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Wall Museum – Checkpoint Charlie

Last updated: 23 April, 2024

With its grim border guards and ominous sign – ‘You Are Now Leaving The American Sector’ – Checkpoint Charlie put the world on edge when Allied and Soviet tanks faced off for a few nail-biting days in October 1961. It was the recognised crossing point for the infamous Berlin Wall, which symbolised more than anything else the West’s ‘Cold War’ with the Soviet Union from 1947-1991. For a small and fairly non-descript site, it has enormous historical significance that will lives long in the realms of history.

Today, a cramped but compelling museum there tells the history of the Wall and the rickety tunnels, home-made aircraft, reinforced cars and mini-subs people used to attempt escape to freedom from East Germany – efforts that more often than not ended in heartbreaking tragedy. There are some good documentary clips too.

For a couple of Euros you can pose with a mock guard at the replica border booth and get your passport stamped with a pre-1989 visa.

Logistics

Price from: £12
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Take line 6 of the U-Bahn to Kochstrasse and walk 150m north along Friedrichstrasse.

Audio guides are available on site for a small fee. One-hour group and individual guided tours are also possible by prior appointment. There is also a series short films that run in the morning.

When to do it

It’s open all year round, seven days a week.

Who to go with: organised tours

6

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Cold War Walking Tour of Berlin

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This guided Berlin walking tour will show you the battleground of the military conflict between the western world and the communist world. With your expert guide, see the Berlin Wall and hidden areas of the Death Strip, a former guard tower and travel through underground 'Ghost Stations'. Stand above the most famous escape tunnels, hear about the people who created them. Listen to stories about espionage, how the CIA and KGB faced off in this geopolitical hotspot. Learn about the leaders of the time and the events that kept the world on the brink of a nuclear war for 40 years. Your guide will expertly inform you on what life was like for Berlin's citizens during the almost 45 years of conflict and the ramifications we are still dealing with today.

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Private Walking Tour: World War 2 and Cold War Sites in Berlin

  • Berlin

Discover Berlin’s tumultuous history on a private 4-hour historical walking tour. Your private guide will tailor the tour to meet your interests. During this comprehensive tour you can cover locations like, the Berlin Wall, the former death strip area, take a "ghost train" ride under Berlin and learn about life in Berlin over the tumultous 20th century. See the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie. Learn about espionage techniques of the CIA and KBG, stand above Hitler's bunker. See the site where Stauffenberg and other German resistors against the Nazi's were executed. Visit the military high command of Germany during WW2. Visit the massive Templehof airport, built by the Nazi's and after WW2 used by the allies for the Berlin airlift. See the location of where the SS, Gestapo and had their headquarters in Berlin, the site today is the Topography of Terror an exhibition on the perpetrators during the Nazi period. Join us for a comprehensive tour of Berlin's past.

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Berlin Wall and Cold War Bike Tour in Small Groups

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Experience the history of the Berlin Wall in a 3.5-hour bike tour. What happened in Berlin after World War II? How come that they built a wall and what does it meant to the Berliners on both sides? On a bike tour along the former Berlin Wall we will give you an idea of how life was like and how Berlin became once again in the last years.

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Berlin Historical Bike Tour: Berlin Wall and Cold War

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Join this extremely insightful six-hour tour that focuses on the history of the Berlin Wall. Your tour begins near Alexanderplatz where you'll area formerly known as East Berlin to visit the Wall plenty of sites that make Berlin the unique city it is today. On the Berlin Wall Bike Tour you will visit the East Side Gallery, see a former watchtower, see the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park, explore the Templehof Airport, and learn about escape attempts in the places they took place. We'll also stop for a leisurely lunch in one of our favorite beer gardens. Along the way, your guide will also tell you about ghost train stations, espionage, and world events all effected by the Wall. You'll gain insight into what life was like in the shadow of the Wall and how the city still copes with its divided past today. Throughout the tour, your guide will be available to answer any questions you have about the Cold War and how it shaped present-day Berlin.

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Private Walking Tour: Berlin Wall, Cold War and Checkpoint Charlie

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This private walking tour brings you to the places, where famous events of the Cold War happened and history was written. On this tour you will also see original pieces of the Wall, one of the last remaining guard towers and Checkpoint Charlie. The tour starts at the Berlin Wall Documentation Center in the street "Bernauer Strasse", where many of the dramatic escape attempts took place, successful and tragic ones. You will ride one of the subways that were called "ghost trains" during the division of the city, so-called because of the gloomy atmosphere in the underground stations close to the wall. The tour also covers Checkpoint Charlie, the former military checkpoint and hot spot of the Cold War. This is the site where the fate of mankind was hanging by a thread in 1961 when US and Soviet tanks confronted each other.

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