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Berlin - are there any escorted tours?

crewe
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Berlin - are there any escorted tours?

We've not been abroad for 17 years..... However we're attempting to go to Berlin in February 1/2 term... I say "attempting" because having not been abroad for so long, I've no idea where to start! I thought an escorted tour would be ideal because everything would be sorted out..However, googling "escorted tours to Berlin" yields some quite unsavoury results!!! I know people book flights and hotels on the Internet all the time, but when you haven't done it before, it's very confusing and frankly disheartening. It doesn't help that our only local travel agent is helpful only if you know exactly what you want or buy what they suggest so I can't even go down that route. I've spent hours trying various travel companies' links and come up with nothing. Before I give up yet again and stay in the UK, how do you book a holiday when all you know is that you want to go to Berlin for 3 days in February, stay somewhere central with B&B and fly from wither Manchester or Liverpool?

Thanks

London, United...
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1. Re: Berlin - are there any escorted tours?

easyJet flies daily from both Liverpool and Manchester and they will gladly help you book a hotel in your destination city as part of the process. For first-time visitors the area around Hackescher Markt is generally recommended as a base, as it's close to many key sights, has good transport links, and has several good bars and restaurants.

Berlin is exceedingly easy to do under your own steam, but again I would strongly recommend that you join a walking tour to get an overview of the city. Fortunately, Hackescher Markt train station is generally one of the departure points for these tours. They'll take about 4 hours and will give you inspiration for where to go back to.

Pop down to your local library and get a guide book. Have a think about the sort of thing you like to do, and people could suggest things for you to help you plan out a trip.

crewe
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2. Re: Berlin - are there any escorted tours?

Thanks. I didn't realise Easyjet would suggest hotels. (This must sound so stupid to a seasoned traveller!) We're 2 adults and a 14 year old who's studying GCSE German and is passionate about History. I had an idea of a walking tour, the Berlin Wall and possibly the Sachsenhausen concentration camp,although I'm not sure how feasible that would be.. None of us are interested in shopping or nightlife so that's not high on the agenda.

Thanks

London, United...
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3. Re: Berlin - are there any escorted tours?

If you have only three days in Berlin, spend them all in Berlin and save Sachsenhausen for another time. Sachsenhausen is a full day's trip, and there is more, much more, than enough to do in the city itself to keep you busy and happy for three days, especially if history is your priority: Berlin has more than its share.

The "musts" for WWII history are the Topography of Terror and the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe (aka Holocaust Memorial) particularly the small museum/documentation centre underneath it. The "must" for the DDR period is the Berlin Wall Memorial. There are many others.

Yes, do take a walking tour on your first day. Insider Tours and Berlin Walks both do very good and interesting ones, starting, as Darren says above, at Hackescher Markt.

http://www.insidertour.com/

http://www.berlinwalks.de/public/

Hackescher Markt is an excellent location: close to many of the major sights, sites, and museums, plenty of choice of restaurants nearby. There are several good hotels in the area, and it is very easy to book on line. As there are three of you, an apartment hotel might be good for you. I I can recommend the Adina Apart-Hotel Hackescher Markt, but perhaps you can give us an idea of your budget for some more targeted suggestions.

https://www.tfehotels.com/brands/adina-apart…

It's very easy to book Easyjet flights through their website, and their fares to Berlin are usually very reasonable.

I know booking independently seems daunting the first time, but it really is easy, and once you've done it you'll wonder what you were worried about.

Do come back here with more questions if you like.

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: Berlin - are there any escorted tours?

"I had an idea of a walking tour, the Berlin Wall and possibly the Sachsenhausen concentration camp,although I'm not sure how feasible that would be"

I would go to Sachsenhausen in your time frame if and only if it is the top of your priority list of things to see. If it is just an idea of something to see for you it may be better to wait till another time and stay in the heart of Berlin instead of traveling away.

Breda, The...
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5. Re: Berlin - are there any escorted tours?

There are a few good berlin apps to download which you can use offline also.

Lots of neighbourhoods to sort out.

Also with info how to go to places by public transport ( perfect in Berlin)

Read and sort out what's interesting for you.

Enjoy Berlin.

London, United...
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6. Re: Berlin - are there any escorted tours?

I think what you are looking for is "packaged tour". Try googling that. It might give you a better feel of the options out there. But it is very easy to book Easyjet and hotels separately as well.

Edited: 5:40 am, January 18, 2016
London, United...
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7. Re: Berlin - are there any escorted tours?

As usual, Alabastron has made some excellent suggestions and I'd really heed them. Some alternatives would include the Jewish Museum, which has section on the Holocaust and on Jewish history and culture in Germany, and the German Historical Museum, though this alone could easily consume a whole day!

Something I left out; Hackescher Markt is also good for airport access. If you fly with easyJet, you will arrive at Schönefeld Airport, which has a regular direct train service to central Berlin.

Barcelona, Spain
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8. Re: Berlin - are there any escorted tours?

I agree about leaving out Sachsenhausen this trip as 14 years old is still quite young for a visit, apart from your time-constraints.

Staying near Hackescher Markt you have two smaller sites that would be interesting: Otto Weidt Workshop and Silent Heroes (showing how non-Jews helped Jews survive in Berlin during the War) Open till 8pm every day and free entry. They are in a rather run-down courtyard off Rosenthaler Strasse (different from the renovated Hackesche Höfe!)

visitberlin.de/en/spot/museum-blindenwerksta…

orte-der-erinnerung.de/en/…druckversion.html

The DDR-Museum is very well done, a lot more dynamic that the German Historic Museum (which I find overwhelmingly comprehensive, you have to choose one historical period to concentrate on). Centrum Judaicum in the Neue Synagogue is good on how the Berlin Jewish community was affected in the Nazi period and has interesting small special exhibitions. The Jewish Museum covers 2000 years of German Jewish history so takes a lot longer to do it all, and is further from other sights.

The Berlin Wall memorial (walkable from Hack. Markt or 2 stops on the U8 to Bernauer Strasse) is very interesting on how the Wall divided a neighbourhood www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de/en/ There is an open-air section along the former death strip and also a documentation centre and an info centre (by Nordbahnhof station)

For Hackescher Markt from SXF you take the Airport express train from the airport to Alexanderplatz and then S-Bahn one stop to Hackescher Markt. The S-Bahn platforms are next to others (you have to change from platform 2 to 4 at Alexanderplatz)

Edited: 4:55 am, January 19, 2016
9. Re: Berlin - are there any escorted tours?

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