Berlin: A Divided City

Fifty years ago, on 13th August 1961, East German forces constructed a barbed-wire barrier, nearly 100 miles long, along the frontiers of West Berlin. The Berlin Wall, as it came to be known, divided families, friends and communities for 28 years.

It was easier for an East German to travel to Vietnam than it was to cross a fearsomely guarded street in the Death Strip and share a coffee with a neighbour who lived just a few yards away, but in a different world. Permits to visit the West were rarely granted — those who attempted to cross the Wall without permission often died in a hail of bullets.

Berlin’s public transport system was also split in two, although some Western trains travelled through “ghost stations” in the East without stopping, the dimly-lit platforms occupied only by gun-wielding border guards.

The Wall was the place where two opposing ideologies met face-to-face: Capitalism on one side of a city street, “Real Existing Socialism” (in official East German jargon) on the other. Berlin became the front line and a potential flashpoint in the Cold War — the Russian Bear and the American Eagle were head to head.

That Berliners lived through it all and survived is testimony to their courage, endurance and their gritty sense of humour.

Berlin Wall

Welcome to the
Big Berlin Wall Walk

a fascinating walking tour of the Berlin Wall,
exploring its history and the effect it had on the city and its residents

Discover the Berlin Wall and its unique history on foot and by public transport led by an enthusiastic, qualified and experienced English-speaking professional Berlin guide with a genuine love for his adopted city.

On this fascinating and informative tour you’ll discover the three main remaining sections of the wall on Bernauer Strasse, at the East Side Gallery and on Niederkirchnerstrasse, plus lots of background facts about the Wall’s place in the East-West confrontations of the Cold War, as well as the personal triumphs and tragedies which accompanied the 28 years during which the Wall divided the city.

Sometimes the story is a dark one, but through it are points of light where the human spirit triumphs over adversity and courage beats bureaucracy, so the tour is not just factual and educational — it’s entertaining and fun, too!

Participating in the tour is easy — no booking is necessary, just show up at the meeting point before the starting time.

One of the most frequently asked questions from visitors to Berlin is “Where was the Wall?” and our answer is “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

There are only a few places in Berlin where sections of Wall have been preserved, elsewhere the course of the Wall is marked by stones in the road, and in most places there is little or nothing to indicate where the wall once stood.

On the Big Berlin Wall Walk you’ll see the cityscape as it is now and compare it with how it was when the Wall existed with the help of original photos taken in the 1980s — bringing the story to life.

On this professionally guided tour of the Berlin Wall you’ll discover…

The tour is organised by Keith Anderson, a qualified and experienced Berlin guide and a registered “Blue Badge” guide for the West Country in the UK. He is also a member of the UK’s Institute of Tourist Guiding.

Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
Berlin: A Divided City