Weekend Tips: Potsdam, spicy noodles and Festival of Lights

It takes just one hour to dive from Berlin into a completely different world. One where the sidewalks are clean, the house facades are clean, and the colors are pastel. We took a look at Potsdam and Babelsberg this weekend. While there was nothing going on in Babelsberg's city center and I only photographed the Ratskeller, Potsdam impressed us with its beautiful buildings, the Dutch Quarter, pretty alleys and cute cafes.


Value-added weeks in Berlin-Brandenburg

Thanks to the value-added weeks of the VVB, we were able to take the S-Bahn all the way to Babelsberg without an additional ticket. After arriving there, all the other day trippers (many of them wanted to take advantage of the beautiful late summer weather) went directly to Potsdam, while we took a walk through the Babelsberg city center.

Ratskeller Babelsberg

As a child I was a few times in the Babelsberg film studios, but never in the city center. As I said – except for the Ratskeller there is also not much to see there. That's why we walked quite fast to Potsdam. Yes exactly, walked. This takes just half an hour.

The Nikolaikirche in Potsdam

The way leads past the Freundschaftsinsel. There we discovered a gigantic dome, which belongs to the Nikolai church – as we later Googled it.

The evangelic church St. Nikolai is located at the Alter Markt, still looks very new, but is a listed building. Because in fact the 77 meter high building was already completed around 1850. But in the Second World War the church was so badly damaged that it had to be rebuilt and consecrated again in 1981.

30 years of the fall of the wall – Unity-Expo

Directly opposite the church is another impressive building: the Landtag (state parliament). On the square in front of it you can currently look at the beautiful blue swallow of Sister Agnes, which stands in an info cube in the course of the Unity Expo. Still to the 4. October 2020 the federal government presents itself in whole Potsdam with different multimedia installations. Part of the unity expo is u.a. also the sculpture "Trabi on four feet" by David Cerny. A visit to the capital of Brandenburg is currently particularly worthwhile.

Trabi on four feet

Must do in Potsdam: Dutch quarter

From the sculpture we walked further and further towards the Dutch Quarter (yes, we walked a lot that day – ca. 16 km in Babelsberg and Potsdam alone). The Dutch Quarter is really enchanting and very worth seeing. The brick houses, the colored doors, the sweet cafes – hach… Actually only the cheese cellars were missing. We even discovered poffertjes and Dutch pancakes in a restaurant.

We drank coffee in the sweet corner cafe Buena Vida Coffee Club. There is Coldbrew Coffee there and the cake and ice cream selection (Paletas Berlin) looked very good too.

Speaking of Holland: Basti and I have particularly fond memories of our neighboring country, because in 2012, as a very newly in love couple, we made our first joint city trip to Amsterdam. We were both thrilled – by the houses, the pretty alleys and the delicious food (cookies, pancakes, cheese – all day, every day). Unfortunately we have not made it to Holland again since then. Hopefully this will change soon.

Back to Potsdam. Because we were in town on a Saturday, we were able to stroll through the weekly market at the Nauener Tor, where Basti enjoyed a delicious Matjes roll and I denied myself a Belgian waffle (but shortly afterwards we had an ice cream🙂 ). Fish is very common in the city – no wonder, because Potsdam is surrounded by water.

Brandenburg Gate in Potsdam

By the way, there is also a Brandenburg Gate in Potsdam. It was built in 1770/71 by order of Frederick II. built as a sign of victory. That's why it resembles a roman triumphal arch. The special: The two sides are completely different. Architect Carl von Gontard designed the city side, his student Georg Christian Unger the field or country side. Unfortunately I only photographed one.

Brandenburg Gate Potsdam


If you are in Potsdam, you should definitely visit the beautiful Sanssouci Palace. Frederick the Great had it built between 1745 and 1747 on the vineyard terraces as a summer palace. The park offers beautiful walks and the palace is just very nice to look at.

Dinner tip: spicy noodles at Chungking in Kreuzberg

Contrast program in the evening: After another city stroll we took the S-Bahn back to Berlin. Straight to Kreuzberg, to be exact. This was then directly a pretty stark contrast to the neat Potsdam (especially since we had to drive through Neukolln).

In Kreuzberg we actually managed to get a table at Chungking Noodles directly. This tiny eatery has been on my food list for a long time. It is very popular and specializes in spicy noodle dishes (keyword: Szechuan pepper – whoop, whoop). We were still a bit skeptical – as often hyped restaurants disappoint. Chungking made us really happy and above all also full.

There are three different appetizers (we went with the pickles and greens), three entrees and a dessert – that's it. I love it when restaurants focus on just a few dishes. Basti ate his noodles with pork and I ate mine with tofu and shitake. We ordered them spicy and everything tasted wonderful, the spiciness was very nice. The next time we would put however still another sharpness shovel on it.

By the way, we only got a seat so quickly because we were already there at 5:45 p.m. Chungking Noodles opens at 6 p.m. At 17:55 all tables were already occupied. The hype is real!

Festival of Lights in Berlin

The perfect end to the day would have been the Festival of Lights, which runs through 20. September in Berlin. But because I already saw the so beautifully illuminated buildings on Friday with my friend Susi, Basti didn't feel like driving through half the city again, respectively. to run. Our pedometer showed after dinner already over 22.000 steps to. We ended the evening comfortably on the couch with a few episodes of "The Blacklist".

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