Cold War


10 am


3 hours

Meeting Point

Reichstagufer 17, 10117 Berlin



aged 18 to 64



aged 65 and over/7 to 17





aged 6 and under


Required Transport Ticket

AB single trip ticket required

Peering through the Berlin Wall Cold War tour


  • See the open-air Berlin Wall Memorial and the former “death strip”.
  • Stand above the site of two of the most successful escape tunnels to be dug under the Wall.
  • Travel through underground stations dubbed “ghost stations” in the Cold War era, and discover what ordinary life was like in a city that was divided for almost 50 years.
  • Learn about the Tränenpalast, a border crossing point known as the “Palace of Tears” for the countless emotional farewells it witnessed during the Cold War.
  • Visit the Admiralspalast, where the East German SED political party was formed.
  • Hear about the East German secret police and their methods of surveillance and torture.
  • Go to the Chapel of Reconciliation and discover why its predecessor was blown up in 1985.
  • Find out how numerous factors converged to precipitate the fall of the Wall in 1989.

Starting Point

Meet your guide on the square next to the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears), Reichstagufer 17, 10117 Berlin.


By the end of WWII, Berlin, the capital of defeated Nazi Germany, lay in ruins. Yet it was to become the epicentre of the Cold War, a pivotal city in the struggle between two superpowers to control war-torn Europe. Your specialist guide will take you to one of the longest remaining stretches of the Berlin Wall and share with you the intriguing history behind its construction and how it went up overnight, as well as tragic stories of the impact on Berliners, who woke up the next morning to a divided city.

This top-ranking tour begins with stories of separation at the Tränenpalast departure terminal, today a compelling museum documenting the effects of the border on ordinary people living behind the Iron Curtain. As you ride through Berlin’s former “ghost stations”, your expert guide will explain how the underground transport system provided one possible means of escape from the GDR.

You will be able to get a sense of what it was like to live “behind the Wall” in the Eastern Bloc’s most heavily policed state. Hear of the methods of East Germany’s secret police (the “Stasi”) and the systems, devices and manpower deployed to keep the population under surveillance for 40 years and how they were aided in their efforts to outwit the CIA and MI6 by their comrades and counterparts in the KGB.

The tour makes an essential and extended stop at the Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Straße, where you will be able to see a preserved section of the original wall and the last remaining stretch of the death strip. This is the site of Tunnels 29 and 57, by means of which 29 and 57 determined individuals pulled off daring escapes to West Berlin in the 1960s.

You will hear the extraordinary story of how the Monday Demonstrations culminated in the major East Berlin hub of Alexanderplatz, where in late 1989 half a million citizens peacefully demonstrated for political reform, thereby sounding the death knell for the German Democratic Republic. Your guide will explain exactly what led to the Wall tumbling down on the night of 9 November 1989, setting Berlin on the path to reunification.

Finishing Point

The tour finishes in the area of Bernauer Straße.

Insider Route

This itinerary is intended to give you a general idea of our route on this tour. You can expect to see and hear stories about all of these sites, as well as many more! Please be aware that the route is subject to change on any given day, should unforeseen circumstances arise.

  1. Meeting point – on the square next to the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears), Reichstagufer 17
  2. Admiralspalast – old cabaret theatre where the East German political party, the SED, was formed in 1946
  3. Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears) – a former border crossing point between East and West Berlin
  4. Friedrichstraße train station – travel through the “ghost stations” of the old divided Berlin.
  5. Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station, where a number of border guards fled to West Berlin
  6. The Berlin Wall Memorial – outdoor exhibition space extending 1.4km along the border strip on Bernauer Straße
  7. Remnants of the former “death strip” and its fortifications
  8. The Window of Remembrance – a poignant memorial honouring all 130 victims of the Wall
  9. Original East German watchguard tower
  10. Chapel of Reconciliation, built on the site of the church demolished by the East German authorities in 1985
  11. Site of Tunnels 57 and 29 – the most successful escape tunnels built under the Berlin Wall
  12. Conrad Schumann mural – the iconic image of this escaping border guard mid-leap over the barbed wire

Insider Reviews

Great tour, with enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide.

Xavier was a great tour guide, very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, humorous with some wonderful anecdotes and insights in to what life was like in this period. Highly recommended. Newton June '24

Fascinating and well worth it.

This tour was fascinating and well worth it. Our tour guide Peter was knowledgeable and told many interesting stories. So glad we did it! Ann M. June '24

Excellent, informative tour!

I would definitely recommend the Cold War tour. Our guide Xavier was extremely knowledgeable and informative. It was obvious he was enjoyed talking about his subject and went over the odds (and time) to ensure we got the best from the tour. Highly recommended. Deborah O. June '24

Excellent tour and guide.

We had a great tour with Eran. He was very informative and personable. Easy booking, small group of about 10. Highly recommend! Cheryl W. May '25

Cold War Berlin!

Excellent tour given by a knowledgeable and friendly guide! Larry R. May '24

Great tour.

Fabulous morning with Glen. He is really fascinated by the topic and the tour just buzzed with his enthusiasm. He pitched things just right and adapted based our questions. Good booking and organisation. Did 2 tours with same company in 4 days. Sine Apr. '24

A great introduction to Cold War Berlin.

Our guide Mikhail was excellent, striking a good balance between the big picture and the personal histories. This is a great way to understand the circumstances in which the wall rose and fell, and the effect it had on the lives of so many Berliners. Ed E. March '24

Excellent Cold War tour.

The Cold War walking tour of Berlin was fascinating. Our guide was full of detailed historical information as well as intriguing anecdotes and my 21-year-old son and I were riveted throughout. This is a must for everyone who visits Berlin. Heather C. March '24

Very well organised.....

Very well organised from booking onwards. Peter was our guide and provided some really interesting insights into the period. He certainly knew his stuff. Not too much walking and all at an easy pace so very accessible. Would highly recommend spending 3 hours of your visit to Berlin on this tour. Kevin N. Feb. '24

Our guide was excellent.

Our guide George was excellent, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the tour really enjoyable for us all. Mark H. Feb. '24

This was one of the best.

We did a few tours during my two week stay in Berlin. This was one of the best. I had always been a bit confused about East/West Berlin and East/West Germany. Our guide George created a clear context for how it arose, developed and fell apart. We also moved around the city and saw things that tied in nicely to what he was telling us. Thank you so much George - you are one fantastic guide :) Tig G Feb. '24

Fantastic Tour

Gregor was a great guide for our Cold War tour. Our friends we were in Berlin with had never been on a walking tour before but were soon won over by Gregor’s passion for the history of his city & enthusiasm to pass stories on to others. The time passed so quickly & we can’t wait to return to Berlin again to join another Insider tour. David G. Dec. '23

Highly recommended.

Gregor was a superb guide. Excellent in all respects…highly recommended! Julian & Ros W. Nov. '23

Hannah was a great guide...friendly,..

Hannah was a great guide...friendly, moved at a good pace, kept everyone happy, was full of great information and clearly enjoys her work. It was an insightful tour on a complex time. You could talk about this period for hours, but this tour offers a taste for what life was like during this division of Berlin/Germany Elaine Oct. '23

Fascinating Cold War tour.

We had a fascinating Cold War tour with Glen last week. He achieved a great balance of being informative, without overload, and also making it relevant to society today. We covered a lot of ground in the three hours. Glen was hugely knowledgeable about this period, but also sensitive to the many personal tragedies. Would highly recommend. Angela B. Sept. '23

I highly recommend this walking tour..

I highly recommend this walking tour - Eran really knew his subject & answered all questions. We met at the Palace of Tears & went on to Bernauer Strasse seeing a ghost station, remnants of the wall, no man's land & sites of tunnels. Fi M. Sept. '23

Interesting and entertaining..

Glen was an excellent guide. He obviously knew a lot about the subject and was able to pass his knowledge on in an easy and enjoyable way. I loved the finish at Karl Marx Alley. Dave D. Sept. '23

Happy to recommend this tour.

Happy to recommend this tour. Glen was very informative. Mikes B. Sept. '23

The Cold War Berlin tour was essential...

The Cold War Berlin tour was essential to having an understanding of East/West Berlin during this period. Our tour guide was clear, straightforward and very informative highlight specific stories throughout. I have now taken 3 Insider Tours and they have all been excellent. Valerie C.B. Aug. '23

Fascinating tour.

It was a fascinating tour, Tobi was great. He gave us a great insight into life in the East. I went with my two boys 20 and 16 and they both enjoyed it too. Highly recommended. Tania B. Feb. '23

Great tour with a great guide.

10/10-learned SO much, had a great experience! Greta G. Apr. '23

Highlight of our trip.

This was an excellent tour. Our guide was interesting, informative and entertaining. He clearly has great interest in cold war history of Berlin and his enthusiasm for the subject made the tour. Petterson May '23

Book this tour!

Our guide is clearly an extremely intelligent, highly educated man who is obviously passionate about 20th century history and particularly Berlin. As a British man now living in Berlin with a German wife and friends, he was well positioned to give a broad spectrum view of the city and it’s recent history. T Lau April '23

Amazing Cold War tour.

Had an amazing time yesterday on the Cold War tour. We went to some of the best landmarks as our guide explained the political and social situation. For a 3 hr tour and a coffee break halfway through I thought this was a great value! There were about 8 people in our tour. Highly recommended. Thank you! H Hansen April '23

A Cold War tour to remember.

Our guide was REALLY AMAZING! His presentation and attention to detail was second to none. This tour is incredibly informative about the Cold War, and even those not interested in history or knowledgeable on the subject would have an amazing time. We saw some locations around Berlin I would never know to find on my own, and our tour guide was able to answer all questions I had. Overall I would HIGHLY recommend this tour Johnny Oh May '23

Really good walking tour.

Did a walking tour of Cold War Berlin with a lovely young guy, who was very knowledgeable, engaging, considerate and excellent at telling describing the history and telling the stories. A particular highlight was his quick history of he Cold War using chalk on on the pavement. A wonderful 3 or so hours that went by too quickly. Darius March '23

This tour makes you understand the city of Berlin.

This tour really made impact on the East and West Berlin situation, both during the cold war period and beyond. Mainly thanks to our tour guide Glen. He has an extensieve knowledge on life and history of Berlin. This tour makes you understand the city of Berlin and her residents. Hans K. June '25

A nice blend of history and stories.

Jamie was a great guide- a nice blend of stories and context. My 11 year old, who is basically done with tours, said it was one of his favorites, which is high praise.

Cold War Tour with Maria and Insider tours.

Had the Cold War tour with Maria today and as usual with Insider Tours it was excellent.Maria interjected how some of our tour points of interest were used in movies and this made it all the more informative from a personal point of view.

Insider tours has always been my go.....

Insider tours has always been my go to option for tours in Berlin. Friendly and very knowledgeable guides.

Fantastic Experience!

Even though it was cold and rainy, our guide Nikolai made it a fantastic experience. Really engaged and knowledgable waving in personal experience along the way. Thank you for a great morning around Berlin. Marie_E