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Potsdam | © neufal54/Pixabay
Potsdam | © neufal54/Pixabay

How to Spend 48 Hours in Potsdam

Picture of Alice Dundon
Updated: 21 November 2017

The former seat of the Prussian royal family, Potsdam is the crown jewel of Brandenburg. The 1000-year-old city is packed with lavish palaces, lush gardens, and historical sights that survived 40 years under Communist rule. Just a short trip from Berlin, it’s the perfect day trip or weekend getaway from the city. Here’s how to spend 48 hours in Potsdam.

Day One

Morning: Check in and head to the park  

Upon arrival, head towards Park Sanssouci to Hotel Villa Monte Vino. This renovated villa is the perfect hotel for a weekend in Potsdam, located on the hill above the vineyard of Sanssouci Palace, and this tranquil area puts guests close to many of the city’s sights.

A short walk from the hotel is the tourist hotspot, Park Sanssouci – the expansive parklands are filled with cultural and architectural sights. Start out at Sanssouci Palace, to soak in one of the city’s most photographed sights. From here you can spend the morning wandering the 500-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site and cross some of the city’s famed architectural delights off your list, including the New Palace, the Charlottenhof Palace, the Chinese Teahouse and the Orangerie.

Afternoon: Lunch and window-shopping

After a morning of walking, it’s time to rest your feet and enjoy some traditional German food at Café & Flambée Potsdam. The café has a cosy atmosphere, where guests can delight in traditional Flammkuchen, a pizza-like dish popular in Germany.

From here, it’s a short walk to Potsdam’s shopping district on Brandenburgerstraße. Affectionately named “the boulevard” by Postdamers, here, as in the Dutch Quarter, visitors can find many small and larger shops, cosy cafés and restaurants. The Karstadt Stadtpalais is the perfect place to spend an afternoon window shopping.

Evening: Dinner by the Gate

Located close to Brandenburg Gate, Assaggi serves up amazing, homemade Italian food. The menu has a wide selection of antipasti, pasta, meat and fish dishes, and a range of wines to suit any budget. With a modern interior and great ambience, it’s the cosy dinner spot in the heart of Potsdam.

Potsdam has a number of amazing, cosy cocktail bars to enjoy after a day of sightseeing. A short walk from Assaggi is Bar Fritz’n – this sleek and stylish cocktail bar has a large selection of drinks and is the perfect place to for a lavish drink or two in Potsdam.

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Bar Fritz’n | Courtesy of Bar Fritz’n

Day Two

Morning: Brunch and a hike

Start the morning with brunch at Wiener. Located just outside Park Sanssouci, this beautiful restaurant has a Viennese-style décor, fitted with dark wood and classic interior. Its brunch menu is diverse, offering à la carte options, a traditional Viennese brunch and delicious coffee to help guests start off their day right.

After brunch, it’s time for am afternoon hike to see more of the city’s sights. Starting out at Gedenkstätte Lindenstraße, visitors can explore this former political prison and memorial in the heart of Potsdam. Used as a prison by the Nazis, the Soviets and the East German Stasi police, the building is rich with history, and the memorial stands to commemorate the victory of democracy in the peaceful revolution in 1989-1990.  

From here, it’s a short walk to the city’s Dutch Quarter. Built in the 18th century by King Frederick William, the 134 red brick houses were built to welcome the Dutchmen who settled in Potsdam, mostly as qualified craftsmen. The unique area stretches over four city blocks and is home to the largest number of Dutch-style houses outside of the Netherlands. Filled with architectural delights, boutique shops and quaint cafés and bars, it’s the perfect place to stretch your legs and explore.

Afternoon: Rest your feet

Café Guam, located in the Dutch Quarter, is the perfect place to enjoy a beloved German pastime of coffee and cake. This cosy café has been in the area for over 12 years and is famed for its huge selection of cheesecake. Offering 30 different flavours to choose from, it’s a great location to rest your feet and people-watch in Potsdam’s Dutch Quarter.

Close by is Nauener Tor, one of the city’s many historical gates. A central meeting point in the city, Nauener Tor is considered the earliest example of English neo-Gothic style architecture in Europe. Surrounding the gate is a large square that is frequently used for markets offering fresh produce and regional delicacies twice a week.

Evening: Dinner and drinks

Located in the historic centre of Potsdam is Lewy Wein-Bistro. Housed in a Baroque-style building, the restaurant’s name ‘Lewy’ pays homage to a Jewish family who owned the building in the mid-19th century. Serving up a range of pasta and wine-paired treats, Lewy Wein-Bistro has a weekly changing menu filled with high-quality and unique dishes. After dinner, head to Bar-O-Meter to finish your final evening in Potsdam with some delicious cocktails in an amazing atmosphere.