Yellow City Discovery, 2-day Berlin City bus tour (plus optional river cruise).
During this visit, I decided to go on a 'hop on hop off' bus tour as a quicker (and cheaper) way of navigating the city. I ended up selecting the 2-day City Discovery Berlin City bus tour (plus optional river cruise). I'd never booked this kind of tour before, although, had seen them in every capital city I have visited. Joining the tour at their Headquarters on Unter Den Linden (stop 12), I boarded a yellow, open-top, double-decker bus and was handed a pair of headphones to plug into the port on my chair. There are an additional 17 bus stops on the route, each stopping by Berlin's key attractions that you can hop on and hop off at as you please. The tour is offered in 19 languages and informative, pointing out landmarks and buildings along the way with a brief history of each. To be honest, I didn't think about the possibility of commentary, after all, I booked the tour for convenience (not the detailed information), so this was a welcome surprise.
I found the staff working at the boat dock very helpful, I did not realise I had to collect a separate ticket for the boat section of the tour, so an employee walked with me the entire way from the dock to the local booking office (1 block away/ stop 10) to help.
Once on the river cruise, I chose to sit upstairs/ outside for a good view. On board you're given a tablet to plug your headphones in and listen to the commentary, this allows you to move around the boat if need be without missing anything. Table service is available on board, and I was able to purchase glasses of wine to enjoy while cruising along the Spree, this, in turn, led to a delirious McDonald's pit stop and a long, semi-lost, yet cheerful walk back to my hostel on day 1.
I ended up using this tour to access Brandenburg Gate, The Reichstag, The Holocaust Memorial, the East Side Gallery & Alexanderplatz just to name a few and remained on the bus for a complete loop so I could observe more of the city. I highly recommend this as a useful way to see Berlin's landmarks, in little time.
A HANDY GUIDE
Open-top, double-decker bus
135 minutes approx.
Bus Loop Duration:
Summer - every 10 minutes,
10 am - 6 pm (10 am - 9 pm Fri + Sat)
Winter - every 15 minutes,
10 am - 5 pm.
Optional River Cruise Time/ Duration:
This section of the tour runs from 10:30 am - 4:30 pm and lasts for 1 hour.
Stop 12 - Unter den Linden
City Discovery Tour Headquarters, Unter den Linden (Berlins Famed Boulevard), Shopping, Cafes, Restaurants, Bars.
Stop 13 - Brandenburger Tor
Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate), Reichstag, Holocaust Memorial (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe), Tiergarten, Unter den Linden (Berlins famed boulevard), Pariser Platz, Madame Tussauds.
Stop 14 - Hauptbahnhof
Main railway station in Berlin.
Stop 15 - Siegessaule
Siegessaule (Victory Column), Tiergarten.
Stop 16 - Flohmarkt
Flohmarkt (Flea Market).
Stop 17 - Schloss Charlottenburg
Charlottenburg Palace, Brohan Museum, Museum Berggruen, Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik,
Stop 18 - Antiquitatenmeile
Antiquitaten meile (Antique mile), Kunst und Antiquitäten Die Berliner Antikstrasse, Antikhaus Niehaus.
*** Since returning home, City Discovery has updated their stop locations and have removed the o2 World/ East Side Gallery stop off their 'Yellow line' schedule. (The stop I used the most.)
You can still access the East Side Gallery by hopping off the 'yellow line' bus at stop 14 (Hauptbahnhof) and catching the S7/ S75 purple line train (Wartenburg↔Spandau or Ahrensfelde↔Wannsee) 5 stops to Ostbahnhof station.
Alternatively, the East Side Gallery is now accessed on City Discovery's 'purple line' bus at bus stop #9.