Where are the most Instagrammable places in Potsdam?
Since I covered the best Berlin photo spots in a recent post, I thought it was only fair to share my take on the most instagrammable places in Potsdam, too.
While you may have to look a bit further, past the grit, to find Berlin’s beauty in a typical sense, the neighbouring city of Potsdam more than makes up for Berlin’s urban chaos. In fact, Potsdam is often referred to as the city of palaces and gardens, as it was a favourite summer spot for Prussian royalty.
If you’re looking for the most instagrammable places in Potsdam for your next visit, read on!
Head to Ruinenberg for something off the beaten path. This lesser-known Potsdam attraction is set on a small hill, not far from Sanssouci Palace. Here, you will find imitations of Roman ruins commissioned by an 18th-century Prussian king. As was fashion back then, the king decided to recreate his own small segment of ancient Rome on his expansive lands. Today’s visitors, therefore, can enjoy a stroll back both in time and space. Ruinenberg is easily accessible on foot, bike, or by public transport. Potsdam Hauptbahnhof is about 4 km away.
After exploring Ruinenberg, you can hop on the bus and venture over to the next hidden gem in Potsdam: Marquardt. Marquardt is one of those small Brandenburg villages that only locals know about, and therefore, has retained a certain traditional charm.
Marquardt first appearing in local records as a 9th-century fishermen’s village on the banks of the Schlanitzsee (featured in this blog post’s header). The village itself is very walkable, with a kilometre-long trail along the Sacrow-Paretzer Canal, an expansive park dotted with lily pad ponds, and an ivy-clad castle.
The regional train RB21 will take you right back to Potsdam Hauptbahnhof once an hour, with rush-hour services going as far as Friedrichstraße in Berlin.
From Roman ruins to British-inspired castles, Potsdam has it all. One of the most instagrammable places in Potsdam is, without a doubt, Schloss Babelsberg. The Palace was built in 1835 by King William I of Prussia.
Today, it is a museum, but the general public can amble around the grounds at no cost. The palace is surrounded by a large park of the same name and borders the Havel River. After taking one look at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, I was already imagining knights in shining armour.
Belvedere on the Pfingstberg
Different kings had different tastes – and the funds to build the palaces of their dreams. So the Belvedere on the Pfingstberg, commissioned in 1847, took on a mix of Greek, Roman and Italian Renaissance flair.
This palace is also about 4 km from Potsdam’s main train station, and not far from the famous Bridge of Spies, where East and West armies infamously exchanged hostages during the Cold War era.
No guide to the most instagrammable places in Potsdam would be complete without mentioning Sanssouci, the iconic Rococo-style palace and grounds famous well beyond the city limits. Sanssouci literally means no worries in French, which was the trendy international language back in 1745.
The palace was Frederick the Great’s summer residence and the German answer to Versailles. The grounds extend far, far beyond the main palace, and walking trails lead to many other smaller pavilions, lakes and vineyards.
One such pavilion is the Orangerie, slightly removed from the main stage that is Sanssouci. On a warm, sunny day, you will definitely feel miles away from Central Europe. Rather, a visit to the Orangerie is like a hop over to the Mediterranean coast.
With palm trees and summer vibes, there is no better spot in Potsdam to soothe that feeling of fernweh. So if you’re already at Schloss Sanssouci, don’t miss the Orangerie and tack off another one of the most Instagrammable places in Potsdam.
If you aren’t tired of palaces yet, you can snap some more shots at the Marmorpalais, an elegant home once belonging to Hohenzollern royalty.
This smaller palace is at the edge of Heiliger See, around which many German and international celebrities have taken up residence. A short walk away stands Cecilienhof, where the allies decided much of Europe’s fate after World War II.
This post has focused a lot on palaces so far, but Potsdam’s core is equally charming. Endless colourful streets are brimming with shops, bakeries and cafes.
Potsdam is far from a tourist centre. As you wander around, you will see many locals going about their business. If you don’t have hours for aimless browsing, make sure you do walk up the pedestrian Brandenburger Straße, which leads to Potsdam’s own Brandenburger Gate.
The Holländisches Viertel, or Dutch Quarter, is definitely worth a stroll. This Potsdam neighbourhood consists of 4 squares with roughly 150 brick houses in Dutch style. The ensemble was built between 1734 and 1742 for Dutch craftsmen brought to Potsdam by King Frederick William I. Today, visitors can admire the perfect symmetry of the red-bricked homes or stop for a bite and one of the many cafes.
The Nauen Gate is located right next to the Dutch Quarter, once marking the entrance to the walled city of Potsdam (the wall has long since disappeared). Its twin Neo-Gothic style towers were built back in the 1700s to look much older than they actually were – a common trend in architecture at the time.
After the fall of communism, the towers were refurbished and sanitized. Today, they continue to watch over Friedrich-Ebert-Straße and its weekly markets.
Johann-Sebastian-Bach Musik Schule
If you love beautiful facades as much as I do, don’t skip the Johann-Sebastian-Bach Musik Schule on Jägerstraße. This school was built in the 1830s as a state institution for the poor. Over a hundred years later, it became the academy that it is today. The baby blue facade makes for the perfect backdrop to any photo.
After snapping away at the Johann-Sebastian-Bach Music School, don’t leave Jägerstraße just yet! When you cross the street, you’ll be able to enter several small courtyards filled with half-timbered homes and shops. These will give you an idea of what Potsdam looked like in centuries past.
Of the most Instagrammable places in Potsdam, is there a winner?
In my opinion, it is very difficult to crown a single sight as the most Instagrammable place in Potsdam. Although there are several very strong contenders! But when you live next to a picture-perfect city, all you can do is visit, over and over again, and keep discovering new spots every time.
Will you check out the most Instagrammable places in Potsdam? Let me know in the comments.