A Hike Through Berlin’s History
By Isabelle Kagan
When you think of hiking, what do you think of? Probably a picturesque mountain landscape with trees, forests, and fresh air. Yet cities also have distinct environments and their own unique landscape
that one can hike through. In Berlin, Germany, a major historical symbol still stands, and you can follow its path for 96 miles.
There are over 9,950 streets in Berlin covering an area of around 3,355 miles.
Districts like the quirky Kreuzberg or the lively Potsdamer Strasse should be traversed on foot to get the full experience.
According to Paul Sullivan, a dedicated urban hiker and tour leader, “the only real way to understand a large, unwieldy metropolis like Berlin is by exploring it at street level.”
Berlin Wall Trail
The Berlin wall still stands, a remnant from the Cold war that separated communist East Germany from capitalist West Berlin, preventing citizens from fleeing over the border.
Where it still stands, the wall is now covered in graffiti, interpretive spray paint art, and memorials for those who died trying to cross it.
Following the walk of history will bring you to key areas of the city but also bring you to lesser-known points.
One of the best ways to experience the history of the wall is to go on a guided walking tour, like the ones offered by Slow Travel Berlin. These last from 2-4 hours, cost 15 euro, and are limited to six people each to keep maximum interaction possible with the least amount of interruptions.
One participant noted, “You come away with a very vivid visual understanding of how the city was separated and the absurdities and tragedies of living in a city divided by a wall.”
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Isabelle Kagan is a writer from the south shore of Massachusetts. She spent five months studying in Paris and exploring Europe, becoming an avid fan of traveling. In her spare time she also writes for a satire blog. She currently lives in western Massachusetts.