Last Modified: 25 Jul 2012
Oslo to Berlin
Trip code: BMSCC
Validity: 01 Jan 2011 to 31 Dec 2011
Discover the many charms of Europe on this enriching adventure. Travel through some of Europe's most stylish capitals and be wowed by some of the world's biggest fjords. Along the way uncover a Viking past, learn of a maritime heritage and be immersed in vibrant art and classic architecture. Whether it's walking along charming streets in Bergen, sailing through vast fjords or indulging in the delights of modern cities, you'll undoubtedly be left with a multitude of picturesque memories from this once-in-a-lifetime European adventure packed with cultural gems, historic sights and outdoor pursuits.
Warning; This is a new trip for us!
Please note that while we have been operating in Europe for a many years now and have a team of leaders and researchers working hard to put together this trip, this is in fact the first year we have operated this itinerary. To be frank, we do expect that they trip will not run as smoothly as others you may have experienced. We usually give this warning when we introduce new destinations or trips - and usually we find there are more pleasant surprises in store then unpleasant ones. But the warning is sincere, and if it concerns you, then we recommend that you wait a little longer until we get any bugs ironed out.
2012 Itinerary change
Oslo to Berlin trips departing in 2012 will spend 2 days in Oslo and Day 8 in Stockholm (previously was Kalstad) One day less is spent on Aland Islands
The revised itinerary is:
Days 1-2 Oslo
Days 3-4 Bergen
Days 5-6 Norwegian Fjords
Days 7-8 Lillehammer
Days 9-11 Stockholm
Days 12-13 Aland Islands/Overnight boat
Remaining days as scheduled
Table of Contents
To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures so your leader and the composition of your group may change.
- Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Day 1 Oslo
Welcome to Norway!
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
With so much to see and do in Oslo, we recommend you plan to arrive a few days before the trip begins, so you can see as much of the city as possible.
- Homenkollen Museum - Entrance - NOK110
- Museum Edvard Munch - NOK95
- Museum Hour Viking Ship - NOK50
- Akershus Castle & Fortress - NOK70
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 2-3 Bergen
Travel by train through stunning countryside across the Fjell region (approx. 7 hrs).
Bergen was founded in 1070 and flourished as an important trading centre under the influence of the Hanseatic League from the 14th century.
The Bryggen area of the city is inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage list, and we'll explore it along with the old Hanseatic port area.
- Boat Trip to Hardangerfjord - NOK500
- Bergan Card -24 hours - NOK200
- Mt. Ulriken Cable Car & Shuttle - NOK145
- Aquarium - NOK200
- St. Mary´s Church - NOK10
- Norway in a Nutshell day trip - NOK800
- Floy Mountain funicular - NOK80
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 4-5 Norwegian Fjords
Take a boat trip through Naeroyfjord, a Unesco World Heritage site. The name Naeroyfjord takes its origins from the norse god Njord, the god of seafarers and the sea.
Cabin (2 nts)
Days 6-7 Lillehammer
Travel by bus to Lillehammer (approx 5 hrs)
Join an orientation walk and visit the Trollhaugen Open Air Museum.
- Trollhaugen Open Air Museum
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 8 Karlstad
Today we cross the border into Sweden by train to Karlstad (approx 4.5 hrs)
Karlstad is known as the sunniest place in Sweden. Even during a cloudy day you will see images of the sun shining down on you from almost every building.
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 9-10 Stockholm
Travel by bus to Stockholm (approx 4 hrs).
The capital of Sweden has long been the cultural, political and economic centre of the country. This beautiful city, sometimes referred to as 'the Venice of the north', has a great deal to offer visitors with its architecture, parks and clear waters.
Following an orientation walk we visit the Gustav Vasa Museum.
Day 10 is free so consider a guided walk or boat tour around the city. Alternatively take a day trip to Uppsala.
- Chinese Theater - SEK60
- Skansen Open Air Museum - SEK140
- Daytrip by boat and train to Uppsala - SEK140
- Vasa Museum - SEK130
- Drottningholm Palace - SEK100
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 11-13 Aland Islands
Travel by bus to Kappelskar and then transfer to ferry to the Aland Islands (approx. 4hrs).
Day 13 is free to explore more of the Aland islands before we board an overnight ferry bound for Helsinki.
- Day Sauna Visit - EUR8
- Midnight Barbeque - EUR25
Hotel (2 nts), Overnight boat (1 nt)
Days 14-15 Helsinki
After some time to check into our hotel we head out on a orientation walk, before a free afternoon to explore. Consider highlights such as; the Senate Square, the Russian Orthodox Church, Kaisaniemi Park, the National Theatre and Helsinki Railway Station. If you have time you might want to take a ferry out to Suomenlinna fortress; this UNESCO world heritage site was once an important point of defence for the city, acting as a base for the Archipelago fleet. Today it is one of Finland's most popular tourist attractions
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
- Museum Seurasaari - EUR8
- Museum Mannerheim - EUR10
- Suomenlinna Sea Fortress - EUR6
- Cathedral - Free
- City Museum - Free
- Design Museum - EUR8
- National Museum of Finland - EUR8
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 16-17 Tallinn
Catch a ferry across the Gulf of Finland to the Estonian capital of Tallinn (approx 3 hrs).
With its steep red roofs, spires, pastel-coloured buildings and new restaurants and bars, Estonia's capital is a real treat to explore. Seeing the vibrant streets of Tallinn now, it's difficult to fathom that Soviet occupation only ended 19 years ago.
Start our time here with a short walk through the city centre to get oriented.
You have a free day here and and an exploration of the Old Town is a must. You'll see the last remaining gothic town hall in northern Europe, Old Thomas; the Räapteek which has housed a pharmacy since the 15th century; and St Olaf Church, a major landmark of Tallinn.
You can head towards Upper Tallinn, home to the noble families, to see the amazing views of Lower Tallinn and the medieval spires of the town walls. The 13th-century Toompea Castle, where the Estonian Parliament sits, and the 19th-century Alexander Nevsky Cathedral are some of the main attractions of Upper Tallinn. Alternatively, you could go to Pirita to chill out at Tallinn's most popular beach.
- Estonian History Museum - EUR3
- Kadriorg Palace - EUR5
- Old Town Audioguide - EUR13
- Peter the Great Museum - EUR2
- City Bike Tour - EUR16
- City Museum - EUR4
- Kiek in de Kok Tower (Tower Museum) - EUR4
- TV Tower - EUR7
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 18-19 Riga
Cross the border by local bus and travel to Riga (approx 5.5 hrs).
Latvia's capital rests on the Daugava River and is a living museum of architectural eras. Riga is particularly famous for its art nouveau heritage, with many fine examples dotted around town.
Take a walk around town to see some of the sights such as the Doma Cathedral, St Peter's Basilica, House of Blackheads, the Swedish Gate, Mentzendorff's House, Riga Castle, The Great Guild & Small Guild and the Cat House.
The Museum of Occupation gives a very thorough and fascinating insight into the hardships suffered by Latvians during its occupation by, first, the Germans and, later, the Soviets. It's highly recommended.
The Old Town in Riga is just as charming as the one in Tallinn, with St Peter's Church as its centrepiece. You can catch the elevator to the top for fine views of the Old Town and its surroundings.
Visit the Latvian Open Air Ethnographical Museum.
You might want to head to Riga's colourful Central Market, which dates back to 1201, to pick up supplies for a picnic.
- Mentzendorff's House - LVL1
- History Museum - LVL3
- National Art Museum - LVL2
- Riverboat Cruise - LVL5
- St Peter's Tower - LVL4
- The Museum of Occupation of Latvia - Free
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 20-21 Curonian Spit
Set off by bus to the former Prussian capital of Klaipeda.
Formerly known as Memel, Klaipeda used to be a member of the Hanseatic League and is the gateway to the Curonian Spit - a long, narrow sand dune peninsula separating the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea.
Take a trip to explore the unique World Heritage-listed Curonian Spit National Park - a real Baltic beach experience.
For the more energetic there's the option to ride a bike along the shores.
- Day trip on the Curonian Spit
Guesthouse (2 nts)
Days 22-23 Vilnius
Continue by bus or train to Vilnius (approx 4 hrs).
Lithuania's capital has at different times been occupied by Sweden, Poland, France and Russia, each leaving its mark in some way on this lovely city. Vilnius offers a different picture of the Baltics than Riga and Tallinn, but it's every bit as interesting. Its lovely parks and gardens offer a break from historic monuments.
Your leader will show you the highlights of the city on a walk that covers Cathedral Square and the famous chapel of Saint Kazimieras, Gediminas Tower and the Gates of Dawn, one of the original gates giving access to the city.
Take a trip to Trakai (approx 40 mins by bus), the former capital of Lithuania. It's situated on lakes with two castles dating from the 14th century, which were built to defend the capital from German knights. Trakai has a small population of Karaim people who were brought here in the 14th century and who still hold their traditional Jewish services in the Kinessa, built in 1812.
- Higher Castle Museum - LTL5
- KGB Museum - LTL6
- National Museum - LTL5
- Trakai day trip - LTL16
Guesthouse (2 nts)
Days 24-25 Aukstaitija National Park
Travel by local train to Aukstaitija ('Owk-sty-chee-ah') National Park (approx 2 hrs).
This is a land of lakes, waterways, hills and woods. One of the most delightful national parks in the Baltic States, Aukstaitija has 126 lakes.
Transfer to the charming village of Ginuciai.
Take a canoe ride (weather permitting) through the lakes to a viewpoint with a wishing tree. Then transfer back to our accommodation - the whole journey takes about 3 hours.
You'll have a free day to visit some of the local attractions such as nearby villages that date from the 14th century, traditional wooden houses and farmsteads. The 19th-century Ginuciai Watermill operated till 1968 and is another point of interest. Or you can hike to some glorious lookouts, do some fishing, enjoy a sauna, swim in the lake or just relax.
Guesthouse (2 nts)
Days 26-27 Warsaw
Make the long journey by train to Warsaw (approx 12 hrs, unfortunately there's no faster way)
Warsaw is Poland's large, bustling capital. It's remarkable to see the achievements of the Polish people who rebuilt their city from mere rubble at the end of World War II. The city folk are lovers of culture and art, as well as entertainment. There are numerous theatrical and musical venues including the prestigious National Opera, the Chamber Opera and the National Theatre.
Visit the Uprising Museum. Opened on the 60th anniversary of the Uprising, this museum recounts the events which saw the people of Warsaw fighting against the Nazi occupation. The museum is a moving tribute to those who fought and died for independence.
- Palace of Science and Culture Observation Deck - PLN20
- Jewish Cemetery - PLN4
- Marie Curie Museum - PLN11
- National Museum - PLN15
- Royal Castle - PLN22
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 28-29 Berlin
Travel by train to Berlin, the heart of modern Germany (approx 6 hrs).
Berlin is a vivacious city where fast-paced modern development is overlaid on a history familiar to everyone. Surviving pre-World War I attractions include the Schloss Charlottenburg, the Prussian Queen's Summer Palace, and the Prussian Victory Column. The Tiergarten, Berlin's largest green space with 23 kilometres of pathways, is also home to the world famous Berlin Zoo.
There are countless unique memorials and sites holding significance in Berlin's more recent history, all designed to provoke thought as well as commemorate, such as the Jewish Memorial, the empty shelves of Bebelplatz or the confronting Topography of Terror. The Reichstag holds a special and symbolic meaning, outside its role once again as the home of Parliament, and the great glass dome that today crowns the building offers sweeping views over Berlin. At the very heart of Berlin stands the Brandenburg Gate, once a symbol of a divided city, and the crumbling remnants of the Berlin Wall that can still be seen.
Don't miss out on Berlin's up-beat nightlife. Consider spending an evening celebrating life as the locals do - at a bar, lounge, nightclub or embracing some live music.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
- Bike tour - EUR20
- Jewish Museum - EUR5
- National History Museum - EUR6
- Pergamon Museum - EUR13
- River sightseeing tour - EUR16
- Walking tour - EUR30
- Berlin Zoo and Aquarium - EUR20
- Berliner Dom - EUR7
- German History Museum - EUR8
- Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz - EUR8
- Reichstag - Free
- Schloss Charlottenburg - EUR15
Hotel (1 nt)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
- Oslo to Berlin - Single Supplement (BMSCC)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
- Helsinki to Paris (BMSDC)
- Iceland (BMSI)
- Scandinavia Explorer (BMSH)
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE:
To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies.
The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied.
You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning.
When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place.
Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can.
You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%.
For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.
The local currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone (NOK). ATMS are readily available, credit cards are widely accepted and traveller's cheques in major brands can be exchanged.
The local currency in Latvia is the LAT (LVL).
The local currency in Lithuania is the Lithuanian Litas, plural Litai (LTL).
The local currency in Poland is the Polish Zloty (PLN).
The local currency in Sweden is the Swedish Krona - (SEK).
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest EUR1-2 per person per day for local guides.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline EUR3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
The price of the Single supplement does not include the following nights where single rooms may not be available. If a single room becomes available at check in for these nights, there may be the option to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night:
Days 4-5 Norwegian Fjords
Day 13 Overnight Ferry
Days 20-21 Curonian Spit
Days 24-25 Aukstaitija National Park
Hotel (19 nts), Guesthouse (6 nts), Cabin (2 nts), Overnight boat (1 nt)
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables and salads. Vegans will find it even more challenging. Vegetarians might choose to supplement meals with supplies bought from home, e.g. protein bars, dried fruits and so on.
4 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
Train, Ferry, Metro, Bus, Tram, Minibus, Bicycle
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Joining point description
P hotel is located in beautiful surroundings in Grensen right behind the Grand Hotel.
The hotel offers free Internet access in the hotels (WLAN) and 24 hour reception.
P Hotel has short term bag storage available free of charge.
Joining point instructions
The airport express train runs from Oslo Airport Gardermoen to Oslo S (Central Station every 10 minutes. Journey time is 20 minutes, price one way is 170 NOK.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi direct to the hotel - the cost is approximately 600-700 NOK per taxi.
Check-in time is after 2:00pm
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Hotel & Hostel Friedrichshain
Warschauer Str. 57 D-12043
Finish point description
Hotel and Hostel Friedrichshain is situated around a peaceful courtyard, all rooms have private bathrooms & tv.
Finish point instructions
If you have pre booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.
If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP (EXCLUDING RUSSIA, UKRAINE, TURKEY):
Australia: No - Not required
Belgium: No - Not required
Canada: No - Not required
Germany: No - Not required
Ireland: No - Not required
Netherlands: No - Not required
New Zealand: No - Not required
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: No - Not required
UK: No - Not required
USA: No - Not required
With the so called "Schengen Agreement" there are no border controls any more. However in special situations passports may be checked. There are no passport stamps issued.
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT:
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately (and unattended) from the group. The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas. If your bag does not fit in these areas then often the only place to put it is on your bed or seat. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage for included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.
CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
The climate in this region is extremely varied. From October until May you can expect temperatures close to and below zero, while from June until September temperatures can reach well above 30 C. For departures October to May you'll need to bring a warm windproof jacket, scarf, gloves, warm hat and waterproof footwear. On all other departures it can still get quite cool at night especially when in the countryside, so we recommend that you bring a warm jacket or fleece.
Cold tap water is generally safe and good to drink so you can avoid the purchase of bottled water by refilling from the tap. It may be better to boil water before use in some areas, please check with your group leader.
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
IMAGES FROM HOME:
During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos / postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country etc.
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
We recommend that you dress respectfully especially when in and around religious sites. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees for both men and women.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Carbon Offset C02-e 328.00 kgs per pax.
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