Brandenburger Gate Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate is the symbol of Berlin and the reunited Germany as well. The six columned gate with the quadriga (a chariot drawn by four horses abreast) on top is situated at the “Pariser Platz” in the center of Berlin, next door to the American Embassy. The Reichstag is close and the avenue “Unter den Linden” connects the Brandenburg Gate with the site where the Berlin Castle is being reconstructed. The Brandenburg Gate is near the big park called the Tiergarten, as well as in walking distance to the Holocaust Memorial and former Hitler bunker.

This post is a part of our Berlin-in-a-in a day-Walking Tour, the Berlin Wall Tour and the Third Reich Tour.

 

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Berlin Topography of Terror

Topography of Terror

This post is a preview of the Topography of Terror Museum.  Berlin is a city with an extremely troubling past. As the location of the Nazis rise to political power, Hitler’s command center during World War II, and a fractured city split into two by the Cold War-era Wall, modern Berlin has many difficult tales to tell. Any visitor to the German capital would be remiss if they failed to take in at least one museum or memorial to the horrors of the recent past, and the Topography of Terror aims to provide a comprehensive and clearly organized account of the factors that led to Nazi military aggression, the Holocaust and the Berlin Wall.


Visitor Information

Permanent Exhibits

History of the Museum


 

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Top Things to do in Berlin at Night

This post lists some of the top things to do in Berlin at night.  Since the fall of the Wall, Berlin has established itself as one of Europe’s cultural and party hotspots. Unsurprisingly, the city lights up at night, with areas like Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, and Mitte at the center of the busy nightlife. However, Berlin’s cultural side is not to be written off after dark either! Live music and never-ending special events provide a fun alternative to the vibrant club scene. (en español)

 

(1) VIEW THE CITY LIGHTS FROM ABOVE

Berlin has multiple landmarks that can be climbed by night (and day) and may offer a stunning view of the city from above.

  • Reichstag (Free)

The Reichstag, the German parliament building, was adorned with its modern cupola in 1999 and has since provided an excellent view of the Brandenburg Gate and downtown area. Entrance is free and the dome is open until midnight every day, but tickets but must be reserved at least two hours in advance. For tips on how to get tickets and prepare for your visit, click here. Read more »

Gay Berlin Featured Image

Gay Berlin: A Guide for LGBT Travelers

Berlin is the self-proclaimed gay and lesbian capital of Europe. Given the large number of gay bars and parties, gay-friendly hotels, street festivals and Pride events year-round, Berlin is a mecca for LGBT travelers.  

We’ve created this post to navigate you to the gay Berlin resources and activities you’ll want to know about.

 

 


GAY WALKING TOURS 

Queer Berlin Walking Tour

This 4-hour tour visits Schoeneberg, Berlin’s primary gay neighborhood. Your guide will share stories of gay and lesbian German heros. You will stop at one of Berlin’s oldest queer bars and also at the Gay Museum in Kreuzberg.

Gay Culture Bike Tour 

Gay Pride parade Berlin

Cover a lot of ground in 3 hours by riding through the gay neighborhood of Berlin, see the city’s gay monuments and historic and modern gay bars. Ride past sites that were significant to prominent gay Berlin figures like David Bowie and Marlene Dietrich.

Out in Schöneberg

In this 90-minute tour, you will see a lot, including the Nationalhof, the gay rights movement’s ballroom between 1924 and 1932 and learn about gay Berlin in the 1920s.  You’ll visit the lesbian quarter along the Schwerin Straße, and much more.

Rainbow Gay Tours 

Offers several gay-friendly different tours including a City Center Tour, a Berlin Neighborhoods Tour, and a Gay Nightlife tour. When booking, try using the voucher code ‘PATROC’ to get a discount of 10%.


FREE TOURS FOR EVERYONE

Alternative Berlin

These free tip-based tours will take you beyond the tourist destinations to the heart and soul of the city. We recommend their highly regarded Street Art & Grafitti Tour, as Berlin is the capital of Street Art.

Free Tours by Foot

While our tours are not specifically geared towards gay culture and history in Berlin, our tours are inclusive and welcome everyone! We offer pay-what-you-wish walking tours and also have many self-guided tours of Berlin neighborhoods for you to enjoy for free.

 

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Berlin for Free

13 Free Things to Do in Berlin

This post provides 13 ideas to enjoy Berlin absolutely for free, with a few almost free ideas mixed in.  This is the best city in the world for a lot of reasons but mostly because no matter where you come from you can enjoy this city on whatever budget and at whatever pace you choose.  In Berlin we say, ‘come as you are’ and that’s it, everyone belongs here and everyone can enjoy themselves here.  One of the best things about this city are all the free things that you can do.  I highly encourage checking all of them out but if you find your time running short, don’t worry, Berlin is a place that you should always revisit because like its malleable and unforgettable history this city is always changing and forever evolving.

  • (1) The Berlin Wall, various locations

Monuments tend to be outside and outside tends to be free.  The Berlin Wall is the big one here.  You can’t come to Berlin and not see the wall that divided this city in two for 28 years. Visit the East Side Gallery, the longest stretch of the wall that was painted by different artists after reunification.  A must see is the official Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Strasse.  Here the wall has been fully reconstructed and offers a free viewing platform to get a top notch view of divided Berlin.  Below is a 3 minute highlight video of the Berlin Wall Memorial.

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Berlin Street Art

Berlin Graffiti and Street Art Tour

This is a self-guided tour of the varieties of graffiti and street art one can find on the streets of Berlin.  Graffiti and street art is very typical for Berlin and can be found everywhere. The former city mayor described Berlin as “poor and sexy”. Graffiti and street art just fit right into this slogan. While graffiti and street art is not just the product of unruly gangs, it is a form of expression and an important component of Berlin’s underground art and culture scene, which contributes to the uniqueness and creativity that defines the German capital. Berlin in many ways throughout history has had an alternative and unconventional streak of rebellion and emancipation, and it shows in its urban art environment that it is often thought-provoking and political. Many street artists are attracted to Berlin; they either live in Berlin or travel here to leave their mark. If you walk the streets of Berlin with a keen eye. you will notice street art and graffiti everywhere – on walls, garbage containers, bridges, doors, sidewalks, tunnels and other places.

This self-guided tour will serve as a short introduction to Berlin’s graffiti and street art.

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Jewish Berlin Tour | Self-Guided

This self-guided Jewish Berlin Tour gives a short overview of the major sights in Jewish history in Berlin. For centuries, Berlin had a vibrant Jewish culture and was the birth place of important Jewish movements such as the Jewish Enlightenment in the 17th Century and the Reform and Modern Orthodox movements. Despite times of hardship, the community was thriving right up until the rise of the Weimar Republic in the 1930’s. The 1933 census counted 160,000 Jews living in Berlin, but in less than 15 years, the Jewish population of Berlin was reduced to 8,000. Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ – the carefully planned extermination of Jews – had decimated the Jewish population of Berlin and most of Europe. In addition to the massive loss of life, many of Berlin’s Jewish institutions, synagogues, schools and cultural sites were destroyed during the war.

Since the reunification of East and West Germany, Berlin’s government has strived to make Berlin a city that once again welcomes Jews and their unique culture.  The city as well as individual foundations have made it a point to create sites and memorials throughout the city to honor the 6 million Jews who were murdered by Hitler’s Germany.

Today, surprisingly, the city that is regarded with disdain by many people as the command center Hitler’s Third Reich, is now home to more than 45,000 Jews and continues to grow. Jews are moving to Berlin from places like Australia, Eastern Europe, Russia, France and United States. There are signs once of Jewish life once again and though this tour focuses on the past and the terrible loss of life, the existence of the memorials you will see is a testament to the hopeful future for Jews in Berlin.

Click to enlarge or for movable map for the self-guided Jewish Berlin Tour and be sure to check out our full list of self-guided Berlin walking tours.

Helpful resources: Jewish institutions and contacts and kosher restaurants or markets.

Self-guided Jewish Berlin Tour map Read more »

Berlin Old historic Spandauer Vorstadt - banner

Spandauer Vorstadt – Self-guided tour of Historic Old Berlin

While the old historic center of Berlin was destroyed in World War II and most of the buildings are reconstructions, the Spandauer Vorstadt, between Alexanderplatz and the theater district (e.g. Friedrichstadtpalast with its Las Vegas-like shows) has the real old houses from the 18th and 19th century. This neighborhood had also been the center of Berlin Jewish life and again houses important Jewish institutions. Neglected in socialist times, the Spandauer Vorstadt is beautifully restored today with cafés, shops and much more to explore. Come and explore this Historic Old Berlin –  The Spandauer Vorstadt on this self-guided tour.

Save more money with the Berlin Pass, and be sure to check out our full selection of self-guided Berlin tours.

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Berlin Walking Tours

Self Guided Berlin Walking Tours

We are happy to have produced several self guided Berlin walking tours and our collection is growing.  We designed these self guided tours to be used on your own time and your own pace or as companion pieces on our guided tours. Some tours are only available as a self-guided tour.  We hope these tours are helpful to you.

 

  • Berlin CathedralBerlin Mitte-East Tour – One of the historically and architecturally richest areas of Berlin and located right in the center – hence the name Mitte.  This self-guided tour covers the important monuments and sights of Mitte’s East part which no every visitor to Berlin should miss. Complimentary to this tour, you can also explore the Things to see in Mitte West.

 

  • Berlin Wall deathly loveBerlin Wall Tour – During our Berlin Wall Tour, you will learn about the events, figures, and postwar principles that lead to the construction of the wall, and the consequences that were brought about even to this day. This tour will shed some light and perspective onto both sides of the wall, and its impact on German culture and mindset, as well as on Berlin itself.

 

  • Berlin Friedrichshain RAWFriedrichshain Tour – Berlin’s district Friedrichshain is trendy and rough, with lots of graffiti and a distinct East German charm and an off-beat alternative culture. It’s very low key, and not yet as commercialized with a big student population, low rents, but also a rich history in working class roots. Come and explore this district on a self-guided tour of Friedrichshain.

 

  • Berlin Neue SynagogueSpandauer Vorstadt Tour – While the old historic center of Berlin was destroyed in World War II and most of the buildings are reconstructions, the Spandauer Vorstadt, between Alexanderplatz and the theater district (e.g. Friedrichstadtpalast with its Las Vegas-like shows) has the real old houses from the 18th and 19th century. This neighborhood had also been the center of Berlin Jewish life and again houses important Jewish institutions. Neglected in socialist times, the Spandauer Vorstadt is beautifully restored today with cafés, shops and much more to explore. Come and explore this Historic Old Berlin –  The Spandauer Vorstadt on this self-guided tour.

 

  • Berlin St. Thomas churchKreuzberg Tour – This district gets is name from the hill with the cross (“cross mountain”) where this tour ends. It is a Berlin district that has enjoyed more and more popularity. Kreuzberg can be divided into east Kreuzberg, more unkempt and rich in immigration (the former SO36 postal code also gives a nickname to the area), as well as west Kreuzberg, the more trendy, bohemian part with the Bergmannstrasse. If you can’t take part on a walking tour, take this self-guided tour to get an overview of the main highlights.

 

  • Berlin Old historic Spandauer Vorstadt - Neue SynagogeJewish Berlin Tour – Today, surprisingly, the city that is regarded with disdain by many people as the command center Hitler’s Third Reich, is now home to more than 45,000 Jews and continues to grow. Jews are moving to Berlin from places like Australia, Eastern Europe, Russia, France and United States. There are signs once of Jewish life once again and though this tour focuses on the past and the terrible loss of life, the existence of the memorials you will see is a testament to the hopeful future for Jews in Berlin.

 

  • Schloss CharlottenburgCharlottenburg Tour – Located in the western part of Berlin, this affluent borough with its mansions, churches, and a famous castle is worth exploring. It’s filled with history, medieval buildings, Prussian history, and the beautiful gardens of Charlottenburg Castle.

 
 

 

  • Berlin Street Art Haus Schwarzenberg StinkfishBerlin Graffiti and Street Art Tour – Berlin’s underground street art culture portrays the creative character of this city. Many street artists live in the city or they have traveled from all over the world to leave their mark. From graffiti, tags, paste-ups or big murals, you’ll find anything Berlin. Some street art is more hidden, some is wide out in the open. This short guide will show you where to find the street art hot spots in Berlin.

Berlin Charlottenburg Palace

Self-Guided Tour Berlin-Charlottenburg

START at U-Bahn Richard-Wagner-Platz (U 7)

Berlin-Charlottenburg RathausStop A – Cross Otto-Suhr-Allee and have a look at the huge building with the 89m (270 ft.) tower. This was Charlottenburg City Hall (Rathaus) when it opened in 1905 and Charlottenburg was still an independent (and rich) city. In 1920, Greater Berlin was established, and today Charlottenburg isn’t even a district of its own. The building is Art Nouveau and the ornaments look pretty medieval. Read more »