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Top sights in Berlin
For 28 years, Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous crossing point between East and West Berlin. It was site of many tense historical moments between Soviet and American forces, and it remains a symbol of the Cold War to this day.
By 1961, 20% of East Germany’s population had immigrated to the West, causing economic loss to the Soviet Union. So, on August 13th, the Wall and its “death strip” was built.
Checkpoint C was the only Berlin crossing point for Allied forces and foreigners. The West built a small wooden house at the location so it wouldn't appear as an official border.
Soon after the Wall's construction, the U.S. and Soviet armies had a faceoff, with tanks pointed at one another for six days. It ended peacefully when the Soviets withdrew.
A teenager bled to death near the Checkpoint after being shot by East German guards while trying to escape to the West. Neither side went to his aid out of fear of retribution.
The Wall fell on November 9th, 1989. Although reunification didn't occur until a year later, open travel at Checkpoint Charlie began. The guard house was removed in October 1990.
It is a massively popular tourist attraction fit with a replica of the iconic wooden shed, actors dressed as American soldiers and wartime souvenirs. The free open air exhibition is packed with history, and, for a more in-depth overview, the Museum Haus Am Checkpoint Charlie (or Mauer Museum) is open year round, open from 9:00AM to 10:00PM.
Checkpoint Charlie is located off the Kochstraße stop on the U6 line.
- When should I visit?Mauer Museum hours: 9:00AM - 10:00PM
- Is it expensive?Checkpoint Charlie is located outside and is free to look at. Tickets to the Mauer Museum cost €12.50.
- Will I need a guide?A guide isn't required of course, but with so much history discover, it'd be worth it!
- How to get there*Fahren Sie mit der U-Bahn (U6) zur Haltestelle Kochstraße. *
- Additional informationBring your passport with you! If you ask nicely, the "border guards" will give you an Allied Forces crossing stamp.
What people are saying about Checkpoint Charlie
Our tour guide Lizzie was exceptional! She knew everything about the history of Berlin, and took us to all the main attractions as well as a few attractions that easily could’ve been missed, had we not gone on the tour, such as Hitler’s bunker and the previous headquarters of the German Air Force. In January in Berlin , walking around the city for 2 hours and 45 minutes is not exactly ideal, but Lizzie kept the whole group in high spirits with her jokes and sense of humor. She also provided us with recommendations of things to see in the city and places to eat which was very useful! She was always open to any questions throughout the tour.
Our tour guide Nathan is really extremely knowledgeable! it was a really amazing tour!
It was difficult to convince the people working there that the ticket was valid, I'm not sure if they were looking for a barcode to scan. There was no boat ride and I couldnt even get on the Route B bus because they said it was not valid.
We can not recommend this guided tour enough! It was an incredible experience and without a shadow of a doubt, the best way to soak up all of the sights within this beautiful city. Our tour guide Karsten was so knowledgable and knew Berlin inside out & backwards. He took us across the whole city from the East to the West and down back streets that we would never have found on our own and gave us a fascinating history lesson. Thank you Karsten for making our trip to Berlin so memorable
We loved this tour!! Rajko was a brilliant guide. Extremely knowledgeable passionate about sharing the history of Berlin and we had no problems with language barriers. The VW combi was in pristine condition and was so much fun to see the sights in. The city is very accessible with this vehicle compared to a double decker bus and the small group makes it feel like friends showing you around.