Combining culture and nature, the Berlin Wall Trail follows the path of the former division of the city that was built on August 13, 1961. It’s a great way to explore Berlin and discover the last remains of the Cold War.
On August 13, 1961, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) erected the Wall that would cut off West Berlin from East Berlin and the rest of East Germany.
Most of this barrier consisted of two concrete walls. The zone in between them was known as the “death strip,” with different mechanisms to stop people who would try to escape: hundreds of watchtowers, guard dogs, anti-vehicle trenches, floodlights and trip-wire machine guns.
More than hundred people died trying to cross the Wall.
Now a trail to explore Berlin and its surroundings
The former division is now the site of a peaceful bike path combining different cultural and historical highlights of the city as well as its natural charms.
The Berlin Wall Trail runs along the former location of the Zollweg, where West Berlin customs officers in West Berlin used to do border controls, or the Kolonnenweg, which was the road used by East German border troops for their own surveillance.
This trail can also be explored on foot. To allow visitors to plan shorter day trips, the path has been officially divided into 14 individual sections, which are between seven and 21 kilometers (4.3 to 13 miles) long. All of these can easily be reached with the local public transit system.
A multimedia guide providing more background information on the history of the Berlin Wall on the trail has also been developed. It can be rented for different locations, such as Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and Bernauer Strasse.
Click through the gallery above to discover some of the highlights of the Berlin Wall Trail.