Road Scholar : Home
The History and Culture of Eastern Germany

Program Number: 19873RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/5/2014 - 9/20/2014;
Duration: 15 nights
Location: Germany
Price starting at: $4,240.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 37; 14 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

A region most famously known for its fascinating political journey, East Germany has also served as a hub of religious history, enlightenment and the arts. With local experts, explore the cities of Berlin, Dresden, Weimar and Leipzig, and immerse yourself in the robust culture of East Germany.


• Meet an assistant to a member of the German Parliament during a visit at the Bundestag.
• Pay a visit to the homes of Johann Sebastian Bach, Martin Luther, Felix Mendelssohn and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
• Follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther during an expert-led walking exploration of Wittenberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to three miles on flat city sidewalks; some standing.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Berlin, 3 nights; coach to Dresden, 3 nights; coach to Weimar, 3 nights; coach to Leipzig, 4 nights; coach to Berlin, 1 night; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Berlin
3 nights

Via coach, explore the city of Berlin and learn about its culture during a lecture with a local expert. Meet a member of the German Parliament during a visit to the Bundestag and learn about the fascinating political history of East Germany. Pay a visit to the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, the Stasi Prison Museum, and meet with a contemporary witness.

Coach to Dresden
3 nights

With a local expert, embark on an exploration of Dresden and learn how the city’s landscape has changed since WWII. Take in the collections of the Grünes Gewölbe — including the jewelleries of The Grand Mogul Aureng-Zeb and the coffee service of August the Strong — and explore the Semperoper opera house. Visit the castle of Moritzburg and make your way to the Church of Our Lady to learn about its reconstruction after WWII.

Coach to Weimar
3 nights

Delve into the life of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe during an excursion to his home. Peruse the more than one million books at the Anna Amalia Library — including a Bible attributed to Martin Luther — before paying a visit to the home of the writer Friedrich von Schiller. Journey to the town of Eisenach to see the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as the home of Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther and Wartburg Castle.

Coach to Leipzig
4 nights

Make your way through the city of Leipzig and explore the medieval town of Quedlinburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Delve into the history of the Protestant Reformation in Wittenberg. In Dessau, explore the Bauhaus school of architecture and the Gardens of Wörlitz. Learn about the life of Johann Sebastian Bach during a visit to his home and St. Thomas Church where he served as cantor. Dine at Auerbachs Keller, the second oldest restaurant in Leipzig and setting of Goethe’s “Faust.”

Coach to Berlin
1 night

Delight in an excursion to Museums Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to five extraordinary museums: Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Bode-Museum, Pergamonmuseum and Alte Nationalgalerie. Explore Berlin on your own before enjoying a final dinner with your group.


From warring tribes who put an end to the declining Roman Empire to Charlemagne’s unified Holy Roman Empire; from religious divisions ignited by Martin Luther’s 95 theses in Wittenburg to the nation-making force of Otto von Bismarck -- alternating unity and division are the hallmarks of German history. In 1961, a concrete wall divided Germany from the world. With the Berlin Wall’s fall in 1989, Germany showed the way for the new, embracing Europe of today.

Berlin: Three-star hotel in former ministry of foreign affairs building. Dresden: Three-star hotel near Bruehlsche Terrace and its views of famous skyline. Weimar: Three-star hotel in historic city center. Leipzig: Historic hotel built in 1882 by master builder Kluge in the style of Eklektizismus.
Meals and Lodgings
   Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
  Berlin, Germany 3 nights
   Hotel am Terrassenufer
  Dresden, Germany 3 nights
   Hotel Amalienhof
  Weimar, Germany 3 nights
   Hotel Michaelis
  Leipzig, Germany 4 nights
   Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
  Berlin, Germany 1 night
 Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Hotel is located in the building of the former ministry of foreign affairs, has a classical facade and is centrally located but quiet. The former German politician Walter Rathenau stayed at what today is the Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte and many important social political and industrial innovations were thought out here.
  Contact info: Hedemannstraße 11/12
Berlin,   10969 Germany
phone: +49 (0)30 319 86 18 - 0
  Room amenities: Television, telephone, safe, internet access, W-LAN, hairdryer
  Facility amenities: There is a cosy hotel bar and internet is available in the lobby. Non smoking breakfast rooms, lounge, public business corner to check the internet.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: upon request Subject to availability and price change. Please contact Experiment e.V. in Germany to make arrangements:
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: upon request Subject to availability and price change. Please contact Experiment e.V. in Germany to make arrangements:
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

 Hotel am Terrassenufer
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel is situated near the historic part of the town in the inner city of Dresden. From the Bruehlsche Terrace near the hotel you can get a view of the "Florence on the Elbe" with its "White Fleet" and the famous skyline. All famous sights as well as the commercial center and the government sector can be reached on foot in a few minutes.
  Contact info: Terrassenufer 12
Dresden,  01069 Germany
phone: +49 (0) 351 4409-50
  Room amenities: All rooms are modern and functionally equipped and offer a beautiful view over the river Elbe and the old town as well as the "Sächsische Schweiz". There is wireless internet available.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, lobby bar and public internet point in the lobby.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Amalienhof
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Very traditional hotel, located in the historical city center next to the Goethehaus.
  Contact info: Amalienstr. 2
Weimar,  99423 Germany
phone: +49 (0)3643-549110
  Room amenities: television, telphone and hair dryer
  Facility amenities: terrace with a panoramic view over the city
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Michaelis
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Contact info: Paul-Gruner-Straße 44
Leipzig,  04107 Germany
phone: +0049 (0)341-2 67 80
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins at 5:00 p.m. with a welcome meeting at the hotel's conference room. You will be staying at Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast around 9:00 a.m. Room check-out at 11:00 a.m. You will be staying at Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. A passport is required.
  Parking availability:
There is no parking available.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: There are frequent train connections to Berlin form all parts of Germany.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Berlin
  Nearest highway: A 100
  Nearest airport:  Berlin-Tegel
  Transportation to site: Take bus number 128 in the direction of "U Osloer Str.”. Change at “U Kurt-Schumacher-Platz” and take the metro "U6" in the direction of "U Alt-Mariendorf". Get out at "Kochstraße/Checkpoint Charlie". From there it is a 450 m walk to the hotel. The journey takes around 50 minutes. Alternatively you may wish to take a taxi directly from the airport to the hotel. This is a 30 minutes drive and will cost approx. 30 Euro.
  From End of Program
  Location: Berlin
  Transportation from site: Walk to metro station "Kochstraße/Checkpoint Charlie". Take U6 in the direction of "Alt Tempelhof". Change at "U Kurt-Schumacher- Platz" and take bus number 128 to Tegel Airport. The journey takes around 50 minutes. Alternatively you may wish to take a taxi directly from the hotel to the airport. This is a 30 minutes drive and will cost approx. 30 Euro.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart the US on overnight flight
(Friday, September 5)
 Depart From: Depart the US on overnight flight to Germany.

Day 2: Arrival in Berlin / Welcome Dinner
(Saturday, September 6)
 Morning: Arrival in Berlin and transfer to the Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte.
 Afternoon: Check-in and free time to relax or to explore the hotel's neighbourhood. Welcome meeting at the hotel's conference room at 5 p.m.
 Evening: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte

Day 3: Memorial Center Hohenschönhausen
(Sunday, September 7)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Introduction to the program by the group leaders followed by a lecture by Mr. Wolf Refardt about the historical development and sociocultural characteristics of the city of Berlin.
 Lunch: Lunch at at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the Memorial Center Hohenschönhausen including a guided visit by a historian.
 Dinner: Dinner at at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Visit to the Bundestag and Berlin City Excursion
(Monday, September 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to the German Bundestag: During a guided visit of the parliament you learn about the political system in Germany and discuss current political subjects with Mrs. Jeanette Hamm, assistant to a member of parliament. The visit rounds off with a view from the cupola.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Guided Berlin city excursion by bus with Mr. Burkhard Heyl, including museums and galleries of Berlin (outside), Berlin's new Government Quarter – The Reichstag, Prussian History (former Palace), Historical Center (Eastern Center), Remnants of the Wall, Checkpoint Charlie), Airport Tempelhof (Air Lift Story) and Memorial for the burning of the books.
 Dinner: Dinner at at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Dresden City Exploration
(Tuesday, September 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to Dresden by coach.
 Lunch: Lunch at hotel Terrassenufer.
 Afternoon: "First impressions of Dresden": Guided sight-seeing by bus with Mrs. Sabine Rosenkranz. Afterwards check-in and free time to explore.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel am Terrassenufer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Church of our Lady and Museums of Dresden
(Wednesday, September 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: The history of Dresden by Mrs. Jana Malschewski-Böhm. Followed by a guided walking tour including the Church of our Lady with Mrs. Sabine Rosenkranz.
 Lunch: Lunch at at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the famous museums of Dresden such as the Zwinger or the "Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister" (Old Masters Picture Gallery).
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel am Terrassenufer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Water castle Moritzburg and visit of the Semperoper
(Thursday, September 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to the water castle Moritzburg and guided tour through the castle with Mrs. Sabine Rosenkranz.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Guided visit of the Semperoper.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel Terrassenufer.
Accommodations: Hotel am Terrassenufer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Anna Amalia Library
(Friday, September 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to Weimar by coach. Guided walking tour through Weimar with Mrs. Birgit Rudolph.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Visit of the famous rococo hall at the Duchess Anna Amalia Library.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Amalienhof
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Goethe House and National Museum
(Saturday, September 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture "Weimar - the Cradle of the German Classic" by Mrs. Birgit Rudolph. Followed by a field trip to the City Castle.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Visit of the Goethe House and the Goethe National Museum.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Amalienhof
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Eisenach - City of Luther and Bach
(Sunday, September 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Excursion to Eisenach including a guided visit of the Wartburg.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Guided city tour including the Creutznacher House and the Bach House. Afterwards return to Weimar.
 Dinner: Dinner at at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Amalienhof
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Leipzig - the city of music
(Monday, September 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to Leipzig and lecture on route "Leipzig, the city of music" by Mrs. Gundula Esquinazi. Followed by a guided city tour of Leipzig by bus.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Check-in at the hotel followed by free time to explore the city.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Michaelis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Excursion to Wittenberg, Woerlitz and Dessau
(Tuesday, September 16)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Departure for Wittenberg. Guided walking tour following the tracks of Martin Luther. Afterwards transfer to Woerlitz and visit of the Woerlitz Castle.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer to Dessau and guided visit of the "Bauhaus" and the "Meisterhäuser".
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Return to Leipzig.
Accommodations: Hotel Michaelis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Bach and Goethe in Leipzig
(Wednesday, September 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Guided walking city tour "On the tracks of the notes" including a field trip to the St. Thomas Church and to the Bach museum with Mrs. Gundula Esquinazi.
 Lunch: Lunch at Auerbachs Keller including a guided visit.
 Afternoon: Guided visit of the Mendelssohnhaus.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
 Evening: Concert at the Gewandhaus - historic concert.
Accommodations: Hotel Michaelis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: UNESCO World Heritage Quedlinburg
(Thursday, September 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Departure for Quedlinburg and guided city tour of the old city.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip to Stiftskirche.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Michaelis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15: Pergamon Museum and Museum Island
(Friday, September 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to Berlin by coach. Arrival at the Museum Island. Guided visit to the Pergamon Museum.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: The afternoon will be at your own disposal. Take the time and explore another exhibition on Museum Island or do some last minute shopping at the close-by shopping area "Hackesche Höfe".
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Transfer to the airport for international departure.
(Saturday, September 20)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for international departure.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Berlin Alexanderplatz
‘Alex’ to Berliners, a cattle market in the Middle Ages, a military parade square and an exercise ground for nearby barracks until the mid 19th century - Alexanderplatz is the square named to honour Alexander I, Tsar of Russia, on his visit to Berlin in 1805. It was here that Alfred Döblin took the pulse of the cosmopolitan metropolis portrayed in his 1929 novel ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’. Fast forward to more recent times, one million people congregated here, on 4 November 1989 to demonstrate against the GDR regime shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. This was the largest anti-government demonstration in its history. Layer upon layer of Berlin’s urban history is located in Alexanderplatz, interweaving centuries of social, political, and architectural history and repeatedly the subject of public debate and urban design competitions. The transformation of Alexanderplatz into a modern transit junction and shopping area came about during the second half of the 19th century with developments such as the construction of the S-Bahn. In the 1970s under Erich Honecker Alexanderplatz became an experiment in socialist urban aesthetics. Amongst the sights to look out for here are the 365 metre TV tower, Berlin´s highest construction topped by a globe with a rotating viewing platform. The Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft (Fountain of Friendship amongst Peoples) and the landmark World Time Clock erected in 1969 serves as a popular meeting place.
  Allied Museum
The museum, located in the former U.S. Army "Outpost" movie theater, documents the role of the Western Allies (U.S., France, and Britain) in the post-war period and the life of allied troops in Berlin. Address: Clayallee 135 Admission: Free For additional information, visit
  Anne Frank Center
The Anne Frank Center is the German partner organisation of the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam. A permanent exhibition shows the life of Anne Frank, in addition, the Center organizes various events especially for pupils and special exhibitions. Address: Rosenthaler Straße 39 For additional information, visit
  Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin
Works from all Bauhaus stages and workshops and from the trend-setting Gestaltungsschule (School of Design) from 1919 until 1933. The estates of Walter Gropius, Georg Muche and Herbert Bayer. Address: Klingelhöferstraße 14. For additional information, visit
  Berlin Cathedral
The Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), completed in 1905, is Berlin’s largest and most important Protestant church as well as the sepulchre of the Prussian Hohenzollern dynasty. This outstanding high-renaissance baroque monument has linked the Hohenzollerns to German Protestantism for centuries and undergone renewed phases of architectural renovation since the Middle Ages. First built in 1465 as a parish church on the Spree River it was only finally completed in 1905 under the last German Kaiser -Wilhelm II. Damaged during the Second World War it remained closed during the GDR years and reopened after restoration in 1993. Address: Lustgarten 1 Entrance fee: 4 - 7 Euro
  Berlin Wall Memorial
Bernauer Strasse was a focal point of Germany’s division. The Berlin Wall Memorial commemorates this period in history. The memorial includes the monument, completed in 1998 and designed out of a largely preserved section of the border fortifications; the Berlin Wall Documentation Center that opened in 1999; and the Chapel of Reconciliation, dedicated in 2000 and built on the former death strip at the site of the Reconciliation Church that was blown up by East German border troops in 1985. Address: Bernauer Straße 111 Admission: Free For additional information, visit
  Berlin Zoo
Affectionately known as the Zoo on the south-west corner of the Tiergarten, this is Berlin’s favourite family spot - a wonderfully kept urban Zoo with a huge playground, restaurants, and coffee shops, providing a whole day’s worth of family entertainment. The Zoo is home to 13,700 animals and 1,400 species, its animals are part of local life and most Berliners will be aware of the news of a new arrival. Rare among city zoos, the Zoologischer Garten was founded in 1844 and was the first Zoo to be built in Germany. Under Friedrich Wilhelm IV it became a joint project by Martin Lichtenstein and Peter Joseph Lennè who had redesigned the Tiergarten and allocated the southwestern tip of the Tiergarten as a zoological garden. Address: Hardenbergplatz 8 For additional information, visit
  Botanic Garden
The World in a Garden
: Discover one of the most beautiful botanic gardens in the world. Take a stroll in woods and meadows, wander in only a few minutes from Alps to Caucasus, let Far-Eastern plants enchant you and feel the Tropical Rainforest with all your senses.
 Plunge in this green oasis and take off for a trip far away from the fuss of the city. As many people say, time will run slower here.
 And after the garden, deepen your impressions at the botanical museum. Address: Königin-Luise-Str. 6-8 For additional information, visit
  Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s most important monuments – a landmark and symbol all in one with over two hundred years of history. A former symbol of the divided city, it drew visitors who used to climb an observation platform in order to get a glimpse of the world behind the Iron Curtain, on the other side of the barren “death-strip” which separated east from west Berlin, geographically and politically. It was here that on June 12, 1987, Ronald Regan issued his stern command to his cold war adversary admonishing him with the words: “Mr. Gorbachov – tear down this wall!”. The speech delivered to West Berliners was also audible on the east side of the Gate and echoed President von Weizsacker’s words which translate as: “The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed.” Address: Pariser Platz
  Centrum Judaicum
Permanent exhibition about the history of the New Synagogue and the Jewish life in its surroundings; special exhibitions. Address:Oranienburgerstr 28/30 For additional information, visit
  Charlottenburg Palace
Schloß Charlottenburg, the largest and most beautiful palace in Berlin, it is a shining example of baroque architecture. Charlottenburg Palace today is the largest residence of the Hohenzollern in Berlin. Originally built by Elector Frederick III as a summer residence for his wife Sophie Charlotte in 1699, the palace was later extended into a stately building with a cours d'honneur. The magnificent palace is surrounded by a baroque garden, in which diverse architectures melt into a unique ensemble. The entire palace presents itself with majestically equipped rooms and saloons and with top-class art collections that offer outstanding masterpieces: For example, one of the largest collections of French paintings of the 18th century outside of France. The ensemble of rooms and saloons – artistically as well as historically impressive – is a living testimonial of courtly culture and life from baroque times until the early 20th century.. For additional information, visit
  Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie, along with Glienicker Brücke (Glienicker Bridge) was the best known border-crossing of Cold War days. The sign, which became a symbol of the division of Cold War Berlin and read like a dire warning to those about to venture beyond the Wall – YOU ARE NOW LEAVING THE AMERICAN SECTOR – in English, Russian, French and German - stood here. It is today an iconic marker of territorial boundary and political division. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, it signified the border between West and East, Capitalism and Communism, freedom and confinement. Address: Friedrichstraße 43-45
  DDR Museum Berlin
The DDR Museum is Berlin's interactive museum and one of the most-visited attractions in the German capital. History comes dynamically alive as the visitor is given a first-hand introduction to life in the first Socialist state on German soil. Address: Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 1. For additional information, visit
  East-Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is a 1.3 km-long painted stretch of the former Berlin Wall along the Mühlenstrasse in former East Berlin. It is the largest open-air gallery in the world with over one hundred original mural paintings. Galvanised by the extraordinary events which were changing the world, artists from all around the globe rushed to Berlin after the fall of the Wall, leaving a visual testimony of the joy and spirit of liberation which erupted at the time. Address: Mühlenstraße (near Oberbaumbrücke) For additional information, visit
  German Historical Museum
In June 2006 the Zeughaus has reopened for the public with the newly designed permanent exhibition "German History in Images and Testimonials". Covering 8,000 sq. metres of exhibition space, the exhibits from the DHM's own collections convey a vivid picture of the past. The Pei-Building behind the Zeughaus was opened on May, 24 2003. It houses the special exhibitions of the German Historical Museum. Address: Unter den Linden 2. For additional information, visit
  Hackesche Hoefe
The Hackesche Höfe (Hof here means courtyard) is quite famous and is comprised of a labyrinth of eight courtyards , accessible through Rosenthalerstrasse 40’s main arched entrance. Inside, one can stroll from one small specialized shop to another, just as in the neighboring Rosenhöfe and Rosenthaler Höfe. The little cafés, bars and restaurants are favorite places for relaxed shopping breaks.
  Hamburg Bahnhof
The Hamburger Bahnhof is the former rail station for trains running between the capital and the hanseatic city of Hamburg. Its station building houses the museum for contemporary art, which belongs to the Nationalgalerie and counts as one of the world’s most successful exhibition spaces for contemporary art. Here, works can be found by artists such as Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Keith Haring as well as many innovative contemporary artists. Address: Invalidenstraße 50-51. For additional information, visit
  Holocaust Memorial
The memorial comprises 2711 concrete blocks and was constructed between 2003 and 2005 close to the Brandenburg Gate on the basis of a design by architect Peter Eisenman. The subterranean information centre situated in the south-eastern corner of the monument commemorates the victims and provides material on the historical sites of the destruction and on existing memorials. Address: Cora-Berliner-Straße 1. Admission: Free, donations are welcome For additional information, visit
The Berlin Palace - Humboldt Forum took on a visible shape when the foundation stone was laid in the summer of 2013. The Humboldt-Box is the information centre of this project of the century. The past of and future plans for the Berlin Palace is illustrated in interactive exhibitions. The terrace on the 5th floor offers a view of the palace construction site and the historical centre of Berlin. Address: Schlossplatz 5 (Unter den Linden) For additional information, visit
  Jewish Museum
The museum’s permanent historical exhibition extends over 3,000 m² and invites visitors to journey through two millennia of German-Jewish history. Its depictions of 14 historical periods from the Middle Ages to the present paint a vivid portrait of German-Jewish life. Artistic and everyday objects, photos and letters, interactive displays and media stations together convey the history of Jewish culture in Germany and show how tightly Jewish life and German history are interwoven. Address: Lindenstraße 9-14 For additional information, visit
Berlin’s most famous trademark department store is KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) – or department store of the West. It is Berlin’s shopping paradise, a favourite, easy to spot landmark on Wittenberg Platz. With 60,000sqm, the equivalent of nine football fields, 380,000 articles, 40,000 visitors a day, this is the legendary, largest department store on the continent. Address: Tauentzienstr. 21-24 For additional information, visit
  Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz
Neue Nationalgalerie / New National Gallery: 20th century art: Collection of expressionist works, Bauhaus works, new objectivity, art in the period after the war. Address: Potsdamer Straße 50. Gemäldegalerie / Picture Gallery: European paintings from the 13th - 18th century. Masterpieces from all epochs, including paintings by Eyck, Bruegel, Dürer, Raffael, Tizian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Rubens. Address: Matthäikirchplatz 4-6. Musikinstrumentenmuseum / Museum for Musical Instruments: Bach's harpsichord and its replicates as well as the biggest cinema and theatre organ in Europe (live demonstrations every Saturday). Address: Tiergartenstraße 1 For additional information, visit
The shopping area known as Kurfürstendamm includes Tauentzien Straße, as its eastern extension. Together they comprise an almost five kilometer long boulevard where strolling, shopping and sitting in cafés have been a pleasure for decades. Tauentzien Straße begins at Wittenbergplatz (Underground station) where the famous KaDeWe department store is located. The street runs west towards Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church where the street name changes into Kurfürstendamm. Between KaDeWe and the church, one can find most of the medium-priced international fashion chains and sport brands as well as large shoe stores. Close to the church, the Europacenter hosts another 70 shops and restaurants. Also worth visiting are the elegant side streets that run north from Kurfürstendamm such as Fasanenstraße, Knesebeckstraße or Bleibtreustraße. Here, many chic boutiques and fancy stores can be found on the ground floors of elegant old apartment buildings. These streets also lead to Savignyplatz, an atmospheric square where during summer, hundreds of people can be found sitting in front of bars and restaurants.
Unusual insights into cultural history, often with spectacular findings and the latest research results, form the pillars in the Martin-Gropius-Bau programme alongside contemporary art and photography. Monographs of outstanding artists are as much the focus as current artistic positions. Address: Niederkirchner Straße 7 For additional information, visit
  Museum House at Checkpoint Charlie
The Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie is a museum like no other; from its humble beginnings in October 1962 as a two-and-a-half room display about the newly erected Berlin Wall, the museum has evolved into a more than 2000m2 exhibition that explores not only the history of the Berlin Wall and the stories of those affected by it, but also looks at the challenges facing society today as it struggles for worldwide recognition of human rights and freedom. Here one can discover objects used to escape over, under, and through the Berlin Wall, and read stories of those escapees who risked their lives to win their freedom. Address: Friedrichstraße 43-45 For additional information, visit
  Museum Island
Berlin’s Museum Island is a unique ensemble of five museums, including the Pergamon Museum - built on a small island in Berlin’s Spree River between 1824 and 1930. A cultural and architectural monument of great significance it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1999. Berlin’s own Acropolis of the arts is considered unique because it illustrates the evolution of modern museum design over the course of the 20th century and its collections span six thousand years of human artistic endeavor. Museum Island is accessible on the left side of the German Historical Museum – opposite Berlin’s Staatsoper on Unter den Linden – only a short walk across Palace Bridge. Following Schinkel’s 1830´s Altes Museum, Friedrich Wilhelm IV commissioned the Neues Museum in 1859 to house the Egyptian and prehistoric collections. It displays the Egyptian Papyrus collection and the Library of Antiquity and Nefertiti in much reduced circumstances in a reflecting glass box. The Alte Nationalgalerie followed in 1876 as an elevated temple of antiquity for 19th century German and European painting collections. It reopened in 2001, with works from Monet, Manet, Renoir and Caspar David Friedrich. The Baroque Bode Museum (1904), is known for its sculpture collection and Museum of Byzantine Art. The most well-known of the complex, Alfred Mussel’s Pergamon Museum (1930) was built following the need for additional exhibit space to house the artefacts from the 19th century excavations of German archeologists in Pergamon and Asia Minor at a time when Heinrich Schliemann found Priam’s treasure. The Pergamon museum continues to attract one million visitors a year from all over the world to marvel at the reconstructed Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus and the Ishtar Gate. Addresses: Lustgarten and Bodestraße 1-3 Closed on Mondays! For additional information, visit
  Museum in the Kulturbrauerei
From idyllic countryside dacha to works canteen and Bautzen prison - the new exhibition "Everyday Life in the GDR" in the Museum in the Kulturbrauerei opens in November 2013. The exhibition, spread over 600 square meters, presents original objects, documents, films and audio recordings that explore the gap between ideals and reality in the GDR. The individual experiences showcased illustrate the diverse attitudes towards the communist dictatorship, from loyal support to attempted neutrality or resistance. Address: Kulturbrauerei complex at Knaackstraße 97 in Building 6.2, Staircase B For additional information, visit
775 years of Berlin history: The Nikolaiviertel, where Berlin was originally founded, is home to 5 museums, a history trail with 19 informative plaques, and 800 years’ worth of architecture. Anyone looking for culture and the historical origins of this city is in the right place here. And others too, as Berlin's first and oldest church is surrounded by 30 cafes and restaurants, and 50 shops – classic and often highly specialised retailers who make the NIKOLAIVIERTEL into a true treasure trove for those seeking something special. Address: The quarter is to be found between the Spree and the city hall.
  Palace of Tears
The Palace of Tears - the processing centre for people travelling from East to West Germany at the Friedrichstraße border crossing point. There's hardly any other place where people experienced so directly how severely the division of Germany affected their personal lives. The exhibition illustrates everyday life in the face of division and borders through biographical examples and nearly 600 artefacts. Address: Friedrichstraße station/ Reichstagufer 17 For additional information, visit
  Potsdamer Platz
Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz is the most striking example of the urban renewal that turned Berlin into the ‘New Berlin’ in the 1990s although it is not, strictly-speaking, a square. The area today consists of the three developments known as Daimler City or the DaimlerChrysler Areal (1998), the Sony Centre (2000) and the Beisheim Centre (2004), which literally transformed the dormant wasteland where the Berlin Wall stood between east and west Berlin until 1989. Main attractions to be seen while walking around the Potsdamer Platz area include: Debis Tower (Renzo Piano) and the DaimlerChrysler Atrium with its public spaces, including changing art exhibitions and an auto showroom and the artificial water basin; The Sony Centre and Cinema Complex and Film Museum, the Arkaden Shopping Mall (Richard Rogers), a 3D IMAX cinema, Musical Theatre and Casino, and Weinhaus Huth wine merchants the oldest and only surviving original pre World War II building. Address: Potsdamer Platz 1
  The Kennedys
The Kennedys’ museum, situated opposite the Brandenburg Tour on Berlin’s Pariser Platz, across the square from the new American Embassy building which was inaugurated on July 4, 2008 is a testament to the relationship between John F. Kennedy, the 35th US President, the Kennedy family and Berlin. Kennedy’s presidency at a time when the Cold War was intensifying was crucially bound up with Berlin’s history and the building of the Berlin Wall as well as the dramatic stand-off between US and Soviet tanks in October 1961 at Checkpoint Charlie when a Third World War became foreseeable. JFK was given an enthusiastic reception in Berlin on June 26, 1963 when he saw for himself the reality of the Berlin Wall, erected two years before. “Ich bin ein Berliner”, the words with which he addressed Berliners at Schoneberg Rathaus (City Hall) were possibly JFK’s most famous quotes and an inspiration to the world. The museum’s collection includes an astonishing 300 photographs and objects. Much of the memorabilia were the President’s personal belongings, providing snapshots of his public and personal life as well as the turns of fortune of America’s most illustrious family. Address: Auguststraße 11-13 For additional information, visit
Tiergarten in Berlin refers to the parliamentary, government and diplomatic district as well as to Berlin’s largest and most popular inner-city park. The Tiergarten (animal park) and former hunting ground is Berlin’s best known park because of its centrality it’s a favourite with locals and visitors, wonderful for a stroll, a breath of fresh air, a picnic, cycling or a jog or just kicking a ball around. Today the area includes the Regierungsviertel, Potsdamer Platz and the Kulturforum as well as the Diplomatenviertel. Address: Straße des 17. Juni 100
  Victory Column
Berlin’s Siegessäule - Victory Column - is another of Berlin’s monuments that has reinvented itself through the ages - from symbol of Prussian military victory in the 19th century to a favourite tourist spot today. As US Presidential candidate, Barack Obama chose the Siegessäule as the alternative spot to the Brandenburg Gate for his speech to 200,000 Berliners on July 24, 2008. The monument is reachable using a pedestrian underpass. Four neo-classical temples also built by Albert Speer indicate the entrance points. This is one of Berlin’s favourite sightseeing trips with children and youngsters who appreciate the view from the observation deck following the 270 steps required to reach it via a spiral staircase. The Café Victoria and Biergarten, just next to the monument, is ideal for refreshments and a break. Address: Straße des 17. Juni/ Großer Stern
  Dresden Dresden Transport Museum
Trams and trains, automobiles, bicycles, aircraft, ships: Every means of transportation known to man is presented here in the original or as a model, e.g. Germany's oldest steam locomotive, the Muldenthal of 1861, and a three-wheeled Phänomobil. The "Johanneum," where the electors once "parked" their coaches and horses, provides a splendid setting. Address: Augustusstraße 1 (Old Town) For additional information, visit
  Dresden Zwinger
The Zwinger was built 1710-28 as an orangery and a setting for court festivities, it was later used for exhibitions. Most perfect example of Late Baroque architecture in Germany. Construction of the Semper Gallery 1847-55. Armoury: The Rüstkammer is one of the world's most outstanding collections of parade arms, armour and costumes. The permanent exhibition comprises finely decorated weapons, images of tournaments, impressive jousting and tilting equipment from throughout Europe and the Orient, spanning the 16th through the 18th centuries. Old Masters Pictures Gallery: This museum owes its world renown to the outstanding quality of its paintings. Among the primary focuses are Italian paintings of the Renaissance and works in Baroque style. Equally significant are the collections of Dutch and Flemish paintings and of paintings by Spanish, French and German artists of the 16th to 18th centuries. Porcelain Collection:The Porzellansammlung is one of the world's most important and largest collections. It owes its existence to August the Strong, who once referred to his passion for this material as a "maladie de porcelaine." Chinese and Japanese art works appear alongside a great wealth of Meissen porcelain. Address:Theaterplatz 1 For additional information, visit
  German Hygiene Museum
"Marvel - Learn - Try out" is the motto at Europe's only science museum to focus on the human being and body within the context of the environment and society, culture and science. Beside the permanent show, the museum's temporary exhibitions look at current issues in science and society, and how they effect our everyday lives. The children's museum offers an interactive show on the human senses. Address: Lingnerplatz 1 (Altstadt) For additional information, visit
  Military History Museum
The Military History Museum is Dresden’s largest museum and presents over 800 years of German military history. The new museum concept shows the causes and consequences of war and violence. The focus is placed on the human component, on all the fears, hopes, passion, memories, aspiration, courage and reason. Address: Olbrichtplatz 2 For additional information, visit
  Municipal Gallery and Art Collection
This gallery houses the city's art holdings: 1,700 paintings, 800 sculptures and more than 20,000 graphic works. The earliest holdings date from the 16th century, the majority of the works from the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection is to be continually expanded, primarily through the acquisition of contemporary art. Address: Wilsdruffer Straße 2 (Altstadt) For additional information, visit
  Municipal Museum Dresden
A synthesis of the Classicist, Late Baroque and Rococo styles, the State House of 1770-1775 - near the Frauenkirche - is one of Dresden's greatest architectural treasures. The museum housed within its walls possesses the most extensive collection on the Saxon capital's art and cultural history and is also dedicated to researching that history. Address: Wilsdruffer Straße 2 (Altstadt) For additional information, visit
  Museum of Technology and Industry
The museum possesses more than 30,000 collector's items from Saxon, German and international industry and technology of the past 150 years, e.g. cameras, typewriters, radios, computers and mechanical musical instruments. A café in the 48-metre-high tower of the former Ernemann Camera Factory is the perfect place to rest and enjoy the view of Dresden. Address: Junghansstraße 1 (Striesen) For additional information, visit
  Royal Palace
Cabinet of Prints, Drawings And Photographs: The Kupferstich-Kabinett is one of the world's most prominent art museums for drawings, prints and photographs. Its collection comprises over 500,000 works on paper by more than 11,000 artists of eight centuries. The study room offers all visitors the opportunity to examine the originals. Historic Green Vault:Extensive restoration work and partial reconstruction have regenerated the former splendour of the famous treasury museum - a unique Baroque ensemble in which the individual objects come second to the sheer abundance of works of art. New Green Vault: The spectacular tour through the treasury collection reveals major artworks from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The presentation of 1,000 pieces in non-reflecting glass showcases allows visitors to be captivated by their infinite richness of detail. Coin Cabinet: As one of the largest collections of its kind, the Münzkabinett is a museum of European significance. Today, the encyclopaedic collection comprises almost 300,000 objects - coins, medals, decorations, bank notes, historical bonds, coin and medal dies and coinage devices. Address: Taschenberg 2 For additional information, visit
  The Dresden Fortress
Testimonies to an age often outshone by the Baroque splendours lie concealed beneath the world-famous Brühl Terrace - for example the last surviving city gate of the former Saxon royal residence and the city's oldest surviving stone bridge, guard rooms and cannon yards, battlements, spiral staircases and old military chambers known as casemates. Address: Georg-Treu-Platz (Old Town) For additional information, visit
  Leipzig House of the History of the Republic of Germany
Leipzig's Forum of Contemporary History affords a broader look at events of the recent past. The Forum makes history palpable including an unforgettable presentation on the history of the Soviet Occupied Zone, the German Democratic Republic and the historic developments since 1989. Address: Grimmaische Straße 6. For additional information, visit
  Monument to the Battle of the Nations
The huge temple to death and freedom in Europe rises 91 metres into the sky on a site near where Napoleon’s command post stood during the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. 364 steps lead to a viewing platform which gives phenomenal views of Leipzig and the surrounding area. The monument with the integrated Forum 1813 museum covers four hectares and gives spectacular insights into the events of the Battle of Leipzig and its aftermath. Address: Straße des 18 Oktober. 100 For additional information, visit
  Museum of Fine Arts
Leipzig's Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1837 by the arts association Leipziger Kunstverein. Donations by arts foundations and generous individuals facilitated the building of a collection of about 2,700 paintings, 750 sculptures and more than 55,000 drawings and graphic reproductions. Its extensive collection of Cranach paintings is unique in the world. The museum also places great importance on the presentation of contemporary arts. Address: Katharinenstraße 10. For additional information, visit
  Schiller House
Up close and intimate – the discreet charm of the indiscreet. Feel the master’s presence, be ignited by the Götterfunken, lose yourself in the Romantic atmosphere of the place where Schiller wrote his “Ode an die Freude” (Ode to Joy). Visit the house where Schiller stayed in 1785 and experience a remarkable memorial to the early 18th century. Address: Menckestraße 42 For additional information, visit
  Schumann House
Another important part of Leipzig's musical and city history can be experienced in Schumann House, where Robert and Clara Schumann spent their first four years of marriage. Address: Inselstraße 18 For additional information, visit
  Weimar Bauhaus Museum
The world-famous Bauhaus school of architecture and applied arts was originally founded in Weimar. The museum contains about 500 exhibits made by teachers and students of this avant-garde college. Address: Theaterplatz 3 For additional information, visit
  City Castle with Castle Museum
The design of Weimar’s castle, built as a residence for the Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, has changed considerably in its 500-year history. Situated on the bank of the Ilm River, the castle was originally constructed on the site of a moated castle, first mentioned in documents dating back to the end of the 10th century. The castle museum is located in the north, east and west wings of the former Residence Castle. The core of the collection is the former grand ducal art collection with works dating from the Middle Ages to modern times (around 1900). It is organized according to the history of the collection and is integrated into the historic castle rooms which are partially furnished in original condition. Address: Burgplatz 4 For additional information, visit
  Goethe’s Summerhouse
Bought for Goethe by the Duke, the poet lived here until moving to the house on Frauenplan. A place of refuge for Goethe, after his death it became a shrine for his admirers. Address: Im Park an der Ilm For additional information, visit
  Liszt Museum
In the summer months from 1869 until 1886, Franz Liszt stayed in the former Court Market Garden at the entrance to the park and gave piano lessons to his international students. The Museum was completely reconditioned in 2006 by students of the Music Conservatory "Franz Liszt" and students of the Bauhaus University. Beside the dwellings of Liszt is also a complete new exhibition in the ground floor. Address: Marienstrasse 17 For additional information, visit
  Nietzsche Archives
A sick Friedrich Nietzsche spent the last seven years of his life at Villa Silberblick. The Nietzsche Archives were established here by his sister. The house became the shrine of the Nietzsche community. Address: Humboldtstrasse 36 For additional information, visit
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Suggested Reading List

A Concise History of Germany

Author: Mary Fulbrook

Description: This essential short history of Germany -- a whirlwind survey in less than 300 pages -- explores the relationships between social, political and cultural factors in this land located in the center of Europe.

Baroque and Rococo Art

Author: Germain Bazin

Description: An excellent illustrated survey of Baroque and Rococo art and architecture, this volume in the acclaimed "World of Art" series is a good companion to the golden age of Middle Europe.

Cathedrals and Castles, The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages

Author: Alain Erlande-Brandenburg

Description: This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology.

Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945

Author: Frederick Taylor

Description: A re-evaluation of the Allied firebombing of Dresden, one of the most destructive, and still controversial, air campaigns of WWII.

Eyewitness Guide Munich & the Bavarian Alps

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: This comprehensive, illustrated guide is filled with excellent maps, hundreds of photographs and succinct overviews of history, culture and sightseeing.

Fodor's Berlin's 25 Best

Author: Fodors

Description: A shirt-pocket guide with a map and brief overview of Berlin's many museums, grand buildings and other not-to-be-missed cultural attractions.

Germany Adventure Map

Author: National Geographic

Description: A double-sided full color map of Germany at a scale of 1:825,000. Printed on waterproof, tear-resistant paper.

Prost! The Story of German Beer

Author: Horst D. Dornbusch

Description: The Munich-based aficionado weaves history and culture with the marvels and mysteries of German beer in this brief, authoritative guide.

The Berlin Diaries

Author: Marie Vassiltchikov

Description: The compulsively readable wartime account of an emigre Russian princess who was secretary to Adam Von Trott, mastermind of the failed 20th of July plot to assassinate Hitler. Idealistic, vivacious and observant, "Missie" conveys the flavor of Berlin during the 1940s.

The Blue Flower

Author: Penelope Fitzgerald

Description: Set in the Age of Goethe, this exquisitely written short novel is a fictional account of the life of the Romantic poet Novalis. It paints a vivid picture of German intellectual and mercantile life in the late 1700s.

The German Empire, A Short History

Author: Michael Sturmer

Description: A lively short history in the excellent Modern Library Chronicles series, matching writers and subjects.

The German Way

Author: Hyde Flippo

Description: This clever A-to-Z guide to quirks, attitudes, behavior and customs is a terrific resource for travelers seeking insight into why the Germans, Austrians and Swiss do what they do.

The Germans

Author: Gordon A. Craig

Description: A gifted historian, Craig explores the complex paradoxes of German identity in this masterly portrait of German life, past and present, with chapters on religion, money, Jews, women, literature and society, Berlin and language.

The Gothic Enterprise, A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral

Author: Robert A. Scott

Description: An enthusiast, Scott presents history, design, architecture and wonder of the medieval cathedral and the great Abbey churches.

The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague

Author: Timothy Garton Ash

Description: With a chapter each on Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague, this eyewitness account by an astute journalist and historian shows these vibrant cities during a time of great change.

The Rhine, Culture and Landscape at the Heart of Europe

Author: Roland Recht

Description: This beautifully illustrated, oversized survey of the history, geography and culture of the Rhine shows cities, villages and sights along the river from its source in the Alps to the North Sea.

The Tin Drum

Author: Gunter Grass

Description: Probably the best German novel written since the end of World War II, this is the surreal story of a mute dwarf named Oskar who lives through Nazi Germany and finds himself in a mental institution.

When in Germany, Do as the Germans Do

Author: Hyde Flippo

Description: A humorous and helpful guide to getting along in Germany, informing travelers on everything from proper restaurant etiquette to how to behave in social situations and how best to appear like a local.

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