May 3 - 16, 2021
14 days
$9,720per person, twin share (land content only). $2,490 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Christopher Menz
May 3 - 16, 2021

Tour Leader

Christopher Menz$9,720per person, twin share (land content only). $2,490 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions

Overview

Berlin is one of the most interesting and diverse of all the great capitals of Europe, and is enjoying a major cultural renaissance. This two-week residential-style tour takes an in-depth look at Berlin, and the nearby cities of Potsdam, Dresden and Leipzig. The tour visits many of Berlin’s internationally renowned cultural institutions, enjoys fine performances in historic venues, and traces the history and development of Berlin from its earliest days through the glory days of the Prussian and German Empires, to the darker days of the 20th century and its rebirth after 1989.

Highlights

  • An extraordinary range of museums and art galleries, including Berlin’s Museum Island and Gemaldegalerie
  • Extended stays in Berlin, exploring historic neighbourhoods in the East and West
  • Rococo architecture and garden design at Frederick the Great’s Sanssouci Palace at Potsdam
  • Renaissance Leipzig’s old town, Goethe’s “little Paris”, and the scenic countryside surrounding it
  • Elegantly restored Dresden and the impressive art collections at the Zwinger Palace
  • Farewell meal atop the Reichstag with views across Berlin

Itinerary Overview

Days 1–5: Arrive in Berlin, tour the city and cruise the Spree River from Charlottenburg Palace. Spend two days visiting Museum Island, explore Potsdam and see the world-class Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Days 6–7: Travel to Leipzig to visit the Museum of Fine Arts and the Grassi Museum.

Days 8–9: In Dresden, tour the Old Masters Picture Gallery at the Zwinger Palace and enjoy the Dresden Festival.

Days 10–14: Return to Berlin and visit the German Resistance Museum, New National Gallery, and the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum of Contemporary Art. Attend an opera and enjoy a farewell meal atop the Reichstag.

Detailed Itinerary

Start & Finish

The tour begins and ends at our Berlin hotel. Qatar Airways or Singapore Airlines/Lufthansa offer the best connections to and from Berlin from most Australian cities. Contact us for quotes and bookings.

Detailed Itinerary

Included meals are shown with the letters B, L and D.

Monday May 3: Arrival

If you have booked your air travel through Academy Travel, we will organise a transfer from Berlin’s Tegel airport to our hotel. Please note that rooms may not be available until early afternoon. In the evening meet tour leader at the hotel bar for drinks and a light dinner. Overnight Berlin (D)

Tuesday May 4: Medieval to Prussian – Performance I

After a talk, we travel by coach to the Berggruen Museum to admire its exceptional collection of modern art including works by Matisse, Klee and Giacometti. We pause for our welcome lunch at a fine local restaurant before continuing to Charlottenburg, for a guided tour of the richly decorated interior of the palace. Built by Elector Friederich III in 1699 as a summer palace for his wife Sophie Charlotte, this regal estate, the largest palace in Berlin, is framed by a baroque-style garden. In the late afternoon we cruise by ferry on the River Spree back to Berlin. Tonight, we attend a concert at Berlin’s famous concert hall, the Philharmonie. Overnight Berlin (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Philharmonie, Berlin
Program: to be announced October 2020
Performers: to be announced October 2020

Wednesday May 5: Frederick The Great’s City

Today we spend the day in Potsdam. The Prussian kings left their royal imprint on Potsdam with lavish palaces, parks, and gardens, many of them with UNESCO World Heritage status. An undoubted highlight of the day is the visit to rococo palace Sanssouci, built for Frederick the Great, who wanted to escape the formalities of his life in Berlin and retreat to his summer palace in Potsdam, aptly called Sanssouci (‘without worries’ in French). We also visit Cecilienhof Palace, set in the beautiful park of Neuer Garten. The last palace the Hohenzoller family built, it offers a contrast to Sanssouci as it was designed in the rustic English Tudor style.  After an early dinner in Potsdam we return to Berlin. Overnight Berlin (B, D)

Thursday May 6: The Prussian City – Performance II

After a talk, we begin our day at the German History Museum, to survey the collection that focuses on Germany’s two-thousand-year history. Our next stop is Berlin’s most famous landmark, the Brandenburg Gate. A symbol of Berlin and German division during the Cold War, it is now a national symbol of peace and unity. In the afternoon we visit the Gemäldegalerie, assembled in the early 19th century, the gallery’s collection represents all the major schools of European painting and includes masterpieces by Botticelli, Raphael, Caravaggio, Breughel, Vermeer and Rembrandt. This evening we walk to the recently reopened Staatsoper Unter den Linden. Overnight Berlin (B)

Performance details
Venue: Staatsoper Unter den Linden
Program: to be announced October 2020
Performers: to be announced October 2020

Friday May 7: Museum Island

This morning, we walk to Museum Island. On the site of one of Berlin’s two original settlements, this unique complex of five state museums is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit in Berlin. Today we visit the Neues Museum, the home of the Egyptian Museum and the famous bust of Nefertiti. Mid-morning, we visit what is perhaps Berlin’s most renowned institution, the Pergamon Museum. The museum is currently under partial renovation so the hall containing the Pergamon Altar is closed. What we will see are the impressive Near Eastern antiquities and Islamic art, much of which was collected by the German Kaisers from their close contact with countries such as Turkey, Iraq and Iran in the early 20th century. We spend lunchtime in the nearby Hackesche Höfe, a district comprised of a series of interconnected courtyards bustling with restaurants, boutiques and galleries. This evening we have dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Berlin (B, D)

Saturday May 8: Museum Island II

We depart Berlin today for Leipzig, first returning to Museum Island to visit the Bode Museum, home to the Sculpture Gallery and the Museum of Byzantine Art. Around midday we head to Leipzig. This evening we have dinner at the historic restaurant Auerbachs Keller, that is mentioned in Goethe’s play Faust. Overnight Leipzig (B, D)

Sunday May 9: Leipzig

Leipzig is one of the great German cultural centres, with connections to Bach, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Martin Luther, Goethe, Schiller, and the Neue-Leipziger-Schule art movement. This morning we take a guided walking tour of Leipzig, followed by a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts. The original museum building was destroyed in an air raid in 1943, though many of the paintings had been saved. A new home for the collection, a contemporary building, opened in 2004, 61 years to the day after the original museum was destroyed. The afternoon is free; however, we recommend you visit the Grassi Museum, to see the impressive collection charting over 2,500 years of the decorative arts. Overnight Leipzig (B)

Monday May 10: Dresden via Meissen

On the way to Dresden this morning we will see the ‘Monument to the Battle of the Nations’ – Europe’s largest memorial, and the site of the 1813 defeat of Napoleon by a coalition of German forces. We then travel to Meissen, on the banks of the Elbe not far from Dresden, to stroll the town and have lunch. We arrive in Dresden in the late afternoon and take an orientation walk through the old town. We visit the Frauenkirche, an impressive Baroque church that was destroyed in World War II and beautifully restored and reopened in 2005. Overnight Dresden (B, L)

Tuesday May 11: Zwinger Palace – Performance III

After a talk, we make our way on foot to the Zwinger Palace, an excellent example of late Baroque architecture in Germany. Built between 1710 and 1728, the Zwinger was used for court festivities and tournaments. The palace contains Dresden’s Old Masters Picture Gallery, with works by Raphael, Rubens and Canaletto. We explore too, the delightful Porcelain Collection, and survey the impressive treasures inside the Historic Green Vaults. This evening we hope to attend a musical even while in Dresden. Overnight Dresden (B)

Performance details
Venue: to be announced October 2020
Program: to be announced October 2020
Performers: to be announced October 2020

Wednesday May 12: Pillnitz Palace

Today we return to Berlin, stopping along the way to view the extraordinary ensemble of architecture and landscape gardening that makes up Pillnitz Palace. Built by August the Strong as a ‘Water Palace’, Pillnitz was the summer residence of many electors and kings of Saxony. We gather for dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Berlin (B, D)

Thursday May 13: From Art to Wilhelmstrasse

Our touring today commences with a focus on Wilhelmstrasse including a visit to the hub of the Nazi administration. We visit the moving Holocaust Memorial, the site of the new Reich’s Chancellery and Hitler’s Bunker and the Luftwaffe Ministry building which is the site of Gestapo Bunkers. We then stop at the fascinating Topography of Terror. Our walking tour then takes us to Potsdamer Platz, to stroll around what is now the modern heart of unified Berlin. We next visit the renowned Kulturforum, the decorative arts museum, the oldest of its kind in Germany, housing a wide variety of craftwork, fashion and design from the early Middle Ages to the present day. This afternoon visit to the German Resistance Memorial Centre, which is primarily intended to commemorate those members of the German Army who tried to assassinate Hitler in 1944. Overnight Berlin (B)

Friday May 14: The Synagogue and The Cold War

This morning we visit the ‘New Synagogue’, which was significantly damaged on Kristallnacht in 1938, the restored building reopened in 1995. We then stroll through the old Jewish district in the Jewish Museum of Berlin, designed by Daniel Libeskind and opened in 2001. After lunch, we investigate Berlin in the late 1940s and 1950s – the height of the Cold War. Our tour includes sections of the Berlin Wall, the former Stasi headquarters and Karl-Marx-Allee, a broad boulevard lined with impressive Socialist Realist buildings.Our tour concludes with a visit to Checkpoint Charlie. Overnight Berlin (B)

Saturday May 15: Contemporary Berlin

On our final day of the tour we take a coach tour of the modern city, focussing on its recent architecture. We pause to survey the collection at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Contemporary Art. Our time in Berlin culminates with a farewell lunch at restaurant Kafer, seat of the German parliament. This building symbolises the struggles and eventual triumph of the city. First opened in 1894, destroyed by fire in 1933, the Reichstag became the first meeting place of a reunified Germany. The reconstruction of the building was completed in 1999 to a plan by British architect Sir Norman Foster. His plan included an extraordinary glass dome at the top of the building, offering 360° views. Overnight Berlin (B, L)

Sunday May 16: Departure

The tour ends after breakfast at our hotel. If you have booked flights with Academy Travel, we will organise a transfer to Berlin Tegel airport for outgoing flights. (B)

Christopher Menz

A former art museum director and curator, with expertise in the arts and music throughout Europe, the USA and Australia.

Christopher Menz is a former art museum director and curator and has been leading cultural tours in Europe, the United States and Australia since 2013. He has expertise and interest in the visual arts and music.

Christopher has a BA (Hons) from Flinders University. He is a former director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Before that he was a curator, specialising in decorative arts, and worked at the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, and National Gallery of Victoria. He has published and lectured extensively on Australian and European decorative arts, notably on the design work of William Morris, and curated numerous exhibitions. Christopher is based in Melbourne where he is an art consultant and valuer, and Development Consultant for Australian Book Review.

Christopher has led cultural tours to Germany, England, the United States, as well as in Australia. He has also been a tour leader on European river cruises.

We asked Christopher, what do you think clients get from travelling with you?

“It is always a great thrill to be able to introduce clients to new experiences and to places they might otherwise not have visited or not have visited recently. I always hope to give tour guests something that adds to the experiences of the places, cities, museums and art galleries, and performances that they would not get if travelling alone.”

View Bio & Upcoming Tours

Hotels

These four and five-star hotels have been selected principally for their central location.

Tour Inclusions

What is included in the tour price? 

Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:

  • Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
  • Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate, taxis or public transport are also used for short distance travel on some tours
  • All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
  • Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
  • Services of tour leader throughout tour
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides at some sites
  • Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required and when stated as included

Airport Transfers

Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.

What is not included in the tour price?

Our tours do not include the following:

  • Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
  • Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
  • Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
  • Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity

Tour Details

Fitness Requirement

Grade Two
i

A Grade 2 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days.
More Details

Bookings

Book Online Now More Details
Hold a Place Download Booking Form

Speak to a consultant

For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Jamal Fairbrother 02 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)
jamal@academytravel.com.au

Next Departure

If these dates don't work for you, register to hear about the next tour.

NEXT DEPARTURE

Please keep me informed about the next departure of this tour.

Hold a Place

Thank you for your interest in this tour. We are happy to hold a tentative place for seven days while you make your final arrangements to come on tour.

Subscribe

Sign up to our mailing list for tour updates and latest news.

Order