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Reading the city with a historian

Rated 4.98 out of 5 from 42 reviews.Berlin, Germany

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Experience hosted by Bert

2.5 hours
Up to 8 people
Hosted in German, English

What you'll do

Join me on this bike tour through Berlin! Surely, the German capital is not known for being a beautiful city in traditional terms, but it is certainly one of the most exciting places 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 WW2 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 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.

(Bikes are not included. If you prefer to walk instead of cycling anyway, please check my second „reading“-tour; you’ll find the link in my profile.)
Join me on this bike tour through Berlin! Surely, the German capital is not known for being a beautiful city in traditional terms, but it is certainly one of the most exciting places 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…

Bert's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practicing good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
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From G$15,051
/ person
Fri, Oct 30
1:00 PM - 3:30 PM
G$15,051 per person
G$15,051 per person
Sat, Oct 31
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
G$15,051 per person
G$15,051 per person
Sat, Nov 14
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
G$15,051 per person
G$15,051 per person
Availability for this experience is rare.

Meet your host, Bert

Host on Airbnb since 2019
  • 42 Reviews
  • Identity verified
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.
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 Sw…
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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.

Rated 4.98 out of 5 from 42 reviews.

Floor
August 2020
Bert gives a great indepht tour about the entire history of Berlin. Through the architecture in the city he takes you from the 16th century all the way to the 21st century. He knows everything you might be curious about
Zachary
March 2020
Bert knows an incredible amount about Berlin's history. This tour is such a great way to get to know the layout and history of the city. Highly recommend.
Michael
February 2020
Bert is a historian and author on topics including Berlin, the Cold War, Communism, and architecture and was such a lively and engaging guide for our bike tour. The whole tour was so organic and conversational, really enjoyable. He had so many wonderful stories and facts and locations to share! Having been to Berlin before, we were so pleased that he took us to some off the beaten path locations, through neighborhoods we never would have seen to find hidden graffiti from Cold War protests, for instance, or pointing out the multiple destructions and rebuilding of the Berlin palace (and the lesser known history of WHY). Bert is a MUST book bike tour! Truly the best - and he keeps the groups very small (we ended up with a private tour for two as it happened!)
Bert is a historian and author on topics including Berlin, the Cold War, Communism, and architecture and was such a lively and engaging guide for our bike tour. The whole tour was…
Aida
February 2020
This is really exceptional way to experience Berlin through its architecture and history. Cannot recommend have a bike tour in this city enough! Thank you, Bert!
Virginia
January 2020
If you are looking for a unique tour about the historical/architectural developments of Berlin, then this is for you. Bert has extensive knowledge of the city and will guide you through the most important historical moments that define it today. You will discover the stories that shape Berlin’s urban environment and why certain buildings exist. You will visit some of the famous monuments of Berlin and get an in-depth insight into how it came about. You will also visit some sites that are not what it seems at first sight. A truly unique and fact filled experience!! I would highly recommend this!!
If you are looking for a unique tour about the historical/architectural developments of Berlin, then this is for you. Bert has extensive knowledge of the city and will guide you th…
Miriam
January 2020
It was great to see Berlin with the eyes of a person so immersed in history, so knowledgeable and with personal pre and post wall experiences. Totally recommended!!

Choose from available dates

4 available

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 8 guests ages 13 and up can attend.

More tips

This is a bicycle tour. If you rather like a different mode of transport, please check my walking tour through Berlin (which is my second “reading”-tour); you will find the link in my profile!

What to bring

Bicycle

Clothes and stuff that fits the weather condition, snacks, drinks, pocket money in case you need to buy snacks or drinks.