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Top sights in Berlin
The East Side Gallery is the longest remaining strip of The Berlin Wall and the longest outdoor gallery in the world. Immediately after the fall of the “iron curtain,” 118 artists from 21 different countries reinterpreted East Side Gallery history forever.
The East Side Gallery borders what used to be its “death strip,” a highly patrolled area where anyone trying to cross from East to West Berlin was immediately shot.
Since 1990, many murals deteriorated. Restoration, however, has been filled with roadblocks like funding issues and even a lawsuit from artists who felt their work was altered.
German pop artist Jim Avignon painted over his original painting “Doin’ it cool for the East Side” with a group of art students in 1990—without authorized permission.
A six-meter gap was put in the East Side Gallery in 2013 to make room for the construction of high rise apartment buildings. Protestors gathered, but the construction went on.
“Berlin East Side Gallery” is a 2015 documentary that records the changes since the 2009 restoration in hopes of deterring vandalism and promoting preservation.
Located along the Spree river, the area around the gallery is filled with sand-filled beach bars that can make for a relaxing, sunny evening when the weather is in your favor.
Crowds can be dense; arriving earlier or later in the day is advisable. It’s open 24 hours a day.
One of the most famous murals is entitled “My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love” and sometimes called the “Fraternal Kiss” by Dmitri Vrubel. It is a reproduction of the real event of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker sharing a socialist fraternal embrace.
- When should I visit?
- The East Side Gallery is open all day, everyday.
- Is it expensive?
- It's free to walk the Gallery, but tours of the area cost extra.
- Will I need a guide?
- A guide can certainly make the artwork come to life, with stories about the artists, and life before and after The Wall.
- How to get there
- Take the S5, S7 or S75 to either Warschauer Str. or Ostbahnhof, or the U1 to Warschauer Str.
- Additional information
- Please remain respectful, and do not add your own artwork over an artist's work.
What people are saying about East Side Gallery
Becs was a fantastic host, she was professional, informative & organised. I can certainly recommend her. My experience of doing the booking was not so much. After booking at night for the next day, my booking went through as accepted, then I received an email to advise there was an error in the booking & there was no tour. It asked me to reschedule. I was unable to reschedule as I was flying out the following day. I then received another email from someone else to advise it was going ahead. This created some confusion for me as to whether the tour was proceeding. Luckily it did. It was also lucky that I had internet at that time & was able to get these emails.
A great way to see Berlin, such a fun experience. Don't take it too seriously, you will laugh from start to finish, but it can be a struggle to hear the tour guide over the radio whilst you're driving the Trabi... The guide gives an excellent explanation of Trabant history whilst you top up with fuel half way around. The whole safari took almost 2 hours, so allow plenty of time for the tour. It was a crazy couple of hours... you must try it!
Swen was great with our group. Our group were mostly blind/partially sighted but this didn't phase Swen, as it had done with other guides we have had in Berlin. His description of everything was clear, and the many various food stops along the way were wonderful. Some food tours flatter to deceive, but we were well and truly stuffed by the end and impressed all the way through. I would recommend this tour, and Swen, to any future groups.
Every step of this tour is a learning moment with moments of the satirical and moments for tears. Sarah our guide was so generous with her knowledge, her passion to share this tragic part of history and with other aspects of Berlin life. Sarah thank you I have taken so much away with me...and am reading more and more. An enlightening roller coaster of a tour
We managed to get through both tours A and B on the one day so we could figure out where to focus on the next day as we had a 48 hr ticket. The buses were good but the constant stopping for breaks (usually smoke breaks by drivers) was annoying. The commentary was only so so and didn’t often match up to where we were. What was good was the frequency.