Sites and Insights: An Expert-Led Berlin Welcome Tour

Your first taste of Berlin, side-by-side with a local guide
From US$481 privately
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag exterior
  • Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
  • Unter den Linden
  • Gendarmenmarkt
Photos & Highlights
  • Orientation to the major monuments in Berlin’s dramatic history
  • Join an MA or PhD level expert
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Tour Description
This three-hour to Berlin is designed to provide a perfect introduction to Berlin for first timers, or to reorient returning travelers to some of the city's most important sites, including the Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, and the Reichstag. In the company of an historian or scholar, we’ll look at how Berlin, after decades of destruction and despair, has become the most vibrant, exciting city in Europe. Along the way, we'll get to know Berlin's biography and dig through the layers of history that overlap in this fascinating city.

Our tour begins at Pariser Platz in the shadow of the iconic Brandenburg Gate.  Looking at this magnificent structure, we will discuss the city’s imperial past and hear some of the stories that have elevated this instantly recognizable gate to its symbolic status. As we continue through Berlin’s historic center, we’ll stop at key sites associated with the city, paying special attention to everything that can’t be seen. Relentlessly bombed during the Second World War and largely neglected during the years of the Berlin Wall, much of this area has only been reconstructed in the past two decades. We will also seek out examples of what one architectural historian has called the ghosts of Berlin--places where the many layers of history are visible alongside each other, from imperial ambition to Nazi terror and Communist rule.  (For more in-depth explorations of these topics, take a look at our Berlin Nazi tour and Berlin Cold War tour.) 
As our tour ends, we’ll have a better sense of this remarkable city and what may be in store for Berlin in the 21st century. Feel free to continue your exploration of the city on your own, either visiting the numerous world-class museums just around the corner, strolling to the nearby Hackesche Höfe for a good German meal or beer, or hopping on an S- or U-Bahn to visit another exciting part of the capital.


Does this walk include a visit to the Reichstag Dome? 
Reichstag Dome reservations are incredibly difficult to secure, and therefore we do not currently offer this option.

Which sights or venues are included on this walk? 
Our guides have the flexibility to craft their own narrative based on the major sights of Berlin's city center. Locations visited may include: the Brandenburger Tor, Reichstag, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, former site of Hitler’s bunker, former Nazi chancellery, Berlin Wall fragments behind the former Reich Ministry of Aviation, Topography of Terror, Friedrichstrasse, Gendarmenmarkt (site of the Französischer Dom, Deutscher Dom and Konzerthaus), Bebelplatz, Opera House, Sankt-Hedwigs-Kathedrale, Unter den Linden, Lustgarten and Museum Island, Nikolaiviertel, Alexanderplatz and Hackescher Markt.

Is there any geographical overlap between the Topography of Terror walk and this walk?
Yes. Because Berlin's city center is filled with important historical sites, especially from the period of World War II, both walks tread over similar ground, but using a different thematic lens. 

Can this walk be booked for other times of day? For example, in the late afternoon? 
Yes, certainly! This walk can be booked on a private basis for any day, any time. In winter (November-February) it's better not to start later than 1:30-2:00 pm because it gets dark by 3:30-4:00 pm.
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(4.8) 325 Reviews

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Nina was very pleasant and knowledgeable. It was a great way to get an overall view of what used to be Eastern Berlin.
Our visit with Jason was insightful, personal and incredibly efficient. We couldn’t have had a better immersion with such a limited time in Berlin
Jason knows Berlin and its history as well as any college professor, maybe better. He is a wonderful ambassador, host, and tour guide, putting his all into the job. Raised in the US, has lived in Europe for decades, mostly in Germany. As such, he has a unique perspective on German history and culture. We were a small group and peppered him with questions for hours; the breadth of his knowledge is impressive. He has detailed information on German art, architecture, food, culture, life in Berlin during WWII, post-war life in both East and West Berlin and more. Equally important, he is pleasant to be around, helpful, and generous with his time. It’s wonderful to spend the day with someone who enjoys his job and the people he meets.