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Berlin

Our family of four first visited Berlin in December 2011, and booked Jeremy Minsberg ("The Berlin Expert") for a tour then. We were so impressed with the tour he provided that we booked him again when we re-visited Berlin again this past month. Jeremy was just as excellent as before. Rather than repeating himself, he made sure to point out things that had changed since our last visit. Jeremy always makes a point of highlighting the special little 'momentos' that are part of Berlin's landscape. For example, as we were entering one of the train stations, there is a bronze statue of children called "Train to Life, Train to Death." I probably would not have taken time to really read and understand what this statue was about, but Jeremy explained it (which was really heart-breaking). Jeremy has a depth of understanding Berlin's history that we've never heard from anyone else ... even native Berliners. We HIGHLY recommend that anyone visiting Jeremy book a tour with him.
https://www.facebook.com/theberlinexpert/
http://www.theberlinexpert.com

Posted by
1156 posts

Thank you so much for sharing. I am planning a trip to Berlin next year or the year after and have already started researching this city and all the museums and sites to see. So this is wonderful information and would highly consider hiring Jeremy as a tour guide.

Putting this with my other Berlin information.

Thanks so much!

Posted by
7628 posts

Jeremy is certainly tops when visiting Berlin. Did you write a review for him on Trip Advisor or Google?

Posted by
901 posts

Just a question about practicalities. I’m traveling solo, so I expect booking a guide for a solo tour to be an expensive proposition. I looked up his website to see prices S that I could see if this fit in my budget, but he doesn’t list prices; rather it seems he wants participants to negotiate with him about pricing. If you don’t mind, can you tell us how much you paid? Thanks.

Posted by
3 posts

Patricia - Jeremy does not charge a specific price. This is how he described it to me: "As for the cost...it is according to three factors: Your financial place on the Economic scale of life: how much you learned that you wanted to learn: and finally how much fun you had! I ask 60 to 90 Euros per hour, price is per group ( not per person) for my services, you decide."

So essentially you decide how much to pay it. We always pay him generously because we feel he is most definitely worth it.

Posted by
1841 posts

I'll mention one more guide in Berlin for your consideration. I have used Robert Sommer multiple times and highly recommend him. He is in his 40's. He grew up in East Berlin. He was the 15-year-old son of a fairly high-ranking East German bureaucrat when the Berlin Wall opened and went to West Berlin the night the wall opened. He spent a year studying in the US during high school as part of one of the first US-East Germany student exchanges arranged by the Bush administration. He squatted in an apartment in the former East Berlin after reunification.

He earned a PhD in German history (thesis dealt with prostitution in the concentration camps). He has an exhibition traveling the world (Moscow right now; coming to the US this year, I think) that he created with a collaborator that pairs large black and white photos of objects from the concentration camps (e.g. a teddy bear) with text about them.

While a brilliant guy, he presents info in an easy-to-understand fashion. He obviously can give enormous insight into life in the former East Germany and is happy to share his experience of the fall of the wall as an East German teen.

He charges 50-90 euro per hour, based on your ability to pay and your enjoyment of the tour. He does all the routine Berlin tours, but I've done more creative things with him -- like a tour comparing post-WWII architecture in East Berlin vs West Berlin and a more recent tour outside Berlin of two bunkers that were used by the Soviets to store nuclear warheads (there was an extra expense for a driver because public transportation could not get us there).

http://thetrueberliner.com/

Posted by
3 posts

I'm sure there are many excellent guides. We particularly enjoyed Jeremy Minsberg as he is an American-born Jew. With this, he grew up thinking that Germans were 'the enemy." As he grew into an adult, he decided to 'face his fears' head on and planned an extended visit to Berlin. That 'visit' turned into a permanent stay. He fell in love with the German people, and he came to terms with its past.

Jeremy doesn't just know historical facts ... he is a story-teller. He enables you to FEEL what the Germans must have felt during the world wars. This puts everything into context. At least, for me it did!

Posted by
15566 posts

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