You will first drive through the East of Berlin, where you will discover Karl-Marx-Allee, former Stalin-Allee, the must-see central boulevard of the former GDR, erected in the unique Soviet "sugar bakery" style.
You will see Alexanderplatz and the Berlin TV Tower, which was built by the East German government from 1965-1969. Continuing at Marx-Engels-Forum, where the eponym and his "brother in spirit" Friedrich Engels still sit in bronze and watch over German social affairs. This imposing square with its huge industrially-produced concrete buildings provides a tell-tale window on East German Communist aspirations and realities. At the Nikolaiviertel, the historical heart of Berlin, reconstructed by the GDR on the occasion of Berlin's 750th birthday with prefabricated concrete slabs, we will explain the rise of Berlin from a merchant town along the Spree into a European power.
You will drive along the famous boulevard Unter den Linden and see the old Prussian buildings and palaces, have a look at the new governmental district, and learn about the Brandenburg Gate, the quintessential symbol of Berlin, built in 1789.
After lunch, we will take a close look at Berlin’s Nazi history starting at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This somber spot occupies a space the size of a football field, and its information center brings this tragic period in history to life, revealing fates of individuals and entire families. We continue at the site of Hitler’s former bunker, the old SS, SA, and Gestapo headquarters, and Göring’s former ministry.
Here we may make a short break. For a marvelous bird’s-eye view of the city, take an optional ride in a hi-flyer balloon.
After having a look at some remaining parts of the Berlin Wall and the Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most beautiful places in Berlin, we will turn to Potsdamer Platz and experience the innovative state-of-the-art architecture, Berlin’s sole skyscrapers, which transformed the skyline of an area that was bombed during World War II, and lay desolate just west of the Berlin Wall for the entire period of the city’s division.
From there, we'll drive to West Berlin, along the Kurfürstendamm, Berlin’s answer to Paris’ Champs Elysée. The boulevard ends at the Emperor William Memorial Church, commissioned in 1891 by William II, Germany’s last emperor, in memory of his grandfather, Emperor William I. The magnificent church was damaged in the war and stands as a ruin today, reminding one of the war and how West Berlin rose up from the ashes. During a brief stop at KaDeWe, the largest department store in continental Europe, you will be dazzled by the display of food and delicacies from all over the world.
Departures: 07:30 AM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: Vehicle descriptions:
Audi A3 - compact car
Audi A4 - mid-size car
Mercedes E - mid-size luxury car with nice leg room
Mercedes S - large, luxury car
Standard van - such as a VW
Luxury van - such as a Mercedes
Standard bus - regular tourist bus
Luxury bus - such as a Mercedes
Luxury bus - such as a Mercedes