Visit to Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin: timetables, prices and tips

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Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

One of a kind, Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous border point between the two Germanys in the years of the Cold War. Today is one of the main attractions of Berlin and many tourists flock to visit it, taking a real dip in the past, thanks to its Mauermuseum or Wall Museum, which perfectly represents the climate of that period. Where there was the Checkpoint, we currently find the reconstruction of an American control room, with the famous multilingual sign "you are leaving the American zone". Opposite, one or two uniformed men with the US flag are present year-round, with whom visitors take turns photographing themselves, in exchange for a small donation.



Index

  1. Where is it and how to get there
  2. Hours and prices
  3. Tours, guided tours and tickets online
  4. Useful tips for visiting the attraction
  5. Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
  6. User questions and comments

Where is it and how to get there

Checkpoint Charlie is located in 20 minutes walk from the famous Branderburg Gate and close to the Kochstrabe metro station. You can arrive in several ways:

  • On foot: along Friedrichstrabe street south to the intersection with Zimmerstrabe street - Get directions
  • By bus: lines M29, M48 and N6
  • By metro: line U6 - U Kochstr / Checkpoint Charlie / line U2 Stadmitte

Hours and prices

Checkpoint Charlie, with the faithful reconstruction of the legendary gatehouse, is open and therefore can be visited free of charge. A few meters away, there is the Mauermuseum which houses a permanent exhibition on the History of the Berlin Wall and on the Berliner escape attempts, with many impressive objects used by the fugitives. The information below refers to the Museum itself.



  • Checkpoint Charlie can always be visited. Museum 9: 00-22: 00
  • Best time to avoid queues: opening and lunch time
  • Checkpoint Charlie for free. Museum € 14,50 - buy online
  • Reductions: museum € 9,50 students, groups with over 25 people and the disabled; € 7,50 under 18
  • Free: children under 6

Tours, guided tours and tickets online

  • Ticket for the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie Museum - find out more
  • Walking tour to discover Berlin: from € 20,00 - find out more
  • Walking tour on the Cold War and the Third Reich: from € 19,00 - find out more

Useful tips for visiting the attraction

  1. Get up early: the ideal would be to reach the Checkpoint when it opens, both for the entrance to the museum and to be able to take photos near the gatehouse, without waiting for your turn (given the crowd of tourists);
  2. Buy the city card: if you are interested in visiting other museums or attractions in the city, you can buy the BerlinWelcome Card (from € 19,90) and save on admissions, as well as travel for free on public transport;
  3. Priority ticket: To avoid the endless queues, use the BerlinWelcome Card or the Berlin Pass, which allows access to over 60 tourist sites, attractions and museums (from € 98,00). If you want you can buy the ticket for the Museum online in advance;
  4. Minimum time: minimum 1 hour, ideal 2 hours.

Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief

The Checkpoint has long been theicon of the political division of Berlin, between the Soviet and US sectors. It was created in 1961 after the construction of the Berlin Wall, for the passage of soldiers of the allied forces, diplomats and foreign visitors. With the reunification of the country, the original structure was dismantled and today there is the reconstruction of the gatehouse, with the famous multilingual sign.

Thanks to the human rights activist Rainer Hildebrandt, the Wall Museum (Mauermuseum) where, on the one hand, there is one exhibition on the history of the berlin wall and, on the other hand, all the most creative are preserved objects used by fugitives to go from Soviet East to West Berlin like hot air balloons, a mini submarine, cars, escape plans and much more. The museum is really very interesting, as it is a testimony of how the human mind can strive in the face of critical situations and the will to live. I remember that, to enjoy the visit even better, it is possible to purchase an audio guide at a cost of € 5,00 also online on the official website.

Finally, a little curiosity: right here, on a bench near the Checkpoint, Lucio Dalla drew inspiration and wrote the lyrics of his song "Futura" dedicated to two lovers, one from East Berlin and the other from West Berlin, who planned to make a daughter, right from the name Futura.




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