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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.
Located in Mitte, this luxury hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Potsdamer Platz, Brandenburg Gate, and Reichstag Building. Checkpoint Charlie Museum and Galeries Lafayette are also within 3 mi (5 km). Nollendorfplatz U-Bahn is 8 minutes by foot and Wittenbergplatz U-Bahn is 10 minutes.
Located in Mitte, this hotel is steps from Trabi-Museum, Friedrichstrasse, and Checkpoint Charlie. Checkpoint Charlie Museum and Gendarmenmarkt are also within 15 minutes. City Center U-Bahn and Kochstrasse U-Bahn are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Mitte, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Friedrichstrasse, Checkpoint Charlie, and Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Gendarmenmarkt and Mall of Berlin are also within 10 minutes. Mohrenstrasse U-Bahn and City Center U-Bahn are within a 5-minute walk.
This family-friendly Berlin hotel is located in the historical district, just steps from Gendarmenmarkt and Friedrichstrasse. Checkpoint Charlie and Checkpoint Charlie Museum are also within 10 minutes. Hausvogteiplatz U-Bahn is only a 3-minute walk and City Center U-Bahn is 5 minutes.
Located in Mitte, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from German Spy Museum Berlin. Mendelssohn Bartholdy Park U-Bahn is only a 2-minute walk and Gleisdreieck U-Bahn is 6 minutes.
Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Friedrichstrasse and Gendarmenmarkt. Checkpoint Charlie and Checkpoint Charlie Museum are also within 10 minutes. City Center U-Bahn is only a 3-minute walk and Hausvogteiplatz U-Bahn is 6 minutes.
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 Franzosische Street U-Bahn is 6 minutes.
Located in Mitte, this luxury hotel is steps from Friedrichstrasse, Komische Oper Berlin, and Galeries Lafayette. French Cathedral and Brandenburg Gate are also within 15 minutes. Franzosische Street U-Bahn is only a 2-minute walk and Friedrichstrasse U-Bahn is 6 minutes.