hands down, the best thing I did in berlin
if you do anything in berlin
do one (all) of these tours
bonus: there's a wonderrrrful park across the street from the ubahn station if you have extra time
(die beste Dinge, dass ich in Berlin gemacht hatte
wenn Sie irgend etwas in Berlin machen, machen Sie einmal von diesen Touren
und der Park, den gegenüber die Straße liegt, ist sehr, sehr schön)
Located in sight of our flat, the bunker at Humboldthain is a continual source of fascination. We took our first tour with the underground tour a few years ago and explored the partially destroyed interior. The site is exceptional and Berliner Unterwelten is the only way to get a look. However, the guide's accent could be quite difficult to understand and missed info here and there. No biggie, but not great.
With our next visitors we took another tour with a group of visiting friends, detailing how the bunker was used as an air raid shelter. Again, exploring the site was a joy and this guide was a wealth of enthusiasm and knowledge - easy to follow.
We once again took a tour over Easter weekend, again with visitors. It didn't start well as the guide immediately took off across the bridge at Gesundbrunnen, leaving the whole group far behind. Was she already anxious to be rid of us?
Though this guide was knowledgeable, her tour of the escape tunnels leapt around so much it was extremely hard to follow. She also had a difficult accent for our ears, let alone my dad who wears hearing aids. He got almost nothing from the tour as he could barely understand anything she said and I grew tired trying to follow, often feeling more like I was on a forced school outing than a tour I had elected to go on ( and paid extra for as the tunnel tour is slightly more expensive)!
Another disappointment of the tour is that their main site has little to do with tunnels and escapes so most of the tour was looking at photos or maps and hearing about nearby places. In this classroom environment, serious boredom began to set in. She explained in their last site how they are developing a recreation of an escape tunnel and I believe that may add a little more interest, but this tour was really not worth it. Stick with what you do right Unterwelten, for all our sakes.
I think that is the last group of tourists we'll be subjecting to an afternoon of mediocrely presented history, which is a pity since we live so close.
Also note - no pictures are allowed below ground.
We've been to Berliner Unterwelten for the tour 1 about WWII. It was exactly what other reviewers said: interesting, detailed... and cold.
Be sure to bring a jacket if you're going there in summertime as it can be chilly underground.
The guide was very knowledgeable, passionate and knew when to play small jokes in order to get everyone's attention. At the end maybe it was a bit too much but at least we heard everything about this place!
I agree with one reviewer below who said that the tour seemed a bit too long for what you are seeing (cemented rooms basically), but all the content displayed makes up for that.
If you've got time to do something different in the city: go there!
A country with so much history and interesting past the Berliner Wunterwelten is a must see. You walk below the streets and underground with many steps to a place that seems like it was back in time.
I was wearing shorts and a small long sleeve which really didn't make me feel comfortable because this place is seriously seriously cold. I asked the guide if it gets any hotter in the summer time and he says it stays this cool. So be warned bring a jacket when you come here because the whole tour is literally under the streets of Berlin!
The guide we got was not from Germany but from another country and spoke English quite well. The place is filled with many cool things to see and also the glow in the dark room is pretty awesome. I didn't even know they invented that kind of thng so long ago!
Very factual tour and with many photos and items that are from that time period. Yes we aren't allowed to take pictures soo they can keep all these items for the next generation! I'm glad I actually went to this place and got to listen to this tour. It is a little bit long but if you have time check this place out, I really loved it and you probably will if you want to see what would happen if the bunkers.
We did the WWII Bunker Tour, and it was excellent. The guide was knowledgeable and funny (at appropriate times). The contents of the bunker were all authentic bunker contents from WWII, but NOT from the bunker you see. This was actually a great part of the tour: you got to see a large variety of artifacts, not just a limited view of what would be in one.
This was the first tour I have taken in Berlin and I enjoyed every minute. We visited the underground bomb bunker and although no photography was allowed, I remember everything vividly. Our guide was animated, knowledgeable, and friendly. I learned so much from the tour and it gave a unique insight to how the war affected civilians.
If you are interested in WWII history, especially how it impacted Berlin in particular, this tour is perfect! Also, whatever money they generate from ticket sales they use to find more bunkers that were bombed as well as other historical findings around Berlin.
I could imagine that these tours through the world under Berlins streets would be especially interesting for vistors from abroad.
We've been there during the Easter weekend, means that the tours have been very crowded. Maybe that's the reason why we've been a bit disappointed of tour 3. The guide bloviated and repeated the details often. Due to this, the group was pressed to time so that one couldn't have a more than a glance at the interesting pictures and descriptions.
We regretted that the focus has not been on the political background but on technical details.
Nevertheless, one has to pay respect to a non-profit club who's able to offer permanent tours during holidays!
The price for the tour is absolutely fair: EUR 9,00 (with Berlin Welcome card EUR 7,00, kids up to 11 years are free)
Amazing tour! We did tour 1 of the underground bomb shelter, but they offer several others. Go to their website for a full list and descriptions.
I won't babble on about all the stuff we saw and learned, but suffice it to say that if you are interested in WWII or the cold war, they will have a great tour and for you. The price is good and our guide, Robin Williams, was excellent!
Their location is a bit tricky to find, but here is the best hint I can give...first go to the Gesundbrunnen metro station on the Ring north of Berlin. As you exit the station just look around for the big store with a giant "K" on top (across the small street to the south) and walk to the small brick building next to it on the corner to find the ticket office.
Robin Williams was an amazing guide.
I booked the English language tour in Aug 2009, which featured the history of the Berlin Gesundbrunnen train station as a bomb shelter during WWII and as a nuclear shelter during the Cold War. It was interesting to see the luminous paint from the Nazi era still glowing on the walls and the ventilation system for filtering poisonous gases. The tour leader, a knowledgable "urban archaeologist," provided a thorough and interesting explanation of everything we saw. As a history buff I found this richly rewarding. I plan to return to take some of the other tours covering other aspects of the Berlin Underground.
We recently booked a private tour with Berliner Unterwelten to view the underground shelters and the bunker (September 29, 2010)...very informative and highly educational!!!
I will start this review off with a negative much like our tour started off negatively. I booked the tour several months ago online for 3 of us for EUR320.00 and we were all very excited!!! We followed the instructions we were given for the meeting place and were on time to the meeting place. There was another large tour group that was standing outside the meeting door with us and they made a phone call and were told that they should be meeting at the opposite end of the street for their tour. They left and we waited for a few more minutes outside the Berliner Unterwelten door. I saw a lady inside the establishment behind the closed door and she made eye contact with me, but made no effort to come toward the door. We all just assumed that we were at the wrong meeting place so we ran out and caught up with the other tour group. Turns out we should not have followed them. Frustrated and already 15 minutes past our starting time we decided to make a call to their office. We were told to come back to where we originally were. Upon arriving back we were greeted by 2 people, one of which was the woman who looked me directly in the eye through the window and ignored me!!! She immediately was snappy and rude to us telling us that we had wasted 20 minutes of her time and ours. Seriously??? Are you kidding me?!?!?! We expressed our opinions, she expressed hers and then we moved on.
Except for the above, the remainder of the tour was AMAZING!!! The tour guide was very well informed about the history of WWII and about Berlin in general. We viewed and learned many interesting things and also learned that the American history books do not teach the whole truth!!! The only bummer about the whole tour was that you can not take pics, but hopefully I will never forget what I saw!!!
I would highly recommend this tour to anyone interested in history or learning more about the horrors of WWII!!!
It was OK, but I thought it would have been better as a 45 minute tour. The pictures looked prettier than the tour. Frankly, 90 minutes of poured cement, rectangular rooms was a little much. The guide was OK, but I got annoyed with how many questions she asked and waited for responses of stuff that seemed really obvious.
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