4 Reasons You HAVE To Do The Alternative Walking Tour Berlin
This is one of those posts, where we experienced something first hand and just HAD to share it with you, our awesome audience. I just came back from a two-week business trip to Berlin, one of the cities where Gooster works. I was meeting with many cool hotels and hotel chains about a potential partnership, offering them our service to give to their guests. Needless to say, that we received a lot of interest and are now figuring out how to deal with this sudden demand stream.
This is not, however, the subject of this post. In between meetings, I wanted to explore the city, even used Gooster to discover some cool new places. A friend of mine, however, recommended me to do a free walking tour and one in particular: Alternative Tours Berlin.
This 3-hour walking tour of “less touristy” spots of Berlin was IN-SANE, where they take you to many hidden gems, showing you one of the most famous aspects of the city: street art.
Their own view on this tour? “From sandy Jamaican beach bars & artist squats to amazing local recreational facilities created from abandoned sites. A traveler can find a wealth of experiences on this unique tour”.
Here’s my personal 4 reasons you just HAVE to do the Alternative Walking Tour Berlin:
Duhhh, one of the main reasons to do the Alternative Walking Tour Berlin, is that it’s completely free of charge. The catch? There isn’t one really. The guides work on a tip based construction. When the tour is done, feel free to tip as you feel. Some people gave 5, others 10, others nothing. Just to clarify, I gave the guy 10 Euros, because it was a great tour, hence this post.
Alternative Berlin Tours is of course not the only one offering free walking tours, but my experience with this particular company was well above my expectations, so why not give them the credit they are due?
The guides rock!
I’m not a big fan of tour guides, which explains the reason why we built Gooster. Our guide, J.R., originally from Kansas City (yes that’s right, KC in the flesh!) was something else. His energy was great and he displayed himself as a plain visitor of Berlin, rather than the all knowing tour guide that I’ve experienced and endured over the past years. J.R. was super excited, even though he probably did the tour a gazillion times, but it didn’t stop him from spreading his enthusiasm among the tourists.
The guide plays an immense role in the success of these tours, even those companies. If the guide is bad, unexperienced, uninterested, the whole experience goes to sh*t. Excuse my French.
You see some of Berlin’s most amazing street art
Starting off in the “boring” downtown area of Berlin, Alternative Tours Berlin takes you through an incredible gallery of street art, drawn on cheap paper, with glitter and whatnot, falling apart any second. Every day there is supposably a new piece and one that’s lost forever.
Before leaving the city centre to go to the more “grunge” area of Kreuzberg, J.R. brought us to this amazing little hidden place that has the most incredible pieces of art you’ll ever see. From house-sized gorillas and Anne Frank portraits, to super small but detailed art on the walls of buildings. Just check out our Instagram account to get a taste of what’s there.
Shortly after leaving the boring city centre, we arrived in the hipster, grunge and overall raw area of Kreuzberg, filled with insane murals of astronauts, football players, and much more. We walked alongside gorgeous yet scary squats and ended the tour close to the East Side Gallery, in a cool place called YAAM, famous for it’s live shows in a particular Jamaican/Caribbean vibe.
I took this chance to continue my art-fever and walked all along the East Side Gallery, the last remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, filled with the most beautiful and meaningful murals. I was literally mind blown..
It’s just awesome!
In a nutshell, this tour is awesome. Especially when it’s dry out and you’re done with the usual tourist attractions and want to see something more authentic that this city has to offer, I highly recommend you to do this Alternative Walking Tour of Berlin. Come on, what do you have to lose? Just don’t forget to tip your guide, even though it’s a “free” tour.
Alternative Tours Berlin has definitely gave me a great image of what this great city has to offer. Even though 3 hours might seem long, it wasn’t near long enough. This city has so much incredible street art, graffiti, murals and many more fascinating things to see. I don’t think I saw the inside of a taxi my entire trip.
Alternative Berlin Tours is free of charge and happens EVERY DAY at 11am, 1pm (and 3pm during summer time), and the meeting point is the TV Tower next to Alexanderplatz, right in front of the Starbucks.
Make sure you bring a lot of energy and a valid A/B transport ticket. Have a great time and you can thank us later! If you happen to bump into J.R. as your guide, tell him Ardon says hi!