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Central Europe

Architectural Contrasts in Berlin, Dresden, Prague & Vienna

Architectural Contrasts in Berlin, Dresden, Prague & Vienna

Tour Suggestion

Day 1: Berlin

Welcome to Berlin – the city of art, architecture and change. Your tour escort will take you on a city tour of Germany’s capital, where you will experience the contrasts of creative urban development. Although based on Bauhaus style, Germany looks very different from East to West.  You will get to see large residential areas in the “Hansaviertel” and Marzahn, as well as some examples of the world-famous “Zuckerbäckerstil”, which literally translates into “gingerbread style”. Experience unique architecture specific to urban development at the “Frankfurter Allee” or the "Nikolaiviertel”. Furthermore, you will view the parliament buildings and “Potsdamer Platz” - examples of contemporary postmodern style.

After hotel check-in, enjoy a welcome dinner with your tour companions.  Dine on delicious regional cuisine while toasting to your upcoming adventures. Overnight in Berlin.

Day 2: Street art and urban gardening in Berlin

As you have familiarized yourself with the city during yesterday’s tour, you will now get to know the REAL Berlin. You won’t find this on your own and it’s not in any travel guide! Berlin is “IN” and constantly on the move. In the morning you’ll see some of Berlin’s finest street art - it will make you smile, think, or even find yourself in it. You’ll learn everything about the contrasts between gentrification and modern urban development. You’ll be immersed in the most popular quarter where contemporary artists settle and become immortalized. Of course, you will also get to see the famous East Side gallery - but where does art currently live? Where is the unique street art on house walls, in parks and on the riverside of the Spree? You will find out. And maybe, whilst you’re in between that creative environment, maybe you would even like to give it a try yourself? In the “Urban Nation - Museum for Urban Contemporary Art” you will have the opportunity to spray your own legal graffiti.

Your day throughout the real Berlin is not over yet. For lunch we’ll show you the cafés that are trendy: nothing big, but the little insider tips - vegan, ethnic or burgers - the taste of Berlin!

The afternoon will be spent exploring urban gardening. You will get to see blooming gardens, made out of nothing - the likes of which you can only find in Berlin. Let yourself be transported into a very special atmosphere when you visit the communal garden, situated on a former airfield, where vegetables are now grown and the focus is on cultural and social exchanges. Discover a special kind of garden in the middle of Berlin's "concrete desert" and marvel at the view of the city. This tour will show you why Berlin is so unique and endearing! You would have never found these attractions on your own!

Dinner and overnight in Berlin

Day 3: Imposing colossus in Berlin and green oases in Potsdam

Day three starts with a guided visit of one of the most spectacular buildings of Europe - the former Tempelhof Airport. Explore one of the main hubs of Berlin airlift and a landmark of the Third Reich. Tempelhof Airport’s main building is a historically protected landmark and a symbol of the eventful history of Berlin itself. On the one hand, it is an expression of Nazi ideology and served in World War II as a weapons production site using forced labour. On the other hand, Tempelhof is also a symbol of freedom, and the Air Lift of 1948/49 made the airport famous throughout the world. During the division of Germany, the airport was the gateway to freedom for many people. Over the course of the roughly 2-hour walking tour, you will get to see the most interesting parts of the huge building, which has a surface space of 300,000 square meters.

Afterwards, you continue to Dessau with a pit-stop in Potsdam. More than 30 palaces and gardens in Berlin and Brandenburg invite visitors to go on a lively time travel back into the brilliant era of the Prussian kings and queens. Testimonies to the accomplished architecture and landscape gardening in Prussia, they have largely belonged to the UNESCO World Heritage since 1991. Their paradisiacal beauty is in keeping with their sobriquet “Prussian Arcadia.” You will admire Sanssouci Castle and the New Palace in Potsdam from the outside, as well as a few other castles and gardens in the region.

Dinner and overnight in the region of Dessau.

Day 4: Bauhaus in Dessau

Today you will discover the city of Dessau which is famous for the Bauhaus Building, a UNESCO appointed World Heritage Site. Designed by Walter Gropius, this sleek building was completed in 1926. The dark windows of the building are a stunning contrast to the pristine white concrete exterior. Be amazed by the architecture of this building while you unearth the priceless creations and artefacts of the Bauhaus. Your guide will provide you with fascinating information as you take in the surrounding world of the Bauhaus museum. 

Afterwards you continue to Dresden.

Dinner and overnight in Dresden

Day 5: Dresden – rich in contrasting architecture styles

Spend your day in gorgeous Dresden, a city of outstanding Baroque architecture and vibrant culture. Once dubbed “The Jewel Box of Germany” for its great beauty, this inspiring city creates the ideal environment for a delightful walking tour with focus on the different architectural styles. Let yourself be enchanted by the flair of the unique baroque buildings in the Altstadt Quarter or stroll through the Neustadt quarter – the largest coherent Wilhelminian quarter in Germany. Visit the “Kunsthofpassage”, a complex of courtyards that are designed according to different topics – where else can you walk through the courtyard of elements, animals or even mystical creatures. A visit to the Church of Our Lady completes the tour. The “Frauenkirche”, as they call it in Germany, is actually a reconstruction of the original building, which was destroyed by bombs during World War II.

Dinner and overnight in Dresden

Day 6: Old Masters Gallery in Dresden

Before you drive eastbound to cross the border to the Czech Republic, you will have time to visit the Old Masters Gallery in Dresden. The collection in the gallery building by Gottfried Semper directly at the Dresden Zwinger delights its visitors with European paintings of six centuries. It includes some major Italian Renaissance works as well as Dutch and Flemish paintings - one of the most famous is Raphael’s Sistine Madonna.

Afterwards you continue to Prague.

Dinner and overnight in Prague

Day 7: Prague - a textbook of architecture

Welcome to the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague is literally a textbook of architecture. Take a stroll down any given street in this compact capital city and you might find yourself surrounded by centuries of different architectural elements this is what makes the city so intriguing for lovers of history and architecture. This myriad of architectural styles in Prague's intact ancient center is what draws millions of visitors each and every year to the golden city. Explore Prague on a guided city tour today and see for yourself what the hype is all about. Where else can you witness Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Art Nouveau, Cubist, Functionalist and Communist Era architecture in one go? Well, Prague has it all.

In the afternoon, visit the Prague Castle, a colossal structure of great histolorical significance dating back to the 9th century. With its many soaring towers, ornate churches, exquisite gardens and historical grandeur, the Prague Castle makes for an enriching afternoon of enlightenment.

Dinner and overnight in Prague

Day 8: Beautiful Spring in Vienna

Your exploration of culture and art continues as you set off on your journey to Austria.

After arriving in Vienna, a city of divine wonders and culture, you will have the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon of exploration and discovery. The Schoenbrunn Palace, one of the moste venerated buildings of Vienna, dazzles visitors with its imperial wealth and lavish decor.  Originally a recreational parkland, the palace was first constructed in the 17th century as a retreat. Schoenbrunn, which means "beautiful spring" was continually expanded and improved to the colossal palace we see today. With over 1400 rooms, vast gardens, and richly splendid history, the Schoenbrunn Palace is a delightful destination for visitors who crave insight into culture and history.

Dinner and overnight in Vienna.

Day 9: Traditional and modern architecture in Vienna

Wake up to the wonders of Vienna, seeing the coexistence of traditional and modern architecture.  A full day guided tour will enable you to see the most iconic sights of this gorgeous and historical city, while learning about its colourful and sometimes turbulent history.  Marvel at the great towers of St. Stephen's Cathedral, with its dramatic Romanesque and Gothic spires.  The colossal south tower stands authoritatively amongst the skyline of Vienna and is 136 meters tall. The intricately patterned roof of this amazing cathedral continues to enthrall visitors as it has done for centuries.

A journey along Vienna's famed "Ring Road" will delight sightseers with its numerous illustrious buildings of importance and grandeur.  A great cultural centre, the Ring Road absolutely brims with venerated museums and buildings.  Admire the aesthetically pleasing collection of Classical, Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic architectures, often combined together to create the Eclectic Style. The Vienna State Opera, Parliament, and the Town Hall are all located along this exquisite centre of beauty. Also, the Museums Quartier is right nearby, don’t miss a stroll through this mixture of history and contemporary architecture.

In addition to the familiar Gothic and Baroque buildings, Art Nouveau has a fixed place in Viennese architecture. At the turn of the 20th century, prominent architects such as Otto Wagner, Joseph Maria Olbrich and Adolf Loos erected world-renowned buildings such as the Secession, the Postal Savings Bank and the Loos House. Above all, it was Otto Wagner, who shaped Vienna’s skyline as we know it today. One of his most important buildings in Vienna are the stations, premises and bridges of the former Stadtbahn, which is a metro station these days. The noteworthy component of Art Nouveau architecture were the ornaments. These were used especially for the exterior design. Marble, glass, tiles, metal applications, colorful pieces, and gilding ennobled the houses.

Floral ornaments are on one of the most important Art Nouveau buildings, the Vienna Secession. Built by Joseph Maria Olbrich in 1898, it was the first exhibition building in Central Europe to be dedicated to modern art.

Adolf Loos spoke out against any decoration of buildings; his purely functional architecture thus distanced him clearly from the Art Nouveau style. The Loos House on Michaelerplatz is the best evidence of his work: instead of ornaments, high-quality materials were used both inside and out. The "house without eyebrows" (because the small roofs over the windows that were common at the time were lacking here) was a shock for citizens of Vienna who were used to Historicism and for Kaiser Franz Joseph, who could see the house from the Imperial Palace and loathed it.

For a last highlight of your trip, visit the most known expressionist landmark of Vienna: Fantastic forms, sloping floors, slanted walls and trees growing out of the facade - sounds like a real fixer-upper, but we are in fact talking about the Hundertwasserhaus. This social housing development was completed by the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser in 1985, as the architectural embodiment of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. Hundertwasser’s main source of inspiration was nature – which famously eschews straight lines and right angles.

Enjoy the last evening with your tour companions, reveling in your wonderful adventures and discoveries. Say farewell while enjoying a night of merriment and excitement in this wonderful city.

Overnight in Vienna

Day 10: Departure from Vienna

Alin Müller

Phone +49 89 189345 21

Fax +49 89 189345 45

Email alin.mueller(at)appina-travel(dot)com

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Your advantages

  • Tour focused on different architectural styles
  • Visit of places which you would never find on your own

Accommodation pre-booked for you

  • 4-star hotels in the mentioned cities


  • 9 × overnight stay at 4* hotels (2 × Berlin, 1 × region of Dessau, 2 × Dresden, 2 × Prague, 2 × Vienna)  
  • 9 × buffet breakfast
  • 9 × dinner at hotel or restaurant (3-course-menu with tap water)
  • 1 × coach transfer during the tour incl. accommodation for the coach driver
  • 1 × professional tour escort during the tour incl. accommodation for the guide
  • 1 × city tour of Berlin with topic architecture
  • 1 × full day tour guide for Berlin city tour with topic street art and urban gardening
  • 1 × visit of the Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art
  • 1 × guided visit of former Tempelhof Airport
  • 1 × guided visit of Bauhaus Museum and Building in Dessau
  • 1 × full day guided city tour of Dresden with topic architecture
  • 1 × entrance fee to Old Masters Gallery in Dresden
  • 1 × guided city tour of Prague with topic architecture
  • 1 × guided visit of Prague Castle
  • 1 × guided visit of Schoenbrunn Palace (Imperial Tour)
  • 1 × full day city tour of Vienna with topic architecture

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