Alternative Berlin by Bike: Kreuzberg & Friedrichshain
- Duration: 3.5 hours
The East Side Gallery is the longest remaining strip of The Berlin Wall and the longest outdoor gallery in the world. Immediately after the fall of the “iron curtain,” 118 artists from 21 different countries reinterpreted East Side Gallery history forever.
The East Side Gallery borders what used to be its “death strip,” a highly patrolled area where anyone trying to cross from East to West Berlin was immediately shot.
Since 1990, many murals deteriorated. Restoration, however, has been filled with roadblocks like funding issues and even a lawsuit from artists who felt their work was altered.
German pop artist Jim Avignon painted over his original painting “Doin’ it cool for the East Side” with a group of art students in 1990—without authorized permission.
A six-meter gap was put in the East Side Gallery in 2013 to make room for the construction of high rise apartment buildings. Protestors gathered, but the construction went on.
“Berlin East Side Gallery” is a 2015 documentary that records the changes since the 2009 restoration in hopes of deterring vandalism and promoting preservation.
Located along the Spree river, the area around the gallery is filled with sand-filled beach bars that can make for a relaxing, sunny evening when the weather is in your favor.
Crowds can be dense; arriving earlier or later in the day is advisable. It’s open 24 hours a day.
One of the most famous murals is entitled “My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love” and sometimes called the “Fraternal Kiss” by Dmitri Vrubel. It is a reproduction of the real event of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker sharing a socialist fraternal embrace.
We signed up for the Trabi tour, thinking we would all sit in the Trabi with our private driver & tour guide! Upon arrival, we found out that’s not the case and we would actually driving our very own Trabi! Thankfully, one of us knew how to drive a manual because that’s the Trabi we ended up with! (There’s an option for an automatic, if manual driving is not your jam!) There’s a lead tour guide and everyone follows the designated guide in a line. The guide took us all over Berlin & the popular tourist sites. The guide talks through a radio so all cars can hear the history about each site while driving their Trabi! If you have EVER wanted to know what it was like to drive a car from East Berlin during the Cold War, this tour would be the perfect opportunity to check this off the bucket list! It was nerve wracking, but such a fun & exciting tour to do!! We would highly recommend it!
This was one of the best things I’ve ever done!! The tour guide was so incredibly knowledgeable and helpful .... especially with adjusting to these old cars. He had a great sense of humor and honestly He made my birthday so much better !! Many many thanks !!! ——- Dies war eines der besten Dinge, die ich je gemacht habe !! Die Reiseleiterin war unglaublich kompetent und hilfsbereit ... vor allem bei der Anpassung an diese alten Autos. Er hatte einen großartigen Sinn für Humor und ehrlich Er hat meinen Geburtstag so viel besser gemacht !! Vielen, vielen Dank !!!
The most fun you can have on four wheels. A totally crazy experience. The cars are definitely from an era which lacked aircon, sat nav,automatic gears, electric windows and suspension. But after a few lessons great fun to drive. Anna was the best guide and a wonderful host to this great city. As you drive round its almost as much fun to watch tourists taking your photos as it is to drive these crazy cars. Can't recommend this experience highly enough
We booked this your as a group of 6 people, our host and tour guide Leah was very knowledgeable about the area, explaining the local cultural aspects of the urban art scene, we saw a side to Berlin that we would never have seen without booking such a tour. Highly recommend!
This was the best way to see Berlin. the tour guide spoke English and was brilliant. Driving around the city was so fun and you really did see all the key monuments and must sees in the city. Very worthwhile.