Poor but hot, said former Mayor Klaus Wowereit about Berlin. Both terms may sound weird when they refer to a German city. In the poor, we prefer not to enter (coming from southern European countries, the concept of “may be something different”), but we agree on the sexy. Berlin is, possibly, one city with more personality and charm of all Europe. Scratch a little to see it, but eventually, it appears. And if after kicking you from top to bottom you still have time, why not make a break? We will recommend the ones that for us are the cheap getaways from Berlin.
Cheap getaways from Berlin
The one in Potsdam is the most famous excursion from Berlin and the easiest to do. This beautiful city, a World Heritage Site, is located next to the German capital, so we could say that they are practically neighbors. Did you know that in the 18th century, Potsdam was the place chosen as the real Prussian residence? That’s why it’s so beautiful and monumental!
Arriving is super simple since you will simply have to take a train from line S7, RE1, RB21 or RB22 (direction S Potsdam Hauptbahnhof). Tip: if you get the Berlin Welcome Card, you will not have to buy the ticket since transportation within the ABC zone is included.
The tour option seems quite interesting because it is not expensive (costs 17-25 dollars). You will have a guide who will explain many curiosities of the city. More information and reservation.
2. Sachsenhausen concentration camp
Another essential excursion in Berlin is the one that will take you to know firsthand the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen, one of the most important of the Third Reich. As you can imagine, the visit is not pleasant, but we would say it is almost necessary: I wish there were no such places. Unfortunately, they exist and it is our duty as travelers to learn more about the history of the places we visit.
You can easily get there by taking a train from Berlin. You will have to stop at the Oranienburg station. The trip lasts one hour and is included in the transport pass of the ABC areas. From there, the concentration camp is about 20 minutes walking (there are also buses that leave at the same door). The entrance to the field is completely free. If you want to visit the field for free and know the history of the site, you can rent an audio guide (3-5 dollars).
Being able to know more in detail what happened is interesting. The guides are good and treat the subject with delicacy but without embellishing reality. Keep in mind that the tours do not include transportation, but the trip is included in the ABC zones. More information and reservation.
The capital of Saxony went down in history as the center of one of the most tragic bombings of the Second World War, during which much of the city center was destroyed, and more than 20,000 civilians lost their lives. Nowadays Dresden looks more beautiful than ever (it was not in vain that it earned the nickname “Florence from the North”) and it is a very good excursion from Berlin.
You can get there by train or bus, although the ideal is to get up early to make the most of your time. With Flixbus there are several buses a day. The fastest takes about two hours, and there are tickets for 8 dollars (journey). The train takes the same and costs about 20 dollars. So, the bus option is better. A good idea, once in Dresden, is to do this free tour to know the essentials of the city.
The recommended tour includes transfer from/to Berlin and the guided tour in Dresden, although if you find an offer with Flixbus, we believe that the option for free (with the free tour) is more convenient. More information and reservation.
Some people already call it “the new Berlin” and Leipzig is gaining more and more followers: this city is fun and full of cultural and artistic offers. If you love modern and vivid sites, get to know their role. Of course, if you are a more “classic” traveler, do not worry: the city also has an interesting historical center and stories that you will like (does Napoleon sound like you?).
As in the previous case, you can arrive from Berlin by train or bus. For us, the best is Flixbus: you will be in Leipzig in 2/2.30 hours, and there are tickets for 8-15 dollars. The train costs around 30 dollars, but the advantage is that it connects Berlin with Leipzig in just over an hour. Once there, you can sign up for the guided tour for free! Unfortunately, we have not found a route that leaves from Berlin to Leipzig.
5. Thematic Berlin
Ok, technically you will not leave the city, but diving in the years of Nazism and Cold War will be like taking a trip to the past. This counts as a trip inside the trip, right? The best thing in this case (unless you are not an expert) is to get carried away by guides who know the city (and its history) better than their pockets.
These are for us the cheap getaways from Berlin. As you can see, there are excursions of all kinds and for all kinds of travelers. If you can, stay a week in Berlin and do them all, although if you had to choose one, what would it be?