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Checkpoint Charlie

"You are leaving the American sector." Memorialized in film and print, Checkpoint Charlie is the most famous symbol of Cold War era Berlin. Marking the border crossing between the American Sector (Kreuzberg) and East Berlin (Mitte), ... 

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Boyd J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

A month before we came, I booked a half day bicycle tour of the main historical sights of central Berlin with a company called Fat Tire Bike Tours. I booked following the recommendations on Trip Advisor and am so pleased I did. It was excellent value for money and very interesting and our guide, Alex, a Canadian ex-pat, proved to be knowledgeable, funny and patient. His interpersonal skills and memory are impressive, ensuring that he learns peoples names and has a conversation with each person or group individually during the course of the tour to get to know a little about them.

We started in Alexanderplatz and made our way to the Book Burning Memorial, Humboldt University, Gendarmenmarkt, Checkpoint Charlie, the last largest remaining segment of the Wall, a former wall watch tower, the site of Hitlers Bunker, the Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial Memorial to the Murdered European Jews, Victory Column, Tiergarten, a beer garden for lunch Schleusenkrug, back to the Reichstag and finally, Museum Island. Each of these places enjoyed a stop, a brief history lesson from Alex and photo opportunities though he pointed out many other sights along the way.

What a wonderful way to see Berlin on a sunny day mixing with other travellers, some gentle exercise and discovering some of Berlins history. We were so impressed with it, that we signed up for a bicycle tour of Potsdam two days later.

Doing what: Berlin Bike Tour

Davide F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

I could say that the best part of this tour was being guided around the city to some beautiful locations being told, in brief, but ample detail, about the city, its history, current and past culture, but it's not quite that. I could say that the best part was being told, sometimes in intimate detail, about how dark and yet progressive Berlin's history has been and now is, but again, it wouldn't be that. Or perhaps the sage advice of where to eat, where to visit on our short trip and places to get great, local beer? Not quite.

The best part was the tour guide, JJ. Jam-packed full of charm, cheekiness and humour, he really lifted this tour, and I have been on some where the guide is dull and just reading off a load of facts. JJ is clearly in love with Berlin and whether he was talking passionately about the Brandenburg Gate, the remaining Nazi buildings, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie all on the tour, plus more or his Irish, ABBA-loving, You're-not-eating-enough-potatoes mother, Caroline O'Leary he's doing a grand job, Mrs. O'Leary, promise!, I not only got a sense of the horror of its past, but also the pleasures of its present all through our magnetic racconteur, JJ.

It is a 4-hour walking tour, but it goes by quickly and there is a coffee break in between. Can't recommend these guys enough.

Doing what: Berlin Highlights and Hidden Sites Historical Walking Tour

Chelsea G

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
August 2016

This tour is better in theory than in actuality. If you plan to stay at any monument for longer than 30 minutes, then you will require a multiple day pass to see everything. They say buses come every 10 minutes, but this does not happen when traffic picks up later in the day. Also, on my second day, the bus skipped FOUR stops due to construction, but nobody told us! Several people were angry because they had purchased their pass from a representative standing outside the bus and they did not mention anything about this change in route. This also affected people going on a boat tour as they now had to walk back three stops in order to get to the river. While this is a decent way to go around the entire city, perhaps it is better to choose your favorite 4-5 stops to explore instead of trying to cover everything. If you merely want to see the external sights such as the outside of Charlottenburg Palace or the fragment of the wall located outside the Checkpoint Charlie Museum or the outside of the Berliner Dom and do not intend to go inside these attractions, then this tour will be sufficient for you.

Doing what: Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Steven C

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2016

Our tour guide was from the UK and was very friendly, outgoing and funny. The first half of the tour was very informative and occasionally funny. The second half started well but then we moved towards Checkpoint Charlie where it was more touristy.....it started to fall there and wasn and #39;t as much info.

Doing what: Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour

Shari D

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2016

For those who love to walk, a great way to view the important historic sights in Berlin, like Brandenburg Gate, the Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, Museum Island etc. Our guide was very informative. He had lived in Berlin as an expat and was a writer and journalist who was able to provide a good historical perspective. We covered a fair bit of ground, so if you have mobility issues, not recommended.

Doing what: Berlin Highlights and Hidden Sites Historical Walking Tour

kathleen.cordiner United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2016

Our intention was to do the complete tour on our first day to get our bearings. We found this was a very good idea as the tour did an excellent journey around the City. The commentary was first class and gave us lots of ideas for the rest of our stay. On the 2nd day we once again set off for Checkpoint Charlie followed by bus again to Brandenburg Tor where we had a good look round and then went to the Reistag enjoying all the parts in between. Our plan was then to walk to Washingtonplatz to meet the bus again to finish to day. We got there by 5pm and a bus came along but we were curtly told by driver that it was the last bus and finished for the day. All passengers were decanted and left standing. Why did the bus not go back to the 1st stop on the tour before finishing?

Doing what: Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Baz United Kingdom

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2016

Enjoyed this far more than in Brussels as there is so much history here , I got off at checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate , you can also get off at the tower but I had that covered the service was very good but I will say it was a bit long at times but go its worth it

Doing what: Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Jacqueline G

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2016

A great way to discover Berlin. Our guide, Ken, was very knowledgable on the local history and provided some great insights. Be prepared for a lot of walking! The only negative point would be going to see Checkpoint Charlie which really didn't add much value as it didn't seem genuine and was clearly there as a novelty for tourists.

Doing what: Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour

Nerissa N

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2016

I was completely satisfied with the various museum pass that this offers. However, there are other museums that this pass was not accepted especially CHeckpoint Charlie. THis is should have been included. Also, I like that it has subway and bus tickets because it is extremely helpful to a tourist who does not wish to buy tickets in the vending machine. The other suggestion that I would recommend is to have the city tour pass for 2 days. A day is not enough to cover all the tourist spots. Please extend it!

Of course, I will recommend this to my family members and friends.

Doing what: Berlin Pass Including Entry to More Than 50 Attractions

Priscilla S

3 star rating: Worth doing
August 2015

This is a nice way to get around the city and see a lot. In Berlin, sites are very spread out so they can be hard to get to if you want to do a lot in one day. My main complaint is that the bus went very slow! Maybe because of traffic or maybe because it stopped a lot. But, I do not feel like it kept the schedule as posted. We had planned to ride the entire route and then to go back and get off and the interesting places. We quickly realized there was no way to do that though in one day! We only made the entire loop once and got off at three different places. I don't know, but there must be a better way to see Berlin. The audio was helpful, but information was few and far between. If there was a 5 minutes drive between stops, the audio would only provide information for about 2 of the 5 minutes. I'm not sure I would do this again. I didn't research other tour methods though. Checkpoint Charlie was definitely the best stop.

Doing what: Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

scooby_singh United States of ... 

3 star rating: Worth doing
August 2015

This was a decent tour that covered major highlights of the city - Brandenburg gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Jewish memorial, Berlin wall. The commentary was good.

Doing what: Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Evelyn T

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2015

Our tour guide, Bahn I do not know if that is the correct spelling of his name, from the start of our tour to the end, got out of his way to bring us to the different places and gave us an excellent tour.At the start of the tour,he told us the history of Berlin from its medieval past to the present.so, when we arrived at those places, we are somewhat familiar with the place.This tour is highly recommended for seniors, you cover a lot of places Branderburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie,Charlottenburg Palace, Holocaust Memorial, Reichtag, etc. plus Potsdam. There is not a lot of walking and you are picked-up from the hotel and back.

Doing what: Private Tour: Berlin Highlights and Potsdam Palaces

Denise W

3 star rating: Worth doing
May 2015

Worth the experience. This tour says you see heaps of sites when in actual fact some of them they say thats the Reichstag over there or theres checkpoint charlie. Apart from that ot was a lovely way to see berlin

Doing what: Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour

Kathleen C

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
November 2014

The stops were not marked at all. We went to Checkpoint Charlie to try to find the bus, but the route was changed due to a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the wall. This information was not posted anywhere. We had to call the phone number, which cost roaming charges since we were out of our home country, to find out about the change. We then had to walk quite a distance to get to the next pick up spot. This wasted our touring time. Additionally, we went down a wrong street with one of the drivers and he backed up about 50 yards down a city street! The tour, other than that was okay.

Doing what: Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

James A United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

The walking tour visited all the Berlin sites of interest which are available with in a reasonable walking distance such as Brandenburg gate, Babel Platz, Furerbunker, Jewish memorial, checkpoint charlie, Topo of Terror. The tour guide, Lorna, was English and gave the tour in English. She was an energetic delightful personality. This tour gave a quick overview of the Tourist sights of Berlin and I highly recommend it for the first time tourist to Berlin.

Doing what: Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour

Sandy W

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2014

Learned a lot on this tour. It was a busy day in Berlin for other tours at the same time and while at The Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and Brandenburg Gate it was very crowded. Wear comfortable shoes for this one as there's all pavement and cobbles and by the third hour your feet are killing you. Tour guide Jess had a good sense of humor, but had a bit of an stand off'ish attitude. Whatever, I wasn't there for him. By the time we made it to Checkpoint Charlie we 'defected' from the tour and went off on our own. One note: Make notes of places that you found interesting so you can go back later as there's no time to really stop and take photographs or read posted information.

Doing what: Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour

Lizzan

3 star rating: Worth doing
August 2014

I found the tour company at the West meeting point easily enough (but there is another tour company which start their tours from the other side of the bus stops, so make sure you find the right one). We then took the train to the east meeting point, but due to work on the train lines we were a bit later than we should have been.

Our guide Jonathan was very knowledgeable and made sure to find us places in the shade and places we could sit as often as possible, as the weather was very warm and sunny. He made sure to start the tour with a general history while we were sitting in the shade and then touched upon the relevant points when seeing the different sights.

There's quite a bit of a walk on this tour, about 6 kilometres. We saw Museum Island, Berlin Cathedral, Bebelplatz, the Holocaust Memorial, a bit of the Berlin wall and ended up outside the concert house. We rather quickly passed by Brandenburger Tor and Checkpoint Charlie. We had a short break at the Holocaust Memorial, where we could buy drinks and use the toilet, this was after about 3 hours of touring.

I'm wavering between 3 and 4 stars for this one, as I've certainly done better walking tours with better guides, but it was a nice introduction to Berlin. I personally feel that 4 hours is a bit too much time for one tour. Also, be aware that the first half hour of the tour is only transportation to the east meeting point if you choose to meet at the west one.

Doing what: Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour

mzimmerman

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

This tour was fantastic. Every tour I did on this vacation through Viator was great. Berlin has so much history and to be able to stand in the middle of it all was priceless. I loved seeing the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and everything else. The guide was fantastic and extremely knowledgeable. I was a tad disappointed with the site of Hitler's Bunker as I was expecting to see an actual bunker. Otherwise it was a fantastic tour.

Doing what: Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour

cryssi.cc USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

This was a definite highlight of our entire 16 day trip. I would recommend this as a way to start a city tour in any city in the world that offers it because it is an easy way to get a comprehensive feel of a city and the attractions that it offers. I highly recommend it for those that are concerned with the amount of walking necessary to see a new city as well. You do not need any particular athletic ability or sense of balance either. Segways would be the first thing I would do in each city so that you know what places you want to go back to visit at your own leisure.
Wally-E is the perfect tour guide. We had 5 people in our group, ages ranged from 52 to 16. We started off with individual instructions and practice. Really you only wobble when you first get on and within a few minutes, you feel confident and ready to go. Trust me - we were apprehensive at first - even the two very athletic members of our group.
Wally-E is patient, kind and funny. He is extremely knowledgeable about the City of Berlin as well as the history. I told him that if he was a history teacher, all children would love history. There is a LOT of ground you can cover in 4 hours on a Segway without feeling rushed. We stopped a lot for pictures including pictures that Wally-E took for us. My 16 year old is a history buff, but Wally-E's extensive knowledge and his delivery were so good, that he was engaged fully the entire trip!
Some of the sites we visited were the Brandenburg Gate, Palace of the Republic, Hitler's bunker, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. There was plenty of time to walk through the Memorial, to get pictures at the checkpoint and our passports stamped, and to learn the history of the Bunker. The tour gave us a feel for the layout of the city and spared our legs and feet in a huge way. We were also able to decide we definitely wanted to make a trip to Nazi Topography of Terror museum.
DEFINITELY DO THIS!

Doing what: Private Tour: Berlin Segway Tour Including TV Tower

slebergen

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2014

Very good value. Sound system worked on every bus we boarded. English was very understandable. Tour hit the high points we were looking to see. Two days (48 hours) makes a lot of sense. We rode the 2 1/2 hours the first day all the way through. Then the next day we got on and off to take a better look at certain sites, e.g. Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie. We were disappointed that the river cruise was not offered -- then we saw the boats on the river anyway -- why?

Doing what: Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Mehmet Turgut D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

A very enlightening tour mostly due to the tour guide Mr. Alex LaRocca - hope I did spell his name correctly -. He happened to be grad student majoring in History/Political History majoring in the German history of the 19 and 20th centuries. So he was very knowledgable and shared what could shared with a typical tour crowd. The Berliner Dome, Unter den Lİnden, Humboldt Universitat, Book Burning, Polish Church as a sign of tolerance, the Book Burning Incident of May 1933, Jewish Memorial, Hitler's Bunker, The Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and the underlying rumours, and the finish at the Gendarmen Markt. All seems to be vivid still. I definitely recommend this tour and strongly advise to ask for Mr. Alex LaRocca as the tour guide. I take this oppurtunity to thank him once more for his friendly attitude towards the group and also for his patience.
Mr. Turgut Dagdelen

Doing what: Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour

Alison H

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2013

Would definitely recommend the Berlin Pass. Bus trip was good but commentary was live so a little difficult to follow. Boat trip excellent. We got more than our money's worth of museum entry, although a couple of places no longer offer free entry (Checkpoint Charlie museum, museum of musical instruments) and the big plus was you didn't need to join the long queues outside the museums on museum island as you don't need a ticket - just show your pass! The public transport system can be complicated so having a day pass (don't forget to validate it the first time you use it) took the stress out of buying tickets. Will definitely get a pass (if available) for the next city we visit.

Doing what: Berlin Pass Including Entry to More Than 50 Attractions

Colby C

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2013

Great tour. The guide was well prepared and had lots of little bits of information that bought the town of Berlin and its history to life. This is a walking tour so be prepared to walk! The only place for the toilet stop was half way at the Brandenburg Gate - we went into the Starbucks and paid to use their bathrooms. The Berlin Wall stop was a bit disapointing - I would perhaps end the tour there instead of Checkpoint Charlie so people can have a look at the wall and the information there instead of just standing above it looking down and getting info from the guide. The meeting place is easy to find but as usual we left late. I would recommend this tour its a good way to see the main sights and hear the history of the place

Doing what: Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour

Patricia D

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2012

I found the trip quite good. I had recently been to Milan and thought theirs was much better. On the bus it kept repeating an announcement about not standing up upstairs which was irritating. They didn't explain much about Checkpoint Charlie. All in all - just OK

Doing what: Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Robert C

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2012

Good orientation tour. Be sure to get off at Checkpoint Charlie, the Museum there was very, very good. We were able to see all the key spots in Berlin on this tour, so well worth it.

Doing what: Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

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