6 easy must-do weekend trips from Berlin

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Weekend trips from Berlin

With rich cultural heritage, incredible nightlife, excellent food, and a lively atmosphere, Berlin, the capital city of Germany, is an amazing city to visit and has enough to keep you occupied indefinitely. That's what makes it one of the most fascinating towns in Europe, and a great reason to visit Germany all by itself.

Maybe you want to see more of Germany on your trip. Or maybe you live in Berlin and could do with a break from the teeming crowds of Alexanderplatz. Either way, there's no better way to recharge your batteries than with a day trip or weekend trip out of the city to see more of what Germany has to offer.

Thanks to a truly excellent public transportation network, there are some amazing day trips and weekend trips from Berlin that will let you explore more of Germany. Whether you want to see UNESCO World Heritage sites, unspoiled wilderness areas, or relics from the Second World War, all you need to do is rent a car or hop on a train to find yourself in some new and fascinating locations.

Just don't forget to drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Berlin before you go. As Berlin locals know, traveling light is the key to getting the most out of this endlessly rewarding location.

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Weekend trips to Peacock Island from Berlin

Peacock Island

Located near Potsdam just to the west of Berlin, this popular area is a great option for a day trip as well as a weekend trip. Easily reached by public transportation, it's nevertheless a great way to get a break from the busy city.

Distance from Berlin:

Only 30 km from central Berlin, Peacock Island can be reached by car in 30 minutes.

Our activity recommendations:

Peacock Island Castle: Known in German as the Schloss au der Pfauenisnel, this late 18th-century castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a romantic place to visit close to the city. Designed as a ruin and made of wood painted to look like marble, it's about as authentic as a Disney Castle and just as charming.

Explore the park: The beautifully landscaped park is a great place to stroll and enjoy the river views. It's also where you'll encounter the peacocks that give the island its name, along with the small herd of water buffalo whose job it is to keep the grass short.

Take a boat tour: The slow-moving Havel River is a great place to take a tourist boat tour and enjoy incredible views of the island and the surrounding countryside.

Best season to visit:

Summer is undoubtedly the best time to visit Peacock Island and enjoy the great outdoors.

Saxon Switzerland National Park

Saxon Switzerland National Park

Don't let the name fool you. This astounding national park is in Germany and lies on the border of Czechia, nowhere near Switzerland. However, it's a fantastic place to visit on a longer weekend trip and a must-visit for nature lovers.

Distance from Berlin:

It's around 250 kilometers from Berlin to Saxon Switzerland National Park, so it will take around three hours to drive by car, making it out of reach for day trips but ideal for longer weekend visits. It's also possible to reach the park by taking a train to Dresden and then bus 261 to the edge of the park. However, that will take hours longer. Besides, having a car is useful for exploring everything this park has to offer.

Our activity recommendations:

Bastei bridge: This is probably the most famous location in the entire park and is a must-see while you're in the area. The stunning stone bridge looks almost as though it has grown out of the craggy rock formations that support it, and the views from the bridge deck itself are absolutely stunning.

Visit the spa: Saxon Switzerland National Park has more to offer than unspoiled wilderness, and just because you're outside the city doesn't mean you can't enjoy some pampering. The park is full of spas that take advantage of the many natural springs in the area, so you can float in saltwater pools and enjoy rejuvenating treatments provided by expert staff.

Take a paddle steamer tour: Taking a ride on a historic paddle steamer is perhaps the most relaxing way to enjoy the unique rock formations and waterways of this iconic Park. A 1.5-hour tour will take you past some of the most impressive landscapes in Saxon Switzerland National Park and allow you to appreciate the beauty on a whole new level.

Best season to visit:

Spring and summer are great times to visit the park when the weather is at its warmest, and the plants and wildlife are at their most impressive.

Weekend getaway from Berlin to Wernigerode

Wernigerode

Something of a hidden gem, the historic town of Wernigerode, the Pearl of the Harz, is fantastically picturesque and will make you feel like you've taken a step back in time. Plus, it's the gateway to the Harz Mountains, one of Germany's most iconic landscapes.

Distance from Berlin:

240 km from Berlin, Wernigerode is reachable by car in around three hours. You can also take a train from Berlin to Wernigerode train station in around the same amount of time.

Our activity recommendations:

Explore the town square: As many tourists discover when they come here, the market square of Wernigerode is almost too pretty to be believed. The colorful half-timbered houses, combined with the iconic old town hall that dates back to 1420, will make you feel like you've stepped between the pages of a fairytale.

Wernigerode Castle: As you would expect from the rest of the town, the castle here is also a ridiculously beautiful place to see for yourself. You can reach it on a little motorized train that leaves from the city center, and once there, you can explore 40 rooms of this beautiful location that dates back to the Middle Ages.

Harz steam railway: To really complete the sensation of having traveled back in time on one of the best weekend trips from Berlin, take the steam train up to the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz mountains and a place with an unrivaled reputation in German folklore. You may not see the witches and phantoms the mountain is known for, but you will see some astonishing scenery as you relax and watch the world go by.

Best season to visit:

If you plan to explore the mountains, summer is possibly the best time to visit. Plus, the warm months let you spend more time outside enjoying the beautiful city. On the other hand, Wernigerode's old buildings are made even prettier with a dusting of snow, and the town's Christmas market makes the beautiful market square even more atmospheric than it normally is.

Weekend trip from Berlin to Hamburg

Hamburg

Hamburg isn't exactly a hidden gem. One of the largest cities in northern Germany, it has a huge range of cultural attractions and a completely different culture and atmosphere from Berlin. So if you're looking for a city break that will provide you with something very different from what you would get in the capital, don't hesitate to make your way here.

Distance from Berlin:

At 290 km from Berlin, it will take you right around three hours to reach Hamburg by car. However, thanks to high-speed intercity trains, you can make the same journey by train in less than two hours.

Our activity recommendations:

Catch a show at the Elbphilharmonie: This beautiful modern concert hall is one of the most famous buildings in Hamburg and a major point of municipal pride. More than 100 m tall, it rises out of the water dramatically and is worth visiting for its architecture alone. However, if you can get tickets to a show, you'll be enjoying the building at its very best.

Visit the International Maritime Museum: Hamburg owes its historical importance to its status as a port city, and you can learn more about this fascinating story at the Hamburg International Maritime Museum. This museum uses interactive exhibits to teach you more about the history of trade, navigation, and naval warfare that has shaped Hamburg to this day.

Reeperbahn: As port cities tend to do, Hamburg has a reputation for rowdy nightlife that goes back centuries. Historically, the sometimes seedy nightlife of Hamburg was centered on the Reeperbahn. These days, this famous street is more of a tourist attraction, but it's still a great place to enjoy a meal, a drink, or a rowdy night out if that's what you're after.

Best season to visit:

As a large city, there's really no bad time to visit Hamburg. Summer is more popular with tourists since winter can be cold and rainy, but there are enough indoor activities to keep you entertained no matter what time of year you go.

Weekend trip to Quedlinburg from Berlin

Quedlinburg

Berlin is an unbelievably historic city, but the events of World War II have left the German capital short on pre-20th century charm. Luckily, you can always visit one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany - Quedlinburg.

Distance from Berlin:

At just over 200 km from Berlin, Quedlinburg can be reached by car in around two hours and 45 minutes. It's also possible to reach by train, but that will take over three hours.

Our activity recommendations:

Schlossmuseum: Quedlinburg's history dates back to at least the 10th century, and you can learn more about the town's fascinating history at the museum. Located in a 16th-century villa, the museum explains the history of the town from its prehistoric beginnings up to the modern day.

Visit the old houses: Quedlinburg is known for its historic half-timbered houses, and you'll find plenty of them as you stroll around the town center. Keep an eye out for the Stock Exchange dating back to 1683, and the Gildehaus zur Rose, built in 1612.

Best season to visit:

You can visit Quedlinburg at any time, although the historic town is particularly charming in the spring when the first buds on the trees.

Weekend getaway from Berlin to Rostock

Rostock

This historic Hanseatic city is not only a great place to learn more about German history, but it's also one of the few weekend trips from Berlin that can offer you a seaside resort.

Distance from Berlin:

230 km north of Berlin, Rostock sits close to the shores of the Baltic Sea. You can reach it by car in 2.5 hours or take the express train, which takes a little less than two hours.

Our activity recommendations:

Warnemünde Beach: This 15 km long beach is known for its fine sand, and the shallow waters are a great place to cool off in the height of summer. You'll also find lots of restaurants along the promenade, making this a perfect summer trip from Berlin.

Alter Strom: This canal was dug in 1423 to connect Rostock with the Baltic Sea, and for centuries, it was one of the main neighborhoods of the city. Now, the canal's commercial importance has been replaced by a more recent channel, and so Alter Strom is the place to come to dine with a view of the water and enjoy the old medieval buildings of the town. It's the perfect place for a walk and a great meal while you soak up the atmosphere of Rostock.

Best season to visit:

Summers in Rostock can be short, but they remain one of the best times to visit so that you can enjoy the beach and the other outdoor activities the city has to offer.

Conclusion

These trips from Berlin offer an impressive array of different things to do. Whether you're looking for the best day trips from Berlin or for longer weekend trips outside Germany's largest city, you won't be short of options.

If you're short of time and only have three days to spend in Berlin, it's better to focus on everything the city has to offer. But with a little more time to spend, you should definitely take advantage of these unforgettable trips from Berlin.

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