Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

What Can You Discover on a Walking Tour of Berlin’s Notorious Prisons?

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Walking Tour

Are you interested in delving into Berlin’s dark past and uncovering the secrets of its notorious prisons? Join us on a walking tour that will take you back in time, shedding light on the city’s turbulent history and the infamous institutions that once held prisoners captive. In this blog post, we will guide you through the key aspects of this captivating tour, providing you with an unforgettable experience that combines education, fascination, and reflection.

1. Understanding Berlin’s Prison History

Before embarking on the walking tour, it’s essential to grasp the historical context of Berlin’s prisons. From the late 19th century until the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city was divided into East and West Berlin, each with its own prison system.

One of the most infamous prisons in East Berlin was Hohenschönhausen, which was used by the Stasi, the secret police of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). This prison served as a detention center for political dissidents, with prisoners enduring harsh conditions and interrogation techniques.

In West Berlin, Tegel Prison held criminals, including notable ones like the Baader-Meinhof Group. Learning about the different ideologies that shaped these institutions will provide you with a deeper understanding of the city’s complex past.

2. Hohenschönhausen Memorial: A Glimpse Into Communist Oppression

Start your walking tour at the Hohenschönhausen Memorial, a former Stasi prison converted into a museum. Guided by former prisoners, you will hear firsthand accounts of their experiences and gain insight into the oppressive regime of East Germany.

As you wander through the cold, austere corridors, you’ll learn about the interrogation methods employed by the Stasi, including psychological and physical torture. The prison’s preserved cells and interrogation rooms will transport you back in time, evoking a sense of the prisoners’ anguish and despair.

2.1 Tips:

  • Book your tour in advance to secure your place, as this memorial is a popular attraction.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and dress warmly, as some areas can be chilly.
  • Listen attentively to the stories shared by the former prisoners – their insights will give you a unique perspective.

3. Tegel Prison: Where Criminals Converged

After exploring the Hohenschönhausen Memorial, make your way to Tegel Prison, located in the western part of Berlin. This former prison housed common criminals, including more notorious figures like members of the Baader-Meinhof Group.

Tegel Prison is still an operating correctional facility, but a section of it is open to the public. On a guided tour, you’ll have the opportunity to observe the living conditions, learn about the daily routines of inmates, and gain insight into the German penal system.

3.1 Tips:

  • Check the visiting hours and plan your tour accordingly.
  • Remember that Tegel Prison is an active correctional facility, so be respectful and follow the instructions of your guide.
  • Keep an open mind and prepare for a thought-provoking experience.

4. Reflection and Remembrance

As your walking tour comes to an end, take some time to reflect on the stories and experiences you have encountered throughout the day. Berlin’s prison history is a reminder of the atrocities committed during a period of political division and oppression.

Consider visiting the Berlin Wall Memorial or the Topography of Terror exhibit, both of which provide further insights into Berlin’s tumultuous past.

By exploring these locations and immersing yourself in the history, you contribute to the collective memory, ensuring that the lessons learned from the past are not forgotten.


A walking tour of Berlin’s notorious prisons is not only an educational experience but also a chance to engage with history in a tangible and meaningful way. By visiting Hohenschönhausen Memorial and Tegel Prison, you will gain a deeper understanding of the political divisions and human rights violations that shaped Berlin’s past.

Embark on this captivating journey, and let Berlin’s prison history come alive as you walk in the footsteps of those who were once confined within these walls.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.



  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free