Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

The Berlin Wall: Traces of a Divided City

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

Just mention the “Berlin Wall” and it evokes a powerful symbol of division, totalitarianism, and ultimately, reunification. But how much of this infamous barrier remains standing today?

The Construction and Purpose of the Berlin Wall

In the aftermath of World War II, Germany was divided into four occupation zones, each controlled by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union. Berlin, the capital, was located deep within the Soviet-controlled zone. With growing tensions between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, migration from East Germany to West Germany increased dramatically. To staunch this exodus, the Soviet Union ordered the construction of a physical barrier in 1961, ultimately creating what became known as the Berlin Wall.

Stretching approximately 96 miles (155 kilometers) through the heart of Berlin, the Wall was designed to prevent East Germans from crossing into West Berlin. It consisted of concrete walls, barbed wire fences, guard towers, and a death strip equipped with alarm systems, floodlights, and patrols.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

On November 9, 1989, a pivotal moment in modern history occurred. A government official made a seemingly casual announcement that East Germans were free to cross into West Berlin. Overwhelmed with joy and disbelief, crowds flocked to the Wall, chanting and demanding its destruction. Germans from both sides took hammers and chisels to the Wall, tearing it down piece by piece.

What Remains Today?

Despite the fervor of its destruction, remnants of the Berlin Wall can still be found throughout the city. These preserved sections serve as a reminder of the Wall’s significance and illustrate the city’s commitment to never forget its divided past. Let’s explore some of the notable places where you can encounter the remnants of this historic structure.

East Side Gallery

The East Side Gallery, a 1.3 kilometer (0.8 mile) section of the Wall, is perhaps one of the most famous and accessible remaining parts. Located along Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain, it showcases over one hundred vibrant murals painted by artists from around the world. Each mural tells a unique story, capturing the spirit of hope and freedom that characterized the Wall’s fall.

The Berlin Wall Memorial

The Berlin Wall Memorial, situated on Bernauer Straße, offers visitors an immersive experience into the history of the Wall. It includes a preserved section of the Wall with a reconstructed border fortification, an exhibition, a visitor center, and an observation platform offering panoramic views of the former “death strip”. This site allows visitors to gain deeper insight into the living conditions, escape attempts, and stories of those affected by the Wall.

Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz, once divided by the Wall, is now a bustling public square and a prime example of Berlin’s urban transformation. Today, the square serves as a harmonious blend of modern architecture, commercial spaces, and cultural attractions. Several pieces of the Wall can be found near Potsdamer Platz, subtly marking the former border that once separated the city.

Checkpoint Charlie

Perhaps the most iconic border crossing in the history of the Cold War, Checkpoint Charlie now stands as a tourist attraction. While the original checkpoint booth is a replica, the nearby outdoor exhibit provides an informative look into the history of the Wall and the tensions between East and West. It’s an excellent spot to discover more about the impact the Berlin Wall had on the daily lives of East and West Berliners.

The Importance of Preserving the Berlin Wall

Preserving parts of the Berlin Wall serves as a constant reminder of the consequences of division and the triumph of reunification. These historical landmarks not only educate visitors about an important period in German and world history but also act as symbols of hope, freedom, and resilience.

The city of Berlin has made significant efforts to protect and conserve these remaining fragments, ensuring they continue to be accessible to both locals and tourists alike. They offer an opportunity to reflect upon the past, celebrate the reunification, and honor the lives impacted by the Wall.


While the Berlin Wall may no longer divide the city, its memory lives on through the preserved remnants that dot Berlin’s landscape. Whether you visit the East Side Gallery, the Berlin Wall Memorial, Potsdamer Platz, or Checkpoint Charlie, you’ll find yourself immersed in the history and stories of those who experienced the Wall’s construction, existence, and eventual fall.

So, how much of the Berlin Wall is left? While the majority of the physical structure was dismantled, enough fragments exist to provide a tangible link to the city’s divided past. These remnants proudly stand as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the people and the triumph over an oppressive era.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.


  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free