• Potsdamer & Brandenburger Havelseen,
        
    

        Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann Potsdamer & Brandenburger Havelseen, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann
    Experience Potsdam, the Havel lakes and Brandenburg an der Havel in three days

    Experience Potsdam, picturesque places on the Havel lake chain and Brandenburg an der Havel on a three-day excursion by car - from the palaces and gardens of Potsdam to the cradle of the Mark.

    Experience Potsdam, picturesque places on the Havel lake chain and Brandenburg an der Havel on a three-day excursion by car - from the palaces and gardens of Potsdam to the cradle of the Mark.
    Ort: Potsdam

1st day

Tagesabschnitte

    Morning

    1. Alter Markt – Potsdam’s new “heart”

    Start off your visit at Alte Markt, Potsdam’s new “centrepiece”. When you stroll down the newly created Havel River promenade at “Alte Fahrt”, and walk up the stairs to the Museum Barberini, you can enter Alter Markt directly through the museum. Nearly all buildings were destroyed during WWII, but have meanwhile been rebuilt according to their historic model. Among them, the Museum Barberini, the Potsdam Museum inside the “Alte Rathaus” (old town hall) next door and across from there, the “Stadtschloss” or city palace. Since 2013, the city palace has been accommodating Brandenburg's state parliament. The prestigious Church of St. Nicholas, built by the famous architect Schinkel, outshines the square. The 42-metre viewing platform affords a fantastic view over Potsdam, the Havel lakes and close surroundings. Highest enjoyment of art.

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    2. Special tip: Museum Barberini - art enjoyment in a class of its own

    You've scheduled more time? Then devote a few hours to enjoying art in the Barberini Museum. The exhibition spectrum in Potsdam's new art temple ranges from the Old Masters to contemporary art. Three exhibitions are presented each year.

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    Museum Barberini Museum Barberini, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann
    Midday

    3. Just like in The Netherlands – the Dutch Quarter

    The historic city centre’s Dutch Quarter impresses visitors with its picturesque architecture of the typical gabled houses. The quarter is considered the largest ensemble of Dutch houses outside of The Netherlands. King Frederick the Great had built the quarter for craftsmen recruited from Holland. Many little shops invite visitors to look around, and stylish cafés lure guests with delicious cakes, biscuits and coffee. Going down the “Brandenburger”, Potsdam's highstreet, past the lovingly restored two to three-storey baroque houses with small and large courtyards, you will reach Potsdam's Brandenburg Gate, the little brother of Berlin's namesake gate.

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    Historische Fassade im Holländischen Viertel Historische Fassade im Holländischen Viertel, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann
    Afternoon

    4. World Heritage in close reach: Palace and Park Sanssouci

    Take a few more steps from here to reach the entrance of Park Sanssouci. After a few 100 metres, you are standing at the foot of the world-famous terraces of the vineyard on which sits Sanssouci Palace. This impression alone seems overwhelming, however, there are much more gems to discover in the park. Plan for a bit more time to go on a royal discovery journey through this garden paradise created by P. J. Lenné – a true master of landscape art. The Orangery, the imposing New Palace (Neues Palais), the Belvedere on Klausberg, the Chinese House, the Roman Baths and Charlottenhof Palace.

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    Blick auf Schloss Sanssouci Blick auf Schloss Sanssouci, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/SPSG/Leo Seidel

    5. Alexandrowka: Experiencing and tasting Russia

    Having enjoyed the view from Ruinenberg behind Sanssouci Palace, you continue your tour in the direction of Cecilienhof and Neuer Garten. On your way there, discover a piece of Russia in the middle of Potsdam: Alexandrowka, a Russian colony built by King Frederick William III to express his friendship with the Russian Tsar Alexander I at the beginning of the 19th century. Savour a bit of Russia and pay a visit to the Russian restaurant in the colony.

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    Alexandrowka in Potsdam Alexandrowka in Potsdam, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann

    6. Belvedere on the Pfingstberg: Potsdam’s most scenic hilltop view

    A stroll around the Neuer Garten takes you past the imposing Marble Palace and Cecilienhof Palace where the victorious Allies met for the Potsdam Conference at the end of WWII. From there you reach the Belvedere built on Pfingstberg Hill, which offers the most beautiful view of Potsdam. The panoramic view across the city and Havel landscape is legendary. On clear days, you may be able to see as far as Berlin.

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    Blick vom Schloss Belvedere über Potsdam Blick vom Schloss Belvedere über Potsdam, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/SPSG/Steffen Lehmann
    Evening

    Rounding off the day…

    With so many fantastic impressions you return to the cafés and restaurants in the city centre between Nauener Tor and Luisenplatz where you can recall your day while treating yourself to some culinary delights. Fancy a concert or theatre visit? Find the event that suits your taste by selecting a cultural venue like Nikolaisaal Potsdam or the cultural waterside quarter “Kunst- und Kulturquartier Schiffbauergasse” with its Hans Otto Theater for an unforgettable night. Spend a night in a central location in a classy hotel such as “Am Jägertor” or “Altstadt Hotel”.

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    Hans Otto Theater Potsdam Hans Otto Theater Potsdam, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Ulf Böttcher
2nd day

Tagesabschnitte

    Morning

    Along the Havel lakes from Caputh to Werder

    Coming from Potsdam via rural road along Templiner See, you will reach the village of Caputh after a few kilometres. The ingenious Albert Einstein was impressed by the view of the Havel lakes and lived here during the summer months, in an idyllic summer house south-east of Potsdam. The summer house has remained intact until this day. Visit the permanent exhibition to get a sense of Einstein’s summer feeling while surrounded by nature abound in water, tranquillity and tall pine forests.

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    Einsteins Sommerhaus in Caputh mit Terrasse Einsteins Sommerhaus in Caputh mit Terrasse, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann

    Lakeside palace

    The idyllic place between the Templiner See and Schwielowsee attracts visitors with its marvellous baroque palace. The sprawling palace grounds at Templiner See were designed as a landscape garden by the landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné. Visit the cavalier house adjacent to the park, spoiling guests with appetising food or coffee and cake. Worthwhile seeing is also the village church with wooden coffered ceiling designed in the Early Christian style by August Stüler. Continue strolling along the Havel promenade before heading to Ferch. The small picturesque village of Ferch is situated at the southern tip of Schwielowsee Lake.

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    Außenansicht von Schloss Caputh Außenansicht von Schloss Caputh, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann

    Scenic landscapes and a touch of Japan

    Not only Einstein but also many artists were drawn to this appealing countryside surrounding Schwielowsee, possessing an endless wealth of incredibly beautiful nature. Visit the painters’ colony and the “Museum der Havelländischen Malerkolonie”, founded here at the end of the 19th century. Wonder along the art path to the creation sites of those artists.

    And another paradisiacal gem deserves to be discovered in Ferch: an original Japanese bonsai garden. Immerse in the garden’s tranquillity and enjoy a tea speciality inside the tea house.

     

     

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    Insel mit Kiefern im japanischen Bonsaigarten Ferch Insel mit Kiefern im japanischen Bonsaigarten Ferch, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Matthias Schäfer
    Afternoon

    Acquaint yourself with sea buckthorn

    The road from Ferch takes you around Schwielowsee to Petzow where you are greeted by a striking Tudor-style palace nestled in the sprawling Lenné-Park on the banks of the lake. Another attraction on a nearby hill is the rural church built according to the plans of the famous architect Schinkel. The local sea buckthorn garden features products containing this vitamin-rich fruit such as culinary and cosmetic products to be sampled in the Bistro & Café am See and in the farm shop.

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    Zwischenstopp mit dem Fahrrad in Petzow Zwischenstopp mit dem Fahrrad in Petzow, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Andrea Hofmann

    Mediterranean feel in Werder

    A stone's throw away from Petzow is Werder/Havel. The quaint little island town of Werder/Havel exudes a Mediterranean-like atmosphere. The island bridge affords a stunning view of the Heilig-Geist-Kirche and the post mill. Spend a bit more time for an extensive round walk through the former fishing village with its lovingly restored old town. Afterwards, relish some delicious smoked fish or freshly caught pikeperch from the Havel in one of the restaurants.

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    Blick auf die Werderaner Altstadt am Wasser Blick auf die Werderaner Altstadt am Wasser, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann
    Evening

    And finally…

    At the end of April and in early May, when the fruit trees are blossoming on the hills surrounding Werder, it is time for the legendary “Baumblütenfest” which celebrates the tree blossom with palatable fruit wine. This sunny region provides the ideal conditions for fruit trees and vines to thrive. Be sure to try a glass at the local tavern on Werderaner Wachtelberg. Via the B1 you are heading back to Potsdam in less than a quarter of an hour.

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    Werderaner Wachtelberg Werderaner Wachtelberg, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Maria Falkenberg
3rd day

Tagesabschnitte

    Morning

    Brandenburg an der Havel

    Travel quickly from Potsdam to Brandenburg an der Havel From Potsdam, Brandenburg an der Havel can be reached quickest by regional express train, commuting every half hour and arriving in Brandenburg in under 20 minutes. Arrival by car via motorway and the B102 is more time-consuming. There is no car required in Brandenburg an der Havel.

    The Havel town bears the nickname “Little Venice” for a good reason: it is situated on an island surrounded by the Havel lakes. It is even possible to go on a round tour of the town by canoe. Three historic town centres, among them the cathedral island or Dominsel as the cradle of the State of Brandenburg, form the town centre and reflect the 1000-year history. Up to the turning point in 1989, Brandenburg had been a significant industrial location. Brandenburg draws fans of architecture, covering periods from medieval churches to industrial and modern architecture.

    In the course of preparations for the 2015 Federal Horticultural Show (BUGA), the town has blossomed out and expanded further toward the water. Beautiful promenades along the Havel, such as the “Jahrtausendbrücke”, invite visitors for a stroll. High-end lofts for residents, holiday homes or restaurants have been established in the former buildings of industrial architecture. So get ready for some exciting contrasts of old and new during your round tour.

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    Paulikloster: Archaeological traces

    From the train station you can walk to the town centre in less than 10 minutes. The path to Neustädtischer Markt is conveniently signposted. Along the way you pass by the archaeological museum in the Paulikloster. If you have enough time to spare, you can experience a fantastic time travel through the state’s history.

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    Außenansicht des Pauliklosters Außenansicht des Pauliklosters, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann

    Through the Havel town by canoe

    The tourist information centre at Neustädtischer Markt provides a very handy town map with all the attractions. Via Molkenmarkt you head to Mühlendamm if you choose to discover the town by canoe first. There is a place for canoe rentals at Neustädtischer Hafen on Mühlendamm where you can rent your canoe from directly.

    Discover the charming skyline of the town during this tour and its significant monuments right from the water. The tour leads you down the town's canal and Brandenburger Niederhavel past the Paulikloster monastery, the St. Johanniskirche church etc. While out on the water, seize on the opportunity to stop directly next to a café or a restaurant. On your way back to Mühlendamm you can refuel in one of the nearby restaurants.

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    Blick auf Jahrtausendbrücke Blick auf Jahrtausendbrücke , Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann
    Afternoon

    The “Dominsel” – cradle of Brandenburg

    From Mühlendamm it is only a short walk by foot to cathedral island or Dominsel, where you can marvel at the imposing St. Peter and Paul Cathedral from up close. Since the completion of an extensive restoration on the occasion of the cathedral’s 850th anniversary in 2015, the sacral building and its works of art have been shining in new splendour once again. The cathedral island is considered the cradle of the mark because here the diocese of Brandenburg was founded in the year 948. The deed of foundation and many other treasures can be seen in the adjacent Dommuseum.

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    Dom St. Peter und Paul Dom St. Peter und Paul, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann

    A prominent baptizand of Saint Gotthard

    After crossing the Domstreng stream you head toward Grillendamm which takes you into old town. The St. Gotthardkirche is a classic example of a reformation church. It is also a famous site for it is here where the humorist Vicco von Bülow (Loriot) was baptised. In remembrance of the town's famous son, everywhere across the town centre little bronze pugs were set up during the 2015 horticultural show in Brandenburg (BUGA). See if you can spot some of these perky pugs on your tour. In front of the town hall, the Altstädtische Rathaus sits a bench with a typical Loriot character, next to which you can take a break. The Roland statue before the town hall heralds the town's membership in the Hanseatic League during the Middle Ages. 

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    Waldmops-Figur auf dem Altstädtischen Markt Waldmops-Figur auf dem Altstädtischen Markt, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Matthias Schäfer

    A Mediterranean-like atmosphere

    Take a leisurely stroll through the old town to Humboldthain and to the Havel promenade until your get to the Jahrtausendbrücke, a bridge connecting the old and new town with each other. Your route takes you along the Franciscan monastery church, the Franziskaner Klosterkirche St. Johannis. Fancy some food? Plenty of restaurants are there to select from. Visit the “Cafébar Brückenhäuschen” or the “Werft” restaurant and enjoy the view across the inner-city Havel.

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    Restaurant Werft Brandenburg an der Havel Restaurant Werft Brandenburg an der Havel, Picture: TMB-Fotoarchiv/Matthias Fricke

    To the Slavic village or industrial museum?

    If you have more time to spare and like to immerse yourself a bit more in the town's history, visit the Slawendorf near Humboldthain. Log houses, wattle and daub houses, wells and a smithy attest to the existence of the Slavic people in the Havelland. If you take a keen interest in the industrial history of the region and like to explore a little longer, take the tram line 2 to Industriemuseum (stop “Am Stadion/Industriemuseum”). Here, the last of 12 giant smelting furnaces (a Siemens-Martin open-hearth steel oven) is located. 

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    Das Innere des Industriemuseums Brandenburg Das Innere des Industriemuseums Brandenburg, Picture: Industriemuseum Brandenburg
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