Berlin Wall

Enter your dates to find available activities

5 historical facts about the Berlin Wall

For 28 years the Berlin Wall symbolized an ideological stalemate and its fall was swiftly followed by that of the Soviet Union. It's shaped the contemporary life of a city and the attitudes of its residents, so here are some things to know before your trip.

  • It was built in 1961 to cut off access to West Berlin

    1. It was built in 1961 to cut off access to West Berlin

    Berlin was the main route for the 3.5 million East Germans emigrating to the West prior to 1961. The 155km wall was intended to stifle a hemorrhaging workforce!

  • The wall couldn't stop emigration...

    2. The wall couldn't stop emigration...

    An estimated 100,000 still escaped East Germany after the wall went up. In the first two years, 1,300 of them were border guards!

  • ...But it could slow it down!

    3. ...But it could slow it down!

    Crossing wasn't easy, of course. At least 98 people were killed as a result of trying to sneak through, although some counts put the death toll well above 200!

  • There were plenty of imaginative escapes

    4. There were plenty of imaginative escapes

    East Berliners devised many daring ways of entering the West, from tightropes, zip-lines, and hot air balloons to crashing through in a speeding train!

  • It was torn down in 1989

    5. It was torn down in 1989

    Misinformation about relaxed regulations spread across East German news, driving citizens to gather at the wall hoping to cross. Outnumbered, the border guards eventually gave way!

Planning Your Visit

  • Where is it now?

    Most of the wall has been demolished, but tourists can still visit preserved segments, such as the Eastside Gallery (so-called for its large graffiti murals running along the Spree River's east bank between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain). A notable section is also visible at the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse. City tours should cover most of the sites, including Checkpoint Charlie – the famous American checkpoint on Friedrichstrasse.

  • When to visit?

    Berlin is a true summer city and there are few better ways to spend a sun-soaked visit than to tour its sights by foot or by bike! If your visit has been cursed by cold or rainy weather, however, visit the segment at the Berlin Wall Memorial. It can be viewed from the top floor of its Visitors' Center, which also provides fascinating insights into life behind the wall.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Outdoor areas are always open, but the Visitors' Center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM.
  • Is it expensive?
    The open areas and Visitors' Center are free to visit, but the Center does accept donations.
  • Will I need a guide?
    A tour is definitely worth it! Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    Depending on the exhibit you wish to see, directions will vary, but the wall is easily reachable!
  • Additional information
    ** Remember to remain respectful during your visit. | Check the weather! Berlin can get windy quickly so plan ahead.*

Other Sightseeing Options in Berlin Wall

Want to discover all there is to do in Berlin Wall? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Berlin Wall

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 32,733 reviews

There were 15 of us on the tour which was not a problem and this is the largest group the company would take. Eran was an Israeli guide who was extremely helpful and sympathetic to the situation of the gipsies and Roma Who were killed in the Second World War. We visited some interesting sites that I have not seen before and his attention to detail and willingness to explain was superb.

Absolutely excellent. Well explained history with personal touches. Highly recommend!

It was a great way to see the city and learn some of the history.

Great fun, segways are the best way to explore Berlin!

Wonderful guide! I'm very thankful for private tour!