To the south-west of Berlin lies Potsdam, the capital of the federal state of Brandenburg. The city, with its rich cultural landscape and many attractions, is a worthwhile destination that makes a wonderful complement to a trip to Berlin. The main attractions of Potsdam include the palaces and royal parks, which have been named UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Potsdam's Palaces and Gardens
The beautiful natural landscape between Berlin and Potsdam became dotted with grand palaces and aristocratic houses in the 18th and 19th centuries. This glorious symbiosis of nature and architecture includes the royal parks of the Neuer Garten (New Garden), Babelsberg and the world-famous Sanssouci. Glienicke and the Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island), with their fairy-tale miniature palaces, and Sacrow park, home to the Heilandskirche (Church of the Redeemer) standing right by to the water, are also world heritage sites. In 1999, an additional 14 historical buildings were added to the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Potsdam, including the Russische Kolonie Alexandrowka (Alexandrovka Russian colony) and the Belvedere palace on the Pfingstberg. This has now made Potsdam home to the highest concentration of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Germany. The best known palace is Sanssouci, the magical summer palace of Frederick the Great. The whole appearance of Potsdam is marked not just by the royal palaces and parks, but also the many luxury villas, which give Potsdam a certain Mediterranean flair.
The Dutch Quarter in Potsdam
The Holländerviertel (Dutch Quarter) is home to 134 red brick houses constructed in the 18th century in the typical Dutch style. These were originally planned as accommodation for Dutch settlers, but were later used to house soldiers. The lovingly restored little houses are now home to boutiques, craft shops and cafés.
Film in Potsdam: Studio Babelsberg and the Film Museum
The Studio Babelsberg is famous around the world. Films have been shot here since the 1920s, including great silent film classics like Die Nibelungen (The Nibelungs), Der letzte Mann (The Last Laugh), and Metropolis, as well as East German feature films by DEFA (the state-owned film studio of the GDR) such as Die Legende von Paul und Paula (The Legend of Paul and Paula), and modern blockbusters like The Bourne Supremacy or Inglourious Basterds. Filmpark Babelsberg lets you get a look behind the scenes in a real film studio and you won't be disappointed with the action in the spectacular stunt shows. The Filmmuseum Potsdam is housed in the Marstall, the former royal stables of the Prussian kings, and is dedicated to the history of filmmaking in Babelsberg and around the world.
Music + Theatre in Potsdam
The major theatre in Potsdam is the Hans Otto Theater, which has been putting on shows in its new building on the Schiffbauerdamm since 2006. The rococo theatre in the Neues Palais (New Palace) is still in use today and is easily one of the most beautiful historic theatres of the 18th century. Contemporary architecture isn't completely absent here: visitors will want to check out the Nikolaisaal Potsdam concert hall, which hides a bold, modern design from the year 2000 behind a baroque façade. The programme at the Nikolaisaal is as varied and exciting as the building's architecture.
Worth Seeing in Potsdam:
- Sanssouci and Park
- Neues Palais
- Schloss Babelsberg
- Alexandrowka Colony
- Filmpark Babelsberg
Potsdam by app
As an alternative to traditional travel and city guides, visitors can explore the city of Potsdam on their own. By app. As a treasure hunt. The Global Treasure App provides exciting questions about various places across the city, with multiple choices for answers. At the end, many places will give the treasure hunters a small thank you gift.