From Berlin: Sachsenhausen Memorial Half-Day Tour
- Duration: 6 hours
The cultural hub of Leipzig is an enriching day trip from Berlin. In the 20th-century, Leipzig was a leading urban area of East Germany, and visitors today can take a walk through history from that era up to the present at the Forum of Contemporary History. Art lovers can peruse the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts, while classical music fans can visit the Bach Museum before paying respects at the composer’s tomb in St. Thomas Church. Get off your feet for a bit at Coffe Baum, a historic cafe that’s been open since 1686.
Situated about 160 kilometers (99 miles) from Berlin, the ICE express train can get you to Leipzig in 70 minutes. By car, the journey is closer to two hours, depending on traffic. Express buses can take anywhere from an hour to two hours, depending on the time of day.
Taking a day trip to Dresden is an excellent way to get to know the city sitting on the Elbe River. Easily accessible from Berlin, the Saxon city is renowned for its splendid royal buildings. Though many have been rebuilt from ruins, sites like Zwinger and the Hofkirche are as majestic as ever. Stop into the city’s iconic Frauenkirche, which was rebuilt from its own rubble after sitting as ruins for 60 years. While walking around the city, always make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the incredible street art.
The 193 kilometers (120 miles) between Berlin and Dresden take around two hours by car (without traffic) or by Eurocity train. The bus is the most affordable option and will take two and a half hours.
The two lakes of Wannsee are a popular escape from the heart of the city for locals and travelers, alike. A retreat for the rich and famous, this picturesque area boasts a collection of luxurious villas; you can get a glimpse into this lavish lakeside life at the Liebermann Villa. Wannsee is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the elegant Jagdschloss Glienicke, and the Phaueninsel castle. Of course, during nice weather this large lake region is full of sun-worshipers enjoying the outdoors and water recreation.
Located in the west of Berlin, Wannsee is an easy 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from the center of Berlin. You can get there in just 30 minutes by car or public transportation.
Head north for the day to explore the northern port city of Hamburg. Known for its maritime importance and heritage, can learn about the city’s history at the Internationale Maritime Museum. But this hip city is more than boats and cargo. Tour the Speicherstadt — the largest warehouse district in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, check out the St. Pauli Piers, or see the modern design of the Elbphilharmonie. If you have time, the nightlife in the St. Pauli district is unforgettable — and where The Beatles honed their musical chops.
The express train is by far the fastest option to Hamburg, making the 285-kilometer (177 miles) trip in just 90 minutes. For more affordable options, traveling by bus or car will take closer to two and a half to three hours.
Head over the eastern border of Germany for an adventure in Szczecin, Poland. This charming seaport city on the Oder River offers travelers a delightful day of culture and sightseeing. Not to be missed is the commanding Ducal castle, once the seat of the dukes of Pomerania. Don’t miss the old town, or stare miasto, with its colorful facades and town hall, which now houses a museum and the Wyszak Brewery. Architecture fans should head to Solidarity Square to see the ultra-modern Szczecin Philharmonic building.
However you travel, the journey of 143 kilometers (88 miles) from Berlin to Szczecin will take between two and three hours. The bus takes closer to three hours, while driving is usually around two. Travel by train ranges anywhere in between.
The train is always a smart and efficient choice when traveling around Germany. Though it may not always be the cheapest option, trains to most popular destinations are frequent and on time, and often faster than driving in traffic.
From Berlin, the bus is almost always the most affordable option for taking a day trip, though it may not be the quickest. Travel times for the bus tend to be about equal or slightly longer than driving. Local buses that make more stops may take significantly longer.
Having your own car gives you the freedom to do your day trip your way. You can take breaks to admire the scenery, or power through without any undesired stops. You can also access more rural areas faster than you would on public transportation.
If you want to take your day trip to a whole new level, a guided tour is a great idea. Whether you’re visiting sites with long lines and ticket reservations or trying to combine three different locations into one trip, a guided tour can make it happen with minimal work for you.
What to bring on your trip always depends on a number of factors. If you’re taking a guided tour, they may provide you with meals, rain gear, and even souvenirs. Regardless of where you’re headed, cold weather clothes are necessary for the winter months.
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