Is the Uckermark the Hamptoms of Berlin? The northernmost region of Brandenburg is said to be the prettiest and the best choice for trips to Berlins countryside (and I’d have to agree).
That said, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Whether you’d like to go on a short day trip or spend an entire weekend outside of Berlin, there’s a plethora of places in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern or even further in Poland or in Saxony. I haven’t been everywhere, but these were the places I visited that I can definitely recommend if you’re looking to venture outside of Berlin.
Relaxing at the Fontane Therme in Neuruppin
A good day spa is not easy to find these days, especially one that is clean, well designed and family-friendly (or not family friendly, depending on what you’re looking for). The Fontane Therme in Neuruppin, Brandenburg, is definitely worth a visit on a cold day or if you just want to relax in the spa. It’s only a one hour ride from Berlin and a perfect get-away from the city. You can also combine the trip with a short walk through the quaint town of Neuruppin.
Read the full review of the Fontane Therme, which has a gym, saunas, spa treatments and saltwater pools as well as swimming pools for you to enjoy.
Shop for cheap knicknacks at the Polish market in Hohenwutzen
Going to the Polish market yields some interesting purchases – from guns to cheap cigarettes to firecrackers. It makes for an interesting day or half day trip, and busses run hourly from many places throughout (east) Berlin for as little as 10 Euro. Perfect for people who got a little bored of Dong Xuang Center.
Enjoy German culture and heritage in the Spreewald
It takes about an hour to get to the Spreewald, an artificial forest and lowland that mainly consists of meadows and ramifications of the Spree – mostly famous for the regions Spreewaldgurken, the sour German pickles. On a mild and sunny day, jump into a boat (called Kahn here) with up to 7 other people and enjoy the pastoral atmosphere. Once you’re there, you’ll see that there’s a valid reason for why it’s the most visited region of Brandenburg. A visit to the Spreewald is especially popular during Easter, when the Sorbs start decorating the easter eggs in a ridiculous manner.
All that said, it gets arguably boring after a day or two. Read more about our trip to Spreewald here.
Relax like royalty at Die Bleiche Spa & Resort
For a more specific and ultra-luxe kind of escape to the Spreewald, even in the wintertime, look into Berlins most popular getaway destination: The Bleiche Resort & Spa. The Spreewald setting is here combined with a decadence usually reserved for kings and queens. A spa, restaurants, an intrinsic feeling for contemporary design and art, perfectly embedded into the former industrial bleachery estate.
The Bleiche is a really high-end hotel, so prepare to spend a lot of cash here – but I can attest that it’s definitely worth it.
Spend a weekend at the cozy Schloss Gamehl near Wismar
Schloss Gamehl is a wonderful resort to escape to on a two or three night weekend holiday near Wismar. The trip is a bit longer to take, but you’ll end up in a very soothing region.
It’s not sensational, but it’s comfortable, clean and has beautiful rooms. The staff is very open minded and friendly, and the estate is 2 hours from Berlin, near the Baltic Sea. Good for a romantic getaway, Schloss Gamehl also pretty much has the best restaurant I’ve come to find in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Hike through the Saxon Switzerland National Park
Wanna take a hike? Try out the Saxon Switzerland National Park near Dresden! Get in touch with your nature loving side and have a crack at the mountains.
Our lifestyle correspondent Tandiss already went on this trip and brought back some lively memories and pictures. You can easily spend a day doing the hike, and another in the city of Dresden – one of the most beautiful places in Germany, or so I’ve heard.
Read the full review about the hike in the Saxon Switzerland National Park.
Spend a few days in Leipzig, “the new Berlin”
People say Leipzig’s going to become the “new Berlin” because of all the space, former industrial warehouses, cheap rent and renowned art schools. Well, I think it would be a shame to compare Leipzig to Berlin, it has much more to offer on its own terms.
It’s only a short train ride from Berlin , it’s young and vibrant and it has a culturally interesting scene, loads of cool bars, nice people, traits of the former GDR and of course, vibrant nightlife and unique off-locations. If you’ve got friends in the city, do yourself a favor and visit over the weekend.
Visit the Baltic Sea, but not necessarily in the summer
The Baltic Sea has a very special place for all the experts of authenticity and calmness. This place is called Hiddensee, an island that’s about 17 kilometers long. It’s pretty much void of anything exciting. All you’ve got is the rough sea. Privately owned motorized vehicles are not allowed on this popular holiday resort. Hiddensee became famous as a 20th century artist colony. Artists from all around Germany spent their summer months here, creating new works.
If you’re looking for an even more relaxing Ostsee experience, try Warnemünde. Tandiss already told us about their weird obsession with baked fish, and Matze analyzed the German architecture of Usedom. There are many places you can go to at the Baltic Sea. Two to three hours on the train or in the car will get you there, and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a bargain during off-season.
Go to Sacred Ground Festival in Brandenburg’s most beautiful region, Uckermark
This new addition to the festival scene is a perfect destination in the summer. Although it falls under the category of “events”, if you’re keeping your eyes open all year for a short getaway, then I highly recommend a fine musical experience in a very laid back (and beautiful) environment.
I absolutely detest festivals, and with that in mind, I was completely blown away by the musical curation, the care for details and by the likeminded people who visited the Sacred Grounds. Set in a beautiful Uckermark landscape of pastoral lyrics, the festival aims to be small and stay small in the future, so get your tickets early.