Europe’s Best Private Tour Guide

Luxury Travel Guide Awards

I’m Dr. Finn Ballard from Ireland, a historian who’s been offering private tours of Berlin since 2009.
Take a look at the different tours listed below, or just let me know what interests you most and together we’ll tailor your perfect Berlin experience. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

+49 151 40 11 2203

3-Hour Highlights

The essential tour of Berlin’s highlights, focusing on 20th-century history. We’ll see the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Jewish Memorial, site of Hitler’s bunker, Potsdamer Platz, the former Luftwaffe HQ, the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie.

5-Hour Highlights

A comprehensive, chronological understanding of Berlin’s history from its 13th-century origins to the showpiece of the Hohenzollern dynasty, the capital of Imperial Germany and of the Third Reich, the divided city, and the modern metropolis.


A walk through one of the world’s first urban gay villages, exploring the history of 1920s nightlife, early Queer activism, Magnus Hirschfeld’s Sexual Science Institute – the world’s first clinic and social centre for LGBTIQ+ people – as well as persecution, repression, and regeneration.

Weimar Berlin

A tour focused on architecture and social history, exploring the glamour, radical politics, street-fighting, artistic movements, Modernist housing complexes, and near-nihilistic decadence of the complex and contradictory roaring twenties – perfect for fans of ‘Babylon Berlin.’

Jewish Berlin

An exploration of hundreds of years of history – tenacity, innovation, liberalism, dynamism, vibrancy, as well as persecution and recovery – in the city which is cited as having the world’s fastest-growing Jewish community outside Israel.

Third Reich

A walk which explores Berlin’s darkest chapter – its twelve tumultuous years as the capital of Adolf Hitler’s so-called Third Reich – and the city’s remaining National Socialist architecture, including the former Reich Aviation Ministry and Propaganda Ministry buildings.


A trip north of Berlin to the first purpose-built concentration camp of the Third Reich, in which around 200,000 prisoners would be incarcerated between 1936-45 – before the camp became a Soviet-run prison during the Cold War.

Battle of Berlin

A tour designed for those fascinated by military history (and bullet holes!) which explores the legacy of the last battle of the European theatre of WWII. We’ll track the confrontation of the Soviets and Germans all the way to the site of the unconditional surrender on May 8th, 1945.

Cold War

Walking the last remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall’s ‘death strip’ (and much more) we’ll explore the history of the Cold War and the divided German capital, to see where citizens were surveilled, spies were swapped, and escapes were made.

Turkish Berlin

Together with a local imam from Berlin’s vibrant Turkish-German community, we’ll walk through the buzzing ‘Little Istanbul’ neighbourhood of Kreuzberg to explore a history of migration, tenacity, assimilation, and the cultivation of a unique diasporic identity.

Custom Tours

You tell me! I’d be delighted to tailor your custom-made tour (or tours!) focusing on exactly your requirements and the themes which interest you most. Let’s develop your perfect Berlin tour together.

Finn Ballard Tours is

TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice 2020 and 2021
Luxury Travel Guide Awards 2016: Berlin’s Private Tour Guide of the Year
Travel + Hospitality Awards 2018: Berlin’s Private Tour Guide of the Year
Luxury Travel Guide Awards 2019: Europe’s Private Tour Guide of the Year
Luxury Travel Guide Awards 2021: Germany’s Private Tour Guide of the Year

other cities


A journey to the half-million-strong city, the capital of the state of Saxony and nicknamed ‘Florence on the Elbe,’ which was annihilated by firebombing in February 1945, then left to languish during the Cold War. Its recent revival is nothing short of stunning – but it’s still a politically-divided city.


A trip to the little up-and-coming city nicknamed ‘Hypezig,’ which boasts Baroque and modernist architecture, a vibrant student quarter, squats and street art, and the history of the 1989 Peaceful Revolution which brought an end to the Cold War.


Just outside Berlin, the one-time seat of the Hohenzollern dynasty is stuffed full of gorgeous fairy-tale palaces – but this city is also replete with Cold War history, from the 1945 Potsdam Conference to the ‘Bridge of Spies’ made famous in Spielberg’s 2015 film.


An hour away from Berlin lies the scenic town of Lutherstadt Wittenberg, from which the Reformation radiated throughout northern Europe. Let’s wander cobbled streets and see where Luther lived, preached, and outlined his 95 Theses.

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