Berlin Tours with Tom Williamson

Bespoke tour of Berlin with Tom Williamson

Exclusive tours with Berlin Tour Guide, Tom Williamson

Tom Williamson, world traveler, the expat American – Berliner by choice since 2001. Prussian history and the amalgamation of the German Confederation grabbed his interest upon his arrival and has kept him learning ever since. A  Berlin tour guide, he revels in light heartedly preaching Prussian history through anecdotes and humour. He offers in debt political, historical and special interest tours.

Tours are customized to individual customer.

In general, the following tours can be designed for individuals and small groups.

  • Select your mode of transportation
  • Berlin sightseeing by foot and using public transportation 4 or 8 hours.
  • Easy yet thorough walking guided tours pointing out all the major interesting architectural and historical sites. Wear comfortable shoes!
  • Berlin sightseeing using private car and driver 4 or 8 hours For clients preferred to do sightseeing with some walking and comfort of private car and driver.
  • Berlin sightseeing by bike.

A wonderful alternative to walking is a bicycle tour. Bicycling in Berlin is easy (it’s a flat city, lots of exclusive bike lanes). Renting them is also quite easy and uncomplicated, with over 100 places to rent them, most do not require a credit card, and there is a rental store located close by the start of all of our tours. A leisurely ride with a guide through Berlin can be the highlight of your vacation!

Potsdam sightseeing from Berlin using private car and driver 4 or 8 hours.

Potsdam sightseeing from Berlin using train to Potsdam and by bike in Potsdam. 5 hours. The most enjoyable way to bike by 8 palaces, and have a picnic on ground.

8 hour trip to Dresden and Meissen with Tom using train to Dresden and then public transportation or taxis in Dresden. Relax at the train with glass of wine or cup of coffee, watch scenery and converse about German politics and history.

8 hour tour to Dresden and Meissen by private car and driver .

For cruise passengers from Rostock or Wardemunde we provide a transportation by private car (2.5 hour drive each way)  and driver or it is possible to take a train and meet your guide in Berlin train station.

Suggested historical sights

  • Wilhelm I Memorial Church
  • Kurfürstendamm – West Berlin’s shopping district
  • Tiergarten Park –beautiful and steeped in history
  • Siegessäule – Victory Monument
  • Bellevue Palace – Berlin home of Germany’s President, Hörst Köhler
  • Congress Hall – Futuristic architecture from the 50’s!
  • Chancellors’s Office
  • Reichstag – The German Parliament
  • Berlin Wall Site
  • Brandenburg Gate – Berlin’s most famous monument
  • Pariser Platz
  • Potsdamer Platz – Fabulous and new. Cutting edge 21st century architecture
  • Hitler’s Bunker Site – Perhap’s Berlin’s most infamous unmarked sight.
  • Air Ministry – (Reichsluftfahrt-Ministerium)
  • Gestapo Headquarters – (Topographie des Terrors)
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Gendarmenmarkt –  A beautiful square with 2 stunning churches and Concert House
  • Bebel Platz – Site of Nazi Book burnings
  • St. Hedwigs Catholic Church
  • New Watch War Memorial – (Neue Wache)
  • Armory – (Zeughaus) New Berlin Historical Museum
  • Pleasure Garden – (Lustgarten)
  • Museum Island – Old, New National and Pergamon Museums
  • Berliner Cathedral
  • Communist Parliament Building – (Palast der Republik)
  • Marx-Engels-Forum
  • Red Town Hall- (Rotes Rathaus)
  • Alexander Platz
  • TV Tower

Specialty Tours

We also offer special interest, with a political/Historical focus. With these tours we will show you the same sights as in our normal tours, but we put special emphasis on the historical importance and context of the places shown. These special tours clearly show the rather young, but quickly changing political and historical developments. The focus is directed mostly at Germany’s recent history, from the founding of the Republic in 1870 forward.

Some suggested periods include:

1871 – 1918: The days of the Empire of the Kaisers, the founding of the modern country of Germany, and the quick growth of Berlin to be Germany’s most important and largest city. Also covered are the WWI years.

1919 – 1933: The Weimar Republic and the first years of Democracy for Germany.

1933 – 1945: The rise and fall of the Nationalistic party (Nazi), Adolf Hitler, and the disastrous consequences climaxing in WWII.

1945 – 1989: One city torn in two and the pressures of being sandwiched between two super-powers. Including the Berlin Wall Years.

1989 – Present: The sometimes bitter reunification, mending and the difficult and costly rebuilding of the Berlin metropolis for the future.

Architecture Tours

Berlin architecture includes medieval, neoclassic, and many modern designs. We will show you Bauhaus as well as the so-called “Stalin – Gothic” style, examples of Nazi architecture, as well as examples of Berlin’s contemporary design. Buildings in Berlin often have a confusing history because they have undergone many changes over the years. Hear the stories that will explain how these buildings became what they are today.

Sample Itinerary for a 1 day trip from Berlin to Wannsee and Potsdam (4 – 6 hours)

  • Guided visit of the exhibit in the house of the Wannsee Conference (»Wannsee Conference« was concerned with the organisation and implementation of “The Final Solution”)
  • Historical City of Potsdam, market place and old city gates
  • Short lunch break
  • Dutch quarter
  • Alexandrowka, Russian quarter
  • Sanssouci castle (outside) and gardens
  • New Palais (outside) and gardens
  • Guided visit of Cecilienhof Palace, venue of the Potsdam Conference in 1945 by the Allies

Jewish Heritage sightseeing

Sample Itinerary for a day tour (5-8 hours tour) of Jewish and overall Berlin

  • Gendarmenmarkt Square
  • Great boulevard Unter den Linden with classical sights like the States Opera, Humboldt University, the Old Armery, the Berlin Cathedral and Museums Island
  • Tour of the old quarter of Jewish Berlin, including the memorial place of the first synagogue of Berlin, the Memorial for the Women’s Protest in Rosenstrasse, the Old Jewish Cemetery with Moses Mendelssohn’s grave, the Jewish High School, the former Jewish Girl’s School and Ahava House, the New Synagogue/Centrum Judaicum and the Leo-Baeck-House (former College for the Science of Judaism, now seat of the Central Council of the Jews in Germany and the Jewish Press Company)
  • Brandenburg Gate with Paris Square
  • New government area  with the Reichstag, the New Chancellery, the House of Representatives
  • Large Berlin inner city park Tiergarten with the street of the 17th of June, Victory Column, the Old Congress Center and the Castle Bellevue
  • Memorial Sight: former Synagogue/collection camp Levetzowstrasse
  • Palais Charlottenburg, Egyptian Museum, Collection Berggruen (outside)
  • Memorial Sight: Platform 17, one of the former deportation train stations in Berlin
  • New Israeli Embassy
  • Memorial Sight: ‘Places of Remembrance’ in the Bavarian Quarter
  • Jewish Community Center
  • Synagogues (outside)
  • Western shopping areas like the Kurfuerstendamm avenue and Tauentzien (with KaDeWe)
  • Embassy area in the Tiergarten
  • Cultural Forum with the New National Gallery, Philharmony, Paintings Gallery, National Library
  • Jewish Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind (outside explanations or with a guided tour inside)
  • Checkpoint Charlie and remains of the Berlin Wall
  • Open door exhibit: ‘Topography of Terror’
  • Amazingly designed modern architectural complexes around Potsdamer Platz
  • Construction sight of the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe
  • Famous Friedrichstrasse

The Sachsenhausen  Concentration Camp near Berlin

The camp was constructed in 1936 for opponents of the Nazis who were living in Berlin. After Kristallnacht, the infamous Pogrom in 1938, thousand of Berlin’s Jews were locked up here, too. Eventually over 50,000 innocent victims were perished there. The roll-call area is still there, as are the shoe testing track and mortuary. The most moving part of the tour is station Z, the site where several thousand people where murdered and burned in the crematory. The camp became a training ground for the execution of the Holocaust and ultimately the center of the whole concentration camp system. After the Nazis were defeated, the Soviets turned the camp into a gulag for their own political enemies. Thousands more were to perish over the next five years.

Please inquire for prices: specify number of people, mode of transportation, date (first and alternate), hotel where you are staying. If you are arriving from cruise ship, advice ship and cruise name and port.