Cottbus is a small city in the German state of Brandenburg, about an hour southeast of Berlin. It’s best known as the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm, who collected many of the folk tales that are now known around the world. The city centre is pleasant but unremarkable, with a mix of old and new buildings, but it’s well located for exploring the surrounding countryside. The Spreewald, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of wetlands and forests, is just a short drive away, and there are plenty of other interesting places to visit in the area, including the medieval town of Luckau and the Sachsenwald Nature Park. Cottbus is also a good base for exploring Berlin, with frequent trains making the trip in just over an hour.