Berlin is the capital of Germany and the country’s biggest city. There is so much to see and do in Berlin that the list is endless. You will probably need a few weeks to be able to experience some of the best parts that the city has to offer. During our 3-hour private or public walking tours we'll visit some of the main sites to give you a great introduction to the city's history and more. Enjoy!
Nova Fairy Tales Guaranteed Sites
1. Checkpoint Charlie
This world-famous checkpoint was the main entry point for crossings in and out of East and West Berlin during the Cold War, and it operated at the same time as the Berlin Wall sealed off the city, from 1961 until 1989. It has become a symbol of the war as it represents an extreme separation between the two areas. Today, you will see fake border guards outside and hear some of the escape stories that happened at, or close, to the checkpoint. Some of them being very disturbing and important in the historical context of human rights.
2. Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate)
The Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s signature attraction and should not be missed. The gate was built at the end of the 18th century in a Neoclassical style, and at that time it marked the start of a road from Berlin to the town of Brandenburg. Atop of the gate is a Quadriga, a statue of the goddess Victory driving a chariot drawn by four horses. Throughout Berlin’s history, the gate has been a site for major events and is considered to be a symbol of the history of not just Germany but also Europe.
3. Berlin Wall
In 1948 the routes to and from West Berlin and East Berlin were blocked, and in 1949 the Federal Republic of Germany was founded in the West while the Marxist-Leninist German Democratic Republic was established in the East. In 1961, East Berlin began its construction on the Berlin Wall. The “fall of the Berlin Wall” on the 9th of November in 1989 and paved the way for German reunification. Much of the wall still remains largely preserved and have been decorated with paintings by international artists.
4. Reichstag Building
The building of Reichstag, in a Neorenaissance style, was completed in 1894 and was initially constructed to house the Imperial Diet of the German Empire. However, it supposedly got set on fire in 1933 and was not used again until after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Finally by 1999, when the reconstructions had finished, it became the home of the German Parliament. The magnificent building is especially famous for the big glass dome that has an impressive view of the city. If you want to go inside, you might want to book your tickets in advance here
5. Führerbunker (Hitler’s bunker)
Führerbunker was an air raid shelter that Hitler resided at the beginning of 1945 up until his death. The construction of the bunker was completed in 1936 and was meant to be used as a temporary shelter for Hitler. Hitler married Eva Braun there, just 40 hours before they committed suicide inside that same bunker. The bunker got mostly destroyed after the war by the Soviets, and there are hardly any traces of it left. However, there is an information board which includes a diagram of the bunker and more interesting information.
6. Museum Island
Museum Island or Spree Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and on the island you’ll find some of the city’s most important exhibition centres, at least we think so :) Here you will find Old Museum, where you will see the Crown Jewels, and The New Museum, which got destroyed during WWII but got re-opened in 2009 and is the home to collections from the Egyptian museum, Th Papyrus Collection and The Collection of Classical Antiques. On the island, you will also find The Old National Gallery, The Bode Museum and The Pergamon. We recommend that you buy a 3-day Berlin Museum Pass here.
7. Berliner Dom (The Berlin Cathedral)
The famous cathedral is located on Museum Islands and is the largest cathedral in Berlin, built in a New Baroque style. After many decades to repair war damage, the building was finally finished in 1905, but the history of the Cathedral dates back to the 15th century. Still, after 1905 the reconstructions continued and officially ended at the end of the 20th century. Today, many concerts are held in the cathedral, and we recommend you try to find a show that suits your taste here.
8. The Gendarmenmarkt
The beautiful square was created by Johann Arnold Nering at the end of the 17th century, but it is named after the cuirassier regiment Gens d’Armes who had stables on the square until 1773. Surrounding the square are beautiful building like Konzerthaus (the concert hall), the French church and the German church, all of which got destroyed in the WWII but restored shortly after. In the middle of the square is a statue of a German poet called Friedrich Schiller.
9. Holocaust Memorial
The memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe or Holocaust memorial was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold in memory of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. On-site, you will find the names of approximately 3 million Jewish victims. According to Eisenman, the memorial is designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere and represent an ordered system that has lost all touch with human reason… just like the Holocaust.
Other great attractions to visit
The Berlin Television Tower is something you will see from a distance as it is the tallest building in Berlin. It was built in 1960, and if you go to the top of the building, you can enjoy a unique panorama view of the city.
Tempelhofer Feld used to be the Tempelhof airport, and they closed their operations in 2008. Today, it is enjoyed by walkers, runners, kitesurfers, cyclists and skaters alike. The airport is famous for its Nazi and Cold War history and was used as a runway for dive bombers and many other war-related operations.
The magnificent Charlottenburg Palace is a great place to visit, and the garden behind the palace is lovely for a stroll on a sunny day. This is the largest palace in Berlin, and it hosts a collection of china and paintings.
We are super excited about opening up tours in five new destinations this year, 2019. Are you just as excited as we are?!?! Probably not J So let us introduce our next chapter in our Nova Fairy Tale: We will be operating small group and private walking tours in Amsterdam, Brussels, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich. These cities possess such an incredible history and it’s not to be missed. Here we will give you a little sneak peek into their history and refer to some of the sites that will be on our tours, enjoy!
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and it borders Germany and Belgium. The name Amsterdam refers to the city’s origin around a dam in the river of Amstel. The Netherlands means ‘lower countries’ and it’s a relevant name for the country as about 50% of its land is below sea level. The population of Amsterdam is around 1 million but 2,5 million in the metropolitan area.
Amsterdam became a very important port in the Dutch Golden Ages (17th century) and one of their biggest trades were Diamonds. The port is the fifth largest port in Europe today. The end of the 19th century has been named the second golden age because that is when the Industrial revolution reached the city. The canals, that Amsterdam is so known for, were built in the 17th and the 19-20th century and they are on the UNESCO World Heritage List (they will be visited on our tour).
In 1940, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands and more than 100,000 Dutch Jews were deported to Nazi concentration camps. The most famous deportee was undoubtedly Anne Frank, who died in one of the camps. Her diary was published and it documents her time in hiding in Amsterdam, 1942-1944.
Today, Amsterdam attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world and we want to help them to get the best out of their visit with our walking tour. During this tour we’ll visit some of Amsterdam’s main attraction and tell you about its history and living habits.
You can book your 3-hour Amsterdam walking tour here.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and its part of both the French and Flemish community of Belgium. The population of Brussels is around 1.2 million whilst the metropolitan area has over 2.1 million people.
Brussels has become a huge hub for international organizations and politics; the capital of the European Union and NATO are located within the city. Brussel also has one of the top financial centers of Europe, Euronext Brussels.
The history of Brussel is similar to other Western European countries. The city is believed to be founded around 979 and from that day the city grew rapidly due to its location by the river Senne. Brussels became a commercial center and a hub for trade routes with the other cities along the river. The Nine Year’s war with France in 1695, left Brussels with the most destructive event in the history of Brussels. There was a fire that resulted in the destruction of the Grand Place and a third of all buildings within the city. The reconstruction changed the look of the city and until this day, you can still see traces of the fire.
It wasn’t until 1830, when the Belgium revolution burst out, that Belgium gained its independence after decades of wars and many occupations by its neighboring countries. Leopald I was the first king of Belgium and he quickly began constructing many of the buildings in the city and thus, the city underwent many changes and its population grew.
During the 20th century, many fairs and conferences were held in Brussels, including three world fairs in 1910, 1935 and 1958. Brussels still remains a popular place for international events. During our tours we will show you some of the historical landmarks that have marked Brussels and Belgium’s history. Come and join us!
You can book our 3-hour Brussels walking tour here.
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany with a population of 1.8 million people and 5 million in the metropolitan area. The city lies on the River Elbe along with River Alster and River Billie. The official name of ‘Hamburg is Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg’, which originates from its membership of the medieval Hanseatic League but the name Hamburg dates all the way back to AD 808 when a castle called Hammaburg was built to defend the citizens against Slavic incursion.
During medieval times, Hamburg got destroyed and occupied several times. The occupations and destruction came from the Vikings, Denmark, Poland but destructions also came from fires and diseases. The Black Death killed at least 60% of Hamburg’s population in 1350.
After its many occupations, Hamburg was finally freed in 1814 and gained its independency in 1815. In the 12th century Hamburg became a major port in Northern Europe due to its trade routes of the North and Baltic Sea but the city experienced true growth during the end of the 19th century when Hamburg became the second largest port, with shipping companies sailing to North and South America, Africa, India and East Asia. Hamburg was also a big departure hub for people migrating to the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Hamburg suffered during the Second World War as many of the cities buildings and harbor got destroyed. The multiple air raids by the Nazi Germany killed at least 42,600 civilians. Despite these many setbacks in Hamburg’s history, the city has somehow always manages to recover and emerge wealthier after each catastrophe.
Hamburg has Europe’s third-largest port and the world’s oldest merchant bank, Berenberg Bank. Today, Hamburg has become a major international and domestic tourist destination. Not only is it a great city to visit but also a great city to live in as Hamburg was ranked 18th in the world for livability in 2016. The city has a few World Heritage Sites and it’s famous for paving the way for bands such as the Beatles. We think Hamburg is such a great city and we want everyone to get the best out of their stay here, so come and join our 3-hour walking tours and let’s explore this wonderful city together.
Book you 3-hour walking tour here.
Berlin is the capital of Germany and the country’s largest city, with 3.8 million inhabitants and 6 million in the metropolitan area. The name of the city comes from the language of West Slavic and it is related to the Old Polabian term berl-/birl- which means swamp.
The first evidence of settlements in Berlin were around 1174 and in the 12th century, the two towns of Berlin and Cölln were united as one. During the 15th century Berlin-Cölln was named the capital of the margraviate and ruled by the Hohenzollern family until the beginning of the 20th century. Within that time, the construction on the new palace began and the royal residence moved to Berlin-Cölln. During the famous Thirty Years’ War in 1618-1648, Berlin lost one third of its houses and half of its population. During the Industrial Revolution, Berlin got transformed into Germany’s main railway hub and economic center of Germany. The population of Berlin also increased and in 1871, Berlin became the capital of the German Empire.
In 1920, Berlin merged in building dozens of suburban cities, villages and estates and the result of this was that its population doubled, from 2 million to 4 million. In 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power in Germany and during the World War II a big part of Berlin got destroyed and left Berlin as the most heavily bombed city in history. In 1945, Berlin got divided into four sectors due to the victorious powers. The sectors then got split into West Berlin and East Berlin, the Soviet sector. In 1948 East Berlin blocked any routes to and from West Berlin and in 1949 the Federal Republic of Germany was founded in the West whilst the Marxist-Leninist German Democratic Republic was founded in the East. In 1961, East Berlin began its construction on the Berlin Wall. The wall fell on the 9th of November in 1989 but its remains are still largely preserved. The wall pays a big part in Nova Fairy Tales walking tours.
Today, Berlin can be considered a world city because of its culture, politics, media and science. The city’s economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector and recently there has been an emerge of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene. Berlin has world-renowned universities, museums, orchestras, and hosts many entertainment and sporting events. It’s known for its festivals, nightlife, art and the high quality of living. Amazingly, one-third of the cities area is surrounded by parks, forests, gardens, canals, rivers and lakes. Berlin is a very popular tourist destination and that is where we come in. We want to take you around and show you Berlin’s greatest historical monuments and attractions.
Join our Berlin’s 3-hour walking tour here.
Munich is the third largest city of Germany with a population of 1.5 million residence but 6 million in the metropolitan region. Munich is the capital of its region, Bavaria, and it was chosen the world’s most livable city by the Monocle’s Quality of Life Survey in 2018. The city has a very high standard of living and is a major center of art, culture, finance, technology, innovation, business, tourism and education. The name Munich comes from an Old/middle High German term Munichen, which means “by the monks” and it does in fact derive from the monks who lived in what is now known as the old town of Munich.
The first known settlement in the area of Munich was in 1158 and in the year 1506 Munich became Bavaria’s capital. The city didn’t suffer many destructions nor deaths in the medieval times but the worst disease that affected Munich was the bubonic plague which broke out in 1634-1635 and a third of Munich’s population died.
During the Nazi Party ruling, Munich became “the capital of the movement” and in 1933, when the party had taken power, they created the first concentration camp in Dachau, 16 kilometers north-west of Munich. The camp is a must-visit whilst visiting Munich but we warn you, it’s not for sensitive souls. The city was heavily bombed during the war which resulted in more than 50% of the entire city getting destroyed. However, Munich managed to restore most of its traditional cityscapes after the war. In 1972, Munich hosted the Summer Olympics where Israeli athletes were assassinated by Palestinian fedayeen in what has been called “the Munich Massacre”.
Today, Munich hosts numerous events, exhibition and more but the most famous event is probably Oktoberfest which attracts many tourists into the city. Munich is one of the fastest growing cities in Germany and the crime rate there is very low in comparison to other big cities in Germany. We absolutely adore this city and we want you to feel the same way during our tour.
Book your Munich 3-hour walking tour here.
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