The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall

Author & Photos · Omar Oualili
Published ······  Online, Nov 2014
Section ·······   Culture
The TV Tower

The Berlin wall fell on the evening of the 9th of November 1989. East and West became one, and a new chapter in history began. As the divided city became one, it paved the way to make Berlin one of the most vibrant metropolises' worldwide. Twenty-five years later, Berlin attracts tourists from all over the world to see what is left of the wall and the impacts of the Cold War. This year, I had the opportunity to visit this amazing city. I can say that Berlin truly offers a complete experience to its visitors: history, culture, and parties!

Arriving in Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie

When I first arrived, I took the TXL bus to the centre from Tegel Airport. My hostel, Industrie Palast Hostel, was located in Warschauer Strasse. The hostel is in located in a very strategic location, just few stations away from the centre of Berlin where all the nightlife is. A short five minute walk and I was immersed in the city's trendiest parties! Right after check-in, I took some time to familiarise myself with the city, and so I took it easy and started with the classics of Berlin. I walked from Alexanderplatz – passing the TV Tower - then arrived at the majestic Brandenburg Gate where I stayed awhile admiring this monument and speaking to some locals around the square. Afterwards, I walked to the Holocaust Memorial which is by far one of my favourite attractions in Berlin. Then I arrived to Potsdamer Platz, where - for the first time – I was able to see some leftover pieces of the Berlin Wall. Later, I headed over to Checkpoint Charlie, which used to be one the main checkpoints in the city during the Cold War. I'm enjoying my time so far, but I still want to know, what is left of the wall? And what has completely disappeared?

Brandenburg Gate

I take the metro to Kulturbrauerei for a bike tour. It is fairly easy to travel within Berlin’s public transport, especially after getting a Berlin WelcomeCard. For just 32,50€, I had unlimited use of the transport for the whole five days I stayed there. It also gave mediscounts on cultural and tourists attractions, a guide book with all information, and the ultimate City Map to never get lost in the German capital.

Berlin by bicycle

Berlin Bike Tour

In order to discover some of Berlin's hidden places, and find out more about the Wall, I took a bike tour with Berlin On Bike. The tour was quite the highlights, as I heard lot of stories about the Berlin Wall - not the classical history that is discussed in books about the leaders and the politics - but stories of individuals. The tour was very easy going as the guide doesn't rush the group in any way, but leaves the group at its own rhythm. We even stopped for a long coffee break in the middle where we had the opportunity to meet other travellers. The guide told us the story of a couple divided by the wall, another about a family where half the members lived in the East and others in the West, the tragedies that took place in the “No Man’s Land” zone, and the tricks people used to escape from East to West. To me, these stories are the real remains of the wall. And by standing right next to where it happened, it makes the story all the more real, one of those magical elements of Berlin.


Along the roads, I saw some markings on the floor related to the original path of the wall. The actual wall has disappeared, but pieces can be found around the city, most notably at the East Side Gallery. The gallery represents the longest standing piece of the wall around the city.

The East Side Gallery

The wall at East Side Gallery is a real artistic show – particuarly for tourists who are most likely coming to see the famous My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love (1990). This iconic graffiti painting by Dmitri Vrubel shows Lonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker in a fraternal embrace.

My God, Help Me to Survive this Deadly Love (1990)

While randomly wandering around the city, I found the Berlin Museum Historiale. This place is worth a visit, and definitely my type of museum. Although small, it is full of information and interactive exhibitions. I like to be in a museum where I can easily walk without being crowded by other tourists. Historiale was perfect for that as it is a little hidden from the touristy scene. I learnt a lot about Berlin and its history. One of my favourite things about it was a short film about the Cold War that shows the Wall and the role it played in dividing the city.


When it comes to nightlife, Berlin has a reputation as being one of the world's best. I went out few times to discover the scene, but only on my last day was it particularly special since I went out with a local. Berliners party hard! At 8.00 in the morning, no one was going home yet! On weekends, parties are literally non-stop, spanning from Friday night until Monday morning! You can go to a club at 10.00 on a Sunday morning if you wish. I’ve also heard that if you want to get into Berghain, Berlin's famous club located in an old power plant, it's the best way to avoid the two to three hour queues on a Friday or Saturday night.

Last hours of adventure

Postdamer Platz

I wanted to wrap up my trip with some adventure, and so I did a base-fly in the Park Inn by Radisson on Alexanderplatz. Base Flying is a vertical controlled fall from the top of a building about 125 metres high. Talk about an adrenaline rush! Not only was the base flight a fantastic experience, but the view over the city is stunning. I recorded this on video to capture the moment.

Twenty-five years on...

Berliner Dom

Twenty-five years after the fall of the wall, that was how I got to experience Berlin! It was such a great experience to be in this city that has so much to offer. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall, the city has prepared some interesting activities and events. Here are my picks of the best to attend from visitBerlin's list.

The Big Light Installation: There will be various meeting points throughout the city along the path of the Wall to watch spectacles on live screens. Guided tours provided by eye witnesses, as well as souvenir points, viewing points, and video screens showing of the life of the Wall will be featured. Furthermore, there will be 8,000 balloons all along the 15.3km path of the wall. Balloons will be 3.40metres high, measure 60cm, and weigh 23kg.

The Berlin Circle Audio Walk: Ten years after the Fall of the Wall, US playwright and historian Charles Mee wrote Berlin Circle, a collection of spectacular events set on the 9th of November 1989. This audio walk – with original dialogue from Mee's text – takes people through the real locations of the Berlin Circle.

River Cruise: Water and Border stories in divided Germany: Take a cruise from the Treptow harbor to Humboldthafen/Moabiter Brücke and back.

Omar's travels are documented on his blog: You can also watch Omar's Berlin video log:

Omar Oualili is an award-winning travel blogger from Morocco. He has created to share his love of travelling. He currently lives in London where he studies accounting and finance.