Escape from Berlin: Castles and Boutique Shopping in Potsdam, Germany
It's nearly impossible to get bored in Berlin. The spread out city, with tons of different cultural elements, can cater to all types of interests, from parks to museums, shopping to clubbing, history and music, and of course, beer. With everything it has going for it, it's no shock that the city can be bustling. Every once in a while, it's nice to take a break from all that, and the western town of Potsdam is the perfect retreat. Whether you're living in the city or just visiting, take the 40 minute train ride on the S7 S Bahn to Potsdam Hauptbahnhof and get a day full of a different perspective.
While you could probably entertain yourself for an entire 48 hours here by stopping in the museums and really taking advantage of all it has to offer, just a long afternoon or day trip is all you really need to get the most out of your trip.
Up until 1918, Potsdam was the home to the German kaisers and Prussian kings. Germany's largest World Heritage Site, Sanssouci Castle and Park, is a remembrance of the opulence that once was. You could spend all day roaming the gardens, and check out the multiple palaces that stand there, including the Weinberg, Orangerieschloss, Neues Palais, and of course the Sanssouci Schloss, home of Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia. (BTW Schloss means castle in German).
If you still haven’t gotten your castle fix, head up to the Neuer Garten (New Garden) and see Schloss Ceceilenhof. This garden is right on the Heiliger See - which at least for me, anything on the water just is better.
Once you're castled-out, check out the Hollandisches Viertel or the Dutch Quarter for boutique shopping. Consisting of 160 plus brick buildings, it is the largest collection of Dutch buildings in Europe outside of the Netherlands. Grab a cup of coffee, browse the boutiques, and check out the few older buildings and churches along the way before heading back to Berlin.
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