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Berlin Tours

Berlin's surroundings have as much or more to offer than the city itself. Here are my favorite excursions for you to choose from

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

7 min read

Berlin Tours

Reichstag | ©Moritz Lüdtke

No visitor to Berlin can deny that this is one of the European cities with the most historic interest. In every corner of Berlin, there is something to learn and remember and, to not miss anything, nothing as essential and recommendable as a guided tour.

1. Excursion to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp | ©Timothy E Baldwin
Entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp | ©Timothy E Baldwin

There's no sugar-coating this: there is controversy surrounding visits to Nazi concentration camps. The visit is not pleasant and is understandably an experience to be avoided for many. However, despite its harshness, the guided tour of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp is an important reminder and awareness of the political mistakes made in the past. If you are interested in this part of history, I advise you to try this guided tour and judge for yourself.

This visit to Sachsenhausen is based on the concept of a free tour, so you put the final price on your experience (the 3 extra dollars you will pay when you make the reservation cover the management fees and the donation for the memorial). The transfer to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp is included in the experience as well as the guided tour of the camp. The total duration of the tour will be about 5 and a half hours.

The group with which you will share this experience will be 30 people maximum and the tour is adapted for people in wheelchairs. Do not forget the connotations of the place you are going to visit and try to dress appropriately. The tour will be conducted in English.

Throughout the tour, you will be accompanied by an expert guide who will explain everything you need to know about this difficult historical period. Including travel, the duration of this excursion will be about five hours.

2. Guided tour of places of interest related to the Third Reich

Soviet Memorial Tiergarten | ©Dylan
Soviet Memorial Tiergarten | ©Dylan

It is difficult to think of Germany without taking into account its history and that history is intimately linked to the Second World War and the rise of the Third Reich. Throughout the city different places remember and commemorate the victims of Nazism while others related to the executioners are not even marked.

The total duration of this guided tour of the Third Reich is around two and a half hours and is available in English, Spanish, and German.

Itinerary

  • Brandenburg Gate
  • The Reichstag Building
  • Memorial to the murdered members of the Reichstag
  • Soviet Memorial Tiergarten
  • Jewish Quarter

3. Guided tour through the sights of alternative Berlin

Outdoor Museum of the East Side Gallery | ©Jeison Higuita
Outdoor Museum of the East Side Gallery | ©Jeison Higuita

If you know someone who lives in Berlin, they will surely have told you about the alternative atmosphere that is the signature of the city today. With this guided tour of underground Berlin: you will discover a side of Germany's capital that you probably didn't count on before your trip.

If you are one of those who prefer to get away from the busiest tourist routes, this tour is for you, but I can't assure you that you will be able to finish it without feeling like staying and living in Berlin. Communes, street art, graffiti, nonconformism, demonstrations, riots... these concepts will stay with you throughout this 3-hour tour in which a local guide will show you the less bourgeois side of the city.

Itinerary

  • Brandenburg Gate
  • East Side Gallery Open Air Museum
  • Graffiti of the fraternal kiss on the Berlin Wall
  • Punk district of Friedrichshain

Ana's Traveller Tip

Berlin is a city with so much history that the guided tours are thematic; take several of them for a visit as complete as possible.

4. Guided Tour of Potsdam

Entrance to Potsdam
Entrance to Potsdam

Potsdam is a German city located on the outskirts of Berlin. It is known for having been the city of the German kaisers and, therefore, home to elegant palaces and castles. Its baroque architecture and the role it played as an important enclave at the end of World War II are factors that attract thousands of travelers every year. In this six-hour guided tour of Potsdam, you will learn all the secrets of this city.

It is well worth booking one of the days of your trip to visit this city (on my first visit to Berlin I didn't do it and I certainly regretted it). But before booking online you have to take into account one thing: the price of the tour does not include the transfer from Berlin and back (train tickets cost $ 4 each way) nor the entrance to the Sanssouci Palace (it costs $ 15 and I recommend you to reserve time to see it on your own).

The total duration of this excursion to Potsdam (although transportation is at your own expense, you will travel by train with the rest of the group from a meeting point in the center of Berlin) is 6 hours and you'll do it in English.

Itinerary

  • The Old Market
  • The church of San Nicolas
  • The Gate of Fortune
  • The Brandenburg Gate in Potsdam
  • Babelsberg Palace
  • Nuevo Jardin Park
  • The Bassinplatz
  • Sanssouci Palace

5. Beer tasting in Berlin city center

Beer Tasting in Berlin | ©Des Récits
Beer Tasting in Berlin | ©Des Récits

Not everything is going to be History in the guided tours of Berlin. The city must also be enjoyed and what better way to do it than with a traditional German snack and a tasting of three different types of beer. This beer tour in Berlin is the ideal plan for those who want to learn about the history of a drink that makes Germany famous and, of course, taste it.

This $ 30 tour is available in English and lasts 3 hours. An expert guide will meet you at a central meeting point in Berlin (you will be emailed the exact time and place when you book online) and take you to some of the city's best breweries and atmospheric areas. This tour is ideal for having a good time and meeting other travelers.

6. Guided bicycle tour through Berlin

Berlin Center
Berlin Center

Another way to tour the center of Berlin is on a guided bike tour. The city is so bike-friendly that in recent years guided bike tours through the center of Berlin have skyrocketed in popularity. These are tours for small groups (about 9 people), available in English and last between 3 and 4 hours.

The advantage of this tour is that you will be able to cover larger distances than during the walking tours and therefore you will get to know more areas and more aspects of the city since you will be accompanied at all times by an expert guide who will talk to you about the Prussian monarchy, the Second World War or the Cold War.

Itinerary

  • Alexanderplatz TV tower
  • St. Nicholas Church
  • New Jewish Synagogue
  • Berlin Wall Memorial
  • German Parliament
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Jewish Holocaust Memorial
  • Gestapo Headquarters
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Gendarmenmarkt
  • Memorial to the burned books on Bebelplatz

7. Guided tour of East Berlin

Memorial of the Berlin Wall, Bernauer Strasse | ©Tim Gage
Memorial of the Berlin Wall, Bernauer Strasse | ©Tim Gage

The famous Iron Curtain left its mark on the life of the city of Berlin, and although the atmosphere of freedom in the streets of Berlin today is far removed from that, this part of history has left traces throughout the city. On this guided tour through East Berlin, you will learn about life in the Soviet and communist part of the city and what stories the Cold War period brought with it.

Although we all know anecdotes about the famous Berlin Wall, the ones your guide will tell you during the tour will make your hair stand on end and make you wonder how it was possible to reach such a surreal situation in the German capital.

Itinerary

  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Russian Embassy
  • Palace of tears
  • Berlin Wall
  • East Side Gallery
  • Bernauer Strasse

8. Politically incorrect tour of Berlin

Oberbaum Bridge | ©Julia Solonina
Oberbaum Bridge | ©Julia Solonina

This free tour, which you can book online for $ 3, covers different historical areas in the center of Berlin, but with a very different approach than other tours.

The procedure of this politically incorrect tour of Berlin is the same as any other tour: a local guide meets you at a meeting point and takes you through different parts of the city giving you a series of explanations. The difference is that the black humor is very present and the point of view is far away from political correctness.

I do not recommend this tour if you are a sensitive person, but it can be a fun experience and get to know, once again, another point of view of the history and culture of a city where diversity reigns while you have a laugh.

9. Excursion to Dresden

Dresden | ©Paul G
Dresden | ©Paul G

Dresden is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany and is located two hours from Berlin. If you have time during your trip, I recommend visiting it (leaving early to make the most of the day) either as part of an organized excursion to Dresden or on your own. Besides being a city with a special charm, Dresden has one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.

10. If you are interested in an excursion or guided tour of Berlin, you will also be interested in...

Berlin Cruise | ©Dennis Jarvis
Berlin Cruise | ©Dennis Jarvis

With each of these tours, you will learn about a different aspect of Berlin and its history, but you can also take less "intense" walks through the city just to enjoy the sights. I recommend you to do it either aboard a Berlin boat cruise or through a sightseeing bus tour with panoramic views of Berlin.

If you choose the free stops option, in addition to enjoying the tour you will also be able to move comfortably around a city that you will have already discovered that it is gigantic and therefore difficult to reach on foot. I leave you here my articles with all the information you need to organize your cruise or your tour bus tour: Cruise Tickets and Hop on Hop off Bus Tours.