It once divided a city, a country, and a world, as well as families and friends. The Berlin Wall, popularly known as the Wall of Shame (one of the many we unfortunately have in the world) stood from 1961 to 1992 and divided the city of Berlin in West Berlin and East Berlin. It stopped working as a wall in 1989 and started to be demolished in 1990. You might remember the iconic images of the Berliners taking it down piece by piece.
Nowadays, it stands as yet another reminder of the city’s past, and its East Side Gallery is full of beautiful pieces of art that were inspired by hope and the wish of peace and freedom. The Berlin Wall is a must visit, as it is one of the main characteristics of the capital of Germany. You’re not likely to forget it.
You can visit different parts of the Berlin Wall along Berlin, which means that you could be having very different kinds of neighbours. However, our apartments near the Berlin Wall are around the East Side Gallery, the most important and the longest part of the wall, and the part where you can see the most striking pieces of art. The East Side Gallery is located in the borough of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, the second of Berlin after Mitte
Mitte. Its main characteristics are counterculture and the quick gentrification. Your neighbours during your stay near the Berlin Wall will be young students and professionals, as well as immigrants: Kreuzberg
is popularly called Little Istambul, because it is the place of residence of the Turkish community in Berlin. It is definitely one of the most multicultural and interesting parts of Berlin.
As you probably know, the Berlin Wall isn’t like an ordinary tourist attraction – not only because it’s much more than that due to the history behind it, but also because it doesn’t have one single location but there are remains in different parts of the city instead. This will give you the opportunity of going shopping in different places as well. For instance, if you go visit Checkpoint Charlie you will be able to enter in all the shops in Friedrichstrasse. But the best and most unique place to go shopping around the Berlin Wall is around the part in Mauerpark (which translates as ‘Wall Park’). If you go there, you won’t see any shops, but you will be able to visit Berlin’s most unique flea market, the Flohmarkt im Mauerpark, or Mauerpark Flea Market. There you will be able to buy second-hand clothes, books, records, furniture and antiques, as well as to enjoy a hip and relaxing atmosphere. You will also be able to try German delicatessen like Pretzels, currywursts and even glühwein!
Since you can visit different parts of the Berlin Wall, you will be able to use different means of transportation. The closest station to the East Side Gallery is the S-Bahn of Berlin Warschauer Strasse, as well as the U-Bahn of U Schlesichles Tor (which is, besides, in a very beautiful location). The Ostbanhof train station is also closeby. However, we do recommend that you walk towards the centre along the river to see the industrial and urban views and landscape, which will be very different from anything else you’ve seen in Europe. You can also make a longer tour and go into Kreuzberg through Oranienstrasse as you walk towards the centre, so you can enjoy the beautiful atmosphere, nice cafes, unique bars and small art galleries located there.
The East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall is a must visit. What once was the Wall of Shame offers nowadays 1.3 km of beautiful street art, an international memorial of peace and freedom. 105 paintings by different artists with one common inspiration: peace, freedom and the hope for better times. You will be impressed by the works of artists like Thierry Noir, Jim Avignon, Indiano, Ingerborg Blumenthal and many more. Get your camera ready, because you will want to take pictures with all of them.
If you’re travelling with the whole family, south-east of the most famous part of the Berlin Wall you have a spooky option that will delight your children. Past Treptower Park you will be able to see the abandoned amusement park of Spreepark, a magical place to visit. Be careful if you go in the winter, because it will be snowy and cold!
Yes, walking along the East Side Gallery will make you hungry. Lucky for you, there usually are some food carts on the way, as well as in the U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations. Besides, you can always go into Kreuzberg and have a snack in one of the many cafés that you’ll find there… Or have a full meal and eat a kebab! And if you feel like having some tapas, why not having a drink and a few ones in Bar Raval? You surely know the owner: actor Daniel Brülh owns this nice pub where you can taste some Spanish cuisine.
Crossing the river Spree from the East Side Gallery, you will find other yummy options, such as Buddah’s Kitchen, Rubys or Burgermeister.
The East Side Gallery is located south of the centre of Berlin, and if you stay in the area and are into clubbing… You’re in luck! Near the East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall you will find some of the best clubs in Berlin and even in Europe: Watergate and Berghain, two of the meccas of techno and electronic music in the world. Watergate is located at the side of the river Spree, next to the Oberbaumbrücke. It is a priceless location, not just for the high-quality electronic music but also for its terrace over the river. Can you imagine dancing and seeing how the sun comes up in the morning right next to the river?
Berghain is the most famous gay club in the city of Berlin, and it is known as the best and one of the most exclusive clubs in Europe. It’s a must-visit for those who like hardcore atmospheres. Located in an old factory, the lucky ones who can get in (the doormen and doorwomen can be quite picky) will be able to enjoy a free and liberal atmosphere until noon. In fact, if you go on Saturdays, you can dance it off until Sunday evening.