Berlin East Side Gallery: A Must-See in 2024

If you’re an art enthusiast seeking a unique experience, look no further than the iconic Berlin East Side Gallery.

Stretching along a section of the Berlin Wall, this open-air gallery is a living testament to freedom, creativity, and human resilience.

It’s one of the first things I checked off my Berlin bucket list of experiences while living in the city for three months.

And now I get to share some of my favourites with you.

If you are headed to Berlin, make sure you add a visit here as this will be some of the Berlin wall art you’ll see in the city!

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sun with dove and rose on chain on a art mural at east side gallery in berlin
Amnesty International in DDR by Andrej Smolak

If you’re wondering whether Berlin East Galley is worth a visit, well, let me assure you that this gem deserves a spot on your travel itinerary.

So, what exactly is the East Side Gallery in Berlin? Well, imagine a 1.3 km long open-air art gallery stretching along the remnants of the infamous Berlin Wall. It’s where history meets creativity in the most spectacular way possible.

The gallery runs parallel to the Spree River, offering picturesque views and opportunities for strolls along the waterfront. A perfect way to spend a Sunday in Berlin and a very popular thing to do is to visit a nearby flea market like Ostbahnhof and find a good spot for Berlin breakfast.

Now, why should you make your way to this unique spot in Berlin? Let me count the ways:

  1. Dive into History: The East Berlin Gallery offers an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in Germany’s tumultuous past. As you stroll along this living monument of freedom and unity, you’ll witness powerful murals depicting hopes, dreams, and struggles during the Cold War era.
  2. Artistic Awesomeness: Calling all art enthusiasts! Prepare to be blown away by over 100 captivating and thought-provoking artworks created by artists from around the globe. Each mural tells its own story – some political, some whimsical – but all undeniably impressive.
  3. Instagrammable Moments: Let’s face it; we all love capturing those picture-perfect moments for our social media feeds. Well, get ready because the East Side Gallery is practically begging to be photographed! From vibrant colours to striking imagery against a historical backdrop – your camera roll will thank you.
  4. Quirky Surroundings: As if the stunning artwork weren’t enough reason to visit, surrounding areas offer their unique charm too. You’ll find trendy bars and cafes where locals gather for drinks or delicious meals after exploring the gallery. So why not extend your visit with some local neighbourhood favourites?
  5. Open-Air Escape: Need a break from indoor museums and attractions or is it a beautiful day? The Berlin Wall Gallery is the perfect outdoor escape. Stroll along the Spree River, taking in the city’s energy while being surrounded by fascinating history. Oh, and the best part, this is a free museum.

Renowned artists from around the world lent their creative talents to this open-air Berlin art wall transforming the remnants of the Berlin Wall into a vivid tapestry of expression. It’s one of the reasons to go to Berlin!

Let me share a few of my favourites.

1. The Kiss by Dmitri Vrubel

two world leaders kissing on art mural on the Berlin East Side Gallery

Soviet artist, Dmitri Vrubel, “The Kiss” has to be the most famous of them all! It’s actually called “My God, help me to conquer this deadly love,” and is based on a photograph of the infamous embrace between Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker, leaders of the Soviet Union and East Germany.

2. Walls Across the World by Alexei Taranin

berlin art wall depicts a scene of berlin with a trabi car on the berlin east side gallery

This scene of “Mauern International” (walls across the world) depicts scenes of walls in different countries- Moscow, China, Everywhere and Berlin. What I like about this one is it resembles artwork that you might see in a children’s book. Not shown in my photo is a cat sleeping and a rabbit in a rocking chair.

3. Everything Open by Rosemarie Schinzler

as part of the east side gallery berlin wall this shows two doves flying with the brandenburg gate

This submission to the Berlin Wall gallery is by a German artist called “Alles offen” and is meant to represent the sense of leaving the past behind and entering into the unknown after the Berlin Wall fell.

4. Worlds People by Shamil Gimayev

berlin east side gallery mural showing curvy black and white swirls of 3 faces

Worlds People, or Wir sind ein Volk is the longest art mural in the Gallery. Take your time on this one as you can see countless abstract faces, buildings, and phrases that have been woven amongst the patterns. 

art mural that shows phrases woven into a abstract pattern at the Berlin East Side Gallery

5. The Wall Jumper by Gabriel Heimler

wall with artwork of man jumping over berlin wall is what berlin is known for

This art mural is meant to address the possibility of overcoming borders. But it might also represent the artist’s personal experience of living in multiple locations, having grown up in France, studying in East Berlin and working in West Berlin.

6. The Dancers by Sabine Kunz

This mural of “Die Tanzenden” or the dancers represents this former East Berlin artist’s joy and sense of freedom by the fall of the Wall. I immediately recognized her name as having visited her boutique, which features her abstract art on many lifestyle products which make for great Berlin souvenirs.

7. Tribute to the Young Generation by Thierry Noir

two abstract colourful faces painted on berlin art wall on the berlin east side gallery

The vivid and playful display of abstract faces and vibrant colours is meant to symbolize the spirit of youthful rebellion and creativity that helped shape the city of Berlin. This mural is one of the longest and shows the repetition of these faces about 13 times.

8. Test the Rest by Birgit Kinder

Trabi car breaking through berlin wall painted on the east side gallery berlin wall

Is a whimsical and thought-provoking piece that shows a Trabant car, the iconic symbol of East Germany, breaking through the Wall. It’s meant to represent the desire for freedom and change during that moment in history. But I think the colours simply won me over!

9. Hands, Sky and Seeker, Joint Venture by Margaret Hunter and Peter Russell

Two Scotish artists have 3 art murals side-by-side. The first one is a collaboration, and then they each have one individually.

on berlin wall two hands painted on mural as seen the berlin east side gallery
The Hands by Margaret Hunter and Peter Russell

Represents a striking visual of two hands reaching out to each other across the remnants of the Berlin Wall, encapsulating the universal longing for connection and unity.

art mural showing sky and objects at the berlin east side gallery
Sky and Seeker (or Himmel und Sucker) by Peter Russell

Is meant to show Western consumer products in a shop window showing how the West had such a commercialized lifestyle compared to the East.

two faces connected together at the berlin east side gallery
Joint Venture by Margaret Hunter

These two large horizontal faces lie side by side and are meant to represent the communication lines between them.

10. It Happened In November by Kani Alavi

berlin art wall showing mural of many faces at the fall of the berlin wall at the berlin east gallery

“Es geschah im November” captures the events of November 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall finally came down, ending decades of division in the city.

11. Doin’ it Cool for the East Side by Jim Avignon

on the berlin art wall the scene is a party with colourful characters and objects celebrating the fall of the wall on East Side Gallery Berlin wall

Is meant to represent the celebration that occurred after the Berlin Wall fell. And its vivid colours and life exude a party is happening! You can’t help but feel good when you look at this one!

as part of the berlin wall gallery scene of river and bridge at the  east side gallery berlin wall

12. Untitled by Peter Lorenz

shows american flag and brandenburg gate on a art mural in east side gallery berlin

This piece of abstract painting represents the fall of the Wall and chaotic scenes in the coming days along with the rebirth. What caught my attention was the flags of the nations involved in reunification – Germany, Russia, and the United States.

13. Tolerance by Mary MacKey

faces on art mural at berlin east side gallery

This art mural has a timeless message of tolerance. The aspiration of open-mindedness towards people with different backgrounds. If you think it is similar to Thierry Noir’s heads (no. 7) you’re right as the artist took inspiration from his signature artwork.

14. Amnesty International in DDR by Andrej Smolak

art mural of peace sign on chains and dove at the east side gallery in berlin

I loved the message of this art mural as it pays tribute to the work of the human rights organization that helped political prisoners in East Germany. There are so many symbols in just this one piece: from the ball at the end of the chain that turns into a rose to the dove, sun and prisoner’s hand holding up the peace sign.

every year is painted on the wall from 1962 to 1989 of the Berlin Wall
Curriculum Vitae by Susanne Kunjappu-Jellinek
  1. Historic Milestone: The East Side Gallery is a 1.3km long section of the Berlin Wall, making it the longest remaining stretch of the wall still in existence.
  2. Creation Date: It was created in 1990, a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
  3. Open-Air Art Gallery: The east side of the Berlin Wall features over 100 murals and paintings by artists from around the world. Each artwork tells a unique story and reflects various themes related to the Wall’s history and global issues.
  4. International Artists: Artists from 21 different countries contributed to the gallery. Some of the prominent names include Dmitri Vrubel, Birgit Kinder, and Thierry Noir.
  5. Tourist Attraction: The East Side Gallery is one of Berlin’s top tourist attractions, drawing more than 3 million people from around the world who come to admire the art and learn about the city’s history.
  6. Preservation Efforts: Over the years, the gallery has faced challenges from weather, vandalism, and graffiti. To protect and preserve the original artworks, restoration efforts have been ongoing.
  7. Political Statements: Many of the artworks in the East Side Gallery convey strong political messages, reflecting the tumultuous history of the Berlin Wall and the desire for peace and freedom that was felt between West Berlin and East Berlin differences.
  8. Symbol of Freedom: For many Berliners and visitors alike, the East Side Gallery represents the triumph of freedom over oppression and the enduring power of artistic expression. It’s a symbol of hope, unity, and artistic expression.

If you want to take a deeper dive into the East Side Gallery, I recommend either of these two tours.

Tour #1
abstract art mural at east side gallery in berlin

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

East Gallery Berlin and Cold War Segway Tour

✅ Local Guide

✅ 2.5 hours

✅ Segway tour of East Side Gallery

Tour #2
iron gate at berlin wall with wall art at the east side gallery in berlin

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

East Side Gallery Berlin Wall Self-Guided Audio Tour

✅ Audio in English, German, Spanish, French

✅ Mobile app

black wall art mural with berlin wall at east side gallery in berlin
BERLYN by Gerhard Lahr

The East Side Gallery Berlin location runs parallel to the Spree along Mühlenstraße between Ostbahnhof and Oberbaumbrücke. 

📍 East Side Gallery address: Mühlenstraße 3-100

If you are not within walking distance, here’s how you can get there:

  • 🚇Take the train to either Ostbahnhof (S-Bahn) or Warschauer Straße (U-Bahn) station
  • 🚌Take the bus, line 248 and get off at East Side Gallery or Tamara-Danz-Straße
  • 🚲Rent a bike or e-scooter from anywhere in the city
famous landmarks found in abstract art mural at berlin east side gallery
Worlds People by Shamil Gimayev

You can visit the East Side Gallery at any time of day or night, as it is an outdoor attraction that is always open to the public and it’s free.

To fully appreciate the artwork at its best without huge crowds, consider visiting in the morning or during weekdays when it tends to be less crowded. You’ll have plenty of time to soak up each mural’s profound message while capturing those Instagram-worthy shots.

red brick bridge with yellow subway at berlin east side gallery
Oberbaum Bridge
  1. Oberbaum Bridge: Take a stroll across the iconic Oberbaum Bridge, a picturesque double-deck bridge that connects the districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg.
  2. East Side Mall: Explore the East Side Mall, a modern shopping complex with a variety of shops, restaurants, and a rooftop terrace offering panoramic views of the Spree River.
  3. The Wall Museum: Learn more about the history of the Berlin Wall, the GDR and the Cold War through exhibits and multimedia presentations. Check opening hours and book online to save 2,50€ on your ticket price.
  4. RAW-Gelände: Visit the RAW-Gelände, a cultural and creative space known for its street art, clubs, bars, and alternative events and the nearby Urban Spree, an artsy space with galleries and street art.
  5. Treptower Park: Relax in Treptower Park, a serene green space along the Spree River, featuring beautiful gardens, a Soviet War Memorial, and a riverside beach.
  6. Kreuzberg Neighbourhood: Explore the eclectic Kreuzberg neighbourhood, known for its multicultural atmosphere, street food, and unique boutiques.
  7. Molecule Man Sculpture: Admire the Molecule Man sculpture in the Spree River, an intriguing artwork symbolizing unity.
  8. Görlitzer Park: Explore Görlitzer Park, a lively park in Kreuzberg known for its diverse community, food vendors, and cultural events.

As a Holidaymaker

Now, before we wrap up, a few tips to make your visit even better:

  • Plan your trip outside peak hours if possible to avoid crowds and fully immerse yourself in the art.
  • Time your visit around the sun. Too early and it’s a bit too dark, too late and the sun will be too blinding to take a photo.
  • Wear comfy shoes. You will be walking the 1.3 km there and back just to see the gallery.
  • Make sure you have full battery life on your phone or camera, as you’ll want to capture all your favourites.

And, I will add a couple more top tourist attractions that most visitors to the city want to see. Read more about how to visit:

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