| June 24th, 2013 | No comments

When visiting Germany’s capital city don’t miss out on some of the best day trips from Berlin!

Berlin is a fascinating city, full stop. To say that there is plenty to see, do, eat, and experience in Germany’s capital would be a bit of an understatement.

However, it would be a shame to travel to Berlin and not see any of the incredible sites that are within pretty easy striking distance of the city proper.  Historic cities, national parks, UNESCO world heritage sites, and picturesque islands that you can visit within the span of one day all await exploration. There are countless of day trips from Berlin waiting for you!

We’ve consulted several of our fellow travel experts, asked them what their favorite day trips from Berlin are, and put together this list. There is something for everyone here, so have a look and start planning your adventure!

Some of the Best Day Trips from Berlin

First: If you’re looking for accommodation options in Berlin, we’ve got your covered. Here are our guides to the best boutique hotels in Berlin and the best hostels in Berlin.

Please note – Our selections contain affiliate links which allow us to earn a small percentage every time you make a booking. Using our links helps us keep Just a Pack running, and allows us to provide all the information found on this site free of charge. Happy travels!

Dresden, Germany

frauenkirche dresden germany

Dresden makes an awesome day trip from Berlin! The city is only about two hours by train from the German capital, located halfway between Berlin and Prague, and it’s quite small and easy to navigate, meaning that even with just one day you’ll be able to see quite a bit.

The Elbe river divides the city – on one side there’s the Altstadt (or Old City) and on the other there’s the Neustadt (New City) – but guess what, the Altstadt is actually newer!

Dresden was bombed to the ground at the end of WW2 (make sure you read Slaughterhouse Five before you visit, if you’re into history) and the Altstadt area was rebuilt exactly as it was before the war, but some of the buildings were only completed after 2000.

Neustadt is the place to head to for street art and independent shops, and there are also some great nightlife haunts if you decide to spend the night. One of the best things to do in Dresden in summer is heading to nearby Saxon Switzerland, a lovely mountainous area with limestone rocks and lots of hiking opportunities.

Want to visit on an organized tour check out this guided tour to Dresden.

Day Trips From Berlin Tip By: Margherita Ragg, The Crowded Planet

Hamburg Germany

Hamburg Channel Speicherstadt

Hamburg is an absolute gem to visit and one of the best day trips from Berlin. Many people flock to Hansa town – which is only 1.5 hours train ride away from Berlin – because of its infamous nightlife district “Reeperbahn”. However, the metropole has way more to offer than the nightly action it is so well-known for. Hamburg has lots of culture, history, and even fresh seafood in store.

For example, the Speicherstadt neighborhood has stunning buildings that connect warehouses through canals, bridges and streets all wrapped up in neo-gothic brick architecture. Additionally, Schanzenviertel, Hamburg’s alternative quarter, is full of bars, cafés and restaurants to try local specialties at.

Munching on “Labskaus” (a dish made from potatoes, beets, herring and corned beef) or a cheeky sandwich with herring, matie or eel is an absolute must when in Hamburg. Gorge yourself on a “Franzbrötchen” (a sweet pastry with butter and cinnamon) for dessert and continue your sightseeing tour to St. Michael’s Church for a stunning view over this picturesque city.

Hamburg is a magnificent place to visit and one of our favorite day trips from Berlin. Even though you can see a lot of the city in a day, we recommend spending a couple of nights in the Hansa town to take in its unique atmosphere. If you decide to stay longer, check out our guide to the best hostels in Hamburg!

When visiting Hamburg for more than a day, the “Reeperbahn” should be on your list of things to do, too. If clubbing isn’t for you, why not spend the evening out at sea? Visit one of the waterfront theaters and wake up fresh and early Sunday morning for Hamburg’s Fish Market.

Day Trips from Berlin Tip From: Vanessa Gautschi, Just a Pack Contributor

Suggested Tours:

Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland National Park

Bastei Bridge from Berlin

The Bastei Bridge is located about a 2.5-hour drive south of Berlin. It can be combined with a trip to Dresden as well.

The bridge, which is extremely famous and a huge destination for German tourists is much lesser known to the rest of the world. Located in the Saxon Switzerland National Park, adjacent to the scenic Elbe River, the park is known for its natural beauty, hiking trails, and limestone pillars that make the landscape something special. The bridge offers you a unique view of the Elbe valley, and as you stand on it are looking across and down at many of the incredible stone pillars.

If getting out of the city and experiencing some beautiful nature is on your list, a visit to Bastei Bridge is a must.

Day Trips from Berlin Tip From: Corinne and Jim, ReflectionsEnroute

Rakotzbrücke aka Devil’s Bridge

Rakotzbrücke Devil’s Bridge day trips berlin

Rakotzbrücke (aka Devil’s Bridge) is arguably the most picturesque bridge in all of Germany. Located in the Azalea and Rhododendron Park about 100 miles southeast of Berlin, the best way to get there is to rent a car for the 2-hour each-way commute. There are no convenient buses or trains to the area as there are no major cities nearby.

Commissioned in 1860 by the Knight of Kromlau, the Devil’s Bridge is a perfect half circle that, combined with the Rakotzsee Lake below, creates the optical illusion of a full and perfect stone circle. When the water is still, the circular optical illusion remains the same regardless of your observation point so you can wander around the park and enjoy the view from a variety of vantage points.

The bridge is just a short, 10 minute walk from the parking lot on the side of the road. You’ll pay €3.00 to park for the first two hours then €1.00 for each additional hour and entrance to the park is free. The bridge is accessible 24 hours/day, seven days/week so get there for sunrise or stay until sunset to get the most spectacular views of this architectural masterpiece!

Day Trips From Berlin Tip By: Val, Wandering Wheatleys

Usedom Island

Best day trips from Berlin Usedom

Nestled in the Baltic Sea, the small German island Usedom is a true gem. It is famous as being the island with plenty hours of sunshine and with villages that are so remote, you feel like they are stuck in time. It is, thus, the perfect place to spend a day away from the hustle and the bustle of Berlin.

It takes around 2.5 hours to get from Berlin to Usedom. Whether you stay in one of the popular three imperial seaside resorts, Heringsdorf, Ahlbeck or Bansin, or whether you simply chill at the beach of Zinnowitz, Trassenheide or Zempin – a day in Usedom feels like a properly relaxing and enchanting 7-day-holiday.

Don’t forget to enjoy a typical fish bun, that are freshly made and so yummy, you’ll never forget it. Also, how about renting a bike and exploring the forests? Usedom is an island, yes, but it is also full of adventures that happen away from the beach.

Day Trips from Berlin Tip by: Anne Steinbach & Clemens Sehi, Travellers Archive

Leipzig, Germany

Getting to Leipzig from Berlin

Leipzig Germany is often referred to as Berlin’s little sister. It’s a vibrant city packed full of culture, history, culinary delights, interesting night life, and a lively art scene. In addition to historic Gothic churches, impressive museums, and fantastic bars and clubs, Leipzig is also an excellent option for vegan travelers. The vegan culinary scene in Leipzig is fantastic and offers hungry visitors loads of options including vegan currywurst, vegan sushi, vegan pizza, and even vegan brunch.

Leipzig is just over an hour from Berlin by bus, and easy to explore in a short time on foot or by public transportation. Leipzig’s close proximity to Berlin, cultural and culinary offerings, and size make it an excellent day trip option.

Day Trips from Berlin Tip by: Randi, Veggie Visa

If you do decide to stay overnight, here is our guide to the best budget hostels in Leipzig.

If you fancy something different check out this awesome 3 hour bike tour of Leipzig.

Rügen Island, Germany

rugen white cliffs germany

Sandy beaches, wildlife and chalk plateaus. Getting out of Berlin and diving into the wilderness of Rügen is well worth the 3 hours long drive. The northern island is one of the best day trips from Berlin – whether you are looking for a relaxing beach day, a spa treatment or an exciting excursion to pristine nature.

Besides mineral springs and long shores, Rügen is also home to the Jasmund National Park. The small, yet gorgeous nature reserve hosts views for kings and queens alike. “Victoria’s View” and the neighboring “King’s Chair” watch over the Baltic Sea and you might even be able to spot a grey seal from up here when visiting in spring. The dramatic chalk plateaus of Rügen stretch along the coastline as the waves crash against them in mesmerizing synergy.

The island is also full of megalithic stones and altars, which date back all the way to the Stone Age. Fresh caught cod, eel, and bass will feed rumbling stomachs after an eventful day of exploration and exercise. Rügen definitely earned its spot on the best Berlin day trips list with its beautiful landscape!

Day Trips from Berlin Tip From: Vanessa Gautschi, Just a Pack Contributor

Szczecin, Poland

szczecin poland old town

How about a little border hopping? The German capital is less than 2 hours bus ride away from the Polish border and the uncharted Szczecin. The town by the river Oder is a hidden gem to visit and one of our favorite Berlin day trips.

Besides Ducal Castle and the famous Chrobry Embankment (hailed as one of the most picturesque observation decks in all of Europe), Szczecin offers lots of architectonic pearls and interesting history, which are unearthed on this guided tour of the town.

Because of its harbor in the Oder fork, Stettin was popular land to possess. Sweden and Germany fought over and stole it from each other, until Poland was formed and claimed Szczecin as its town. The “Berliner Tor” and the “Königstor” are the remains of what used to be the fort of Stettin, commemorating the eventful times of conquering (or being conquered?).

The National Museum with its Hercules statue out front is well worth visiting and Kasprowicz Park beckons you to take a stroll through the green lung of the Polish city. End your day in one of our favorite destinations near Berlin by marveling at the many river islands along the Oder or at a Vodka Tasting Tour.

Day Trips from Berlin Tip From: Vanessa Gautschi, Just a Pack Contributor

Stralsund, Germany

stralsund germany

The gateway to Germany’s Northern islands offers impressive Gothic architecture and interesting history. Because of its significance as part of the Hanseatic League – as well as its exceptional brick buildings all over Old Town – it was pronounced an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.

Located about 2.5 hours’ drive from Berlin, the small town offers beautiful brick architecture in form of the Jakobikirche, the Town Hall, and the Kütertor, along with the stunning Johannis Monastery. The beauty of Stralsund’s Old Town is especially captivating during their Christmas market in December – which is why it is an awesome Berlin day trip.

While in Stralsund, don’t miss out on visiting the ‘Gorch Fock I’, which used to be a sailing ship that was turned into a museum and now tells the tales of the seven seas and the historic battles it witnessed. Of course, you shouldn’t miss out on strolling along the pretty coast of the Baltic Sea while in Stralsund.

The charming town by the water does not appear often enough in lists showcasing the best day trips from Berlin and if so, only as a connector to the islands Rügen and Usedom. The small sea town, however, has a lot of history and the freshest seafood to offer, making it one of the best day trips from Berlin to undertake.

Day Trips from Berlin Tip From: Vanessa Gautschi, Just a Pack Contributor

Potsdam, Germany

Sanssouci Palace Potsdam Near Berlin

Berlin is without question one of Germany’s most vibrant and cultural cities, with an eclectic mix of new and old. But if you require a break from its fast-paced energy, nearby Potsdam offers a chance to explore grand royal residences, historical sights and fairy-tale gardens, making for an adventurous day trip.

Potsdam is an easy 45 minute train ride from Berlin’s Central Station either by S-Bahn or regional trains which are often slightly faster. Potsdam has excellent public transport connections, which makes exploring this area even easier. You can use municipal bus no. 695 as a type of hop-on-hop-off touring bus to see most of Potsdam or explore by your own steam on foot or by bicycle.

Potsdam is very extensive and one day trip will not be enough to explore all the sights. The entire complex with its palaces and park is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

One of the top sights here is the colorful Schloss Sanssouci. Built by Friedrich the Great, this grand summer residence features a stunning interior and extensive park grounds complete with large fountains, beautiful terraced gardens and vineyards. Other sites of interest include the nearby Orangery, Neues Palais (New Palace) with its lavishly decorated banqueting halls and the Charlottenhof Palace.

A private walking tour is a great way to see Potsdam in a limited time and learn about its historic sites.

Day Trips From Berlin Tip By: Samantha & Leonardo, The Wandering Wanderlusters

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Near Berlin

Visiting Berlin gives you a chance to visit the nearby Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, located 35 km North of Berlin. Sachsenhausen was a concentration camp both under the Nazis and later the Soviets, and is a significant place in 20th Century history.

Getting to Sachsenhausen is reasonably straightforward. The S1 and regional lines RE5 and RB12 all go to Oranienburg, and from the station it’s either a 2 km walk or a short bus ride to Sachsenhausen.

More than 30,000 people died at Sachsenhausen, from exhaustion, execution, and from being part of medical experiments. The camp has now been turned into a museum, and visitors get the opportunity to see the cells, laborf rooms, and gas chambers.

There are definitely cheerier day trips from Berlin, but it’s important that sites like these are open to the public and that people actually go and visit them. As the philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

If visiting Sachsenhausen with a small organized tour that includes round trip transportation sounds ideal to you then check out this tour.

Day Trips From Berlin Tip By: James, Worldwide Shopping Guide

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Best Day Trips from Berlin! There are plenty of amazing things to do in Berlin, but there's also loads of great day trips from Berlin! Here are the best! #berlin #daytrips #germany #europe #travel

Written by Just a Pack


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