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

Very knowledgeable guide made the event a fantastic experienve

Would highly recommend out guide George today. He was so informative and efficient in bringing us around schauzen camp. Helped with train information too

Berlin Free Walking Tour with Booking Fee Reviewed by Margaret, 12/04/2018

Alicia was great really interesting tour

The tour was great very interesting to hear about divided Berlin I hadn't heard before thought provoking. Thanks Alicia

Berlin Insider's Cold War Walking Tour Reviewed by Caroline, 11/25/2018

Amazing tour! Very informative et well documented. You should do it!

Our guide (can't remember her name, but she was from Australia) knows her history very well and was super friendly and dynamic. Really happy we did this tour, that really helped us to better understand under which condition the German nation was led into such horrible events by the Nazi party and how the population now copes with those traumatic memories. Our guide was very sensible about the way she taught us this dark part of History and brought tears to my eyes at some occasions. But don't worry, she also knows how to make us laugh as well!

Third Reich Half-Day Walking Tour of Berlin Reviewed by Dominic, 11/09/2018

Great way to see the city! Rob was awesome!

An amazing tour! Passing through most of the main sights Rob, a fellow mancunian was an excellent tour guide. Very informative, funny and more than knowledgeable on all things Berlin.

Berlin Free Walking Tour with Booking Fee Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 11/07/2018

Really informative and enjoyable 3 hours

Been on quite afew of these tours and this was as good as any we've been on. Sarah , whilst not a native Berliner , was knowledgeable and informative and kept what was quite a large group engaged. Not sure why we needed to book, there seemed to be afew people who just turned up on the day. Disappointing as we had to split our group between 10:0 and 11:00 due to 'available spaces'

Berlin Free Walking Tour with Booking Fee Reviewed by Gary, 11/05/2018

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