Berlin, Germany Brandenburg Gate

Essential Berlin

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

The perfect introduction to Berlin.  Exeter's Essential Berlin is designed to introduce you to some of the sites you need to see on your first trip to the city.

For custom luxury travel and tours to Berlin and Germany, please contact one of our travel experts.

Central Europe Downloadable PDF

Download a PDF itinerary here.

ITINERARY

PRICING FROM

$6,775 per person, based on two guests traveling together. Please contact Exeter International for specific pricing and availability. 

Day 1
Arrival | Berlin Hotel de Rome - Berlin, Germany

Arrival into Berlin, where you will be welcomed by your driver for your transfer to your hotel in the center of the city, Mitte.

The largest and most modern of the Central European capitals, Berlin has reinvented itself since reunification into Europe’s powerhouse city. Each area has its own unique character, from the historical heart in Mitte to the hipster center of Kreuzberg. With over 80 museums from contemporary art to WWII history, and the outstanding Berlin Philharmonic—now joined by the Frank Gehry designed Pierre Boulez Saal concert hall— high culture predominates.

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Exeter Services: Arrival Transfer

Hotel: Rocco Forte De Rome

Day 2
Berlin | Berlin Reichstag - Berlin, Germany

Meet your guide this morning for a walk along Unter den Linden. Berlin’s magnificent boulevard and the centerpiece of the Old Berlin. Unter den Linden leads from the Schlossbrücke Bridge to Pariser Platz at the Brandenburg Gate.

You will see the renewed beauty of the Pariser Platz. The new buildings which have been added to this historic square are based on their historic forbearers. This area was originally a parade ground. Noble villas, embassies and the luxurious Hotel Adlon arose around the square, which was then destroyed during the Second World War. You will also see the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s only remaining city gate and a symbol of the city. Situated as it was in the no man’s land just behind the Berlin Wall, it also became symbolic of the division of the city.

Afterward, continue with a visit of Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial, which opened in May 2005, the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. The location is directly behind the Hotel Adlon. The memorial commemorates the Jewish victims of Nazi terror and consists of approximately 2,700 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on unevenly sloping ground, symbolizing an undulating graveyard. You are able to enter and walk through the field of slabs from all four sides and you will experience the wavelike form differently from each position. This moving and solemn memorial contains the names of 4.4 million murdered Jews. Don’t skip the information center located underground.

Today, we suggest having lunch at the Reichstag’s Restaurant, Käfer, located next to the Norman Foster- designed glass dome and has a panoramic view of the city. This is the best way to view the building and dome without having to stand in line. Your guide will leave you here and then you can stroll back to your hotel when you’re finished. If you wish, you can step into Tiergarten, across the street from the Reichstag, and enjoy some time in this beautiful park.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte De Rome

Day 3
Berlin | Berlin Berlin, Germany

This morning meet your guide and driver for an overview of Berlin’s recent history. You will then drive through Potsdamer Platz, a perfect example of urban renewal. As late as the 1990s, this was a desolate wasteland. Architecturally this is Berlin’s most modern area with striking buildings designed by Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Hans Kollhoff. There is just one significant building that survived the destruction of WWII due to its steel structure, the Weinhaus Huth. Today this is home to the Daimler Contemporary art collection and, on the ground floor, the second restaurant of the wine experts Lutter & Wegner.

Your first stop will be the Topography of Terror. This indoor/outdoor museum on the site of the former headquarters of the Gestapo and SS is an essential visit. After the war, the original buildings were pretty much destroyed and razed to the ground. Later, the Berlin Wall border between East and West was exactly at this location and 200 meters of the Wall at Niederkirchnerstraße – which marked the border between the districts of Mitte (East Berlin) and Kreuzberg (West Berlin) – have been preserved. Along the wall is the outdoor portion of the museum that documents the rise of the Nazi Party and its rule in German politics. The indoor documentation center was opened in 2010 and houses the permanent exhibition: Topography of Terror: Gestapo, SS and Reich Security Main Office on Wilhelm- and Prinz-Albrecht-Straße and temporary exhibitions.

Today your driver will also drive by the Checkpoint Charlie. After the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, the checkpoint remained an official crossing point until the reunification in October 1990 when the booth was removed and the watchtower was later destroyed. The course of the former wall is now marked on the street with a line of bricks and a copy of the booth and sign that once marked the border crossing was later erected where Checkpoint Charlie once stood.

Afterwards you may stop by the “East-Side Gallery.” This is the longest cohesive section of the Berlin Wall. This stretch of the Berlin Wall has been painted by various artists after the fall and it stretches for a mile or so. We recommend that you walk a bit and explore some of the different subjects portrayed.

Later today you will also visit one of the most interesting exhibits detailing life in a divided Germany – the Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Center. This is located direct at a former border strip on Bernauer Strasse and both the no-man’s-land strip and watchtower have been preserved. The Documentation Center shows the history of the Wall, its construction and how it divided the city. You can walk right in no-man’s land yourself – on the footsteps of those who tried to escape communist oppression and flee to the West.

The best part of this museum is the outside part in the park, visiting remnants of the wall, and the chapel of reconciliation.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte De Rome

Day 4
Berlin | Berlin Hotel de Rome - Berlin, Germany

This morning, meet your guide for your visit to the Neue Synagogue. The synagogue was first inaugurated in 1866 and features the oriental-influenced architecture that was popular at the time. The synagogue was heavily damaged by Allied bombing in World War II and was essentially demolished in 1958, except for the front façade and entrance. In 1995 it was reopened as a museum showing the history of the synagogue and of Jewish life in Berlin. Today it serves at the Jewish Center and the museum is also renewing its permanent exhibition.

Later, your guide will take you on a walking tour of the immediate area, one of the most vibrant in Berlin, and full of Jewish history. You will see the site of the first Jewish cemetery where Moses Mendelssohn was buried and the Jewish high school named after him. We will also visit the Museum of Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind. Known as the “Schindler of Berlin,” this museum will introduce you to the efforts of Otto Weidt to protect his Jewish employees from persecution and deportation. He employed mainly blind and deaf Jews who produced brooms and brushes. Enjoy some free time in the area to shop and have lunch on your own.

In the afternoon, you will enter one of the most famous apartments in Berlin – that of Erika Hoffmann. Once per week she opens their apartment for viewings of part of their personal art collection and today you will have the opportunity to visit this unique space privately. The pieces displayed in the apartment change annually, and whatever you see will be thought provoking. The exhibition occupies two floors of a renovated factory building that Erika bough with her husband Rolf so they could expand and live with their collection, which was their passion. After Rolf’s death, Erika continued collecting and has now decided to gift the entire collection to the city of Dresden, where it will slowly move over the next five years.

After the tour, enjoy some time in the area at leisure or return to your hotel independently.

Exeter Services: Guide (6 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte De Rome

Day 5
Potsdam | Potsdam Potsdam, Germany

Today, after meeting your guide in the hotel lobby, you will drive outside of the city to Potsdam – the former home of Prussian Kings.

En route, you may stop at the famous villa on the Greater Wannsee Lake, where on January 20, 1942, senior Nazi officials met to discuss the ‘Final Solution’ – the plan of the extermination of the Jews of Europe. This meeting, which only lasted about 90 minutes, has since become known as the ‘Wannsee Conference’. Today, the building serves as a memorial and education center and was featured in the television film Conspiracy.

You can also visit the memorial at Track 17, once one of the major sites of the deportation of Berlin Jews.

Potsdam celebrated its 1000th birthday in 1993 and is known for its palaces and beautiful gardens. The enormous Park Sanssouci is among the most beautiful palace complexes in Europe. The Sanssouci Palace was the first building to be erected in Potsdam as a summer residence of Frederick the Great. Over the years, the park was expanded and new palaces and pavilions were added. You would need at least one whole day to enjoy the park fully. You will tour the old residence of the Prussian Dynasty, which today is a center of culture and history.

Your guide will also take you to the Cecilienhof Palace, the historical venue of the Potsdam Agreement. Built in the style of an English country manor, this was the family home of the Hohenzollern dynasty after they lost the crown.

Afterwards, return to the hotel and enjoy your evening at leisure.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte De Rome

Day 6
Berlin | Berlin Ishtar Gate - Berlin, Germany

This morning, meet your guide and head back to Unter den Linden and stroll to Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the home to many of Berlin’s top museums, including the Neues Museum. Here you will find the bust of Nefertiti in her stunning new environment. This museum houses the contents of the Egyptian museum, as well as the Museum of Pre- and Early-History.

If you wish, you can also visit Berlin’s incredible Pergamon Museum, located right next door, and filled with a fabulous collection of ancient Greek art. Its main attraction is the Pergamon Altar (2nd century BC) and the Gallery of Hellenistic Art is closed until 2023 for a multi-year renovation. The frieze depicting the battle between the Gods and Giants is regarded as a masterpiece of Hellenistic art.

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte De Rome

Day 7
Departure | Berlin Berlin, Brandenburg Gate

This morning after check-out, your driver will meet you in the lobby of the hotel for your transfer to the airport to catch your onward flight.

Exeter Services: Departure Transfer

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