Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin (must see)

Immortalized by American movies and spy novels, Checkpoint Charlie is one of the most famous and historically significant spots in Berlin. A symbol of the Cold War, originally it was one of the three designated crossing points – A (Alpha), B (Bravo), and C (Charlie) – for foreigners and members of the Allied forces, established after the construction of the Berlin Wall. Here the documents of visitors and diplomats were checked by East Germans prior to issuing visas.

Checkpoint Charlie became a sole crossing point in 1962. A year earlier, it made history as the venue of a famous stand-off between US and Soviet tanks facing each other across the border, when an American diplomat was refused a visa. The stand-off nearly led to a war but fortunately ended peacefully.

Today, a replica of the original Checkpoint Charlie booth with a “You are now leaving the American Sector” sign serves largely as a photo opportunity in the middle of the street that once marked the border between East and West Berlin. Nearby is a museum dedicated to freedom, featuring, among other exhibits, a piece of the Berlin Wall and historical information relating to the many escape attempts made over the Wall throughout decades. There are also a number of panels and photos that give a useful summary and timeline. Not far away is the Topography of Terror exhibition which also deserves attention.

Lately, to prevent the site from being over-commercialized, the German authorities have banned actors dressed in military uniforms to earn money from tourists. Undoubtedly an interesting location, albeit the guard house and other elements are only replicas, Checkpoint Charlie is about an appreciation of how things once were in this great city.

Why You Should Visit:
Bit of a tourist trap, but a good part of the city's history. The surrounding area is also steeped in history and you can walk around the streets to see the Berlin Wall and try the great local cafes.

Tip:
Get here early to avoid crowds, as taking a photo can be quite tricky due to the hustle and bustle of traffic, etc.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Berlin, Germany within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Checkpoint Charlie on Map

Sight Name: Checkpoint Charlie
Sight Location: Berlin, Germany
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Berlin, Germany

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Best Churches in Berlin Walking Tour

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Berlin Shopping Walk

Berlin Shopping Walk

An international city with a reputation for style, Berlin is a shopping paradise. Whether it is international designer fashion, unusual hip-style ideas or a cheap bargain that you're after, you’ll be sure to find the right thing at Berlin's multiple department stores, modern shopping malls, luxury designer shops, high-end boutiques or small handcraft manufactures. Follow this guide to...  view more

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Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Nightlife

Nightlife

Berlin is arguably the best clubbing city in Europe, if not the whole world, seeing thousands of party-goers flock in every weekend to the local bars and clubs to dance and drink themselves “into a frenzy” all night long, thanks to the most liberal opening hours. There's a bar or club for every taste here, especially in the Kreuzberg and Mitte neighborhoods - from filthy and loud joints...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Museum Island Walking Tour

Museum Island Walking Tour

One of the most visited places in Berlin, the Museum Island ("Museumsinsel") complex was established by order of King Frederick William IV of Prussia in 1841 and houses several world-famous museums kept in close vicinity of each other. The island itself is spectacular for a walk, with wonderful architecture, statues, gardens and trees, so enjoy the atmosphere and make at least a day out...  view more

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Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Berlin Food Walk

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While Berlin may not be considered a typical foodie destination yet, recent years saw a growing number of decent places to eat, serving both German and international cuisine. At some point, the city has even earned itself the title of a vegetarian capital of the world, contrary to what one may have expected. Amid all this renaissance in creativity and culture, coupled with the influx of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Tiergarten Walking Tour

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Known for the huge park of the same name, the central district of Tiergarten (German for "Animal Garden") is home to the Berlin Zoo, the Victory Column with its winged statue and the lively, lakeside Café am Neuen See. To the south, galleries and designer shops around Potsdamer Street attract art lovers and in-the-know visitors. Bordering Potsdamer Platz, the Kulturforum includes...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles

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