Potsdam is Berlin’s royal neighbor and the crown jewel of the state of Brandenburg. It may be quaint, but Potsdam is exploding with wonderful things to see and do, owing to its rich history of Prussian rule and its picturesque landscapes. It’s a favorite day trip for many, and here are the different kinds of tours you can take to ensure you get the very best of all that Potsdam has to offer.
Uncover Potsdam on a classic city tour
Potsdam is home to the Neuer Markt, one of the finest examples of baroque squares in Europe. Potsdam used to be a garrison, before many of its important sights and landmarks we see today were built by Prussian kings during the 18th and 19th centuries. In order to get your bearings on the city’s history and culture, opt for a historic tour though the old town, where you will explore the restored city canal including the Neuer Markt, the Church of Nikolaikirche, the Old Townhall and the newly built City Palace (Stadtschloss) where the parliament sits today. You’ll also catch a glimpse of the Dutch Quarter and see what everyday life is like for those who live here. A guided tour offered by Potsdam Tourism costs €9 and is available daily.
Take a tour of Potsdam’s royal landmarks
As the former seat of Prussia, Potsdam is characterized by beautiful palaces and gardens, which remain mostly intact (or well-restored) after the war. The town dates as far back as the 17th century, ensuring there is so much history and opulence to marvel at. Get swept away on a Royal Tour of Potsdam’s most regal sights every Saturday and Sunday with Original Berlin Tours. You’ll get to uncover this fairytale landscape and hear all its royal secrets from a knowledgeable guide. The six-hour tour explores the Marble Palace, the Cecilienhof, Sanssouci Palace, the Aristocratic Mansion and much, much more. Meeting time is at 10 a.m. and the tour costs €16 per person.
Explore Potsdam by boat
Potsdam is a city surrounded by a wonderful network of rivers, lakes and waterways. Give your feet a rest and see Potsdam from a unique angle on the water. Passenger boats are operated by the Weisse Flotte, and guests are welcomed aboard for a special cruise, which is run from March until October. There are various routes to sail away on, and you can even opt for a full day trip or an evening cruise. If time is tight, we recommend the Schlösserrundfahrt, the daily palace round tour which lasts an hour-and-a-half.
Get a glimpse of Germany’s very own Hollywood
Did you know that Potsdam was the birthplace of Europe’s film production and still today many big-name Hollywood films are shot here? Studio Babelsberg is the continent’s biggest and oldest film studio, and the setting for some of Germany’s most famous films including Metropolis and The Blue Angel. The studio currently offers tours of the very same studios Tom Cruise proclaimed as “excellent,” and that Quentin Tarantino often uses. These tours are currently only offered in German, but there is lots of English-speaking fun to be had at the neighboring and affiliated film theme park.
Potsdam is a city made for bicycles
Potsdam is uber bike-friendly, and taking a tour on two wheels is just that much more fun than using your own two feet. Opt for a five-hour Countrywide Tour spanning 21 miles (35km) of parks, castle-studded landscapes, pinewood, and fishing villages. This tour is offered by Potsdam’s very own bicycle shop, Pedales. Fat Tire Tours also offers a whirlwind bike tour of Potsdam’s most epic sights with their Gardens and Palaces bike tour. It costs €49 per person, and bookings can be made online.