Senior Women's Travel

Exploring Berlin

It’s hard not to be intimidated by Berlin. As I got to know Berlin last spring, I was amazed at what a pull its history has. Berlin can’t escape its past but it has its feet firmly planted in its vibrant present and stellar future.  Explore all these facets of Berlin with us.

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Berlin:  A City on the Move

October 2012

Berlin has long recovered from World War II and is now  Europe’s hottest destination with all the buzz.  Berlin has more of everything:  glamorous hotels, dazzling modern architecture, state of the art new train station, young and hip population setting the pace, food that is both traditional German and innovative, and the best beer in the world.

Berlin’s cultural world revolves around opera and concerts, its historical museums like Pergamon and Schloss Charlottenburg, an exquisite baroque palace, should be on everyone’s must see list (pencil them in on your Optional Day).
 

Our Itinerary:

Brandenburg Gate

Day 1
Arrive in Berlin.  Transfer to our hotel, with a great location in Potsdamer Platz, a five-minute walk to the Brandenburg Gate.  Our hotel is in the center of a lively area with shopping, restaurants, an IMAX theatre and a train stop that whisks you to any part of the city in minutes.

 Our experience is that the day people arrive should have minor activities.  According to your energy, we will suggest an activity, most likely a walk around the area.

Day 2
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.:  Urban Insider Tour…Your introduction to Berlin covering the history of the Berlin wall and the events connected with the Cold War.  Insight into the lifestyle of Berliners and the “new Berlin.”

 

Evening:  Dinner on the Move, a great opportunity to try several restaurants all in one night.  We sample five different restaurants, each one a different cuisine with appropriate wine or beer.  Forty to sixty minutes stops, allowing you enough time to enjoy not only the food but the ambiance of the place.  Short walks between each restaurant.

 

 

Reichstag

Day 3
Morning:  City sightseeing tour.  On this bus tour, we get a traditional tour around all of Berlin.  Not as personal as the Insider Tour, but an overview of all of Berlin.

Afternoon:  KaDeWe, the second largest department store in Europe (Harrod’s is first),  is a marvel.  Wonderful shopping and eating.   Their 6th floor food complex rivals  Harrod’s Food Hall and Fauchon in Paris.  A nice place for a counter lunch.  A small Galeries Lafayette is within walking distance of our hotel, in a complex with all the name designer boutiques.  KaDeWe is more affordable.

Day 4
 

Sansouci

Potsdam:  Day tour to visit Sansouci, Frederick the Great’s castle.  An intimate, even cozy castle.  Only 1600 people have access to the castle each day and the bus tour offers guaranteed access.  Frederick the Great is a fascinating character: stern general, music lover and philosopher. Voltaire was a guest at Sansouci and lived there three years. Potsdam is a lovely town with its small castles and winding river.

 

Day 5
Urban Living Day:  Here’s your chance to go behind the facades of buildings that pique your interest.  The habitats we visit range from the grandiose housing of Karl Marx inspiration built by Stalin, a GDR (German Democratic Republic) flat and a luxurious loft that could make the cover of your favorite décor magazine.

Detail of The Pergamon Alter, Pergamon Museum

Day 6
Your Optional Day…Excursion to Dresden (not included in tour price).  Dresden is just an hour and a half on the train,  making it an easy day trip.

Or museums, shopping, just enjoying Berlin

 

Day 7
Morning:  Art Deco and Art Nouveau design and insight into Berlin’s divas including Marlene Dietrich and Romy Schneider.  Stop at a historical coffee house and Potsdamer Platz Suites… These rooms in the Sony Plaza complex have a fascinating history.  Originally part of the legendary Esplanade Hotel, home to Garbo, Chaplin, Dietrich.  Kaiser Wilhelm dined here.  After 90% of the  hotel was destroyed by fire in 1945, the historical section of the hotel had to fight for survival and was finally moved to be part of the Sony complex that opened  in 2002   A rare treat.

Afternoon free for last-minute whatever.

Farewell dinner.

Day 8
Depart for home.

Note: Itinerary subject to changes and adjustments.

Cost

$3,400 (USD) includes seven nights hotel (single occupancy), five dinners, all tours in itinerary except optional day in Dresden.  The price does not include airfare, airport transfers, breakfasts (hotel cost is 18 euros per day), coffee stops, wine and alcoholic beverages, personal expenses.  Transportation is by shared cost taxi. There is also an excellent train system that we can take.

Our rooms all have kitchenettes.  SWT Tours will supply coffee and tea for breakfast.  We can buy other things such as eggs, breakfast pastries, and milk.  If you like cereal, I always recommend bringing a small zip lock bag with your favorite.