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Checkpoint Charlie

Visit one of Berlin’s most famous relics of the Cold War. Once a place of chilling fear and dramatic escape attempts, it is now one of the city's big attractions.

At one time, Checkpoint Charlie was the main crossing point of the Berlin Wall for soldiers, foreigners and diplomats on the Allied side. The famous sign reading: “You are now leaving the American sector”, remains as a reminder of the Cold War that divided the city from 1961 to 1989. Towering over the site is a replica guardhouse, once a place of fear and anxiety for Berliners on a daily basis. The site can be found on Friedrichstrasse, a major street in central Berlin.

Back in 1961, hundreds of citizens were attempting to flee East Germany. To put a stop to this, their government built the Berlin Wall. At first, it was a basic barbed wire fence, but soon it evolved into a 155-kilometre-long wall of concrete. It was at Checkpoint Charlie in 1961 that a dramatic stand-off between Russian and American tanks took place. Today, you can still find guards wandering the scene, though they do not strike quite the same fear into those around – they are actors posing for photographs.

An array of souvenir stalls sell items including imitation Russian military caps and other Cold War items nearby. Visit the Haus Am Checkpoint Museum for a documented history of the checkpoint and the wall. It opened only a year after the wall was erected and offers visitors the chance to experience real life tales through personal stories and haunting photographs – including those of the daring people who attempted to escape over the wall. You will find various artefacts from the escapes, including plans of cars with secret compartments and even a hollowed-out surfboard.

There is café at Checkpoint Charlie, but there are also plenty of other places to eat nearby. If you want to take home a Cold War souvenir look no further than the museum shop, where you can even buy small chunks of the original wall.

Visit Checkpoint Charlie by getting the U-Bahn to Kochstrasse.


Guide to Exploring Checkpoint Charlie Museum


Map

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Hotel Gat Point Charlie Berlin NZ$117
Hotel Gat Point Charlie Berlin

Hotel Gat Point Charlie Berlin

Mauerstr. 81-82, Berlin, BE
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Mitte, this hotel is steps away from Trabi-Museum and Friedrichstrasse. Checkpoint Charlie and Checkpoint Charlie Museum are also within 5 minutes. City Center U-Bahn is only a 2-minute walk and Kochstrasse U-Bahn is 6 minutes.

    Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity Berlin Checkpoint Charlie NZ$177
    Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity Berlin Checkpoint Charlie

    Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity Berlin Checkpoint Charlie

    Zimmerstrasse 91, Berlin
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Mitte, this aparthotel is steps away from Trabi-Museum, Friedrichstrasse and Checkpoint Charlie. Checkpoint Charlie Museum and Mall of Berlin are also within 10 minutes. City Center U-Bahn is only a 5-minute walk and Kochstrasse U-Bahn is 5 minutes.

      Mondrian Suites Berlin Checkpoint Charlie NZ$177
      Mondrian Suites Berlin Checkpoint Charlie

      Mondrian Suites Berlin Checkpoint Charlie

      Markgrafenstrasse 16 - 16a, Berlin, BE
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Berlin apartment building is located in the business district, within a 10-minute walk of Jewish Museum Berlin and Checkpoint Charlie. Gendarmenmarkt and Potsdamer Platz are also within 1 mi (2 km). Kochstrasse U-Bahn is 6 minutes by foot and City Center U-Bahn is 9 minutes.

        NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie NZ$133
        NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie

        NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie

        Leipziger Str. 106-111, Berlin, BE
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Mitte, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Friedrichstrasse, Checkpoint Charlie, and Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Gendarmenmarkt and Mall of Berlin are also within 10 minutes. City Center U-Bahn is only a 2-minute walk and Stadtmitte Stationn is 4 minutes.

          Meininger Hotel Berlin Mitte Humboldthaus NZ$77
          Meininger Hotel Berlin Mitte Humboldthaus

          Meininger Hotel Berlin Mitte Humboldthaus

          Oranienburger Strasse 67/68, Berlin, BE
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Friedrichstrasse, Friedrichstadt-Palast and Hackescher Markt. Humboldt University and Museum Island (Museumsinsel) are also within 15 minutes. Oranienburger Straße S-Bahn is only a 2-minute walk and Oranienburger Gate U-Bahn is 4 minutes.

            The Mandala Suites Berlin NZ$226
            The Mandala Suites Berlin

            The Mandala Suites Berlin

            Friedrichstr.185-190, Berlin, BE
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Mitte, this boutique hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Friedrichstrasse and Gendarmenmarkt. Checkpoint Charlie and Checkpoint Charlie Museum are also within 10 minutes. Stadtmitte Stationn is only a 2-minute walk and Franzosische Street U-Bahn is 3 minutes.

              Select Hotel Berlin The Wall NZ$154
              Select Hotel Berlin The Wall

              Select Hotel Berlin The Wall

              Zimmerstrasse 88, Berlin, BE
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Mitte, this hotel is steps away from Trabi-Museum, Friedrichstrasse and Checkpoint Charlie. Gendarmenmarkt and Potsdamer Platz are also within 15 minutes. City Center U-Bahn and Kochstrasse U-Bahn are within a 5-minute walk.

                Exclusive Penthouse with panoramic terrace on the historic Checkpoint Charlie
                Exclusive Penthouse with panoramic terrace on the historic Checkpoint Charlie

                Exclusive Penthouse with panoramic terrace on the historic Checkpoint Charlie

                schutzenstrasse 70, Berlin
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Mitte, this historic apartment building is steps away from Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstrasse and Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Gendarmenmarkt and Potsdamer Platz are also within 15 minutes. City Center U-Bahn is only a 3-minute walk and Kochstrasse U-Bahn is 5 minutes.