If you’re looking for a day trip from Berlin that will take you into nature, look no further than Spreewald. Spreewald is the forest region south of Berlin, and it’s a great place to go to see a different side of Germany. The most popular town to visit is Lübbenau, and it makes for the perfect Spreewald day trip from Berlin.
This is a place for relaxing, enjoying outdoor activities, and taking a break from the city. In this article you’ll find lots of practical tips for how to get from Berlin to Spreewald and what to do in Spreewald in a day.
Why should you take a Lübbenau Spreewald day trip?
Germany is many things, and you won’t get the full picture by only visiting Berlin. Germans love nature and the outdoors, and the forested area of Spreewald is perfect for experiencing a bit of nature.
The Spreewald was declared a biosphere reserve in 1990 and was given UNESCO status in 1991. This means there is great effort to protect and preserve the area, from the landscape to the animals that live there and even the culture of the Spreewald.
You’ll find lots of outdoor activities here, such as renting a kayak or canoe. You can also take a tour on a local punt boat to explore the river and forest. Boating on this section of the Spree is a lot different from a Spree River boat tour in central Berlin!
Lübbenau is also a great place for some local German traditions, such a pickles. This is an area famously known for producing pickles, and you will find them everywhere here.
This town also has a cute old town section with pedestrian-friendly areas, a picturesque church, a few interesting museums, and even a castle. There’s plenty of things to do in Spreewald in one day.
Hotels in Spreewald
At roughly one hour from Berlin, it’s easy to visit the Spreewald as a day trip.
But if you want to take things a little slower and stay overnight, that’s a great option too. There are quite a few hotels and guesthouses in Lübbenau’s old town that give you easy access to restaurants and activities.
Just keep in mind that, despite the abundance of hotels, this is more of a day trip town. Most of the organized tourist activities don’t start earlier than 9am, and most of the restaurants close by about 9pm.
By late afternoon/early evening, the town starts to feel a bit dead. But this also means you get a little extra quiet once everyone leaves at the end of the day.
Here are some hotels in Spreewald Lübbenau we recommend checking out. For a quirky budget option, why not stay in a giant barrel at Hotel Mini Übernachten im Gurkenfass? Or for a splurge, stay in a castle at Hotel Schloss Lübbenau.
Where to stay in Spreewald Lübbenau
How to get from Berlin to Spreewald by train
Lübbenau is about 100km (62 miles) from the center of Berlin. To get to Spreewald by train, it only takes a little over an hour. Plus there are several stations where you can catch the train and get all the way to Lübbenau without having to switch, which makes it a super easy day trip.
From Berlin Hauptbahnhof to Lübbenau, the best option is the RE2 train, which takes 1 hour 5 minutes. It runs once an hour, so plan accordingly.
Depending on where you’re staying in Berlin, you could catch the train from another Berlin train station. This train also stops in Spandau and Zoologischer Garten before the Berlin Central station, and afterwards it also stops in Friedrichstr., Alexanderplatz, and Ostkreuz before leaving the city.
Be aware that there is another town called Lübben. The train stops here just before arriving in Lübbenau, so don’t get out there. It’s another good option for seeing the Spreewald, but this guide will be more focused on things to do in Lübbenau.
The RB24 also runs from Berlin Ostkreuz to Lübbenau, but it makes more stops and takes about 20 minutes longer. It’s a decent option if you miss the RE2 by a few minutes since it will still arrive earlier than waiting for the next RE2. But this train starts in Ostkreuz, so if you’re staying closer to the center of Berlin, you’ll have to use the Sbahn to get to Ostkreuz.
Which train ticket do you need?
At the time of writing, the ticket costs 12.50 euros one way per person with a point-to-point ticket. Kids aged 6 through 14 can get a reduced ticket for 9.40, and kids under age 6 travel for free.
Another option is the Berlin-Brandenburg ticket. The ticket costs 33 euros and allows for a group of up to five adults and three children aged 6 to 14 to travel on one ticket for 33 euros. You can travel on this ticket back and forth.
However, it can only be used starting at 9am on weekdays! So this option only works if you’re getting a later start to your day trip, or if you’re going on a Saturday, Sunday, or public holiday.
If you want to leave Berlin earlier than 9am, and you probably should if you want to spend the whole day in Spreewald, you should get the 12.50 euro point-to-point ticket.
How to get from Berlin to Spreewald by bus
As cheap as those train tickets are to get to the Spreewald from Berlin, if you’re traveling on a budget, the bus can be even cheaper.
FlixBus is a comfortable and affordable option if you’re looking to save a few euros. The bus stops in front of the Lübbenau train station, so it’s just as convenient as the train.
In Berlin, the buses leave from the central bus station (ZOB) and in front of the Südkreuz Sbahn station. Chances are Südkreuz is closer to where you’re staying and will be an easier option. From Südkreuz, the bus takes about 1 hour 20 minutes, so it’s not too much longer than the train.
The timing is pretty convenient for a day trip to the Spreewald since the buses leave Berlin in the morning and come back in the evening. You’ll have plenty of time to explore Lübbenau and the Spreewald plus have lunch and dinner there.
When planning your day trip, be sure to compare FlixBus with Deutsche Bahn to see which works best for you.
How to get from the Lübbenau train station to the old town
Luckily it’s very easy to get from the Lübbenau train station into the old town on foot. When you exit the train station, cross the street and look for Poststr. This street pretty much goes straight out from the station.
It’s about 1km (0.6 mile) from the train station to the Lübbenau tourism office, which is in the center of the old town. It should take you 10 to 15 minutes to walk this distance, and it’s all along one road until you reach a big square where Poststr. dead ends. Most of what you want is towards the right from here.
What to do in Spreewald
Lübbenau is the perfect town in Spreewald to relax and get back in touch with nature after spending a few days in Berlin. There are plenty of things to do in Spreewald on a day trip from Berlin. Here’s what to do in Spreewald so you can choose which activities interest you.
Take a punt boat tour
Punt boats are a popular way to see Lübbenau and the Spreewald. These are flat bottomed boats with benches set up for you to sit on. The guide leads the boat along the waterways through the forest to show you the area.
There’s a two hour option where you stay on the boat the whole time, or a three hour option where you can get out at a small village called Lehde. You can take an even longer tour, but I suggest one of the shorter options to give you time for other activities.
Rent a boat
Not interested in a guided tour? You can rent a kayak or canoe and paddle around on your own. Make sure you have some decent arm strength to do this option, and hang on to your map so you don’t get lost.
This option gives you a little more freedom to explore at your own pace.
This is a fairly flat region of Germany, so it’s not so hard to go cycling during a Spreewald day trip. If you have your own bike, great!
But if not, don’t fear. There are several places around town, including right at the train station, where you can rent a bike for the day. Grab a map, and make sure you know what time the bike has to be back at the shop.
Eat a lot of pickles
The Spreewald is famous for its pickles. You’ll see pickles on menus and at gift shops in all forms. Pickle key chains and other trinkets. Even pickle beer.
There’s a little section of town called Gherkin Mile, which is admittedly an exaggeration since it’s only about 4 to 8 stalls.
But you can try different varieties from different stalls (usually for free, though one did charge me 50 cents for a few chunks) and the buy your favorites to take home. I personally enjoyed the chili pickles, sweet chili pickles, and garlic pickles. But there are tons more!
You can even take a cycling pickle tour offered by the Lübbenau Spreewald tourism office. It’s an all day tour that shows you around the region and teaches you about the history and production of pickles in the Spreewald.
Take a hike
This is the forest, after all. Check with the tourism office for suggested routes and maps, but there are hiking trails to the village of Lehde and other parts of the forest.
We even saw a sign pointing towards a 3.5km (about 2.2 miles) trail to a guest house where you can get a good German beer before hiking back.
Visit a museum
Lübbenau and the nearby areas have a few museums if you want to learn more about the area. The Spreewald Museum is on the edge of the Lübbenau old town, and here you can learn about the local history of the town and the Spreewald.
If you make it to Lehde, the village on the punt boat tour, check out the Freilandmuseum Lehde, and open air museum about what life was like in the area during the 19th century. You can also stop by the Gherkin Museum in the hotel complex Starick if you haven’t gotten enough about pickles.
See the Lübbenau Castle
Schloss Lübbenau sits on the edge of the old town with the forest as a backdrop. The castle is now a hotel, but they have a restaurant so you could take a break for lunch or a snack. The palace is a really pretty building, so be sure to snap some photos.
Wander the old town
Lübbenau has a cute old town, and it’s worth taking a stroll through to soak up the atmosphere. St Nikolai Church sits in the center near some cafes. Nearby is the quirky Sagenhafter Fountain.
Keep walking and you’ll cross a few small bridges over different branches of the Spree River. Colorful shops line the streets. And there are a couple of small harbors where you can rent a boat or hop on a boat tour.
Book a tour for your trip to Berlin
Berlin Travel Resources
I want you to have the best trip to Berlin, and hopefully this information for how to take a Berlin to Spreewald day trip is helpful. 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!
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