Europe, Germany, Schwerin

A Day Trip from Berlin: Schwerin Photos

Schwerin Photos - Schlossgarten Palace
(Last Updated On: February 1, 2019)

A Day Trip from Berlin: Schwerin Photos

It seems I’m incapable of ever sitting still, as that inexplicable feeling of wanderlust always seems to take hold.

After my epic travels through Thailand, I came home both very sick and tired. So naturally, my initial plan was to stay home in Berlin for a while. But then I started to feel healthy and it didn’t take long to feel restless again. I longed to go somewhere, anywhere!

It occurred to me that I keep leaving Germany and I wondered why I hadn’t taken the time to explore my new country. The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Thailand are all places I’ve visited during my first four months in Europe. So with the intent to get better acquainted with Germany, I embarked on a solo day trip by jumping on a train to Schwerin.

Recommended reading: For travel tips on other destinations in Germany, read An Afternoon Walk Through the City: Frankfurt Photos or this post about things to do in Hannover

As usual, I spent the day walking through the city and of course, taking lots of Schwerin photos.

A Day Trip from Berlin: Schwerin Photos

Schwerin is a small city, northwest of Berlin, and an easy day trip. It’s just over a 2-hour train ride away from the German capital.

With a population of about 90,000, Schwerin is best known for its many lakes, historic old town that was left largely untouched during WWII, and the romantic Schwerin Palace, which has been nicknamed the “Neuschwanstein of the North.”

Schwerin had me at the mere mention of a castle. The thought of spending the day exploring the massive complex and its surrounding garden and park was all too appealing.

1) The Main Train Station (or Hauptbahnhof)

Schwerin goes out of its way to impress you from the moment you arrive. As you exit the main train station, you’ll see a fountain called Rettung in Seenot meaning “rescue at sea,” which was built in 1910. The station itself was built in 1891 in a Gründerzeit style, common to the time as Germany was experiencing a period of healthy economic bounty.

Schwerin Photos - Schwerin Hauptbahnhof

2) Pfaffenteich

As I made my way toward Schwerin Palace, I came across the Pfaffenteich, a serene pond filled with swans and surrounded by some of the city’s most beautiful architecture. I spent at least 30 minutes sitting beside the pond, simply enjoying the moment.

Schwerin Photos - Pfaffenteich Reflections
Schwerin Photos - Pfaffenteich Restaurant
Schwerin Photos - Swan at Pfaffenteich

3) Streets of Schwerin

As I continued my walk, I couldn’t get over how different Schwerin was from Berlin. Everything was just soooo pretty, almost a little too perfect! It’s quiet, clean, and picturesque and hard not to take even more Schwerin photos. 

Schwerin Photos - Street Views
Schwerin Photos - Pretty Streets
Schwerin Photos - Flowers Along the Street
Schwerin Photos - Clothing Shop

4) Market Square

If there’s a place to people watch in Schwerin, it’s Market Square at the center of the Old Town. Filled with stalls selling food and everything you can imagine like olive oil, hats, clothing and children’s toys.

The square is proudly guarded by a statue of Henry the Lion, who was a duke of Saxony and one of the most powerful princes in German history, ruling over territory stretching from the Baltic Sea down to the Alps. Created by sculptor Peter Lenk, the column on which the lion sits depicts scenes from his reign. One of the more curious scenes features several people’s pants pulled down to reveal their buttocks, in what came to be known as the “bottom parade.” It seems that when Henry arrived to conquer the town of Bardowick, its residents mooned him in order to show their contempt!

Behind the weird and offbeat lion statue is the former market hall, crowned with 14 Doric columns, which now houses Café Rothe. It was here that I stopped for lunch and had one of my favourite German drinks, the Hugo, a mixture of prosecco, elderflower syrup and mint leaves.

Schwerin Photos - Lion Monument Market Square Schwerin Photos - Market Square Röntgen Classic Café Schwerin Photos - Eating at Market Square Schwerin Photos - Market Square Hat Stall Later in the day, I stopped by a stall to try Schmalzkuchen, which is basically the German equivalent to a donut. It’s deep-fried dough, served warm and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Not exactly a healthy eating choice, and I was glad to have walked several kilometres that day and climbed 117 metres up the winding stairs of the nearby cathedral steeple.

Schwerin Photos - Schmalzkuchen

5) Schwerin Cathedral

After lunch, it was time to check out the stunning Schwerin Cathedral, constructed throughout 1260–1416 in a Brick Gothic style. As the oldest building in the entire city, this spot is favoured by tourists, and it’s easy to see why.

Schwerin Photos - Schwerin Cathedral Altar
For 2 €, you can climb up that steeple for panoramic views of Schwerin. I was excited to spy the palace off into the distance.

Schwerin Photos - Schwerin Cathedral City View of Schwerin Palace

6) Schwerin Palace

As I left the church, I quickened my pace as I was that eager to see the palace. For a girl from Toronto, a city of skyscrapers and an endless sea of soulless condominiums, such historic sites will always be a wonder. For this reason, living in Germany is a fairytale dream come true.

Schwerin Photos - Walking to Schwerin Palace Schwerin Photos - Schwerin Palace Flowers
Schwerin Palace is considered to be one of the most important works of romantic historicism in Europe and is currently awaiting a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. The palace actually sits on its very own island, surrounded by a lovely garden and park. It now serves as the state’s parliament.

Schwerin Photos - Schwerin Palace Up Close Schwerin Photos - Schwerin Palace

7) Palace Park – Burggarten

As it was such a nice day, I opted to not visit the inside of the palace. Instead, I spent all my time outside starting with the palace’s grand park. Notable is an orangery overlooking the water, a conservatory restaurant and terrace café. There are also sculptures, fountains and even a grotto. The perfect setting to take tons of Schwerin photos. 

Schwerin Photos - Palace Orangerie Statue Angel Schwerin Photos - Palace Orangerie Swans Schwerin Photos - Palace Orangerie View Schwerin Photos - Palace Orangerie Schwerin Photos - Palace Orangerie Statue I deemed it time to have another rest and spent a good hour sipping a cappuccino at the terrace café.

Schwerin Photos - Palace Orangerie Terrace Cafe Schwerin Photos - Palace Orangerie Terrace Cafe Nook Schwerin Photos - Schwerin Palace Trees in Burggarten Schwerin Photos - Palace Swans at the Burggarten

8) Palace Garden – Schlossgarten

Walking away from the palace and park, you’ll enter the palace garden. Dotted with several canals, more statues, gazebos and other more modern touches, it’s yet another place where you can spend hours wandering.

Schwerin Photos - Schlossgarten I’m a diehard romantic, and when I spied this lone lovelock (like the time I stumbled across lovelocks in Budapest), my heart almost burst with joy. It’s just nice to be able to see visible signs of people’s love for one another out in the “wild,” so to speak.

Schwerin Photos - Love Locks in the Schlossgarten Schwerin Photos - Schlossgarten Flowers Schwerin Photos - Schlossgarten Lines Schwerin Photos - Schlossgarten Gazebo Saving the best view for last, I turned around and stared back at the palace off into the distance. It was a Disney moment!

Schwerin Photos - Schlossgarten Palace

Good to Know

1) Fun fact – one of Schwerin’s sister cities is Milwaukee as many residents of Schwerin moved to the United States during the mid-1800s.

2) Schwerin’s just over two hours away from Berlin by car or train. You can travel there by train for 40 € return on a Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket.

3) Although I explored Schwerin entirely by foot, you can also catch sightseeing tours via bus from the main train station or opt to rent a bike for the day.

4) The terrace café at the palace is only open from May – October.

5) You can enter the cathedral for free but it costs 2 € to climb the steeple.

6) For more inspiration, see my friend Adam’s photos from a day trip to Schwerin. Other day-trip options from Berlin are Braunschweig, Germany and Szczecin, Poland.

7) If you’re a die hard castle fan like me, consider a visit to Burg Eltz


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Schwerin Photos

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  • Reply Sofia April 27, 2015 at 2:03 am

    That looks like a wonderful walk! I’m glad you were able to discover them beautiful spots in your new country; the Germany! The castle does look fantastic! and every buildings’ architectural designs are amazing!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 27, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Hey Sofia – Thanks for your comment! Yes, Schwerin is really beautiful. I’m happy to have gone there for sure. 🙂


  • Reply Sam April 27, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Great photos, Cheryl! I was in Schwerin briefly in January for an afternoon on my way back to Berlin after teaching English in a small town nearby. The weather wasn’t as gorgeous as it was for you, but it is a beautiful city, isn’t it? I think it merits a return visit soon.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 27, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Thank you so much Sam! I’ve seen some winter photos and think Schwerin looks really special in the winter as well. But I’m sure it must be even more stunning when all of the flowers are in full bloom! <3

  • Reply Dorothee April 29, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Hi Cheryl

    looks like I really have to put Schwerin on my list of places to visit, cute place indeed. I love the pic of the swans (so romantic).

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 29, 2015 at 8:47 am

      Hey Dorothee – Thank you. I really love that photo too. Apparently, they were performing a mating dance! See how the two of them standing together form a perfect heart … <3

  • Reply Maria Berz May 1, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Cheryl,
    I love the post and your photos rally capture a beautiful angle of Schwerin! I’m from a little place near Berlin but have moved abroad 7 years ago. I have been to visit Schwerin when I was a teenager and looking at your pictures makes me think I should re-visit it when I’m back in Germany for my next visit.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 2, 2015 at 10:17 am

      Hey Maria!

      Thanks for stopping by and reading the blog. Also big thanks for the nice comment. 🙂

      Awesome that you are thinking of visiting Schwerin when you come back! It’s really such a nice place to spend the day.


  • Reply Diana @ Life in German. May 3, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Schwerin really is a beautiful place! I love the last picture!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks Diana! I really enjoyed my time there and seeing the castle from that view really did feel like a Disney moment. Have you been there?

  • Reply Mary @ Green Global Travel May 6, 2015 at 11:51 am

    A lot of times, it’s the places closest to us that most often go overlooked. Sounds like you had a great time exploring your surroundings!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 7, 2015 at 5:03 am

      Thanks Mary! Very true and this ended up being a very wonderful day when I really needed an escape from Berlin. 🙂

  • Reply kami May 18, 2015 at 9:21 am

    I’ve heard of Schwerin before but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of the city. And it looks so lovely! I really have to plan a trip to Germany soon, I guess!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 18, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Thanks Kami! Schwerin is quite a nice day trip from Berlin and I’d highly recommend it. 🙂

  • Reply Amanda May 27, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Thank you so much for this great post. Your photos are wonderful! Do you have more photos ? Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Lori October 3, 2015 at 5:05 am

    It looks absolutely splendid. It was a true pleasure to read/see this post. Scwerin is on my travel list 😉

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 3, 2015 at 5:24 am

      Thanks! It was a nice way to spend the day. Hope you make it there soon. 🙂

  • Reply The Best Castles in Germany to Find Your Real Life Fairy Tale July 7, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    […] Schwerin is a perfect day trip from Berlin and can be easily reached by bus, train, or car in just over two hours. For more tips about what to see and do around Schwerin, see this post. […]

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