For our third day in Berlin, Päivi suggested we visit a nearby city, Potsdam. As I’d never been, I was game! Potsdam is easy to access by train and the trip takes just 40 minutes. An easy breezy day trip for anyone wanting to see something outside Berlin.
As we wanted to have an early start, we decided to have breakfast at the nearby Steinecke bakery. Steinecke is a chain specializing in baked goods. Our first challenge was ordering the breakfast, as no-one in the café seemed to speak English. With a lot of hand waving and mixing languages, we managed to order a breakfast for two. It consisted mainly of bread but there was one interesting speciality on the menu, which we had failed to comprehend up with our clumsy German. METT.
Mett is raw minced pork meat with onions!!! You’re supposed to put it on your bread roll but I have to admit that this was just a bit too exotic for us and we had to leave it untouched. Have you been more adventurous than us and actually tasted Mett?
After breakfast, we caught the metro and changed to the S7 train – I forget the stations but Google maps will help you if you are going this way. On the train we had another funny Finnish encounter when an older lady next to us suddenly started addressing us in Finnish! I must say that “her style” did not give her nationality away, she looked very German indeed!
Arriving in Potsdam 40 minutes later, we took the local bus to Sanssouci Palace which Päivi knew to be a top tourist attraction in the area.
If you want to visit the castle, you will need to rush into the ticket office on arrival (unless you’ve bought your tickets online beforehand), as you don’t want to wait for hours for the next free time slot to enter the museum. We had over an hour till our entrance, so we walked around a bit, admiring the beautiful gardens and the palace from outside.
The Sanssouci Palace was the summer residence of Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia. It was built in 1747. It’s not a big palace, as there are only ten rooms. Apparently Frederick was very fond of the palace and spent time there whenever possible.
As ee had time for coffee and ice cream, we headed to the Mövenpick Restaurant across the road. There was a brunch going on but we were still quite full from all the bread at breakfast, so we gave that a pass. We sat outside on the terrace, enjoying the warmth of the October sun. As I’m always on the hunt for good coconut ice cream, I tried Mövenpick’s version. Unfortunately, it did not come anywhere near the coconut ice cream I’ve tasted in Thailand (and have tried to find ever since).
Heading back to the palace, we went in line and waited for our entry time to be called. We had audioguides explaining the history and the rooms in detail. Our favourite room turned out to be the Voltaire Room. It had yellow walls adorned with impressive wood carvings of birds, monkeys, fruits and flowers. Sadly we didn’t have a camera pass, so no photos were allowed (and the guards were quick to point this out if anyone attempted photography without a paid pass). I’ve visited my fair share of palaces but I’ve never seen such an interesting room before, so this was a lovely surprise.
We then walked through the gardens to get to Potsdam’s historical center. There are several other palaces in the area but we felt that one palace a day is enough!
By the time we found Potsdam’s Brandenburg Gate, we were very hungry. Again! Not having the patience to research restaurants, we chose My Keng which seemed to be quite popular and had a nice looking terrace. No chance of sitting outside in Finland at this time of the year, so better make use of every possibility! A glass of wine and a meal later we were ready to continue our tour of Potsdam.
Next, Päivi guided us to the Dutch Quarter. There are 134 red two storey houses in the area with cafés, restaurants, galleries and shops. Originally, the houses were built for Dutch immigrants in 1734-1742. It’s the largest Dutch neighbourhood outside of the Netherlands,
For lovers of cheesecake, you will find your heaven here! Café Guam specializes in all kinds of cheesecake. There are several flavours to choose from. We shared a lemon cheesecake which was divine! However, I’d go for tea here, as the coffee wasn’t very good.
Leaving the café, it started drizzling. We tried to catch a tram but it was so full that we opted to walk the whole way to the station. On the way we saw St Nicholas’ Church and looking around the square, we spotted many different museums. Still plenty to explore in Potsdam but perhaps another day!
On the way to the train, we passed these statues enjoying a rainy day in the park.
Some motorboats were still out and about.
Getting back to our neighbourhood, we finished the day with some pizza from Amici Amici Focacceria. This is a great fast food pizzeria where you get a huge piece of pizza for just 2,50 euros!! They also have a trattoria, if you’d rather have a sit down meal.
What a great day we had in Potsdam! Have you been? What other day trips have you done from Berlin?