Discover the best places to see fall foliage in Berlin and Potsdam
Fall foliage in Berlin and Potsdam: what a treat! This is already my 5th autumn in Berlin! No wait, it’s actually my 6th. Time flies! And while I am the biggest fan of spring – and cherry blossom season in Berlin – there’s something about the leaves changing colour that makes me almost as giddy.
So giddy, in fact, that what was originally meant to be the topic of a Berlin & Around newsletter became a full-on blog post! Hence, without further ado, I’ll be sharing my take on where to see fall foliage in Berlin and in the surrounding area; notably Potsdam. You will love these 12 places, I’m sure. Grab your camera and let’s go!
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Where to see fall foliage in Berlin
If you’re looking to see fall foliage in Berlin pretty much at the heart of the city, head to Karl-Marx-Allee in Friedrichshain. This famous communist-era avenue is the perfect spot for a sunny Sunday stroll amidst rows of golden foliage. And if it’s time to refuel, you’ll have plenty of cafes and restaurants only steps away.
The Streets of Karlshorst
Not only is Karlshorst home to some pretty significant historical sights, but also to century-old maples. As such, the streets and squares of this Berlin neighbourhood gain golden tint as the weather cools down.
The best way to experience Karlshorst’s colours is to go for a walk, perhaps combined with a visit to the German Russian Museum. My absolute favourite spots for some autumn snaps are:
- The square around the Protestant Church (Weseler Str. 6)
- All along Rheinsteinstraße, leading up to the German Russian Museum
- The square at the corner of Köpenicker and Rheinsteinstraße
Pfarrhaus Der Petrigemeinde
I discovered this spot quite by accident on my lunch break a couple of years ago. The beautiful, ivy-covered building faces the Kupfergraben Canal and is the sole property on its street to have survived WWII bombings. It also clad with some of the most spectacular fall foliage in Berlin!
This original 1886 construction is only a few minutes’ walk from the Spittelmarkt U-Bahn station. The exact address is Friedrichsgracht 53-55, but the best pictures of the building are to be had from the opposite bank.
An S-bahn stop, really? Yes, really! The gorgeous neighbourhood of Friedenau has many ivy-clad homes, and there’s no better place for a break amidst the falling leaves than at the lovely cafe outside the train station, itself covered in fiery ivy.
Friedenau is only a 15-minute train ride from Mitte, but you would think you’ve left the city. (The neighbourhood features prominently in my blog post on the most instagrammable places in Berlin).
The Victory Column’s Viewing Platform
This one is a classic. If you don’t mind the climb and want to see fall foliage in Berlin from a different perspective, you can make your way up the winding stairs of the famous Victory Column, at the heart of the Tiergarten.
You’ll get sensational views all the way to Potsdamer Platz as well as the TV Tower and many government buildings. And for our purposes, if you go in the autumn, you’ll see rows of golden leaves lining the Straße des 17. Juni.
Getting to the top will set you back 3€ – and about 100 calories!
The Berliner Uferpromenade is a great place to see some more fall foliage in Berlin. Indeed, you can go on a waterside stroll next to some of the city’s most famous museums, watched over by the TV Tower.
Furthermore, fitness fans will only be steps away from the very comprehensive Freeletics outdoor workout area.
The short, scenic Uferpromenade is between the Friedrichstraße and Hackeschermarkt S-Bahn stops.
Charlottenburg Castle Grounds
Wandering around a castle’s gardens in the fall: what could be more romantic? Just add in the swans and bridges over the Spree and Schloss Charlottenburg’s surrounds will dazzle even more as the weather cools, truly deserving its place on this list of the prettiest places to see fall foliage in Berlin.
This time of year, most tourists will have left the gardens to local joggers and walkers, so you can enjoy some peace and quiet away from the crowds.
Am Spreebord (Charlottenburg)
Not far from the Charlottenburg Palace, you’ll find a gorgeous wall of ivy – another one of my favourite spots to see fall foliage in Berlin!
Just wander along Am Spreebord (literally alongside the Spree), past Caprivibrücke. This is another spot a friend and I found randomly and decided made for a perfect fall photoshoot location. Afterwards, you can go on a leisurely riverside stroll.
Where to see autumn foliage in Potsdam
Otto Braun Platz Facing the Alte Fahrt
Just as there are many beautiful spots to see fall foliage in Berlin, there are a ton in Potsdam. Almost as soon as you step out of Potsdam’s main station, you’ll be greeted by red and yellow.
One place to admire the fall leaves is Otto Braun Platz, facing the Alte Fahrt Canal and Island of Friendship. Stroll along the manmade strait, a warm beverage in hand, or stop at one of the waterside restaurants for a little while and fully enjoy the moment.
For slightly more dramatic scenery, you can head over to Ruinenberg. This lesser known Potsdam icon consists of imitation Roman ruins on a hill across the road from Sanssouci Palace.
Long story short, an 18th century Prussian king was in love with Ancient Rome and therefore wanted to build his own version of the Eternal City right next to his palace in Potsdam.
Today, everyone can escape Germany and the 21st century for a little while and wander around Ruinenberg. This site is beautiful all year round but especially in the autumn, as you can tell.
Ruinenberg is easily accessible by bus from Potsdam’s main station.
It would be impossible to mention Potsdam without commenting on Park Sanssouci. Indeed, the classic Potsdam destination truly comes to life as the leaves change colour.
Wandering around the park, you’ll witness bridges and palaces clad in ivy, rows of vibrant maples alongside palace pavilions and crunchy yellow leaves underfoot. As there are over 300 hectares to explore, you won’t run out of places to visit within the park for a while!
The entrance to Park Sanssouci is within (relative) walking distance of Potsdam’s main station. Getting there is a lovely stroll along cobblestone streets. If you’d rather save the energy for ambling around the park, you can also take a tram or bus for the 3 km journey.
Now this one here is really off the map, so I’ll leave you the approximate GPS coordinates. I was walking along the Sacrow-Paretzer Kanal near Marquardt (about 20 minutes from Potsdam), went off the main path and stumbled upon this lovely little spot.
You can wander along the canal and probably find plenty of other similar views without going off the main trail (and getting lost) like I did.
A bus and train connect Marquardt to Potsdam and Berlin, respectively. Do make sure you plan your visit in advance, however, as both modes of transportation tend to stop in the town only once an hour.
Final thoughts on where to see fall foliage in Berlin and Potsdam
Autumn is a wonderful season for so many reasons, and the leaves changing colour are definitely top of the list. Will you be setting out to see the fall foliage in Berlin? Will you also venture as far as Potsdam? I know I will be re-visiting all of these sights, if time permits. Let me know which ones are your favourites and happy start to the season!