After drawing millions of tourists for the 2006 World Cup, you'd think Germans would need a rest in the hospitality department. Nein to that. End of summer deals to Germany and its major cities start in Berlin, where you'll practically have the town to yourself, or at least get a quick beer in a beer garden or avoid lines at museums.
Go Today (tel. 800/227-3235; www.go-today.com) has special air/land deals to Berlin for immediate travel. The packages are good all the way through the winter holidays, when prices and temperatures decrease and Berliners enjoy cozy, warm bars and heaps of sauerkraut and sausage. As we went to press, Go-Today listed July 20, 2006 as the purchase-by date for the packages; however, the company has been known in the past to extend it's deadlines so they might still be valid past this date. The six-night hotel package starts at $959 for travel from September 7 to October 31, 2006, includes roundtrip airfare to Berlin, six nights of your choice of hotel, daily breakfast, hotel taxes and service charges, and airline fuel charges. For travel this month, or from now through August 25, 2006, prices start at $1,159. If you can wait to go until November 1 and travel by December 14, 2006, the price drops to $739 with roundtrip air from New York or Newark and the six nights' hotel accommodations.
Hotels available on this deal include the Park Inn Berlin Â? Alexanderplatz (tel. +49 30 2389 0; www.berlin.parkinn.de), an affordable, gigantic, 1,006 room hotel located near historic area. To get an idea of the hotel's scale, there's a casino on the 37th floor, the hotel has ten parking spaces just for busses, three restaurants, two bars and a beer garden. If you like that big hotel feel and anonymity, this place is for you.
For a quick trip to Berlin, Gate One Travel (tel. 800/680-2858; www.gate1travel.com) has a five-day three-night Berlin quick city trip. The independent trip starting at $929 with late August, September and October departures includes roundtrip airfare, three nights' accommodations, and daily breakfast. City tours in and around Berlin are optional. As New York and other cities have loop tourist busses, that let you hop on and off at select spots, Berlin has a similar tourist excursion, easily combined with a boat ride along the River Spree for just $33.
To further complement your Berlin experience with Gate One Travel, a tour of the Sanssouci Palace near Potsdam is an additional $45. A great source of German pride, the palace was originally sketched by Frederick the Great himself. Voltaire visited the central room in the court, the great Marmorssal, based on the Pantheon in Rome. Small in scope, the architecturally-innovative palace has only 12 rooms but outstanding grounds with other palatial structures.
A combination trip, including Berlin and other German cities in its busy itinerary, is available through Trafalgar Tours (tel. 800/854-8103; www.trafalgartours.com). Departing twice in early October, this 13-day 11-night trip has an air/land price of $2,285. Taking a large circle around Germany, the tour stops in Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Nuremberg, the Black Forest, and up-and-coming, artsy, hip Cologne. This German Highlights tour flies into Frankfurt before departing on a cultural, educational and entertaining escorted trip. In addition to daily breakfast, meals include six full three-course dinners in hotels and one "local" specialty dinner in Munich. All sightseeing is included, with the help of a professional tour guide offering optional excursions, meals and educational events available for additional fees. Travel is by luxury motor coach.
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