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

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...

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!

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

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

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!

Berlin Wall: Our 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 to visit
    Outdoor areas are always open, but the Visitors' Center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM.
  • What is the price?
    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 tips
    ** 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

The Tour was very interesting. Ulrich (I think) was very good .

The Guide was excellent, despite us having weak German, he was very helpful and sympathetic. We enjoyed the Tour very much.

Perfect introduction to Berlin for an art lover

I have always been fascinated by street art and graffiti that's why I chose the alternative tour and I Was not disappointed. Georgia was our guide, she loves art and she loves Berlin. I normally don't like guided tours but with a guide like Georgia I would be happy to see more of Berlin
New Berlin Alternative City Tour Reviewed by brikesh, 10/16/2016

Worth it for the return train travel from airport to city centre alone

Perfect for taking advantage of Berlin's excellent integrated public transport. Simple to book in advance and collect on arrival at airport. Only slight criticism is there can be queues at the collection point (at airport).

Fantastic - interesting, relevant, enjoyable

Our guide, George Carrillo, was excellent. He was knowledgeable, entertaining and thought provoking.
Berlin Free Walking Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 10/13/2016

Brilliant. Walid our guide was fabulous. Thoroughly recommended.

Whizzing around on a Segway is more fun than you can imagine. Combine that with a very friendly city, loads of interesting places to see and a guide who really made the experience the best of our entire trip. Walid was hilarious and very knowledgeable. He really was a wonderful host and I can't recommend his tour highly enough. Fantastic!
Berlin Segway Tour Reviewed by Steven, 10/04/2016

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Berlin Wall
Based on 1,192 reviews by GetYourGuide customers