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Sanssouci Palace

Often described as the Versailles of Germany. It is the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia

TravelCurious Tip

The main rooms of the palace all face onto the lovely garden – be sure to have a wander through it if weather permits.

Though it is sometimes touted as Germany’s answer to Versailles, the truth is that Sanssouci is much more in keeping with the modesty of a king who once said “A crown is just a hat that lets the rain in.” Originally, Frederick the Great had simply wanted to grow grapes, plums and figs on the hills outside Potsdam, but on seeing the place he immediately fell in love with the beautiful view, and decided that this was to be the location for his new summer residence.

The Palace Without Cares

The job of designing the palace was given to the famed Prussian architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff. He decided on the light, airy Rococo style, which was in vogue at the time, and which he felt perfectly suited the purposes of the new residence. The name was conceived with the same thought in mind; sans souci is a French expression meaning “without a care”.

Interior Opulence

The simple single-storey exterior of Sanssouci belies a much more royal interior. Although the principal block contains just ten rooms, they are luxuriously furnished, with plenty of marble, mahogany and gold inlay used throughout. Coming in through the entrance hall, you’ll see the fashionable exterior colonnade motif continued inside in the form of ten pairs of Corinthian-style stucco marble columns. Particularly intriguing are the king’s study and bedroom. Here you can see the very armchair in which Frederick died, returned in the mid-19th century after a long period of absence.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Berlin
Alexandrowka
An old Russian colony, created in 1826-27 upon the request of Frederick Wilhelm III
Stasi Prison
A former East German prison, which cruelly remanded political prisoners secretly for decades
Dutch Quarter
A neighbourhood of 169 beautifully preserved red Dutch brick houses, built from 1733 to 1740
Sanssouci Palace Gardens
Walk by the terraced gardens and see the magnificence of the park surrounding the Palace.
New Palace at Sanssouci
Completed in 1769 at the western side of the Sanssouci park, it is considered to be the last great Prussian baroque palace.
Potsdam
It is now one of the most-visited cities in Germany, home to magnificent palaces and elegant gardens.

Related Tours

Private Potsdam Tour from Berlin: Picturesque Palaces & Cold War History
Take a day trip to Potsdam, and discover its rich culture and beautiful architecture. 

  • Visit the grounds of the Marble Palace and Schloss Cecilienhof Palace where Churchill, Truman and Stalin partitioned  Germany in 1945. 
  • Explore the eighteenth century Dutch Quarter and its magnificent red brick neighbourhoods. 
  • Walk where Frederick the  Great stepped in the Sanssouci Palace.     
Potsdam is a city from your dreams - its endless castles, palaces, gardens and lakes served as the home of Kings and Emperors for three hundred years. It was finally given UNESCO status in 1990, after the fall of the Soviet Union. Full of incredible history, from Prussian royalty to the Cold War, the capital of Brandenburg is as fascinating as it is beautiful.
 
The tour includes an exploration of the grounds of Schloss Cecilienhof Palace, where Churchill, Truman and Stalin shaped and partitioned post-war Europe and Asia in 1945. Wander the idyllic roads of the Dutch Quarter, explore the Church of Peace, and the grounds of the Marble Palace. The enlightened side of the Prussian state, where blood mattered less than duty, will again be on your mind as you appreciate the rococo architecture of Frederick the Great’s summer palace: the Sanssouci Palace
 
 Note: Due to strict policy at Sanssouci Palace, your guide will not be able to accompany you throughout your time here. They will rendezvous with you at the exit.   
Day Trip to Potsdam with Private Transport, Tickets, and Guide
Spend a glorious and peaceful day wandering the UNESCO World Heritage site of Potsdam, home of the Prussian Kings, on this private day trip with your guide, private transport and tickets to the magnificent Sanssouci Palace and picture gallery included. On this tour you will: 

  • Enjoy the personalized attention of your expert private guide and the ease of having your private transport for the day. 
  • Discover the opulent land of palaces, manicured gardens and lakes that is Potsdam, one of the most splendid royal cities of Europe and once the home of the Prussian kings. 
  • Visit the magnificent Sanssouci Palace, the summer home of King Frederick the Great and now Germany's largest World Heritage Site.
  • Tour the picture gallery to see some of the most famous works of Europe’s greatest masters such as Caravaggio, Rubens and van Dyck among others.
  • Stroll through some of the Palace's beautiful gardens and parklands.  
  • Enjoy the pomp and splendour of the Orangery Palace, the New Palace and the Cecilienhof Palace (among others) from the outside.
  • Walk along the Glienicke Bridge where the historical exchange of spies took place in 1962 until the 1980s.
  • Visit the charming city of Potsdam and its picturesque Dutch Quarter.
  • Learn about the rich history of the city, from the Prussian Kings to the Cold War spies from your private guide. 

Less than an hour from Berlin by car, Potsdam is one of Europe’s most magnificent royal cities. Created by the Prussian Kings to rival the Baroque opulence of Versailles, the palaces and parks of Potsdam are spread over 500 hectares and include over 150 buildings dating from 1730 to 1916. It was made a UNESCO world heritage site in 1990 and provides a peaceful and beautiful respite from the hustle and bustle of Berlin. 

Throughout the day, your guide will tell you the plethora of stories of the people behind the pomp and splendour of the buildings. The life of Frederick the Great who was a keen patron of the arts and the Enlightenment and commissioned the Sanssouci Palace to be his summer palace, where you will have VIP access. Your guide will meet you after the audio-guided tour and walk with you through the Sansoucci gardens past the lovely Chinese Tea Room to the New Palace which you'll explore from the outside. Then it's time for lunch (not included in the tour) and your guide will be only too happy to help with recommendations. 

After a lunch break, you’ll spend the afternoon visiting the Cecilienhof palace (from the outside) and wander around the charming Dutch quarter – with its laid back ambience, courtyards and cafes, bars and galleries. Your guide will also show you the Alter Markt, Neuer Markt, St. Nikolai Church, City Palace and The Brandenburg Gate so you'll really have covered everything! Before you head back to Berlin, you may also spy on the odd actor as Potsdam was named UNESCO creative city of Film in 2019! 
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