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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Join Finn on Patreon for
- regular history blog
- Patreon-only bonus videos
- History Club seminars
- virtual tours
- and lots more!