Winter Weekend Getaways
from Berlin

Winter Weekend Getaways from Berlin

Winter break starts next week for Berlin schools. No plans? No problem! Try one of these winter weekend getaways from Berlin that are just right for families.

Go north to the sea — for a weekend getaway from Berlin on the Baltic Coast.

Baltic Sea Weekend Getaway

While Germany’s northern coastline boasts the country’s best beaches, the Baltic Sea isn’t only for summertime sunbathers. The scenic coastal stretch makes a great weekend getaway from Berlin any time of year. 

In under four hours by train from Berlin, you and your family can be on the island of Usedom. This tranquil piece of Baltic Sea paradise has miles of oceanfront views and forest trails, making it just right for an active family getaway this winter.

A seaside resort destination since the 19th century, Usedom is home to elegant Gründerzeit hotels like the 4-star SEETELHOTEL Hotel Esplanade. Here, a beautiful indoor pool and spa are decorated with Middle Eastern flair, giving you the impression that maybe you’ve escaped to a luxurious desert camp in Oman, not the frigid north coast of wintertime Germany. We’ll take it! 

Alternatively, a stay at the Wasserschloss Mellenthin, surrounded by towering oaks on the island’s interior, gives guests the chance to spend a night in a castle surrounded by an actual moat! To add to the fun, a “Medieval Knight’s Buffet” is served every Tuesday in the brewery. €19.90 for adults, kids pay their age in euros.

To get from Berlin to Usedom, book the “Ostsee Ticket” to Heringsdorf. Two adults can travel roundtrip with any number of their own children for €78 (2nd class) or €118 (1st class), from Nov. 1 through March 31. This rate goes up by €10 April through October.

Go south to the snow — for a weekend getaway from Berlin in the Harz Mountains.

Harz Mountains

Wernigerode is a charming fairytale town with half-timbered houses and a castle high on a hill. There’s great hiking, ice skating, and cross-country skiing here, but the main reason Wernigerode is so high on our list of great winter getaways from Berlin is its steam train. 

Known as the “Harzer Schmalspurbahnen” (Harz Narrow Gauge Railway), this historic steam train shuttles passengers through the picturesque scenery of the Harz Mountain region. From Wernigerode, you can ride the train to the top of Mt. Brocken — the highest peak in the Harz range — in just about an hour and a half.

A special family ticket for two adults and up to three children (ages 6-14) will set you back €114 roundtrip. Individual tickets cost €45 (adult roundtrip) and €27 (child 6-14 roundtrip).

For an adventurous weekend getaway, spend a night at the apex of Mt. Brocken at the Brockenhotel, the highest hotel in Northern Germany. But be warned that this is the coldest point in the country, and access could be closed off in extreme weather. 

Another good option is Der Kräuterhof, a hotel in Drei Annen Hohne, a stop on the train route to Brocken. Cross country ski routes start directly from the hotel, and a free shuttle brings guests to the ski resort at Wurmberg, the second highest peak in the Harz Mountains.

To stay in the center of the old town, book the family studio at the Hotel Alte Brennerei, which sleeps up to 10.

Wernigerode is about three hours by train from Berlin HBF with a change in Magdeburg or Halle.

Go east to the border — for a weekend getaway from Berlin with a stroll to Poland.

Frankfurt an der Oder

Only an hour from Berlin, Frankfurt an der Oder makes a great weekend getaway. Linked to Poland by a bridge across the Oder River, the small city is home to some interesting museums and attractions.

Churches like Marienkirche and Sankt-Gertraud-Kirche with its medieval altar, fine paintings, and a massive bronze candelabra, make Frankfurt an der Oder well worth a visit.

Fans of German poetry will appreciate the Kleist Museum — devoted to the 18th-century poet Heinrich von Kleist who was born here in 1777. Meanwhile, the region’s Hanseatic past is presented with musical instruments, paintings, furniture, and military uniforms at the Museum Viadrina.The kids will appreciate an old school room outfitted with original wooden desks.

Before heading across the bridge to Poland, trace the city’s Jewish past with a walking tour developed by the Institute for Applied History at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt.

And finally, stroll over the City Bridge (Stadtbrücke or Most Graniczny Słubice-Frankfurt) to Slubice, Poland where a monument to Wikipedia stands in the city center. Odd, but interesting. 

Wander around town, stop in at a cafe, have a meal of Peirogis, then head back to Frankfurt (Oder) for the night. This holiday apartment is walking distance to the city center and provides great access to parks and riverside walks.

Go west to the stars — for a weekend getaway from Berlin in an official Star Park.

Westhavelland Star Park

About an hour and a half west of Berlin, Naturepark Westhavelland is the largest nature reserve in Brandenburg and one of the darkest places in Germany.

The region earned the official title of “Star Park” in 2014, and on clear nights the star-scape here is simply breathtaking. From public star watching events to bird watching tours, the park offers a range of nature-based activities. And since the nights are so long in February, it’s a great time to book a winter getaway!

The train station in Rathenow is one of the main links to Berlin, but there are local trains and buses connecting the various parts of this vast park. We suggest staying at the Jugendherberge Milow-Carl Bolle, a neoclassical manor house with family rooms and chandeliers located just down the street from the Westhavelland Nature Park Visitor Center, which offers interactive exhibits on the night sky, regional wildlife, and the ecosystem of the river.

Are you going away for the Winterferien? Post a photo and tag us on Instagram! We’d love to follow your adventures.

 

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Archer Relocation has been providing relocation services to families, individuals and companies in Berlin since early 2015.  Managing Director, Emily Archer, founded the company desiring to use her first-hand experience as an expat to make the relocation process as smooth as possible for others moving to Berlin.  Read other useful information about moving to and living in Berlin, such as ‘How to Find a Berlin Apartment’, on our Berlin Blog.  

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