What you'll do
Berlin is one of the most exciting cities in Europe: hardly anywhere else you can find more traces of various eras and political systems in an urban landscape than in Germany’s capital. Together, we discover hidden traces and dive into the city’s fascinating and turbulent history representing key events in German and global history. Many places even symbolize several overlapping layers of history: National Socialism and Communism, the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic, the Second World War as well as the Cold War. We will take a closer look at the sites and buildings where history becomes tangible, and I will tell you the story of Berlin’s architectural and urban development since the Middle Ages. My tour includes famous sites (Reichstag, Hitler’s Reichskanzlei, Gendarmenmarkt), hidden relics not visible at first glance (such as graffiti by GDR oppositionists), together with some secret or untold stories (why, for instance, parts of Berlin Palace now exist twice). Stories unfold about 18th century architectural espionage, Lenin's revolutionary theory and the Nazi burning of books at the same place.
Born in Western Germany I moved to Berlin after the wall came down in 1989 to study East European history. I did my research at the Humboldt University Berlin where I also received my PhD. I now work as a historian, journalist and photographer. I've written a couple of books – on Berlin's architecture (“Architekturgeschichte Berlins“), the Holocaust and German communism –, worked for a political think tank, and I am writing for several newspapers (the German “Frankfurter Allgemeine” and the Swiss “Neue Zürcher Zeitung“ among others). Because I enjoy to stroll through the city with people and to show them places off the beaten track (and to give them a new view on the well-known places), I have been offering tours for more than ten years on which I give firsthand insights into my research on history and architecture.
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Where you'll be
We cycle through today's government quarter and along the Brandenburg Gate to the former government quarter, from where we cruise through the baroque city at Gendarmenmarkt. Afterwards we visit the castle and its socialist surroundings and head to the Parochial Church at Alexanderplatz, where the last houses of Berlin's old town can be found.
Things to keep in mind
For a full refund, cancel at least 7 days before the experience is scheduled to start or within 24 hours of purchase.
Always communicate through Airbnb. To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app.
Up to 6 guests ages 16 and up can attend.
This is a bicycle tour. If you rather like a different mode of transport, you may also book this tour as a private tour and we set off on feet and public transport. Please ask in advance!
"Reading" the city with a historian