Hello

My name is Antje. I am an urban and nature discoverer in my home Northern Germany. On my tours I immerse with my German and international guest in urban and cultural history of old Hanseatic and ducal towns in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. We perceive things you normally do not notice, we learn to understand the larger context and get to know interesting facts you will not find in a guide book. For my guests I let history become alive – with knowledge, passion and a good sense of humor, but without droning year dates. A tour among friends – a tour with a friend. That’s me – your friend for a day.    


in rostock

Private Tour with a Local Guide

You are on a visit in Rostock or Warnemünde? Your cruise ship calls at Rostock/Warnemünde and you would like to stretch your legs and get to know one or both places during a private guided tour? Then welcome to Tours with a friend! I am a local and together we will discover all the interesting sights, also off the beaten track. I will give you a personal insight into life now and during GDR-times, you will learn about the typical brick architecture and about the Hanseatic league. I will give you recommendations for restaurants, souvenirs and local handcraft. Hereinafter see some tours I offer. If you have special interests or wishes please let me know and I will create a customized tour for you. 

rostock & warnemünde

Focus: GDR - visit a country that does not exist anymore

Until 1990 Rostock and Warnemünde were part of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) - a country that does not exist anymore. The coast and the Baltic Sea functioned as a border. People tried to escape the GDR also via the Baltic Sea - many tragedies, but also happy ends. 

On this tour we will set the focus on GDR-times. We will visit the major sights of Rostock and Warnemünde and besides that I will tell you about life in GDR, how people tried to pass the borders, how people started to discuss about and demonstrate against the East-German system, how the borders opened and how life changed after reunification. Enjoy a trip back to the past with someone who grew up in the GDR while experiencing the beautiful life now in Rostock & Warnemünde!

To make this tour perfect according to our focus I will bring old GDR pictures with me and present you with a little GDR-souvenir. Surprise, surprise!

 

Sights: Picturesque Warnemünde, in Rostock: University Square, Cloister to the Holy Cross, St. Mary's Church (inside visit, Astronomical clock from 1472), East German Architecture, New Market with Town Hall

 

Duration: 5 hours  *  Activity level: moderate - we will use public transportation and walk  * Meeting point: Cruise-Ship-Terminal in Warnemünde or t.b.d.  *  Tour Price: upon request

 

Tour can be customized to less or to up to 9 persons.

Contact me to receive itinerary and further information.


medieval rostock

Focus: Brick architecture and medieval churches

Rostock got its town-rights in 1218 - this beautiful hanseatic town is now more than 800 years old! And we still have buildings from that era left. Perfect to set a focus on medieval buildings, brick architecture and churches on this tour while seeing Rostocks major sights and even the old town which is normally not part of a Rostock-tour!

Let's do a trip back to medieval times and find out how towns in Germany at that time where structured and built. Why are churches here mainly brick churches? How long did it take to make a brick in medieval times - and how many bricks do you actually need to build a church? Which ideals did master-builders at that era have in their minds, when they built churches? What symbols can we still see today?

Ready for a more than interesting discovery tour? Then enjoy this trip with me as an educated church guide and brick-lover!

 

Sights: Old town of Rostock with St. Peters Church (inside visit, great view from the viewing platform), town wall, New Market with Town Hall and St. Mary's Church (inside visit, Astronomical clock form 1472), Brick houses from the 15th century, Cloister to the Holy Cross, Kröpelin Gate. 

 

Duration: 5 hours * Activity level: moderate - we will use public transportation and walk * Meeting point: Cruise-Ship-Terminal in Warnemünde or t.b.d.  *  Tour Price: upon request

 

Tour can be customized to less or to up to 9 persons.

Contact me to receive itinerary and further information.



rostock - family tour

Enjoy Rostock & Europe's best Zoo

This tour is made for families who want to see the beautiful Hanseatic town Rostock and spend a pleasant time in Europe's best Zoo (category: 500. 000-1. 000. 000 visitors per year).

As a mother I know how to adapt a sightseeing tour for kids, where the next playground is and where you get the best ice cream. We will visit the 800-years old town Rostock with its beautiful university square, the gabled merchants house, the typical brick churches. But apart from dates and facts we will find out how high the hairdos of Baroque duchesses were and why they had flea traps in their clothes. We will learn to communicate via fan-language and learn about secret symbols at churches.

Then we will visit the Zoo of Rostock, which was prized Europes best Zoo. Beautifully located in a forest it is known for the Darwineum with its Orang-Utans and Gorillas as well as for the Polarium with its Polar bears and penguins. And: They have a two-headed snake there! Come and see it!

 

Sights: University Square, Gabled houses, New Market, St. Mary's Church, Cloister to the Holy Cross, Rostock Zoo (admission fee included)

 

Duration: 6 hours * Activity level: moderate - we will use public transportation and walk  * Meeting point: Cruise-Ship-Terminal in Warnemünde or t.b.d.  *  Tour Price: upon request

 

Tour can be customized to less or to up to 9 persons.

Contact me to receive itinerary and further information.

     

Warnemünde - walk, see and savor

History of a seaside resort & fantastic views

Warnemünde is a popular sea side resort at the Baltic coast which preserved the charm of an old fishing village: colorful fishing-boats return every morning from sea surrounded by white seagulls to sell fresh or smoked fish or fish in a roll, gabled fishermen's and captain's houses with beautifully carved doors line the shore of the Old River, a broad beach invites you to burrow your feet into the fine sand or to relax in a beach chair. What a lovely place to be!

On this tour I will show you the beauty of Warnemünde. We will find out, how long stretched these small looking fishermen's house really are, why fishermen ordered their wives and daughters to stay at home, while Edvard Munch (painter of "The Scream") painted at Warnemünde's beach and what "chicken gods" are. As a special treat we will have excellent coffee and cake (food and beverages are not included in the tour price) with an extraordinary view over Warnemünde and the coast from the highest building in town - Hotel Neptun.

Enjoy a tour with interesting stories and fascinating views!

 

Sights: Old River with fishing boats and fishermen's houses, Local Historical Museum, seaside promenade, lighthouse

 

Duration: 3 hours * Activity level: moderate - it is a walking tour * Meeting point: Cruise-Ship-Terminal in Warnemünde or t.b.d.  *  Tour Price: upon request

 

Tour can be customized to less or to up to 5 persons.

Contact me to receive itinerary and further information.



in northern germany

Private Shore Excursion with a Local Guide and a Van

You are on a Baltic cruise, your ship calls at Rostock/Warnemünde and instead of going on a long trip to Berlin (3 hours one way at least) you prefer to spend a relaxed day discovering the surrounding towns and sights - then welcome to Tours with a friend! Even though I am not a driver guide - I can organize a van and a driver for our shore excursion. That allows us to visit towns and sights further away from your cruise port Warnemünde, like Schwerin with its fairytale castle, UNESCO-world-heritage Wismar, Bad Doberan with its fantastic minster or the Queen of the Hanseatic league Lübeck. You have special wishes or ideas about what you would like to see or do - let me know and I create a customized tour for you. Hereinafter see some tours I offer.

schwerin & rostock

Fairytale Castle & Hanseatic tradition

Schwerin and Rostock - an old rivalry, a deep love, two towns so different and still so beautiful in their own way. Join me on this tour to the town where I was raised and the town where I live today!

Schwerin: oldest town of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, residence of dukes for centuries, known for its beauty - surrounded by lakes and forests, with a fairytale castle in its heart.

Rostock: old Hanseatic town, its wealth based on tradesmen and the Hanseatic league, one of the oldest Universities in Northern Europe, beautiful brick architecture.

On this tour you will see the different facets of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and get a great insight into this lovely piece of the world. Enjoy this fascinating tour with me, who even got married in the castle of Schwerin! (A look at my wedding pictures included. ;-) )

 

Sights: Schwerin: Castle (inside visit), Castle Gardens, City Centre, Market with Cathedral, Rostock: New Market with Town Hall and St. Mary's Church, University, Cloister of the Holy Cross.

 

Duration: 8 hours * Activity level: moderate - we will go by van and walk * Meeting point: Cruise-Ship-Terminal in Warnemünde or t.b.d.  *  Tour Price: upon request

 

Tour can be customized to less than 6 persons.

Contact me to receive itinerary and further information.

 


Doberan, Kühlungsborn & Rostock

Unique Minster, Seaside resort & Hanseatic town

We will visit the Minster of Doberan, a cistercian church from the 13th century, which once belonged to a cloister. It is my favorite church in the world and a pearl of brick architecture. We will visit it from inside and outside. I will tell you how long it took in medieval times to produce bricks and how many you needed to build such a church.

We drive further through a lovely landscape to Kühlungsborn, a popular seaside resort at the Baltic coast. Here we will see an old watch tower from GDR-times. I will give you an insight about life in GDR and why and how people tried to escape the country.

Our last stop will be Rostock, a more than 800 years old Hanseatic town with beautiful gabled houses, an old University and brick churches. Learn about an arrow-stork and if all windows at the Town Hall are real windows. We will visit St. Mary's church which is known for its astronomical clock from 1472. With the calendar of that clock you can even calculate on which weekday someone is born.

 

Sights: Minster of Bad Doberan, seaside resort Kühlungsborn, Rostock: New Market with Town Hall and St. Mary's Church, University Square, Cloister to the Holy Cross. 

 

Duration: 6,5 hours * Activity level: moderate - we will go by van and walk * Meeting point: Cruise-Ship-Terminal in Warnemünde or t.b.d.  *  Tour Price: upon request

 

Tour can be customized to less than 6 persons.

Contact me to receive itinerary and further information.



wismar, Kühlungsborn & Doberan

UNESCO-World-Heritage & Pearl of Brick Architecture

We will visit the old Hanseatic town Wismar. Beautifully located at a bay of the Baltic Sea Wismar was founded already in the 13th century. It became known for its dark beer, called Mumme. Wismar actually built its wealth on the export of beer and the wealth of that time can still be seen in the gabled houses and the massive brick churches in the city centre, which nowadays even belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

We drive further through a lovely landscape to Kühlungsborn, a popular seaside resort at the Baltic coast. Here we will see an old watch tower from GDR-times. I will give you an insight about life in GDR and why and how people tried to escape the country.

Last stop will be the Minster of Doberan, my favorite church. Built in the 13th century it is a pearl of brick architecture and houses the oldest main altar in art history. Learn about brick architecture and the life of the cistercian monks here in Doberan.

 

Sights: Wismar: Market Square with Water Art, St. Mary's Church, St. George and St. Nicholas Church, Old port and gabled houses, seaside resort Kühlungsborn, famous Minster of Doberan (inside visit)

 

Duration: 6,5 hours * Activity level: moderate - we will go by van and walk * Meeting point: Cruise-Ship-Terminal in Warnemünde or t.b.d.  *  Tour Price: upon request

 

Tour can be customized to less than 6 persons.

Contact me to receive itinerary and further information.

 

 

wismar & schwerin

UNESCO-World-Heritage & Fairytale Castle

Wismar - a proud Hanseatic town which due to its well-preserved  old city centre nowadays belongs to the UNESCO-World-Heritage-List. Its former wealth was based on the production and sale of beer - do you want to try one? On our walking tour we pass by Wismar's major sights like the Water Art at the market square, St. Mary's, St. Georges and St. Nicholas Church, colorful gabled houses and a port with old fishing boats. 

Next we will go to my hometown, which is also the oldest town of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania: Schwerin. We will stroll through the palace gardens before you will visit the fairytale castle of Schwerin, a beauty situated on an island in lake Schwerin. Enjoy the tales about dukes and the castle-ghost Little Peter. Afterwards we will go to the city centre of Schwerin with old Palais buildings, a rather small market square and a rather large cathedral. Time for a refreshment? I know the best ice-cream-parlor in town. 

 

Sights: Wismar: Market Square and Water Art, St. Mary's Church, St. George Church, Holy Ghost and St. Nicholas Church, Port, Schwerin: Castle (inside visit), Castle Gardens, City Centre, Market with Cathedral

 

Duration: 8 hours * Activity level: moderate - we will go by van and walk * Meeting point: Cruise-Ship-Terminal in Warnemünde or t.b.d.  *  Tour Price: upon request

 

Tour can be customized to less than 6 persons.

Contact me to receive itinerary and further information.

 



What my guests say

 "Antje was an amazing tour guide. She was so organized, brought us a guide book with interesting photos about the sites, and even gave us East German chocolates from her favorite companies. Such a great experience. Highly recommend." 

Malinda

 

"Thoroughly enjoyed the excursion - guide was extremely informative - and a lovely person."

Carol

 

"Antje was very informative. I loved her tone of voice."

Melanie

 

"Extremely informative with documentations. A pleasant personality with added humor."

 

"Antje provided an excellent commentary, was very knowledgable and was able to answer everyone's questions. She was delightful and the day was fun."

Robert

 

 

"Wonderful tour guide: She was so knowledgable, friendly and kind, her Englisch was excellent and she made the tour interesting and fun."

Elaine

 

"Antje was very clear, concise, punctual and informative." 

Elizabeth

 

"Antje was very caring, spoke plainly and was very interesting."

Maureen

 

"Very informative. Will be returning with my family."

Lynn

 

"A very enjoyable and informative tour, led by an excellent, friendly guide. Top marks!"

Hayward 

"Antje, our guide, was excellent, very clear, friendly and efficient, told all the history of Rostock very well."

Marion

 

"Antje: very clear, professional and informative. We loved that she set out details of plan of excursion from start - so we knew exactly where we were going to be at what time - and also where we needed to be at what time - very reassuring. Thank you - excellent afternoon!"

 

"Informative, interesting, stimulating and very educative. My best tour."

Lawrence

 

"Antje was very knowledgeable about the history of the places we visited, and was able to provide us with information that gave us insight into the places and the people. Very good experience for our group."

Annie

 



About me

Photo: Kristina Becker - www.photovisionen.com
Photo: Kristina Becker - www.photovisionen.com

ANTJE JOOST-HIRSEKORN

 

Since 2008 I work with heart and brain as a tour guide in Northern Germany – for cruise ship passengers, international guests, but also for locals and kids.

 

I am very interested in medieval churches – their architecture and the used symbolism, which you still can see today. That’s why I decided to be educated to a church guide, and that allows me to guide guests also in churches like the Minster of Bad Doberan.

 

I walk through life with eyes wide open and discover things that I normally would not have seen. I am curious, I ask questions and try to find answers to these questions – this knowledge I like to share in an understandable way with those who are interested. Lifelong learning is close to my heart.

 

As a mum I know what kids are interested in and that they mostly enjoy discovering things on their own – that’s why I can perfectly tailor my tours to kids’ needs.

 

What else might be interesting to you: I backpacked for half a year and travelled around the world, I worked on a cruise liner, I love the scent of peonies and I bake – according to my daughter – the world’s best cheesecake. 

 

My motto: See the marvelousness in everyday life!