Themes of our private Potsdam Tour: Overview of the main attractions of Potsdam, Castles of Potsdam, Sanssouci, Cecilienhof, Brandenburg Gate (Potsdam), gardens, life in the time of Prussia, Wannsee Conference… (you can select topics or get an overview of us).
Tour description of a private Potsdam tour
A stone’s throw from Berlin along the Havel River, the city of Potsdam is surrounded by a beautiful landscape of lakes, fields and forests. Since the late 17th Century, members of the Hohenzollern Royal Family have carefully sculpted this landscape into a relaxing retreat. In our private tour you can follow the great construction efforts in the past decade, Potsdam has regained its former glamour and beauty.
Frederick the Great was, like the rest of the Hohenzollern-family, keen on the military. But he also was the first male Prussian ruler who composed flute concerts, wrote philosophy and looked at culture and art not as an expensive and useless thing but as a necessary condition of being human. See in your private tour the ideas embodied at the palace Sanssouci. We believe that being in Potsdam without seeing Sanssouci is like not being in Potsdam- but there is much more to Potsdam than Sanssouci! Our tour of Potsdam examines the numerous castles, the fascinating history, and the attractive gardens and landscapes of this royal escape.
Your guide and travel details
Arrival: The travel time with a private VAN is approximately 50 minutes. The journey by public transport (80 minutes) is also possible. Nonetheless, the distances of each attraction on foot are considerable. From the station to Schloss Sanssouci, to Cecilienhof and back is about 9 kilometers. Alternatively, this tour can also be done by bike. However, we recommend the private VAN / Bus Tour.
Book your Potsdam experience! Experience the impressive palaces and gardens with your private city guide! Were are not allowed to guide you ourselves in the Sanssouci Palace as we are a private company. We are nonetheless happy to organize your a tour in the Castle or, alternatively, provide you the audio guide of the Castle.
It is our pleasure to guide you by all other attractions and by the gardens of the Sanssouci Palace!
Some points of interest on your Potsdam Tour
The impressive palace garden is filled with statues of outstanding beauty! This was the favored home of Frederick the Great, the eccentric leader that placed Prussia on the map as a dominant European power. Let’s talk about the quirks of Frederick’s behavior, his heated relationship with the French philosopher Voltaire, his troublesome and violent relationship with his father and the tale of his delayed burial alongside his beloved dogs.
This palace was the last the Hohenzollern family built in Germany before they were forced to go into exile in 1918. This is where the last royal baby of the family was born in 1917. The style of the building is English Tudor, popular at the time. The building became famous when the Potsdam Conference took place here in 1945. This is where the decision was made to drop the atomic bombs over Japan (by Truman), and where Germany and Europe were carved up by the remaining European powers.
Prussian King Frederick William II built the marble palace as a response to Frederick the Great’s Sanssouci. When he couldn’t gather enough marble for the project, he gave orders to take marble from the outlying rows of columns at Sanssouci. He found successors in tending the palace, especially Frederick William IV, who added the fresco of the mythical Nibelungs. The kitchen is remarkable, designed after the ruins of an ancient temple.
In 1815 a Prussian field general recovered 500 Russian soldiers who had been prisoners of war of the French. Frederick William III was a great fan of their melancholy Russian songs, and asked the Tsar if he might keep some of them to form a choir. Ultimately 62 men were chosen. One of the conditions the Tsar made before giving away the soldiers was that they would have a place to pray and a place to live. That place was Alexandrowka.
Frederick William I, always searching for new citizens to live in his underpopulated Prussia, wanted to attract skilled Dutch engineers, so he made them an offer that he was certain they couldn’t refuse. He would provide a home in their native style, give them the title of “court artisan”, a great honor, and exempt them from the duty of every resident of Potsdam to house soldiers in their homes. Enjoy a walk through a typical Dutch neighborhood in Prussia.
When Frederick William IV came to power in 1840 the people hoped for a liberal king. In the end this king was one of the most conservative rulers they ever had. He was also a very religious man, and founded the Peace Church, a place more spiritual than any other in his reign. Here his religion lives on in the stones of his church. Every phrase engraved on the walls, every sarcophagus (including that of Frederick III) sighs with deep Christian belief.
Going to Potsdam by bus enables a stop at this site. In 1942, during a meeting of high-ranking Nazi officials here, the so called “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” was discussed. A visitor to the house where it occurred, now a museum, can still witness the scene as it was in 1942: a long table with a list of names and information about the Nazis involved in the conference. It’s a good idea to visit this site with a guide; we know from experience how many questions come up in this infamous, almost unthinkable setting.