Photo: scjody via Flickr
It’s impossible to tire of the German capital, but if things get too urban for you, there are plenty of escapes out of the city. Try these.Potsdam: Only 20 miles from Berlin, Potsdam is a glorious city, over 1000 years old and set on the Havel river, but the main draw is the Sanssouci Palace.
Built in the 18th century as a summer retreat for Frederick the Great, it’s held to be the Versailles of Germany with colonnades, frilly architecture and incredible gardens.
Spreewald Forest: Just over 50 miles south-east of Berlin, this UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve encompasses pine forest, alder trees, wetlands and sandy areas within its 250 square mile area. Small canals run through all of it, meaning the best way to see it is by going punting, although you can hop on anything from a paddle boat to a hot air balloon, too.
Hamburg: Hamburg may be a way away on the coast, but with the speedy German rail service, you can get there in 1 hour 40 minutes. There, in the old port, you’ll find a totally different environment – a laid back town that parties seriously hard – just hang out round the fish market on a Sunday morning to spot those who haven’t gone to bed yet.
Wandlitz: Just 16 miles north of Berlin, pretty Wandlitz’s main draw is the huge, crystal clear lake. Walking around it will take about three hours but if you’re not feeling active you can hit the lido. Don’t miss the estate that was previously home to top government officials of East Germany.
Szczecin: Cross a border on your day trip by taking the two hour train ride to Szczecin in Poland. The port is one of the liveliest towns in Poland with beautiful medieval buildings, Baroque city gates and a 14th century tower. It’ll give you a strong flavour of Eastern Europe on an afternoon out from Berlin.
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