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How to Spend 1 Day in Potsdam

How to Spend 1 Day in Potsdam

Less than an hour from Berlin, Potsdam is a popular choice for day-trippers and a picturesque alternative to staying in the capital. One day is just enough time to explore the UNESCO-listed palaces, visit the infamous Bridge of Spies, and learn about Potsdam’s fascinating history. Here’s how to spend one day in Potsdam.

Morning: Prussian Palaces and Parks

Potsdam’s sights are spread out over a large area, so it’s worth exploring with a guide to make the most of your time, as well as gain historic insight. Join a walking or bike tour, or if you prefer to travel independently, a hop-on hop-off bus tour offers the best of both worlds with on-board commentary. Start with a visit to the city’s star attraction, Sanssouci Palace, which was the 18th-century residence of Prussian King Frederik the Great. Leave time to explore the highlights, from the magnificent palace interiors to the vast parklands, which feature a terraced vineyard, Orangery Palace, and Charlottenhof Palace.

Afternoon: City Landmarks and Soviet Sites

Potsdam’s historic center is home to a number of significant landmarks including St. Nicholas' Church and the Brandenburg Gate. Take a walk down Brandenburg Street, the city’s principal boulevard, where you can pick up souvenirs, and then head north to visit the famous Glienicke Bridge. Nicknamed the Bridge of Spies, the bridge across the Havel River marked the border between East and West Germany during the Cold War and was a notorious exchange point for Soviet and American spies. If time allows, Cecilienhof Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and nearby Babelsberg Park are both worth a visit. 

Night: Drinking and Dining in the Dutch Quarter

Summer visitors might want to time their visit for the annual Potsdam Palace Night, when Sanssouci Palace hosts an evening of music, theater, and fireworks. Otherwise, head into the Dutch Quarter, so-called for its characteristic redbrick houses, built in the 18th century to house Dutch craftsmen. Today, the historic houses are populated by shops, bars, and restaurants, making the quarter one of the liveliest spots to spend the evening in Potsdam.

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6 Tours and Activities

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City and Palaces Tour Potsdam - Stadt- und Schloesserrundfahrt Potsdam

City and Palaces Tour Potsdam - Stadt- und Schloesserrundfahrt Potsdam

star-4.5
132
Explore Potsdam on this morning tour and discover the Brandenburg town of gardens and royalty with a local guide. Taking in sights of major palaces such as Sanssouci, New Palace, and Schloss Cecilienhof as well as the baroque old town, the tour showcases the most interesting corners of the city as tales of Potsdam’s bygone kings ring in your ears. If you travel in the summer months, the tour also includes a ticket for a Potsdam hop-on hop-off bus tour.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$24.38
From
$24.38

City Sightseeing Potsdam Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing Potsdam Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

star-4
40
Explore the most popular places in Potsdam on this scenic hop-on hop-off bus tour. Visit many of Potsdam’s top attractions—like Sanssouci Palace, Cecilienhof, the Orangerie, and Potsdam's Gardens to name a few. Select a 1-day pass, then board at any of the stops and get to know the city in custom fashion, with live on-board commentary in English and German. Audio guides in French, Spanish, Italian and Russian are also available.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$20.18
From
$20.18

Private Half-Day Walking Tour of Potsdam and Sanssouci

Private Half-Day Walking Tour of Potsdam and Sanssouci

star-4.5
12
Explore the one-time seat of the Prussian kings on this private half-day walking tour of Potsdam, including the magnificent Sanssouci Palace. Follow your guide around the historic center of Potsdam, stopping to snap photos of the Brandenburg Gate; stroll around the opulent City Palace and admire the red-brick buildings of the Dutch quarter. Then, marvel over the UNESCO-listed wonder of Sanssouci Palace, and explore the palace gardens, the Chinese Tea House and the tomb of Prussian King Frederic the Great.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$200.59
per group
From
$200.59
per group

3.5-Hour Small-Group Soviet Potsdam Tour with Bridge of Spies

3.5-Hour Small-Group Soviet Potsdam Tour with Bridge of Spies

star-5
15
Visit the city that played a large role as a Soviet base in East Germany and is home to the Bridge of Spies during this half-day, guided tour of Potsdam. Learn how the Potsdam Conference of 1945, attended by historic political leaders, established peace and treaties after the second World War.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$30.48
From
$30.48

Berlin Airport Departure Transfer from Potsdam Hotels

Berlin Airport Departure Transfer from Potsdam Hotels

Schedule a private vehicle that can carry up to six passengers and sit back and relax as the vehicle travels from any Potsdam center hotel to Berlin airport for your departure flight.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$188.72
per group
From
$188.72
per group

Private Walking Tour of Soviet Potsdam through Red Potsdam

Private Walking Tour of Soviet Potsdam through Red Potsdam

star-5
4
Explore Potsdam’s Soviet history on this guided walking tour. See the city’s historic center, learn about Potsdam’s role as one of the largest Soviet bases in East Germany, and visit landmarks like the legendary Bridge of Spies, the once restricted area that housed the KGB’s headquarters, and the castle where Stalin, Churchill, and Truman negotiated the end of World War II.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$218.20
per group
From
$218.20
per group