3 Cool Abandoned Buildings You Can Visit in Berlin

The echoes of Berlin’s turbulent history can be seen, felt and heard all around the city, in its plethora of abandoned spots. Urban exploring is a common pastime in Berlin for locals and visitors alike, and seeing the fallen dinosaurs and rickety roller-coasters at the abandoned Spreepark and exploring the crumbling corridors at a derelict children’s hospital have become Berlin pilgrimages. One official Berlin abandoned site includes the former STASI prison, which runs regular guides tours.

Kiehnwerderallee 1-3, 12437 Berlin, Germany
Even fun has a shelf life. This is what runs through my mind as I walk around Spreepark, the abandoned, dilapidated amusement park in Berlin. When East Germany and the GDR fell, so did many of the businesses operating under the rules of communism. They were never really able to make the transition to capitalism successfully. Spreepark, located in the East German part of Berlin, was one such casualty. Even though Spreepark is “dead,” it is now a present-day photographic amusement park. The park is closely guarded, and trespassing is typical but also dangerous, so an enthusiastic, enterprising young man has started running tours on the weekend, providing access to shoot away to your heart’s content. The rides and stands have all deteriorated in place over the years, which makes for an eerie photographic landscape. More Information: Tour information (only in German) – www.berliner-spreepark.de/ – Tours are given mainly on the weekends. If you want to go on a tour, contact him, as he does know a little English and you can at least book yourself into a tour and get access for photography—even if you don’t understand the stories.
Hansastraße, Berlin, Germany
The abandoned Kinderkrankenhaus (Children’s Hospital) in Weißensee, Berlin, was apparently one of the first of its kind and built during the Prussian era (before either World Wars). It’s been abandoned and left to rot. In the past year, the building has been the target of several arson attacks, but during daylight and with a bit of precaution, the site is easy to explore. The walls are covered with graffiti both old and new, and the remnants of the children’s hospital are easy to discover. Just watch where you step to avoid falling into any potholes or broken glass.
14547 Beelitz, Germany
The tree limbs were heavy with freshly fallen snow, providing a peaceful backdrop to this entirely eerie place. I had made my way outside Berlin, to the little community of Beelitz on this snowy Easter weekend, to photograph Beelitz Heilstätten, a sanatorium for tuberculosis treatment methods in the early 20th century. I took the photo tour to the women’s section of the sanatorium, and we were able to walk around the snowy grounds and inside three main buildings and photograph to our heart’s content. I love these tours, since they are a great setting to practice with lighting and composition. The tour information was provided only in German, but there were enough people there to translate for me. And honestly, I was there to do photography, so I didn’t need much guidance. The leader simply gives an overview of the history, buildings, and things to be careful of, or special things to see; he hands you a blueprint layout of the buildings; and then you are own your own for 4-5 hours to explore! The ultimate photography tour, if you ask me! More information: http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/berlin-photo-tours/
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