The Berlin Wall Trail inside the city
If you'd like to get to know the 50-km course
of the former Berlin Wall within the city limits, from the village of Lübars in the north to the city boundary near Schönefeld Airport in the south, the best place to start is the Hermsdorf S-Bahn station. A shorter tour of around 15 kilometers covers the city-center route from the memorial on Bernauer Str. (8)
to the East Side Gallery (17)
And off we go: heading north from the Hermsdorf S-Bahn station, we reach the Berlin Wall Trail at the corner of Berliner Chaussee and Veltheimstrasse, where we continue on to Alte Schildower Strasse. Here we can see the Tegeler Fliess, one of Berlin's prettiest stream valleys, which we'll follow along the northern bank to the lake Köppchensee. The village of Lübars (1)
welcomes us from the other side. Berlin lies at our feet: from the heights of the Lübars recreational park, we can see all the way to the television tower on Alexanderplatz. A quick ride takes us to the railroad tracks of the Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn (2)
At the intersection with Quickborner Str., we cross over to the western side of the tracks, where the tall apartment buildings of the Märkisches Viertel (3)
rise into the sky. The former patrol road used by customs officers in West Berlin follows the tracks from Nordgraben to Klemkestrasse and is still in its original condition. The control road once used by GDR border troops for their own patrols is slated for reconstruction as a parallel route.
Passing the Pankow cemetery, to the northeast of which you will find the Schönholz Soviet War Memorial, we come to the Wollankstrasse S-Bahn station that was once walled off. In the spring you can see Japanese cherry trees in bloom here and elsewhere along the Wall Trail.
Following the train tracks along the western side, we reach the cherry tree avenue again after the underpasses at Grüntaler Str. and Esplanade. Here we can see the historic former border crossing at Bornholmer Straße (5)
and the intriguing bridge design of Schwedter Steg (6)
. The Mauerpark (Wall Park) (7)
in Prenzlauer Berg is one of Berlin's most colorful spots. We are now on Bernauer Straße (8)
, the scene of spectac-ular escapes across the border and the heart of the Berlin Wall memorial landscape that is currently being expanded. On our way to the historical center of Berlin, we cycle around the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station and the cemeteries of St. Hedwig's and the Französische Domgemeinde.
Our next stops are the former Chausseestr. border crossing, the canal Spandauer Schifffahrtskanal and a watchtower on Kieler Str., the cemetery Invalidenfriedhof (9)
and the former Invalidenstr. border crossing. (Please note: the Invalidenfriedhof will close at 7 p.m. from April to September and 4 p.m. from October to March; it can be bypassed via Scharnhorststr.)
Following the canal, we reach the Spree River across from the Hauptbahnhof train station (10)
. The Wall Trail takes us across a ramp to the path along the riverbank and from there across the bridge Marschallbrücke to the government district (11)
. Brandenburg Gate (12)
is a key landmark in Berlin's history and occupies a prominent place in Germany's national consciousness. Leaving it behind, we pass nearby sights like the street Strasse des 17. Juni, the Soviet War Memorial, the Tiergarten, the Kulturforum, and the Holocaust Memorial, and follow the double row of cobblestones tracing the course of the Berlin Wall in the historical city center to Potsdamer Platz (13)
, where the Sony Center and Daimler City helped to create a new Berlin neighborhood. From Stresemannstrasse we turn onto Niederkirchnerstraße (14)
, a street steeped in history. Here, between the House of Representatives, the Martin-Gropius-Bau, and the Topography of Terror, sections of the Wall are still standing. The route continues along Zimmerstrasse to the famous Checkpoint Charlie (15)
. This former border crossing is a must for tourists visiting Berlin.
Further to the east we pass the former checkpoint at Heinrich-Heine-Str. Another highlight is the former basin of the Luisenstädtischer Kanal (16)
, which has now been re-excavated, and the Engelbecken pond, along with the churches Michaelskirche and Thomaskirche. In order to reach the East Side Gallery (17)
, the longest surviving section of the Berlin Wall, we have to cross the Spree River. Our next stop is the bridge Oberbaumbrücke (18)
. At the island Lohmühleninsel, bridges cross the Landwehrkanal (19)
, which we will follow from the watchtower at Schlesischer Busch to the bridge Lohmühlenbrücke along a path lined with cherry trees. We then cycle through residential neighborhoods in Treptow to Kiefholzstr. At a traffic island, the Wall Trail makes a turn into the Heidekampgraben (20)
. The wide path here intersects with the former Sonnenallee border crossing and takes us up to the Britzer Zweigkanal.
The trail continues on the other side of the canal until it meets the Teltowkanal (22)
and the path along it between the canal and the expressway, where it takes us through the Alt-Glienicke Landscape Park to the former checkpoint at Waltersdorfer Chaussee. The Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld S-Bahn station (24)
is easy to reach from the north.
East Side Gallery: the longest surviving section of the Wall
At Checkpoint Charlie
A colorful scene along the former border - the beach bar on Lohmühleninsel
Path along the Teltowkanal