The moment a lot of study abroad students get the dates for their programs, many begin the exciting process of looking at weekend trips to neighboring countries and thinking about all the different possibilities for foreign exploration. Once you arrive in the country and complete your many adventures, what you suddenly discover is you have many weekends where you feel a tough tension between wanting to visit new places and try new things while still giving yourself needed recovery time. During my time in Berlin, I’ve found one of the best ways to find this balance is through quick day trips to other areas of Germany!
Here have been some of my favorite trips you can take for one day out of Berlin:
This neighbor to Berlin is the perfect place to visit for a quick weekend visit. This charming town is easily accessible by train from Berlin, with you only needing to purchase a BVG extension ticket to take you to the Brandenburg state about 36 minutes by away from the Berlin Hauptbahnhof. IES Abroad coordinated this day trip for its students, so our itinerary covered all the best spots. We started our day touring the outside of the beautiful Sanssouci Palace where we learned more about some of Germany’s monarchs and the construction of this palace. Following the palace visit we walked through the gorgeous Sanssouci Park. You could spend an entire day getting lost in all the beautiful gardens in the area, yet our tour guide kept us on track as we explored the intricately manicured palace grounds. After checking out the Sanssouci area, the Dutch Quarter and Old Town of Potsdam are only a short walk away. Potsdam is the perfect place to engage with small town German life, learn about some German royals, and enjoy the slower pace.
To explore some more artistic and design history of Germany, Dessau is a great option for a day trip from Berlin. Located in the Saxony-Anhalt state, Dessau is about a 2.5-hour train ride from the Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Dessau’s main claim to fame is being the location of one of the iconic Bauhaus Schools. For enthusiasts of this very important movement and people looking to see more of these interesting pieces, Dessau has more than enough to keep you busy for your day trip. The town is also very compact, making it extremely easy to go everywhere by foot. The Bauhaus Museum gives a great introduction to Dessau’s importance in the movement, while the Bauhaus Building and Masters’ Houses themselves provide interesting examples of the architectural style in action. Exploring these very modern and fantastically constructed buildings was such a fun way to spend a Saturday. Dessau also offers a day ticket that will give you entrance into all these spaces for a reduced price!
This day trip from Berlin was another one of the amazing opportunities provided by IES Abroad. Just a quick 2-hour train ride away, it’s exceptionally easy to visit the city, see many sights, and get back to Berlin all within one day, although there is certainly enough to see to warrant a return visit. The Dresden Castle is an exceptional place to visit during your trip to Dresden, as it houses a major collection of luxurious and ornate objects, art, and furniture. Once you’ve had your fair share of gems and jewels, the Frauenkirche is another iconic landmark. Generally, you can have a great time in Dresden just walking through the many streets in the old town center. Of course, if you plan your trip around late November and early December, you can visit the very famous Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas Markets) of Dresden. The Striezelmarkt is hailed as one of the oldest Christmas Markets in Germany, and the tour guide for our walking tour claims the Dresdner Stollen (a sort of Christmas cake) is hard to top.
While travel outside of the country is certainly something to take advantage of, definitely take some time to prioritize inter-country travel too!
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Howdy folks! My name is Josef Kiesenhofer, and I'm a passionate accounting, German, and Spanish student excited to explore the world. I love all things blue and embroidering on clothes. I sometimes have a broadcast radio DJ show, too!