- Take guided tours of two concentration camps near Berlin and Munich
- Learn about the Cold War era on a self-guided visit to Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin
- Explore the interiors of Courtroom 600, where the Nuremberg Trials were held
- Visit Terezín Memorial and Fortress on a day trip to northern Bohemia
|Arrive in Berlin, Tour the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
|World War II History Tour in Berlin
|Self-Guided Visit to Checkpoint Charlie
|Train to Dresden, Historic Walking Tour
|Day Trip to Northern Bohemia (Czech Republic)
|Train to Nuremberg, Visit the Nazi Party Rally Grounds
|Old Town & World War II Tour of Nuremberg
|Train to Munich, Explore Munich's World War II History
|Visit the Dachau Concentration Camp
Day 1: Arrive in Berlin, Tour the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
Welcome to Berlin, the capital of Germany, located in what was formerly East Germany. Here, you'll find many famous landmarks and sites connected to the war, such as the Reichstag building, Germany's seat of parliament, which was heavily damaged in 1945, and Führerbunker (Hitler's bunker), which you'll explore later. Upon arrival, you'll be picked up from the train station and transferred to your hotel. After checking in, you'll embark on a six-hour tour of a notorious World War II-era site just outside the city: the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.
Created by a renowned military historian and former British military attaché in Berlin, Nigel Dunkley, this tour provides an interesting perspective on the events of World War II and the lives of prisoners in the concentration camp. As you walk through the camp, your guide will take you to significant locations, such as the punishment cells, execution sites, and crematoria. The tour also highlights the design of the camp, revealing how its layout was intended to promote terror and repression. After this poignant experience, you'll be transferred back to your hotel in Berlin.
Day 2: World War II History Tour in Berlin
Today, embark on a four-hour private guided tour of World War II, exploring the essential sites around Berlin where history was made. Throughout the tour, your guide will share captivating stories about the rise and fall of the Third Reich, providing a deeper understanding of this pivotal historical period. This engaging and informative walk will take you on a journey through time as you visit iconic landmarks. Begin your tour at the Soviet War Memorial, an imposing monument built to commemorate the 7,000 of the 80,000 Red Army soldiers who fell in the Battle of Berlin in April–May 1945.
Proceed toward the final battlefield for the Reichstag, the heart of the Nazi regime. Then, visit Hitler's bunker, where the infamous dictator spent his last days before taking his own life. You'll also explore the ministry where the German Luftwaffe was coordinated, learning about the strategic planning behind the war efforts. Throughout the experience, your guide will also share what life was like for the people living under the oppressive regime, including those who resisted the Nazis. Following the tour, take some time to walk through the stark but compelling Holocaust Memorial.
Day 3: Self-Guided Visit to Checkpoint Charlie
After breakfast, take a self-guided walk to Checkpoint Charlie, the infamous Cold War-era border crossing between East and West Berlin. See where US and Soviet tanks faced off during the 1961 Berlin Crisis, and view the iconic "You Are Leaving The American Sector" sign in four languages. This historic landmark is a powerful reminder of political division and the struggle for freedom during the Cold War era. While here, spend some time at the nearby Checkpoint Charlie Museum, also known as the Mauermuseum, where you can learn about various escape attempts from East to West Berlin.
Finish your day by checking out some local eateries and cafés near Checkpoint Charlie. As you sit down to enjoy a meal, take the time to reflect on the incredible history and transformation that this iconic location has experienced. From its tense beginnings as a border crossing during the Cold War to its current status as a symbol of unity and freedom, Checkpoint Charlie is a powerful reminder of Berlin's resilience and growth. Afterward, return to your hotel in Berlin and prepare for tomorrow's train ride to another key World War II city near the Polish border.
Day 4: Train to Dresden, Historic Walking Tour
Today, board a train from Berlin to Dresden, a city in southeastern Germany near the Polish borders, and admire the countryside views as you follow the Elbe River for about two hours. Once settled at your hotel, travel back in time on a walking tour through the city's historic Old Town and witness the aftermath of the devastating bombings in February 1945. As you walk through the city, your guide will share the challenges faced during rebuilding. A visit to the Panometer Dresden to experience "Dresden 1945," a powerful 360-degree panorama, transports you back to the wartime destruction.
Landmarks, including Zwinger Palace with its Baroque architecture, the Semperoper opera house, and Frauenkirche (Our Lady's Church), a Lutheran church known for its striking Baroque design, were greatly impacted by the devastating bombings during World War II. Their destruction symbolized the city's scars and the struggle for rebirth, and their subsequent reconstruction stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of Dresden's residents to restore their heritage and cultural symbols. Afterward, return to your accommodation to prepare for tomorrow's day trip to northern Bohemia.
Day 5: Day Trip to Northern Bohemia (Czech Republic)
While in Dresden, you can easily take a day trip to the Czech Republic to visit a poignant World War II-era site and other history and natural wonders. Begin your guided tour with a visit to the Terezín Memorial and Fortress (Theresienstadt in German), used as a concentration camp during the war. As you explore the fortress and the former Jewish ghetto, your guide will share the chilling history of the place, where thousands of Jewish people and other prisoners either died or were transported to other larger concentration camps.
Next, head to the small town of Benešov nad Ploučnicí to visit the château. With a rare and captivating Saxon Renaissance architectural style, this remarkable structure is considered one of a kind. After visiting the château, enjoy delicious homemade crepes for lunch. The final stop of your Czech adventure is Tisa Rock City (Tiské Stěny), in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Wander through the hidden alleyways and admire the awe-inspiring rock formations of this natural wonder, getting some exercise and fresh air before returning to Dresden.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Train to Nuremberg, Visit the Nazi Party Rally Grounds
Travel four hours southwest by train today to Nuremberg, a beautiful city with a dark and infamous history. After your arrival, head to the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds. The large area was designed to showcase the power and grandeur of the National Socialist regime to Germany and the world. Your walking tour begins at the Luitpold Arena site, once a massive gathering spot for Nazi rallies. Next, visit the Congress Hall, an imposing structure intended to house thousands of Nazi party members during their rallies.
Continue down Great Street, a colossal boulevard designed for parades and processions. While walking this historical path, your guide will explain the importance of these events and how they were meticulously stage-managed to maximize their impact. Your tour concludes at the Zeppelin Field, a chilling reminder of the regime's megalomania. As you take in the vastness of this site, reflect on the immense scale of the Nazi regime's ambitions and the lasting impression they left on history before returning to your accommodation in Nuremberg.
Day 7: Old Town & World War II Tour of Nuremberg
Delve further into Nuremberg's rich history today on a six-hour walking tour. Start by strolling down narrow streets in the Old Town, appreciating the half-timbered houses, and marveling at the impressive city walls. As you walk, your guide will regale you with stories of Nuremberg's past, from being the undeclared capital of the Holy Roman Empire to its role in Germany's industrial revolution. During the tour, you'll stop by Hauptmarkt, the city's central square, where you'll admire the ornate Gothic Frauenkirche, followed by a visit to the Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain).
Then, ascend to Nuremberg Castle, an emblem of the city's powerful past. You'll also delve into Nuremberg's darker history, learning more about the Third Reich and the infamous post-war Nuremberg Trials at Courtroom 600 in the Palace of Justice, where the trials were held. Until quite recently, it was an operational courthouse. Finally, no visit to Nuremberg would be complete without sampling sausages with sauerkraut at local breweries and beer gardens. As you enjoy these delicious flavors, you'll understand why Martin Luther once described Nuremberg as "a sun among the moon and stars."
Day 8: Train to Munich, Explore Munich's World War II History
Continue south today with a one-hour train ride to Munich, a historic city in Bavaria's capital. Enjoy the freedom of a full-day, self-guided tour, starting at the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism. Here, you'll explore the permanent exhibition showcasing the rise of the Nazi party, their ideology, and the consequences of their actions. Next, make your way to the Feldherrnhalle, a prominent site associated with the failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. This event marked a pivotal moment in Hitler's rise to power.
Continue to the White Rose Memorial Museum, dedicated to the student resistance group that actively opposed the Nazi regime. Learn about the courageous actions and intellectual resistance of these young people who sought to spread awareness and promote freedom. Conclude at the Munich Residenz, the former royal palace. While not directly related to the war, the palace houses the exhibition "Monarchy and Modernity," which explores the tumultuous history of the Wittelsbach dynasty, including their role during the Nazi era. Once back at your hotel in Munich, prepare for tomorrow's poignant journey.
Day 9: Visit the Dachau Concentration Camp
On the penultimate day of your trip, set out an hour from Munich for a solemn and educational three-hour tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp, established in 1933. It was the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany and served as a blueprint for others. The memorial, established in 1965, offers a poignant and educational experience. Learn about the lives of the 200,000+ prisoners who passed through here, and pay tribute to the 40,000 who perished. On your guided tour, witness the original barracks, guard towers, and administrative buildings, a testament to the prisoners' harrowing conditions.
Visit the moving memorials and sculptures that stand as reminders of the camp's brutal past and the resilience of survivors. Your exploration leads to the camp's crematorium and gas chamber, where countless lives were lost. Step into the museum, where personal belongings, photographs, documents on display, and firsthand accounts offer an intimate view of prisoners' lives, the camp's routines, and the eventual liberation by American forces. Following the tour, return to your hotel in Munich for a reflective dinner and prepare for tomorrow's departure from Germany.