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
Dutch Quarter
The Dutch Quarter is 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, the new palace at Sanssouci is considered to be the last great Prussian baroque palace.
It is now one of the most-visited cities in Germany, home to magnificent palaces and elegant gardens.
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

Related Tours

Potsdam & Sanssouci Palace: Private Day Trip from Berlin by Train

Enjoy a private day trip to Potsdam from Berlin by train, one of Europe’s most magnificent royal cities, and discover its rich culture and beautiful architecture, with a guided tour of the stunning Sanssouci Palace.

On your private day trip, you will:

  • Travel by train to Potsdam from Berlin, about an hour away, accompanied by your private tour guide;
  • Visit the magnificent Sanssouci Palace, the summer home of King Frederick the Great and now Germany's largest World Heritage Site at your own pace;
  • Hear about the life of Frederick the Great, born in Berlin in 1712 who was only 28 years old when he became King of Prussia;
  • Tour the picture gallery and see some of the most famous works of Europe’s greatest masters such as Caravaggio, Rubens and van Dyck among others; 
  • Stop for a lunch break in the city at one of the many restaurants with resplendent views where your guide will be happy to give you recommendations;
  • Discover Potsdam, a city of dreams that served as the home of Kings and Emperors for three hundred years, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990;
  • Explore the 18th-century Dutch Quarter and its magnificent red brick neighbourhoods; 
  • After your tour, you may opt to stay in Potsdam to continue exploring on your own, or head back to Berlin with your guide.

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. The city provides a peaceful and beautiful respite from the hustle and bustle of Berlin.

Full of incredible history, from Prussian royalty to the Cold War, the capital of Brandenburg is as fascinating as it is beautiful. Appreciate the rococo architecture of Frederick the Great’s summer palace: the Sanssouci Palace.

Throughout the day, your guide will tell you a plethora of stories about 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.

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.

IMPORTANT: Due to the strict policy at Sanssouci Palace, tour guides are not allowed to guide inside, so you will tour the palace on your own with an audioguide. They will rendezvous with you at the exit to resume your private tour.


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