Potsdam Things to Do Tips by Mariajoy Top 5 Page for this destination
Potsdam Things to Do: 256 reviews and 562 photos
The theatre was built on the site of the old market and completed after reunification. I didn't go to a show there but the restaurant where we ate, is situated right next to it and I just had to get some pictures of it when it was all lit up in red.
After a long stroll on a hot day around the glorious parks of Potsdam - we were delighted to find this fab restaurant/cafe/bar tucked away by the lake - just when we needed a drink!
The website is in German - check it out for details of opening times etc.
Directions: Waldmüllerstraße 4-5
14482 Potsdam (Klein-Glienicke)
We visited on a scorching hot day - the same day that there was hardly anywhere to get a drink because all the little drink selling places had been closed during preparations for some special event or other taking place that night. Cables, marquees, electricians, scaffolding, men erecting stages and beer tents etc etc everywhere spoilt the look of the place a bit really.
Sanssouci itself, the summer residence of Frederick the Great, was very lovely, very yellow, very ornate, I didnt go in... just wandered about til I found a place to buy water and an icecream and sat in the shade watching the preparations and there are miles and miles of parkland to wander around- just remember to take water, (and kendal mint cake and flares - you might get lost). Oh and the grounds are free to visitors but entry to the palace isn't. Don't know how much tickets are. Don't miss the Chinese house and the Vineyard terraces!
There are car parks a few hundred meters walk from the palace - our ticket machine was out of order so I don't know how much it costs to park there.
Address: Potsdam - signposts are everywhere
Directions: map of the park
A visitor strolling by would never suspect that his beautiful historic mansion set on a quiet residential leafy street in Potsdam, with views over the lovely lake Wannsee - was the setting for the planning of the most evil crimes ever committed on other human beings - six million other human beings in fact.
Within the walls of the conference house, Hitler's cronies did his bidding - they came up with the Final Solution to "the Jewish Question" (and the gay, disabled, mentally ill, gypsy, political and religious dissenter question!) and the gruesome details of exactly how they were going to go about it were discussed, recorded and ultimately carried out during The Holocaust.
There are thousands of copies of official documents, letters, reports from survivors, photographs, opinions from second and third generation survivors on how their parent's experiences affected their lives - as well as views from others indirectly involved - the great niece of Himmler for example - all add something to this remarkable place. Although it is presented in an entirely calm, factual and unemotional way, I am sure many visitors would be moved by many things they see and read here. I was. It is all presented in chronological order so follow the rooms as shown on the map and it makes more sense.
There is a lot of reading and listening to be done here - plan to spend at least two hours. It's not a place suitable for young children - there's nothing here of interest to them and other visitors would find a noisy toddler something of an intrusion in this quiet place. All of the rooms are wheelchair accessible.
The garden is lovely - have a little wander round afterwards - you will probably need some contemplation time.
Entry is free but donations are welcome!
Address: Am Grossen Wannsee
Directions: lots of information about how to get there by car and public transport is listed on the website.
Old and new bridge
Once a secondary border crossing point between East and West, it was on this bridge that in 1989 many Potsdam inhabitants crossed for the first time in 28 years into the West when the wall came down. There is a plaque on the bridge commemorating this historical moment.
This bridge was also the point at which in 1962, during the cold war, an American pilot accused of spying by the Soviets was secretly exchanged for one of their men who was on a 30 year jail sentence in the US.
Address: Berliner Strasse
Viking ferry boat
During the summer season, visitors can take the replica Viking ship "Kari" from the Mariner station at Kongsnaes to Sacrow.
Emperor William II enjoyed taking cruises to the Norwegian fjords every year and had the Matrosensation (mariner station) built in Nordic style in 1895, at the end of New Garden at Hasengraben, which connects the Havel with Heiliger See (Holy Lake).
There are still several Scandinavian style cabin houses in the area today.
Directions: New Garden, Potsdam
Marmorpalais under wraps
Exterior renovations were being undertaken when we visited the Marble Palace. The palace was designed in 1787 (at the decree of Frederick William II) by D F Gontard and the architect was C G Langhans (who also built the Brandenburg gate.)
We were able to see the beautiful interior though, full of lush, ornate, furnishings, paintings, marble fireplaces, sculptures and chandeliers etc etc ...and had to wear those giangantic felt slippers over our shoes so as not to damage the highly polished parquet flooring. No photography is permitted, no touching the furniture (even accidentally!) and no noise either!
When going up and down the steps within the building the visitor is required to removed said huge slippers... at one point I accidentally dropped my felt (how noisy can that be???) slipper causing more of a "boof" than a "bang" sound. I was surprised to hear an irritated "SHHHHHH!!!" behind me from one of the guards..... oh I mean .... "museum attendants."
Check the website for opening times and entrance fees.
Address: New Garden
Church of Sts Peter and Paul
Located in Bassin Platz, the Catholic church of Sts Peter and Paul stands with its impressive 60 meter high steeple.
Address: Bassin Platz
Directions: Dutch Quarter
The castle is another designed as a summer residence by Schinkel for Emperor William's wife, Augusta, set in beautiful woodland near the Havel River in the early 19th Century. It is currently under renovation until further notice and therefore not open to visitors.
This is the view of the castle from Am Tiefen See.
Address: 14482 Potsdam-Babelsberg
Directions: Babelsberg Park
Taken from our boat trip on the Havel and Tiefer See, I was just able to get a glimpse of Flatow Tower which was built by William I after his 1849 campaign against Southern Germany.
The tower is open to visitors from April - Oct, Tues -Sun, 10am to 5pm.
Address: Babelsberg Park
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