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For 28 years, Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous crossing point between East and West Berlin. It was site of many tense historical moments between Soviet and American forces, and it remains a symbol of the Cold War to this day.
By 1961, 20% of East Germany’s population had immigrated to the West, causing economic loss to the Soviet Union. So, on August 13th, the Wall and its “death strip” was built.
Checkpoint C was the only Berlin crossing point for Allied forces and foreigners. The West built a small wooden house at the location so it wouldn't appear as an official border.
Soon after the Wall's construction, the U.S. and Soviet armies had a faceoff, with tanks pointed at one another for six days. It ended peacefully when the Soviets withdrew.
A teenager bled to death near the Checkpoint after being shot by East German guards while trying to escape to the West. Neither side went to his aid out of fear of retribution.
The Wall fell on November 9th, 1989. Although reunification didn't occur until a year later, open travel at Checkpoint Charlie began. The guard house was removed in October 1990.
It is a massively popular tourist attraction fit with a replica of the iconic wooden shed, actors dressed as American soldiers and wartime souvenirs. The free open air exhibition is packed with history, and, for a more in-depth overview, the Museum Haus Am Checkpoint Charlie (or Mauer Museum) is open year round, open from 9:00AM to 10:00PM.
Checkpoint Charlie is located off the Kochstraße stop on the U6 line.
- When to visitMauer Museum hours: 9:00AM - 10:00PM
- What is the price?Checkpoint Charlie is located outside and is free to look at. Tickets to the Mauer Museum cost €12.50.
- Will I need a guide?A guide isn't required of course, but with so much history discover, it'd be worth it!
- How to get there*Fahren Sie mit der U-Bahn (U6) zur Haltestelle Kochstraße. *
- Additional tipsBring your passport with you! If you ask nicely, the "border guards" will give you an Allied Forces crossing stamp.
What People Are Saying About Checkpoint Charlie
Really easy to use, easy to pick up from airport, gave us the freedom for 72 hours to travel freely in Berlin on all public transport. Would always buy this again
Georgia was a really interesting guide. She really seems to enjoy what she does and she was also interacting with us at all times. She showed us most of the importand things in Berlin through jokes and references to things that everybody knows eg movies. We really enjoyed it.
Easy to find the pick up point. Knowledgeable friendly guide - gave a sensitive history of the city. Great activity for your first day to see all the main sights you can then choose which ones to go back and see in detail. We covered a great distance that I wouldn't want to have walked and would have missed seeing so much if we'd travelled underground.
We picked up our Berlin Welcombe Cards at the airport, we were then able to reach our hotel easily. With the Berlin map and train route map it was easy to pick out route we needed. Just match up the name of the station with that on the notice boards no need to be fluent in German.
Really pleased I began my trip with this tour. Our guide was excellent- really knowledgeable and delivered his comments with humour and great pace. Thoroughly recommend the tour.