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Szczecin (Stettin), Poland – A Bargain Day-Trip Out of Berlin, Germany

15/07/2011

Szczecin, Poland  (known as Stettin in Germany) is an interesting and important sea-port city of approximately ½ million people, located on the Oder River, just across the Polish border from far north-east Germany.  http://bit.ly/peoT6e

(Tip:  Clicking any photo will bring up a larger version.  Clicking that version will display maximum size.)

Looking toward the waterfront on the Oder River. Cranes from the shipyards can be seen in the distance. Closer, on the left, is the old city castle (in white).

Thanks to Szczecin’s rich cultural history, the architecture is a mind teasing mix of many styles.  Having been at one time part of the old Germanic region of Pomerania (yes, that’s where the dogs of the same name originate), the city later became part of Poland but eventually fell to Danish rule.  Beginning in the early 17th century, Sweden claimed ownership, lasting almost 100 years.  Eventually the city became part of Germany and remained so for about 75 years until the end of World War Two.  Since WWII, Szczecin once again has been part of Poland.

Actually, the “ownership” history of Szczecin is much more complex than that but I don’t want to beat you over the head with a history lesson.  (If you want more history, you can Wiki it.)

The point is, as a result of this rich history Szczecin is a pleasantly difficult to quantify or qualify.  Today, Szczecin is Slavic city with deep German roots.  It will charm you with its friendly people, astonishing low-priced drinking/dining, and curious yet beautiful architectural styles.

What could make Szczecin even more appealing?  How about a bargain priced round-trip train ticket out of Berlin for only €20 (US$28)?  I’ll explain how to get this price later, but first let’s get started with some photos from Tuesday’s trip.

We got to the Berlin train station about 45 minutes early, so decided to walk outside to kill a little time. The tents in the foreground are from a new summer beach-bar just constructed in the past couple of weeks. The Berlin Hauptbahnhof sits in the background.

With one train change in Angermünde, we got to Szczecin, Poland around noon. The train was not crowded. We patted each other on the back and felt extremely clever for having chosen a Tuesday for our trip, as the weekend trains are normally pretty crowded with Berliners heading out for a good time.

I loved the brickwork on the city Post Office.

Nice brickwork on this building too. It appears to have originally been a church, but seems to function as an office building today.

My cousin Thilo hams it up a little for the camera. Yes... We were in "tourist mode" that day.

This style reminds me of Spanish or Portuguese designs… but it could be of a completely other origin. (Volumes and volumes and could be written on what I don’t know.)

Yet another interesting mix of interesting architectural styles.

The largest church (and there are a lot of them) in Szczecin. The city-view photos were all taken from the tower on the right.

Church main entrance.

Yet another style of stonework. The white auto is a new VW Scirocco (for you Scirocco lovers out there.) They are not available in the US.

One of the two remaining old city stone gates that bracket the city center.

Here's the other city gate, as viewed from the Church tower.

Evidence of Szczecin's maritime past is everywhere... Including this ship's rigging displayed next to a busy thoroughfare.

Passengers embark on a ship heading upstream on the Oder. From here, passenger and freight vessels alike can access cities far inland within Poland and Germany. In fact, when Szczecin (Stettin) was part of Germany, it was Germany's third largest seaport. Currently, Szczecin is Poland's largest seaport and 7th largest city.

Facing the water is the Maritime Museum. Here I enjoy the faint smell of the sea which follows the river from about 40 km (25 miles) to the north. I love that unmistakable kiss of the sea that betrays its secret presence not far away.

A child playing in the fountain on the Maritime Museum waterfront gives a clue to its massive stone construction.

My cousin Thilo strikes a pose in front of one of the two large stone gazebos bracketing the Museum. We’ll head up the stairs in a minute to enjoy a beer in the open-air pub within the gazego.

Inside the gazebo we sample a couple of varieties of Polish beer. A ½ liter glass costs only about €1,75 (US$2.50). Toto… I don’t think we are in Pasadena anymore! Hidden downstairs is a full (albeit slightly dark) restaurant, decked out with beautiful “yacht like” wooden trim.

On the inland side of the museum, several old fishing boats and various marine related pieces of equipment have found their final home. Due to time constraints, we were not able to tour the museum… More the pity… but perhaps next time.

There seemed to be remodeling going on everywhere (which would indicate there is money to do so.) This apartment building was well under way to restoration. Not only can adjacent buildings vary in their style, but styles can vary even on one building… For example, note the four balconies are of four distinct designs.

While the colors used would not have been my own personal choice, this entire block of apartments near the waterfront demonstrate the restoration activity going on in the city. The few remaining small cement mixes still in the buildings courtyard are the few remaining clues of recent remodeling activity.

What’s missing in this photo? Answer: Any sign what-so-ever of any power tools or equipment. This “theme” really struck me while walking around Szczecin. Almost everywhere I saw construction people working away. Some were glued to the sides of buildings on scaffolding. Some were fearlessly laboring on steep rooftops. Some were down in trenches making street repairs. Among all these workers, I saw absolutely no sign of any power equipment being used (other than the few small cement mixers in the previous photo). Everything is done by hand. This really impressed me. Not only does this hand-crafted work look beautiful, but it also gives a lot of people meaningful employment.

I love the small street-side stands so common in Europe. Everything is so fresh and good, plus there's no need to drive to the market. Great idea.

Hmmm... A Szczecin street named after one of our American presidents? There must be a story behind that somewhere.

Like many other ex-Eastern Block cities, Szczecin has its share of huge Soviet era apartment buildings. Everyone was “equal”… right? So why not make the living places all alike? (At least that was the rationale at the time, I've been told.) When nicely renovated, however, the buildings actually look quite pleasant (if you ignore the massive size.)

Szczecin does have its share of modern buildings as well. Here, for example, is the new shopping center which is as modern as any you would see anywhere.

Thanks to the huge solar skylight, the inside of the shopping center is bright and pleasant.

Do you notice anything special about the people on the photo?  That’s right… they are extremely thin.  This would quite likely be a different scene entirely if the photo had been taken in Iowa, Texas, or far too many other US states.  (I can only comment on states I’ve actually seen…  but the nationwide statistics are clear… and verifiable.)

Inside the “Real” grocery store within the new mall, we found bargain priced Polish Grass Vodka… This 1 liter bottle was a steal at €10 (US$14).

Here's a zoomed in view of the city castle that we saw in the distance in this post's first photo. It has been beautifully restored.

The city castle is over my left shoulder while I "take time to smell the roses" on the stairway leading to the main castle entrance.

Inside the city castle are several courtyards. In this one, the largest, a stage has been set up for an upcoming music event.

While looking around the courtyard, a young woman approached us and asked if we could spare a few minutes for a survey.  As we were in no hurry, we agreed.  The survey was designed to gather information from tourists about their impressions of the city.  Of the possible multiple-choice replies, however, there were only “glowing” options.  It would be similar were you to survey your friends with questions like, “What do you love most about me?” in an attempt to better yourself.  As a statistician in a previous life, I got a little chuckle out of that.

Note the swirling circles at the top of the castle photo (above).  This is known in German as the “Zuckerbäckerstil”, meaning literally the “Sugar Baker Style”.  With its Russian roots, it is associated widely with Stalinist architecture.  In English we call this style “Wedding Cake Style”.  In either case, the style resembles designs on cakes.

In a smaller side courtyard of the city castle sits a comfortable outside café. Like so many other things in Szczecin, dining is a bargain. In this case, I had Chicken Cordon Bleu (with potatoes) for the “poultry sum” (oh… bad pun!) of €6,75 (US$9.50). And yes, there was that ever-present bargain priced Polish beer. I had a “Zyweik” beer… as the logo on the sun umbrella shows.

All too soon, our day in Szczecin drew to an end. Note the clock on the wall displaying 6:18 as the time. I had just put new batteries into my watch a couple of days prior to this and had mistakenly set my watch 3 minutes too slow. At the moment, we didn’t notice the clock on the wall, so we thought we still had a few extra minutes to make our 6:22 train… As it turned out, we hopped on the train just seconds before it departed. There’s always one more way we can mess up when we travel… and I almost found one of them.

Would I consider going back to Szczecin again?  Absolutely!  It’s worth the trip in its own right, but to have the train ticket be such a bargain out of Berlin makes the trip all the more sweet.

Let’s end now with an explanation of how to get this bargain train price out of Berlin…

To get this price, of course, one must jump through a few hoops, but the process isn’t all that complex if you follow these steps:

  1.  Go to the Berlin main train station (Hauptbahnhof) the day before you wish to travel to Szczecin (Stettin).  You can buy ‘same day’ tickets on the day you wish to travel, but you are tempting fate in doing so.
  2. At the vending machine, select English as your language, if necessary.
  3. Find the menu item for Länder-Tickets (regional day tickets).  (I could write a full article on German Länder-Tickets… but that will be for another day.)
  4. Purchase your round-trip ticket for the next day to Szczecin (might be listed as Stettin) for €20.

Incidentally, you cannot buy these tickets online.  You can only buy these tickets from the vending machines in a few select Berlin train stations.  I’d suggest sticking with this plan and purchase them at the Hauptbahnhof.

Don’t be tempted to buy the tickets from the Reisezentrum (Travel Center) in the Hauptbahnhof.  The staff will look at you funny, then will try to sell you a “normal” Deutschebahn ticket for five or six times the  €20 price.  Again…  stick with the plan and use the vending machine.

You will have several departure time options when you arrive at the train station the next day.  I would suggest taking the train which leaves the Berlin Hauptbahnhof at 9:34 and returning on the one from Szczecin at 18:22 (6:22 p.m.)  This schedule will give you a nice full day without frying you.

There is one last train for the day leaving Szczecin at 20:50 (8:50 p.m.)  This train does have one advantage in being a direct train to Berlin (changing trains in Angermünde will not be necessary).  This train does not arrive in Berlin until about 11:00 p.m., however.  So keep that in mind when planning your day.

That wraps up this post.  Please do consider taking this trip yourself.  You will not be disappointed.

Happy trails!

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47 Comments
  1. Nice post — I’ll be in Berlin next week, and I hope to give this a try. Thanks for all the information!

  2. Ian Veal permalink

    What an excellent post – thank you coolblueice! Based on your blog we went to Szczecin by train from Berlin for the day just as you suggested. Poland is so close to Berlin it would be a waste not to make time for the experience.

    We checked the low ticket prices at the Berlin Hauptbahnhof central railway station automatic ticket machines downstairs as you said on the day before our planned trip; they were still €20 Euros each for a day return. However, being English we were also tempted to try the Reisezentrum (Travel Centre) upstairs. The staff did look at us funny, but when we explained about the €20 Länder-Tickets (regional day tickets) from the auto-ticket machines downstairs, they did not then try to sell us the ‘normal’ Deutschebahn tickets for five or six times the €20 Länder-Ticket price. How surprised we were to then be offered special ‘Brandenburger’ reduced day-return tickets for €15 (£13 GBP / $19 USD) each! For this almost 2 hour journey it was amazing value!

    We had an excellent trip around the sites of Szczecin city on a Sunday (18 March 2012). We also had a lovely typically Polish meal and drinks just opposite Szczecin Główny Railway Station on the Barka River Club Restaurant (thank you Piotr and Agnieszka!). We did resist the Zapiekanka open roll sandwich: 0.5m (20” long) at the railway station cafe before our return journey for only 6.00 Zł (£1.25 / $1.90 USD), but only just! Szczecin in itself is very much worth it; Poland is beautiful and its people are wonderful. My wife and I loved our day trip and I was happy to practice my Polish – our fourth visit to Poland awaits!

    • Hello Ian,

      Thank you so very much for your kind comments. Please excuse me for taking a few days to get back with you.

      I’m so glad the Szczecin trip worked out so well for you. It’s a good feeling to know my blog posts can (and do) help out fellow travelers. That Berlin/Szczecin trip is almost too good to be true, isn’t it?

      Thanks for letting me know you got an even better deal at the Reisezentrum in Berlin. When I went there with my cousin (who is a Berlin native) and asked about the trip to Szczecin, they just gave us a funny look like “What in the heck are you talking about?”. That was with his even speaking perfect German!

      By the way, do you speak German?… If not, how easy was it to converse with the Reisezentrum personnel in English? I’m always a little surprised when I try to deal with them and they have so few people with English language skills. I would think English skills would be a must for a major travel office in the main Berlin trainstation. Luckily, I can hack my way through German, so can usually get my questions asked.

      Am I understanding correctly that you are British?

      Thanks also for telling me about the US$1.90 sandwich at the Szczecin station. I’ll grab one of those next time for sure!

      My Szczecin trip was my first to Poland… but I really liked it. Apparently you love Poland too. If you have not yet tried it out, I’ve often heard that a trip to Frankfurt am Oder, Germany is also worthwhile. From what I understand, you can walk across the river to Slubice Poland from the Frankfurt side.

      I’m currently in China (which you might of already discovered from my coolblueice.com blog…) But I’ve decided to see if I can possibly find a teaching job in Poland to really check it out.

      Anyway, thanks again for your comments. I wish you and your wife many happy journeys!

      RJ (Robert)

  3. Ravi permalink

    Intriguing… I’m spending a 6-day holiday in Berlin next week, and will check out the vending machine at Hbf. As you rightly said, I couldn’t buy the tickets on de-bahn lines online.

    Thanks… will post my experience here later!

    • Hi Ravi. I’m envious you will be in Berlin. (I’m stuck for the moment working in China.) Have fun on you day trip to Szczecin (Stettin). By the way (and I should update my post with this info), €20 is the price for one person… Up to 5 people can travel on the same ticket for €28!!! Even a better deal!

      Please leave another comment after you make the trip. I know other readers would benefit from your experience.

      Best wishes and “gute Reise!”

      RJ (Coolblueice)

      • Ravi permalink

        Hi RJ,

        Greetings frpm Potsdam!

        Was at Berlin Hbf this morning bought the all-day Berlin-Stettin ticket for Euro 20 for tomorrow. I think the interface at ticketing machine was very user-friendly.

        The Travel Center was helpful too, with a print-out of tomorrow´s Berlin-Stettin train schedules and train changes.

        On a day trip to Potsdam now… love this small town-city with cobbled side streets and really, really clean air!

        Will post my Stettin stuff later!

        Cheers

        PS: Hate this German keyboard… QWERTY is QWERTZ!

  4. Thanks for the post, Ravi. I’m glad you were able to pick up the ticket. Yes, the machines are quite user friendly. The travel center is hit-or-miss on “friendliness”… If a person is lucky, they get a friendly person… if not… well… not so much.

    I had to chuckle at your keyboard frustration. Yes, the z and y keys are reversed. I tried typing on a French keyboard once… They had their own take on the layout… If I recall, the “a” or “s” was out of place. Those darned French and Germans…. How dare they not use the English version. (hee hee).

    We’ll look forward to your post on Stettin… There’s no doubt in my mind you will have a great day.

    RJ (Coolblueice)

    • Ravi permalink

      Hi RJ,

      Hey… I was in Stettin last Friday, and really didn’t have a chance to get to an Internet cafe there or after returning to Berlin.

      Yes, I really a lovely day. Szczecin — or Stettin — totally laid-back! Ha ha… nobody seems to be in a hurry in this city.. at least coming from Berlin it appears so!

      After breakfast at McDonald’s on Level 4 at Berlin Hbf, I took the 9:33am train as you suggested and was set to go. The Polish immigration police barely glanced at my passport and my Schengen visa while entering Poland… no hassles. (You’re probably American, and maybe didn’t have to produce any visa.)

      The official at Tourist Information at the Stettion station was the only one who spoke complete sentences in English. But she bundles of information, leaflets and brochures in English about the city and what to look for.

      I did go around the church and a lot in downtown Stettin. Did check out an Internet cafe near the city center. It’s 4 zlotys for one hour…. and I have NO idea if that’s cheap or expensive!

      Tried the Zubrowska at Zadkow (I think) and that was 3 zlotys a double. I felt it was too low, and when I wanted to make sure, the waitress said it’s the Friday promotion.

      Bought some souvenirs, and took the the 6:29 pm Berlin-bound train. (I didn’t see any souvenir shop downtown, but there are a couple just outside the railway station.)

      Thanks for the tip-off on buying the all-day ticket at the ticketing machine at Berlin Hbf.

      Did you know it (the all-day ticket Berlin-Stettin ticket) is also good for inter-city transport in Stettin? The Tourist Info office at Stettin station told me so, and I used it on trams and buses.

      Lots of benefits:

      1. You can’t buy online, but if you do, with delivery by post, it’s still 48.60 euros.
      2. You don’t have the option of choosing your timing for travel.
      3. You can use it for inter-city in Stettin.

      Stettin is a pretty city…. will go again if I have a chance.

      Cheers!

      Ravi

      • Hey Ravi,

        Please excuse me for taking a week or so to reply to your excellent post. I’m working in Xi’an, China at a big University here… The past two weeks have been killer busy, so I’ve had to neglect my blog for a few days.

        On to your comments… Thanks so much for the valuable feedback. It’s interesting that you had to show your passport… I guess it’s possible that I had to show mine too, but if I did, it was such a low-key event that I do not recall doing it. But as you implied, perhaps I “had the right look” to avoid being checked. (What a world we live in, eh?)

        No, I did not realize the day ticket was also good for inner-city transport in Stettin. The city center was so small that we never even thought of possibly taking a bus or tram somewhere. That’s a great tip, however for future reference. I’ll have to remember that for my next trip there… It’s possible some sites away from the city center might be worth a visit.

        Did you happen to notice the red line running around Stettin on the sidewalks? That’s a “self guided” tour. At first upon arrival we began following it but quickly realized it’s such an easy little city to navigate that we just ignored the line from then on. We also didn’t bother to stop an the tourist info booth at the Stettin train station… We felt like just winging it.

        I also did not check out any internet cafes in Stettin… That’s mainly because I’m online so much with my work and in my daily life that I welcome an occasional chance to be “unwired” for a few hours. To me, that time away from gadgets is part of the relaxation. As you pointed out, the city is very low-key and relaxed. I saw no reason to awaken from that beautiful fictional dream by going online.

        Again, thanks for the excellent feedback, Ravi!

        Best regards,

        RJ

  5. Ravi permalink

    Awww….. I was looking forward to your expert comments 😦

  6. Sue permalink

    coolblueice thanks for this blog, ill be in Berlin next week and I want to travel to Poland since Ive seen a lot Berlin already,thanks for the tipp:-)

    • Thanks for your note, Sue. Please add another quick comment when you get back from Szczecin (Stettin) and let us know how you liked the trip. I suspect you will not be disappointed. 🙂

  7. Sue permalink

    it was a nice trip RJ.Thanks a lot for the information. I bought the ticket a day before my trip and with that ticket you can ride bus and tram in Stettin and Berlin (AB) until 3am the next day.I took a lot of picture and it was snowing there

    • Hi Sue. I’m so happy you enjoyed the trip and that it went well for you. Thank you so much for your post.

      When I’m back in Berlin again this summer, I want to see if it’s possible to get to Słubice (pronounced “Slu-bee-see-ah” Poland, just across the border from Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany with the same Länder-Ticket from Berlin. I suspect it’s possible. It might (I’m not sure) be necessary to get off the train in Frankfurt an der Oder, then walk across the border bridge.

      I’ve been to Słubice but we drove from Berlin. It’s actually closer than Stettin but not nearly as much fun. Słubice is little more than a village. It’s one “gem”, however, is the shopping bizarre there (very popular with Germans) where all kinds of things can be found at much lower prices than in Germany. Germans flock there to shop and (if they drive) fill up their cars with lower priced gas.

      There are only a few small outdoor restaurants. The one we tried sits right next to the river, just to the north of the bridge (on the Słubice) side. It consists of just a few hand-hewed wooden benches in front of the small kitchen. The food was great and the prices right.

      By comparison, both Słubice and Frankfurt an der Oder are sleepy little villages without much to see (when compared to Stettin). Having said that, as long as you go into the trip with slightly lower expectations, you will not be disappointed, as the bizarre is quite fun (assuming you like that kind of shopping.)

      But I’m getting ahead of myself… I’ll post the full article next summer.

      Thanks again for your comments!

  8. Sue permalink

    ok.pls post it here so that i can follow and can get a tip from you again 🙂

  9. TomTheFrogBen permalink

    Here is a link to information (in German) from the Deutsche Bahn website outlining the Berlin-Brandenburg Länder ticket conditions, including being able to travel on the Stettin (Szczecin) local transport (ZDiTM):

    http://www.bahn.de/regional/view/mdb/pv/deutschland_erleben/allgemein/tickets/pdfs_laender-tickets/2013/mdb_99974_brdbg_b_ticket_nacht_geltb_neu.pdf

    Hope that helps!

    • Thank you Tom (Ben?). Hmmmm… I wonder if they produce an English version of the PDF file. I’ll have to look into that.

  10. Graham permalink

    We are in Berlin in April 2013. Our neighbour of 25 years in Liverpool passed away 18 months ago. She was from Stetin and we now have her picture of her home town on our wall. A lovely lady. We would love to visit Stetin and this blog confirms that it’s possible and worthwhile. Thanks. I’ll let you know how we get on….

    • Hi Graham. Sorry it took me a while to reply. For some reason WordPress didn’t notify me of your comment. I just stumbled onto it today.

      Anyway, I’m so happy this can help you out. I know you will enjoy the day-trip. Some of my other readers tell me the “Länder ticket” is also valid on the city buses in Stettin (Szczecin). I’ve not personally confirmed that however, but will do so when I make the trip again later this Spring.

      Please post a comment after you make the trip. Every posted “insight” helps other readers.

      Cheers!

  11. thank you so much for mentioning about the cheap train ticket from berlin! I was just about to buy it online for €60 return but tried out your way and it worked! €20 return! thanks!

    • Hi Juliet. It always makes me happy when I hear my posts have helped out people. By the way, most of the “Länder” (States) in Germany offer their own Länder tickets that allow a €20 fare anywhere within their boarders. So just keep that in mind if you are traveling elsewhere in Germany.

      I’m not aware of any others who include passage to an adjacent country… but I’ll be researching that in the future.

      Please make another post after you take your trip to Stettin. Every entry helps “the next guy” (as my grandfather used to say.)

      Cheers!

      RJ

  12. Graham permalink

    Thanks. We’ll definitely be spending 8 hours in Szczecin thanks to your suggestion. Am I right in thinking …

    (a) Gesundbrunnen (not Hauptbahnof or Freidichstrasse) is the start for the Szczecin trains ?
    (b) I can buy the Lander tickets at Hauptbahnof ?

    The online timetable suggests that from Hauptbahnof you need to change in Berlin at Gesundbrunnen. Not a problem. A friend of a friend thought Freidichstrasse was the start point – but he admits he might have overindulged in the Dunkel weissbier !.

    • Hi Graham,

      To answer your questions:

      a: When I took the trip with my cousin, we definitely began or day at the Berlin Hauptbahnhof… We did switch trains about 1/2 way to Poland. I don’t recall the name of the little town where we switched. It’s no problem because everyone on the train switches at the same time… So you don’t have to worry about in which small town the switch will be made.

      I don’t think it was either Gesundbrunnen or Friedrichstraße) where we made the switch… I know for sure it wasn’t Friedrichstraße, as it’s very near the Hauptbahnhof… I also don’t think it was Gesundbrunnen, as it too is too close to the Hauptbahnhof. But as I said earlier, I just don’t recall the name of the small town. It seems like it started with a “P”… but I’m not absolutely certain. As I said, however, you will be told when to switch (and everyone else will be switching too), so it’s no problem.

      If I recall correctly, when the trains go back to Berlin, some of them go directly all the way to Berlin… Some of the others require making that switch again. You just have to check the time tables and decide which one is best for you.

      b: Yes, you can buy the Länder-Tickets at Hauptbahnhof… As my article states, I think it’s better to buy them from the ticket machine there. (Details in the article) rather than from the Reisecentrum (travel center) inside the Haupbahnhof. (You can count on the machine to be consistent… While you never can be sure if the person who is going to help you in the travel center is “having a good day or not”.)

      You can buy the Länder-Tickets either on the day you want to travel or on the previous day. If you decide to buy them the day before your trip, just make sure you specify the day you will be traveling. You don’t want to buy a ticket one day only to find out it’s not good the next day. It’s simple, however, as the machine always asks which day you will actually be traveling.

      One last thing. I wrote the original post a couple of summers ago (perhaps 2010 or 2011), so the prices may have changed… But even if they did go up, it wouldn’t have been by much.

      Please make a post when you take the trip to let us know your experiences for the day. We’ll look forward to hearing back from you, Graham.

  13. Gary permalink

    My wife and I would like to go to Berlin and then on to Szczecin to look up some of my GERMAN relatives who came from there in 1850 when it was in Germany. Would taking an early am train from berlin leave enough time to visit the “archives” and a cemetary or two. How far and how long would it take to drive from Berlin to “Stettin”?

    • Hi Gary,

      I’ve never driven between the two myself, but I know it’s not far. I went to this “driving distance calculator” and looked it up:
      http://www.worldatlas.com/travelaids/driving_distance.htm

      Once there, I entered, “Berlin Germany” and “Szczecin, Poland” into the two fields. The results came back as 93.37mi / 150.26km.

      So based on that, I’d say the driving time would be around 2 hours. Of course, it depends on where you are starting in Berlin. As you know, Berlin is a big city, so depending upon your starting point and the city traffic, the time could vary somewhat.

      To answer your other question, yes, taking an early a.m. train would give you plenty of time in Stettin (Szczecin) to visit a couple of cemeteries and other points of interest. Someone in one of the earlier comments pointed out that the round-trip train ticket includes access to the city buses in Stettin. So I’d say you should try to do some advanced planning and figure out (if you can) which city buses would take you the the cemeteries you want to visit. … If you can’t get that figured out in advance, you probably can ask someone at the train station once you get to Stettin.

      All things considered, I still think your best bet would be the train. It’s low on the “hassle” scale and is a lot of fun!

      Please update your post once you’ve made your trip. Every bit of knowledge helps “the next guy”.

      – RJ

  14. Graham permalink

    We’re planning to visit Szczecin on Tuesday 21 April. The train times are

    Trains to Szczecin – depart from Hauptbahnhof or Gesundbrunnen
    08:05 – 09: 48 I hr 43 mins no change RE5800 Gesundbrunnen plat 10
    09:25 – 11:42 2 hr 7 mins 1 change RE18346 5808 Hauptbahnhof plat 6 + Angermunde plat 4
    12:33 – 14:29 1 hr 56 mins 1 change RE18342 5810 Hauptbahnhof plat 5 + Angermunde plat 4

    Trains to Berlin Hauptbahnhof or Gesundbrunnen* from Szczecin
    18:24 – 20:29 2 hr 05 mins 1 change RB5819 RE18357 Angermunde platform 2
    18:59 – 21:29 2 hr 30 mins 1 change RE5364 RE18319 Pacewalk platform 2
    19:56 – 21:40 1hr 44mins no change RE5803 (To Gesundbrunnen*)
    20:59 – 23:28 2 hr 29 mins 1 change RE5366 RE18321 Pacewalk platform 4

    • Hey Graham…. That’s for that useful addition to the thread. I’m sure that will be very helpful for others. Enjoy your trip and please do a quick additional post when you get back… Just to let us know how it went. Cheers!

  15. Graham permalink

    Sorry but obviously next Tuesday is the 23rd, not the 21st April. Train times still valid.
    It’s a pity the underground bunkers are closed but the Museum of Technology and Transport looks a good alternative for an hour or so whilst the girls shop.

    • Hi Graham,

      Thanks for the update. Let us know how it goes. I’m confident you will have a great time.

      RJ

  16. Salahuddin Syed permalink

    I want to trevel from Szczecin to Berlin and back. Not the other way.

    • Hi Salahuddin,

      In theory, that should be possible. Here are two suggestions.
      1. Go to the DBahn website for Brandenburg Day tickets and read the rules and regulations. (Sorry, I don’t have time at this moment to do it for you.) Here is the Website: http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/prices/germany-regional/brandenburg-ticket.shtml

      2. If you are already in Szczecin, go to the train station in person and inquire directly at the DBahn ticket window.

      Either way, I’d suggest you do your “research” several days in advance so you will know the routine before your actual travel date.

      Please make another post when you finish your research, so others can benefit by what you have discovered.

      Best wishes,

      RJ

  17. We made this trip today. Ended up buying tickets this morning before we travelled. Couldn’t figure out the machines so went to the Reisezentrum and were lucky to find someone helpful. For two people the round trip came to Euros 31 all in all. We followed part of the red trail and some of the golden trail, with a long break for lunch at the rather lovely http://www.karczmapodkogutem.pl/

  18. Graham permalink

    My apologies for not updating sooner. 4 of us did the Berlin to Szcezcin return day trip approximately 3 months ago.

    To be safe we bought the tickets at Hauptbahnhof the evening before. Hauptbahnhof is an amazing place. To ascend from the underground U55 and see the trains criss-crossing on the different levels overhead. The ticket machines were ok but I couldn’t figure out how to order 4 tickets so repeated the 30 second process 4 x times .

    Getting the tickets the evening before enabled us to enjoy a few beers at the station pub Hopfingerbrau on level 4. Don’t confuse this pub with British station pubs. This pub is superb and serves Hofbrau Weisse (best beer in Berlin I think). It is brewed locally at the Lindenbrau brewpub (also well worth a visit) in Potsdamer Place. The girls believe the currywurst in Hopfingerbrau was the best they tasted – and we tried a few.

    The difference in the trains is immense. A double-decker sleek smooth train pulls out of Berlin but you arrive in Szczecin in a rickety elderly 3 car train that has seen better days. Good experience though. I know it is obvious BUT remember your passport as the Polish police will get on board and check. An Italian guy a few seats down from us who spoke no German or Polish had forgotten his passport (his girlfriend had hers) and I would not to go though that experience.

    When you disembark from the train at Szcezcin look for the information centre which is the last room on the right before the exit. They are extremely helpful and will give you a guide map/book and a tram route map. Use the trams. They’re great BUT don’t compare them to Berlin’s uber efficient trams. They are old but quaint.

    We lunched and shopped and sight-saw and managed a beer or two and then ate some more.

    Ideally we’d have loved to visit the underground shelters but we were a few weeks before the season started. Szczecin has the oldest working cinema in the world but it was too nice a day to be indoors and the girls had seen the film. The transport museum Muzeum Techniki i Komunikacji is out of the city centre but is easy to get to on the tram. It’s well worth a visit if you’re so inclined (trams , bikes, military vehicles etc). You get the chance to lift a car into the air with your finger AND drink the local Szcezcin Bosman beer in the bar upstairs afterwards. Probably the only bar where, between serving, the guy is connecting a turn of the century 78 rpm gramophone to a 1930s bakelite radio (to use as the speaker). Far better than “muzak”.

    A great day out. Thanks to coolblueice for recommending this trip and my apologies for not posting before. Without you recommendation we would never have done his.

    • Thanks for your brilliant update, Graham. Well-written comments like these add to the overall value of the original post by adding detail not covered in the initial article.

      I will interpret your comment that Hofbrau Weisse the “best beer in Berlin I think” as the “best beer in Berlin in my opinion”, as in reality what makes a beer the “best” is 100 percent subjective. (I’m a “pils guy” myself, so regardless of how “lecker” (tasty) a wheat beer might be, it will never make my favorites list.)

      Yes, a train change is necessary on the way to Stettin. I loved your colorful description of the “rickety elderly 3 car train”. The description of the bar with the guy rigging together a gramophone and an old bakelite radio was also a pleasure to read. (And here I thought I was the only one who might know what “bakelite” was. Ha!)

      So thanks once again with a followup report to your trip! I’m still in Berlin (I should have been back in China by now), so I need to arrange a day to get back to Stettin/Szczecin myself.

      Cheers! – RJ (Coolblueice)

  19. Hi RJ!

    This looks like an amazing deal and I’d really like to try it out at the end of October — I’m having a hard time telling when the most recent successful trip was, though! Is this deal still on?

    Thanks!

    Katie

    • Hi Katie,

      I believe the last feedback on the trip came last month (August 2013). As far as I know, this is an on-going deal and should not go away any time soon. If anything, the price for the ticket might to up a bit every year, but only enough to keep up with inflation.

      If you decide to go, please give us an update when you get back and let us know what you think!

      Best wishes,

      RJ

  20. Stephanie permalink

    Was it 20 euros to Stetten for just one person? Or is there a group ticket? Thanks!

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Group tickets (good for up to 5 people) are available and at 29€ are even a better deal than the single person 20€.

      By the way, as of this past summer (summer 2013) the single rider price was still 20€ from the machines. Like many things in life, prices of these tickets can inch upward as well, so they might be a couple of euros more expensive by now. I’ll check next time I’m in Berlin. (Currently I’m in China.)

      I know the 29€ muli-rider (up to 5 people) price is still valid because I see them advertised on the Deutsche Bahn website:
      http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/prices/germany-regional/brandenburg-ticket.shtml

      I didn’t see the single-person ticket there.

      While I normally use their website to buy city-to-city tickets, for these day-trip tickets, I’d still suggest buying from the machines. There are machines at both the main Berlin train station (Berlin Hauptbahnhof) or the Berlin East train station (Ost Bahnhof), as they are far less confusing than booking online.

      As I mentioned in my article, the tickets can be purchased either the day of travel or the prior day… I’d suggest getting them one day early as things can get a bit hectic on the day of travel, especially if you want to catch an early train.

      I need to research the current prices to be sure of exactly what they are from the machines, then update my blog… But I’ll have to do that another day. (I’m working now.)

      Let me know how you like the day trip. I’ve yet to meet a person who wasn’t extremely happy with this day-outing.

      Cheers!

      RJ

  21. ofielia permalink

    Hi, my husband and I are in Berlin now and I stumbled upon your blog and yes we are trying this deal of going to Szczecin next week. Im excited.

    • Hi Ofielia…

      I just now saw your post (mid-September). Thanks for your comment. Did you make it to Stettin (Szczecin) with your husband? I made the trip again last month when I was in Berlin for a couple of weeks. Hopefully soon I will find time to update my blog with some fresh info from that trip.

  22. Hi there! I am so glad I found this post! There is going to be a Christmas market at a castle (?) on December 12th and 13th 2015 there! I’m really excited and have started the planning!

    My question is what did you do about the currency? I read that some places take Euros, but I’m not sure if this place will. If you did exchange, where did you go?

    Here is the link to the Christmas Market (but in Polish and no English site) for those reading this in November/December 2015 and want to go. Maybe I’ll see you there! 😀

    http://zamek.szczecin.pl/kalendarz.php?id=4494

    P.S. I was teaching English in Taiwan for eight years before coming back to Europe (my parents have been expats in Amsterdam since 2000) and I have to say, I love being in Berlin and to be able to make trips like this! Asia is great, but Europe is my home!

    • Hi Breezy. I’m sorry it took me a few days to reply. For some reason I didn’t see notification from WordPress that you had left a comment.

      I’ve been to Stettin a few times now and I’ve never had any problem with businesses taking Euros. Many of the shops have items “double priced” in both the Polish currency and in Euros.

      Thanks for the link to the Christmas market. It really looks fun!

      How did you like living/working in Taiwan? I’m in my 5th year now teaching English in Xi’an China. I actually like many things about China… especially the food! I too love Berlin (where I spend every summer), but I have a really cushy job here that would be hard to give up.

      Thanks for the post!

      RJ

  23. I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but I’m glad I visited. I will post a link to this site on my blog. I believe my visitors will find that very useful.

  24. I did take trip, fare was cheap, and I’m sitting in a nice bistro where a good Polish meal was $5. Bistro no jezykack – looking out the window I see one of the city gates.

  25. Kinga Koc permalink

    Great article and nice photos 🙂 Szczecin is great place to live 🙂 I studied there 3 years and I was really happy to live there. If you will decide to visit this town again and stay over night I would recommend Hotel Dana which is in the city center 🙂 Beautiful place with history and soul 🙂

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