Berlin has a lot to offer, and you can easily spend your whole vacation to Berlin exploring the city itself. But if you’re planning a longer trip, more than 3 days in Berlin, you might want a change of scenery. Add one of these day trips from Berlin to your trip and enjoy getting to know another part of Germany. With so many towns, cities, and nature parks near Berlin, you’re bound to find one or two that pique your interest.
Where to stay in Berlin
Berlin has lots of great neighborhoods for you to stay in and explore. If you’re visiting Berlin for the first time, it might be best for you stay somewhere central. Many of the attractions are in Mitte or easily connected to Mitte by transport, so you should stay somewhere in that region. Here are a few hotels we recommend.
For a more detailed look at the different neighborhoods and our recommendations, check out our guide to where to stay in Berlin.
Planning Day Trips from Berlin
When planning a day trip, consider how long it takes to get there. In general, I try to stick to two hours one way for a day trip, so most of the destinations on this list are reachable within two hours from the center of Berlin.
But there are a few destinations on the list that are a bit farther for those of you who are more ambitious. If you’re an early riser and you can handle a long day of transport, sightseeing, and transport again, locations that are farther from Berlin might be fine for you.
I have these day trip destinations roughly organized by how long it takes to get there by train since time is such a big factor.
I used the Deutsche Bahn website to search for train routes and times for each destination since each one is reachable by train. The times listed are based on leaving early in the morning, sometime between 7am and 9am, because often the fastest route is early in the day.
These are all listed with the Berlin Hbf (central station) as the starting point, but based on where you’re staying in Berlin, it might be faster to start from one of the secondary train stations.
Another great transport option you should consider is FlixBus. For some destinations, FlixBus takes close to the same amount of time for a much lower price. Some locations will be too far to go by bus but reasonable by train, so it’s worth comparing the two options to see which works best for you.
I’ve labeled the ones where I think FlixBus could be a good alternative.
If you only have time for one day trip from Berlin, Potsdam is probably the one you will choose. It’s nearby and easy to reach by Sbahn or regional train, and it’s packed with history and beauty.
Located right on the border of Berlin, Potsdam is the capital of Brandenburg, and it is filled with palaces and royal parks that you can explore. If you plan to take a day trip to Potsdam, you should visit the magnificent Sanssouci Palace, which was the summer home of Frederick the Great. This is the most famous palace in Potsdam.
You should also see the Neues Palais. It is a large Baroque palace built by Frederick the Great at the end of the seven-year war with France. Other worthwhile palaces include the Orangery Palace, Charlottenhof Palace, Cecilienhof Palace, Marmorpalais, and Babelsberg Palace.
Potsdam is more than its gorgeous palaces and gardens. Be sure to explore the town itself on your day trip. Take a walk through the Dutch Quarters and check out the antique shops, galleries, cafes and ateliers that line its cobbled streets. Behind the quarters is the Jan-Bouma-Haus where there is a museum you can explore. You’ll also see several old city gates.
Read more about taking a Potsdam day trip from Berlin with details about how to get to Potsdam and what to see there.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 25-35 minutes
Also known as Peacock Island, Pfaueninsel is a popular UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s technically within Berlin’s borders but just far enough away to be considered a day trip from Belrin. Pfaueninsel is the perfect place for a day trip as it features ancient buildings that hold a lot of history in a beautiful natural setting.
Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic by the lake. If you love nature, you will love spending a quiet day surrounded by peacocks and other animals. You should also plan to visit the local dairy farm.
The most well known sight on Peacock Island is the striking white palace built in 1797 by Friedrich Wilhelm. Its surroundings are filled with peacocks, lots of beautiful flowers, and other birds.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 39-43 minutes
Located in the southeastern corner of Berlin in Friedrichshagen, Müggelsee is the largest natural lake in the area. It features a large sandy beach and several swimming spots that are great for families. There is a ramified cycle path all around the lake so if you love cycling, be sure to come with your bike and enjoy a cycling tour through the Radweg am Müggelsee and Uferweg trails.
You can also head on to Borkenstrand to enjoy the breathtaking sunset. Walk through the Spreetunnel, a tunnel that goes under the water where the river meets the lake. The area around the lake features a large beer garden and a cozy bistro where you can relax after a long day of touring the forest and the city around.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 52 minutes to the Licht- und Luftbad Müggelsee tram stop
Oranienburg and Sachsenhausen
Another place to visit on a day trip from Berlin is the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp located in Oranienburg. It was one of the first concentration camps set up by Third Reich. So this isn’t exactly a “fun” day trip like the title suggests, but it’s a worthwhile one all the same.
Go on a guided tour of the concentration camp memorial and learn details of the camp’s creation and a timeline of the atrocities that occurred here from a historian guide. Although this might not exactly be a fun place to visit, it is an important place and visiting and learning about what the victims of this concentration camp went through is a great way to remember them.
The Oranienburg Castle Museum is also great place to visit. This grand castle features a museum of family history and has several works of art on display. Unfortunately it can only be visited on a guided tour, most of which are German only, but the palace is lovely even from the outside.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 27 minutes to the Oranienburg station
This town is home to one of the top universities in Germany. Found along the River Elbe, this historic city has close ties to Martin Luther, who was the Protestant Reformation leader.
One of the top things to do is to take a tour of the Lutherhaus. It used to be a monastery where Luther lived but has since been turned into a historical museum where Luther’s art and paintings are displayed. You should also visit Castle Church, an architectural gem where Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 40 minutes
Brandenburg an der Havel
Best known for its red-brick, Gothic buildings, this town is surrounded by three lakes and is a popular tourist location near Berlin. On a day trip, plan to visit the famous Cathedral Island where most of the city’s historic churches are located. You can visit the old Town Hall and see the statue of Roland, then head on to tour the city Walls and Towers.
If you’re interested in museums, explore the National Archeological Museum with over 10,000 artifacts, and check out the Museum of Industry. This town is a great place to explore most of Germany’s breathtaking scenery. Kids would love to explore the Westhavelland Nature Park and enjoy tons of outdoor adventures.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 47-56 minutes
This surreal beach paradise used to be a blimp hangar during the Nazi era. Now, it is home to an indoor climate-controlled waterpark filled with flamingos, pools, sandy beaches and hot air balloons. This rain forest like oasis is located in the middle of Germany and offers visitors an exclusive beach experience not far from Berlin.
Tropical Islands has a constant temperature of 26 degrees Celsius (78.8F) with a rain forest that houses over 600 species of plants. Home to the tallest water slide in Germany, a spa area, restaurants and bars, it is a perfect family day trip location.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 50 minutes to the Brand Tropical Islands station, then hop on the free shuttle bus
Lübbenau in the Spreewald
Located only an hour away from Berlin, Spreewald is the perfect nature escape. There are several towns in this forest region, but one of the more popular ones is Lübbenau. It is a quiet town filled with meadows and waterways. A popular means of transportation here is the punt, a flat-bottomed boat, and you can take a guided punt tour of the town.
Explore the historic town center and the Lübbenau Castle. You can also visit the Spreewald Museum to learn more about the history of this area, which is a protected biosphere reserve. The Spreewald is also known for pickles, so be sure to try a few while visiting Lübbenau.
Read more about taking a Spreewald day trip with details about how to get to Lübbenau in the Spreewald and what to see there.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 1 hour 5 minutes – 1 hour 24 minutes
FlixBus might be a good option since it takes about 1 hour 20 minutes to get from Berlin Südkreuz to Lübbenau.
Known for its rich cultural heritage, Leipzig is another German city you could easily spend several days exploring. Start with a visit to the main square, Leipziger Markt, which houses the farmer’s market and the Old City Hall, one of Germany’s most beautiful Renaissance buildings. Continue wandering through the quaint old town and admire its well-preserved passages.
Leipzig’s important historical figures include Bach and Martin Luther, among others. Check out St Thomas Church where Martin Luther was a preacher, and where Bach was a choirmaster two centuries later. Also visit Nikolaikirche, another church where Bach served as a choirmaster. Nikolaikirche was also an important part of the nonviolent protests that eventually helped bring an end to the East German communist rule.
Pay a visit to Volkerschlachtdenkmal, the Battle of the Nations Monument, which is the largest war memorial in Europe. It was built to honor the 100th Anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of the Nations in Leipzig in 1813.
Read more about taking a day trip to Leipzig from Berlin plus what to do in Leipzig in one day and details about how to get to Leipzig.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 1 hour 12 minutes – 1 hour 21 minutes
FlixBus might be a good option if you’re on a budget since it takes 2-3 hours to get to Leipzig depending on which bus station in Berlin you use.
Also known as Brunswick in English, this town has become a popular destination in Germany. Start in the old town in Burgplatz where you’ll find the Brunswick Cathedral and the Dankwarderode Castle. The castle now houses as an art museum. In the square, you’ll also see the Braunschweiger Löwe, the Brunswick Lion, the most recognizable statue in the city. Not far from here, you will find the Old Town Hall building and the Old Town Market.
If you like panoramic views, visit the New Town Hall (built in 1900, so not that new!) and climb the tower’s 161 steps to the viewing platform. This is a great way to see the old town.
Be sure to check out the Happy Rizzi House. It was built by James Rizzi and is painted with several cheerful cartoon faces and motifs of stars and hearts. It is definitely one of the more quirky sights to see in Braunschweig.
Read more about taking a day trip to Braunschweig from Berlin with details about how to get to Braunschweig and what to do while you’re there.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 1 hour 29 minutes – 1 hour 35 minutes
FlixBus might be a good option if you’re on a tight budget, but it takes around 3 hours, so you really have to weigh time vs money.
Located between the North and Baltic seas, Hamburg is Germany’s top cultural city. It really deserves more than a day trip can cover, but if that’s all the time you have, you can still have a good experience. Hamburg was an important trade city with a vast trade route across the globe and was a major port of departure for immigrants. The city’s maritime history is still an important part of its identity.
Explore the Speicherstadt region of the city where you can see the canals and warehouses that were once an important part of the shipping and trading. To learn more about the maritime history and culture of Hamburg, visit the Speicherstadt Museum, the International Maritime Museum, and the Rickmer Rickmers ship museum.
Miniatur Wunderland is a fantastic model railway museum with entire cities recreated in miniature with unbelievable detail. Book tickets ahead to avoid the long wait. Another great option for your time in Hamburg is the Elbphilharmonie. It’s an impressive building, home to Hamburg’s philharmonic, and it has a great viewing platform where you can get views of the city.
This diverse city features over forty-five theaters and fifty museums, and there is never a shortage of fun things to do on a day trip. Being a shopper’s paradise, there is no doubt that Hamburg is Germany’s wealthiest city. Enjoy shopping in any of its numerous boutiques, handicraft stores, flea markets and luxury stores.
Read more about taking a day trip to Hamburg from Berlin with details about how to get to Hamburg and what to do while you’re there.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 1 hour 43 minutes – 2 hours 6 minutes
I don’t recommend taking the bus for a day trip to Hamburg from Berlin because it takes too long. But FlixBus has a train option (called FlixTrain) that might be a good option since it takes about 2 hours to get from Berlin Hbf to Hamburg and could save you a lot of money.
Magdeburg might not be on your radar, but it’s a wonderful city with a great old town to explore. Start with the Altemarkt square where you’ll see the old town hall building. Then check out the Magdeburg Cathedral, which was almost entirely destroyed in WWII and has since been restored. You climb to the top for excellent views of the city. If you’re here in the evening, be sure to catch the water show in front of the cathedral.
For more stunning views of Magdeburg, climb the Jahrtausendturm (Millennium Tower), one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world. As you climb the 243 steps to the top, learn about the development of human history in chronological order through the exhibits displayed at each level.
Since Magdeburg is located along the Elbe River, taking a boat tour can be a good option. As an alternative, consider renting a bike to explore the city for the day.
Read more about taking a day trip to Magdeburg from Berlin with details about how to get to Magdeburg and what to do while you’re there.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 1 hour 50 minutes
FlixBus might be a good option since it takes roughly 2 hours to get from Berlin to Magdeburg.
If you’re looking for someplace different as a day trip from Berlin, Tangermünde is your town. This is one of the most preserved towns in Saxony-Anhalt, and it is simply beautiful. It features an impressive castle, a picturesque market square, and a quaint medieval church.
Be sure to include a visit to the grand St. Stephanskirche church on your day trip. This church has colorful interiors and features the highest tower in the city. You should also check out the fortress museum named Burgmuseum. Here, you get to learn about the history of the town’s castle and take a tour of the palace built by Frederich I in 1700.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 1 hour 39 minutes – 2 hours 12 minutes
Erfurt is a charming and historic city filled with beautiful architecture and lots of natural, cultural and historical attractions. Visit the Erfurt Cathedral and admire the 13 stained-glass windows that reach up as high as 13 meters. The square where the cathedral sits, called Domplatz, features a bubbling open-air market filled with rich historical architecture.
Take a stroll across the Krämerbrücke, an old merchants bridge with picturesque buildings on it. For views of Erfurt, climb the Ägidienkirche tower. Check out St. Augustine’s Monastery, where Martin Luther was a monk before eventually moving to Wittenberg to teach.
Stroll through Fischmarkt (Fish Market Square) where you’ll see city hall and lots of other beautiful colorful old buildings. Explore the impressive Petersberg Citadel, including its underground tunnels.
Read more about taking a day trip to Erfurt from Berlin with details about how to get to Erfurt and what to do while you’re there.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 1 hour 40 minutes – 1 hour 59 minutes
I don’t recommend taking the bus for a day trip to Erfurt from Berlin because it takes too long. But FlixBus has a train option (called FlixTrain) that might be a good option since it takes about 2 hours to get from Berlin Hbf to Erfurt and could save you a lot of money.
Located in the far eastern part of the country, Dresden is one of the prettiest cities in Germany. Its location on the Elbe River makes for an impressive skyline. Take some time to wander through the Old Town to admire the stunning architecture. Don’t skip Brühl’s Terrace, a long terrace along the river where the old city ramparts were and now makes for a nice stroll with views of the river and impressive buildings.
On your day trip to Dresden, be sure to check out Frauenkirche, an important church that was badly damaged during World War II. Its restoration was one of the most impressive rebuilding projects in the world and used nearly 4,000 of the original stones.
Visit the Zwinger Palace, an impressive 18th century Baroque palace. Inside is an extensive art museum, and the grounds surrounding the palace feature gardens, fountains, and statues.
With many more museums, palaces, and fun activities, you could easily spend several days in Dresden. But to get a taste of the city, visiting on a day trip from Berlin is quite enjoyable.
Read more about taking a day trip to Dresden from Berlin with details about how to get to Dresden and what to do while you’re there.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 1 hour 51 minutes – 2 hours 14 minutes
FlixBus might be a good option since it takes roughly 2-3 hours to get from Berlin to Dresden.
Located northwest of Berlin, this town is best known for its grand castle, the Schwerin Castle. This romantic palace sits on an island and is surrounded by stunning landscapes. You should also check out the Gothic Schwerin Cathedral and Schlossgarten, a vast French-style garden. This garden houses a cafe and several sandstone sculptures by Balthasar Permoser.
Explore the Schelfstadt Quarter, the area surrounding the cathedral, which is a great place to wander and soak up the atmosphere. Here you’ll find museums, art galleries, shops, cafes, and restaurants. Schwerin is a walkable city that makes for a great day trip from Berlin. But the city also sits among 12 lakes, so if you’re there on a nice day, consider going for a swim or hopping on a boat.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 1 hour 48 minutes – 2 hours 57 minutes
FlixBus might be a good option since it takes about 2 hours 45 minutes to get from Berlin to Schwerin.
Ludwiglust is a beautiful castle town. It is home to the glorious Ludwigslust Palace (Schloss Ludwigslust) and best known for its rich heritage. The Ludwigslust Palace features a vast park, fountains, canals, and brilliant artificial waterfalls. You should also check out the City Church. Built-in 1770, this neo-classical historic church has the exotic appearance of a Greek temple.
While the Ludwigslust Palace is worthy of a trip on its own, the town’s proximity to Schwerin makes it easy to combine the two in one trip, if you’re really ambitious.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 1 hour 13 minutes – 2 hours
This hard to pronounce city is the capital of West Pomerania. Explore the old town to see the colorful buildings and incredible architecture. The old town hall building and the Historical Museum of Szczecin are especially worth checking out.
Visit the impressive ducal castle which was the seat of the Pomeranian dukes for several centuries. The castle was badly damaged during WWII, but the Tower of Seven Mantles, just east of the castle, did survive. It’s part of one of the old medieval gates to the city.
If you are interested in architecture and the performing arts, be sure to visit the Szczecin Philharmonic Hall. This stunning architectural wonder was designed by Alberto Veiga and is a must-see sight in Szczecin.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 1 hour 45 minutes – 2 hours 10 minutes
FlixBus might be a good option since it takes about 2 hours 40 minutes to get from Berlin to Szczecin. The bus station labeled Szczecin, ul. Kolumba is the one you want and is right at the main train station.
This fairy tale town has a stunning rustic medieval town center. The red brick Gothic buildings actually lean a bit due to years and years of salt mining. Lüneburg is home to the German Salt Museum, where guests learn about the history and importance of salt mining.
Set out on your exploration from the Am Sande market square, where you will enjoy sights of gabled houses and the merchant hub of the city. Admire the well-preserved Rathaus (town hall) which was spared from war damage. Be sure to make a stop at the Water Tower and the Stintmarkt, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink from the numerous pubs, bars and beer gardens. Lüneburg is a university town and actually has the second highest density of bars in all of Europe!
Time from Berlin Hbf: 2 hours 24 minutes – 2 hours 50 minutes
Saxon Switzerland National Park
If you’re looking for stunning nature, travel to Saxon Switzerland National Park. This is one of Germany’s 16 national parks, and it covers an area of 274 square miles. On a day trip here, tour the park on foot or rent a bike to experience untamed nature.
Bad Schandau is on of the easiest towns to travel to by train from Berlin and use as a gateway to the park. From here you can take the Kirnitzschtalbahn (Kirnitzschtal Tramway) up into the forest to explore. I recommend getting out at the Kirnitzschtal Beuthenfall stop and hiking south along the trail near the stop until you get to the gorgeous Bloßstock rocks.
If you’re an avid hiker and you have time, check out Basteibrücke, one of the most beautiful natural bridges in Germany.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 2 hours 19 minutes
Known for its stunning historic architecture, Görlitz is worth visiting, even if just for a day. It’s located on the border with Poland, and it’s an easy walk to the town of Zgorzelec on the Polish side. The two towns were actually one until after WWII.
This city is home to several filming locations for movies such as Inglorious Basterds, The Book Thief, and The Reader. The Grand Budapest Hotel was also shot in one of Görlitz’s top shopping malls. The town wasn’t damaged during WWII, and film makers love Görlitz because its well preserved buildings make for amazing scenery.
This means it’s a gorgeous city to wander though. Admire the city hall building, the centuries-old churches, and the quaint cobbled streets.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 2 hours 39 minutes
In less than three hours by train from Berlin, you can be in one of the best small cities in Poland. On a day trip to Poznan, be sure to check out the market square in the center of the old town. It’s lined with colorful buildings, and in the square itself, you’ll find different fountains and statues. The Old Town Hall building is also located here, and it you get there at noon, you can watch the mechanical goats pop out, dance, and butt heads.
Another great place to visit is Citadel Park. This urban park is home to the Museum of Armaments and the Army Museum. For something a little quirky, visit the Croissant Museum. Poznan and the surrounding region is known for a version of the croissant called a St. Martin’s croissant, and you can learn about them – and taste one – at this museum.
Poznan is such a cute town for a stroll. Be sure to try some local Polish food while you’re there. Perogi and bigos are both fantastic, and finish off your meal with a shot of Polish vodka.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 2 hours 51 minutes
FlixBus might be a good option since it takes about 3 hours 35 minutes to get from Berlin to Poznan.
If you’re looking to add a little sea breeze to your Berlin trip, look no farther than Rostock. Located in North Germany, Rostock is a fantastic tourist hub that boasts some of the best seafood restaurants in Germany, and it is a favorite among beach lovers.
In the old town, admire the medieval gates and historical buildings. On a day trip to Rostock, check out Saint Mary’s Church and the Cultural History Museum, where you will be astounded by their intricate architecture. For a wonderful shopping and dining experience, visit Am Strom Promenade and the Kröpeliner Straße.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 2 hours 1 minute – 2 hours 41 minutes
FlixBus might be a good option since it takes just under 3 hours to get from Berlin to Rostock.
Located on the Baltic Sea, this seaside town makes for a great day trip from Berlin. It’s best known for its historic lighthouse and teapot house, but once you’ve had a quick glance, keep wandering to experience more of the town.
Visitors typically enjoy strolling along the seaside promenade and enjoying refreshing drinks in the beer gardens. Be sure to try some of the delicious local food. Since Warnemünde is on the sea, you can also spend the day on the beautiful beach soaking up the sun.
Warnemünde is also an easy town to combine with Rostock if you’re feeling ambitious on your day trip or if you’d rather extend to a longer trip on the coast.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 2 hours 25 minutes – 3 hours 14 minutes
FlixBus might be a good option since it takes just about 3 hours 30 minutes to get from Berlin to Warnemünde. There are two stops listed: Werft is close to the train station, but Strand is close to the beach.
Known as one of the most beautiful and romantic towns in Germany, Lübeck features rich brick Gothic architecture filled with idyllic courtyards and lots of maritime attractions. If you are interested in learning about the Hanseatic League, this is the place to visit. It is home to the European Hansemuseum, which is focused on telling stories of piracy, trade boycotts and the likes via its fascinating exhibitions.
Explore the old town and its pedestrian-friendly streets. Check out the old city gates. If you’re coming in from the train station, you’ll see the famous Holstentor Gate. On the north side of the old town, the Burgtor Gate is also impressive.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 2 hours 46 minutes – 3 hours 13 minutes
Located on the banks of Elbe River, this ancient city is really worth a visit. It features the rustic hilltop Albrechtsburg Castle as well as breathtaking river valleys and rolling vineyards. The Albrechtsburg Castle is definitely worth a visit as it is the oldest castle in Germany.
Meissen is also well known for porcelain production, so be sure to visit the Porcelain Manufactory. At the adjoining Neoclassical Museum, you will see a stunning collection of porcelain items made several centuries ago.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 2 hours 18 minutes – 3 hours 27 minutes
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Germany and features beautiful cobbled streets and rustic timber-framed houses. To explore the town’s historic architecture, explore the old town and check out the Schloss Quedlinburg (Quedlinburg Castle) and Church of St. Servatius. Also pay a visit to Marktkirche St. Benedikti, which houses artworks and an ancient Gothic alter of St. Mary.
You should also stop by Fachwerkmuseum in Ständerbau. Built around 1310, this ancient half-timbered house is one of the oldest in Germany. For more nostalgia, take a ride on the Harzer Schmalspurbahnen, a historical steam engine train that is said to be one of the most scenic railway journeys in the country.
Time from Berlin Hbf: 2 hour 58 minutes – 3 hour 49 minutes
FlixBus might be a good option since it takes just about 3 hours to get from Berlin to Quedlinburg.
Book a tour for your trip to Berlin
Berlin Travel Resources
I want you to have the best trip to Berlin, and hopefully these suggestions for day trips from Berlin help. But there are lots more tips on the site!
Here’s what you should know before coming to Berlin. From practical tips to quirky facts about the city, it’s all in there.
Read this helpful packing list for Berlin so you know what to bring and what to wear.
You’re probably going to be using public transport to get around Berlin. Read this handy guide to Berlin’s public transport system and how to get around Berlin.
Visiting Berlin? Don’t forget travel insurance!
It’s always a good idea to travel to Berlin with a valid travel insurance policy. Travel here is reasonably safe, but you never know when something could happen. You need to be covered in case you have an accident or become a victim to theft.
We recommend World Nomads insurance for travel. Travel insurance helps you recover your expenses and continue to enjoy your trip.