Benkertstraße, Portal

The holi­day apart­ment is loca­ted in Potsdam’s Dut­ch Quar­ter and the­re­fo­re at the very heart of the city. Wit­hin wal­king distance you will find all your dai­ly requi­re­ments – from gro­ce­ry shop­ping to going out in the evening, parks, palaces, muse­ums, thea­tres, cine­mas, and con­certs.

Choosing a mode of transport

In Pots­dam, we recom­mend get­ting around on foot, by bike or using public trans­port. The tram stop (Naue­ner Tor) ser­ved by two lines (92, 96) is five minu­tes away on foot, Platz der Ein­heit, ser­ving all tram lines and the bus­ses towards Sans­sou­ci can be rea­ched on foot in just ten minu­tes. Ren­tal bikes (a sta­ti­on in Mit­tel­stra­ße, five minu­tes away) and ren­tal scoo­ters are avail­ab­le. Dri­ving in Pots­dam – and I say this as a pas­sio­na­te dri­ver – is gene­ral­ly not an enjoy­a­ble expe­ri­ence. The­re are regu­lar traf­fic jams, and the limi­ted par­king spaces avail­ab­le are all sub­ject to char­ge.

Palaces, parks

Pots­dam has five palace gar­dens and parks:

  • Park Sans­sou­ci (twen­ty minu­tes away on foot) with Sans­sou­ci Palace (Schloß Sans­sou­ci), New Palace (Neu­es Palais), Char­lot­ten­hof Manor (Schloß Char­lot­ten­hof), Oran­ge­ry Palace (Oran­ge­rie­schloß), New Cham­bers (Neue Kam­mern), Pic­tu­re Gal­le­ry (Bil­der­ga­le­rie), Chi­ne­se Hou­se (Chi­ne­si­sches Tee­haus), Dra­gon Hou­se (Dra­chen­haus), Roman Baths (Römi­sche Bäder), Bel­ve­de­re on the Klaus­berg, the Mount of Ruins (Rui­nen­berg) with the Nor­man Tower, Neptune’s Grot­to (Nep­tungrot­te), Church of Peace (Frie­dens­kir­che), bota­nic gar­dens
  • The New Gar­den (Neu­er Gar­ten) (ten minu­tes away on foot) with Marb­le Palace (Mar­mor­pa­lais), Ceci­li­en­hof Palace (Schloß Ceci­li­en­hof), dai­ry (Meie­rei), Gothic libra­ry (Goti­sche Biblio­thek), her­mi­ta­ge (Ein­sie­de­lei), oran­ge­ry (Oran­ge­rie), shell grot­to (Muschel­grot­te)
  • Park Babels­berg (with tram 94, 20 minu­tes away) with Babels­berg Palace (Schloß Babels­berg), Litt­le Palace (Klei­nes Schloß), steam-powe­red pump hou­se (Dampf­ma­schi­nen­haus), Fla­tow Tower (Fla­tow­turm), Court Arbour (Gerichts­lau­be), Sailors’ Hou­se (Matro­sen­haus)
  • The land­s­cape park Klein-Glie­nicke (with tram 93, 20 minu­tes away) with Glie­nicke Palace (Schloß Glie­nicke), Glie­nicke Hun­ting Lodge (Jagd­schloß Glie­nicke), casi­no, the pavi­li­ons Gro­ße and Klei­ne Neu­gier­de (Lar­ge and Small Curio­si­ty) and the neigh­bou­ring Glie­nicke Bridge
  • Park Sacrow (on the other side of the lake, can be rea­ched in 45 minu­tes by water taxi or bus) with Sacrow Palace (Schloß Sacrow) and the Church of the Saviour (Hei­lands­kir­che)

Museums

Most of the muse­ums are loca­ted in the city cent­re and are the­re­fo­re only 15 to 20 minu­tes away on foot. The Muse­um Bar­beri­ni at Alter Markt (Old Mar­ket Squa­re) runs tem­pora­ry exhi­bi­ti­ons of world-class pain­tings; works from Monet and Van Gogh have been on dis­play here. Not far from the­re, the Film Muse­um shows the rich Babels­berg heri­ta­ge with the world’s oldest film stu­di­os still in exi­stence. The Pots­dam Muse­um at Alter Markt is devo­ted to histo­ry and art; in the coach hou­se (Kutschstall) at the Neu­er Markt (New Mar­ket Squa­re) is the Hou­se of Bran­den­burg-Prus­si­an Histo­ry. The­re is also a natu­ral histo­ry muse­um (Natur­kun­de­mu­se­um), and the Exta­vi­um invi­tes child­ren to play­ful­ly dis­co­ver the won­ders of sci­ence. The more recent histo­ry of repres­si­on is remem­be­red in the memo­ri­al sites Lin­den­stra­ße (GDR) and Lei­sti­kow­stra­ße (Soviet secret ser­vice NKVD). To the north of the city, right bes­i­de the Volks­park, is the Bio­sphä­re (tram line 96, 15 minu­tes) whe­re tro­pi­cal plants and ani­mals can be mar­vel­led at. The Film­park Babels­berg (by tram and bus via the main rail­way sta­ti­on, 30 minu­tes) is a leisu­re park and is loca­ted direct­ly bes­i­de the Babels­berg Stu­dio.

Architecture

For peop­le with an eye for inte­re­sting archi­tec­tu­re, Pots­dam has a who­le lot to offer, qui­te apart from palaces and muse­ums.

The varie­ty is enor­mous: Baro­que archi­tec­tu­re in the city cent­re, Clas­si­cism in the nort­hern sub­urbs (Jäger­vor­stadt, Naue­ner and Ber­li­ner Vor­stadt), Wil­hel­mi­ni­an style in the Bran­den­bur­ger Vor­stadt and in Babels­berg Süd, the Neu­ba­bels­berg vil­la colo­ny at Lake Grieb­nitz, the weaver’s quar­ter (Weber­vier­tel) in Babels­berg Nord, the housing are­as from the 20s in the south-west, the Rus­si­an colo­ny Alex­an­drow­ka … keep your eyes open as you move around the city.

Day-to-day requirements

Geschäfte in der Ebertstraße
Shops in Fried­rich-Ebert-Stra­ße, view of the Nau­en Gate

You can meet your gro­ce­ry needs from regio­nal sources (Q-Regio shop, 100 m away) and in the super­mar­ket (Ede­ka, 250 m away), as well as at the butcher’s, baker’s and wine merchant’s (all around 150 m away) or at the farmer’s mar­kets (Bas­sin­platz dai­ly except Sunday, or the par­ti­cu­lar­ly attrac­ti­ve mar­ket at Nau­en Gate on Satur­days and Wed­nes­days).

Shopping for fun

Läden Gutenbergstraße
Shops in Guten­berg­stra­ße

On Bran­den­bur­ger Stra­ße, the pede­stria­nis­ed area bet­ween St. Peter and Paul Church on Bas­sin­platz and the Bran­den­burg Gate on Lui­sen­platz and, abo­ve all, in the side streets, you will find lots of small, owner-run shops with inte­re­sting ran­ges, in addi­ti­on to the well-known shops and a Kar­stadt depart­ment store. The Roy­al Por­ce­lain Fac­to­ry (König­li­che Por­zel­lan­ma­nu­fak­tur, KPM) also has a store here. Have a look around.

Brandenburger Straße mit Brandenburger Tor

Eating out

Restaurants im Holländischen Viertel

Right in the Dut­ch Quar­ter, around two minu­tes away on foot, you will find a ran­ge of dif­fe­rent restau­rants and cafés: Mai­son du Cho­co­lat or Lieb­lingsca­fé (‘favou­ri­te cafe’) with won­der­ful gateaux, Flie­gen­der Hol­län­der (‘Fly­ing Dut­ch­man’) with local cui­sine, Mai­son Char­lot­te with French dis­hes, the steak­hou­se 800°, Can­cel­lo in Nau­en Gate with Ita­li­an dis­hes, or the tra­di­ti­on-stee­ped Café Hei­der, whe­re you can also dine in the evening, are just named as examp­les – the­re are lots more.

Zweite Barocke Stadterweiterung
Second Baro­que City Expan­si­on

Adja­cent to the Dut­ch Quar­ter lies the second Baro­que exten­si­on of the city with its yel­low houses fea­turing gab­le rooms. Here you will find a lar­ge ran­ge of restau­rants and bars, gua­ran­te­ed to have some­thing for every taste. In Lin­den­stra­ße and Dor­tu­stra­ße, you can sit out under the trees in sum­mer. Tho­se who would like to enjoy the crea­ti­ons of cele­bri­ty chefs will find a num­ber of opti­ons in Pots­dam: Koch­zim­mer on Neu­er Markt, Restau­rant Juli­et­te in Jäger­stra­ße, Vil­la Kel­ler­mann in the Ber­li­ner Vor­stadt, Kabi­nett F. W. out­side the city in Wild­park on the road to Wer­der.

Going out in the evenings

At the edge of the city cent­re, loca­ted on Tie­fer See lake, lies the Schiff­bau­er­gas­se cul­tu­ral quar­ter (Erleb­nis­quar­tier Schiff­bau­er­gas­se) with the Hans Otto Theat­re and a num­ber of small sta­ges (T-Werk, Fabrik, Reit­hal­le, Wasch­haus). It is just 15 minu­tes away on foot.

Afi­cio­na­dos of clas­si­cal or jazz music will find a lar­ge ran­ge of con­certs in the Niko­lai­saal (ten minu­tes away on foot).

The Kaba­rett Obe­lisk in Char­lot­ten­stra­ße holds a mir­ror up to socie­ty (ten minu­tes on foot).

Pots­dam offers cinea­stes no fewer than three cine­mas: Tha­lia in Babels­berg (tram, 20 minu­tes door to door) is one of many excel­lent arthouse cine­mas. The Kino im Film­mu­se­um (15 minu­tes away on foot) shows tre­a­su­res of film histo­ry and thought-pro­vo­king reper­to­ry cine­ma. In the Bahn­hofs­pas­sa­gen (tram, six minu­tes), the huge UCI mul­ti­plex awaits with inter­na­tio­nal film hits and pop­corn by the bucket­ful.

Anyo­ne who wants to go out for a drink will find not only beer gar­dens (e.g. Haft­horn) in sum­mer but also lots of bars, among them Unschein­bar (15 minu­tes away on foot) whe­re the spe­cial cock­tails can be recom­men­ded.

Platz am Nauener Tor
At Nau­en Gate

You can go dan­cing in the Wasch­haus, in Lin­den­park, in Club Lagu­na, or in Guten­berg 100.

And if that is still not enough …

… take an excur­si­on into the sur­roun­ding area, for examp­le to Wer­der (15 km away to the south-west) with its lovely old town on an island in the midd­le of the Havel river and its viney­ards and orchards. A very attrac­ti­ve cycle path along the Havel lakes will also take you the­re.

Or enjoy a round trip with the ships of the Wei­ße Flot­te (the White Fleet). If tou­rist com­men­ta­ries are of no gre­at inte­rest to you, I would recom­mend taking the Pots­da­mer Was­ser­ta­xi from Hauptbahnhof/Hafen (at the Lan­ge Brücke bridge) hea­ding nor­thwards – sim­ply enjoy the sun, wind and water and the view of the lovely palaces and parks.

Or tra­vel to Ber­lin; in just half an hour you can be at Fried­rich­stra­ße sta­ti­on with the S-Bahn (S7).

Text and pho­to­graphs © 2020 Ernst Eimer. Repro­duc­tion not per­mit­ted.

The nume­rous links on this page allow you to get direct infor­ma­ti­on on the listed muse­ums, restau­rants, cine­mas, etc. and their ran­ges, menus and pro­gram­mes. Respon­si­bi­li­ty for the con­tent of the lin­ked sites rests exclu­si­ve­ly with their ope­ra­tors. I express­ly distance myself from the con­tent of the lin­ked sites.

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