Despite Berlin having it all, even the older city-dwellers enjoy a break out of the city to see something new. This selection of day trips from Berlin, ranging from a snappy 20-minute RegionalBahn train for a cosy Christmas market, to just under 3 hours to wonder at impressive fairytale-like castles that Germany has to offer.
The Crocodilian team has come up with 7 particularly photogenic destinations you can travel to by train, without even stepping in the car. In all of these cities and towns there is plenty to see and do. These day trips include something for everyone: sight-seeing, people-watching in cafés, or simply taking in all the scenery by taking a stroll through them. For nature lovers, we include an added-extra day trip idea in the east of Germany.
|City||Distance from Berlin||Travelling time from Berlin||Average price|
|1. Potsdam||35 km||0:22h||8 EUR|
|2. Leipzig||191 km||1:15h||26 EUR|
|3. Erfurt||310 km||1:44h||30 EUR|
|4. Dresden||193 km||1:51h||30 EUR|
|5. Görlitz||216 km||2:39h||44 EUR|
|6. Schwerin||224 km||2:52h||27 EUR|
|97 km||1:24h||20 EUR|
From 20 minutes to just under 2 hours’ travel time
Day trip from Berlin nach Potsdam
Just a stone’s throw away from Berlin, Potsdam is in the C region meaning you can travel there in just 22 minutes for just €3.40 (around £3), making it an absolute steal for a day trip away. Not only can you stroll through the magnificent gardens around Sanssouci Palace in summer, in winter you sip a Gluehwein as can walk around the cosy christmas market square. The square itself is surrounded by houses boasting timber framing, glowing amber from the inside in the evenings.
Day trip from Berlin nach Leipzig
Steading moving more into the spotlight due to its techno scene, just 1 hour 15 minutes away is Leipzig, an up-and-coming city often considered as Berlin’s younger cousin. This short train journey is easy to make from the capital city. History fans are in for a treat due to its selection of unique museums including: the secret military bunker, Museum in der “Runden Ecke”, which contains equipment used by the Stasi police, and finally you can visit the iconic neon billboard of the Löffelfamilie, originating from the former East Germany.
Day trip from Berlin nach Erfurt
This medieval town has a beautiful fortress called the Zitadelle Petersberg, a 36-hectare citadel which has been well looked-after to preserve its original architecture. A must-see place which is particularly unique is the Krämerbrücke. Here, locals including shopkeepers are even living on the bridge itself. The idyllic half-timbered houses run along both sides of the bridge, making it a perfect photo-opportunity. Stop by Goldhelm Schokolade to try their hand-made chocolates, sit next to Der Sandmann on his bench or go see the puppet maker, where children get a mini fairytale told to them by the puppets for a 1€.
Day trip from Berlin nach Dresden
From the Kunsthofpassage to the Green Vault, Dresden is rich in culture, history and sightseeing opportunities. It is the home of the Opera House, Semperoper, a beautiful concert hall with baroque revival and renaissance architectural styles. Go here to see a play at the theatre, or enjoy some more culture with ballet.
The Frauenkirche or “Kirche zu unser Liebfrauen” was built in the 11th century and is a precious remnant of the Baroque era.
Just over two hours: a day trip from Berlin
Day trip from Berlin nach Görlitz
Located in Saxony, this is the 6th largest town with 56,000 inhabitants it lies near the polish town of Zgorzelec, which used to be part of Görlitz in 1945. You can take a tour around the cathedral and Old town. If you’re feeling adventurous you could walk up the Landeskrone Mountain 200m above city level, which is a nice walk and a great opportunity to spend time within nature this autumn.
Day trip from Berlin nach Schwerin
In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern there is an island surrounded by Lake Schwerin, just under a 3-hour train ride from Berlin. Schwerin is a colourful town with museums, churches and a historical old town. Every year, many couples get married here on the surrounding grounds. The town itself has a castle named Schloss Schwerin dating back to 1845; with such a picturesque view of the castle which is accompanied by glorious surrounding gardens, this magical castle visit will not disappoint.
For nature lovers
Day trip from Berlin in den Spreewald (Lübbenau)
Go solo kayaking or as a pair across the Spreewald river, where you can float past wooden huts and through nature and enjoy moments of calm in the upon the lush green areas in this forest. Spreewald, having a lot of forest and mineral-rich soil, is famed for it gherkins. They are a remnant of the GDR which managed to survive after the Fall of the Wall, so ensure to try some from the Brandenburg region.
Take the train to most of these destinations with GoEuro, a search and booking platform covering trains, buses and flights across Germany in 36 other countries. Save time by avoiding the queue for the kiosk and travel in style using mobile ticketing.