Best ways to See the Berlin Wall
The Berlin wall was a concrete barrier that divided East and West Germany for 28 years following the second world war. The guarded wall prevented residents from moving freely between the two territories, but it also became a major symbol of the “Iron Curtain”, which separated western nations from the Eastern bloc during the cold war.
This deep history is not to be missed when visiting Germany’s capital city, though with most of the wall brought down in 1989, it can be a bit confusing to determine the best places to see and learn about the wall. There are important fragments of the wall remaining around the city and each has it’s own story to tell. You can find a great article cataloguing a few of them here, but if you have just a short time, your best bet is to start at the Berlin Wall Memorial. If you have a bit more time, check out a guided bike tour to not only see the fragments of the wall, but learn their history and what makes them special.
This non-strenuous bike tour may be the best way to see the history of the area from the times living under the Nazi regime through the cold war. A knowledgeable tour guide will you around the city, pointing out sites that you may otherwise miss and putting them into the context of this dark period in Berlin’s past. If you’re interested in this time period or just want a unique way to see the city, you cannot beat this tour. Book early online via the link above as this tour does generally sell out
The Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall Memorial extends along both sides of the Bernauer Strasse, a street that divided East and West Germany while the wall stood. On the border strip that had been located in East Berlin, an open-air exhibition uses the Bernauer Strasse to explain the history of division. The memorial also includes the Monument in Memory of the Divided City and the Victims of Communist Tyranny and the Window of Remembrance. The Chapel of Reconciliation is also a part of this ensemble.
On the other side of the street that belonged to the western part of the city, the newly constructed Visitor Center and the Documentation Center contains a viewing platform to see one of the largest remaining sections of the wall. Some of the armaments which once guarded the wall have been reconstructed to give visitors an idea of what the wall really would have looked like at its peak.
Getting to the Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall memorial is about a 30 minute walk from Alexanderplatz. You can get there by car or public transportation (U line) in about 10 minutes.
The Berlin Wall Memorial is also about a 30-35 minute walk from Mitte or from the Brandenberg Gate, though public transportation options will take you a bit longer from these areas, plan for about 20 minutes.
Open – Air Exhibition and Memorial Grounds
All year round Monday – Sunday: 8:00am – 10:00pm
April – October :Tuesday – Sunday 9:30am – 7:00pm
November – March: Tuesday – Sunday 9:30am – 6:00pm