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Berlin Wall

From walled city to world city

Berlin Wall, Wall Art 1989
Berlin Wall, Wall Art 1989 © Foto: Gerhard Buchholz

Discover the history of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall, the former border fortification of the GDR, stood between 1961 and 1989 and separated the western part of the city from the eastern part. Many people lost their lives trying to cross the border.

The East Side Gallery is the longest surviving section of the Berlin Wall. In 1990, more than 100 artists from over 20 countries decorated this stretch of the hinterland wall with their art works. The most famous is undoubtedly the work known as the “Fraternal Kiss".

But Potsdamer Platz, Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate are also key sites in the history of the Berlin Wall. Visit the city on 9 November 2024 and be there when Berlin celebrates the 35th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall!

Where the Wall once stood

From Potsdamer Platz to East Side Gallery

Berlin Wall

The sights and attractions our visitors love

Discover the greatest places to visit from other visitors! Here, you can find tickets for the sights and attractions that our Berlin visitors love!

Our travel service offers the ideal way to enjoy a stress-free holiday in Berlin. Buy your tickets for the Berlin Wall tour, the GDR Museum and the Brandenburg Gate Museum easily and conveniently online here.

And it’s fast – so you can find the right ticket in just three minutes!

The Berlin Wall: Museums, sites and memorials

In the night from 12 to 13 August 1961, the East German army began sealing off the streets and railway lines providing access to West Berlin. Then the East German regime erected a wall along the sector border: The construction of the Berlin Wall begins!

The border encircling West Berlin was 167.8 kilometres long. During the numerous attempts in the years that followed to overcome the 167.8 kilometres of border fortifications, present research shows that between 136 and 206 people died trying to cross from East to West.

The Berlin Wall finally fell on 9 November 1989: The fall of the Berlin Wall went down in world history.. The city recalls the victims of the division of Germany at many Berlin Wall sites, museums and memorial sites, such as the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears), the Berlin Wall Memorial in Bernauer Strasse, and the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, a former Stasi remand prison.

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The fall of the Berlin Wall

On the evening of 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. It was a night when innumerable East and West Berliners made history.

They climbed over the concrete walls, crowded through the narrow border crossing points, went at the Berlin Wall with hammers, and retook their city in its entirety. The images of this historical event were shown around the world.

The fall of the Wall left unused spaces in the urban landscape. Residents and visitors adopted these abandoned areas as creative spaces – from the art scene in Brunnenstraße to the Berlin start-ups at Moritzplatz – or simply enjoyed the new access to the River Spree.

Today, more than 30 years on, Berlin is no longer a walled city, but a world city. Since those days, millions of visitors have come to Berlin, Germany’s capital city, to see this change for themselves. Visit Berlin around October 3rd to become part of the festivities and events to celebrate the Day of German unity.

What have Berliners made of their city since 1989? The past remains alive and tangible for everyone in the countless sites of history.

After the fall of the Wall, Berlin has also become a creative location, a lifestyle metropolis, with fantastic restaurants and countless shopping opportunities. It is also a modern hotspot for sustainability and for recreation in the countryside

And Berlin is a destination for everyone: accessibility is written large in the German capital.



The video on the 35th anniversary of the fall of the Wall from 2019 shows historical footage of the construction and fall of the Wall as well as current footage of memorial sites in Berlin. The VisitBerlin logo can be seen at the end. For a transcription, the video should be watched directly on YouTube


9 November 1989: The Berlin Wall comes down

On 9 November 1989 the Berlin Wall came down after more than 28 years. Follow the events that ultimately led to the fall of the Wall in our timeline. T

How did the people feel the night the Berlin wall fell?

It was my first big party and the best party of my life - never have I celebrated more relaxed, boundless. Squeezed among strangers who were as close to me that night as my parents were. It was November 9, 1989. We heard about the party of the decade from the news. I was only 10 years old at that time, but I remember these pictures of people dancing in the neon light of the border fortress (Berlin Lichtenrade) as if it had been yesterday. That night everything was unique. Unforgettable.

Sophia, 39 years old

On November 9th I visited my grandparents in Berlin (I lived with my parents outside Berlin at that time). In the early evening my grandmother took me to the cinema (Arielle the Mermaid). After that we went straight home. My grandmother had been surprised that so many people are in the city, but since we neither listened to the radio nor watched television, we didn't notice the opening of the borders. But the next morning, of course, we did. I immediately called my mother. She told me that my brother had called her in the middle of the night. She - totally sleepy - answered the phone: "Mummy, Mummy, guess where I am", Kay asked. My mother: "Kay, I don't care where you are! It's the middle of the night and we were asleep!" Kay: "Man, mum, I'm on the Ku'damm!" My mother: "Kay, how many times have I told you not to drink so much beer!!!" Well, the rest of the night she couldn't sleep anymore. My parents hung spellbound in front of the television.

Joyce, 40 years old

We had to work till just before midnight. But my wife and I had already received the unbelievably good news in the course of the evening: The wall was open. East Berlin was now empty. So you could get a taxi. We drove to the station Friedrichstraße: the divided station with the huge so far almost insurmountable steel plate between the platforms. We go into the palace of tears. A border guard takes a look at our identity cards. The path leads through an unadorned tunnel. Neon light flickers. Goose bumps. An ambience like the way to Stasi hell. But the opposite is the case. We can hardly believe it. The suburban train leaves. Experienced a thousand times; but this time in a different direction. Shortly before entering the Lehrter Bahnhof (today the main station): pure emotions and lots of tears of joy, the most beautiful day of our lives.

Kerstin, 51 years old & Oliver, 54 years old

Unfortunately we did not come from the West to East Berlin on 9 November. But we could welcome the East citizens at the border crossing Bornholmer Straße. In order to really celebrate, we had to go to Breitscheidplatz - there was really something going on! 

In the morning on November 10th I accompanied my girlfriend to school - but nobody could think of school at all. We tried to walk from Schöneberg to the Brandenburg Gate. On the Straße des 17. Juni, about 100 meters, in front of the Brandenburger Tor, we saw two cars in the distance. We tried to stop them. The cars stopped and someone opened the back door of the first Mercedes: "My voice failed me when I recognized Willy Brandt. He shook my hand, looked around and said, "Come, let's go to the wall together." At that moment I understood: "Man, that was Willy Brandt! Man, the wall's really going down!" We all hugged each other euphorically!

Marcelo, Porto Alegre, Brasil

For me the 9.11.1989 was an exhausting day and so I went to bed early. The next morning I drove, as usual, about 6.45am with my car to work. I saw my first Trabbi behind the exit Halensee - and that in the middle of West Berlin. At the red traffic light two young men from these cars waved at me laughing and I closed my eyes for a moment because I could no longer believe them. As more Trabbis passed me, I realized that I was experiencing a miracle, a miracle that touched my life and made me a grateful witness of my time. I get something as a gift that I have always missed as an Austrian Berliner by choice. At that time it never occurred to me to throw the approaching hurdles, efforts and impassability into the balance, because the exuberant feeling of happiness and relief over the peaceful overcoming of an unloved regime outshone everything else.

Irmgard, Berlin
Fahrradtour an der East Side Gallery


Cycling along the remains of the Wall

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