Spying Game: Peek Behind the Iron Curtain

  • Visit both sides of the Berlin Wall to learn about intelligence operations and techniques in both East and West
  • Hear real stories from a trained Soviet operative, our Guide for the duration
  • Watch “The Third Man” in Vienna and follow the story in the city where it is set

As the Second World War drew to a close, the Allies raced to carve up Germany and re-draw the boundaries between Eastern and Western Europe. Central to this, Berlin was divided into 4 sections – French, British, and American territories combining to become West Berlin, and Russian territory becoming East Berlin. As tensions and distrust grew between the two sides, the Cold War was fought not in battle, but in secret and clandestine activities, by spies and secret agents. Led by former Soviet operative turned espionage historian Boris Volodarsky, this tour lifts the Iron Curtain to examine the life of a spy during the Cold War.

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We arrive in Berlin. After checking in at our hotel, our Guide Lecturer takes us on a walking tour of the local sites before a welcome lecture and dinner at our hotel.

Hotel: John F Arcotel, Berlin
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

We spend today in West Berlin, looking at how the Allies approached Berlin and the border after WWII. We start just outside of the city at Teufelsberg, the former U.S. listening station on the hill, and continue to the Allied Museum, which tells the story of the Western powers in Berlin from 1945 to 1994. After lunch we return to the city centre to visit the German Spy Museum and Checkpoint Charlie. Now a tourist trap, this was once the main gateway for diplomats between East and West, and the nearby museum makes it worth a visit. Symbolic of the division and tensions between East and West, the checkpoint is now surrounded by commercial outlets and colourful advertising, a juxtaposition that reminds us just how much has changed in Berlin.

Hotel: John F Arcotel, Berlin
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

Today we cross the Iron Curtain and explore East Berlin. Starting at Karlhorst, the KGB operations base East of Berlin, we learn about German-Russian relations during and following WWII. On our way back towards the city, we visit the Stasi Museum, located in the former headquarters of the Stasi, where we gain an insight to the operations of the State Security and how they affected the lives of GDR citizens. After lunch we visit the East Side Gallery, a remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall which is now a protected landmark covered in murals, including the famous “kiss” between Brezhnev and Honecker.

Hotel: John F Arcotel, Berlin
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

With so much to see and do in Berlin, today is free to explore as you wish. Continue your dive into life in East Berlin at the DDR Museum, contemplate a dark period in Germany’s history at the Holocaust Memorial, or indulge in some retail therapy at KaDeWe, the second largest department store in Europe.

Hotel: Overnight in Vienna
Meals: Breakfast & dinner included

Day 5

Today we continue our journey with a flight to Vienna. Arriving at our hotel in the afternoon, we have time for a tour of the local area with our Guide Lecturer, setting the scene for our next few days. This evening’s lecture introduces the story of Nikolai Artamonov, alias “Nicholas Shadrin”, a former Soviet naval officer who defected to the United States in 1959.

Hotel: Overnight in Vienna
Meals: Breakfast & dinner included

Day 6

This morning we drive towards the Czech border, stopping at Dürnstein on the Danube. A place where “treffs” (meetings) often took place, our Guide Lecturer explains how spies operated here before we enjoy lunch at the Schloss Dürnstein. At the Czech border, the story of Artamonov continues at the spot where KGB operatives waited to smuggle him to Russia.

Hotel: Overnight in Vienna
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

We start the day at the cinema – the Burg Kino – with a viewing of “The Third Man”. Set in post-war Vienna, this film follows the story of a man returning to his hometown to discover his childhood friend, Harry Lime, has died in mysterious circumstances. Following the viewing, we discuss the themes and visit the locations, including lunch at the Café Mozart. Although the café itself did not allow filming to take place here, a replica of it appears in the film and the real café happily accepts the glory. After lunch, the tour continues, following the path of Harry Lime.

Hotel: Overnight in Vienna
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

As our tour draws to a close there is some free time to explore Vienna independently. After our last lunch together, we transfer to the airport for our flight home.

Meals: Breakfast & lunch included

What's Included

  1. Tour Manager & Guide Lecturer
  2. Meals - Most meals included
  3. Transport - Return flights (UK only) & all local travel
  4. Hand-picked hotels throughout the tour

Book Now

To book your tour without flights from the US, please call our team on 888-591-0830

2019 Tour Details



London based departure

  • 8 Days
  • 3rd May - 10th May 2019
  • with Boris Volodarsky
  • Code: QSG19A
  • Available
  • sgl supp: $725

Tour Guide