Located in the north east of Germany, Brandenburg is a federal state that encircles the capital city of Berlin. With a population of 2.5 million residents that live in an area of 29,478 square kilometres, you can be sure that Brandenburg has plenty to offer. Whether you’re coming for a city break or looking for things to do while living here, we’ve outlined some of our favourite attractions and places to visit. These worthwhile experiences are something many people dream of ticking off on their bucket list. Discover what to do in Brandenburg in our area guide below.
Top Things to Do and See Brandenburg
Wondering what to do in Brandenburg? From nature parks and beautiful gardens to palaces and historical sites, there’s a vast array of things to keep you busy. People who live in Brandenburg have the benefit of being able to enjoy the city’s offerings on a daily basis, so it’s easy to see why this region is so popular. Here are some of our top picks of things to do in the area.
Visit Potsdam: Brandenburg’s State Capital
Known first and foremost for Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam is a place with so much to offer its visitors. It has an assortment of notable sights that you should see, including a smaller rendition of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, St Nicholas Church and the Lindenstraße memorial site. While here, you may spot one or two impressive red-brick, gabled houses in the Dutch Quarter, where there are also a number of antique shops, cafes, galleries, design stores and ateliers.
Potsdam is a World Heritage city of palaces and parks for the Kings of Prussia. In the 17th century, devastation destroyed the city which was then later rebuilt and transformed into what you’ll see today.
Here are 10 things to look out for while in Potsdam:
- Sanssouci Palace and Park
- The Dutch Quater
- Neues Palais
- Brandenburg Gate (Not to be confused with the one located in Berlin)
- Belvedere auf dem Pfingstberg
- Park Babelsberg
- Neuer Garten
- Museum Barberini
Explore Spreewald Forest
Located roughly 100 km southeast of Berlin lies Spreewald forest. At the end of World War II it was the centre of the Battle of Halbe, though these days it’s popular with couples and is known for being one of the most romantic spots in Brandenburg. Offering idyllic landscapes and a labyrinth of waterways created by the Spree River, the area is best explored by wooden barge or paddle boat. Its incredible network of streams and rivers are an ideal way for you to sit and relax while you enjoy the peace and quiet of your surroundings.
For those of you who are visiting for more than a day trip, you can stay in one of the thatched roof cottages or guesthouses. Many of the places to stay here are neatly tucked behind large willows trees, giving you some peace and privacy.
Palm Trees? In Germany?
When you think of palm trees, your mind wanders to golden beaches with soft sand. You wouldn’t normally associate them with cities, but that’s exactly what you get in Brandenburg. Immerse yourself in a tropical world full of exciting adventures at Tropical World, a themed park located in the former Brand-Briesen Airfield.
With a maximum capacity of 8,200 visitors a day, Tropical World is the largest indoor waterpark. The indoor pool occupies a former-aircraft hangar and has several pools and water slides too. There’s also a spa and a number of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Take a Tour of KZ Sachsenhausen
There are many memorial sites, internment camps and monuments located throughout Europe that commemorate the horrors of the Third Reich. Sachsenhausen was established in 1936 and played a unique role during the Nazi era. Not only was it one of the first camps to open, but it also became a training centre for Schutzstaffel (SS) officers. A guided tour of KZ Sachsenhausen is sure to be an eye-opening experience, while also educating you about the past.
England Goes to Germany
Bordering Tiefen See lake on the River Havel, lies Babelsberg Park. It offers an array of lush greenery and nature for you to get out and explore. And at an impressive 280 acres, there’s plenty of ground for you to cover. There’s an English-inspired garden that provides visitors with stunning views of Jungfernsee and the nearby lakes. What’s more, there are a number of sculptures, mosaics and gothic fountains all randomly located throughout the park.
Become a Twitcher (Even if it's Just for a Day)
There’s an abundance of birdlife at The Lower Oder Valley National Park. Located within the Uckermark district, it encompasses 60 kilometres of riverside meadows along the Oder River. Many species of birds are often found here, with one of the most popular to look out for being the crane.
You’ll more than likely see other forms of wildlife while here too! If you’re following one of the walking or cycling routes here, you may just see some otters and beavers.
Barnim Nature Park
The Barnim Nature Park covers 750 square kilometres and is located between the northern side of Berlin and the central-north Brandenburg. If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life for a few hours, this is the ideal refuge spot. It offers diverse landscapes and beautiful lakes.
See Where Films and TV Shows Are Made
Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam are the oldest, large-scale film studio in the world. Films have been produced here since 1912, with some of the notable being V for Vendetta, Captain America: Civil War, The Bourne Ultimatum, Inglourious Basterds, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Hunger Games. Many popular German TV shows are also filmed here.
During a guided tour of the studios your sure to catch a glimpse of what it’s like to be a movie star. You’ll witness what happens behind the scenes of films and TV shows, and see a number of shows props and costumes you may recognise from your screens.
Want to get in on the action yourself? Why not test your skills as a weather forecast presenter before finishing the tour with a viewing in a 4D cinema.
The Abandoned Beelitz-Heilstätten Hospital
Beelitz is where Hitler and Honecker were treated for injuries and ailments that were sustained in World War I. These days it’s left abandoned, giving it a slightly spooky and haunting atmosphere. The local government took action to prevent nightly visits following a series of vandalism. Now you’re able to walk around the grounds on a canopy tour. You can also book additional photo tours.