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.
We do not offer a tour of the Reichstag Dome as standard, however, for clients booking a private walk we can work to arrange it. This requires extending the duration of the tour and does incur an additional fee. Please request this customization in the Trip Notes when placing an order. We will follow up with further details. There is no entry fee to the Dome, but visits need to be booked in advance and availability depends on a number of factors defined by the German governmental administration. Please note that for all Reichstag Dome bookings we require the full name and date of birth of all attendees, and all attendees need to bring their passport with them on the day in order to enter the Reichstag.
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. For private walks, we are happy to customize the itinerary to include particular stops.
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. We suggest choosing between the two walks or booking a customized combination to cover both topics in-depth.
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.
Robert grew up in East Berlin during the 1980s and went on to study at the University of Florence, Italy. He received his PhD in cultural studies from Humboldt University of Berlin where his dissertation focused on sexual violence in the Nazi concentration camps. He recently worked as a researcher for the BBC and as a historian for the Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrück concentration camp memorials. His interests range from the history of art and architecture to modern European history and WWII. Robert worked for Hampshire College and has given guest lectures at both Boston University and Brown University. He has been working as a tour guide for more than ten years.
Jason studied studio art and art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and La Universidad Complutenese de Madrid before living in Spain for many years as an active professional artist. He has exhibited around the United States and Europe in alternative projects, commercial galleries, and museums, with several artworks having been acquired for private collections. In 2006 Jason moved to Berlin where he now lives and works as an artist and organizer for a variety of exhibitions and art-related events. He co-founded and is the art director of the WerkStadt Kulturverein Berlin e.V., a non-profit collective. Additionally, in 2010 he completed a degree at the UdK (Universität der Künste Berlin) in curatorial practice and often helps mount exhibitions in the major museums that dot the urban landscape of the new artistic capital of Europe. He has also participated in installing exhibits at the Neues Museum in Berlin.
An architect and urbanist, Lucia has been working with Context since 2012. The emphasis of her walks lies in present Berlin from where she leads an exploration into the layers of the past in order to understand the transformations of the city and the significance of its sites, so as to anticipate possible future scenarios. Her thematic focus is on post-war history, urbanism and architectural heritage, as well as on everyday life in Berlin. Parallel to her work with Context, she has been collecting experiences from different branches: collaborating with several public institutions analysing and comparing the urban landscape of various European cities, developing city guides and organising workshops; working for a design agency specialised in real estate and signage design; and currently, planning housing and office buildings in Berlin with a private project developer. She is a proud ambassador of Berlin and Context.
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