Join in a city-wide commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and delve into this  city’s dynamic history, music, and culture.

Starting at: $4,440 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Brandenburg Gate, Berlin  The Reichstag, Parliament Building, Berlin  The striking contemporary glass dome of Berlin's Reichstag   The Ishtar Gate at the Pergamon Museum, Berlin  Sign in four languages at Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin

Berlin

A One-Week Stay in Germany

9 days from $4,440

Join in a city-wide commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and delve into this  city’s dynamic history, music, and culture.

or Call 855-330-1542

SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person off of the 2019 departures when you book by December 7, 2018!

Overview

On November 9, 1989, as the Cold War began to thaw across Eastern Europe, a spokesman for East Berlin’s Communist Party announced a change in his city’s relations with the West. Starting at midnight that day citizens were free to cross the country’s borders. East and West Berliners flocked to the wall, chanting “Tor auf!” (“Open the gate!”). They flooded through the checkpoints and more than two million East Berliners visited the West that weekend to participate in a celebration that was, one journalist wrote, “the greatest street party in the history of the world.” 

Join us in Berlin in 2019 for a city-wide celebration of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. You’ll experience this European cultural capital fully transformed since reunification. Masterful contemporary architecture and a strong new visual identity are balanced with carefully preserved art treasures and the best of its cultural legacy, along with iconic sites that reflect its turbulent history. Stay at the Hilton Berlin, ideally located in the Mitte district in the city center on Berlin’s most beautiful square.

Highlights Include

  • Political Berlin: Take a city tour featuring many of Berlin’s historic sites and visit the last standing section of the Berlin Wall. In the Schoeneberg neighborhood, see a poignant exhibit about the Jewish residents who lost their lives during the Holocaust as well as the site where President Kennedy made his famous 1963 speech. Plus, view the impressive architecture—both old and new—of the Reichstag during a guided tour.
  • Art and Music: Explore the Old Masters collection of the Gemäldegalerie, the jewel of the Kulturforum museum complex. Tour the imposing Pergamon Museum, showcasing magnificent collections of Greek, Roman, and Islamic treasures. Enjoy an evening musical performance and a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Berlin Philharmonic Konzerthaus.
  • Local Insight: Join discussions with local experts about wartime Berlin and the Cold War and learn about the city’s musical legacy.
  • Day Excursion: Travel to nearby Potsdam, a royal seat of Prussia during the 17th century. Tour the Rococo palace of Sanssouci and Schloss Cecilienhof, site of the decisive Potsdam Conference at the end of World War II.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. on an overnight trans-Atlantic flight to Berlin, Germany.

Day 2 — Berlin

Arrive at Berlin’s Tegel Airport and transfer to the upscale Hilton Berlin close to the city’s historic quarter and situated on the famous Gendarmenmarkt. Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll receive a Welcome Kit with maps and general information about Berlin and its environs. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available this afternoon and throughout the program for suggestions regarding sightseeing, restaurants and independent activities.

There’s time to unpack and settle in before joining fellow Smithsonian Travelers for an orientation walk of the neighborhood surrounding the hotel. The evening begins with a welcome reception, remarks by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert, followed by dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 3 — Berlin

A full American-style buffet breakfast is served at the hotel each morning during your stay. Gather for a presentation by a local expert: A Tale of Two Cities: East Berlin and West Berlin.

Afterward, set-out on a panoramic motor coach tour of Berlin that includes the iconic Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz, the Federal Chancellery, Unter den Linden, a lovely tree-lined boulevard, the Gendarmenmarkt and a drive along the fashionable Kurfurstendamm. Visit the Bernauerstrasse Wall Memorial to see the last remnant of the infamous Berlin Wall with the preserved grounds, barbed wire, and guard tower, it provides a moving impression of how the wall divided the Eastern and Western sectors of this great city until late 1989. After lunch, the afternoon is at leisure. (B,L)

Day 4 — Berlin

Today, depart for the Reichstag, constructed in 1894 to house the Imperial Diet of the German Empire. Take a fascinating tour with an expert guide that includes the rooftop terrace for panoramic views of Berlin. Then board a canal boat for a cruise on the River Spree through the heart of the city. Lunch will be served at a lively beer garden in the famous Tiergarten.

The balance of the day is free of planned activities so you can discover more of Berlin on your own. (B,L)

Day 5 — Berlin and Potsdam

Depart Berlin on a full-day excursion to historic Potsdam, home to Prussian royalty. Marvel at the opulent interiors of Sans Souci Palace and after a stop at the Neues Palais, visit Cecilienhof Palace, site of the decisive Potsdam Conference at the end of WWII. Lunch is served at a local restaurant.

Afterward, spend time independently in the quaint Dutch Quarter the most extensive collection of Dutch architecture outside the Netherlands. Return to Berlin late in the day. Gather in the hotel for a Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner and lively discussion of the day’s discoveries. (B,L)

Day 6 — Berlin

Gather for a presentation by a local expert: From Bach to Beethoven: Music That Stirs the Heart.

Then depart the hotel for a behind-the-scenes visit to the Konzerthaus, home to the Berlin PhilharmonicLater, visit the Gemaldegalerie for an escorted tour of one of the world’s finest collections of European art. This afternoon, let your interests be your guide and explore the city on your own. 

This evening, gather with fellow travelers for dinner at a popular restaurant followed by an evening concert performance. (B,D)

Day 7 — Berlin

Visit Schoeneberg Town Hall and view the famous balcony where President John F. Kennedy made his famous 1963 speech, proclaiming “Ich bin ein Berliner.”  Also, see the poignant exhibit Wir waren Nachbarn that documents the lives of Jewish residents who lived in this neighborhood, were deported or lost their lives during the holocaust.

Continue on to the Stolpersteine, an artist’s memorial to Berlin’s Jews as well as the memorial site of the former Synagogue in the area. Join a local expert for a presentation: Time Witness of WWII and Cold War Berlin.

The balance of the day is at leisure. In the early evening, gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B)

Day 8 — Berlin

This morning, depart the hotel for a short walk to the Pergamon Museum for a guided tour of museum highlights. Each participant will receive a Museum Island Pass that includes entrance to all five museums in the complex.

The remainder of the day will be at leisure. This evening, gather with fellow Smithsonian Journeys Travelers for a festive farewell dinner.(B,D)

Day 9 — Return to the U.S.

Early this morning, transfer to Berlin’s Tegel Airport for return flights to the United States. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)