POTS­DAM

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Biosphäre Pots­dam

This trop­i­cal in­door gar­den fea­tures a green­house with more than 20,000 plants, in­clud­ing a palm grove and man­grove swamp, as well as an­i­mals such as igua­nas, par­rots, geckos, frogs, and but­ter­flies. Daily Mon– Fri 9am– 6pm, from 10am on week­ends and hol­i­days. €11.50/9.80. Un­der-3s free. www.biosphaere- pots­dam.de. Ge­org- Hale­mann-Allee 99. T: 0331.550740. Tram 96 from Pots­dam Haupt­bahn­hof. Off Map

Film­park Ba­bels­berg

In the early 1900s, the Ba­bels­berg film stu­dios pro­duced some of the most im­por­tant films of the silent era, in­clud­ing Metropo­lis, un­til the fa­cil­i­ties were taken over by the Nazi regime to pro­duce po­lit­i­cal pro­pa­ganda. To­day, the stu­dios are still in use, but part of the com­plex has been turned into a theme park, with old sets, stunt­men, spe­cial ef­fects, and chil­dren's sec­tions ded­i­cated to pop­u­lar TV char­ac­ters. Daily 10am– 6pm from April to Oc­to­ber, closed Mon in May and on Mon and Tues in Septem­ber, on 6 and 13 Oc­to­ber. € 21/14, un­der- 4s free. www.film­park- ba­bels­berg.de. Gross­beeren­str., Pots­dam- Ba­bels­berg. T: 0331.7212750. S Grieb­nitzsee. Off Map

Sanssouci

MUST SEE The sump­tu­ous Ro­coco cas­tle of Pots­dam's Sanssouci was com­mis­sioned in 1745 by Fred­er­ick the Great, who wanted "a place to be with­out cares." The king of Prus­sia em­ployed the finest ar­chi­tects of the day to de­sign the Baroque park, the Schloß placed above ter­raced vine­yards, the more sober New Palace, and a few other pavil­ions scat­tered in the park. Daily 10am– 6pm (win­ter un­til 5pm); Mon closed. €15/11. At the con­ver­gence of the Havel and Spree rivers in western Ber­lin lies the 450-year- old Span­dau Citadel. When it was first built dur­ing the Re­nais­sance, the fortress was in­tended to de­fend Ber­lin, and its four bas­tions were con­nected by cur­tain wall to en­sure the fortress had no blind spots. Although the fortress it­self is al­ready quite old, the early-13th- cen­tury Julius Tower at­tached to it is even older. A short climb to the top of the watch­tower re­wards vis­i­tors with mag­nif­i­cent views of the Havel. Dur­ing the win­ter, the fortress’s brick-walled vaults are home to 10,000 hi­ber­nat­ing bats, and dur­ing the sum­mer, the lush grounds play host to the open-air Citadel Mu­sic Fes­ti­val. Am Julius­turm 64. T: 030.3549440. www. zi­tadelle-ber­lin.de

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