Stasi sights in Berlin not to miss
No visit to Berlin should be without a closer look at history – specifically the horrific history of East Germany’s former secret police. These Stasi sights in Berlin should find a place on your to-do list. Read our stories about each and see our photos prior to your visit to find out more in advance.
Stasi Museum Berlin
The Stasi Museum Berlin is actually housed in the bleak former headquarters of the infamous spy agency, called “House 1” on the Ministry of State Security’s campus in the Lichtenberg area. You too can climb the same stairs that residents did on their way to dreaded meetings or interrogations, walk through the offices (as they were) of Stasi head Erich Mielke, and read exhibits (German and English) about how it operated.
A ticket costs 8 Euro at the time of this writing, with various discounts or group rates.
Stasi Prison Berlin at Hohenschönhausen
A visit to the Stasi Prison Berlin is a bleak experience, but a must. You can walk the halls and into the cells and interrogation rooms at this secret prison, but only on guided tours. Most tours are actually led by former prisoners, who have their own style and stories (Some English tours may be led by historians and not former prisoners). An interesting note is that this prison – known as the Hohenschönhausen Memorial and run by a non-profit — was actually a blank spot on former East Germany maps to make its existence more secretive.
Regular admission prices are 6 Euro, with various reduced rates. Please check tour schedules, offered in German, English and Russian. You will find many school groups visiting this location.
We encourage you to watch our brief 6-minute video tour so you can see highlights prior to your visit. It explains the memorial site of the Stasi secret prison.
Stasi Archives Berlin
The newest addition to the group of Stasi sights in Berlin is the archives of the secret police, open since mid-2018. You can see exhibits about how the archives were run, how they logged I information on its citizens and get a look behind several sets of doors at the actual stacks of paper files dating back to East German days. Researchers and historians are still at work trying to track files and recreate information that was torn up or burned.
Again, tours are the only way to get into the archive stacks, although the exhibits can be visited (free) at any time. The tours (German, and English) are only offered at certain times so do visit the website prior (links and information in our story) to plan your visit.
Bonus Stasi visit
If your travels take you to Leipzig, the heart of the peaceful revolution that helped lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall, you should also take the time to visit the small Stasi Museum Leipzig in the “round corner” building.
There are guided tours, but only in German at the time of this writing. Much of the exhibit is also only in German, but the exhibited items and photos are still of interest, as well as the building itself. Plus, there is an audio guide (for a fee) that is very thorough and in excellent English.
If you are spending additional time in Berlin, our archives of stories about the area will help you plan a visit to the city we love for its diversity, history, art and culture!
Insider Berlin travel tips
Need a place to stay in Berlin?
Research your visit to Berlin by looking at all the articles and recommendations we have made from personal experience here.
Purchase a Berlin Welcome Card and ride public transport for free plus receive discounts of up to 50 percent with museums and numerous other Berlin attractions.
Here are several guidebooks on Berlin we recommend:
Be prepared for anything. When travel goes bad, you must be prepared, which is why we never leave home without the right travel insurance and good travel emergency evacuation coverage. We rely on Global Rescue for emergency evacuation coverage and medical advice and IMG Signature Travel Insurance whenever we need additional protection beyond what is provided with our credit cards. Learn more about IMG Signature Travel Insurance, provided in partnership with Global Rescue here.
Learn to speak a bit of German so you can get around more easily and don't stand out as a tourist! Read our story Start to learn languages – Top language learning apps and websites.
Find more things to do in Berlin
Our Most Recent Travel Stories
From road trippers to adventure travelers, everyone who heads out on a hike needs to pack along emergency gear to keep them safe if things go wrong. The 11 essentials for hikers are items that are easy to carry and pack, and might just save a life – yours.
Tucked onto a bluff overlooking Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, California, the Noyo Harbor Inn offers a secluded escape with a surprisingly accessible location along Highway 1.
Venturing to the southernmost continent of Antarctica is a bucket-list adventure for many with its endless ice, beautiful blue waters, and wildlife like penguins and whales. In March of 2018, we joined a Polar Latitudes expedition to Antarctica and have assembled here a collection of some of our favorite Antarctica photos shared on Instagram.