Germany - history & culture

Tailor-made tours for small private groups - friends, families & social groups


From earliest times - the emergence of France & Germany out of the post-Roman world - right through the story of the 20th century, from World War I to the Cold War.


The countries today, through their cities, their architecture and their lifestyles.

Where we go in Germany

  • Berlin - the Prussians to the 21st Century
  • Western Germany:
    • Rhine Valley - cities & countryside
    • Bonn - Cologne - Remagen
    • Aachen and into the Eiffel region
    • Roman heritage in Trier & the Mosel
  • Eastern Germany:
    • Dresden - Baroque & post 1945 rebirth
    • Leipzig - the fall of East Germany
    • Colditz & Torgau - footnotes from World War II
    • Weimar & Buchenwald - uneasy neighbours
    • Luther 1517 - Wittenburg to Wartburg

Just-Enough History©

You can purchase our short history of Germany on Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, Google Books or Kobo for £7.99 / €9.99 / $9.99.  This is history for the interested visitor and/or interested citizen:  for those who want more than the too-short history sections in guidebooks, but less than a medium-length book (which most texts marketed as ‘short histories’ tend to be).  The aim is something that can be read in three to four hours;  a maximum of 60,000 words

How we operate

* We organise tours DIRECT with you – we have no public list of tours

* We handle numbers from 2 to 10 – families, small groups of friends.

* We provide personal guiding, but also organise itineraries, book hotels and site entries, and find you a minibus company if your group is larger than 4 people.

* We step onboard your car / rental car *, or a minibus that we can arrange (but you pay direct to the company, in advance). NB: we do not organise travel to/from the tour start/finish point(s) - eg flights, trains.

* You pay our guiding & organising fee, and then pay as you go for your accommodation, meals and museum entries (and, if you need one, you pay for your minibus direct, in advance).

* Go to our Prices & References page for an idea of cost, then email us at 

                         *  (happy to drive if you can add us as an Additional Driver)


Potsdamer Platz - Christmas at the Sony Center

The Berlin Wall running in front of the ex-Luftwaffe HQ

1936 Olympic Stadium

Your chance to see the fascinating mix of World War II, Cold War and post-Reunification history that this city has to offer. 

Berlin is a stunning city for modern architecture, and has become a great city for start-up high-tech businesses, as well as a cool city for young adults. It has overtaken Rome as the third most-visited European city (after Paris & London).

We will explore Nazi-era sites, the remains of the Berlin Wall, and contemporary Berlin on foot, by minibus, and through museums.

There’s also the possibility to take in the palaces at Potsdam, 20 miles outside Berlin, and learn about Prussia - Berlin’s pre-German-unification story.

Check out our sample Berlin itinerary.

Western Germany - Romans, Rhine Valley and the Eiffel

Western Germany was part of the Roman Empire, which just beyond the Rhine. Trier in the Mosel valley has more Roman structures than any other city north of the Alps - including Constantine’s Basilica from around 300 AD, Roman parts incorporated into its cathedral, and a massive Roman gateway.

Cologne’s name comes from Colonia, Latin for Colony; its cathedral marks the height of Gothic in Germany.  Aachen, by the Belgian border, has buildings telling the story of the ‘Holy Roman Empire’, an attempt by the Emperor Charlemagne in around 800 to unify Christendom. Aachen was his capital.

Beautiful countryside can be found on a cruise up the Rhine valley, wooded, with small villages and ruined castles. The Eiffel region between Aachen and Trier has rugged scenery and pretty villages with half-timbered buildings.

Check out our sample Western Germany itineraries.

Trier Cathedral

The Rhine at Remagen

Monschau in the Eiffel region

Eastern Germany - 1989; culture at Weimar; Luther and the Reformation

The Rathaus at Weimar

Weimar has the striking contrast between the buildings frequented by Goethe and Schiller and the presence of Buchenwald concentration camp nearby.

Luther’s role in setting off the Reformation is celebrated in the 500th anniversary of his nailing his ’95 theses’ on the door of Wittenberg church in 1517, and in Eisenach where, at Wartburg Castle, he translated the New Testament into German.

At Torgau you can see the River Elbe where American and Russian forces met on 25 April 1945 at the end of World War II. Check out our sample Eastern Germany itineraries.

The big city of Leipzig has many grand buildings in its centre, but the main story to tell is of the fall of the East Germany regime in 1989, when protests in Leipzig were the catalyst for change. At nearby Colditz you can visit the castle which housed a famous PoW camp in World War II.

Dresden is infamous for the February 1945 bombing, but a visit today will show you a city whose history has been restored, particularly its fine 18th-century Baroque palaces and churches.  The rebuilt Frauenkirche, finished in 2005, is a symbol of hope and rebirth - and a spectacular visit.

Torgau, where Russians & Americans met in April 1945

Special-interest V2 history tour

V2 replica in front of the forests of Peenemünde

We having been running tours since 2001 to Peenemünde for groups with a special interest in the history of the development of the V2 rocket during World War II.

These take in the R&D site at Peenemünde on the Baltic island of Usedom, with a start & finish in Berlin, allowing a brief bit of sightseeing there too.

Dr Thomson’s Tours

Private Guide & Tour Organiser

All text, maps & photos © Dr Thomson’s Tours Ltd.

Website design by Joseph Thomson

Last updated November 2023

Bethany, 37 The Crescent

Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7AW