Checkpoint Charlie Museum

The Checkpoint Charlie Museum is located on the left just beyond the checkpoint
The Checkpoint Charlie Museum is located on the left just beyond the checkpoint

A main tourist attraction in Berlin is Checkpoint Charlie. The western allies gave Checkpoint Charlie its name using the NATO phonetic alphabet C during the Cold War.

After WWII Berlin was split into two sections East and West. The Eastern portion was communist run by the Soviet Union and the west Capitalists, controlled by Great Britain, America and France. Within a few years it was obvious that both countries became quite different. More and more people evacuated to the west, having far greater opportunities and a much better economy.

During the Cold War in 1952 the German border was officially closed. Checkpoint Charlie separating West and East Berlin became well known for having a better chance at escaping Eastern Germany. This border was more accessible than the others and became a “loophole” for the east side.

This was a problem for eastern Berlin because many of those migrating to the west were young professionals. This left the country with what was called the brain drain.

August 13th 1961the eastern side closed access by erecting a temporary barb wire fence . Two days later a concrete wall was built by the German Democratic Republic to keep their residents confined behind the wall. This was finely brought down November 9th,1989.

Learn history from the open-air exhibit. This gallery wall opened in 2006 displaying escape attempts and successes on the western gallery wall. The eastern gallery wall displays articles about the October 1961 close encounter between the Americans and the Soviet Union resulting in a stand-off. Ten army tanks each side of the border were ready to fire at each other. As well as giving those visiting an overview of important memorial sites on the adjacent gallery wall.

The Black Box exhibit is a 200 square metre information pavilion displaying large format photo and multi-media stations. They tell stories about the Cold War and the evident impact the Berlin Wall had on Germany’s history and the international importance of the division of both Germany and Europe. The external black represents -the Black Box recording events for descendants, the red on the column represents the Soviet Union and the blue colour on the window represents the United States.

The Mauermuseum -Haus am at Charlie Checkpoint is situated metres from where the guard house once stood. This unique museum opened October 1962 as a small two room building designed for showcasing information about the newly constructed Berlin Wall. After being extended greatly over time it now displays several accounts of Germany’s division and the history of the Wall of Berlin. It has the best documentation attainable describing escape attempts and successes. There’s a wide variety of original tools displayed with descriptions of methods used by those who desperately tried to break free from East Germany’s repression.

Tourists may have their photos taken at no cost with actors dressed as military border patrol policemen standing in front of the guard house -one US and one Soviet.

There’s a replica of the Checkpoint Charlie booth and sign that read like a dire warning to those wanting to leave east Berlin. They are situated at the original border check booth spot.

There are lots of gift shops, shopping, food vendors and sit down restaurants.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes

Checkpoint Charlie Museum Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Address: Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10969 Berlin, Germany

Phone: 030 2537250

Official Website: Checkpoint Charlie Museum

Checkpoint Charlie Museum Reviews

Rated 3.5 out of 5 Star Rating

2 Star Rating This museum failed to select and curate its collection. Instead, it just dumped everything it could find about the WW2, Soviet Union, East Germany, and people who escaped GDR. The result is an overwhelming amount of texts cramped on panels all over the museum. I got really tired of reading and left after 1 hour. I could have easily spent 5 hours or the whole day. It doesn't exhibit anything significant and perhaps tries to make its lacking collection with all the explanations it can possibly offer. Anyways, you wouldn't miss much if you skipped here.
HJLee - in the last week

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5 Star Rating The Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie is a poignant reminder of Berlin's tumultuous history, particularly during the Cold War era. Located at the famous border crossing point between East and West Berlin, the museum chronicles the history of the Berlin Wall and its impact on the city and its people. The museum features a variety of exhibits, including photographs, documents, and personal stories, that provide insight into life in Berlin during the division. Visitors can learn about the events leading up to the construction of the wall, the attempts to escape to the West, and the eventual fall of the wall in 1989. One of the most striking features of the museum is the preserved segment of the Berlin Wall, which serves as a powerful symbol of the city's reunification. The museum's location at Checkpoint Charlie adds to its historical significance, as this was once one of the few crossing points between East and West Berlin. The Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning about Berlin's history and the impact of the Cold War on the city and its.
Nadia Priorità - 2 weeks ago

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3 Star Rating OK it’s a tourist trap and quite expensive but they do have some interesting exhibits and certainly have a lot of details around the wall and Cold War. My only issue is that it’s a bit hiddeldy piggeldy, stuff about the 60s next to the current Ukraine conflict and then back to the 80s then something else. Needs to be in chronological order or subject matter to make sense.
Andy Willis - 5 months ago

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2 Star Rating Skip it! I do not recommend this museum. If you do go, do not pay the $5 required for a picture license, it's a waste of money. It is a really expensive museum in a city that has great museums with much better exhibits. Unfortunately there was little to no thought on how visitors want to absorb information. They need to find a curator who can organize and reduce the amount of "stuff" they have. It's difficult to stay engaged with the material despite it being such an interesting topic. Also, the toilets they had available were poorly maintained and didn't have toilet paper. Overall, I was unimpressed.
T D - 8 months ago

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5 Star Rating Great museum, consisting of several important areas - forming of NATO and Warsaw pact, building of the Berlin Wall and its consequences (world separation), attempts to escape Eastern Germany, crossing the wall and the borders in different creative ways, falling of the wall, Checkpoint Charlie. The last floor is dedicated to modern times, peace, world conflicts in Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Syria, some personal areas such as Ronald Reagan and Indira Gandhi, and one room dedicated to Checkpoint Charlie, preserving the original "You are entering the American sector" sign. There are lockers, toilets and paid (5 EUR) audio guides. Unfortunately, photography inside is not allowed. Allow yourselves at least 2, better 3+ hours if you have a strong interest in these topics.
Peter Sabev - a month ago

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How to get to Checkpoint Charlie Museum by U-Bahn, S-Bahn

Nearest U-Bahn, S-Bahn Line(s): U6,S1, S2, S25, U2
Nearest U-Bahn, S-Bahn Station(s): Kochstraße/Checkpoint Charlie, Potsdamer Platz

Checkpoint Charlie is just north of Kochstraße Station on Friedrichstraße.

From Potsdamer Platz Station: go east on Potsdamer Platz, right onto Mauerstraße followed by a slight right onto Friedrichstraße.

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