Hidden beneath street level in Berlin is a network of darkened shelters, tunnels, abandoned underground stations, and bunkers. The Berlin Underground Museum (Berliner Unterwelten) offers tours of these secret subterranean spaces, some of which were used as air-raid shelters during World War II and as escape tunnels during the Cold War.
Access to Berlin’s underground realm is by guided tour only, and visitors can choose between several different tour routes. On one route, tour guides take participants to an underground bunker that has been left exactly as it was at the end of World War II. Other tours explore tunnels used to bypass the heavily guarded Berlin Wall, Cold War–era nuclear shelters, and a World War II flak tower (anti-aircraft tower), designed to protect against Allied air attacks.
Book tickets for a tour of your choice or opt for a combination ticket, which also provides access to an exhibit documenting the Third Reich’s blueprint for Berlin after the anticipated Axis victory of World War II. Some Berlin sightseeing and transport passes include discounted admission to Berliner Unterwelten.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tours have adult themes and are only open to participants age 7 and older. Higher age restrictions apply for select tours.
- Some sections of the underground complex remain chilly, even in summer, so bring a sweater or jacket.
- Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes with good tread, as you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet, and some surfaces may be uneven.
- Berlin Underground Museum tours are not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Berlin Underground Museum ticket office is situated at the south entrance of Gesundbrunnen station in Berlin’s Mitte district. S-Bahn lines S1, S2, S25, S26, S41, and S42, as well as U-Bahn line U8, all stop at Gesundbrunnen.
When to Get There
Tickets for Berlin Underground Museum tours can only be purchased on the tour day. Arrive early to secure a spot on a tour; in many cases, you may have to wait an hour or two until the next departing tour. Summer weekends are particularly busy, so be prepared to wait in line.
Other Underground Attractions in Berlin
While you can’t actually get inside it—the entrances have been blocked off—the site of the underground bunker where Hitler committed suicide, known as the Führerbunker, can still be seen near the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin’s Friedrichstadt district. Look out for an information panel showing the layout of the bunker. Also of note are some of the stations on Berlin’s underground U-Bahn train network, such as Deutsche Oper, which features public artworks by Portuguese artist José de Guimarães.