Visiting the city of Potsdam is a perfect solution for tourists and residents of Berlin, who do not possess that much time in their tight traveller’s schedule. This city with a population of almost 160 thousand residents is located within Berlin agglomeration and is 30 minutes away from central Berlin train stations.
To get there you can use a regional train (RE1) from Haupbanhof or Alexandrplatz or other major stations which should be faster as the train does not stop at every small station. The second option is to use the S-bahn train, but which will take you longer to the desired destination. Small hint for those who has a monthly transport card – make sure to buy the extension to transport zone C (that is where Potsdam is located) for 1, 60 EUR for a whole day. If you are not a resident of Berlin or don’t have a MonatsFahrkarten you can buy a daily ticket for C zone for 2, 8 EUR. It’s really important, as the one-way ticket will cost you 3, 20 EUR while day round ticket for this zone only 2, 8 EUR.
Now as we finally dealt with the ticket prices pack your rucksack, wear comfortable shoes as we will be walking a lot and let’s go!
Why Potsdam is a must-see travel destination? The city was firstly mentioned in 993 which make it older than Berlin. Potsdam has preserved its architecture which was not that much damaged during WWII.
The most popular attraction in Potsdam is Sanssouci Park, where all the tourists’ routes meet. In 1744 King Frederick the Great ordered the construction of a residence here, where he could live sans souci (“without worries”, in the French spoken at the court). The park hosts a botanical garden (and many buildings such as Sanssouci Palace (Schloss Sanssouci), the Orangery Palace (Orangerieschloss) and other buildings of a royal family.
Potsdam also has its Bradenburger Tor (Bradenburger Gate) which was erected in 1770, a few years earlier than the famous gates in Berlin with the same name.
I have warned you before to be prepared to walk a lot, as Sansoussi Park is really enormous in case you would like to see all its buildings and palaces. By the way in some areas of the park it is prohibited to ride a bicycle, but usually you can rent a bike or order a bike excursion to avoid sauntering in this huge area under the sun.
As you enter the park and follow the alley, you will finally see a fountain and a stairs, which lead to Sanssouci Palace up the hill. The palace which was designed between 1745 and 1747 strikes with its exquisiteness and pomposity.
The other palace which is worth visiting is Orangerieschloss, or Orangery Palace. It is designed in a totally different style and is surrounded by palms and other tropical plants which make you believe that you have been transferred to some tropical paradise.
The one of the campuses of Potsdam University, which is located within New Palace of Sanssouci complex amuses with its beauty. The campus serves as administrative office and Faculty of Arts.
There is also a Chinese House which is situated in the depth of a park and as you might guessed is designed in mixture of oriental and baroko style, decorated with leaf gold.
The city has also the Dutch quarter – it is said that at during the period of rapid growth of Potsdam, a lot of Dutch immigrants came to the city, forming their own community and a quarter with traditional Dutch buildings.
So if you are planning to get away from buzzy and hectic Berlin for a one day trip and contemplate the beauty of Sansoussi park and architecture of a city – Potsdam is a best decision.
However I have not covered all the sightseeing spots in the city, but you should feel free to explore this beautiful city.