This summer we have a special feature on the Circus blog, using those long lazy days to get out from the city and explore the surroundings of Berlin. Almost all of these day trips can also be found on the Cwiki, the Berlin city guide written by the Circus team…
To reach the Pfaueninsel you will just need a normal Berlin transport ticket, as you are not leaving the city limits, although when you get there the hustle and bustle of the Hauptstadt will seem a long way away. Already when getting out of the S-Bahn at Wannsee the air smells so much fresher and cleaner, and everything is green! From Wannsee an hourly bus (number 218) takes you to the pier, where a small ferry takes you over to the island. On the island no cars, bicycles, pets or even smoking are allowed. The only way to get around is on foot, and one round around the island takes about 1.5 hours.
Pfaueninsel has a long history and was a favorite of Prussian kings and queens. It is a world cultural heritage site, bird sanctuary and nature reserve. There is a small palace and other historical buildings scattered over the island – a dairy building, an old boathouse, a beautiful fountain, a hunter’s blind, a peacock breeding house, and lots of fields, forest with magnificent tree formations and greenery. The nicest bonus was that we were practically alone there to enjoy the greenery and scenery along with a few farm animals (even two pairs of Asian water buffalo!) and the spooky cries of the peacocks.
Back at Wannsee, the Strandbad is one of Europes largest inland beaches and between May & September is packed with Berliners, who come here to relax and swim in the waters of the Havel. The area has loads of shops, and places to buy food and drink, and makes a really nice change from the hustle and bustle of the city. A short bus ride away (number 114 from the Wannsee S-Bahn station) is Am Großer Wannsee and the villa that was the site of the 1942 Wannsee Conference.