Other Tours in Berlin, Dresden and Potsdam
We also offer other tours in Berlin, Dresden, Potsdam and other areas in eastern Germany:
- Berlin – General Tour — including the Brandenburg Gate, Kanzleramt, Victory Column, and other important sites
- The Wall — The story of Berlin's division, including real spying stories
- The Third Reich — including a real air-raid shelter, and the site of Hitler's bunker
- Communist Berlin — Berlin's red past: a tour in East Berlin.
- Kreuzberg — Berlin's immigrants' district. For more information about this tour click here
- The Spirit of 1968: The Students’ Movement and its Heritage
- Berlin is Like Music: Rock'n'Roll (and other types of music): Where did U2 record "Achtung Baby"? Where did Bowie live? What about the places he and Iggy Pop used to hang out at? Learn all about these and more!
- Potsdam — the Prussian royal residence
- Dresden — The beautiful Saxon capital
- Other theme-oriented tours could be organised in advance — we can customise our tours to your specific request and interests!
A General Tour in Berlin
Berlin is considered today to be one of the most exciting cities on earth. Its history passes through the most important of modern history; and its present is an exhilarating combination of avant-garde culture, complex identity issues and preservation of historical landmarks.
In the general tour, you will see the most important sites in Berlin, including:
- The Brandenburg Gate
- The Potsdamer Platz
- Unter den Linden
- The Museum Islan
- Potsdamer Platz
- Victory Column
- And much more!
Beyond the Wall: Cold War Berlin
Just as World War II's ended, Berlin became a focal point for a new war. In no other city in the world, Soviets and Americans camped so closed to each other; and although Germany as a whole was divided, no other place in Germany symbolises the division like the Berlin Wall.
Gablinger Berlin Tours has in fact several suggestions for Cold War/Wall tours. A simple version of our Cold War tour takes you to the most important sites at the centre of town. Not those touristy cliches of the East Side Gallery, although you will not miss any opportunity to see the remains of the Wall and more importantly, to understand and see its impact on the lives of people from both sides. You will also hear some spying stories about the ways both sides kept a tag on each other, and how East Germany became, as Anna Funder calls it, "Stasiland".
A more enahnced version of the same tour also takes you to original locations outide Berlin's centre - to a bridge, where spies were exchanged, an a Western enclave in the East and to other curiousities of life behind and beyond the Berlin Wall.
In addition to that, we also offer a tour to "Red" Berlin, with sites more concentrated on East German history and culture.
Third Reich Berlin: Point Fear
The Third Reich and National Socialism ("Nazism") were more than "just" Holocaust. Nazism was a theory, which related itself to all aspects of life (and death...) in the "Reich".
Our Third Reich tour concentrates on several aspects of Nazi ideology and policies: the dream of creating a "master race"; the monumental architecture, which represents Nazi Germany's aspirations to have the most central place on world stage; and naturally, the brutal awakening from that dream, into the grimm reality of the Battle of Berlin.
In the tour, we shall see the Nazi government centre of power, including the site of Hitler's bunker; the relics to Hitler and Speer's "Germania"; and a real air-raid shelter.
The Lives of (the) Others
Find out about the “other” side…
For forty years, Berlin was the capital of Germany. Not this Germany (the capital of which was Bonn), another Germany: The German Democratic Republic a.k.a East Germany. In this tour, you will learn about politics, history and everyday life in the GDR, about art, architecture, national symbols, oppression, and about the processes that have led to the downfall of East Germany. You can visit important places in East German history, as featured in the Oscar winning film "The Lives of Others" (optional on special request: the Stasi HQ, and the Hohenschoenhausen prison); see remains of the Berlin Wall, as well as the infamous Death Strip.
Find out about the notorious secret police, the Stasi; find out about typical East German architecture, from the “Wedding Cake” to the “Platte”; about fairs and oppression, art and fear; and about the things East Germans do miss about their lost “homeland”.
For further background information, read a cultural and social analysis of Das Leben der Anderen ("The Lives of Others").
Multikulti? Kreuzberg and Germany's New Identity
Berlin is the largest "Turkish City" outside of Turkey, making its immigrant quarter, Kreuzberg, to be known as "Kleine Istanbul" (Little Istanbul). In parallel, it is also known throughout the world for its vivid alternative cultural scene.
Berlin knew several waves of immigration. The first, was with the expansion of the city, from 1840 onwards until 1933; and then again since 1961. This second wave continues today, with immigrants filling Kreuzberg's streets with colours and smells from around the world.
In this tour, we explore the different cultures, focusing mostly on immigration to Berlin. We will see the first Doener Kebap stand in Berlin, learn about the diverse Muslim communities, see the Kreuzberg Synagogue and feel the atmosphere of the oriental market. We will discuss and witness the problems faced by the immigrants and the challenges they pose to the local community; and will see the gap between the "cool", alternative cultural Kreuzberg, and that of the backyard Mosques and Turkish secular culture.
If you're interested in Germany's new identity challenges, you might be also interested in the tour to the roots of the Student Revolution in 1968 and its consequences and influences in Germany.
It All in Began in 1968...
Actually, not "all" began in 1968, but the face of modern, post-unification, is impacted by the Students' Movement of 1968, and the different developments in German politics it has ignited. They brought "Green" notions of human rights and environmental policy to the German discourse, but others have resorted to use force to reach their objectives.
Berlin, the divided city, was at the centre of Germany's political changes, and in your tour, you will see why it has attracted the rebels and the challengers, and what they have done there.
In this tour, Gablinger.com will show you the crossroads that changed the face of modern Germany and the relics of the 1968 Revolution in contemporary Berlin.
If you're interested in Germany's new identity challenges, you might be also interested in the tour to Kreuzberg's immigrant community and its consequences and influences in Germany.
Berlin is Like Music
Berlin is one of the most important centres of musical and artistic innovation. From the Golden 1920s onwards, Berlin was a magnet for young artists from all over the world, seeking inspiration.
While Lou Reed's "Berlin" was actually not written in Berlin (though inspired by the city's gloominess), several albums have been, including David Bowie's Berlin Trilogy (Low, Heroes and Lodger); Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" and U2's Achtung Baby.
In this tour, Gablinger.com will show you places that defined Rock n'Roll history: from Bowie's home, through the recording studio where Depeche Mode recorded their "Some Great Reward", and all the way to Berlin's current music scene.
Potsdam — The Prussian Aristocracy's Green/Blue Haven
Potsdam is located just south-west of Berlin and is currently the capital of the German "Land" of Brandenburg.
Potsdam has a unique history, as it has been favoured by several Prussian kings. Consequently, one could wander from one palace to another, marvelling the beauty left behind by the Royals. One of the top spots to visit in Potsdam are the gardens of Royal Palace of Sanssouci (Sans Souci means "without worries" in French); but there are many other palaces from the Prussian era.
After World War II, Potsdam received the world's attention again, this time as the site of the Potsdam Agreement (also featured as background to George Clooney's "The Good German"). A tour to Potsdam would show you some of the gems this city has to offer.
Dresden — Saxony's Florence
Dresden is located about two hours drive south of Berlin and is currently the capital of the German "Land" of Saxony.
The old city of Dresden is in fact a rare reconstruction of a Baroque city, without the less appealing aspects of that period. The city of Dresden offers therefore a glimpse to the extravagant palaces where the Saxon royal family spent its fortune, to the Zwinger and the Dresden Opera. The recently reconstructed "Church of Our Lady" (Frauenkirche") would provide us with an opportunity to discuss the disputes regarding the bombing of Dresden during World War II; and to analyse the politicisation of the reconstruction efforts.
A tour to Dresden could be integrated with a stop over in the Spreewald, the unique bayou-like area just south-east of Berlin; with a visit to the porcelain city of Maisen; or to the castel of Moritzburg.
Customised Tours in Berlin
Do you need a customised tour in Berlin? In addition to our other services, we can customise our tours, based on your specific fields of interest.
Few examples of customized tours in Berlin we have done:
- The History of Social Work in the Jewish Community in Berlin (commissioned by a department of Social Work at a major academic institute)
- The History of My Family in Berlin - If your family comes from Berlin, we can take you on a tour to historical sites related to your family and put them in general historical context. If you haven't got the addresses yet, we might be able to find them through research.