Once one of three Berlin Wall border points, bridging the divide between the Allied-occupied West Berlin and Soviet-occupied East Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie is one of the most important Cold War sites in Berlin. Today, a recreated guard house marks the site where numerous confrontations, escape attempts, and protests took place, and the adjoining Checkpoint Charlie Museum is a moving tribute to those who risked their lives to escape from East Germany and bring about the fall of the wall.
Most sightseeing city tours or hop-on hop-off bus tours of Berlin make a stop at Checkpoint Charlie, while walking tours, bike tours, and Segway tours offer a more unique way to visit the landmark. For historical context, be sure to visit the Checkpoint Charlie Museum (Mauermuseum), or combine it with a tour of other historic war sites, such as the Wall Memorial, the East Side Gallery, or the Allied Museum, where the original Checkpoint Charlie border crossing is on display.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Souvenir passport stamps and photos at Checkpoint Charlie are available for an extra fee.
- Just south of Checkpoint Charlie is the Black Box Cold War exhibit and Outdoor Checkpoint Charlie Gallery.
- The Checkpoint Charlie Museum is mostly wheelchair accessible, although some exhibits may be off-limits.
How to Get There
Checkpoint Charlie is located on Friedrichstrasse in East Berlin, just east of Potsdamer Platz. The closest U-Bahn stations are Kochstrasse and Stadtmitte, but it’s also possible to walk there from many nearby sights—the Brandenburg Gate is about a 20-minute walk away.
When to Get There
The sight is open daily, all year round, but the small space can get overcrowded in the summer months. Aim to visit first or last thing in the day to avoid the main crowds or pre-book your tickets in advance to skip the line.
Exploring the Checkpoint Charlie Museum
A small museum crammed with photos, artifacts, and information, the Checkpoint Charlie Museum offers a moving portrait of Berlin during the Cold War era. Notable exhibitions focus on the creative and daring ways that East Germans attempted to escape across the border—including a cleverly adapted VW car, a hot-air balloon, and a suitcase. It’s a memorial to those who lost their lives, and offers first-hand accounts of life behind the wall as well as a look at human rights efforts around the world.