Potsdam, Germany. Famous for its parks and gardens and beautiful buildings.
Sadly, the day we visited Potsdam was one of those where the best laid plans derail , so we didn’t see of all the lovely things Potsdam is famous for. I like to share when things go wrong as much as when they go to plan- it’s not always plain sailing, right?
Hopefully, I can give you a little glimpse of this fabulous German city and a few pointers on what to do, and what to don’t.
Ready? Here we go…
Don’t See Potsdam as an Extension of Berlin
Potsdam is often discussed in the same breath as Berlin, almost as an after thought. Undeniably, it makes a great day trip from the German capital. But it’s a great destination in its own right. Potsdam has a much more old-time, relaxed feel compared to crazy, creative Berlin and would make a lovely city break in itself.
Of course, if you can’t choose you can always do both. The two cities are well connected by reliable and affordable public transport. Which brings me neatly to…
Do use of public transport.
Public transport if Germany is a winner. Fast, safe, clean, regular and on time, most of the time. It is also fabulously inexpensive, so if you are on a budget its definitely worth looking at public transport over a tour bus.
There are various ticket options depending on the zones you want to travel in and the length of time you ant the ticket to cover. As a family of five, we picked up a small group ticket allowing unlimited travel for 24 hours for 25 euros.
Which ever ticket you have, remember to validate it before the start of your first journey at the red or yellow boxes. At the time of writing, face masks remain mandatory on the Berlin and Potsdam public transport systems.
Find more information here.
Don’t jump on a tram going the wrong way.
Or, if you do, be prepared to make the best of it and view it as a bonus tour round the lesser known parts of Potsdam. Yes, we did.
Well and good getting excited when the tram you need is right there and everything seems to have fallen into place. However, bit tedious when after five or six stops the driver announces end of line, everybody off and you realise you hopped on a tram going in the wrong direction. And so begins the twenty-minute wait for the next one to run the line. On the plus side we got a nice little tour through some of the suburbs including a glimpse at some old East German housing. Lovely.
Do stop for a coffee in the Dutch Quarter.
This little bit of Old Holland , transplanted to Brandenburg makes a lovely place to wander, and to take a little break. Now home to cafes and boutiques, the buildings were originally built in the 1700s for Dutch craftsmen invited to Potsdam by King Frederick Wilhelm I. The buildings are as pretty inside, as out. A really quirky, fun aspect of the city.
Don’t Miss Tropical Potsdam
History is thick on the ground here , and the historic parks and gardens of the city make for some beautiful exploring . Modern attraction Biosphere Potsdam brings a glimpse of the tropics to the party.
The jungle landscape created under a dome is made up of 20,000 plants, and residents include free flying birds, a variety of insects (caged, thankfully) and a beautiful butterfly house. Waterfalls, winding paths and an hourly indoor ‘thunderstorm’ complete the Tropical Islands atmosphere. There’s also an aquarium. A great family option, especially if you are visiting in the colder months.
We enjoyed our off plan, whistle stop tour of Potsdam and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this city. I think a return visit will be on the cards. If you have managed to visit Potsdam with more success than we did, I’d love to hear about it. Lets chat in the comments.
If you liked this post you might also enjoy 6 Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Hannover
Until next time,