THAT ONE DAY IN POTSDAM...
To many, Potsdam is the ideal day trip destination from Berlin. Both locals and visitors choose to spend one day in the small town of Potsdam which can be easily reached by car or train, within less than an hour. Once a residence of the Prussian kings and the German Kaiser, Potsdam is today the capital of the German Federal State of Brandenburg, as well as its largest city. During our recent visit to the German capital, we made sure to find some time and visit Potsdam too and we were not disappointed at all. We arrived by car within 40 minutes and spent an entire day there, having the chance to relax and enjoy some of the best coffee we had during the journey.
Our first stop was at Brandenburg Gate. Yes, Potsdam has its own Brandenburg Gate. It is much smaller than the one you will find in Berlin and is located at Luisenplatz, at the western entrance of the town.
Right behind the Gate, we could see the old town in all of its glory. Most of the shops and cafes located alongside the main shopping street were very cute and elegantly decorated and we just loved the colors of the buildings. Street musicians and fresh fruit stalls were ideally completing the whole scene. We made several stops, entering cute shops to buy non touristy souvenirs, as we always love to bring a few pieces from our travels back home with us.
We soon found ourselves at Potsdam’s Dutch quarter, which –as its name claims- is a neighborhood of Dutch style houses, made of red brick. The quarter was built at the commands of Frederick William I of Prussia, as an effort to attract Dutch artists, due to his love for the Dutch culture.
Really close to the Dutch Quarter, we came across another of the city’s three gates, the Nauener Tor, an excellent example of Gothic revival architecture, built in 1755. Potsdam’s three city gates (the third being Jägertor) are today connected by a promenade, which came to replace the city wall, which was once connecting them.
Our day in Potsdam was completed with a visit to the city’s main attraction, the Sanssouci Palace, after taking a break at this super cute café, where we had some really good cappuccino and Americano coffee, a delicious piece of carrot cake and a chicken and cream cheese stuffed bagel.
A few minutes of walking later, we arrived at Sanssouci Park, where the Sanssouci Palace is located. Sanssouci was built as a summer residence for Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, back in the 1700s in the Rococo style. The palace’s name is actually the French phrase sans souci, which translates into “without worries”, and that’s exactly what the King was looking for : a peaceful place, where he could just relax, leaving all of his worries behind. Judging by the beautiful gardens which surround the palace, we believe that the residence did complete justice to its name!
Inside the park, you will also find Neues Palais (the New Palace), which was built 20 years later in the Baroque style, to confirm and demonstrate Frederick’s power to the world. Visiting the gardens and admiring the palaces’ exterior is free, but you can find more information about getting into the palace, here.