Bare Bones | Essential Berlin
Berlin has been the nexus for so many pivotal moments in European history, and bears traces of those times to whoever is willing to see them. With an engaging guide on hand to show you the way, you will find the legacy of its history endlessly intriguing. Our 5-day tour offers a fascinating flavour of the region’s past and present: from its Royal Prussian palaces, to its place in Nazi fantasies, and its role as a hub of both socialist cultures and radical countercultures. From the Ishtar Gate, world-changing treaties, to secret escape tunnels and culminating in the vibrant city of today - just a taster of what we have in store. We will introduce you to this multi-faceted culture while allowing you to experience one of Europe’s most dynamic cities.
- Unmissable sites in Berlin and nearby Potsdam, including Frederick the Great’s Summer Palace, Sanssouci and Museum Island
- An unusual tour of hidden escape tunnels beneath the Berlin Wall
- Great Cities
- Just One Hotel
We settle into our central hotel in Germany’s capital, and enjoy an afternoon orientation walk with our guide and fellow travellers. Following this the evening is free: our first opportunity of four to explore the city’s culinary delights.
This morning we will stroll to Museum Island, to admire the treasures on display here. At the Pergamon Museum we wander through the reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate and part of the Processional Way from ancient Babylon. We will come face to face with Nefertiti, Egyptian queen and wife of Akhenaton, as we stand before her famous bust in the Neues Museum. After exploring the highlights here in the company of our guide, you are free to shape the afternoon at your leisure, either to continue to view some of the other exceptional collections in other buildings or to explore other parts of Berlin.
Today we take a trip to Potsdam where we will visit Sanssouci, the majestic Rococo summer palace with park and lavish waterworks of Frederick the Great. This residence, known as the Versailles of Berlin, became the ruler’s refuge especially in difficult times where he could wander the gardens in the company of his dogs. We continue in the afternoon with a visit to Cecilienhof, a former royal palace of the Hohenzollern. It was here, where in the late summer of 1945, the historic Potsdam Conference took place, laying the groundwork of a new order in Germany, and Europe, after World War II.
We begin today at Tempelhof Airport. Once the largest building in the world, it was created by the Nazis in 1934 and became a famous gateway to Berlin. It is now a museum, while its runways form part of a popular park. We continue to former East Berlin to the Nikolaiviertel, the oldest residential district of Berlin. After extensive wartime bombing it was reconstructed in 1987 as the heart of the communist East German capital. This afternoon we gain an alternative insight into Cold War life with a tour “Under the Berlin Wall”, exploring a series of tunnels dug by citizens in order to escape to the West.
The discoveries continue on our final morning. In the company of our guide, we embark on an enlightening walking tour of Prenzlauerberg and Kreuzberg. Formerly split between east and west, these areas contain a wealth of notable attractions, including the quarters of the East German counterculture movement, and the Volkspark, which contains a hill artificially constructed from the rubble of wartime bombings. We make our departures this afternoon.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - Breakfast only
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
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