Sightseeing Tours/ City walks/ Boat trips, Berlin
Favorite thing: Not my favorite thing...but a general tip: If you are thinking about taking a tour, I would recommend doing it by bus. Normally I enjoy walking tours because I feel you get to experience more; however, consider walking around some more by yourself afterwards. The fact is, Berlin is huge with spread out attractions and if you want to really see most everything in a short amount of time, you really have to do it on wheels. On the bus tour we passed by a few different areas and monuments which I didn't have time to come back to, or I probably wouldn't have stayed in long anyway, but at least I saw them. Look for tours where you do get to get off here and there too.
E-Cityvisit provides an online interactive city tour through parts of Berlin similar to Google Earth's street view. It is fun to "stroll around" without leaving your place.
The panoramic images changes from day- to night view, which is particularly nice.
I am a big fan of the hop on/ hop off busses. They give you a good idea of what is where and to orient yourself of the city that you are visiting. The cost of the one that we used were 12 euro for 24 hours.
Fondest memory: Stops which are not always clearly marked are usually at Kurfurstendamm, KaDeWe, Potsdamer Platz, Checkpoint Charlie, Alexanderplatz, Berliner Dom, Friedrichstrasse, Brandenburger Tor, Hauptbahnhof, Schloss Charlottenburg.
hey, i was invited to an eat-the-world-tour in berlin-kreuzberg. it was great! you really get in touch with the real berlin + you can taste some typical food of berlin. for me, it was the best guided tour i ever did because it's very different from the other ones, it's berlin off the beaten path. (website:eat-the-world.com)
Fondest memory: i like food, so for me, i will miss the food of Berlin: the currywurst, apple pie, different and cheap food from all over the world! please don't go to a burger shop, you can eat everywhere burgers. try the different foods of berlin. and don't forget the berliner weisse!
As Berlin has nearly 200 kilometres of waterways it is also called “Athens on the Spree”. This is more than in any other European city. It even has more bridges than Venice – more than one thousand.
The main waterways are the rivers Spree and Havel, the canals Landwehr- and Teltowkanal, and the lakes Tegleler See, Wannsee and Müggelsee. The lakes and rivers are connected by many canals, the boats are lifted up and down at about 80 locks.
For people in Berlin the abundance of waterways means many live in houseboats on the water. We walked past some very good examples of such lifestyle choices on our way from Treptower Park to Molecule Man, next to the S-Bahn station Treptower Park and a bridge named Elsenbrücke.
Those stationary houseboats are like homes taken from the tiniest villages in the most remote rural areas you can imagine. They are decorated with flowerpots, and have locked gates at the piers, so not everyone can visit them. Mailboxes are attached to the gates (as you can see on photo 2). Somehow like from yesteryear, suggesting a relaxed and alternative lifestyle, but also less luxurious and closer to the elements. And when they have enough of it all they can just detach their boat and travel on the river.
For you as a tourist the huge net of waterways means that you can hire a houseboat and explore Berlin, the region of Brandenburg and the Mecklenburger Seenplatte from the water. If you start a houseboat tour you do not need a licence, you get a thorough instruction, and off you go. If you want to travel within the city limits you need a licence, in Germany called “Binnen” which means a licence for inland waterways.
Fondest memory: -
If you are interested in houseboat tours in or from Berlin, this looks like a good website – and this is the English version:
Favorite thing: If you are tight on schedule, so be aware that in Berlin hop on/off busses, are driving one way only, all the time around, its difficult to find bus more often then every 30 min. And they have a break at Brandenburg gate
I didn't make it to Berlin, but since Frankfurt is not on the list, this was the closest destination. I visited my brother who lives outside of Frankfurt in a "little castle". The countryside is absolutely gorgeous.
Fondest memory: The Rhine River Cruise. We met some amazing people from Berlin who go wine tasting one weekend each month. They invited us to a wine festival in a very small village. The festival was at a 500 year old jesuit monestary. We were the only Americans at the festival. We had a fabulous time and we were embraced by everyone. The Rhine Valley produces some of the most amazing wine I have ever tasted.
We also went to two flea markets. The are called "floh markts". I found amazing jewelry, antiques, etc. I had to buy another bag just to bring all the "goodies" home.
This free tour is quite good! At first I was thinking about going to the Terry tour which is much recommended on VT, but I just didn't have the right time...So at last I decided to go to that free tour.
I was with James, the English tour guide from California: humerous and energetic! Ready for questions.
So I think for a new-comer to Berlin, this free tour is very worth going! For you can get an informative first glance of Berlin, then you can decide whether to spend your money on other more insight tours!
One of things that impress me in Berlin were the two clocks. One that shows the time in all countries in the world and the other that shows what time is by liquids - you can see them on the first two pictures.
If you like churches you shouldn't miss Berliner Dom.
Also what was one of the symbols of east Berlin is the television tower. If you like to climb to a high places and to watch the city from there this is one of the places that you should go.
And the last picture is from the Pergamonmuseum. In this museum are collected things from all civilizations thatt have lived on the Earth.
http://www.brewersberlintours.com/ . Not for the faint hearted, 9 hours on average.Make sure you go with Terry , on Mondays Sat and sundays I believe.I went on this tour about 4 years ago, it;s the only way to discover Berlin.
Brewersberlinstours dot com
For a great and reasonably cheap bus tour of the city just jump on the 100 at Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten and travel down towards Prenzlauer Allee.
It passes by many sights including Kaiser Wilhelm Church, the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate.
All this for the price of a bus fare, which is 2 euros.
Favorite thing: On Sunday 10th October we went on the 4 hour tour offered by Brewers. It was lead by a American guy called Preston who was very informative and certainly knew his stuff. We visited all the major sights and was told various pieces of informtion about that sight. There was plenty of time for photos etc and we always had the opportunity to ask questions about anything. Preston also gave tips on how to get the most out of Berlin once the tour was over. Cost €10 per person and would definitely recommend anybody to do this tour.
If you only EVER take one walking tour,take Terry Brewer's Tour.
Terry is a former British Diplomat who worked in the Embassy in East Berlin before the Wall came down.
The tour starts outside the new Jewish Synagogue, there are other pickup points before this.
The tour is excellent value for money, given that the tour I was on lasted 8 Hours, so be prepared for walking at quite a pace, there are a couple of stops during the day though.
The tour guides are very informative and entertaining,not only taking you to the major sites, but some places that you would not find on your own.
I recommend you take this tour on the first day of your stay in Berlin, as it gives you an excellent insight into Berlin and allows you to work out your orientation quickly, saving you getting lost later in your stay.
If you are short of time, there is no better way to see a big city than a bus tour - hop on / hop off.
I took the City-Circle Sightseeing tour, where the double-deck bus makes 16 stops at major sights. You can get off the bus and walk around and then take the next tour bus.
In the bus each seat is equiped with earpieces and you can choose from a number of languages - German, English, French, Russian (there were more languages to choose from, I just don't remember which).
The tour starts from Kurfuerstandamm 225, which is near the Kurfuestendamm U-Bahn station.
The price is 18 euros, but if you have a WelcomeCard (see my Transportation Tips), you'll get a discount.
We joined a bus sightseeing tour to get a start in Berlin. Hop-on point was Kurfürstendamm and places we saw were:
Kurfürstendamm, KaDeWe, Kulturforum, Potsdamer Platz, Jewish Museum, Checkpoint Charly, Gendarmenmarkt, Alexanderplatz, Berlin Cathedral, Friedrichstraße, Unter den Linden, Brandenburger Tor, 17. Juni - Flea Market, Castle Charlottenburg, Castle Bellevue and a few others.
Knowing that there is so much to see in Berlin we used this tour to get a few first impressions and to decide which of the things we want to see in detail and come back for ... and thats what we did the next days. We took some extra time to visit the Berlin Cathedral, Checkpoint charly and the Wall Museum, the exhibition "topography of terror" and others.