Berlin. A city of extensive history, great beer, an incredible night life and some wall that's supposed to be worth checking out. But on my visit there several months ago, there was a new side to Berlin I experienced that spurned my sense of exploration and getting off the beaten path. Away from the great culture and main tourists spots, there are several abandoned sites throughout the city that offer a completely different perspective of the history of Berlin. These sites vary from communication outposts to old public baths and even an amusement park!
Teufelsberg, despite being abandoned is now a very popular destination for a day trip out of Berlin. It is located just to the west of the city and is easily accessed by public transport. This old listening station was built so that Western Berlin would be able to spy on Eastern Berlin although it wasn't the most inconspicuous of buildings, situated atop a hill of rubble in the middle of a forest. It does offer great views and is a pretty cool place to head off and explore. Located in the middle of a forest, you may have a little bit of a walk but once you arrive, there should be enough holes in the fence to slip through and begin wandering around.
Spree Park is an abandoned amusement park located just to the east of the city and is a short train trip away from the city centre. This amusement park has been closed since 2002 and has been a haven for explorers since then. However, the council has just recently purchased the land and put up some fencing deterring any would be trespassers to prevent any potential injury. This doesn't mean it's completely inaccessible. For those brave enough, a quick leap over or crawl under a fence will get you inside and exploring and "word" has it that even if you get caught, the security guards are quite nice and will lead you out. In their eyes, "without kids jumping the fence, we wouldn't have a job." Or so a friend of a friend of a friend and definitely not me once said. Highlights include the roller coaster carts, tea cup ride and of course, the ferris wheel which is probably the toughest to get to without being spotted.
Krampnitz Military Base
Krampnitz is one hell of a place to explore. Initially occupied by the Nazis and then later by the Soviets, this abandoned military base is enormous and could easily eat up an entire day just wandering around it. Indoor basketball courts, graffiti murals and the elusive Nazi Eagle, an incredible mosaic adorned to the ceiling are some of the many highlights you may stumble across. Do watch your step as these buildings have been in disrepair for quite some time and parts of it certainly warrant caution.
Taking quite a comfortable first place for creepiest spot on this list is the Beelitz Hospital. A large complex that is linked by kilometres worth of underground tunnels, this old sanatorium turned war hospital has seen it's fair share of stories. Operating rooms still smelling of disinfectant and rumours of ghosts wandering the corridors and tunnels are just a few of the many things one might see as they explore the dilapidated buildings. Having served as a war hospital for the First and Second World Wars, this place is rumoured to have treated Hitler after he was injured by a grenade explosion in WWI. The Soviets, just like Krampnitz eventually got their hands on it and made it the largest Soviet military hospital outside of the USSR, only vanquishing their hold on it in 1994.
Berlin Rat Baths
This public swimming complex was forced to close down when rats decided to invade but unfortunately is looking at a complete overhaul. To be torn down later this year, there are plans for luxury apartments to take its place so get in quickly while you can! Comes complete with derelict pools and water slides and, like most of Berlin, plenty of graffiti murals to go around. And I suppose it should be quite apparent but do be aware that you may come across some rats.
With most of these places, I do recommend visiting them with other people, solely from a safety point of view. Do exercise caution and discretion because there is certainly a reason these places are abandoned and nobody around to make sure they are in a safe condition. Finally, if you do decide on visiting these places, there is a ton more information on what to expect. abandonedberlin.com is a great starting point and there are plenty of blogs having detailed their own visits and adventures to a lot of the places above.