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Berlin Walking Tour Highlights

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Walking 800 years of Berlin history

For our walking tour through Mitte you can choose between these two options:

Berlin’s Historical Center:

We start at Alexanderplatz, which as late as the 18th century was a cattle market that lay outside the gates of the city. It’s seedy underworld in the 1920s was immortalised in Döblin’s iconic novel ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’. After World War II the square was rebuilt by the East German government to showcase architecturally the ‘new socialist utopia’ for a ‘new socialist people’.

From here we move on to the Red City Hall and the Nikolai Quarter, which was rebuilt in its medieval form in the 1980s in an unusual act of co-operation between East and West Germany. From here we head for the Lustgarten in front of the Berlin Cathedral and explore Museum Island, before strolling down Berlin’s grand central avenue, the Unter den Linden. On the way we take in the baroque beauty of buildings from the Prussian era and hear stories of neglected wives, party princes and even the significance of potatoes in the history of Germany.

At the Gendarmenmarkt you’ll learn about the French immigrants who sought sanctuary in Berlin in the 18th century, giving the city its famous meatball dish, the Berlin Boulette. The tour ends at the iconic Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s only surviving city gate, which is both a famous landmark of the capital, and also a potent symbol of Germany’s division and reunification.

Berlin’s Contemporary Center:

This tour starts at the main train station, opened in 2006 to coincide with the FIFA World Cup. From here we cross the river Spree to the Federal Chancellory, where Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel works. The prevalence of glass and exposed concrete in the newly rebuilt government district is a symbol of the commitment to transparency made by the government of reunified Germany. A highlight is climbing to the top of the glass dome that tops the Reichstag, the building that houses the parliament of Germany. From its heights you can enjoy stunning views across the centre of Berlin.

The next stop, Pariser Platz at the Brandenburg gate, is now an elegant plaza, and it is hard to imagine that once this gate stood alone and windswept in the midst of the death strip of the Berlin Wall.

From Pariser Platz we follow the Wall in a straight line to the rebuilt Potsdamer Platz, which in the years of the city’s division was an empty wasteland. In between Pariser Platz and Potsdamer Platz we will encounter the 2711 concrete stelae that make up the powerful and thought provoking central German memorial to the Holocaust. All around lie the government buildings of the German administration.

Are you interested in this tour? – Request private tour