If you have a couple days free and are looking for an unusual thing to do in Berlin, a tour of the Teufelsberg NSA spy station should be on top of your list. Of course, if you’re a seasoned urban explorer, sneaking in and having a look by yourself is optimal (just look at wholes in the fence but be wary of security, you know what to do). For regular hipsters or graffiti fans, the tour is really a great option: you get a guided tour of the premises during which you will learn about the fascinating history of the place and see the nicest graffiti of the territory.

What’s the address?

Teufelsbergchausse, 14193, Berlin.

How to get to Teufelsberg?

Get on the S-Bahn S1 to Grunewald and hike/bike from there. It’s about a 30 minute walk or a 10 minute bike ride. However, the hill can get very steep toward the end – you have been warned!

Here’s a map from the station until Teufelsberg, load it up on your phone before you leave:

 

How much does it cost?

The guided tour is only 7 euros for 1h30 of storytelling and amazing sights. Add to that the cost of taking the U-Bahn or whatever transportation you chose and you’ve got your total cost!

My experience visiting

I’ve always been a big fan of graffiti and urbex so when I discovered of the existence of Teufelsberg, there was no way I wasn’t going. Obviously, I dragged my boyfriend Alex along with me too. It’s a long way from Berlin’s center and finding it can be a bit difficult for the orientation-challenged individuals like me (make sure you open the google map before you leave if you don’t have data). It was a 40 minutes walk because we got slightly lost and Alex was seriously second guessing my judgement of what constitutes a fun day by that point. Fortunately, we made it there just in time for opening at noon and the sight of the radio domes (the giant golf ball looking things) made it all worth it. After that point, we were both enjoying the experience and the efforts to get there became fully justified.

teufelsberg-radome2

I assumed we will not be many tourists attending the tour on a weekday but I was wrong – we were about 15 people! Everybody payed the entrance fee and waited for the tour to begin.

teufelsberg-tour

We even got a little entry stamp which honestly looks pretty cool. There’s always something to do in Berlin, notice the abundance of stamps on my arm?

teufelsberg-stamp

 

Unfortunately, the tour was mostly in German since the majority of the group spoke German, good thing I read up on the history of the place prior to going there. Basically, it was an NSA spy center that was built in 1963 but has been abandoned for a while now. The information about it is classified until 2020 so there is not much that is known about it. After it was abandoned, it became a popular spot for graffiti artists and urban explorers so the owner decided to charge for tours there. Honestly, it’s a good move considering how 15 people showed up there on a weekday with virtually no advertising. Nobody knows what will happen to it in the future. Who knows, maybe they’ll turn the place into condos? That’s what they do with all cool buildings where I’m from 🙁

 

As someone who really like street art, I loved it in there. I took so many pictures of great art! It’s a shame they hurry you a bit too much to my taste during the tour.

teufelsberg-graffiti

 

We climbed all the way to the top Radio Dome and the acoustics are crazy in there. If you stand in the middle and clap your hands, the echo is amazing: I’ve never heard anything like it before. Imagine the echoing of an indoor pool times 10. There’s also a huge mural (I unfortunately to not know by who) inside the Radome which is just mind-blowing.

 

I would definitely recommend to anyone that travels to Berlin to take an afternoon to visit Teufelsberg. It’s a bit touristy now, but still the kind of touristy stuff that’s not in guidebooks (yet). I wish I would have been there a few years before, when it was slightly more easy to sneak into!

 

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