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Belvedere at Pfingstberg in Potsdam, Brandenburg
Belvedere at Pfingstberg in Potsdam © SPSG, Foto: Jakob Eschenburg

Brandenburg

A world on our doorstep

A wide landscape under a big sky, Brandenburg is the ideal place for cyclists, walkers and anyone who likes messing about on the water. And the region offers even more: palaces and mansions, spas and lakes as well as attractions for all the family. Go on a journey of discovery to Brandenburg.

Walks in Brandenburg

Landscape arround Chorin in Brandenburg
Perfect for an walk: Landscape in Brandenburg © TMB-Fotoarchiv/Steffen Lehmann

If you take a stroll through the Brandenburg countryside, one thing is guaranteed – a glorious experience of nature. Walk around crystal clear lakes under a clear blue sky and you can see seagulls, swans, grey herons and cormorants, and with a bit of luck the largest bird of prey in Europe, the white-tailed eagle. Immerse yourself in shaded pine forests, wander through seemingly endless beech forests and mysterious bog woodlands.

There are around 2,000 kilometres of signposted walking trails through the Brandenburg countryside. No matter whether you just want a pleasant stroll outside the city or whether you are planning a day trip or even multi-day hikes, Brandenburg offers everything from short circular routes to combinable routes through varied landscapes.

Treetop path Beelitz-Heilstätten
Treetop path Beelitz-Heilstätten © Baum & Zeit

An extensive hiking tour in the Uckermark-Barnim region is a wonderful experience at any time of the year: the 29-kilometre route runs through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Grumsin beech forest and is easily reached by regional train from Berlin.

A short but very unusual route in the Potsdam-Mittelmark region is more of a treetop tour with an indescribable panorama: the Beelitz treetop walkway with observation tower runs high across the forest and offers a great view of Beelitz Heilstätten, a large abandoned complex which used to be a lung sanatorium. The treetop tour provides adventure along the way with a 70 square metre hammock and the Sky Boa.

More tips for walkers

Bike tours in Brandenburg

Park Babelsberg at Wannsee
Park Babelsberg at Wannsee © Wirtschaftsförderung Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Foto: Steven Ritzer

Brandenburg’s countryside has plenty to offer not only for walkers, but also for cyclists. Seven thousand kilometres of well-maintained bike paths take you through the villages and colourful landscapes of Brandenburg. One of the best-known bike tours in Brandenburg is the lakeside path at Schwielowsee, which starts at Potsdam’s main station. The highlights of the route include the view of Werder and Templiner See.

The Panorama bike tour offers you a wonderful view of the palaces and parks of Brandenburg, or you can follow in the footsteps of Frederick the Great on the Alter Fritz tour. You can then cool off in one of Brandenburg’s many lakes.

More bike tours and routes in Berlin and Brandenburg

Lakes and water sports

Boating on the Wannsee-Babelsberg Route
Boating on the Wannsee-Babelsberg Route © Wirtschaftsförderung Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Foto: Steven Ritzer

If you want to enjoy a day on the water, you don’t have to go all the way to the Baltic Sea. You’ll find lots of beautiful lakes in Brandenburg. With over 3,000 lakes, Brandenburg has more local recreation areas than almost any other state in Germany.
One of the most famous lakes is probably Heiliger See in the middle of the parks and palaces of Potsdam. Schwielowsee is another popular excursion destination and is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Havel region. This beautiful part of the Havel chain of lakes not only attracts sailors and other water sports enthusiasts, but is also ideal for swimming and relaxing. At most of the lakes you’ll not only find beautiful beaches, but also many opportunities for water sports such as canoeing, stand-up paddling and boat rental.
Our bathing map shows the lakes and bathing beaches in Berlin and Brandenburg for that holiday feeling in and around the water.

More about lakes in Berlin and Brandenburg

Boat tours

The Peacock Island at Wannsee
The Peacock Island at Wannsee © Wirtschaftsförderung Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Foto: Steven Ritzer

There are many different boat tours where you can discover Brandenburg from a different perspective. On the Schlössertour around Potsdam you can see the palaces from Schloss Babelsberg to Cecilienhof from the water. The Weiße Flotte passenger line offers tours such as the Große Inselfahrt around Potsdam and the Havelseerundfahrt, where you can discover the most beautiful river landscapes in Germany.

Our recommendation: You receive discounts for many offers with the Berlin WelcomeCard ABC.

Canal in the Spree Forest
Canal in the Spree Forest © visitberlin, Foto: Sarah Lindemann

A boat trip is also the best way to discover the Spreewald, a unique floodplain and moorland landscape with a water labyrinth. The enchanted landscape full of mysticism and secrets is one of the most popular destinations in Brandenburg.

Brandenburg's palaces

A unique cultural landscape starts on Berlin’s doorstep.
The palace of Sanssouci is famous around the world as Frederick the Great’s favourite place of peace and quiet, picturesquely set above green vineyard terraces. The monumental Neues Palais at the western end of the park has a completely different effect: a huge palace intentionally built to show off Prussia’s power as a state.
In comparison Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam, built in the early 20th century, appears almost rural. It achieved worldwide fame in 1945 as the venue of the Potsdam Conference.
On the shores of Heiliger See you will find the romantic Marmorpalais, a lovely little palace in the early neoclassical style.
Tucked away in the green countryside of Brandenburg there are many other palaces that are worth a day out. For example, you can take a short bike or boat tour from Potsdam to Schloss Caputh, the 350-year-old pleasure palace of Friedrich Wilhelm, the “Great Elector” of Brandenburg. Schloss Königs Wusterhausen  is even older, from the 16th century: Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia, known as the Soldier King, used the sturdy-looking building as his autumn residence.

Our recommendation: Visit all the palaces in Potsdam with just one ticket: sanssouci +!

More about the castles of Brandenburg and Berlin

Culture in Brandenburg  

View of Potsdam’s historic center with the Museum Barberini
View of Potsdam’s historic center with the Museum Barberini © Helge Mundt

There is a great variety of small museums, monasteries and specialised parks in the area around Berlin.
Beelitz-Heilstätten is a huge complex in the middle of a wooded landscape. Formerly a sanatorium for lung patients, today it is a fascinating ghost town overgrown with plants.
Strolling through the Holländisches Viertel in Potsdam, with its 150 brick-faced houses with shutters and gables, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the Netherlands.

A very special attraction that opened in 2017 is the Museum Barberini with its highly regarded collection of masterpieces of French Impressionism. Just around the corner, the reconstruction of the tower of the 18th-century Garnisonkirche is progressing well: visitors now have a fantastic view over Potsdam from a height of 30 metres.
Take a look at the wide range of cultural events on offer. Why not combine an evening view of the lake with a visit to the Hans Otto Theater, for example?

Cultural events on the Brandenburg tourism website

Culinary excursions: food and drink

Asparagus season
Fresh on the table: asparagus © Getty Images, Foto: fermate

Brandenburg offers plenty of culinary discoveries: pleasant restaurants at day-trip locations, award-winning haute cuisine and pubs with local specialities.

Many of the award-winning restaurants in Brandenburg have chefs of international standing who can surprise you with unusual creations. One of them is Tim Raue, who interprets the typical down-to-earth dishes of the region in a surprising new way at Villa Kellermann in Potsdam.

Every spring, the region around Beelitz is a popular destination because of the asparagus grown there. On the large farms you can not only buy asparagus fresh from the field, but many of them, such as the Spargel- und Erlebnishof Klaistrow have attractions such as adventure playgrounds for the children and carriage rides. Many restaurants have seasonal menus with delicious asparagus dishes of every kind.

Regional cuisine with seasonal products can be found all year round on the menus of country restaurants such as Landhaus Alte Schmiede. The menu depends on the season and offers local specialities – fresh from the region. You can also find freshly harvested products in the charming farm shops dotted around the countryside. You can even pick your own fruit at many farms such as Kirschgarten Werder which open their fields and orchards to the public. And if you don't want to pick it yourself, you can also buy fresh fruit and vegetables, home-made jams and other delicacies from roadside stands all over Brandenburg – all directly from the farmer.

More culinary tips at the Brandenburg tourism website

Film-making in Brandenburg

Film set for a Western Movie in the Filmpark Babelsberg in Berlinn
Western movie film set at Filmpark Babelsberg © Filmpark Babelsberg GmbH

Brandenburg has a long tradition of film-making. As early as 1912, the first film was made at the Babelsberg studio just outside Berlin. It is now the oldest large-scale film studio in the world and the biggest in Europe. Babelsberg’s reputation has even reached Hollywood, attracting internationally renowned directors such as Steven Spielberg, George Clooney and Wes Anderson to the studios.
You can completely immerse yourself in the world of movies at the Babelsberg Film Park. When you visit, you can look behind the scenes of the fantasy world and see how film and television professionals work.

If you are interested in the history of the Babelsberg studio, you should also visit the Potsdam Film Museum , where the permanent exhibition “Dream Factory – 100 Years of Film in Babelsberg” shows the long and eventful history of the Babelsberg film studios.

With the Berlin WelcomeCard you have reduced admission to both attractions.

In fact, every time you come to Brandenburg, it’s a visit to a film set, because the landscape is an increasingly frequent location for film and television productions. The internationally acclaimed series “Dark” was shot at locations all over Brandenburg. And the popular children’s figures “Bibi and Tina” have ridden their ponies across the fields around the Oder-Spree lakes in four films and one TV series. You can combine the 20 locations of the television film Unterleuten about the fictional village in Brandenburg into a day trip and discover villages, lakes and the beauty of the wide-open landscapes.

More about film-making in Brandenburg at the Brandenburg tourism website

Spas in Brandenburg

Tropical Island Lagune
Tropical Island Lagune © Copyright: Tropical Island

If you feel like taking a break after all your tours of discovery through Brandenburg’s natural and cultural landscape, you’ll find peace and relaxation in its many thermal baths and spas. Treat yourself. The Spreewald Therme, for example, with its seven saunas, brine bath, bubble loungers, counter current pool, six indoor pools and much more, is a wonderfully scenic setting to relax and pamper yourself.

Why not combine fitness and recreation with relaxation and a quite unique family vacation? At the  Badeparadies Lübbenau you can swim alongside penguins separated only by a pane of glass. And at the Tropical Island resort under the glass roof of the former airship hangar, you’ll find a tropical paradise even on rainy days.

More info on spas in Berlin and Brandenburg

Industrial heritage sites  

Part of a factory
Part of a factory © Getty Images, Foto: Bim

Alongside, Brandenburg’s picturesque lakes and enchanting forests, there are many places that bear witness to its industrial past.
Without the additional space and rich resources of its surrounding region, Berlin’s rapid development into an industrial centre would not have been possible. Coal and building materials were delivered to the city by land and water in the 19th century. Attractive housing estates were built in the surrounding area for the workers.

The estate built for workers at the Schwartzkopff factory in Wildau, now a cultural and historical heritage site, promised the luxury of an indoor toilet and a small garden of your own, something that working-class families in Berlin could only dream of. The industrialists’ own houses were even more opulent. Today the former country residence of the Borsig familiy is now a seminar hotel with a smart restaurant.

But not everything in Brandenburg’s industrial heritage is a thing of the past. The ship lift in Niederfinow , which opened in 1934, is still in operation. Here you can see for yourself how cargo vessels weighing up to 1,200 tons are lifted 36 metres from the canal into the Alte Oder.

More about industrial heritage

TMB Tourismus-Marketing Brandenburg GmbH

Historic mill in Sanssouci in Potsdam
Historic mill in Sanssouci © Foto: Rüdinger

TMB Tourismus-Marketing Brandenburg GmbH has been developing and combining marketing activities for the state of Brandenburg since 1998. It provides impulses and active marketing to promote tourism in Brandenburg.
TMB also brings together information from the tourist industry in Brandenburg, focussing its communication on nature and culture and offering a central marketing platform. TMB Tourismus-Marketing Brandenburg GmbH presents Brandenburg in Germany and abroad as an attractive travel destination that surrounds Berlin.

You can order list of places to stay in Brandenburg as well as various brochures on spas, cycling, restaurants and more from Tourismus Marketing Brandenburg.

Order your brochure

Brandenburg App – The perfect travel companion

Exterior view of Chorin Monastery in Brandenburg
A highlight in Brandenburg: Chorin Monastery © iStock.com, Foto: Juhla

With the new Brandenburg app you can experience even more of Brandenburg.
Keep track of events and travel destinations in the following categories:

  • Water
  • Activity & nature
  • Art & culture
  • Spas & health
  • Food & drink

Download: