One of my favourite things about Berlin is its history. Yes Berlin has many museums, and is very well known for it’s clubbing reputation. But one of the things that intrigues me the most are the abandoned parts you’ll find hidden around the city.
When I visited last summer I got a taste for it when visiting Tempelhof. An airport abandoned in 2008, that was built by the Nazi’s in the mid 1930’s. You are unable to go inside but you can cycle around the airfield. After reading more about abandoned places last summer I knew that the next time I visited I had to explore a few.
Spreekpark was an entertainment park in the Berlin district of Treptow, formally part of the GDR-controlled West Berlin when the wall was up. It opened in 1969, and was the only park of it’s kind in either East or West Berlin. However, in 2002 it closed it’s door due to extreme debt and drug smuggling.
First thing you should know is that as of 2014 all tours of the park were stopped due to an arson attack, so if I wanted to get in I knew I’d have to sneak/break in. I read up a little online beforehand about people climbing over or under the fences. Many said this was doable but be careful of the guards on patrol, and beware of any dogs that the guards will have with them. This didn’t phase us that much so we got up bright and early ready to sneak in.
We got there and walked around the outside of the park looking for somewhere to sneak in. This was a terrible idea as we managed to talk ourselves out of going in. Partly because there were signs everywhere saying “Do not enter. Danger of life and limb” and partly because I am a massive wimp who doesn’t like being told off. So nope we weren’t going in, we (mainly me) chickened out.
Till, we met Astrid. A travel blogger who (cleverly) hadn’t read much online and didn’t give a crap about the guards or rumoured dogs. She asked if we were sneaking in and did we all want to explore together. Adam and I mumbled a little, and without hesitation she said “I’m jumping over, I’ll wait 5 minutes in that bush for you, after then I’m leaving.” And under the fence she went. Adam and I looked at each other, smiled and over we went.
As I was jumping over my heart was beating so bloody fast. I don’t remember much except jumping over, then running as fast as I could into the bushes. We started to slowly wander and within 5 minutes saw a guard. We dived into some bushes next to the abandoned bumper cars.
I cannot tell you the last time I felt scared of getting told off by someone. Looking back now it’s hilarious, but at the time I was petrified. Once we’d waited 5 minutes till the guard had gone we continued exploring.
We spent 2.5 hours in the park and it is the best thing I have done in Berlin so I am so glad we met Astrid. Sometimes all you need is someone to tell you to stop being a fool and have fun.
Up next was Teufelsberg, a man-made hill that covers a Nazi military-technical college. On top of this hill sits a former US listening station. This story does not have as much drama as the previous one because in the late 90’s a group of investors bought the former listening station area from the City of Berlin with the intention to build hotels and apartments. That didn’t happen. Instead they now charge tourists €7 to get in and look around. Don’t get me wrong this spy tower was still incredible to look around but did not have the fear factor of Spreepark.
The first thing I noticed when I started walking around was the graffiti.
You can also tell people party here as there were empty glass bottles everywhere. Also this hole in the wall DEFINITELY looks like a DJ booth.
Now onto the Spy Tower. My favourite thing about this place was that you could only get to the top of the tower via a pitch black concrete staircase with signs like this.
See, a spy tower! Hi Berlin.
Visiting these 2 places was hugely inspired by finding this website, Abandoned Berlin, which I highly recommend looking through. (If abandoned creepy shit is your thing of course). One of the things I did not get time to explore was this abandoned hospital. Always next time :)
P.S If you haven’t already, be sure to take a read of my other Berlin post.