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Berlin guide recommendation

Hi everyone!

I am back to planning our trip this September. We (family of three adults) have settled on Berlin, Prague and Barcelona. I am looking for recommendations for a good private guide for walking and/or driving tours in Berlin. With this new forum, every time I type "Berlin guide" in the search bar, it comes up with zero?? Thus, this question which I know has been asked before but was unable to link to previous answers. So, please let me know if you have experience with a good guide/company as well as any recommendations for top sights. We will most definitely be seeing Museum Island, the Reichstag and a day trip to Potsdam. I feel a little overwhelmed trying to time all the sights and prioritize them. We will be in Berlin for 5 nights, four and a half days and love art, history and architecture as well as wine and food (one vegetarian in the group, we'll see how this goes). I DO have RS book on Berlin but still would like your expert experience/advice to add to this information. Thank you in advance!

Posted by
122 posts

We took a 'free' Starbucks walking tour - it starts outside the Starbucks cafe at the Brandenburg Gate. The guide was a young, British, history major. He was very witty and knowledgable. The tour takes about 2 1/2 hours - at the end he'll ask for a donation. You could leave without paying anything. Just show up and find a group with an English speaking guide. Most Starbucks in Germany have info flyers about the tours in their info racks.
For a tour of the Reichstag you need to pre-book via the internet days in advance. We had just 2 days and all tickets were booked.
So, unfortunately, we missed out.

Posted by
7908 posts

I can also recommend Insider tours, as have been on 4 of them the past couple of years and am planning on another one or two this July.

Insider do offer private tours, but you could also get in contact with "Jeremy, the Berlin Expert". He does fantastic private tours.
http://www.theberlinexpert.com/

I would stay away from those "free" tours.

Posted by
419 posts

I can't comment on tours or tour guides. I did Berlin on my own with no trouble at all.
I have traveled in Europe with a vegetarian and it has never been a problem. Simply tell the server, and you will be provided with a number of selections. In most places, one can order specific vegetarian items if that would be preferred.

Posted by
213 posts

Wow, already some great help, thanks! Laura, that report is awesome, I have copied it into my notes, thank you!!
I will check into all the tours mentioned, Insider has gotten great marks on other blogs also. Joan, thanks for the
reassurance about vegetarian food. I always think of Germany as mostly "meat and potatoes". :0) In this day and
age it is a lot easier to be a "veggie" that is for sure! Again, thank you for taking the time and any more ideas are always welcomed! Guess I will have to post separately on the other country sights for advice on Prague and Barcelona!

Posted by
7908 posts

I think you will be surprised by how popular being vegetarian is in Berlin, as well as being vegan. Your friend will have no problems at all. I found it to be easier here eating vegetarian, than it is in the US.

Posted by
27 posts

Hello Jaye - I can recommend Tom Williamson for private tours in Berlin. My husband and I used him for a full day private walking tour in 2011 and it was well worth it. We saw many of the major sights and we took a few snack breaks along the way. I believe he can tailor the tour to your specific interests and activity level also. Tom was entertaining and very knowledgeable about the city. Find his contact info here: http://www.yourberlintourguide.com/contact/. Feel free to PM me if you'd like more information - I can try to wrack my brain for more details :) Best of luck - Berlin was amazing and I can't wait to return!

Posted by
213 posts

Thanks again for the recommendations! One other question, has anyone taken a river cruise, either at night or one that showcases the bridges of Berlin? Any experience/advice on this would also be appreciated! :0)

Posted by
2297 posts

You mentioned the Reichstag and a tour of the inside can definitely be a highlight of a trip to Berlin. No tour guide, paid or unpaid, in Berlin can include this in their tour. For security reasons, you have to prebook the tickets yourself with the visitors office of the Reichstag. You can choose between a self-guided tour (incl. audio guide) of the Dome only or a guided tour which includes the Dome at the end. The guided tours are free (paid for by the German government) and definitely worth your time. They do offer tours in English and other languages.

http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/visits/besgrupp/fuehr.html