A Street Artist's Paradise: The Teufelsberg in Berlin

When people think of Berlin, they can't help but connect the city with the war, and wall that followed. This often leads to them plunder through the city visiting places like Checkpoint Charlie. However, off the beaten track there is something that holds more authenticity and history than any of those remade and created spots in the city. The Teufelsberg (eng. Devil's Mountain)

Berlin Teufelsberg
On the top of the mountain - which is less than 120 mighty meters - are the remains of the U.S. listening stations but unlike any of the tourist attraction in the city center, this has been left to its own devices after it had been abandoned.

The History of the Teufelsberg 

The Teufelsberg, as much as the city itself, has a varied history, which begins by the fact that it is not a mountain at all but at its center is nothing more than hill made from the debris that followed after World War Two, and buries a Nazi military-technical collage underneath - which they had been unable to demolish with explosions prior.

In 1961, the NSA started to operate the listening station on the Teufelsberg - which consisted of the structure you are going to find, and the iconic towers. After a fair bit of espionage the station had to be abandoned due to the German reunification.

Nowadays the hill is home to a lot of greenery because the government planted trees and flowers during a beautification project. There has also been an attempt at building a hostel on the mountain. In the end, it remains largely untouched with the exception of slowly decaying spy towers.

However, the place has not fallen into complete disuse. Graffiti artist use it as a free wall, and decided that this would be a place to share and practice their art.

Teufelsberg Berlin

Getting to the Teufelsberg

... by car is relatively easy. Simply make your way onto the B2 (Herrstraße) in Berlin. Then head west until you are roughly at the same height as the train station Herrstraße. Take a turn into "Teufelsseestraße" and follow it until you can see the spy station and the parking lot.

There are in fact two parking lots: one is at the foot of the hill and rather small but free. Meanwhile, another is right next to the station but it is going to cost you 5€ to park your car there. Should you chose to save those 5€ to buy ice cream instead, it takes about 20 minutes on foot until you reach your destination.

Seat Ibiza
To avoid the Berlin traffic, you can also chose to go by public transport. The easiest way would be, to elbow your way onto the train on the Ringbahn The S41 and S42 make their rounds on it in a five minute interval during the day - S41 goes clockwise, while the S42 goes counter clockwise. Use it until you read the station "S Messe Nord/ICC."

Then transfer to either the bus line M49 or 218 heading west - that is on the same side of the street as the exit of the train station. Then you stay on it for seven stations until you reach "Flatowallee/Olympiastadion." Afterwards, it is a small hike that brings you up to the station. With small I mean roughly 45 minutes. While hiking shoes are a bit over-kill, trainers are a great tip.

Exploring the Teufelsberg 

Once you get there, you have to pay an entrance fee of 5€ - or 10€ if you want to take any photos other than with your phone camera - and sign a legal disclaimer, so that you can't hold them accountable for any injuries that may occur.

While this sounds a bit extreme, the reason becomes clear quite soon. Unlike museums which are build to keep everyone save and comfy, the Teufelsberg is just what it is: an abandoned place with little to no security. There are piles of old woodwork lying around, you can wander down steeper hills, abandoned construction sights, and even try to sneak inside a building. When you injure yourself, it is your own fault.

However, this is what makes this place great. It has been left to its own devices and evolved naturally. All the history that is lying before your feet is actually what it had been years ago, and now the ravages of time had started to show. Personally, I adored that atmosphere!

Aside from that, there is a lot of graffiti art as you wander along the premise. Some are smaller painting, while others cover whole gigantic walls.

Teufelsberg Berlin
It creates a mixed atmosphere between historic and rebellious new art. The area consists of four larger structures:

The entrance building with its stacks of abandoned woodwork:

Teufelsberg Berlin
The main complex that includes the spying tower:

Teufelsberg Berlin
The listening tower itself, even though, when I had been there, it was not accessible to the general public anymore due to fire regulations. Shame.

Teufelsberg Berlin
And the abandoned building sight, which you can reach after a minor climb down a slope but it provides one of the most peaceful places in the whole area.

Teufelsberg Berlin
However, what simply could not be overlooked and had always drawn our attention had been the spying tower. It is simply a great sight, with an aura of history and the fact that it is not restored or kept in peak conditions - including fire regulations - makes it all that more special.

Teufelsberg Berlin
Overall, the Teufelsberg provides a spectacular place that mixes history with modern art. It had been one of my favourite places in Berlin, and perfectly captures the city's essence by mixing these two aspects.


  1. I've never even heard of the Teufelsberg but what a fascinating slice of history. How wonderful that it mixes the old and the new and what an atmospheric place to visit. I also think it's great that it's been left as is - over here it would have probably been turned into a restaurant or something! Fab guide, thank you for sharing :) Lisa x

    1. Thank you so much! It was a very secret tip from my co-worker and I am super grateful. Even my friend who lived in Berlin hadn't visited it before ;)

  2. I have so many thoughts! First of all, I'm mad that I didn't know about this place when I visited Berlin in 2016, although I'm fairly sure my teachers would have forbidden me to go as we were on a college field trip (the year before they'd had to put rules in place to keep me from visiting Slovakia while we were in Vienna). Second, I love the mix of history, art and adventure. €10 is currently a lot for me, but I'd definitely pay that money now that I know just how amazing the place looks. Third, I need friends who wouldn't mind climbing hills and abandoned buildings with me XD

    x Envy
    Lost in Translation

    PS You think they'd let me scribble some things on a wall there?

    1. I am glad you enjoyed this. And let's be honest, are they really your friends if they're not willing to climb hills with abandoned buildings with you?

      Also I think you are probably allowed to scribble on the walls, if you're still able to find a free spot. I don't think they have any rules - aside from respecting the art - but someone there could help you more Xx


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