Berlin is wonderful, but it’s so different from the rest of Germany. Since there are many places to visit in Germany that deserve at least a few days, it’s worth planning one of these weekend trips from Berlin.
Include one of these weekend getaways from Berlin on your itinerary to see another part of the country and experience more of what Germany has to offer.
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 Berlin’s public 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 hotel recommendations, check out our guide to where to stay in Berlin.
Best weekend trips from Berlin
Here are some of my favorite options for weekend trips from Berlin. Whether you’re looking for big cities, small towns, or nature escapes, there’s bound to be something here that works well for you.
Some of the destinations included here are also on my list of day trips from Berlin. I included them here as well either because there’s enough to do for more than one day, or the distance might be a bit far for a day trip for some people.
I also tried to stick to destinations that were no more than about 5 hours from Berlin because you don’t want to lose too much of your weekend in transit. Also, these can easily be done as weekend train trips from Berlin, so you don’t need a car.
After Berlin, Hamburg is one of my favorite German cities.
As a former Hanseatic League city and once a major international port, the architecture here is vastly different from cities like Berlin or Munich. It’s located between the North and Baltic seas, and Hamburg is Germany’s top cultural city.
Hamburg’s maritime history is an important part of its identity. The city was an important trade city with far-reaching trade routes across the globe and was a major port of departure for immigrants.
Today you can learn about this history in many places, including the UNESCO Speicherstadt region of the city where you can see the canals and warehouses that were once an important part of the shipping and trading. Speicherstadt is also one of Germany’s most famous landmarks.
For more about the maritime history and culture of Hamburg, visit the Speicherstadt Museum, the International Maritime Museum, and the Rickmer Rickmers ship museum.
One of my favorite things to do in Hamburg is Miniatur Wunderland – I’ve been there three times, and I’d happily go again! It’s a fantastic model railway museum with entire cities recreated in miniature with unbelievable detail.
It’s definitely a kid friendly activity, but adults will love it too. Book tickets ahead to avoid the long wait, and leave yourself several hours to really enjoy it.
Another great option for your weekend trip to Hamburg is the Elbphilharmonie, home to Hamburg’s philharmonic. This impressive building is one of Germany’s most famous landmarks, and it has a great viewing platform where you can get views of the city, even if you don’t see a show there.
The Beatles played in Hamburg in the early 1960s, and it was where the world started to really notice them. Visit Beatles Platz, a square that honors the band, and then wander through the Reuperbahn red light district to see some of the clubs where they played.
Hamburg boasts dozens of theaters and museums, and it’s known as a wonderful place for people who love shopping. There is never a shortage of fun things to do on a weekend trip.
Book a tour for your weekend trip to Hamburg
If you’re only visiting Hamburg for a weekend, a tour can help you make the most of your time. Here are a few to check out.
- Guided Hamburg City Bike Tour
- Discover Hamburg Walking Tour
- Hamburg Harbor & Speicherstadt 1.5 Hour Cruise
Dresden’s location along the Elbe River, a couple hours south of Berlin, makes it one of Germany’s prettiest cities. If you plan a weekend here, you won’t be disappointed.
Wander through the Old Town to admire the stunning architecture. Don’t miss Brühl’s Terrace, a long promenade along the river where the old city ramparts were, which now makes for a nice stroll with views of the river and impressive buildings.
On your weekend trip from Berlin 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.
At Zwinger Palace, an impressive 18th century Baroque palace, you’ll find an extensive art museum. The grounds surrounding the palace are just as gorgeous, featuring gardens, fountains, and statues.
Also worth seeing is the Dresden Castle, the Fürstenzug, the Semperoper, and the hip Neustadt area on the opposite side of the river from the Old Town. And if you happen to be in Dresden in December, check out the Striezelmarkt, the oldest Christmas market in the world.
With many more museums, palaces, and fun activities, you could easily spend a weekend in Dresden.
Book a tour for your weekend trip to Dresden
If you’re only visiting Dresden for a few days, a tour can help you make the most of your time. Here are a few to check out.
- Dresden Walking Tour
- Dresden: River 1.5 Hour Sightseeing Boat Cruise
- Dresden Combo Ticket: Semperoper & Old Town Tour
Leipzig is another city I love for a weekend getaway. Known for its rich cultural heritage, you could easily spend several days exploring here.
Start in the old town at the main square, Leipziger Markt, which houses the farmer’s market and the Old City Hall, one of Germany’s most beautiful Renaissance buildings. From here, wander through the charming old town and admire its well-preserved passages.
Leipzig has a lot of important historical connections to 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.
It’s also worth visiting 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.
Check out Volkerschlachtdenkmal, the Battle of the Nations Monument, which was built to honor the 100th Anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of the Nations in Leipzig in 1813. This impressive monument is also the largest war memorial in Europe.
Book a tour for your weekend getaway to Leipzig
If you only have a couple of days in Leipzig, a sightseeing tour like this one could be the perfect way to see a lot of sights in a short amount of time.
If you’re looking for a nature weekend escape from Berlin, the Spreewald forest is a wonderful choice. There are several towns in this forest region, but one of the more popular ones is Lübbenau, which is about an hour from Berlin.
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 see 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. I even had Schnitzel with pickles on it for dinner while we were there.
A trip here gives you a glimpse at the gorgeous nature in the region and a change of scenery from the big city. Since it’s also a popular day trip destination, things close early and the town is pretty sleepy even early in the evening.
But if you want a couple of days in nature for hiking, boating, and cycling, you might want to go to bed early anyway.
There are other towns in the Spreewald, but if you’re spending a weekend here, this is your best option for finding hotels and restaurants.
Read more about what to do in the Spreewald with details about how to get to Lübbenau.
Subscribe to the Berlin Travel Tips Newsletter
Sign up for tips to help you plan the best trip to Berlin, and get a free printable Berlin packing checklist.
Subscribe to the Berlin Travel Tips Newsletter
Sign up for tips to help you plan the best trip to Berlin, and get a free printable Berlin packing checklist.
Saxon Switzerland National Park
For another option to spend a weekend enjoying some stunning nature, travel south from Berlin to Saxon Switzerland National Park. This is one of Germany’s 16 national parks, and it covers an area of 274 square miles.
For nature lovers, you can easily spend a few days exploring the park on foot or rent a bike to experience untamed beauty.
Bad Schandau is on of the easiest towns to travel to by train from Berlin and use as a base for hiking in the park. From here you can take the Kirnitzschtalbahn (Kirnitzschtal Tramway) up into the forest to explore.
For an easy hike, 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, check out Basteibrücke, one of the most beautiful natural bridges in Germany.
Known for its stunning historic architecture, Görlitz is possible to visit as a day trip from Berlin, but it’s really worth visiting for a full weekend.
It’s located in eastern Germany on the border with Poland, and it’s easy to 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: 2 hours 39 minutes using Deutsche Bahn
We recently spent a weekend in this cute town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it really does ooze charm. It’s 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.
And don’t miss the gorgeous ivy-covered Rathaus (town hall) building in the Marktplatz. It’s definitely picture worthy.
If you like views from high points, you’ll have plenty of choices here. We enjoyed the view from the castle and also climbed 120 stairs to the top of the Sternkiekerturm.
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.
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.
Lübeck features rich brick Gothic architecture filled with idyllic courtyards and lots of maritime attractions. It really is a beautiful city to spend a weekend in.
Explore the old town and its pedestrian-friendly streets. Soak up the city’s charm while taking a stroll through the town center.
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.
Located in North Germany, Rostock is a fantastic tourist hub that boasts some of the best seafood restaurants in Germany. It’s a favorite among beach lovers, especially if you still want a bit of an urban atmosphere for your weekend beach trip.
In the Rostock old town, admire the medieval gates and historical buildings. 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.
It’s easy to have a relaxing weekend here, and you can also combine a trip to Rostock with nearby Warnemünde.
Located on the Baltic Sea, this seaside town makes for a great weekend 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 your whole weekend on the beautiful beach soaking up the sun. Warnemünde is also an easy town to combine with Rostock.
Stralsund is another wonderful Hanseatic city on the Baltic coast north of Berlin. The old town is a lovely place to wander and admire the red brick Gothic architecture.
During your weekend in Stralsund, you can visit museums such as the Stralsund Museum and Stralsund in Miniature, or you can visit the aquarium. Another great attraction is the Gorch Foch, a historic ship with a museum inside.
There are also several gorgeous churches in Stralsund, and you can check out a few remaining old city gates and sections of the old city walls. Stralsund is also a popular base for beach trips.
Located in northern Germany, Bremen was another important city in the Hanseatic League. It’s a beautiful city and a wonderful place to spend a weekend, especially if you want to visit a city not as many tourists go to.
Take a stroll through the old town admiring the Market Square, Roland statue, St. Peter’s Cathedral, and the Rathaus (town hall). Both the Roland statue and the Rathaus are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
You’ll also find many shops, restaurants, and museums in the old town. This is a great area to soak up the culture and learn about the city’s history.
Time from Berlin: 2 hours 50 minutes – 3 hours 15 minutes using Deutsche Bahn
Rügen is an island in northern Germany that’s popular for beach trips and spending time in nature. You can stay in a resort town like Binz, or opt for even smaller places where you can camp or be closer to hiking trails.
I highly recommend visiting Jasmund National Park in the northeast section of the island. There are several hiking trails, and the dramatic white cliffs are worth the effort to get there.
Sellin is another cute town worth visiting to see its famous pier. You can take a steam train here from Binz and stop off at various places along the way, including one stop that is close to the Jagdschloss Granitz, a hunting castle with a view.
Overall Rügen is the perfect weekend getaway for those of you who are looking for some nature close to the sea.
Time from Berlin: 3 hours 45 minutes to 4 hours 30 minutes using Deutsche Bahn
Nuremberg (Nürnberg in German) is an interesting city to visit in Bavaria, and it’s only a few hours southwest of Berlin.
The city is packed with WWII history. Nuremberg was an important city for Nazi rallies, and a visit to the Dokumentation will teach you about the city’s dark history.
You should also visit the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. This is the location where the famous Nuremberg Trials took place when Nazi war criminals were prosecuted.
Wander through the old town to admire the half-timbered buildings. Check out the Hauptmarkt (main square), St Lorenz Church, and the Frauenkirche church. These gorgeous icons are a must for a trip to Nuremberg.
Don’t miss the Nuremberg Castle and climb the castle tower for for views of Nuremberg from above. The castle sustained quite a lot of damage during WWII, but luckily has been restored.
You’ll find some delicious local specialties here, like the famous Nuremberg sausages. Try them in a bun or with a side of sauerkraut.
And if you happen to be in Nuremberg in December, the old town hosts one of the most well known Christmas markets in Germany.
Time from Berlin: 2 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours 30 minutes using Deutsche Bahn
Lüneburg flies under the radar a bit, but it’s a charming and beautiful city. It’s located a little south of Hamburg, so it’s not hard to reach from Berlin.
The medieval town center has red brick Gothic buildings that actually lean a bit due to many years of salt mining. Lüneburg is home to the German Salt Museum, where you can learn about the history and importance of salt mining here.
Explore the Am Sande market square, where you will enjoy sights of gabled houses and the merchant hub of the city. Here you’ll also find 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: 2 hours 25 minutes to 3 hours using Deutsche Bahn
Berlin is actually not too far from the Polish border, so if you want to spend a weekend in another country, Poznan is a great choice. We’ve escaped to this small city several times, and I’d definitely go back again.
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. Get there by noon, and 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.
Another fantastic city to visit for a weekend outside of Germany is Prague. Not only is it one of the most popular cities in Europe to visit, but it’s a reasonable distance from Berlin to go for a weekend.
Start in the charming old town. The Old Town Square (Staromestska namesti) is where you find the iconic picture of the town with the Church of Our Lady of St Tyn across from the Astronomical Tower.
Check out Charles Bridge, a pedestrian-only bridge that crosses the Vltava River. This gorgeous bridge can be quite crowded in high season, but if you can manage to get up early, there will be fewer people.
Castle Hill is where you’ll find the Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral. This is an impressive area to explore.
Prague is home to several quirky creations from David Cerny, such as a pair of bronze statues in the courtyard of the Kafka center. They’re peeing into a pool in the shape of the Czech Republic.
Do you like views? Go to the top of Petrin Hill using the funicular, and then climb up the stairs if you want the view from the tower looks like a mini Eiffel Tower.
Prague is also a great place for a food tour or craft beer tour. We’ve taken the Eating Europe food tour in Prague (and in many other cities) and definitely recommend them.
Berlin Travel Resources
I want you to have the best trip, and hopefully this list of weekend trips from Berlin is helpful. But there are lots more tips on the site!
- 101 Best Things to do in Berlin
- 23 Impressive Castles in Berlin (And Nearby)
- 27 Best World War II & Cold War Sights in Berlin
- 29 Fun Day Trips From Berlin
- 75 Things to Know Before Visiting Berlin: Essential Berlin Travel Tips
- What to Wear & What to Pack for Berlin, Germany: Your Ultimate Berlin Packing List
- How to Get Around in Berlin: An Easy Guide to Berlin Public Transportation