Berlin

  • Berlin school trip
    The Brandenburg Gate, backdrop to Berlin.
  • citizenship / government & politics school trip to Berlin
    Home to the German parliament, Berlin's Reichstag is a must on a government & politics school trip.
  • history school trip to Berlin
    Checkpoint Charlie, a pre-requisite on any history school trip to Berlin.
  • film / media studies school trip to Berlin
    Students enjoying a visit to the Museum of Film & Television on a Berlin school trip.
  • Berlin school trip
    See remnants of the Berlin Wall on a school trip to the German capital.

We got a lot done in a little time, with visits to some ideal museums / galleries and exhibitions. There’s a great range of ideas / history / art / culture / artefacts / technology / science easily accessible to non German speakers, and the learning curve was social and cultural as well as academic.TS, King's College

One of our most popular destinations, Berlin is the place to visit to bring many of the issues of modern history to life. Popular landmarks such as the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the remaining stretches of the Berlin Wall, the Jewish Museum and Museum Island, not to mention the diverse, contemporary feel of the city, combine to make the German capital a fascinating host city for a school tour.

Though badly damaged in the final years of World War II, Berlin is today a city reborn and indisputably one of Europe’s most important capitals, politically, economically and culturally. With the former East and West brought together since 1989, the city centre remains surprisingly compact, and across the capital you’ll see representatives of the many different historic and architectural periods.

From the few surviving grand medieval monuments near Alexanderplatz to the Stalinist-style urban buildings on the former eastern side of the city, not to mention the ultramodern glass and steel structures in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin is a powerhouse of a city with a wealth of fascinating stories to tell.

Typical Accommodation in Berlin

We work with a number of different hostels and 2*/3* hotels in and around the German capital. Please let us know your requirements and we will be happy to recommend suitable accommodation to suit your Berlin school trip itinerary and budget.

One example is the A&O Berlin Hauptbahnhof, a relatively new hostel situated in a quiet location a few kilometres from the main landmarks. Rooms are comfortable and well appointed with private facilities and there is a spacious lobby lounge area with a billiards table and table football, in addition to a rooftop terrace. Free Wi-Fi is also available.

Berlin School Trip – Subject Suitability

If you’re considering Berlin as a Christmas Market destination, click here to take a look at our European Christmas Markets page.

 

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All tours will be tailor made to suit each individual group, but here are a couple of suggestions for a Berlin school trip:

Sample Itinerary – 4 Days by Air

Day 1 – Journey to the airport for your direct flight to the German capital, Berlin. Transfer to your hotel in time for dinner and overnight accommodation.

Day 2 – Enjoy a walking tour of the city today, taking in all the major landmarks, with visits to tie in with your group’s particular subject focus.

For those with a historical interest, there’s no shortage of options including the Berlin Wall Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, the DDR Museum, Stasi Memorial and Museum to name but a few.

If your group’s special interest has more of a religious leaning, then the Holocaust Memorial, the Jewish Museum, the Neue Synagogue, Berliner Dom and Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church could be suitable visit options.

If it’s art you’re after, then Berlin has a wealth of museums, from the grand cultural institutions such as the Alte Nationalgalerie set amidst Museum Island and the Neue Nationalgalerie, Kunstgewerbemuseum and Gemäldegalerie all located within the Kulturforum.

For more general sightseeing options, Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag,  TV Tower and a cruise along the River Spree all make popular itinerary additions.

Day 3 – Another day spent exploring the sights and attractions of Berlin. Alternatively, take a trip out of the city centre to explore the moving Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum, a former WWII concentration camp situated to the north of the city, together with the House of the Wannsee Conference, where the fate of Jews in Occupied Poland and Eastern Europe was sealed.

Day 4 – Last minute shopping perhaps, before the transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK.

Sample Itinerary – 6 Days by Coach

Day 1 – Overnight coach travel from school, via Dover-Calais, arriving in Berlin on the morning of day 2. Journey time from Calais to Berlin is approx. 14 hours.

Day 2 – 4 – Choose from a selection of visits as detailed above/below.

Day 5 – 6 – Commence your journey home after dinner on day 5, arriving back at school on day 6.

Travel Options

  • By coach with short-sea ferry crossing from Dover to Calais. Schools from the north may prefer to take overnight sailings from Hull to Zeebrugge or Rotterdam, to make the coach journeys much shorter.
  • By air from London or selected regional airports direct to Berlin

Popular Visits & Excursions

Berlin Wall – The literal and symbolic division between East and West Berlin, sections still remain and can be found at Potsdamer Platz, near the Reichstag and Checkpoint Charlie. The most famous section is the East Side Gallery, a large, open-air art platform.
Berlin Wall Memorial – Stretching 220 metres along Bernauer Straße, you’ll find various exhibits, a documentation centre and the death strip located here.
Checkpoint Charlie – Scene of the 1961 stand-off between Soviet and US tanks, this was Berlin’s most prominent East-West border crossing and one of the most recognised landmarks of the Cold War era.
Haus am Checkpoint Charlie – Provides a history of the Wall, including the various methods used to try and flee the former DDR.
Reischstag – Home of the German Parliament (the Bundestag), this is one of Berlin’s most popular attractions and is most famous for its distinctive glass dome, designed by Sir Norman Foster.
Brandenburg Gate – One of Berlin’s most famous landmarks, the Brandenburg Gate was located in no-man’s land between East and West Germany during the Cold War and became the backdrop to reunification.
The Holocaust Memorial – Comprising 2,711 dark concrete slabs, over 19,000 square metres in the heart of the city, this memorial pays homage to the six million Jews murdered by Hitler and his forces. The information centre tells the history of the Holocaust.
Jewish Museum – Housed in a striking, futuristic building, the Jüdisches Museum recounts over 2,000 years of German-Jewish culture and history.
DDR Museum – A popular interactive museum, giving insight into life as it was, behind the Berlin Wall, in the German Democratic Republic.
Topographie des Terrors – Once the HQ of the Secret State Police, the SS during the Third Reich, this is now a documentation centre for Nazi crimes, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
The Story of Berlin – An interactive museum showcasing 800 years of Berlin’s history, including a tour through an original nuclear bomb shelter situated below the Kurfürstendamm.
Stasi Museum – Housed in the former headquarters of the GDR Ministry for State Security, this museum offers an insight into one of the most chilling organisations of the Cold War.
Allied Museum – This museum recounts the history of German-Allied relations post World War II, from the British, French and American occupying troops marching into Berlin in 1945 and running through to the Allies’ ceremonial withdrawal in 1994.
TV Tower – Soaring 360 metres into the Berlin skyline, the ‘toothpick’ as it is affectionately known is the German capital’s tallest structure. Climb up to the viewing platform at 203 metres and enjoy panoramic views over the city.
Potsdamer Platz – Another Berlin must-see, Potsdamer Platz is famous for its modern skyscrapers, its section of the Berlin Wall and its Boulevard der Stars. You’ll also find the Filmhaus Museum, devoted to the history of the German film industry, here.
Alexanderplatz – Renamed after Russian Tsar Alexander I, Alexanderplatz became the post-war centre of East Berlin and is renowned for its socialist architecture. You’ll see the TV Tower, World Time Clock and Fountain of International Friendship situated here.
Museum Island – Home to the Altes Museum (Greek and Roman artefacts), the Neues Museum (prehistoric, early history and Egyptian works of art), the Pergamon Museum (Greek and Babylonian antiquities), the Alte Nationalgalerie (19th-century sculpture and paintings) and the Bode Museum (European sculpture and Byzantine art).
Kulturforum – Houses the Neue Nationalgalerie, the Museum of Musical Instruments, Philharmonic Hall, Museum of Graphic Arts, Museum of Applied Arts and most importantly, the Gemäldegalerie and its collection of European paintings dating back to the 13th century.
Bauhaus Museum – The Bauhaus Archive details the history and impact of the Bauhaus (1919 – 1933), the most important school of architecture, design, and art of the 20th century.

 

Olympic Stadium – Built for the infamous 1936 Olympics and venue for the 2006 football World Cup. It’s also the home of German football team Hertha BSC.
Neue Synagogue – Germany’s largest synagogue, the Neue Synagogue represents the heart of the Jewish community in Berlin.
Berlin Cathedral – Situated on Museum Island, this Baroque cathedral was commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II and completed in 1905. Significantly damaged in World War II, the cathedral has been fully restored to its former glory. There’s a 7,000-pipe organ inside and brilliant views from the dome’s outer balcony.
Kaiser Wilheim Memorial Church — Renowned for its blue-glass, octagonal tower built alongside and at architectural odds with the original church, damaged in 1943 by British bombers.
Museum for Film & Television – The Museum für Film und Fernsehen offers a journey through Germany’s film and television history. The collection explores silent film divas, movies made during the Weimar Republic and under National Socialism, Marlene Dietrich, film professionals in Hollywood exile, the post-war years, and contemporary German cinema, as well as developments in television in East and West Germany.
Sony Center – Venue for the annual Berlinale, the Sony Center offers Germany’s widest choice of original language films in 2D and 3D and regards itself as the cosmopolitan heart of Berlin’s cinematographic scene.
Natural History Museum – Regarded as the world’s foremost dinosaur museums, the Museum für Naturkunde is not only home to a fully-assembled Brachiosaurus brancai skeleton, its star attraction is a 70-million-year-old, 12-metre-long Tyrannosaurus-Rex skeleton called Tristan.
German Technology Museum – Offers a comprehensive overview into the history of German technology, with one of the world’s largest railway collections and a ship navigation simulator.
BMW Plant – An opportunity to tour the BMW plant devoted to the production of motorbikes (weekdays only).
Spectrum Science Centre – A hands-on museum with around 150 interactive exhibits designed to delight enquiring, scientific minds.
Menschen Museum – For budding biologists, this museum is the world’s first museum dedicated to the human body, looking at the structures of the human body and what makes us human.
KPM World – Visit one of Berlin’s oldest surviving commercial sites with a tour of the KPM manufacturers including an exhibition and an up-close look at the techniques involved in porcelain production.
Schönefeld Airport Tour – The tour provides a good insight into airport operations at Schönefeld Airport. Starting in Terminal D at Schönefeld Airport, take a bus tour across the entire airport site, past the runway, where you’ll have a front-row seat observing planes taking off or landing, followed by a visit to the airport fire department and the Lufthansa maintenance base.

Elsewhere

Filmpark Babelsberg – Located just outside Berlin at Europe’s oldest film-production company, the Filmpark Babelsberg offers a thrills and spills insight into the world of film and television. Visitors can explore everything related to the film industry including sets, props, costumes and technical equipment. There’s also the opportunity to tour the working studios (only available in German).
Sachsenhausen Memorial & Museum – Situated to the north of Berlin, this former WWII concentration camp, prison to more than 200,000 people between 1936 and 1945, became a memorial museum in 1993.
House of the Wannsee Conference – Site of the fateful meeting between Nazi officials and the SS in 1942, who negotiated the organised deportation and execution – the “Final Solution” – of European Jews in the occupied areas of Poland and Eastern Europe.
VW Autostadt — Situated a two-hour train ride to the west of Berlin, the city of Wolfsberg is famous as the global HQ for Volkswagen AG and the biggest car plant in the world. Take a factory tour (Mon—Fri only) of the Autostadt and visit the Zeithaus Museum and take a ride up the 48-metre-high Car Tower Discovery.

Berlin school trip images © visitBerlin, Wolfgang Scholvien, Gunter Steffen, Philip Koch