Travel: Historical Sights In Berlin


Checkpoint Charlie 

Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Admission: Free

A trip to Berlin would be incomplete without a visit to Checkpoint Charlie. It stood as the most well known border crossing between East and West Germany during the Cold War, erected overnight in the October of 1961 and torn down in the summer of 1990, reuniting East and West once more. A replica of the U.S guardhouse remains today, equipped with actors posed as American soldiers, there to answer any questions or to simply pose for a photograph. Furthermore, the area itself withholds a copy of the signage constructed by the  U.S Army, notifying civilians from the East that they are now entering the American Sector. Further along the road you will find remnants of the wall, graffitied and vandalised, in addition to a plaque that reads ‘Deutsche Demokratische Republik’ which translates as ‘German Democratic Republic’ , a state in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

Haus Am Checkpoint Charlie Museum 

Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Admission: €12.50 

If you are interested in broadening your knowledge on the history of Checkpoint Charlie, then a visit  to the museum is a must-do. As off putting as the steep admission price may be, it is well worth the money and more. Step by step, the exhibition guides you through the history of the Berlin Wall, the construction, the political influence and of course the erection of the most famous checkpoint. Packed full of escape tales, both of success and failure, it takes you on an emotional journey of hope and fear on the pathway to freedom. From building makeshift hot air balloons to hiding in the bonnet of a car, many individuals tried to escape the Soviet grip of West Germany to reunite with their loved ones in the East. Showcasing replicas, propaganda and small scale models, the museum captures what life was like for people living in the East. Moreover, they convey Ronald Reagan’s presence as an advocate of freedom and democracy, exhibiting not only facts about his personal life but equally  show visual footage of his famous speech given at Brandeburg Gate.



Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer

Berlin Wall Memorial

Bernauer Str. 111, 13355 Berlin, Germany

Admission: Free

Bernauer Strasse is home to the official memorial site of the Berlin Wall. In 1961, when the wall was erected, the street was divided between East and West leaving neighbours and family members segregated. It was here that the first tragedies occurred, people jumping to their deaths from their windows, in an attempt to escape the grip of the Soviet East. The outdoor memorial pays tribute to those who lost their lives, retelling their stories and putting names to the many faces. Remnants of the wall line the pavement, metal poles standing where concrete once was, showing the severity of the segregation that occurred.


Berlin Wall Documentation Center

Bernauer Str. 111, 13355 Berlin, Germany

Admission: Free 

To find out more about the happenings at Bernauer Strasse and to gain a deeper understanding of the impact the Wall had on Berlin, the documentation centre is a must. The exhibition is dedicated to the divide of East and West Berlin, how it was constructed, the inevitable fall and the reunification. Collating first hand stories, visual documentaries and many artefacts, the exhibition focuses on it’s affect on the citizens of Berlin as well as the political events. You can watch and listen to the stories told by former Bernauer Strasse residents, whose lives were torn apart by the divide and many of whom tried to escape themselves. Finally, On the top floor, you can stand upon the balcony and witness the impressive views over the watchtower and border strip, imagining for yourself what it must have been like for residences with similar views having to watch their friends and family from afar, not knowing if you will ever be united once more.


Nordbahnhof S-Bahn Ghost Station

Admission: Free

Not far from the Berlin Wall Memorial Site in Bernaeur Strasse, there lies the remnants of the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn Ghost Station. Now a fully functioning S-Bahn, with links to the centre of Berlin and beyond, a sector is preserved as an exhibition space, showcasing photographs and stories of the guardsmen who worked at the station. During the erection of the Berlin Wall, the S-Bahn tunnels were blocked due to their connection between the East & West border. Guards were locked in overnight to prevent civilians from attempting to escape, and also to prevent their own escape, as many guards had disappeared whilst on shift. The station still withholds an eery and ghost-like feel, as if the guards presence can be felt by every visitor.


Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe 

Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Admission: Free

Fun as it may look, this hide and seek playground is the memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. Designed by Peter Eisenman, this 19,000 m2  memorial was opened in 2005, 60 years after the end of World War II. Located between Potsdamer Platz and Brandenburg Gate, this memorial ground is home to over 2,000 concrete slabs, arranged in a sloping manner, commemorating the lives of over six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. According to the architect himself, he wanted to create an illusion that represented instability within order, hence the wave like pattern and uneven ground the slabs are built upon. Below the memorial lies an information centre, showcasing a free of charge exhibition that documents the extermination of Jews throughout World War II.

Topography Of Terror Museum

Niederkirchnerstraße 8 10963 Berlin, Germany

Admission: Free

Continuing the theme of War, the Topography Of Terror Museum is not for the faint hearted. Situated at the site where the headquarters for the Secret State police, SS and the Third Reich once stood, this modern building is a hard contrast to what would have once stood in its place. The in depth exhibition is a document of the horrific crimes that these trusted parties committed during the time of the Third Reich and the horror they caused for victims and their loved ones. The exhibition is rather overwhelming, with panels upon panels of information, taking you a while to take it all in. However, the photographs on display speak much louder than words, highlighting the severity of the mass murder that happened not so long ago.

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Berliner Dom

Am Lustgarten 10178, Mitte, Berlin

Admission: 7

Dating back to 1465, this beautiful cathedral is one of a kind. Restored in 1822, the building took on a neoclassicist style, with the architecture possessing qualities of classical antiquity. The interior, mostly made from marble is exquisite, enhanced by the gold furnishings and tall ceilings. The admission fee allows access to the inner church, the crypt and also a climb to the top, walking around the outer Dome offering views of the Mitte district.



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