[VIDEO] Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

March 12, 2012 by

Bus Tours, City Tours & Sightseeing, Europe, Photos & Videos

48 hours, 16 drop off and departure points, and two modes of transport make the Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour the ideal way to see the city of Berlin.

It must have been 2pm by the time we lazily hobbled down to our first point of departure, the glitzy shopping rue of Kurfurstendamm. We were given myriad tickets, along with friendly instructions and helpful suggestions to fully and completely realize our hopping on and hopping off experience. This is also where we received our vacuum-packed earphones and a book of city vouchers to peruse (and use) at our leisure.

The buses depart every 15 minutes from each of the 16 stops which include the Jewish Museum, Checkpoint Charlie, the Berliner Dom and the world famous KaDeWe department store. The distance between points ranges from 5 minutes to 15 minutes, and the whole circuit takes roughly two hours.

The day we went it was grim. Clouds were swirling in cyclonic formations above our heads and we hadn’t brought an umbrella. Luckily, on these days, the buses are sheathed in a thick transparent canopy, and to be honest, I think rain only improves the adventure. It’s always been something of a comforting sound, raindrops battering on rooftops. It was like seeing Berlin from a carwash.

The multilingual plug-in earphone channels are packed with facts and figures, from the most minute and trivial, to the most impressive historical detail. Not that you have to listen; you can use this tour in a number of ways. But if you’re a pub quiz regular, you might be foolish to leave your notepad at home.

Just past Alexanderplatz, Berlin’s city centre, we hopped on a boat. It’s the same format as before except this time the water was underneath us. It made filming exceptionally easy as we glided along the River Spree, bumpless. The boat journey takes approximately an hour and returns you to your point of departure. It travels as far as the city’s main train station, Hauptbahnhof, and packs a plethora of sites in between.

This tour reduces the size of Berlin drastically. It refines your sightseeing and shopping plans into a concise and manageable format, allowing you to see more, buy more and learn infinitely more than you would have otherwise. And from £10 a day, it’s little more than a rail ticket.

Chester Travis

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