Jewish Berlin Tour | Self-Guided

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This self-guided Jewish Berlin Tour gives a short overview of the major sights in Jewish history in Berlin. For centuries, Berlin had a vibrant Jewish culture and was the birth place of important Jewish movements such as the Jewish Enlightenment in the 17th Century and the Reform and Modern Orthodox movements. Despite times of hardship, the community was thriving right up until the rise of the Weimar Republic in the 1930’s. The 1933 census counted 160,000 Jews living in Berlin, but in less than 15 years, the Jewish population of Berlin was reduced to 8,000. Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ – the carefully planned extermination of Jews – had decimated the Jewish population of Berlin and most of Europe. In addition to the massive loss of life, many of Berlin’s Jewish institutions, synagogues, schools and cultural sites were destroyed during the war.

Since the reunification of East and West Germany, Berlin’s government has strived to make Berlin a city that once again welcomes Jews and their unique culture.  The city as well as individual foundations have made it a point to create sites and memorials throughout the city to honor the 6 million Jews who were murdered by Hitler’s Germany.

Today, surprisingly, the city that is regarded with disdain by many people as the command center Hitler’s Third Reich, is now home to more than 45,000 Jews and continues to grow. Jews are moving to Berlin from places like Australia, Eastern Europe, Russia, France and United States. There are signs once of Jewish life once again and though this tour focuses on the past and the terrible loss of life, the existence of the memorials you will see is a testament to the hopeful future for Jews in Berlin.

Click to enlarge or for movable map for the self-guided Jewish Berlin Tour and be sure to check out our full list of self-guided Berlin walking tours.

Helpful resources: Jewish institutions and contacts and kosher restaurants or markets.

Self-guided Jewish Berlin Tour map Read more »

Berlin Old historic Spandauer Vorstadt - banner

Spandauer Vorstadt – Self-guided tour of Historic Old Berlin

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While the old historic center of Berlin was destroyed in World War II and most of the buildings are reconstructions, the Spandauer Vorstadt, between Alexanderplatz and the theater district (e.g. Friedrichstadtpalast with its Las Vegas-like shows) has the real old houses from the 18th and 19th century. This neighborhood had also been the center of Berlin Jewish life and again houses important Jewish institutions. Neglected in socialist times, the Spandauer Vorstadt is beautifully restored today with cafés, shops and much more to explore. Come and explore this Historic Old Berlin –  The Spandauer Vorstadt on this self-guided tour.

Save more money with the Berlin Pass, and be sure to check out our full selection of self-guided Berlin tours.

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Berlin Walking Tours

Self Guided Berlin Walking Tours

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We are happy to have produced several self guided Berlin walking tours and our collection is growing.  We designed these self guided tours to be used on your own time and your own pace or as companion pieces on our guided tours. Some tours are only available as a self-guided tour.  We hope these tours are helpful to you.

 

  • Berlin CathedralBerlin Mitte-East Tour – One of the historically and architecturally richest areas of Berlin and located right in the center – hence the name Mitte.  This self-guided tour covers the important monuments and sights of Mitte’s East part which no every visitor to Berlin should miss. Complimentary to this tour, you can also explore the Things to see in Mitte West.

 

  • Berlin Wall deathly loveBerlin Wall Tour – During our Berlin Wall Tour, you will learn about the events, figures, and postwar principles that lead to the construction of the wall, and the consequences that were brought about even to this day. This tour will shed some light and perspective onto both sides of the wall, and its impact on German culture and mindset, as well as on Berlin itself.

 

  • Berlin Friedrichshain RAWFriedrichshain Tour – Berlin’s district Friedrichshain is trendy and rough, with lots of graffiti and a distinct East German charm and an off-beat alternative culture. It’s very low key, and not yet as commercialized with a big student population, low rents, but also a rich history in working class roots. Come and explore this district on a self-guided tour of Friedrichshain.

 

  • Berlin Neue SynagogueSpandauer Vorstadt Tour – While the old historic center of Berlin was destroyed in World War II and most of the buildings are reconstructions, the Spandauer Vorstadt, between Alexanderplatz and the theater district (e.g. Friedrichstadtpalast with its Las Vegas-like shows) has the real old houses from the 18th and 19th century. This neighborhood had also been the center of Berlin Jewish life and again houses important Jewish institutions. Neglected in socialist times, the Spandauer Vorstadt is beautifully restored today with cafés, shops and much more to explore. Come and explore this Historic Old Berlin –  The Spandauer Vorstadt on this self-guided tour.

 

  • Berlin St. Thomas churchKreuzberg Tour – This district gets is name from the hill with the cross (“cross mountain”) where this tour ends. It is a Berlin district that has enjoyed more and more popularity. Kreuzberg can be divided into east Kreuzberg, more unkempt and rich in immigration (the former SO36 postal code also gives a nickname to the area), as well as west Kreuzberg, the more trendy, bohemian part with the Bergmannstrasse. If you can’t take part on a walking tour, take this self-guided tour to get an overview of the main highlights.

 

  • Berlin Old historic Spandauer Vorstadt - Neue SynagogeJewish Berlin Tour – Today, surprisingly, the city that is regarded with disdain by many people as the command center Hitler’s Third Reich, is now home to more than 45,000 Jews and continues to grow. Jews are moving to Berlin from places like Australia, Eastern Europe, Russia, France and United States. There are signs once of Jewish life once again and though this tour focuses on the past and the terrible loss of life, the existence of the memorials you will see is a testament to the hopeful future for Jews in Berlin.

 

  • Schloss CharlottenburgCharlottenburg Tour – Located in the western part of Berlin, this affluent borough with its mansions, churches, and a famous castle is worth exploring. It’s filled with history, medieval buildings, Prussian history, and the beautiful gardens of Charlottenburg Castle.

 
 

 

  • Berlin Street Art Haus Schwarzenberg StinkfishBerlin Graffiti and Street Art Tour – Berlin’s underground street art culture portrays the creative character of this city. Many street artists live in the city or they have traveled from all over the world to leave their mark. From graffiti, tags, paste-ups or big murals, you’ll find anything Berlin. Some street art is more hidden, some is wide out in the open. This short guide will show you where to find the street art hot spots in Berlin.
tour Berlin Friedrichshain

Self Guided Tour Berlin Friedrichshain

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

Berlin’s district Friedrichshain is trendy and rough, with lots of graffiti and a distinct East German charm and an off-beat alternative culture. It’s very low key, and not yet as commercialized with a big student population, low rents, but also a rich history in working class roots. Come and explore this district on a self-guided tour of Friedrichshain. You can follow the tour via Google map.

Save more money with the Berlin Pass, and be sure to check our our full list of self guided tours of Berlin.

 

map friedrichshain

Start: At the S-Bahn train station Ostbahnhof. Read more »

Berlin Charlottenburg Palace

Self-Guided Tour Berlin-Charlottenburg

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START at U-Bahn Richard-Wagner-Platz (U 7)

Berlin-Charlottenburg RathausStop A – Cross Otto-Suhr-Allee and have a look at the huge building with the 89m (270 ft.) tower. This was Charlottenburg City Hall (Rathaus) when it opened in 1905 and Charlottenburg was still an independent (and rich) city. In 1920, Greater Berlin was established, and today Charlottenburg isn’t even a district of its own. The building is Art Nouveau and the ornaments look pretty medieval. Read more »

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Tours and Things to Do in East Berlin

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This post is a review and comparison of Cold War themed guided tours as well as a self-guided tour of things to see and do in East Berlin. Although Berlin has been a unified democratic city since 1990, there are still some sites that can give you an understanding of the hardships that East Berliners (as well as west) suffered during the Cold War.  Scroll down in this post for is a map we created that takes you to the highlights in East Berlin, accompanied with descriptions.

Walking Tours

Self-Guided Tour

East Side Gallery

 

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Berlin boat tours

Best Berlin Boat Tours in English

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This post compares and reviews many of the Berlin boat tours and cruises available to you in the city. Berlin has about 200 km (125 miles) of waterways – rivers, canals and lakes and 950 bridges. So, visiting Berlin on a ship is a natural way of learning to know the city. We have listed the companies that offer tourist cruises, night cruises bus-and-boat combos and companies that offer tours to special events and during special seasons, e.g. Christmas. Only the companies that offer guided tours in English are listed here.  Regular cruises in the city center and beyond are offered by several companies. Some tours are only one hour in the historic city center; others take up to four hours on the river Spree and a canal, the Landwehrkanal. English commentaries are offered both live and by an audio guide. The regular tours usually start at Easter and continue through October 31st.


Tourist Cruises

Bus-Boat-Combos


 

 

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Things to do Berlin Mitte East

Things to See in Berlin Mitte | A Self Guided Tour

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Berlin-Mitte East

START at Alexanderplatz (A) with the S-Bahn, several subways (U-Bahn), streetcars and buses.

The square had been used as a market for livestock and was named Ochsenmarkt (oxen market) before it was named Alexanderplatz in 1805 on the occasion of the visit of the Russian Tsar Alexander I. Most of the buildings are in the 1960s architectural style. You find the World Time Clock there, a fountain, and a lot of shopping opportunities. Alexanderplatz was the modern city center of the “Capital of GDR”, in 1989, during the peaceful revolution; the biggest demonstration of the country was here.

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Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City, Berlin, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, London, Miami, New Orleans, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC.

Is Travel insurance worth it?Travel insurance is often the last thing you have on your mind when planning your next trip for just yourself, with your family or with friends. We look forward to a well-earned and long-desired vacation and we know deep down, however, that travelling brings about the unexpected (mostly in good ways). For the hopefully rare bad case scenarios, where you need to cancel a trip due to hazardous weather, sickness, the death of a family member, or any accidents during your trip, stolen or lost luggage/passports/wallets, and even worse injury or death of a travel mate, you want to be covered. Instead of overthinking the many things that might happen, travel insurance can help to put your mind at ease for the many what-ifs, so you can get back to planning and enjoying the fun things about your next trip.  So, is travel insurance worth it?

Be sure to read our post on purchasing a SIM Card for the US.

Travel insurance – what to look for:

Most travel insurance plans cover 2 main things: travel benefits and medical benefits. Those usually entail:

  • a refund when you need to cancel your trip due to emergency
  • covered expenses when a flight is delayed or cancelled or when you miss your flight
  • compensation of expenses if your carrier loses or delays your luggage
  • Coverage of expenses for any medical or dental emergency during your trip
  • Coverage of cost for medical emergency evacuation or accidental death or dismemberment
  • Optional benefits include car rental insurance

Depending on the provider benefits may differ in cost and range, so make sure you read the small print. Read more »

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How is the weather in Berlin in March?

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March in Berlin tends to be somewhat cold, however, temperatures do start to warm and the weather dries out a bit near the month’s end. Early in March you will most likely experience morning lows in the mid-30s F (about 1C) with a few of the colder mornings dropping down to 25F (-4C) or below.  Afternoon temperatures early in March will most likely be in the mid-40s F (about 7C).  As the month ends, morning temperatures will normally be in the upper 30s F (3-4C) while the afternoons are more likely to see the mid-50s F (12-13C). A few of the warmer afternoons towards the end of March could get up into the low to mid 60s F (about 15-17C).  Temperature extremes in March have been as low as 14F (-10C) to as warm as 70F (21C).

Skies tend to be mostly cloudy this month with about 17 days reporting some precipitation with about 8 of these also reporting some snow. The risk for snow on any given day is about 20% at the beginning of March but only 6% by the month’s end.

March weather Berlin Read more »