Take a Stroll through Berlin!
Put simply, Berlin is an amazing city. With over 120 museums, and as the center of so many pivotal moments in history, you may be overwhelmed at first with all this city has to offer. A great way to start is to take advantage of the very popular and wide spread trend of free walking tours. Beginning your trip with the tour allows you to see the city center in a matter of four hours or so, introducing you to a substantial but tiny fraction of the many museums, monuments and historical sites. After the tour, you’ll be able to plan your trip based on what peaked your interest during you’re the informative overview provided by the walking tour.
While there are many choices of companies to choose from, I recommend Brewer Tours. I accidentally stumbled upon my tour guide, Espin, while in the wrong location to meet the other tour group I had researched. Espin was so friendly and helpful, I decided to stick with him instead of attempting to find the other tour. Espin was British but has lived all over the world, adding to his friendliness and ability to make all on tour welcome. Our group was made up of 10 people, all students or recent graduates. The size of your tour group will change the entire experience. Smaller is better so you can ask questions and hear your guide. We began at Museum Island and traveled from there to all of the historical sites, receiving the most interesting information and historical and contemporary tidbits along the way. Espin was able to tell us things one would never find in a guidebook. Beginning with architecture from the 17th century and concluding with contemporary monuments erected as few as four months ago, the tour was fascinating and inclusive. Espin showed us sites of infamy and beauty. While Berlin is renowned for its beautiful architecture and art scene, it is also a city that has been embroiled in major modern warfare. The remnants of conflict are still so pronounced decades later. While the military history of Berlin is fascinating, the cities thriving creativity and ingenuity are enthralling.
I highly recommend taking advantage of a free walking tour. As mentioned earlier, there are many companies offering free tours or paid tours of specific interest areas. Our guide worked solely on tips, which at first one might think wouldn’t be substantial enough to elicit talented staff. I assure you, at the end of your tour you will likely give more than you intended if you were as impressed by your guide as I was. I’d recommend 15 euro, but if I paid for this tour I would expect to be charged at least 25. You can book online or bring up a simple Google search. Review sites are available to provide you with supplementary information and recommendations so you can decide which tour is right for you.
Add your free walking tour to your cheap flight to Berlin and you're saving a ton!
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photo: Amy Wiener