3 Quirky Ways to Discover Berlin on a Tour

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going,“ said Paul Theroux. In Berlin, at least they’ll remember how they got around.

How to best explore a city always requires a bit of consideration. Hail a cab, take the train, catch a bus, or simply walk? Cool, edgy, quirky Berlin has more to offer. Start with these tours to get a little more off-the-beaten path:

Nostalgic Trabi Tours

The Trabant (or Trabi) is regarded with affection by many Germans as a symbol of the fall of Communism, as many East Germans streamed into the West in their Trabi cars after the Wall was opened in 1989. The inefficient two-stroke engine and strange crackling and howling of the 26-horsepower coupler may be a thing of the past for good reason, but makes for a charming trip down memory lane. Rent one from Trabi Safari Berlin to set off on your own, or join a tour convoy of GDR-made Trabis with live commentary coming through the radio. For the signature experience, try their two-hour Wall Ride. It steers you along Berlin Wall-related stops and costs €89, inclusive of GDR visa, an original piece of the wall and obligatory police harassment at Checkpoint Charlie.

A Trabi, the only car model produced by East Germany, on a Berlin tour with Trabi Safari
Travelers in a Trabant (a "Trabi") off for a Berlin safari (Courtesy Trabi Safari)

Cruising Segways

The Segway is a two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered personal transporter. Gyroscopic and fluid-based leveling sensors detect shifts in weight, resulting in tiny braking adjustments to keep you upright. Lean forward to go faster, lean back to stop, and move the handlebars in the direction you want to go. Don’t panic, Berlin City Segway Tours will fully train you before you set off, and you’ll have it mastered after just a few minutes. Their half-day adventure combines a comprehensive tour of Berlin’s major attractions with the effortless joy of Segway riding.

Beer Bike On Tap

The beer bike is basically a traveling bar. The BierBike Berlin guide sits at the front and steers while everyone else pedals and drinks away the beer on tap. There is space for up to 16 people, but you need at least a group of seven to ensure enough pedal-power. They require everyone to be sober before starting the tour and limit you to a (more-than-sufficient) 10 liters of beer per hour. There is also an on-board sound system and lighting to enhance the mood. Two hours on the bike will set the group back between €240 and €300 depending on the day of the week; beer comes at a bargain price of €4.90 per liter.

You'll surely be snapping a few touristy photos of your own while cruising around, but rest assured onlookers will be taking more photos of you as you go rolling past.