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Berlin Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Tour one of Europe's most historic cities aboard a bus with free stops: the most comfortable and fastest way to discover everything.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

6 min read

Berlin Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Sightseeing bus through the streets of Berlin | ©Janusz Jakubowski

Berlin is one of the most exciting tourist destinations in Europe, but also one of the most tiring to travel. One solution is to use the tourist bus, a service designed for travelers who do not want to leave anything to see.

The best sightseeing buses in Berlin

Parisier Square
Parisier Square

If you have never ridden a tourist bus, it is likely to seem a "not very authentic" option; but if we want to know Berlin in detail, this solution is very practical and very comfortable. I'll tell you about all the options available:

1. 1 or 2 day Big Bus sightseeing bus

Berlin Central Station| ©Ansgar Koreng
Berlin Central Station| ©Ansgar Koreng

This is the most economical option to make use of the tourist bus in Berlin and also has the advantage of live commentary on the various attractions in addition to the recorded ones.

How it works

You can book a pass to make use of it for one or two days and you can also upgrade it to the Premium option that includes a commented walking tour through the center of Berlin for an hour and a half (highly recommended) or the Deluxe option that, in addition to the walking tour, includes a one hour cruise on the river.

With either option you will have access to two different routes with free stops. You can use this service as a means of transportation between the different points of interest in Berlin, but I recommend that, at least once, you do the whole tour with live commentary to see the city in a relaxed way and from a different point of view, enjoying the sights and without stress.

In addition, the Big Bus buses have an app to locate them in real time.

Blue Route Itinerary

  • The East Side Gallery Open-Air Museum
  • The Karl-Marx-Allee Socialist Boulevard
  • The Holzmarkt district
  • The Mercedes-Benz Arena
  • The Wall Museum

Red Route Itinerary

  • Kudamm
  • Kadewe
  • Lützowplatz
  • Potsdamer Platz
  • Open-Air Museum Topography of Terror
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Gendarmen Markt
  • Alexanderplatz
  • Alexa Shopping Center Neuhaus fountain Alexa shopping center
  • Neptune's Fountain
  • Museum Island
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Central Station
  • Bellevue Palace
  • Victory Column

The guided walking tour

As for the guided walking tour, you can choose between morning or afternoon schedule (when booking online you will be informed of everything via email). You will pass by places like the Brandenburg Gate, Chekpoint Charlie or the Holocaust Memorial. A specialized guide will explain the history behind each of these sites.

The cruise

Finally, the river cruise also has various timetables. The total duration is one hour and this time there are no free stops, but the tour is designed to see different points of interest of the city from the river.

Book a seat on the Berlin Big Bus

2. 1 or 2 day sightseeing bus

City Circle Sightseeing Bus| ©North West Transport Photos
City Circle Sightseeing Bus| ©North West Transport Photos

This option is quite complete in terms of route; the Berlin sightseeing bus is the one with the longest routesso it is a good choice if you are going to make the full tour as a stroll through the city. The routes are thematic: one focused on the most relevant of Berlin and another focused on the Wall area.

Both have built-in audio commentary. You can buy a 24 or 48-hour pass depending on your plans and you can also extend it optionally by hiring a one-hour cruise on the Spree River.

Itinerary of the "Best of Berlin" route

  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Museum Island
  • Potsdamer Platz
  • Unter den Linden
  • Kudamm Avenue
  • Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) shopping mall
  • Berlin Cathedral
  • Gendarmenmarkt
  • Palace Charlottenburg
  • Alexanderplatz
  • Kulturforum
  • Victory Column
  • Strasse des 17 Juni Flea Market
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Berlin Central Station
  • Neptune Fountain

Route 2 or "Wall Route" Itinerary

  • Alexanderplatz
  • Hackescher Market
  • Wall Memorial
  • Mauer Park
  • Kollwitzkiez
  • East Side Gallery
  • The Wall Paintings at Ostbahnhof

Book a 1 or 2 day bus tour of Berlin

3. Berlin City Sightseeing Bus City Sightseeing Berlin

Sunsets from above
Sunsets from above

If you have little free time to explore the city, this can be an ideal option to get a general picture of Berlin and get an impression of it to complete in future trips. The red City Sightseeing buses that run through the city are based on the concept of Hop On Hop Off which means that the route has free stops where you can get on and off as many times as you want during the 24 hours that in this case the pass lasts.

The general route to which you will have access with the City Sightseeing tourist bus is quite complete (it lasts a total of two and a half hours) and the pass also includes a one-hour cruise on the river that runs through the city that you can enjoy during the days and times indicated to you via email when you make your online reservation.

In the same day you can take the cruise and the complete tour in the tourist bus while enjoying the audio commentary and panoramic views.

Itinerary

  • Kudamm Avenue
  • Tauentzienstraße
  • Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) shopping center
  • Potsdamer Platz
  • Martin-Gropius-Exhibition HallBau
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Gendarmenmarkt
  • Alexanderplatz
  • Berlin Cathedral
  • Unter den Linden
  • Holocaust Memorial
  • Brandenburg Square
  • Berlin Central Station
  • Berlin Center for Contemporary Art
  • Victory Column
  • Zoologischer Garten
  • Café Kranzler

Book the City Sightseeing Bus

4. How the sightseeing bus works in Berlin

Holocaust Memorial| ©Jared Lisack
Holocaust Memorial| ©Jared Lisack

There are different sightseeing bus companies in Berlin and they all operate on a stop-free concept. This means that buying a pass for one or several days not only gives you the right to take the complete routes as many times as you want, but you can use it as a means of transport getting on and off wherever you want.

And what is the difference with a regular bus? Mainly the panoramic views that you will have and the comments during the tour of the monuments that you will see. However, for me the fundamental difference lies in something that I did not expect the first time I got on the bus, and that is how comfortable and useful the route is to find your way around the city.

While the regular buses are designed to communicate the whole city regardless of its points of interest, these routes are specifically designed for those who want to visit the city and want to do so without having to change lines or look at maps.

You can book online your pass for one or several days and pick it up at any of the points that will be indicated via email once you make your reservation. You can also ask for it to be sent to your home or hotel. Some of the sightseeing bus options in Berlin have several routes and with the pass you can access all of them.

Ana's Traveller Tip

The Berlin sightseeing buses are adapted for children and people with reduced mobility.

6. Other interesting activities in Berlin

Interior of the Reichstag Dome| ©Sven Przepiorka
Interior of the Reichstag Dome| ©Sven Przepiorka

Using the sightseeing bus in Berlin has many advantages; especially because of the size of the city it is a great help when visiting the main sights. However, having a one or two day pass for the tourist bus does not preclude you from walking through certain areas of the city and the best way to do this is through a guided tour.

On board the sightseeing bus you will enjoy audio commentaries about Berlin's main attractions that will probably arouse your curiosity. On the guided walking tours these commentaries are expanded and personalized with a closer tone since the guides of these tours besides being experts on the city are usually locals.

The tour bus tour is ideal for an overview of the city, but be sure to delve into the areas that most catch your attention with the organized walking tours of Berlin, you have in my article on Berlin Tours a summary of the best ones.