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Potsdam

Culture & history

Our most recommended Potsdam Culture & History

Potsdam by Boat: Island Cruise

1. Potsdam by Boat: Island Cruise

On this boat trip, enjoy the beauty of the river landscape around Potsdam with its Havel lakes and picturesque villages surrounded by great scenery. Hop on board, lean back and drive through the village of Caputh, the fishing and vine town of Werder, and pass the Sacrow–Paretz Canal in the north of Potsdam as well as the buildings, castles and manor houses of the Hohenzollerns on the banks of the Havel. See the impressive Caputh Castle, the Marble Palace or Cecilienhof Palace in the New Garden. Cruise past Glienicke park with its casino built by Schinkel, and discover Babelsberg Castle near the river. Finally, your journey takes you to famous Glienicke Bridge. Enjoy the unique panoramic view of Brandenburg's capital.

Potsdam: City and Castles Tour

2. Potsdam: City and Castles Tour

Experience the beautiful sights and impressive castles of Potsdam on this interesting and entertaining city tour on the trail of "Old Fritz" (Frederick II). Drive through Potsdam's inner city and through the Dutch Quarter to the Glienicker Bridge. Learn more about the "Forbidden City" and walk around the Cecilienhof Castle. Visit Alexandrowka, the colony of traditional Russian wooden houses known as "Little Siberia." Finally, discover the famous terraces of Sanssouci as well as the grave of Frederick II. Walk past beautiful gardens and admire the biggest palace in Potsdam before spending the afternoon as you wish.

Potsdam: Palace Tour by Boat

3. Potsdam: Palace Tour by Boat

Discover Potsdam from the water and admire the wonderful parks and palaces of the Hohenzollern Dynasty. See the most beautiful sights from the water in just 90 minutes in the morning or the afternoon. Cruise by Babelsberg Park with its imposing palace, see the Flatow Tower and the Hofdamenhaus, then pass under the historically-significant Glienicke Bridge to Jungfernsee. Ride along the former border between east and west and get a glimpse of the impressive palaces and gardens. See the Church of the Redeemer, Sacrow and discover the fairytale castle on Pfaueninsel. Further high points of the tour include the New Garden with its marble palace and the Cecilienhof Palace, where history was made in 1945 with the signing of the Potsdam Agreement.              

2-Hour Seven Lakes Tour from Berlin's Wannsee

4. 2-Hour Seven Lakes Tour from Berlin's Wannsee

Enjoy a 2-hour tour of the idyllic Havel Lakes, the chain of lakes so rich in traditions that not just locals are drawn to them. Venture beyond Little Wannsee to Pohlesee, Stölpchensee, Griebnitzsee, Glienicker Lake and Jungfernsee, before returning to Wannsee. Relax with the whole family on the beach or enjoy a walk into the picturesque wilderness along Wannsee and Oberhavelsee. See where such famous personages as the painter Max Liebermann or the dramatist Heinrich von Kleist lived and worked and get to know the historic significance of the lakes. Discover the rich history of the regions southwest and north of Berlin from the water. Travel back in time at these historically-significant sites and experience the history anew. The tour takes place from Wannsee across the Havel to Potsdam. Enjoy the tours through the idyllic Havel Lakes and many historic buildings like the Babelsberg Palace or the Church of the Redeemer, Sacrow. See the fascinating island landscape in the north of Berlin. Valentinswerder, Baumwerder and Scharfenberg are just a few must-sees for nature-lovers. The tour operator's dock is located across from the Pfaueninsel. The island can be reached by ferry for a small fee. It is not possible to reserve outdoor seats.

Berlin-Wannsee to Potsdam 3-Hour World Heritage Cruise

5. Berlin-Wannsee to Potsdam 3-Hour World Heritage Cruise

This boat cruise takes you from Wannsee along the Havel River to Potsdam and back. Cruise through the palaces and gardens of Potsdam and Berlin, a UNESCO World Heritage region. Here you’ll have the opportunity to experience Prussia’s history. The chain of lakes in and around Berlin attracts visitors from all over the world. Visitors can relax at one of the lidos or walk around the picturesque natural landscape that extends along Wannsee and the Oberhavel lakes. Discover the rich history of two regions near Berlin: the southwest and north. Famous personalities, such as the painter Max Liebermann or the playwright Heinrich von Kleist, lived and worked in Wannsee, making it a place of historical importance. The historical places give you the opportunity to go back in time and relive history. The cruise takes you from Wannsee to Kladow, passing by Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island), Nikolskoe, and the Church of St. Peter and Paul. Continue on towards the Savior's Church, Cecilienhof Palace and its old dairy farm, and the Glienicke Bridge. Float by the Babelsberg Palace, Flatow Tower, Hans-Otto-Theater (Schiffbauergasse), "Freundschaftsinsel" (Friendship Island), and Potsdam/Lange Brücke before returning back to Wannsee.

Berlin WelcomeCard: Museum Island & Public Transport

6. Berlin WelcomeCard: Museum Island & Public Transport

The Berlin WelcomeCard Museum Island allows you to see more of Berlin for less. This is your ticket to the main attractions of the German capital with many tourist highlights, including sightseeing tours, attractions, theaters, restaurants and more, offering discounts of up to 50%. A complimentary guidebook is also included, helping you to make the most of your stay with tour suggestions and handy insider tips. Opt for free transport within zones A and B (Berlin) or A, B, and C (covering Berlin and Potsdam) when you select your Berlin WelcomeCard Museum Island option. Located in the city center on an island in the Spree River, Berlin’s Museum Island boasts a complex of 5 internationally acclaimed museums: the Pergamon Museum, the Old Museum, New Museum, Old National Gallery and Bode Museum. Together they form a world-famous and unique architectural ensemble, which was declared a UNESCO World heritage Site in 1999. With this ticket, you will have free access to them all (one visit per day per museum). See the antique collections of Berlin’s State Museums at the Old Museum and go back to Ancient Egypt at the New Museum. The Bode Museum houses Byzantine art and Oriental sculptures, while at the Pergamon Museum you can see splendid examples of Islamic art.

Berlin: Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and Potsdam Tour

7. Berlin: Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and Potsdam Tour

Acquire deeper knowledge of World War II history and understand the cruelty of the crimes committed against the victims of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp with a guided visit. Afterward, explore the ancient Slavic town of Postdam and its royal palaces and gardens. Board your bus at the TV tower at Alexanderplatz and begin your drive to the first stop. Meet your Sachsenhausen Memorial guide and enter the camp to understand the dimensions of the cruelty that took place there. Learn about how jobs were distributed and how the camp was run. After your visit, set off towards Potsdam. Hear the story of how it went from being a Slavic town to becoming a royal residence. See the palaces and gardens where the royal families and their courts ruled and walked. Take a guided walk and enjoy some free time to discover the area on your own.

Potsdam: Guided Walking Tour of UNESCO Site and Architecture

8. Potsdam: Guided Walking Tour of UNESCO Site and Architecture

Enjoy the scenery of Potsdam from the northern city center. See parts of the designated UNESCO World Heritage Site at Sanssouci Palace, once the summer home of the Prussian ruler Frederik the Great in traditional Rococo architectural design. Your tour guide will bring you from here to other anecdotal locations in the German city, including the famous Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church) with its massive Classicist style dome, modeled after ancient Greek architecture, and completed in the 1830s. Any stop along the way will be dissected in its history and cultural significance in the city as your guide is a historical expert on this small town. Impressive facts and antidotes will lead you along your guided tour and give you precise knowledge of Potsdam.

From Berlin: Royal Palaces & Gardens Private Black Van Tour

9. From Berlin: Royal Palaces & Gardens Private Black Van Tour

Start this fascinating tour with pickup at your hotel in Berlin. From there, you will be transported to the beautiful city of Potsdam to begin an 8-hour tour through an atmospheric city crammed full of history and cultural heritage. Whether it's the Prussian Royal Family or Cold War espionage that excites you most, you will not be disappointed. Less than 1 hour from Berlin, Potsdam is a small city surrounded by picturesque landscapes, beautiful nature, abundant palaces, castles, and baroque architectural wonders. Led by an expert guide, explore the picturesque Potsdam and learn the stories behind the city’s spectacular façade. You will visit Glienicker Brücke (Bridge), which crosses the River Havel and runs through the middle of the East/West division. There, hear exciting stories about the spies’ exchanges, undertaken by the allies 3 different times. Many other historic traces of the German division can still be found here as well. The tour will lead you through the former KGB headquarters, the unusual small colony of wooden houses built almost 200 years ago, and other highlights that expose the Soviet influence after the Second World War. Next, visit the Dutch quarter, whose endless rows of red brick houses will remind you of Amsterdam. Potsdam is a city constructed from a patchwork of cultures. The New Garden was commissioned by King Frederick William II more than 200 years ago. After roaming this beautiful fairy-tale garden, the tour guide will lead you to Cecilienhof Palace, the location of the famous Potsdam Conference, built in 1916.  There, walk through the very halls where Stalin, Truman, and Churchill negotiated after the war. Perhaps one of the most visited places in Potsdam is the grave of Frederick the Great at Sanssoucci; situated at the top of a vineyard, it's a truly wonderful spot. You can also visit the other Prussian Royal Family graves at the awe-inspiring Peace Church. The spectacular design of the church is known to evoke spirituality even in those who do not believe. There is so much to see and hear about in this city. At the end of the tour, just sit back and relax as the tour guide transports you back to your hotel.

Potsdam: Neuer Friedhof Cemetery Smartphone Mystery Game

10. Potsdam: Neuer Friedhof Cemetery Smartphone Mystery Game

Go on a mysterious adventure across Neuer Friedhof cemetery with this smartphone mystery game. Step into the shoes of a paranormal investigator hired to solve the mystery behind a series of strange symbols that have appeared in a local family's house. And the only ones who can help you are the dead. Start your search at the cemetery and investigate ancient graves, haunting statues, and impressive monuments and crypts. At each location, face a different puzzle, which you can solve with careful examination of the gravesides. If you are successful, you'll learn the translation of an occult symbol. Piece by piece, decipher the hidden message and uncover the dark mystery. Tackle the riddles alone or in small groups of up to 3 people. Choose to use one smartphone for all 3 of you, or split the game up into 3 roles that each require a separate smartphone. You can also play the game simultaneously with multiple teams, up to 15 people in total. As you play, you'll find the diary entries that reveal the story behind the famed lengua muerta — the language of the dead. At the end, it's up to you to choose what to do with this knowledge.

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What people are saying about Potsdam

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 686 reviews

Well organized and at a relaxing pace. Met at Alexander Platz and travelled by train to Potsdam approx 35min. Bikes are collected and dropped off at Potsdam station. The guide was very knowledgeable and could even answer historic questions stretching beyond the Potsdam region. The stories were a combinations of cold hard history but also light hearted facts. The bikes were a breeze to ride even for a novice like me. I would recommend a bike tour when visiting Potsdam as you are able to cover a lot of the town at a comfortable pace.

We had a great tour guide who, with charm and wit, gave us a very good understanding of the history of the Hohenzollern. I was able to put myself in the time very well and I really enjoyed it. Thank you very much again. The bus driver also brought us safely through the city and gave us the opportunity to take photos of the historic buildings. Thank you for this.

Very nice tour with a variety of impressions and information. If you want, you can also get food and drinks at the table with friendly service. The information about the sights is easy to understand over the installed loudspeakers. The weather kindly cooperated too.

Very good tour nice guide explained everything well with fun and humor gladly again one can gladly recommend.

Pleasant experience. Nice staff. Easy way to see Potsdam in a day. :)