Berlin Wall
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Berlin Wall: Tours & Tickets

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5 historical facts about the Berlin Wall

For 28 years the Berlin Wall symbolized an ideological stalemate and its fall was swiftly followed by that of the Soviet Union. It's shaped the contemporary life of a city and the attitudes of its residents, so here are some things to know before your trip.

It was built in 1961 to cut off access to West Berlin

It was built in 1961 to cut off access to West Berlin

Berlin was the main route for the 3.5 million East Germans emigrating to the West prior to 1961. The 155km wall was intended to stifle a hemorrhaging workforce!

The wall couldn't stop emigration...

The wall couldn't stop emigration...

An estimated 100,000 still escaped East Germany after the wall went up. In the first two years, 1,300 of them were border guards!

...But it could slow it down!

...But it could slow it down!

Crossing wasn't easy, of course. At least 98 people were killed as a result of trying to sneak through, although some counts put the death toll well above 200!

There were plenty of imaginative escapes

There were plenty of imaginative escapes

East Berliners devised many daring ways of entering the West, from tightropes, zip-lines, and hot air balloons to crashing through in a speeding train!

It was torn down in 1989

It was torn down in 1989

Misinformation about relaxed regulations spread across East German news, driving citizens to gather at the wall hoping to cross. Outnumbered, the border guards eventually gave way!

Our insider tips

Where is it now?

Most of the wall has been demolished, but tourists can still visit preserved segments, such as the Eastside Gallery (so-called for its large graffiti murals running along the Spree River's east bank between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain). A notable section is also visible at the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse. City tours should cover most of the sites, including Checkpoint Charlie – the famous American checkpoint on Friedrichstrasse.

When to visit?

Berlin is a true summer city and there are few better ways to spend a sun-soaked visit than to tour its sights by foot or by bike! If your visit has been cursed by cold or rainy weather, however, visit the segment at the Berlin Wall Memorial. It can be viewed from the top floor of its Visitors' Center, which also provides fascinating insights into life behind the wall.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Outdoor areas are always open, but the Visitors' Center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM.
  • Is it expensive?
    The open areas and Visitors' Center are free to visit, but the Center does accept donations.
  • Will I need a guide?
    A tour is definitely worth it! Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    Depending on the exhibit you wish to see, directions will vary, but the wall is easily reachable!
  • Additional information
    ** Remember to remain respectful during your visit. | Check the weather! Berlin can get windy quickly so plan ahead.*

What people are saying about Berlin Wall

Overall rating
4.7 / 5
based on 23,515 reviews

We signed up for the Trabi tour, thinking we would all sit in the Trabi with our private driver & tour guide! Upon arrival, we found out that’s not the case and we would actually driving our very own Trabi! Thankfully, one of us knew how to drive a manual because that’s the Trabi we ended up with! (There’s an option for an automatic, if manual driving is not your jam!) There’s a lead tour guide and everyone follows the designated guide in a line. The guide took us all over Berlin & the popular tourist sites. The guide talks through a radio so all cars can hear the history about each site while driving their Trabi! If you have EVER wanted to know what it was like to drive a car from East Berlin during the Cold War, this tour would be the perfect opportunity to check this off the bucket list! It was nerve wracking, but such a fun & exciting tour to do!! We would highly recommend it!

Berlin: 75-minute Trabi Safari Reviewed by

We booked this your as a group of 6 people, our host and tour guide Leah was very knowledgeable about the area, explaining the local cultural aspects of the urban art scene, we saw a side to Berlin that we would never have seen without booking such a tour. Highly recommend!

Dave was an amazing guide! Did not have much knowledge about Germany’s history but after this trip, I went and checked a lot of spots suggested by him. Left Berlin with a great deal of knowledge. Great experience overall!

It was a great cycle and very safe. Bike was sturdy & everything worked & there are plenty of very fascinating stops so it’s not 3 hours solid cycling if anyone is worried.

Berlin: "Vibes of Berlin" Bike Tour Reviewed by

Great tour, very knowledgeable and likeable guide Martin who did a superb job. Great family trip that we will never forget! Thanks you very much