• Germany's news in English
The Local List
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
The peaceful tranquility of the Spreewald woods. Photo: DPA.

Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin

The Local · 13 Jul 2016, 12:37

Published: 13 Jul 2016 12:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Jul 2016 12:37 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

1. Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island)

Pfaueninsel Castle. Photo: NoRud/Wikimedia Commons.

The Pfaueninsel is located in southwestern Berlin, right at the border with Potsdam and inside the River Havel.

According to archaeologists, the island has been inhabited for around 2,500 years, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Prussian King Frederick William II built a castle on the 243-acre isle in the late 1700s, and the island ultimately became a haven for wildlife: his son, King Frederick William III, collected exotic animals for the island like monkeys, kangaroos and - of course - peacocks.

Most of the animals were transferred to the Berlin zoological gardens in 1842, but the peacocks are still very much ubiquitous, as are a range of exotic birds.

Frederick William II was a big fan of medieval architecture, hence the nature of the white palace and the wrought-iron bridge, which were actually built at the end of the 18th century.

How to get there: take the S1 or the S7 to Wannsee, then the 218 bus to the Pfaueninsel stop. From there, a ferry will take you to the island for €4.

2. Tropical Islands resort

Tropical Islands Resort. Photo: DPA

Don’t miss out on a visit to the world’s largest indoor water park, the Tropical Islands resort, which covers a massive area of 66,000 square metres.

Converted from an old aircraft hangar by the Malaysian owners, this tropical paradise includes a beach, a lagoon, a spa and wellness centre, and mini golf.

You can also take a ride in a hot air balloon or see a dance show.

Day tickets cost €42 for adults and €33 for children over five years old.

How to get there: take either the Regional Express RE2 train or the RB24 train to the Brand, Tropical Islands station. A free shuttle from the Brand station will bring you to the resort.

3. Frankfurt an der Oder

Stained-glass windows in Frankfurt-an-der-Oder's Marienkirche. Photo: DPA

If you're feeling more like an intellectual trip, the historic town of Frankfurt an der Oder is a perfect choice.

Not to be confused with the major financial hub of Frankfurt am Main in the west, the smaller Frankfurt an der Oder is right on the Polish border. This means you can simply cross the bridge over the Oder River and then you're in the Polish town of Słubice (though apparently it's not so easy if you're a refugee).

Also known as 'Kleist Town' after the famed poet Heinrich von Kleist, who was born and studied there, this 'other Frankfurt' boasts unmissable cultural attractions including the Marienkirche church with its beautiful stained-glass windows, the Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach concert hall and the Museum of Young Art.

For families, Frankfurt has its very own puppet theatre as well as a wildlife park only a roughly 30-minute journey away from the town centre.

If you simply want to escape the hubbub of city-life, why not relax in the Lenné park, or take a boat or surfboard out onto the Helenesee lake?

How to get there: the regional train RE1 from Berlin's central station (Hauptbahnhof) takes just over an hour to get there.

4. Bad Saarow thermal baths

Bad Saarow baths. Photo: Clemensfranz/Wikimedia Commons

If you want to take it easy, you can relax and unwind in SaarowTherme's thermal baths and enjoy the benefits of physiotherapy and wellness treatment.

Sport-lovers will not be disappointed: you can try out numerous water sports on the Scharmützel Lake where the baths are located, and there is also a wealth of other activities available, such as tennis, walking, cycling, horse riding and cycling.

How to get there: take the RE1 in the direction of Frankfurt (Oder) and get off at Fürstenwalde station. From there, take the bus 430 to Bad Saarow, and then it's a roughly five-minute walk to SaarowTherme.

5. Liepnitzsee

A man taking in the view at the Liepnitzsee. Photo: DPA

Idyllic scenery, hidden spots off the beaten track, calm waters and relaxing boat trips - this lake is the perfect antidote to busy life in the capital. You can swim out to the island in the middle of the lake if you’re feeling adventurous!

Why not also visit the nearby Wandlitzer See while you’re there? This tranquil spot boasts deep forests, beautiful meadows and plenty of places to sit and relax, as well as opportunities for swimming and rowing.

How to get there: there are several regional trains that will take you to Bernau train station, and from there you'll need to take bus 894 to Wandlitz train station. Alternatively you can take the S2 to Karow train station and then take the RB27 to Wandlitz.

Story continues below…

Tip: take your bike with you, otherwise it’s about a 30-minute walk from the train station to Liepnitzsee's beach area.

6. Spreewald

The peaceful tranquility of the Spreewald woods. Photo: DPA

Enjoy fresh air, scenic walks and beautiful views in Brandenburg's Spreewald region - one of only 15 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Germany.

The wildlife is unbeatably diverse. There are 830 known species of butterfly present, 48 kinds of dragonfly and 270 species of bird.

The Spreewald is a cyclist’s and hiker’s paradise: there are countless bike routes and hiking trails winding their way through leafy forests, picturesque villages and verdant meadows.

The hiking trails range from 5-25km long, so there’s something for everyone from walkers with little experience to serious hikers.

Alternatively you can rent out a kayak, canoe or even take a boat tour if you want to skip leg day.

How to get there: take the RE2 to Lübbenau station - about an hour ride from Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

Website: http://www.spreewald.de/en/

By Ali Butt and Verity Middleton

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd