Berlin Wall

The more than 160 kilometers long Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin stood for more than 28 years and separated the connections in the Greater Berlin area between the east part (“capital of the GDR”) and the west part of the city. Today parts of the wall can still be visited at different locations in Berlin. The Wall is one of the must see memorial sites and one of the top sights in Berlin. Here you will find information and tickets & tours.

Berlin Wall: symbol of the division of Germany and the Cold War

It is inconceivable for many visitors today, but Berlin has long been divided into East and West. Berlin was divided by a border of around 168 kilometers and a height of between 3.40 and 4.20 m.

1945, after the end of the Second World War, Berlin was divided into four sectors, analogous to Germany as the former imperial capital. From the summer of 1945, the first lines of demarcation were drawn between the zones of occupation, the so-called “zone boundaries”. In the course of the Cold War and due to the different social systems – capitalism on the one hand and communism on the other – there was always conflict between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. But especially the prevention of flight of trained young people from the Soviet occupation zone and the later GDR was the reason for the construction. Because a total of around 3.5 million people fled from 1945 until construction.

Berlin, Sights, Sehenswürdigkeiten, Reichstag, Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall

Construction of the Berlin wall

On August 13, 1961, the Wall was built as a border fortification system for the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The so-called “anti-fascist protective wall” was built according to the SED leadership as protection against the threat from the West. The main purpose, however, was to prevent escape from the GDR to the western part.

Already on August 3, 1961, the decision was made in Moscow at a meeting between Khrushchev and Ulbricht. The implementation took place in the night from August 12th to 13th, 1961. That night the GDR, with 5,000 members of the protective police and the People’s Police standby, as well as 4500 members of the company combat groups, began to block the roads and railways to West Berlin.

Death strip

Since 1960, the shooting order has been in force in cases of “illegal border crossing”. Over 100 people were killed trying to cross the border towards West Berlin. The data fluctuate here. The exact number of fatalities is unknown. However, an estimated 100,000 GDR citizens managed to flee to the West even after the construction.

Berlin, Sights, Sehenswürdigkeiten, Reichstag, Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall

The opening of the Berlin Wall

In the course of the political change, the Wall was opened on the evening of November 9, 1989. As a result, the fall of the Wall also paved the way for the dissolution of the GDR and led to the reunification of Germany.

Berlin Wall today attraction

Today parts of the wall can be visited in Berlin. Among other things in the “Berlin Wall” memorial, which is now the central place of remembrance of the division of Germany.

Other sights that are reminiscent of the Berlin Wall:

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie was one of the Berlin border crossings through the Berlin Wall between 1961 and 1990. It was the scene of spectacular escapes from what was then East Berlin.

East Side Gallery

The East Side Gallery memorial is located in Berlin-Friedrichshain. This permanent open-air gallery on the longest remaining section of the wall can be found in Mühlenstraße between the Ostbahnhof and the Oberbaumbrücke along the Spree. The section has been painted by 118 artists since 1990.

Visiting the outdoor area and the visitor center is free. However, it is worth taking a guided tour to find out more.


Activity / descriptionBuy tickets / more information
Skip-the-Line: Berlin Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie
Visit the Berlin Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie. Founded shortly after the construction of the Berlin Wall, this museum had a vital role in history and the objects on display in the museum provide evidence of this. (from 17,50 Euro per Person, GetYourGuide)
GetYourGuide, Tickets
Berlin: The Wall Museum East Side Gallery Ticket
Learn about the history of the Berlin Wall at the Wall Museum at East Side Gallery. Explore 13 themed rooms which tell the story of the divided Berlin. (from 12,50 Euro per Person, GetYourGuide)
GetYourGuide, Tickets
THE WALL: asisi Panorama Berlin Ticket
Experience a Berlin that no longer exists at THE WALL. The artist Yadegar Asisi presents everyday life in the 1980s in Berlin's Kreuzberg sector. (from 11 Euro per Person, GetYourGuide)
GetYourGuide, Tickets
Berlin: Small-Group Third Reich and Cold War Walking Tour
Discover Berlin’s story on a 2-hour guided walking tour. Start from Brandenburg Gate on a route which encompasses a long stretch of the Berlin Wall which still stands 30 years after it was toppled. (from 19 Euro per Person, GetYourGuide)
GetYourGuide, Tickets
Berlin: Wall and Cold War Bike Tour
Visit remnants of the Berlin Wall, former watchtowers, and hidden historical sites on a bike tour that explores Berlin’s fascinating Cold War history across the city’s vibrant neighborhoods. (from 28 Euro per Person, GetYourGuide)
GetYourGuide, Tickets
Berlin City Tours & Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours
Berlin: Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour
Explore Berlin with a 24, 48, or 72-hour ticket on an open-top hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Take in views of Berlin's most distinctive landmarks and delve into its fascinating history. (GetYourGuide Certified) (from 20 Euro per Person, GetYourGuide)
GetYourGuide, Tickets
Berlin: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour Ticket
Discover Berlin’s many points of interest on an open-top double-decker bus. Discover the German capital. See the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz, Alexanderplatz, and much more. (GetYourGuide Certified) Activity provider: City Sightseeing Europe (from 28 Euro per Person, GetYourGuide)
GetYourGuide, Tickets
Discounts and public transport / city card
Berlin WelcomeCard: Discounts & Transport Berlin Zones (ABC)
Explore Berlin with a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6-day Berlin WelcomeCard. Ride public transport in the ABC zones, including Berlin Brandenburg Airport, receive discounts of up to 50% with many partners, and benefit from the pocket travel guide. (From 53 € per Person, GetYourGuide)
GetYourGuide, Tickets
Further recommendations for Berlin city tours and Berlin boat tours & cruises to explore the city, we have put together a list for you under the attached links.