Escaping the City – Our Recommended Berlin Day Trips

Outdoors, Outside Berlin on January 30, 2013 9:00 am
   

It’s no secret, like any big city Berlin can overwhelm. The constant hustle and bustle can inspire many to yearn for some peace and quiet; for a relaxing getaway just outside of the city. Therefore, Oh-Berlin has compiled this handy guide to recommended day trips for escaping central Berlin and to inject some serenity into your visit.

Serenity in the City

Grunewald Forest

Grunewald Forest is a huge 3,000 hectare forest located in the western half of Berlin. This large forest is perfect for hikers or nature lovers looking for a quick injection of nature during their city break.

One thing for visitors to look out for is the spy station located on the top of the Teufelsberg (an 80m high hill), in the north of Grunewald Forest. This spy station, operated by Americans during the Cold War for listening to East German military communications is in the form of unmissable white balls and survives as a living piece of history from the heyday of Cold War espionage. For guided tours, Berlin Sight Out offers day trips for groups in German and English.

How to get there:
S-Bahn line S7 to Grunewald.
Tip: Pack a picnic and make a day of it.

Tegeler See

Just north of Grunewald, near Berlin’s Tegel airport you will find the Tegeler See. The second biggest lake in Berlin, it is very popular with hikers and nature lovers – especially in the summer months. During the warmer weeks it’s common for bathers to come in their droves to relax in the calming waters amongst the seven islands scattered around the 4.6km2 lake. Wildlife is abundant in this area, with flora and fauna making it a dream for all who are curious in the natural world.

How to get there:
U7 to Haselhorst or the U6 to Borsigwerke.
Tip: Take a bicycle as it’s a fair distance from the stations to the lake. The area is also best seen by bicycle.

Peacock Island

The main draw to this island comes from the ornate architecture of the castle and gardens built on the island in 1793 – and not from the islands namesake: the free-roaming peacocks. Built by Frederick Wilhelm II as an ode to his mistress, the design was meant to be reminiscent of the romantic ruins of the chivalric tales of the era. Aside from the obvious historical interest, however, Peacock Island truly is a magical place to walk around, take in the majestic architecture, have a picnic and enjoy classical-period romance at its best.

How to get there:
S1 or S7 to Wannsee, take bus 218 to the ferry dock then catch the ferry across to Peacock Island. Ferry times change per season, so be sure to check ahead.
Tip:Pack a picnic and wear good shoes. Bicycles are not allowed on the island.

Mügelsee

Berlin’s largest lake, the Mügelsee is located in the east of the city in the Treptow-Köpernick district. This ever popular haven for water lovers is a true hive of activity in the summer. With three huge specified bathing areas, water-sports equipment rental facilities and canoe or motorboat rental options on the cards, the Mügelsee is basically Berlin’s sea-side.

Even in the Winter, though, unrivalled hiking options and a plethora of cafes and relaxing incentives maintain this lakes charm despite the frosty weather.

How to get there:
S3 to Friedrichshagen; then stroll down Bölschestrasse until you hit the lake.
Tip: Don’t miss the flea-market on Sundays on Bölschestrasse.

Potsdam

Potsdam is the capital of the state of Brandenburg and is an impressive urban area in itself. Why does it deserve to be on the list of places outside of the city then, I hear you ask. Well, the vibe here is different. The streets are quieter and the architecture has more space to breathe, expressing itself in majestic, large and open surroundings. Its history is as compelling as the architecture, exemplified through Sanssouci Castle – a staggeringly ornate summer house erected by Frederick the Great between 1745 and 1747. Don’t forget to check out the Brandenburg Gate before you leave, but don’t confuse it with Berlin’s crowning monument.

How to get there:
S-Bahn lines S7 and S1 to Potsdam HBF
Tip: Take a Potsdam per Pedales bike tour of the city to make the most of the day.

As you can see, Berlin is not an urban jungle, but a dynamic city offering visitors a diverse range of activities. If you require any more help please feel free to comment below, and we hope you enjoy our suggestions!

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