As I promised, I keep exploring Brandenburg and finding interesting places for you to see. This may be quite a challenge, as there are so many of them! It’ll keep me busy for the next couple of months :).
This time I visited Neuruppin, a town only an hour away from Berlin (by train). Luckily the weather was really beautiful! I and my two daughters, Roma and Mira, spent in Neuruppin the whole day and we had a really wonderful time!
Neuruppin was founded in the 13th century. It’s beautifully located on the shore of a lake called Ruppiner See. The town is a birthplace of the novelist and poet Theodor Fontane. He was born here exactly two hundred years ago, so this year the town celebrates his birthday: everywhere you can see the characteristic yellow figurines depicting the writer and posters informing about various events taking place to commemorate him.
Theodor Fontane wrote a lot about the local landscape and as the nature in this region has remained largely unchanged since his times – Neuruppin is part of the Stechlin-Ruppiner Land Nature Park – you can see for yourself if the writer’s admiration was justified. The nature reserve covers the area of 680 kilometers and Fontanestadt is a great starting point for many wonderful walks and bicycle trips.
How to get to Neuruppin?
The easiest way to get there is by train. From Berlin, it only takes an hour and 11 minutes to reach the town’s center. A return ticket costs €17, but if you travel in a group of up to 5 people it’s always best to go for the tourist option for €29. These train tickets are also valid for public transport in the whole of Brandenburg.
What to see in Neuruppin?
1. The first thing to do – of course! – is to take a stroll along the cobblestoned streets of the old town center and admire its unquestionably charming historic architecture (these wattle and daub houses!). The town is very well kept and the old buildings are nicely renovated. The town’s abundant greenery adds to its relaxing atmosphere, which makes you want to stay there forever.
And since forever is a long time and you are bound to get hungry at some point, taste some fresh fish or roasted sausages at the Schulplatz square. There’s a little market place, where you can buy not only these but also fresh fruit and vegetables.
2. You can’t leave the town without seeing the lake! Go to the observation platform or sit for a while on one of the benches along the shore. Let the kids play on a small playground nearby, so that you can have some quiet time for yourself. You can walk or go by bike around the lake but plan it in advance because it’s about 30 kilometers.
3. The Temple Garden (or rather Templegarten) is a beautiful, eclectic garden founded in 1700. It owes its name to the Appollo Temple erected here by the great architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff. The garden has also some rare plants and baroque sculptures (by Thomae). Obviously, the best time to visit it is spring, so waste no time!
4. Museum Neuruppin is located in a beautiful building right next to the Temple Garden. The subject of the current exhibition is (surprise, surprise!) the life and work of Theodor Fontane. He was a great lover of Brandenburg, no wonder then that Brandenburg loves him back so much. This exhibition is actually very interesting and carefully organized but unfortunately only in German. The museum may not be especially attractive for kids but it does try: at the box office children get a paper guide and a pen, so with a little help of their parents, they can also benefit from a visit there.
5. The last but not least place I’d like to recommend is not in Neuruppin itself but nearby. If you’re traveling with kids, take them there to reward them for being so good at the museum :). It’s Tierpark Kunsterspring – a small, very pleasant zoo with local animals. It’s located in a forest, which makes it somehow different from regular city zoos – it made a much nicer impression on me! We spent a lot of time there just walking, talking about animals and playing on a playground. Another unusual thing about this zoo is that you can feed the animals. There’s a special machine from which you can buy the feed. Make sure you have a lot of 20 cent coins, as only they are accepted!
How to get to Tierpark Kunsterspring?
You can take a bus from the railway station but it runs very rarely, so better check the times and plan in advance.
Where to eat in Neuruppin?
This time I won’t give you any clear suggestions. We just ate fish and rolls at the market (which saved me from the stress of going to a restaurant with the kids and was really very good). But I can recommend a great ice-cream parlor – Polly’s Eisdiele.
How to make the kids (even) happier in Neuruppin?
I can recommend as many as four playgrounds (and then another one at the zoo). Here you can find their addresses and photos:
– playground on Neuer Markt – water playground and a huge net for climbing, very nice, a lot of space for running.
– a playground near the lake, next to the church
– plac zabaw „Spielplatz an der Montessori-Schule”
– a small playground near the train station, at Wallstraße (one train fell out of plan and we had to spend an hour somehow;))
As you can imagine, it was a very nice trip! Neuruppin is yet another place in Brandenburg that I can whole-heartedly recommend – especially now in this blooming spring!
Warm, sunny greetings from Neuruppin! Have a lot of great trips this spring!