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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

Top Checkpoint Charlie Museum Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Hotel Berlin, Berlin NZ$120
Hotel Berlin, Berlin

Hotel Berlin, Berlin

Lützowplatz 17, Berlin, BE
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    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.

    Select Hotel Berlin The Wall NZ$112
    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 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.

      Cityhostel Berlin Mitte NZ$70
      Cityhostel Berlin Mitte

      Cityhostel Berlin Mitte

      Glinkastr. 5-7, Berlin, Berlin
         
        2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        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.

        Hilton Berlin NZ$249
        Hilton Berlin

        Hilton Berlin

        Mohrenstr. 30, Berlin, BE
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          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.

          Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz NZ$127
          Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz

          Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz

          Gabriele Tergit Promenade 19, Berlin, BE
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            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.

            Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt NZ$126
            Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt

            Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt

            Charlottenstrasse 66, Berlin, BE
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              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.

              NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie NZ$160
              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 Franzosische Street U-Bahn is 6 minutes.

                The Westin Grand, Berlin NZ$233
                The Westin Grand, Berlin

                The Westin Grand, Berlin

                Friedrichstr. 158-164, Berlin, BE
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  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.