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Havel

Havel: Our most recommended tours and activities

2-Hour Seven Lakes Tour from Berlin's Wannsee

1. 2-Hour Seven Lakes Tour from Berlin's Wannsee

Enjoy a 2-hour tour of the idyllic Havel Lakes, the chain of lakes so rich in traditions that not just locals are drawn to them. Venture beyond Little Wannsee to Pohlesee, Stölpchensee, Griebnitzsee, Glienicker Lake and Jungfernsee, before returning to Wannsee. Relax with the whole family on the beach or enjoy a walk into the picturesque wilderness along Wannsee and Oberhavelsee. See where such famous personages as the painter Max Liebermann or the dramatist Heinrich von Kleist lived and worked and get to know the historic significance of the lakes. Discover the rich history of the regions southwest and north of Berlin from the water. Travel back in time at these historically-significant sites and experience the history anew. The tour takes place from Wannsee across the Havel to Potsdam. Enjoy the tours through the idyllic Havel Lakes and many historic buildings like the Babelsberg Palace or the Church of the Redeemer, Sacrow. See the fascinating island landscape in the north of Berlin. Valentinswerder, Baumwerder and Scharfenberg are just a few must-sees for nature-lovers. The tour operator's dock is located across from the Pfaueninsel. The island can be reached by ferry for a small fee. It is not possible to reserve outdoor seats.

Berlin-Wannsee to Potsdam 3-Hour World Heritage Cruise

2. Berlin-Wannsee to Potsdam 3-Hour World Heritage Cruise

This boat cruise takes you from Wannsee along the Havel River to Potsdam and back. Cruise through the palaces and gardens of Potsdam and Berlin, a UNESCO World Heritage region. Here you’ll have the opportunity to experience Prussia’s history. The chain of lakes in and around Berlin attracts visitors from all over the world. Visitors can relax at one of the lidos or walk around the picturesque natural landscape that extends along Wannsee and the Oberhavel lakes. Discover the rich history of two regions near Berlin: the southwest and north. Famous personalities, such as the painter Max Liebermann or the playwright Heinrich von Kleist, lived and worked in Wannsee, making it a place of historical importance. The historical places give you the opportunity to go back in time and relive history. The cruise takes you from Wannsee to Kladow, passing by Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island), Nikolskoe, and the Church of St. Peter and Paul. Continue on towards the Savior's Church, Cecilienhof Palace and its old dairy farm, and the Glienicke Bridge. Float by the Babelsberg Palace, Flatow Tower, Hans-Otto-Theater (Schiffbauergasse), "Freundschaftsinsel" (Friendship Island), and Potsdam/Lange Brücke before returning back to Wannsee.

From Berlin: Royal Palaces & Gardens Private Black Van Tour

3. From Berlin: Royal Palaces & Gardens Private Black Van Tour

Start this fascinating tour with pickup at your hotel in Berlin. From there, you will be transported to the beautiful city of Potsdam to begin an 8-hour tour through an atmospheric city crammed full of history and cultural heritage. Whether it's the Prussian Royal Family or Cold War espionage that excites you most, you will not be disappointed. Less than 1 hour from Berlin, Potsdam is a small city surrounded by picturesque landscapes, beautiful nature, abundant palaces, castles, and baroque architectural wonders. Led by an expert guide, explore the picturesque Potsdam and learn the stories behind the city’s spectacular façade. You will visit Glienicker Brücke (Bridge), which crosses the River Havel and runs through the middle of the East/West division. There, hear exciting stories about the spies’ exchanges, undertaken by the allies 3 different times. Many other historic traces of the German division can still be found here as well. The tour will lead you through the former KGB headquarters, the unusual small colony of wooden houses built almost 200 years ago, and other highlights that expose the Soviet influence after the Second World War. Next, visit the Dutch quarter, whose endless rows of red brick houses will remind you of Amsterdam. Potsdam is a city constructed from a patchwork of cultures. The New Garden was commissioned by King Frederick William II more than 200 years ago. After roaming this beautiful fairy-tale garden, the tour guide will lead you to Cecilienhof Palace, the location of the famous Potsdam Conference, built in 1916.  There, walk through the very halls where Stalin, Truman, and Churchill negotiated after the war. Perhaps one of the most visited places in Potsdam is the grave of Frederick the Great at Sanssoucci; situated at the top of a vineyard, it's a truly wonderful spot. You can also visit the other Prussian Royal Family graves at the awe-inspiring Peace Church. The spectacular design of the church is known to evoke spirituality even in those who do not believe. There is so much to see and hear about in this city. At the end of the tour, just sit back and relax as the tour guide transports you back to your hotel.

Forbidden City: 5-Hour Tour of Potsdam from Berlin

4. Forbidden City: 5-Hour Tour of Potsdam from Berlin

Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Potsdam on this exciting tour from Berlin. Visit the “Military Town No. 7,” also known as the “forbidden city.” See the last vestiges of the Soviet occupation and discover interesting facts about the history of this place. Explore the remand prison of the Soviet Military Counterintelligence at Leistikowstraße 1, the epitome of torture and torment for thousands of Germans and Soviet military personnel, now a memorial and meeting place. Explore the somewhat remote Bornstedt Cemetery, a place filled with mystery, secrets, and history. See burial vaults, family graves, and private cemetery sections of famous personalities. Cross over the Glienicke Bridge and the Berlin suburbs to the Old Market Square with St. Nicholas' Church, the Old Town Hall, and the new state parliament. Then, drive through the Dutch Quarter to reach the Bornstedt Crown Estate, from where you’ll walk towards Sanssouci Park. Other highlights include the Russian colony Alexandrowka, the New Garden, the Marble Palace, and Cecilienhof Palace. At the end of the tour you can enjoy the view from Belvedere on the Pfingstberg.

From Berlin: Potsdam 5-Hour Tour by VW Bus

5. From Berlin: Potsdam 5-Hour Tour by VW Bus

Climb aboard the comfortable VW bus and discover Potsdam, the stronghold of the Hohenzollern for almost 300 years. Admire the fascinating cultural landscape, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprised of almost 20 palaces and extensive park grounds surrounding Baroque architecture. See the beautiful Charlottenburg Palace and head along Königsstraße to the first park in the cultural landscape of Potsdam: Park Babelsberg. Here you will make your first stop before continuing on across the Glienicke Bridge and the Berlin suburb to the old market square with St. Nicholas’ Church, the old town hall, and the new parliament building, modeled closely on the old city palace. Drive through the Dutch Quarter to Bornstedt Crown Estate, where you can stroll towards Park Sanssouci. The first stop there is at the palace of the same name with its fascinating Baroque garden. Depending on the time and your interests, you can explore further attractions in the park including the Marly Garden of the soldier king, the Church of Peace, and Charlottenhof Palace by Frederick William IV, the New Palace, and the gallery of Frederick the Great. Drive in the VW bus through the Russian colony Alexandrowka and the “Forbidden City”, the European headquarters of the KGB during the Cold War, to the New Garden, where you will find the Marble Palace and Cecilienhof Palace. From the nearby Belvedere on the Pfingstberg you will have a fantastic view of Potsdam and its highlights.

Other Sightseeing Options in Havel

Want to discover all there is to do in Havel? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Havel

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,000 reviews

I would recommend booking the tour during the week so the boat was pleasantly empty. You can get off at some stations, explore something there for an hour or two and just hop on the next boat (hop on hop off), that was great. The captain tells about some villas and what to see, the crew was very nice. The ride was nice and quiet and comfortable!

It was beautiful and very punctual. We are English and speak German but with our English guests it was difficult to translate. It would have been better to have an English Audio available.

Our castle guide was just great! Charmingly funny ( for me as a native of Basel it was a pleasure ) and very competent. Our driver was great too. Best wishes to both E. RothCueni

Audio Guido didn't work, but the human "replacement" was much better

Nice on a hot day. The chef was a greatnstoryteller