Palace of Tears
Palace of Tears
4.5
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Our exhibition “Site of German Division” at this historical site shows how the division of Germany and the construction of the Berlin Wall came about. It also explains how the customs and passport checkpoint functioned at the Tränenpalast and outlines the surveillance system in place at the Friedrichstrasse border crossing. In the Tränenpalast itself, visitors can experience the checkpoint procedures and actually walk through the original passport control booth. The exhibition focusses on the personal stories of various individuals who lived through the ordeals of divided Germany. Contemporary witnesses describe in interviews how they escaped from Communist East Germany and how they kept in contact with their families on the other side by sending letters or parcels. They also narrate how they smuggled documents and secret photographs across the border or protested against the travel ban in Communist East Germany.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Mitte (Borough)
How to get there
  • Friedrichstrasse • 1 min walk
  • Friedrichstraße • 3 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • dudoldve
    Bokeelia, Florida410 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Educational
    Excellent small museum that really helps one understand the history and what life was like under GDR. This was an actual crossing and has some very interesting displays. It is free and well worth a visit in a city full of history. Wheelchair accessible
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 19, 2023
  • Petra V
    18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see
    Very nice museum with a lot of information about the effects of the Berlin Wall on the people. They offer free tours of the museum in German which we unfortunately did not speak. Audiotours are available in different languages. A must see on your trip to Berlin.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 20, 2023
  • kingtravel15
    Dublin, Ireland69 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating.
    Must see. A fascinating museum on passport control and East/West travel restrictions permitted through the Friedrichstrabe station. There’s an online audio guide you can listen to as you progress through the exhibits. Alternatively there’s plenty to read at each exhibit which are concise and don’t feel like information overload. There’s also short videos of personal accounts people went through. Very well thought out and engaging. Free.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written April 14, 2024
  • costanzagirl
    New York City, New York9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A highlight of the trip
    A really wonderful and moving experience. The museum gave a good overview of the divisions between East and West, and had personal stories to illustrate the history. A highlight was the newsreel section, which played news coverage of the same event from Western and Eastern sources to highlight the differences, as well as the sections about how the guards searched for contraband. Extremely powerful to stand in the location that is being described, and to hear personal testimony. There were free lockers (required a 1 or 2 euro deposit, which is returned). There is Wifi, but I couldn't get it to connect. It is small but you can easily spend 1-2 hours here if you read in full. A real highlight of Berlin if you are interested in history!
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written May 14, 2024
  • RIchard035
    Northwood, United Kingdom1,273 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating free museum
    This is a small and free to enter museum next to Friedrichstrasse station. This was one of the crossing points between East and West Berlin and some of the actual immigration/security check points are located within the museum. The name Palace of Tears is derived from the tears of those who left loved ones behind or waved off love ones as they crossed the border. There museum is full of memorabilia, photos and commentary on what life was like when the wall still existed.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written May 17, 2024
  • Alison L
    Bath, United Kingdom83 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not called the Palace of Tears without good reason
    I was encouraged to visit by German friends and it did not disappoint. Known as the Palace of Tears because of the many tearful partings which happened hear during the years of the DDR, this is a small building next to the Friedrichstrasse Railway Station, not glamorous but so much of its time. Lots of personal stories and explanation, usually with English translations - phew!
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written June 12, 2024
  • Omer A
    Hamburg, Germany113 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice place, not so nice staff.
    One needs around 2 hours to thoroughly enjoy the experience. It has a very informative and helpful audio guide, which is available for free. The guide also serves as a good sequence. What I did not like was that even though there were clearly 14 minutes left in closing the place, the staff literally forced us to leave at the time. I insisted on going on until 5 minutes were left, but they would not listen at all. Minus one star for this.
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 17, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,134 reviews
Excellent
1,334
Very good
678
Average
98
Poor
18
Terrible
6

Claire33m
Colchester, UK172 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Couples
Great exhibition actually set in the real Palace of tears . Very well done and most exhibits were in English. Take your smart phone and headphones as you can down load a free interesting audio guide . We were in here for about 1.5 hours , and for free, this is an excellent choice to find out about life in East Berlin during the Cold War
Written February 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jbushman2017
Nipomo, CA496 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
There are so many sites related to the Berlin Wall that you have to pick and choose what you want to visit. This site is free, it is very close to the old part of town and if you walk by, it is worth a visit. The key are the stories you can listen too from East Berliner’s that chose to escape to West Berlin. The stories they tell give context to the wall and the part it played in people’s lives. You will only be here for 30-45 minutes but those of us that visited left feeling it was a good experience.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NemoTraveler
Aarhus, Denmark715 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
The museum is situated at the former check point at Friedrichsstrasse Station. Until 1989 this was one of the border points where it was possible to cross from one zone to the other. The name of the museum refers to the fact that many divided families had to say goodbye to their visiting relatives here without knowing if and when to see them again.

Exhibits explain the function of the checkpoint and the original control booth is on show.

Great museum and entrance is free.
Written November 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly B
Barnet, UK2,783 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Friends
The Palace of Tears where so many people said goodbye to loved ones - the original train check point to gain access to FriedrichStrasse station and passage between east and west Germany.
Although small, it has lots of fascinating history with stories from people who were there - they can be heard in both English and German.
Free of charge so definitely worth a visit if you are nearby.
Written March 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Per A
Cardiff57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
This was a very moving museum and very hands on. The Palace of Tears have been so well preserved, it was like stepping back in time. On the back wall, the old clock which has been refurbished and just underneath the old customs booth - you can walk through one! Do the audio tour and walk through the museum, listening to staff who worked here or people who travelled through. It was moving and so good I would visit again!
Written May 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kingtravel15
Dublin, Ireland69 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
Must see. A fascinating museum on passport control and East/West travel restrictions permitted through the Friedrichstrabe station.

There’s an online audio guide you can listen to as you progress through the exhibits. Alternatively there’s plenty to read at each exhibit which are concise and don’t feel like information overload. There’s also short videos of personal accounts people went through.

Very well thought out and engaging.

Free.
Written April 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

costanzagirl
New York City, NY9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
A really wonderful and moving experience. The museum gave a good overview of the divisions between East and West, and had personal stories to illustrate the history. A highlight was the newsreel section, which played news coverage of the same event from Western and Eastern sources to highlight the differences, as well as the sections about how the guards searched for contraband. Extremely powerful to stand in the location that is being described, and to hear personal testimony.

There were free lockers (required a 1 or 2 euro deposit, which is returned). There is Wifi, but I couldn't get it to connect. It is small but you can easily spend 1-2 hours here if you read in full.

A real highlight of Berlin if you are interested in history!
Written May 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NotCaroline
London, UK192 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
We stumbled across this small but highly informative exhibition on our way to the Reichstag. Located inside a former border checkpoint, it illustrates the division of the city and the country. Some of the exhibits include items East Germans smuggled across the border or took with them on their escape. There is also a film that contrasts East and West German news reporting of the same events. Don't miss this gem.
Written November 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RIchard035
Northwood, UK1,273 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
This is a small and free to enter museum next to Friedrichstrasse station. This was one of the crossing points between East and West Berlin and some of the actual immigration/security check points are located within the museum. The name Palace of Tears is derived from the tears of those who left loved ones behind or waved off love ones as they crossed the border. There museum is full of memorabilia, photos and commentary on what life was like when the wall still existed.
Written May 17, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alison L
Bath, UK83 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Solo
I was encouraged to visit by German friends and it did not disappoint. Known as the Palace of Tears because of the many tearful partings which happened hear during the years of the DDR, this is a small building next to the Friedrichstrasse Railway Station, not glamorous but so much of its time. Lots of personal stories and explanation, usually with English translations - phew!
Written June 12, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Palace of Tears - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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