With its opulent Baroque palaces and landscaped parklands, the former Prussian capital is one of Germany’s most impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a popular day trip from Berlin, and the most atmospheric time to visit is the Potsdam Palace Night. Held one night a year in the magnificent landscaped gardens of Sanssouci Palace, King Friedrich II’s (Frederick the Great) lavish private retreat, the Potsdam Palace Night, or the Night of the Palaces, is a nocturnal spectacle of music, dance and theater, accompanied by a dazzling display of illuminations and fireworks.
Almost completely encircled by parklands, Berlin has long been known as one of Europe’s greenest capital cities and there are ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, take a break from sightseeing or simply escape from inner city life. From royal parks and world-renowned zoos to idyllic botanical gardens and lakeside beaches, here are some of Berlin’s best picnic spots.
From the dazzling skyscrapers of Potsdamer Platz to iconic landmarks like the Brandenburg gate, Berlin is a city of remarkable contrasts and a bird’s eye view over the capital is equally dramatic day or night. There are dozens of choices for enjoying the city from above, but to narrow it down, here are 5 of Berlin’s best views.
With the majority of the country landlocked, a German beach holiday is typically confined to lakeside getaways or riverfront swimming pools, but those staying in Berlin can also make the most of the rugged Baltic coastline, just 2.5hrs north of the capital. Visiting Rugen Island from Berlin has been a popular pastime for city dwellers since the late 19th century, drawing iconic figures like Bismarck, Thomas Mann and Albert Einstein over the years, and with its dramatic chalk cliffs, miles of shaded woodlands and pristine white sand beaches, it offers a tranquil alternative to urban life.
The German capital has a habit of transforming abandoned structures into unique tourist attractions, and today, curious visitors can not only tour the eerie Spreepark, Berlin’s abandoned amusement park, but they can also climb to the top of the Teufelsberg, or ‘Devil’s Hill’ as it is ominously nicknamed, home to a one-time Allied listening post.