Where are the most idyllic small towns in Germany? Below you will find five of the prettiest villages in Germany! These cute towns near Berlin are within 3 to 4 hours by train or car.
When I lived in Berlin from 2017 to 2021 I traveled to all these places by train or car and can highly recommend them.
By driving, you can easily see more than one of these charming towns in one day.
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This post will give you information:
- Which villages near Berlin are the most idyllic in Germany
- The top attractions in each small German village town
- Where to eat in these old villages in Germany
- Where to stay in these quaint German towns
Most Idyllic Small Towns in Germany Close To Berlin
For an easy reference of which German villages are closest to Berlin, I have listed them by distance and travel time.
- Lüneburg – Distance from Berlin 2 hours, and 45 minutes by train. (135 miles / 217 kilometers)
- Schwerin Distance from Berlin is 2 hours and 45 minutes by train. (114 miles / 183 Kilometres)
- Lübeck Distance from Berlin 3 hours by train. (175 miles / 282 kilometers)
- Görlitz Distance from Berlin is 2 hours and 45 minutes by train. ( 135 miles / 218 kilometers)
- Meissen Distance from Berlin is 3 hours and 30 minutes by train. ( 94 miles / 151 kilometers)
Easily combine visiting Lüneburg & Lübeck or Görlitz and Meissen in one day by renting a car.
Downloadable Map of Best Villages to Visit in Germany
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Use this map to plan day trips from Berlin!
Idyllic Villages Near Berlin- Lüneburg
One of the most beautiful villages near Berlin is Lüneburg. This small medieval village is located just northwest of Berlin.
It is one of the most beautiful small towns I visited in Germany.
Lüneberg, a German village in Lower Saxony, is as charming as you could ever imagine. If pressed, I would say it is my favorite of all the places I visited on this list.
You can expect a medieval old town with half-timbered houses and Red Brick Gothic-style buildings. The first recorded deed was found in ancient records dating back to 956 AD.
This is one of the best small towns near Berlin that is incredible at Christmas. Imagine drinking glühwein and eating roasted chestnuts in a town like this!
Top Attractions in Lüneberg
If you are going just a day trip from Berlin, the main sites you want to hit are listed below:
- Salt Museum – visit the historical salt mining museum of Lüneberg.
- St. John Church is the oldest Lutheran church in Lüneberg. Built-in the 14th century.
- Wasser Tower (with viewing tower) This museum is unique as you start from the top of the viewing tower. On your way to the bottom, each floor has historical information.
- Am Sande Market Square is the leading market square in Lüneberg, with abundant shops and restaurants.
- Rathaus (town hall) was completed in the year 1720, located in the market square.
Where to Eat in Lüneburg
Lüneburg has some delicious spots to eat! Some of the best are listed below:
- Altes Brauhaus since 1505! Enjoy some traditional German food modernly interpreted along with some delicious beer or wine.
- Rohms Deli has a slightly upscale experience yet is still casual. This deli, which should not be considered a “deli,” serves fresh and inventive cuisine.
- Capitol has you covered from breakfast to dinner. This place can cater to your every meal.
Where to Stay in Lüneburg
If you are visiting from Berlin, you could make a day trip to Lüneburg. For anyone that wants to stay longer, here is a list of the 2 hotels I recommend.
- Anno 1433 Hotel is located in the old town of Lüneburg. 12-room smoke-free guest house with a lot of style and character.
- Altstadt Gästehaus Drewes Wale private little apartment-style rooms. More like an Airbnb than a hotel. Very highly rated
If possible, visit this lovely small town during Christmas as I did. The Weihnachsmarkt is spectacular!
Places Near Berlin With A Castle -Schwerin
Schwerin is located north of Berlin and sits on Lake Schwerin near the Baltic Sea. The castle is the largest in northern Germany and is also a designated UNESCO world heritage site.
Schwerin Castle is a neo-Renaissance-style palace with elaborate gardens. Open to the public, it was a true highlight of my trip to this charming village.
The architecture in the charming town of Schwerin is of the Medieval era. You can expect cobbled streets and an impressive Market Square. If you have the choice to visit at any time of year, I would recommend December.
The Christmas market in the town centre is something out of fairytale!
Top Attractions in Schwerin
Schwerin, Germany is a great place to explore and experience the culture of Germany. I walked around for hours in awe of this magical little place few actually know about.
If you are looking for the top things to do in Schwerin here are some ideas for you!
1. Visit Schloss Schwerin – Built in the 19th century, this castle is a beautiful example of German architecture and history. You can take a guided tour to learn all about the castle’s history and enjoy the view from the terrace.
2. Check out Schweriner See – This lake is one of the biggest attractions in Schwerin with its picturesque vistas. Rent a kayak or take a boat tour to explore Schweriner See up close.
3. Explore the Museumshafen – This historic harbor has many old fishing boats and other vessels that you can explore. It is also home to numerous restaurants, cafes, and shops where you can try fresh, local seafood dishes.
4. Visit the Schweriner Dom – This beautiful cathedral is a must-see for anyone visiting Schwerin. You can explore the building and its various religious artifacts, or take part in one of the services that are held here.
5. Take a stroll through Mecklenburg Gardens – This peaceful park is a great place to relax and enjoy nature. You can spend an afternoon exploring the trails, gardens, and monuments that make this area so special.
6. Go on a Night Tour with a watchman! Explore the city at night with a professional tour guide and learn all about the history of this incredible town.
7. Go on a 2-hour local pub crawl experience! Visit all the best local breweries and pubs in Schwerin!
Private Walking Tour of Schwerin
🚶♀️Take a 2-hour private walking tour around the fairytale-like town of Schwerin!
Where to Stay in Schwerin
Hotel Niederländischer Hof Schwerin is located within walking distance of the central train station in Schwerin.
Weinhaus Uhle vintage building restored with modern style and convenience. An excellent choice to stay central in Schwerin
Weinhaus Wöhler traditional style building, upgraded with modern style rooms. Pet-friendly.
Where to Eat in Schwerin
La Bouche Bistro & Bar is a modern bar and bistro highly rated among locals.
Schwerin Gourment Factory if you want to treat yourself to something special, visit this upscale yet affordable restaurant.
Müllers for some delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes, check out Müllers, located in the center of Markt Square
Altstadt Brauhaus a fantastic brewery, serves all the classic German dishes! There are limited vegan options but a few vegetarian choices.
Best Towns to Visit in Germany- Lübeck
Visiting Lübeck is one of the best small cities near Berlin to visit in Germany. I was staying in Hamburg and decided to make a quick day trip. I have returned to Lübeck twice since then!
Still accessible from Berlin, just a bit further away than some of these other charming villages.
Upon arriving at Lübeck, you will be greeted with the most impressive Gothic-style gate I have ever seen. The old town walls are long gone, but the gate remains.
It is the most distinguishable symbol of Lübeck and the medieval period that which it was constructed.
Once you pass through this red-brick gate that has been fully restored after World War ii, you will be in the old city of Lübeck. The old city of Lübeck is on an island surrounded by the Elbe River.
I found the most impressive about Lübeck was its many churches, historic buildings, and market squares. The architecture is mixed with newly built construction and half-timbered buildings.
If you are visiting in December, the town will be filled with holiday spirit and a Christmas market in every market square!
Top Attractions of Lübeck
The top attractions in this beautiful small town in Germany are:
- St. Mary’s Church ( Marienkirche) – This is Germany’s third-largest church, and its architecture is the model for numerous Gothic churches in the Baltic region.
- St. Peter’s Church – Destroyed in WWII but fully restored, this church has a viewing tower that I highly recommend. There is an elevator to the top for those who are weary of the stairs.
- Lübeck Cathedral – This Romanesque architecture church is the oldest place of worship in Lübeck.
- St. Giles – it’s the smallest of all the churches in Lübeck’s Old Town. You will find Gothic wall paintings and influences from the Baroque and Renaissance periods.
- St. Jacobs – The four spherical globes on the tower’s helm edge is noticeable from a distance.
Lubeck Old Town Private Walking Tour
Book this 2-hour walking tour of Old Town Lübeck and explore the medieval town of notable buildings of historic significance!
Where to Eat in Lübeck
The best places to eat while visiting this idyllic German town are:
- Brauberger Brewery Most idyllic small towns in Germany have a Brewery restaurant. Brauberger is your traditional German brewery restaurant that I just love to visit! Get your fix of beer and comfort food here!
- Restaurant Schiffergesellschaft Enjoy more than just a meal at this incredible historical landmark. Read all about the remarkable story on their website. I would make this my number #1 choice in places to eat.
- Fangfrisch Lübeck If you are a fish lover, then this is the restaurant for you! Enjoy a variety of fish served every which way in a modern setting.
Where to Stay in Lübeck
- Hotel Lili Marleen is located by the beach, not in the city center of Lübeck. Perfect for someone who wants to get away from the city but not be too far.
- Hotel Traveblick is located directly in the city center. This hotel is more like an Airbnb containing only 3 small apartments.
- Atlantic Hotel Lübeck has a sleek and modern style in the city center.
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Beautiful Towns Near Berlin-Görlitz
Göritz is one of the best small towns in Germany towns. This picturesque town is located a stone’s throw from the Polish border. You can cross into Poland by walking over one of the arched bridges at the town’s edge.
It is so picturesque that Hollywood has filmed several movies here, most famously, The Grand Budapest Hotel. After seeing this place in person, I can understand why it’s one of Germany’s most idyllic small towns.
Gorlitz is one of the most beautiful towns near Berlin. I enjoyed spending two nights, but I would only recommend one at most.
Top Attractions in Görlitz
Görlitz has a lot to see for such a small town. Below is a list of the top attractions in Görlitz:
- Picture taking at famous movie sites! Films such as The Book Thief, The Reader, and The Grand Budapest Hotel were all filmed here. The must-see Karstadt department store is the “hotel” in The Grand Budapest Hotel movie.
- St. Peter and Paul Church – 11th-century church containing The Sun Organ, created in 1697. The restored organ is still used today for concerts and special events.
- Crossing into Poland – The Polish city of Zgorzelec can be reached by crossing the bridge Johannes-Paul II Stadbrücke. There are also several other paths to cross in Poland. This is just the most popular.
- Stroll through the Stadt Park – If you are fortunate to visit Gorlitz in beautiful weather, check out the city park. This park has several impressive statues and fountains.
- Silesian Museum – Learn about the Province of Silesia, formerly the Province of Prussia from 1815 to 1919. The region of Silesia is located mostly in Poland, with small sections in the Czech Republic and Germany.
- Reichenbach Tower– You can enjoy magnificent views of the town from the top!
Dark Side of Görlitz Walking Tour
Join this 1 and half hour evening walking tour of the dark side of Görlitz! On this tour, your costumed guide will take you to a world of spooky legends and hidden secrets!
Where to Stay in Görlitz
For a small town, Görlitz has some fabulous boutique hotels, all listed below:
- VIAs Appartements und Ferienwohnungen is located in the center of the old town and highly reviewed by guests. Very stylish and chic.
- Hotel Schwibbogen center of the old town. Modern style and highly reviewed.
- Emmerich Hotel This hotel is gorgeous. The room was very comfortable and stylish. In 2019 the hotel did not have air conditioning when I stayed.
Where to Eat in Görlitz
Check out these top recommended restaurants below:
- St. John Patrician House is a bit upscale but not stuffy. You can not beat the ambiance at this restaurant. If you are lucky enough to visit in the summer, request a seat outside in the garden.
- Zur Schwarzen Kunst (The Black Arts) Rustic and cozy ambiance with delicious traditional food!
- N13 for a causal bistro with comfort food, check out this place.
Cutest Small Towns in Germany- Meissen
Meissen (Meßen) is located just 40 minutes from Dresden. I found Meissen when searching for a fairytale-like town in Germany. Upon arrival in Meissen, I knew it was someplace very special.
The old town of Meissen is around 15 minutes walk from the main train stop. Before arriving you will get a wonderful view of this most idyllic small town in Germany.
Meissen is home to the Missen porcelain, Gothic Meissen Cathedral, Frauen Kirche, and Albrechtsburg Castle. Construction began in 1260 on the Meissen Cathedral on the same hill as the Albrechstburg Castle. Visiting both is a must-do when visiting Meissen.
Top Attractions in Meissen
Meissen, the cutest small town in Germany, has a few top attractions listed below:
- Albrechtsburg– The main attraction in visiting Meissen is Albrechtsburg. This is Germany’s oldest castle and is situated upon a hill overlooking the Elbe river. You can tour the interiors of this castle and take incredible pictures of the river and town alongside it.
- Meissen Cathedral– Located right next to the Albrechtsburg castle is the Cathedral. The three sections of the cathedral are the inner church, the choir stall, and the central nave. The visit is well worth the low price of admission of a few euros.
- Marktplatz– Exploring the Marktplatz is an excellent activity when visiting Meissen. I would suggest you need at least 2 hours to take your time visiting the shops.
Where to Eat in Meissen
Domkeller – I loved this restaurant! I enjoyed a very-tasting soup and entree.
Am Hundewinkel is traditional German cuisine in the heart of Meissen!
Restaurant Vincenz is a highly recommended restaurant in the old town center. Cozy and traditional interiors with classic German food.
Ratskeller is a historical restaurant serving delicious food and wine. Vegetarian options are available!
Where to Stay in Meissen
There are a few hotels in the city center of Meissen I recommend:
- Goldenes Fass boutique-style hotel right in the center of the old town. Highly recommended.
- Dorint Park hotel is located just across the Elbe River from Meissen. Stunning views of Albrechtsburg.
- Hotel Goldener Löwe is in the heart of the old town, this cozy and traditional hotel is highly rated by guests.
Where Should You Go Next?
From Berlin, Germany the choices on where to go are endless! If you want to explore Bavaria, I recommend you consider spending a day in Nuremberg!
From Nuremberg, there are a few incredible day trips you can make within 2 hours of the city.
Pro Tip: Even though I found solo travel to be super safe, I ALWAYS recommend getting travel insurance to avoid any mishaps. Lost luggage or getting sick can happen at any time.
From Berlin, you can easily travel to the most idyllic and charming towns. Some of the prettiest villages near Berlin are Lübeck, Görlitz, Meissen, Schwerin, and Lüneberg.
One of the largest castles in Northern Germany is Schwerin Castle. From Berlin, Schwerin castle is 2 hours and 45 minutes by train.
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