World heritage, enriching sources of knowledge and royal tolerance come together in Potsdam. The term "island of great thoughts" is not only appropriate from a philosophical point of view, but also in relation to the geographical location. The River Havel, the Lake Großer Zernsee, the Lake Templiner See and the Sacrow-Paretzer-Kanal wash around Potsdam and make Brandenburg's capital an island. And what better way to explore an island in summer than from the water? The vast River Havel and its lakes form a unique water landscape. There are almost endless possibilities to discover the island of Potsdam and its surroundings from the water – by renting a stand-up paddle board, a boat or taking a cruise with Weisse Flotte Potsdam.
Walking through Potsdam in summer will make youl realize that it is not only the parks make our city a real outdoor place but that the whole local world revolves around being outside. Whether it is the cosy street cafés at the square in front of the gate Nauener Tor, the busy waterway of the River Havel or the bike lanes that connect the park areas with the historic city centre. There are endless possibilities to enjoy a summer day in Potsdam, just the way you want it and for you to indulge in the Potsdam feeling.
Of course Potsdam has a great public transportation system with buses and trams connecting every part of the city very regularly. However, the just mentioned bike lanes also take you everywhere desired – from Sanssouci Park to the New Garden and to Babelsberg Park. Additionally, with long-lasting daylight in summer, the park areas will close later than in any other season. It’s up to you. You can see more in one day or take your time take in the perfect composition of garden art, baroque architecture and the romantic river landscape.
If you want to see places where also locals spent their time, go to the island Freundschaftsinsel. Picturesquely surrounded by water, the island lies in the centre of Potsdam between the main station and the state parliament. It first became famous through the show gardens and educational gardens laid out by Karl Foerster in 1937 with more than one thousand different shrubs and over 250 species of irises in the water garden. Today the island is visited by tourists and locals equally to have a picnic with friends, play frisbee or volleyball on the large grass grounds right behind the entrance or to wander through the well maintained perennial gardens.
The Filmpark Babelsberg takes you into the world of film and television. Everything concerning film will be shown – film settings, props, costumes and technical equipment from historic and recent times. Painters, plasterers, costume designers and make-up artists offer an exclusive insight into their day-to-day work and demonstrate how perfect illusions are created. You can learn about the tricks used by film and TV professionals in several settings and exhibitions.
Summer temperatures in Potsdam can sometimes rise to a Mediterranean-like heat. But don’t worry, there are some good ways to escape the heat:
- The Museum Barberini keeps its art masterpieces always at around 20°C/68°F. So you always can enjoy their great exhibitions at a pleasant room temperature.
- Because of the tall walls, the palaces need a lot of time to heat-up inside. Especially the Marble Hall and the Grotto Hall in the New Palace stay cool all summer long.
- Have you ever went swimming in a great palace scenery? In Potsdam you can do so. There are several specifically marked bathing places at the river banks at or at the lake Heiliger See in the New Garden.
Summer also provides great opportunities to see the palaces in Potsdam illuminated. The most popular one by far is the Potsdam Palace Night. For two days in August the gardens and palaces in Sanssouci Park are illuminated and peopled by illustrious figures. Theatre, music and dance performances attract visitors as well as the firework at night.
Another very comfy way to see illuminated palaces is the boat cruise Nightly Palace Impressions by Weisse Flotte Potsdam taking place on different dates every summer. The romantic cruise will take you among others along the shores of Babelsberg Park and through Glienicke Bridge.