Whether you visit Berlin often or are a newcomer to this city, a trip to Berlin is not complete without a boat tour on the River Spree. This is because a boat tour provides the opportunity for a different view of the many incredible attractions of Berlin. The historical and modern architecture along the River Spree, which is 400 kilometres (248 miles) is breath-taking, unusual, interesting and has symbolic representation. Whilst there are a number of tour companies offering cruising tours on the River Spree, I would recommend that you opt for a cruise with Reederei Bruno Winkler, which offers some fantastic city tours by water at a reasonable price.
Seven fantastic tours available including a fifty minute city tour
Reederei Bruno Winkler has four cruising boats which offer seven brilliant tours on the River Spree. The boats are named Fortuna, Speekrone, Charlottenburg and Bellevue. The boat that you see in this photograph was constructed in 2007 and is 39 metres (123 feet) in length and 8.20 metres (27 feet) in width; it has 220 seats on the sun deck and 133 indoor places. On board, you have the option to purchase food and drinks contingent on the tour that you book. For short tours, only drinks are available whereas for longer tours, such as those that are more than one and a half hours, food is also available and can be purchased from an al'a carte menu.
If you would like to find out about the various tour options available, please check Reederei Bruno Winkler’s website. This review focuses on one of the short tours (“the city tour”), which lasts fifty minutes and costs 9.00 EUR (10 USD). This tour departs from either Friedrichstrasse or Schlossbrucke and will take you to see the most iconic landmarks of Berlin. If you’re strapped for time and want to see as much of Berlin as possible, then I would definitely urge that you consider taking this tour, which is informative and relaxing.
Museumsinsel, Berliner Dom and Fernsehturm
The city tour will pass by Berlin’s top attractions and the first sights that you will see are the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) and Fernsehturm (TV Tower).
Museumsinsel is an entire complex that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes five incredible museums, which are as follows: Pergamon Museum, Bode Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie and Altes Museum. Seeing some of these museums from the water are in itself an architectural and archaeological journey of discovery. The buildings in which so much history are stored are magnificent and seeing them from a boat allows you to capture some incredible photographs.
The Berliner Dom is located on the Museumsinsel and was completed in 1904 and is made from Silesian sandstone. It has been created in a Renaissance Baroque style and is an exquisite sight to see from the River Spree, especially as you can really appreciate its green cupola which is crowned by a gilded cross. The Berlin Dom was once a royal court church and is now a house of worship for Protestants as well as a museum for visitors.
The Fernsehturm is one of the most prominent landmarks in Berlin and one that you will be able to see albeit from afar from the River Spree. It is a silver sphere that sits on a slim concrete column and is 368 metres (1,200 feet) high and is Germany’s tallest structure.
Reichstag, Bundeskanzleramt and Haus der Kulturen Der Welt
Following on from seeing the phenomenal sights that I have mentioned above, you will also have the opportunity to see the Reichstag (German Parliament), the Bundeskanzleramt (German Chancellery) and the Haus der Kulturen Der Welt (House of World Culture).
The Reichstag is fascinating to look at as it is a historical building with elements of modern dimension, such as the glass dome that is mounted on the top, as you can see from the photograph. The glass dome includes a viewing platform that is made of two helical ramps and allows the public to look inside the actual parliamentary sessions. This essentially allows the people to be above the government and is a reminder that they can hold them to account for their actions.
The Bundeskanzleramt opened in 2001 and is a approximately 5,110 square metres (55,000 square feet) and has a unique nine storey building which includes an 18 metre (59 feet) high semi-circle within its upper façade. It is due to this semi-circle that some Germans have nicknamed this building, the “washing machine”.
In addition, the Haus der Kulturen Der Welt, which is the neighbour to the Bundeskanzleramt, is located within Tiergarten park and was constructed in 1957. It is a hub for creative souls and presents art exhibitions as well as theatre and dance performances. Some Germans have nicknamed it the “pregnant oyster” due to its unusual shape.
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Crossing many of the sixty bridges that cover the river
An experience on the River Spree with Reederei Bruno Winkler is one of the best ways to take in the unique atmosphere of Berlin’s waterfront and see a number of significant sights that are at the heart of this busy city, albeit in the most relaxing fashion. Not only will you see some amazing attractions but you will also cross under many of the sixty bridges that cover the River Spree. This cultural and scenic sightseeing opportunity comes with brief commentary on-board which is in English. As I had a very enjoyable trip on the Reederei Bruno Winkler, I have to recommend it to you. Tickets can be purchased either online or outside the departure points for the boats including at Friedrichstrasse.
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