There's so much to see and do in Berlin; sometimes it makes sense to a take a tour and leave the itinerary to someone else. These are some of our favorites.
Walking and Bike Tours
Getting oriented through a walking tour is a great way to start a Berlin visit.In addition to daily city highlight tours, companies have themed tours such as Third Reich Berlin, Potsdam, and pub crawls. Berlin Walks (030/301–9194 www.berlinwalks.com) offers a Monday "Jewish Life" tour, a Potsdam tour on Thursday and Sunday, and visits to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Insider Tours (030/692–3149 www.insidertour.com) has a "Cold War" Berlin tour about the Soviet era and a bike tour as well as a Cruise'n'Walk tour, a combination of boating and walking. Brit Terry Brewer's firsthand accounts of divided and reunified Berlin are a highlight of the all-day "Brewer's Best of Berlin " (0177/388–1537 www.brewersberlintours.com) tour. Tours cost €15. Fat Tire Bike Tours (030/2404–7991 www.fattirebiketours.com) rides through Berlin daily early March–November and has a Berlin Wall tour. The 4½-hour city tour costs €24, bike rental included. For a truly memorable experience, check out Berliner Unterwelten (030/499-1517 www.berliner-unterwelten.de), which translates as "Berlin Underworlds." The company offers access to several of Berlin’s best-preserved underground WWII bunkers that are normally closed to the public.
Tours of central Berlin's Spree and the canals give you up-close views of sights such as Museum Island, Charlottenburg Palace, the Reichstag, and the Berliner Dom. Tours usually depart twice a dayfrom several bridges and piers in Berlin, such as Schlossbrücke in Charlottenburg; Hansabrücke and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Tiergarten; Friedrichstrasse, Museum Island, and Nikolaiviertel in Mitte; and near the Jannowitzbrücke S-bahn and U-bahn station. Drinks, snacks, and wurstare available during the narrated trips. Reederei Riedel (030/6796-1470 www.reederei-riedel.de) offers several different trips around Berlin. Prices range from €11.50 to €20 depending on theme and distance.
Stern und Kreisschiffahrt (030/536–3600 www.sternundkreis.de) offer tours of the Havel Lakes (which include Tegeler See and Wannsee). The trip begins at the Wannsee, where you can sail on either the whale-shape vessel Moby Dick or the Havel Queen, a Mississippi-style boat, and cruise 28 km (17 miles) through the lakes and past forests. Tours can last from one to seven hours, and cost between €10.50 and €20.
Four companies—Berliner Bären Stadtrundfahrten (030/3519–5270 www.bbsberlin.de), Berolina Berlin-Service (030/8856–8030 www.berolina-berlin.com), Bus Verkehr Berlin (030/683–8910 www.bvb.net), and BEX Sightseeing (030/880–4190 www.bex.de)—jointly offer city tours on yellow, double-decker City Circle buses, which run every 15 or 30 minutes, depending on the season. The full circuit takes two hours, with a recorded narration on headphones. For €20 you can jump on and off at between 13 and 20 stops depending on the company. The bus driver sells tickets. During the warmer months, the last circuit leaves at 6 pm from the corner of Fasanenstrasse and Kurfürstendamm. Most companies have tours to Potsdam. The Stadtrundfahrtbüro Berlin (030/261–2001 www.stadtrundfahrtbuero-berlin.de) has 2¼-hour (€15) or 2¾-hour tours (€20) at 10:15, 10:45, 11, 11:30, 1 pm, and 1:30 pm, 2 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4 pm. A guide narrates in both German and English. The bus departs from Tauentzienstrasse 16, at the corner of Marbuger Strasse.
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