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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
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.
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.
I had only 1 day in Berlin and in addition to that some mobility constraints due to my health issues. Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour is the easiest way to see the most interesting parts of the city. The tour was accompanied with live comments in English and German. I would recommend it to everyone who wants to see the city but has some time limitations.
Great fun. Unfortunately our Trabant lost its electrics! Our guide offered us a replacement but we soldiered on with no wipers and indicators. This distracted us from the Commentary but great fun anyway.