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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 information
- Bring 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
There was a mess up with our tour time but the guys there were more than accommodating. They took us out on our own little tour twice and did everything they could to make sure we still had a great time which we did. It is an awesome way to see the city and the tour guys are very friendly and knowledgeable. It was great fun and a once in a lifetime experience, I would highly recommend, worth every penny.
One of the best guides I have ever had on a tour. Walid is a captivating storyteller, extremely knowledgeable on the subject matter and was respectful towards different opinions in the group. The small group size makes the tour feel intimate and you are able to relate to the other people on the tour. I highly recommend if you are interested in Berlin's fascinating history!
Johan was our guide, and, boy, did he guide us on a glorious sunny day in Berlin for 4.5 glorious hours. Good to meet Murphy (Johan's dog) too. She was a star. Not only did were do Cold War sites and tales but were managed to fit in some Nazi/Hitler history too. Fantastic! Highly recommended. And a great way to see bits of Berlin you never otherwise would.
Taylor brought the history of Berlin to life, he struck a great balance between entertaining and informative and the 2 hours flew by! Even as someone who has previously studied these subjects there was new and interesting information and stories on the tour. Thank you to Taylor for a thoroughly enjoyable morning!
We had managed to visit a number of attractions before doing this tour - Nikolai added so much depth to what we had seen. In fact there were things we hadn’t even noticed which were significant places and memorials. So pleased we took this walking tour.