The 5 Most Iconic Escapes to the Outskirts of Berlin

photoTobias NielsenCC

With the sudden summer outbreak we had no other choice than to rethink our editorial schedule for the weekend to bring you something that will please you more than any party, exhibition or other indoor activity would do today. We’ve given you parks, we’ve given you outdoor pools and open air bars, we’ve given you bike routes – and now we’re going one step further and send you into the outskirts of Berlin to enjoy a bit of fun in the nature. Enjoy our list of the 5 most iconic destinations in the outskirts of Berlin.

Castle Sanssouci in Potsdam

This is probably the most iconic good weather escape from Berlin and I warmly recommend this to everyone. The big park of Sanssouci has many picturesque buildings surrounded by luscious green and small canals and lakes. It is absolutely magical to wander through the gardens and explore the huge premise. You can also visit some of the castles that are now museums or have a piece of cake at the dragon house cafe. It’s a great escape to do with your family or a romantic date.

You can reach the park from Berlin with the S-Bahn or regional train that goes to near-by Potsdam. It’s only a 30 min ride. From there take a bus or tram to the park.

photo: Andreas Levers / CC

photoooFrankeyoo / CC

Gärten der Welt (Gardens of the World)

The Gardens of the World are probably the most underrated parks of Berlin, mainly due to the fact that they are a little outside of the center in the unglamorous district of Mahrzahn. But in fact the trip is absolutely worth it because here you will experience kind of a journey around the world with different themed gardens including a South Korea one, a Japanese, Chinese, Moroccan, and Balinese one. In addition there is also a Renaissance style garden and a real maze. I also love the little garden with the fairytale characters and the Rhododendron garden. You can spend an entire day here, it’s so big.

To reach the park you need to go with the S-Bahn to Mahrzahn and take the 195 bus to the “Gärten der Welt” station.

photo: MarcusCC

photo: Marcus / CC

Spy Station Teufelsberg

For the more unconventional and adventurous types we recommend another Berlin classic: The former spy station Teufelsberg. It’s definitely an exciting relic of the cold war era and with the premise full of graffiti and street art it also satisfies those looking for the urban raw style of Berlin. Climbing the old towers with these big domes gives you an amazing view over the city.

To reach the spy station you need to go with the S-Bahn to Heerstraße and from there it’s either a very long hike or a bike ride up the hill to the station.

photoTobias NielsenCC

photo: Tobias Nielsen / CC

Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island)

The Pfaueninsel is for me the most picturesque place in the whole area of Berlin. The island had a really talented landscaper working on it back in the day which you can still see in the beautiful old trees. The highlight besides the peacocks is obviously that white fairytale castle on it. For the longest time I wasn’t even aware that this magical little island exists, probably because it is a bit more difficult to reach.

You can take the S-Bahn to Wannsee and from there take the bus 218 to the ferry that takes you over to the island. Note that the bus only goes every 2 hours so you have to plan this.

photo: Marcus Mehnert / CC

photo: Stefan Kellner / CC

Horse Race Course Hoppegarten

The Hoppegarten horse race course an amazing opportunity to travel back in time and experience something truly different. We visited the course in the late summer of 2014 for the first time for the Grand Prize of Berlin and it was such a magical afternoon that I love to recommend this place a lot. And the actual horse race is not even the best part of it. It’s the course itself and the atmosphere there, the excitement for the race (yes, you can actually make bets on the horses that tend to have really funny names) and all the fancy ladies with big hats that you will encounter there.

The race dates for 2015 are: June 15, July 19, August 8, August 9, September 20, October 3. You reach the race course with the S-Bahn line S5 and the station’s name is Hoppegarten.

Der Große Preis von Berlin - Hoppegarten

Der Große Preis von Berlin - Hoppegarten

photos: iHeartBerlin

What are your favorite Berlin escapes to the outskirts of the city? Let us know in the comments!

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<a href="" target="_self">Frank</a>



Frank is the founder and editor-in-chief of iHeartBerlin. He takes photos, makes videos, and writes texts mostly about what's going on in Berlin. His vision and interests have shaped iHeartBerlin since its conception back in 2007 - and he hopes to continue bringing you the best of Berlin for many years to come.