If Checkpoint Charlie would have been left as it was originally it would be spectacular .... but now it's just a sad tourist trap ... People line up to take photos with some guy dressed in a US solider uniform or a Russian uniform ... the museum near it was a disappointment as well ... They are more interested in trying to sell you souvenirs instead of educating the masses of people that come here everyday looking to see a part of history that now has been commercialized ....
Give yourself all of 5 minutes ....
Not sure if the signs are originals or not ... probably not ....
This site receives a lot of negative criticism, but I personally found it interesting to visit although it was very, very crowded.
From 1961 to 1989 Checkpoint Charlie was the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East and West Berlin. The Soviet side of the wall here, Checkpoint Friedrichstraße, had guard towers, cement barriers and a shed, but the guardhouse on the American side of the wall was just a small shack to show the wall would only be there temporarily.
The main purpose of Checkpoint Charlie was to register and inform members of the Western Military Forces or tourists before they entered East Berlin. The crossing to East Berlin could be made on foot or by car.
On November 9th, 1989 about 3000 West Berliners came to Checkpoint Charlie and several hundred East Berliners to Checkpoint Friedrichstraße to protest against the Berlin Wall. By midnight that night they had succeeded in getting the border opened after more than 28 years of division.
The original guardhouse at Checkpoint Charlie is now on display at the Allied Museum in Berlin; a replica version has been installed on Friedrichstrasse, as have replica signs telling people they are now leaving the western sector of Berlin. Actors dressed up as allied military policemen pose with tourist in front of the checkpoint.
There is also an open-air exhibit along Zimmer and Friedrichstraße with texts and photographs about Checkpoint Charlie's history and a museum of the Berlin Wall.
The old border between the Soviet and American sector of Berlin. A museum stands to one side of the old sentry gate and there are usually a few actors dressed up as gardens as a re-enactment. You can have your photo taken with them and you can even have the old stamps put into your passport if you wish. evidence of the old regime is still around and is still haunting.
I heard someone saying this is a tourist trap. I couldn´t disagree more! I think you don´t get the idea of the Checkpoint Charlie without visit to this museum. It is very interesting and shows all the ways people have hide when travelling from east to west when it was not legal. Many people had risk their lifes, and not all of them made it to the other side.
There was even some sort of flying machines and such made by brave people trying to get to the freedom. Unbeliveable how small places they have fit in.
This is one of places, where you can imagine how it would have been to live at the "old Berlin" and cross the line to other side from east to west or other way around.
You can have your photo taken with soldiers. I´m not sure if it costs, since I didn´t want. You can also get a stamp to your "passport" sold at the place. It isn´t very expensive, I think.
But no visit is complite without visit to the house of Checkpoint Charlie.
Only there you will see how it really has been, and how big risks people did took crossing the border.
There is food stalss close to the point. We had a snack there twice. One day we had greta "French fries" from Italian stall. They made them from potatos in front of our eyes. Two big portions and 0,5l bottle of beer was 7e! Really cheap. I don´t know if the stalls are allways there.
Next time we went to "tapas" stall, and it was huge disapointment! We ordered "patatas bravas".They had just normal potato cubes from freezer fried, the portion was small, expensive and the "brava sauce" was some sort of terrible salsa from a can. We hardly could eat.
In London, where there’s an intersection, they put in a roundabout and sometimes call it a circus, like Piccadilly Circus for example. Checkpoint Charlie is an intersection with no roundabout but is still a circus - and this time I mean it in the truest sense of the word.
A plethora of attractions have sprung up around this famous crossing point that it’s in danger of losing the appeal for why people want to come here.
I’m not suggesting for one minute that you shouldn’t visit the site of what could have started World War 3 but I would have preferred it if there had been a more subdued approach to this sensitive area.
A fair few years ago when I came here all you had was the Checkpoint Charlie Museum - and very good it was too. It’s still here but a number of other attractions/museums have sprung up as well, and the junction has become very congested.
Some people may think that its location deserves to be all hustle and bustle, and for all I know it may have been well like that before the Iron Curtain went up, but it doesn’t matter which side of the old borderline you’re looking from, the capitalist ideology seems to have won hands down.
This isn’t all about my opinion of course, so come and judge for yourself - but you do have to come.
Checkpoint Charlie was as the best known place to cross the border from one side of Berlin to another (East - West). It is like a symbol of Cold War now, Berlin wall was constructed in 1961 to prevent migration from East to West, as East Germany lost many of population due to it. Checkpoint Charlie was a place to cross with special permission, guarded by soldiers.
There are some interesting stories about it. One tell that two lovers lived in different parts of Berlin and one day Berlin was fenced. Boyfriend risked his life to cross border with a fashionable and fast car, in high speed.
Now it is museum inside, but I haven't visited it. It is more as a mass attraction than serious museum, as I heard.
Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstrasse formed at the time of the wall the third checkpoint on the border between East and West Berlijn. From 1961 to 1990 this was the only crossing point for foreigners.Today remains of the checkpoint no longer than one copy of the guardhouse
The ultimate symbol of the Cold War which divided Europe and the world for four decades, the Berlin Wall is still the main tourist attraction in the German capital. And Checkpoint Charlie, the former border crossing, is the place many tourists head for first. Yet this world-famous monument is slightly disappointing on first sight. The original border post was demolished and all that remains nowadays is a signpost bearing the words, 'You are now leaving the American sector' and a replica of a watchtower from 1961. The only thing really worth seeing is the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie museum.
Checkpoint Charlie is the most famous border point in Berlin. During the times of the divided Berlin, there were 8 lanes for cars and buses travelling between the both parts. Many people tried to escape through this point, some of them were killed. The place now is an important tourist attraction, especially for Americans. You can get your passport stamped with GDR visa for 3 euro, or to buy Soviet military peaked caps. There is also the Museum of Berlin wall, as well as many shops with (expensive) souvenirs.
The Checkpoint Charlie site that all the visitors flock to see these days, is not the original and from what I can gather, it doesn't even stand in exactly the same place. It is what is left of the facility as it stood at some time during the life of the Wall dividing East from West, I seem to be reading conflicting reports or at least reports that are to me, quite confusing.
In any event, the present display is part of the Mauermuseum which stands nearby and has recorded all the history of the Cold War. The Museum opened two years after the wall was built. It is a mine of information but you really need to have plenty of time to really appreciate what it has to offer and of course, to get your money's worth as the entrance fee is not cheap.
Getting back to the Checkpoint Charlie booth outside, it is manned by actors who portray both the Soviet and American soldiers. You can have a photo taken with them for a small fee. When I say actors, let me add that the ones I saw were not very good actors as they posed on guard whilst smoking cigarettes and talking to each other. The Soviet guard disappeared for lengthy periods of time when I was there as well. Tended to kill the effect for me, I'm afraid.
Many visitors to Berlin make it a point to visit a relic Berlin's division - Checkpoint Charlie. For EUR2, you can take pictures with the guy dressed in Soviet army costume in front of the checkpoint. Another EUR2, you can have you passport stamped with the checkpoint stamp. But I would prefer not to do that with your valid passport as it may lead to complications later at the airport. Maybe you can bring along an old expired passport for this!