Cosmopolitan North train

Hamburg and Berlin

enjoy a guided small group tour through the North of Germany

This tour will take you from historically significant Lübeck to culturally and politically important Hamburg and Berlin and back to the romantic Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam.

You will get to see and experience the different aspects of modern life in Germany’s biggest cities. Hamburg is Germany’s biggest port and Berlin the capital. Society and city have evolved around these aspects and your local guide will be able to have you soak in the ambience of these unique cities.

By harbour ferry and rowing boat, by train and local bus we explore historical and cultural sights like the Holocaust Memorial or the Stasi museum as well as exciting urban architectural projects together in our small group.

 

book-nowOur Highlights: Guided Tour Old Town Lübeck – City and Port Tours in Hamburg – Exploring Hamburg by Ferry and Rowing Boat – Berlin’s Historically Significant Sights (Holocaust Memorial, Stasi Museum etc) – Potsdam Sanssouci Palace

Map

Northern Germany Tour map including Hamburg and Berlin

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Itinerary

Day 1: Hamburg – Trainride to Lübeck and City Tour – Hamburg

Day 2: Hamburg – City Bus Tour and Guided Harbour Tour

Day 3: Hamburg – Walking and Boating through the Inner City

Day 4: Hamburg – ‘Hafen City’ and ‘Speicherstadt’ – Trainride to Berlin

Day 5: Berlin – City Tour and Holocaust Memorial

Day 6: Berlin - Museums and Gardens

Day 7: Berlin - Day Trip to Potsdam and Sanssouci Palace

 

Day 1: Hamburg – Trainride to Lübeck and City Tour – Hamburg

This tour focuses on two of the most exciting cities in Germany – Hamburg and Berlin.

After meeting in Hamburg we will enjoy a pleasant 45 Min trainride to the picturesque city of Lübeck. Lübeck claims for itself the title of the Cultural Capital of the North. UNESCO declared the cityscape to be a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987. We will explore the water-enclosed Old Town with its roughly 1,800 heritage listed buildings, historical alleyways and criss-crossed lanes on a guided city tour.

From Lübeck we return by train to cosmopolitan Hamburg, and head to our central accomodation. We will be based here for the next three nights.

Day 2: Hamburg – City Bus Tour and Guided Harbour Tour

Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city (after Berlin) and is its main port.

We start today with an easy and convenient hop-on hop-off tour to explore the many city sights. One of the most prominent ones is certainly the 132-metre-high tower of St. Michaelis - the "Michel" - the landmark of the hanseatic city. Its lookout point offers a marvellous view of Hamburg and the harbour.

Hamburg’s port is over 800 years old and has been Central Europe's main port for centuries. We take in its amazing atmosphere on a guided bus tour. We will pass impressive buildings like the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, a music hall that once used to be a warehouse, as well as the new HafenCity development, an exciting building project we will have a closer look at on Day 4.

Day 3: Hamburg – Walking and Boating through the Inner City

The city is hemmed in by two lakes (the Binnenalster and Aussenalster) and the Elbe River – this unique geographic location amidst different waterways is also one of its biggest attractions.

Boats are a normal part of the inner city transport network in Hamburg. To see the city from a different perspective we will hop on one of the harbour ferrys and enjoy a charming Elbe trip via the Museumshafen (museum port), along the Övelgönne bank and to the Altes Land on the other side of the Elbe. We disembark for lunch at one of Hamburg’s unique Beach Clubs, located directly on the sandy shores of the river Elbe.

Then we explore the famous staircase district of ‘Treppenviertel’ with its labyrinth of stairs (around 3000!), and take in the spectacular views of Hamburg harbour, the ships and the river.

In the late afternoon we want to enjoy another great way of exploring the city and its waterways. We hire rowing boats to immerse ourselves in the unique flair of the Aussenalster, the larger of the two parts of the Alster Lake.

Day 4: Hamburg – ‘Hafen City’ and ‘Speicherstadt’ – Trainride to Berlin

Today we visit "Hafen City", the largest urban building project in Europe of the 21st century. At 155 hectares, this harbor city within a city is expected to double the population of downtown Hamburg with thousands of new waterfront apartments, gleaming high-rises, stores, restaurants and a new symphony. The ambitious project will be finished in 2025, but we can already enjoy some of Europe’s most visionary architecture here.

Also a must-see is “Speicherstadt”, the largest timber-pile founded warehouse district in the world. It was built from 1883 to 1927 as a free zone to transfer goods without paying customs. As of 2009 the district and the surrounding area is under redevelopment and has become home to many different museums and exhibitions.

After visiting these two attractive parts of the city together, there is time to do your own bit of exploring before we meet again in the late afternoon to board the train that will take us to Berlin in less than two hours. The remaining four nights of our tour we will be based here, in Germany’s vibrant capital.

Day 5: Berlin – City Tour and Holocaust Memorial

Our first day in Berlin we start with a guided tour of the city to get an overview and a feeling for the diversity of this multi-facetted city.

We then take our time for an important chapter in Germany’s history and visit the Holocaust Memorial, located on a stretch of the former “death strip”, where the Wall once stood near the Brandenburg Gate. The stunning monument to the Holocaust, dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide of World War II, includes an underground Information Centre that complements the abstraction of the memorial with personal documentation about individuals and families.

You will be able to take this in at your own pace with a self-guided audio tour.

Day 6: Berlin - Museums and Gardens

Depending on the interest of the group we will either spend time at the Mauer Museum at famous Checkpoint Charlie, documenting The Wall, its history and implications. Or we visit the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate, two of the most well-known landmarks of Berlin and Germany.

We will learn more about another important part of Germany’s history on a guided tour of the Stasi Museum, a research and memorial centre concerning the political system of the former East Germany. It is located in the former headquarters of the Stasi and the centrepiece of the exhibition is the office and working quarters of the former Minister of State Security – i.e. head of the Stasi – Erich Mielke.

But Berlin has more to offer than history and politics. To digest all the information and impressions we have gained, we end our day by going for a stroll through the beautiful ‘Gardens of the World’. The Recreational Park Marzahn arose from the horticultural show “Berliner Gartenschau” (1987) and presents garden art from around the world. Nine exotic garden worlds were designed and built by architects and artisans from the respective countries using original materials.

Day 7: Berlin - Day Trip to Potsdam and Sanssouci Palace

We leave the bustling city for a day outing to the famous Sanssouci, the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. It is only a short ride to Potsdam (less than 30km from Berlin) but seems to be a world away.

The palace is considered the major work of Rococo architecture in Germany, and is
notable for the numerous temples and follies in the beautiful surrounding park. It was created to fulfill King Frederick's need for a private residence, where he could relax away from the pomp and ceremony of the Berlin court. Sanssouci Palace and its extensive gardens became a World Heritage Site in 1990.

We return to Berlin and enjoy a last night together in Germany’s vibrant capital. Individual departure after breakfast the next morning.
We are happy to help arrange your arrival and departure or book additional services for you (such as additional nights).

Highlights

 Lübeck
The area around Lübeck had been settled since the end of the last Ice Age and during the Middle Ages it became an important settlement in the north of Germany. Situated near two rivers it was a central port for trade with the Baltic regions and the tribes fought hard over it. You will get to see the unique architecture of a hanseatic trading town and enjoy the proximity of city and country living. Click to read more

 Hamburg
The city is located at the river Elbe, where it joins with two other rivers, Alster and Bille. Hamburg has an abundance of churches and other architecturally interesting buildings. Some of the most notable churches: the St. Nicholas Church and the ‘Michel’ for example.
In addition to these picturesque features, Hamburg has lots of parks and botanical gardens which make it a most pleasurable city to explore and experience. Click to read more

 Berlin
Even though there seem to always have been some settlers in the area of modern Berlin, the first proper settlement mentioned seems to be Spandow, today’s Spandau, which was founded by the river Havel around 750 AD. During the German Empire Berlin became the capital and underwent socio-economic changes.
Modern Berlin is synonymous with cutting edge art, music and culture. Not only now, but in the previous century Berlin was a magnet for all sorts of creative people.
The Reichstag is one of the most visited attractions in Germany, not least because of the huge glass dome that was erected on the roof as a gesture to the original 1894 cupola, giving an impressive view over the city, especially at night.
Enjoy the special vibes of Germany’s fascinating capital first hand.
Click to read more

 Potsdam – Sanssouci Palace
The palace was intended as a private retreat for Friedrich the Great and designed on a relatively small scale to accommodate his desire for comfort and privacy. After his death the palace was completely altered, remodelled in the then fashionable neo-classical style. In 1873 it was opened up for museum purposes and made one of the first and oldest castle museums in Germany.
The palace is a real treasure trove both from an architectural as well as from a fine arts point of view. Enjoy it on a day trip from Berlin! Click to read more

You can find more info and background stories about the interesting sights of this tour in our blog articles overview page.

Day 1 1

Day 1 2

Day 1 3

Day 1 4

Day 1 6

Day 2 1

Day 2 3

Day 2 4

Day 3 1

Day 3 2

Day 3 3

Day 3 4

Day 4 3

Day 4 4

Day 5 2

Day 5 3

Day 5 4

Day 6 1

Day 7 2

Photos: Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus / Fotolia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dates, Services & Price

Dates:

All our tours are available on customized dates between June and September.
We can guarantee departures if you have a group of 4 or more - contact us

This tour links with Western Contrasts and Active in Eastern Germany and can perfectly be combined with the Saar Moselle Bike Trail as well as the Weser River Bike Trail, and/or can be booked with any of our other tours. We are happy to help arrange your transport, additional nights or any other services as required.

 

What's Included:

• Train tickets between Hamburg – Lübeck – Hamburg – Berlin

• Taxi or shuttle transfers from railway stations to/from accommodation

• 7 nights in good mid-range hotels (German standard 3-4 stars), incl. breakfast

all accommodation in double or twin rooms, single rooms optional with surcharge

• 2 three-course dinners on arrival day in Hamburg and Berlin

• Lübeck

   - Sightseeing tour with a local guide

• Hamburg

   - Travel on public transport services

   - City tour (hop-on-hop-off bus tour)

   - Guided Container Harbour bus tour (local guide)

   - Rowing boat or kayak hire Alster Lake

• Berlin

   - Travel on public transport services

   - Sightseeing tour with a local guide (bus tour)

   - Holocaust Memorial and Documentation Center entrance fee & audio guide

   - Stasi Museum entrance fee and guided tour

   - Day trip to Potsdam:

   - Potsdam city walk with a local guide (5-6hrs)

   - Potsdam Palace Sanssouci entrance fee and audio guide

• Professional bilingual & bicultural tour guide (English/German) throughout your whole trip

• Most guided tours are for the members of our group only and carried out by local guides

 

Price:

EUR 1.785 p.p. for  4 - 6 participants (discount available for groups of 7 or more)

 

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