1. Berlin to Potsdam
Sitting southwest of Berlin, just on the border, is the enchanting city of Potsdam. The largest city in the state of Brandenburg, this picturesque place is filled with majestic palaces, royal parks and pretty aristocratic houses from the 18th and 19th centuries. Its rich cultural heritage has earned Potsdam the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit some of the many world-famous palaces here, like the summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia: Sanssouci, or Babelsberg Castle and Park, which resembles a little piece of England within the German countryside. Stroll around the characterful Dutch Quarter of the city, made up of 134 18th-century red-brick houses. Designed in the typical Dutch style, they had been intended for settlers from the Netherlands but ended up being used for soldiers. These days, visitors will find them converted into quaint cafes and boutiques to browse in.
2. Berlin to Spreewald
Soak up nature in this unique biosphere where the descendants of ancient Slavic tribes live. On your Spreewald day trip from Berlin, you can spend your days hiking through forests and canoeing through natural rivers and lakes, then cosy up in a log cabin for the night. The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991.
3. Berlin to Leipzig
This city is famous for being the stomping grounds of great classical composers, like Wagner, Bach, and Mendelssohn, as well as Goth music enthusiasts. Think of Leipzig as the more studious version of Berlin. It's hip and young, but without the grit and noise. It's famous for its libraries, museums, and coffee houses. Music fans will love the Grassi Museum complex which contains three museums: the Museum of Ethnography in Leipzig, the Museum of Applied Arts, and the Museum of Musical Instruments of the University of Leipzig. History and political buffs will love the Stasi Museum, a museum that delves into the world of the East German secret police.
4. Berlin to Meissen
Meissen is sometimes called the "Cradle of Saxony." Visit this small charming city on the River Elbe and learn about Saxony history, shop for famous Meissen porcelain, tour vineyards and wineries in the area, or take a cruise on a riverboat. Top attractions include the Albrechtsburg Castle, the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, and the Weingut Mariaberg winery.
5. Berlin to Warnemünde
Get some sun in the Baltic seaside resort town of Warnemünde. The short journey makes it one of the best day trips from Berlin. This is a town to laze about in - its sandy beach is three kilometres long, and the Old Channel promenade is lined with shops and cafes. And although the restaurants serve up every type of fish found in the Baltic, the best meal is a lightly fried and breaded fish sandwich popular with locals. Other must-see sites in Warnemünde are Edvard Munch's house, and the central square of the town, Warnemünde Markt.
6. Berlin to Bamberg
Bamberg is a quintessential Bavarian town, so much so that much of the town was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991. It sits on the Regnitz River and is backed by seven hills, each one topped with a church. History buffs will love discovering the layered history of this town, with buildings from the 10th century, like Bamberg Altstadt, and Gothic architectural sites, like the Bamberg Cathedral. Bamberg is also just a cute place to wander cobblestone streets, shop in outdoor markets, and have a traditional Bavarian lunch at one of the numerous breweries.
The trip from Berlin to Bamberg is around four hours. The Bamberg station is located in the newer part of the city, on the east side of the rivers. The historic centre of Bamberg is only a 15-minute walk from the train station.
7. Berlin to Würzburg
Wine, beer, pizza, and palaces. It doesn't get any better than that. The Bavarian city of Würzburg is the capital of the Franconian wine region, home to the Würzburger Hofbräu brewery, and has the oldest pizzeria in Germany. Walk along its cobbled streets and bridge spanning the River Main. Other must-see sights include the grand 18th-century palace, the Würzburg Residence and the Marienburg Fortress.
8. Berlin to Usedom Island
Sunbathe with locals in "Berlin's Bathtub" – Usedom Island. The Baltic Sea island is divided between Germany and Poland. It's a quirky, popular place with 42km of sandy beach. The main beach, Trassenheider Strand is so big it never feels crowded, and you can rent vintage beach huts. If you need a break from the sun, you can explore World War II museums or chow down on shrimp and lobster at one of the numerous fish restaurants.
9. Berlin to Hamburg
This is the second largest city after Berlin and a great place to discover Germany's port culture. It's also famous for its bar and club scene, especially in St. Pauli. Other top attractions are the fish market, the canals of Speicherstadt, and Alster Lakes.
10. Berlin to Bad Saarow
Soak up in a thermal bath spa in Bad Saarow. The Saarow Therme natural spring and mud bath complex has outdoor and indoor pools and is the perfect place to relax for the day. There is also a sauna, spa services, and a restaurant. The town of Bad Saarow is situated on a lake, and there are nearby meadows and parks to go for a stroll in between soaks.
So, there you have it - your guide to exploring Germany from Berlin. With so many trains and buses, it's easy to get out of the big city for the day! Need more information on the German rail network? Check out our dedicated page to trains in Germany.