When you visit a city that is a famous travelers’ destination you might expect a few perks. Berlin is a good example of such a city. And it seems to take things to the next level. Tegel airport is unbelievably easy to reach (not to mention cheap, all you need is a regular PT ticket), there’s a never-ending list of options for exploring the city, good food and drinks are pretty much everywhere you turn and the clubbing scene needs no explanation.
If you are a tourist in Berlin, life is good.
But nothing is black and white. Ray Straton said repetition is the mother of perfection. It’s true for some things like sports, musical instruments, languages… But when it comes to tourism, repetition is more likely to turn into a traveler’s worst nightmare. Ever heard of the term tourist trap? Yeah, there’s nothing worse than pushing through a crowd and waiting in lines for hours for a cool photo.
As a home away from home to more travelers than we can count, we are very aware of that. Your experiences never go unnoticed, and listening to our guests’ feedback for years helped us come up with a special way to show you the Berlin we love and avoid all the crowded overpriced and overrated tours.
Welcome to Behind The Curtain.
Never heard of it? We expected that, so we brought you Andrew, one of the masterminds behind the concept, and asked him for some insider intel. This is what he said.
1. So Andrew, can you start by explaining what makes Behind The Curtain tours stand out from other Berlin tours?
The whole idea of the “Behind the Curtain” concept was born out of the desire to share with our guests aspects of Berlin that excite us, from a locals perspective. So with this in mind, we curate a monthly program of special activities, tours and events which shed light on the city, and importantly, the people living in it, from a fresh, exciting perspective. By scratching the surface just a little, Berlin can be full of surprises, and so it is these experiences that we like to include in our program. Experiences, that as a visitor to the city might not know exist, or may not have assess to. A kind of experience driven by local expertise, passion and authenticity.
2. And who decides on the topics?
Well, the monthly program is curated by myself, however, most of the ideas are being fed from our staff, who are all pretty interested and engaged in the city, and are keen to share this knowledge with our guests. The kinds of topics you might typically find in our program are related to History, Food, contemporary art, abandoned places, neighborhood walks, local meet and greets, creative workshops… to name a just a few.
3. Can anyone join?
While we have many Berliner’s and other people around town who are keen to join in on our events and activities, for the most part we like to keep our program exclusive to Circus guests.
4. What’s your favorite tour so far? Why?
That’s a tough question, cause the list a really long, but getting the opportunity to visit Berlin’s legendary Hansa studio’s, where so many artists have recorded over the years such as Bowie, Iggy, U2, Depeche Mode, Nick Cave… and to get to meet Edu Meyer, who was Bowies local sound engineer who worked on “Hero’s” – well that was pretty special.
5. And last but definitely not least, what do the guests think?
The BTC program has been going for about 12 months now. We’ve had an amazing response from guests. I think when people take part in this kind of thing, they understand how unique and special it is. The program itself is pretty broad, so there should be something for everybody.
So next time you stay with us, keep an eye out for one of these: