Schloss Sanssouci in Potsdam, Germany

On your next trip to Berlin, one of my top tips is to take a day-trip to visit the castles of Potsdam. Many people overlook this historically significant city when they visit Germany, but Potsdam is a gem that is sure to excite any history buff. The city is located about thirty minutes outside of Berlin in the former East Germany. Potsdam includes several magnificent castles that survived WWII largely without damage. One of my favorites? Schloss Sanssouci.

Schloss Sanssouci was a summer residence for Frederick the Great. Designed in the eighteenth century, the palace has a rococo feel with a French twist. Take a tour of it to see for yourself. Cost is reasonable considering tourists get to not only tour the palace, but also have a guide: 8 Euros for everyone or 5 Euros for students. Most people spend about an hour and a half exploring the palace, but one could easily get lost in history and spend a half of a day there.

Each room in the palace is decorated and styled differently. Explore from room to room and listen to the tour guide tell stories of the palace. One of the greatest rooms in the palace is one that was designed specifically for Voltaire. The walls are painted with visuals of birds and trees.

Locals of Potsdam love to share a story about the time Napoleon visited the place. During his visit, Napoleon was welcomed at the back entrance of the palace. However, he was unaware that he was welcomed into the back at the time. He was impressed with the grandeur of the building and was quite content with the welcoming. When it was mentioned to him later that he was welcomed in through the back, he threw a steaming fit and left at once.

After a tour of the palace, tourists should be sure to walk around the grounds of the palace. The garden is gigantic and worth walking through. There are many stairs leading down to the garden. This is where your best photo-taking moment will be. Have your photographer stand lower on the stairs to get the perfect photo of you with the beautiful Schloss Sanssouci hovering in the background.

On your walk through the garden, make sure you take a look at Frederick the Great’s grave. He was buried with his nine pet dogs.

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