The remarkable industrial architecture and creative microcosms of Berlin are something everyone should experience at least once. But, when you’re in need of scenery a little softer, there’s a whole host of alternative options for both sightseers and story seekers awaiting beyond The Grey City.
Forget Universal Studios. If you want a real glimpse of filmmaking at its finest you should head to Babelsberg’s Filmpark for a true behind the scenes look at the movie industry.
Productions such as Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, Roman Polanski’s The Pianist and Kate Winslet picture The Reader have all been filmed here, and a quick trip outside the capital will guarantee you a hands-on look at the art of celluloid with a distinctly German spin. There’s also a 4D screening room and interactive film-themed events throughout the year. Definitely a destination for the film buff.
Beelitz presents history at its purest and both keen photographers and urban explorers will be beside themselves with the weird and wonderful features it has to offer.
The abandoned sanatorium in Belitz-Heistaetten is one of the most fascinating draws, being of import to those of varying political persuasions during WWII – it counts both Hitler and Honecker amongst its most famous patients. Though this is not your typical tourist attraction, a visit here is an eye-opening glimpse into 20th century Germany.
Lübbenau’s sensationally pretty Spreewald makes for a great escape from the busy city and offers so much more than simply an idyllic landscape.
Make the most of the wild woodlands and take a canoe trip down river, before stopping for an authentic lunch of the region’s famous pickles, pike-perch and potatoes. In summer time (between July and August), the whole area becomes illuminated during Lichtnächte (Nights of Lights) as trees, bridges, walkways and homes along the waterways are adorned with twinkling lamps. A truly magical experience for all those who come to visit.
Aside from being located in one of Germany’s most predominant wine-growing regions, renowned for its viticulture, the little village of Radebeul is home to one of the world’s most unusual museums: The Museum of Lies.
On offer in this completely inauthentic exhibit are a collection of works that pride themselves on being infamous fakes. Amongst the rattling machines and electrical installations you can find displays such as Vincent Van Gogh’s cut off ear, a flying carpet and Theodor Fontane’s scuffed walking shoes.
1 hour 50 minutes
Though the drive might be a little longer, the time spent winding along the highway will soon be forgotten once you get a glimpse of one of the most beautiful castles in the country.
Sitting in the middle of the small town of Schwerin, surrounded by an enormous lake, the castle offers a wholly romantic setting and scenes which wouldn’t look out of place in a fairy-tale. Take a stroll through the picturesque park and bask in the influence of royal refinements passed down through the centuries, or follow the 1000 year old trail of architecture exhibited inside this living museum.
2 hours 30 minutes