GDR Watch Tower (DDR-Wachturm)
A visit to the GDR Watch Tower (also known as the DDR Watch Tower) offers insight into life in divided Berlin. Peek inside the restored tower and climb up to the panoramic viewing platform, from where GDR border guards looked out along the Berlin Wall, keeping watch over both sides.
For historical context, it’s best to visit the tower with a guide. Walking tours of the area typically include nearby sites such as the Wall Museum and Checkpoint Charlie, the Topography of Terror, and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (also known as the Holocaust Memorial).
Things to Know Before You Go
There’s an entrance fee to climb the tower.
There are no visitor facilities at the tower, and limited information is available. Hiring a guide is the best way to learn more.
The tower is reached by two ladders, making it inaccessible for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility.
How to Get There
The GDR Watch Tower is located along Erna-Berger-Strasse at the southeast corner of Potsdamer Platz. The closest U-Bahn station is Potsdamer Platz (on the U2 line), a short walk away.
When to Get There
Open daily, the GDR Watch Tower rarely gets busy. Visit on a clear day for the best views.
Berlin’s Cold War Sites
Other historic sites are within walking distance of the GDR Watch Tower: Checkpoint Charlie, the Wall Museum, the Black Box, and the DIE MAUER exhibition, all of which focus on different aspects of Berlin life during and after the Cold War. Farther north, the Brandenburg Gate—a former gateway between East and West Berlin—is a must-see symbol of the city’s reunification. Walking north from Potsdamer Platz, you’ll also pass the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
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