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Topography of Terror

With a plethora of exhibitions, this museum underscores the darker elements of the story of Germany.

TravelCurious Tip

There is a lot to look at, so come prepared to spend the whole morning or afternoon here. The longer you spend, the more the story starts to make sense.

From the rise of Hitler to the fall of Communism

The Topography of Terror ranks very highly in the hierarchy of Berlin museums. Located on Niederkirchnerstrasse, the museum’s buildings stand on the site of those which were the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS, the principal instruments of terror during the Nazi regime.

The exhibits explain the German experience from 1920-1945, and tell the frightening story of how such an advanced country could descend into fascism and intolerance so quickly.


Skeleton in the closet

The cellars of the Gestapo headquarters were discovered and excavated in 1987. It was here that many political prisoners were tortured and executed.

The excavation was a rare example of cooperation between East and West German researchers, and a joint exhibition was shown both at the site and in East Germany in 1989. The two sides of the wall joined forces to exorcise the horrors of the previous epoch in the liberalising years at the end of the Communist period. At the same time, however, the infamous Stasi, the East German secret service were carrying out equally horrifying interrogations.

The later construction of the new centre, a prize-winning design by the architect Ursula Wilms and the landscape architect Heinz W. Hallmann, was finished and opened in 2010. Photographs, recordings, newspapers and documents abound, presenting a detailed and important study of recent German history.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Berlin
Holocaust Memorial
The Holocaust Memorial is a stark, effective reminder of a dark chapter in the history of the world.
Führerbunker
The Führerbunker is where Hitler spent his last days, cowering with his highest commanders whilst the Soviet army slowly approached Berlin.
Checkpoint Charlie
The most famous East and West Berlin crossing point, Checkpoint Charlie unravels years of Cold War tensions.
Friedrichstraße
A major cultural hub, Friedrichstraße is the perfect street for a leisurely day's shopping.
Potsdamerplatz
A cosy spot in central Berlin, Potsdamerplatz is ideal for people-watching with a delicious cup of coffee.
Jewish Museum Berlin
The Jewish Museum Berlin is one of the largest Jewish Museums in Europe.

Related Tours

Full Day Highlights Tour of Berlin: Old & New Berlin
On this comprehensive full-day highlights tour in Berlin, you will endeavor to uncover the history of this remarkable city, and become better acquainted with its tumultuous past and driving forces that have created the metropolis that you see today. 

  • See the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate and learn about their historical and political significance over the past one hundred years. 
  • Stroll through 17th Street where you will come across the Holocaust Memorial, Hitler’s Bunker, Berlin Wall and Topography of Terror Museum
  • Enjoy a long lunch at a local spot recommended by your private guide (price not included).
  • Visit Museum Island where you’ll see some of Germany’s best museums, featuring amazing art and cultural artifacts. 
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Through this tour, you will embark on a journey through time, visiting sites that played a role as Berlin evolved from Royal city through to Imperial capital, cosmopolitan hub to Nazi bastion, and from Cold War division to its contemporary renewal and prosperity. A century of geopolitical struggle, hubris, nemesis and rebirth have marked this fascinating city from the ambitions of the Kaiser to defeats in two World Wars.  You will visit the landmarks that played a role in shaping Berlin's history.
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Full of historic gems, Berlin is a must visit for anyone wanting to become better acquainted with one of the most vibrant cities in Europe. On this half-day highlights tour, you will have the pleasure of learning about Berlin – from the beginning of the 20th century to modern times. 

  • See one of Berlin’s most iconic buildings – the Reichstag and learn about its historical and political significance over the past one hundred years. 
  • Explore 17th Street where you will come across the Holocaust Memorial, Hitler’s Bunker and Berlin Wall
  • Stroll past Potsdamer Platz – Berlin’s most important public square that houses World War II exhibitions and the Topography of Terror Museum. 
  • Visit Checkpoint Charlie – an open-air exhibit illustrating milestones in Cold War history.
Since the late 1800s, Berlin has seen triumphs and defeats. From being a formidable empire to be reckon with in the late 1800s to early 1900s, to being fully decimated after World War I, to the rise of Hitler in the 1930-1940s, to again being virtually destroyed after World War II, to being a city divided during the Cold War and finally with the Berlin Wall coming down in 1989 – it’s suffice to say the past 150 years in Berlin have been dramatic and turbulent. Through this tour, you will experience first hand, the fascinating political history of the German capital.  
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On this half-day tour, you and your family are invited to discover Berlin's imperative history in a vivid and engaging way- from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day.

  • Vetted, expert, child-friendly guide tailored to you and your family. 
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  • Explore 17th Street where you will come across the Holocaust Memorial, Hitler’s Bunker and Berlin Wall
  • Stroll past Potsdamer Platz – Berlin’s most important public square that houses World War II exhibitions and the Topography of Terror Museum. 
  • Visit Checkpoint Charlie – an open-air exhibit illustrating milestones in Cold War history.
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Your guide will adapt to what interests you: from specific facts in history, to types of weaponry and the most riveting of war stories to discussions about modern day Berlin. On this private tour, you and your family take centre stage - no large groups. Because of this your tour will much more intimate and rewarding – ask as many or as little questions as you wish and experience history in a way that is completely different to the classroom. After this tour, you and your family will have a good background into the fascinating political history of the German capital.  Not to be missed!

We built this tour because 
it invites the next generation to be well-informed of tragic events across the 20th century.
Private Walking Tour of Nazi History in Berlin
Hitler's reign of terror over Germany and much of Europe was headquartered in Berlin. On your private guided tour through those dark years, learn how he was able to amass power and how the lives of Berliners were affected.

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  • Visit the Topography of Terror outdoor museum located in the former SS Headquarters.
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On this fascinating private Nazi history tour, you will delve into Berlin’s Nazi past to understand the context of Hitler’s dark vision for the future. Walk in the footsteps of the Third Reich, visiting key landmarks from WWII and trace the developments of Hitler’s notorious regime. As you move around Berlin, your private guide will discuss the Nazi doctrine and the effect it had on the lives of ordinary Berliners. Stand on the site of the former Gestapo and SS headquarters, admire the imposing presence of Brandenburg Gate and we stroll the former Nazi Government quarter of Wilhelmstrasse. See Hitler’s Chancellery, Goebbel’s Propaganda Ministry, the Luftwaffe HQ, the Führerbunker site and imagine Heavy Bomber air-raids overhead. To conclude, the private Nazi history walking tour, you will visit Peter Eisenman’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and will ponder Hitler’s 1945 surrender and WWII’s estimated 85-million casualties world-wide. 
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