Travel Guide Potsdam

The Land of Brandenburg capital, Potsdam, about 30 km or 19 miles to the southwest of the capital, is to Berlin just like Versailles to Paris. It is a royal residential town, set up in the forests and lakes, decorated with fine architecture and beautiful man-made landscapes. The majority of the rulers of Prussia have left their imprints here, the most notable one, perhaps, being Frederick the Great, builder of Sanssouci Palace, the most distinguished in Potsdam. The heart of the small city was reduced to rubble in an Allied air raid in the final days of World War II, and suffered further neglect and demolition in the regime of Communism era. However, there is a lot to see if you plan to visit Potsdam.

Why Visit Potsdam?

Potsdam is one of the nicest day trips from Berlin. It is located in the federal state of Brandenburg and served as the residence of the Prussian kings as well as German Kaiser until 1918. It represented the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment and was designed to let the people who lived around it aware of their natural relationship with nature, reinforced thus by its location on several linked lakes. It is a beautiful, historic city to which you will hope to go back one day to find out more. Moreover, it is ideally combined with a visit to Berlin as it is just a short way off.

How to get from Berlin to Potsdam?

You’re in Germany, therefore, take the train. You can jump on a taxi, or take a bus. However, the trains are excellent in Germany, so do not miss them. In case you are in Berlin, you can take the RE1 train direct to Potsdam from the central station of Berlin. The train takes 35 minutes too easy without complexity. Additionally, the stations are very attractive. 

One very important thing about German trains is that you must stamp the ticket on the validation machine before you board. That’s what you do; hold your ticket until you hear it’s been “punched” and then check that the ticket has holes. You don’t want to be intercepted by plain clothes police and fined, whether you are a tourist or not.

Places to visit in Potsdam

There are a lot of must-visit places in Potsdam. Here is a list below:

The magnificent Schloss Sanssouci

When people mention Potsdam, they usually have Sanssouci Palace in mind. Frederick the Great made this small palace in 1744 ­acc­ording­ to his own plans, he had it built in an old vineyard which Knobelsdorff, his architect, strongly objected. It was here that Frederick regularly attended the concerts of the finest artists and performed his famous flute pieces. 

Furthermore, he managed to entertain Voltaire, a famous French philosopher, in order to engage in literary and philosophical discussions. In the present day visitors to Sanssouci are attracted by its 12 lavishly decorated rooms. There is the amazing 97-meter (300-ft) parterre with the 35 giant caryatids and the dome with its name Sanssouci being written in gold letters.

The pretty Hollandisches Viertel for Dutch influences

The Holländisches Viertel (Dutch quarter) is a big attraction. Friedrich Wilhelm I was inspired by the red brick gabled roofs of Dutch houses while ordering this construction. The Soldier King endeavored to seduce the Dutch tradesman and artists to the area but only tiny amount of them moved. He thus brought the Pru­ssians master craftsman and his soldiers into some of the constructions. The great many houses within the Dutch Quarter have been beau­ti­fully done up. And if you go down Mittelstraße or Benkertstraße it is possible to see artist craftsmen working along with coffee houses.

Schloss Cecilienhof – site of wartime conferences

Only before the World War I, Crown Prince Wilhelm ordered the construction of the Cecilienhof Palace in the lonely style of the English manors. While soldiers were under the trench, the prince got enough time for this summer sojourn. The Cecilienhof was selected as the venue of the Potsdam conference in the summer of 1945 by the three victorious countries which decided the fate of the defeated Germany. 

In accordance with what was required, the palace inside was reshaped for the delegates to work in. The conference room with the famous round table and the studies of Churchill, Stalin and Truman have been preserved in their original condition which is now open to the public. The House of Cecilienhof is more than that, as it is also the scene of a class-leading hotel and restaurant.

The interesting Chinese Tea House

Situated south of the avenue in the parks of Sanssouci gardens, in the shade of groups of precisely planned and planted trees, the gold of the Chinese Tea House dazzlingly reflecting sunlight will make a rotund mandarin on the roof. The unit that was built in the clover leaf shape implies the high fashion for exotica among Chinese styles in the 18th century.


Up to 40 main it’s a slight stroll Sanssouci way in Potsdam and there’s also Cecilienhof Palace which is another. The “Tudor Manor” was built in the early 1900s and architecturally this palace fits the English Tudor design perfectly. This is the place, where the great historical event was organized – the lot of the 1945 Potsdam Conference. Take a journey of history and walk where Stalin, Churchill, and Truman all met here to agree about how Europe should be governed and see those in charge after the Germans released (their former surrender) the unconditional power in World War II. 

Areas where the city was divided into east and west were correspondingly Berlin and Europe. The Communist Soviet governments installed in Eastern Europe after the Potsdam Conference by force can be described as Soviet satellites. Without a doubt, it was that meeting that marked the beginning of a grand event changing the history of the universe. The stately, old building of Cecilienhof is the present-day museum and is integral part of Neuer Garten or Potsdam’s New Garden in the middle of the city.

Potsdam Old Town

Potsdam centre is also lovely when you have some time to watch while you walk around and you can catch some of the places. It is situated at the Brandenburg Gate (no, that one is not from the Brandenburg Gate; it is a different place). This structure was built in Potsdam’s city centre in 1770, to honor Prussia’s victory over France after the Seven Years’ War.

Tied into Potsdam is Glienicke Bridge, which during the Cold War became an overbridged between the US Divicion and Eastern Bloc which had adversary objectives during the heights of the Cold war. This unique bridge went beyond its ordinary role and was sometimes used for exchange of Soviet and American spies and other prisoners. This piping is quite logical because GlienickeBridge is the main character in the TomHanks’s movie called Bridge of Spies. It’s a must! Traveling history buffs should make this their number one priority.

Sanssouci Park

Take a leisurely walk through Sanssouci park, a large garden, bordered with lush greenery, filled with twisted pathways and adorned with playful structures. The park is a wonderful creation of landscape design which gives people a chance to enjoy peaceful moments and breathe in the majestic scenery as well as appreciate the delicate details of the garden.

Charlottenhof Palace and Park

Discover the romantic charm of Charlottenhof Palace and Park, a neoclassical palace sheltered in the landscape of Sanssouci Park. The palace’s mesmerizing architecture, shining gardens, and soothing pond-side views make it a well-kept secret worth discovering.

When to Explore Potsdam?

Lying on the shores of the Havel River and surrounded by pretty lakes and forests, Potsdam provides a serene alternative to the busy city life of Berlin. The city is characterized by a moderate continental climate, with sunny summers, perfect for hiking, biking or any other activity in the outdoors and snowy winters that transform the whole environment into a winter wonderland. The best time to visit Potsdam is between June till September. 

Accommodation Recommendations

Find shelter at one of the Potsdam’s warm bed and breakfasts. Whether you prefer cozy guesthouses or upscale hotels, this city offers accommodation options to fit every pocket and preference. Alternatively, you could find accommodation near the historic city center to be close to the top attractions or choose a secluded place by the water for a calm and peaceful sleep. Different accommodation style doesn’t matter just make Potsdam your home and you will see that it offers comfortable beds. Once you leave Potsdam, you will no longer forget its great palaces, lovely gardens and energetic culture. When it comes to exploring Sanssouci Park by walking or seating in a cafe offering local delicacies, 


Potsdam offers a range of great experiences that cannot be forgotten. Carry not only tangible souvenirs but also the memories of the moments of wonder and beauty that shape this spectacular city with you. Until next time, may your journeys be as magical as Potsdam’s graciousness have made yours. Have a safe trip.

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