Best weekend trips and places to visit outside of Berlin

Let's say we want to escape for a couple of days from Berlin, for example, when the weather gets surprisingly good and there's no oxygen left between Charlottenburg and Neukölln-Britz. Or if you get stuck in the same loop of weekend-work-shifts, with no new inspiration? Good news: within 2 hours, there are plenty of options to reach. Here are some of the most popular.
2 Mar ’14 by Sara Travel

Fontane Therme in Brandenburg

A good day spa is not easy to find these days, especially one that is clean, well designed and family-friendly. 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 is a perfect get-away from the busy city. You can also combine the trip with a short walk through the beautiful 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.

Spreewald 

It’s not just about the famous Spreewald-Gurken. 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. 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, we got pretty bored on our last visit. Read more about it here.

Die Bleiche Spa and Resort in Spreewald

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 we hear it’s absolutely worth it!

Die Bleiche Resort & Spa

Schloss Gamehl

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.

Read the full Schloss Gamehl review here.

 

Dresden & 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.

Leipzig

Only a while ago, I went on my first trip to Leipzig. People have been whispering about the underestimated coolness of the Saxony underdog. They 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.

Read more about Leipzig in my short trip review.

Hamburg

Despite there being a little rivalry between Hamburg and Berlin (about which is the cooler city), most Berliners appreciate the proximity to the Hansestadt. Hamburg definitely wins the beauty pageant if we’re talking conventional urban attractiveness. And it provides you with that “special feeling” only the sea can induce. The neighborhoods, from the vibrant red-light district to the Gängeviertel, will definitely make you feel right at home.

My personal recommendation: get on the train on a Saturday morning to Hamburg, smell the fresh air, chase some annoying gulls, adore the architecture in the city center, grab fish at Schabi’s Fischimbiss, visit the Gängeviertel, walk around the Binnenalster, admire the Hafencity (the port), visit the Red Light District in the evening and get wasted, end your night at the Golden Pudel Club raving, visit the Fish Market in the early morning hours and take the train back to Berlin. Or just… stay longer.

The Baltic Sea

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.

The 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.

Read the full review of the Sacred Ground festival in 2016.