Potsdam is the capital of the state of Brandenburg, and is located just 25km (15 miles) to the south-west of Berlin. It can make an excellent side trip to your trip to Berlin, with many of its attractions having a World Heritage status.
Up until 1918, Potsdam was the home of the Prussian Royalty, and as such, there are a number of castles and palaces to visit here. The most impressive is the Rococo styled Sanssouci, which was the summer residence of Frederick the Great. If you intend of visiting the castle, make sure you get there early in peak season, because there is a daily limit on the number of visitors allowed in.
Another palace in Potsdam is Schloss Cecilienhof, the last palace built by the powerful Hohenzollern family. Here, Churchill, Truman and Stalin famously met near the end of World War II, to draw up the plans for Japan's surrender.
Babelsberg Park, along with Babelsberg Palace is another of Potsdam's top attractions. This was the summer residence of Emperor Wilhelm the first. Alongside the main palace, are a number of other points of interest such as the Kleine Schloss (Small castle), the Flatowturm (Flatow Tower), the Gerichtslaube (Court Pergola), the Hatrosenhaus and the Marstall - the royal stables.
Potsdam also has a range of museums, including a Museum of Natural History, a Film Museum, the Potsdam Museum and the Gemädegaleria, an art gallery which is located in the Sanssouci Palace.
The city itself is surrounded by lakes, which makes the city a great place to relax during the warmer months.
To reach Potsdam from Berlin, you can either take the S-Bahn or the Regional Train. With the S-Bahn, take lines S1 or S7 towards Potsdam. This takes about 45 minutes to an hour depending on where you start. The quicker option is the Regional Train, which will take about 20 minutes from the Zoological Gardens station.
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