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Dawn Butcher
"We just wanted to thank you for the wonderful 2 day tour my family & I enjoyed with Elena in St. Petersburg.... it was the highlight of our cruise. Elena was so knowledgeable, warm & friendly, nothing was ..."
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I was fascinated with German history from a young age, and moved from central Pennsylvania to Berlin back in 2005.  It was a big change, but I was determined to learn the language and make the city my home.  I immediately felt comfortable in Berlin, and my love of the city has only grown with time.  I have a BA in History and Jewish Studies from Penn State and an MA in Modern German History from Brown, but the best education has been giving tours for the past seven years.  I am always learning new things and Berlin has become my classroom.  I feel so lucky to have found a job I love and which allows me to be in a city I adore, and I can't wait to share my passion with you during your visit to Berlin!


I'm American. I first came to Berlin in 1986 and have seen this city, once at the front lines of the Cold War, transform into a cultural epicenter of Europe. I finally took the plunge and made Berlin my permanent home in 1999. Berlin is the most interesting place I’ve ever lived and I've often been told that my passion and love for my adopted home shines through during my tours . 

I am originally from a small town in Northeastern Washington and have a MA in German history. I studied art history in Florence, judaica in Munich, and attended Charles University in Prague.

During your visit to this amazing city, we’ll see Berlin's scars, understand how its history has contributed to the city's unique atmosphere and culture today, and sing the praises of Estonian Pea-flour.


After studying German and German history at the University of Minnesota, I traveled to Berlin to take classes and use the research facilities at the Humboldt and Free University of Berlin to write my thesis on the onset of the Nazi movement after WWI. I couldn’t quite leave Berlin after my academic commitment was over, so I stayed on, eventually became a tour guide and ended up marrying a Berliner. Now, nearly ten years later, Berlin is the city I call home.


My name is Forrest and I was born in New Mexico, USA. I’ve lived, studied and worked in Europe for close to twelve years. I’ve worked as a tour guide in Berlin for four years and am also affiliated with the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University of Berlin) as a doctoral candidate. I hold a MA in German History from the University of Cardiff. Since visiting Berlin for the first time during the 2006 football World Cup (already a shocking nine years ago!), I’ve managed to marry a native and settle down in the German capital.  

This is a city of culture. Over the years, I’ve delved into the museums, concert halls, art galleries, theaters, bars, bookstores, cabarets, cinemas, and cafés, from the obscure to the world-renowned, from the pretentious to the bohemian, that are Berlin’s true assets and calling cards, and I’ve savored the international color and the diversity the city affords itself. This is also a city of history: rich, complex, dark, looming, echoing with creativity and inspiration, and issuing a clear and dire warning to the ages. From the time of my first visit, I’ve immersed myself continuously in this history, which could never be exhausted as a subject of fascination. There are so many resources in Berlin for the historian, and these extend beyond books and archives and memorials: I’ve not only had the valuable opportunity to listen to the stories of Berliners themselves, many of them my own in-laws and friends, but, as a tour guide, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to share my interest, my journey of discovery, with others—so many of whom have their own Berlin stories to tell—and to use the city itself as my ‘office’ and backdrop. And now I am a part of this city’s story. I’ve watched as Berlin has transformed itself profoundly over even the short time I’ve lived here, and am sure that it will continue to reinvent itself well into the future.  

The best time to visit Berlin is...now! 

I look forward to showing you around my adoptive home.

Arja Jacob

Hello, my name is Arja and I'm a tour guide for the last 9 years. I have an MA in history and I am really passionate about the stories from Berlin reaching back into the good and bad old times. My most personal interest, as a German and a historian, is the 20th century, the century that witnessed one of the darkest chapters of world's history and some of the most joyful ones. This also had a direct affect on my life, having grown up in the West, but being able to trace my family roots back to Eastern Berlin, from where my grandparents had to escape after communism took over.

It took me a while to get from my small northwestern home to Berlin and my job. After finishing my degree in history at the University of Hamburg I needed to see the world, so I went off to travel and live in wonderful places like Japan, Australia, New Zealand or the United States. During that time I got the offer to work as a tour guide in Europe. After five years "on the road" it was time for me to settle down. There was no doubt that I wanted to come to Berlin and contine working as a tour guide here. Having settled in the old family neighbourhood, I already have become a real Berlin local. Let me take you on a walk or cycle through the city and show you all the highlights and secret spots only locals know.


Hallo, mein Name ist Arja und seit neun Jahren arbeite ich in Berlin und weiten Teilen Europas als Reiseleiterin und Stadtführerin. Als examinierte Historikerin gibt es für mich nichts Spannenderes als die großen und kleinen Geschichten in und um Berlin, die von den guten und den schlechten alten Zeiten dieser großartigen Stadt erzählen. Mein größtes persönliches Interesse ist die Geschichte des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts, das nicht nur historisch die Geschicke der ganzen Welt von Berlin aus verändert, sondern auch mein Leben entscheidend beeinflusst hat. Ich bin während des kalten Krieges im Westen Deutschlands aufgewachsen und habe die Teilung Deutschlands als kleines Kind sehr bewusst erlebt, da Teile meiner Familie aus Ostberlin stammen, von wo sie in den frühen Fünfzigern fliehen mussten. Umso spannender ist es für mich, heute in Berlin zu leben und mitzuerleben, wie die Stadt sich stetig wandelt, neu erfindet und dabei trotzdem ihre erhabene Altehrwürdigkeit bewahrt hat. Hier ist auch meine Leidenschaft für die Preussen und ihre Geschichte geweckt worden, von denen es besonders in Potsdam Unglaubliches und Spannendes zu erzählen gibt. Ich möchte Sie einladen, diese historisch unvergleichlichen Städte mit mir kennenzulernen und all die Ecken in Berlin und Potsdam zu erkunden, die Weltgeschichte geschrieben haben.