berlin, if not, then go to Potsdam...it's a matter of how desperate you are to see those sights.

If the WW2 sites hold more interest than Potsdam, then I would heartily suggest taking a day trip to Seelow to see the memorial site/museum of the horrific Seelow Heights battle (Gedenkstätte und Museum, Seelower Höhen). Take the regional train Berlin Hbf to Frankfurt an der Oder (you can catch that also at Berlin Ostbahnhof), then the S-Bahn to Seelow.