Sightseeing Tours/ City walks/ Boat trips, Berlin
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.
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:
This is especially good for the English speaking crowds. Much walking and much history goes on...
Fondest memory: You can walk from 4 to nine hours depending on when you start.n This is on every day.
They also do Potsdam tours every other day.
They have leaftlets in the tourist info office or you can go for 9 am Circus (opposite a hotel I forget) or 9.30 at the New Synagogue.
Otherwise the times are 12 and 12.30 at the same places.
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.
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
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.
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!
There are many tour companies which offer tours around Berlin and places outside that are near. Check around to make sure you get the best price. One tour I thought was a good price at 15 Euros for 4 hours around the city, then someone tells me its one for only 7.50 Euros to see the same places if you have a welcome card, plus its a very nice group that runs it. I took this one. Its called "Berlin Walks" and was rated by TIME magazine the best sightseeing tour in 2002.
By foot, by car or bus they can arrange for individual or a group. They have five tours, 1. "Discover Berlin", all in one main sights tour of Berlin. 2 Infamous Third Reich Sites, of course this shows the dark parts of Berlin history, maybe you like to see this sort of thing. 3. Jewish Life in Berlin, takes you through the old Jewish quarters of the city. 4. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial Tour-VERY GOOD, go if you can!. 5. Discover Potsdam, which takes you to Potsdam to see the smaller town and architecture.
Tour 1 is everyday, and meets at 10am or 2.30pm at the Zoogarten Station out in front. April through October, but in Nov. through March only at 0am every day.
Tour 2 is mostly Saturdays and Sundays meeting at 10am April through October. May-Sept it meets on Wed. Fri. Sat. and Sun.
Tour 3 is only on Mondays meeting at 10am, May-Sept.
Tour 4 April through Oct. Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10.15am. May-Sept. Tues. Thurs. and Sat and Sun at 10.15am
Tour 5 is only on Saturdays meeting at 9.40 May through Sept.
Rates are: Tour 1: 12 Euros for adults, 9 for those under 26 or welcome card holders.
Tour 2 or 3: is 10Euros, 7.5 for 26 and under, and welcome carders
Tour 4 and 5: is 15 Euros, or 11.20 for 26 and under, or welcome carders.
Fondest memory: I liked to take these tours with a group and having a guide who knows so much about the city to explain things even history to you.
If you need to buy tickets for the transport, you can do so from the tour guide. To take these tours all you do is have to stand out in front of Zoogarten Station at the times, where you see the sign "Berlin Walks Tours"! The guide will very friendly gather you up!
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.
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!
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.
Favorite thing: We did a 10 hour walking tour of Berlin which was fantastic, although I must say we were quite tired by the end... The leader's name is Terry Brewer and you should see flyers around for the tour... It is the most comprehensive way to see Berlin, both East and West Berlin, although mostly East Berlin... but best of all the leader Terry is full of information and really enthusiastic about telling stories...
Take a walking tour!! For only 10DM we took a mammoth 8 hr walking tour and saw so many things you would never make it to on your own. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and I learnt a textbook full of history in one day. The city is so large and spred out that without a good guide you may not be able to find everything you want to see. The tour we took was with 'Brewer's Berlin'. If they are still operating I highly recomend their tour.
Fondest memory: Our tour-guide Terry (see picture). He was a crazy old englishman who used to work as a diplomat in the former east Berlin. Between shaking his umbrella at the noisy traffic and shouting about a 'german conspiracy' to make it impossible for us to hear him he was a fountain of knowledge. He's a slave driver, and won't let you 'dawdle' but if you can keep up with him he'll show you in a day what it would take you a week to find on your own.