You feel like recharging your batteries and are longing for some peaceful scenery outside the city? The good thing about Berlin is that you can leave it any time and nature is just around the corner. For a day trip, we suggest the Briesetal, a landscape conservation area in the north of Berlin. The Briese is the left tributary of the Havel and, how we came to call it, Berlin’s answer to the Southern swamps.
How to get there: Take the S-Bahn (S1 or S8) to Birkenweder. From there follow the signs to the city district Briese. The hiking trail follows the river. You can walk to the end, then cross it and return on the other side. If you like to shorten your hiking tour, bridges allow you to return earlier.
Start early for the 13km long hiking trail between Birkenwerder and Zühlsdorf. For all late risers the trail to the Hubertusbrücke (or Schlagbrücke) is half the distance.
Berlin is not only great, because of its bustling city center, but there are also numerous scenic day trip options, many only a short S-Bahn journey away.
What about starting your exploration of Berlin’s surrounding area at the royal grounds of Schloss Glienicke, for example? Standing on the castle’s premises, you might feel a bit as if you were transported into an Italian movie set. And not without reason – in 1823, when Prince Carl von Preußen returned from his trip to Italy, he was fascinated by the Italian culture and architecture and therefore fulfilled his dream of an Italian replica of the buildings that he had seen in Italy. The castle with its mediterranean character became his summer home. What remains today is the castle, a „casino“, an orangerie, a big lion fountain and the royal garden.
Once you’re done strolling around the royal premises and you still feel like walking, you can take the path close by that leads you along the Havel up to the Pfaueninsel and the Wannsee. For some food and refreshments, you might like to take a little pit stop at the restaurant „Wirtshaus Moorlake“ which is situated along the way.
Where? Schloss Glienicke, Königstraße 36, 14109 Berlin (you can take the S-Bahn to "Wannsee" and then continue with the bus 316 for a 12 minute ride to "Schloss Glienicke").
Opening Hours: The premises can be visited all year round. If you also like to see the inside of the castle, opening hours are as follows:
January - February: Closed
March: Open Saturday-Sunday, 10am-4pm
April - October: Open Tuesday - Sunday 10am-5:30pm
November - December: Open Saturday-Sunday, 10am-4pm
Admission: 6€ (5€ reduced) for the castle
Although it’s been a couple of years since we have been to the Pfaueninsel – Peacock Island, we have still fond memories of this trip. Close to Berlin Wannsee, it is the perfect day adventure for a sunny weekend. The Pfaueninsel has a very idyllic, almost enchanted vibe to it and as soon as one stepps foot on the ground of the island, one immidiately forgets that just an hour ago they were paving their way through busy streets in the city. The island certainly does its name justice and you’ll find several free-ranging peacocks walking around that give this place it’s fairytale atmosphere.
The island was rediscovered by Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Prussia, who used it as a romantic venue for secret meetups with his mistress. Between 1794 and 1797, he had a little summer palace built on the island. Although many buildings in Berlin were damaged during the Second World War, the little palace on Peacock Island survived unscathed and so still remains in its original form today. Since 1990 the entire island has been a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Where?Peacock Island, Nikolskoer way, 14109 Berlin (it is best to take the S-Bahn to 'Wannsee'. From there it is a short walk or bus ride, Bus 218 or 316, up to the small ferry that takes you to the island).
When? Nov-Feb 10am-4pm, March 9am-6pm, April 9am-7pm, May-August: 9am-8pm, Sept 9am-7pm, Oct 9am-6pm.
Admission:4€ (reduced 3€)