A quarter century ago the whole world witnessed the most powerful symbol of the end of the Cold War – the historic fall of the Berlin Wall. In many ways it still feels like it was yesterday when a whole army of rusty Trabants invaded West Berlin after the Wall went down, causing odour nuisances amongst the incredulous spectators along the way on a lovely sunday. „Where is the next bank, good sir, I want to collect my welcome money!“ No open banks on sundays though, so most of them had to be content with an extended tour of window shopping. Now, for the anniversary of the fall 25 years later, Berlin has been invaded again – but this time its invaders have thankfully had the decency not to appear in a grey cloud of stinky emissions.
It was a wild mix of of curious onlookers, eager tourists and cheerful Berliners who populated the city throughout the weekend for countless anniversary ceremonies and glamorous celebrations. Naturally, Berlinagenten was right in the epicenter of it all! We’ve done more tours than ever and are super glad this marathon weekend is over. All our guests and tour guides can now proudly say they were part of this historic weekend – bigger than ever, better than ever, united forever!
With a huge variety of events and tours taking place on that weekend, it wasn’t easy for us to decide which to present to you. Here’s our top picks.
Our guests from mac cosmetics were here to experience an extended special edition of our popular Urban Insider Tour, focusing on the fall of the Wall, Berlin’s art scene and aiming to provide a detailed „behind the scenes“ insight.
Since we’re always trying to please our customers with tours that dig deeper into life in Berlin and its history, we started off by paying a visit to our friend Edwin Seth Brown. He’s an international media networker and a well-known art collector – insider knowledge all the way. After he shared his wisdom with us, we hit the streets – with eyes and minds wide open we explored some of the coolest places for urban art Berlin has to offer. Walking down the roads of the cult borough Bergmannkiez eventually got us thirsty and led us to a popular edgy bar that’s opened 24 hours, 365 days a year. The bar creates its own atmosphere – a dark wood interior, numerous antiques hanging loosely form the ceiling, heavy smoke filling the air and not a single sober soul to be seen. We felt a slight jolt of guilt hit us when the bartender greeted us by name, but of course that’s only because we often pass by when guiding hardcore VIPs. Cough cough.
But then… yes! The memory hit us, we’re here to do a tour. We quickly left the Schlawinchen before getting caught up in the bar’s maelstrom for good. We can reveal this much already: the rest of the tour was awesome. One of our guests left us a heart-warming message on his way back to Paris:
„As I am about to head back to Paris, I would like to thank you for having me and my friend on a tour in Berlin. I feel privileged, blessed and lucky to have crossed your path! You certainly have added interesting nuances to our Berlin tour (and honestly, to my vision of life).“ – Idris Henry
Too kind, really! But not even that surprising, with the rest of the tour still to come. We got a glimpse on secret locations that feature some of the coolest graffitis and of course we had a look at the spectacular light border near the well-crowded East Side Gallery (the last remains of the Wall still stand tall here). The light border consisted of roughly 8000 luminous white baloons along the whole route of the Wall, visually displaying the dimension of division the Wall once brought upon Berlin’s inhabitants. Before visiting an underground museum that we’ve already had the pleasure to introduce Madonna’s daughter Lourdes to, we paid a visit to a real „rockstar“. Well, he’s not really playing music but has definitely altered the playing field of the trendy (sun)glasses scene in the city. Ralf from ic!Berlin showed us around in his glasses manufactory – his brand has already become a cult label.
After the last stop at a trendy vietnamese restaurant (that cooks the award winning best burger in Berlin), our guests felt exhausted but wore a dreamy expression of content on their faces. They had gotten a better view behind the scenes of life in Berlin and its history than many do in a lifetime!
So, what else was on the menu for the weekend? Our charming tour-guide and legendary blogger Lollie Barr had the pleasure of guiding two groups from Atlanta and Detroit around the city. Lollie daringly led them through the city’s hidden oases and secret pathways until her feet had worn sore. Our guests were given the chance to not only experience many of the landmarks, but to also hear numerous insider stories about the vivid nightlife, the developing creative scene and had the chance to get an exclusive feel for the city’s atmosphere. Then there was the brewery tour (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like) – 16 norwegians tasted their way through Berlin’s most popular breweries. If the exquisite supply of fresh beer hadn’t played tricks on their senses, they might even have noticed they passed by some of Berlin’s Pink Pillow Hotels.
Wait… what? Pink Pillow Hotels? Surely, this must be an idea that our gay mayor Klaus Wowereit came up with! Close, but no. VisitBerlin invited a group of french media representatives and event managers to stay at one of the Pink Pillow Hotels - hotels that especially welcome gay and lesbian guests. They experienced the city during the anniversary celebrations, with a special emphasis on the open-minded Berlin gay scene. Naturally it was up to Berlinagenten to do the guiding. Our Berlin by Night Tour set the mood for a vibrant night out – originally we wanted to visit just a few selected trendy bars, but of course ended up partying until early in the morning. Berlin, baby!
Last, not not least…
Journalists and travel agents from Japan, Denmark and Israel. After a 5h Urban Lifestyle Tour, we joined sunday’s final night of the anniversary celebrations. After a reception at the legendary hotel Adlon, we were off to the biggest event the weekend had to offer. Exclusive VIP access to the grandstand facing the Brandenburger Tor – it was concert night. Peter Gabriel, Udo Lindenberg, die fantastischen Vier and global super star Paul Kalkbrenner enchanted thousands of visitors with their perfomances, right in front of the historic landmark. Doesn’t matter if you look 25 years ago or today – what unites us in our hearts and spirits always remains the same – the love for music.
Our selection of the best videos “25 years Fall of the Wall”: