I was so chuffed when I learned that 2017’s Atomic Blonde film locations were largely authentic. I can’t remember if I have ever seen a Hollywood film utilise Berlin so prolifically as a film location.
And why not? It’s a huge, multicultural city with more history than you could shake a stick at. It must be ripe with stories and of course, Atomic Blonde uses one of the most important stories from the 1980s.
It’s 1989 and the Berlin wall is about to fall. Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is an MI6 agent on a mission in Berlin to recover some secret documents and unveil an underground team of spies. Her search takes her all over the city of Berlin, East and West. The film also shot inside Studio Babelsberg in Brandenburg (as did Inglorious Basterds (2009)) which is just outside of Berlin. Budapest was where the production actually set up a replica of the Berlin Wall. And of course, a teensy bit of London got involved, too.
Besides the Studio and some scenes shot in Budapest, many of the Atomic Blonde film locations were still authentic Berlin. Let’s have a look at some you might recognise…
All of the Atomic Blonde Film Locations in Berlin
Flughafen Tempelhof Airport, Platz der Luftbrücke 5, Tempelhof, 12101
This airport is an old military airport which is now an events space. In Atomic Blonde, this is where Lorraine arrives in Berlin. Let’s just say it’s not the kind of airport Pan Am would normally fly into, and definitely not in 1989.
Messedamm Underpass, Westend, 14057
This is where Lorraine fights two Russian agents after they pick her up from the airport, causing their car to crash in this tunnel.
This underpass has received a crazy amount of publicity (you know, for a frickin’ subway station) in recent years due to the number of Hollywood productions that have shot scenes there. We’re talking The Bourne Supremacy (2004), Hanna (2011), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015) and Captain America: Civil War (2016). If you don’t believe me, The Guardian wrote a whole article on the Messedamm Underpass.
Berlin Cathedral Church/Berliner Dom, Am Lustgarten, Mitte, 10178
Okay, SO I don’t recall seeing the Berlin Cathedral in the movie. And I did keep an eagle eye out for it on my last watch. But IMDB seems confident that the Cathedral appears somewhere in Atomic Blonde. Considering it’s super near the TV tower and Alexanderplatz I have every faith that it does, at least in a passing glance. So, that’s essentially why I’ve included it on this list: blind faith in the wisdom of IMDB.
Kino International, Karl-Marx-Allee 33, Mitte, 10178
Yours truly has actually been to this cinema! You can read about it in my First Timer’s Guide to Berlin Film Festival post. This cinema is one of the prettiest in Berlin, and it’s where Lorraine watched Stalker (1979) before leaving halfway to rifle through people’s coats, the dirty thief.
It’s a 1979 film in a 1989 set movie, but since it’s an Andrei Tarkovsky film it makes sense for East Berlin.
Forum Hotel (now Park Inn by Radisson), Alexanderplatz 7, Mitte, 10178
The tower block hotel is only used for its roof, and probably because it’s so close to the TV Tower you can practically touch it. But you know, erm, you can’t really so don’t try it. You WILL die. This is where Lorraine meets Merkel, a young allied German with slicked-back hair and lots of charisma.
Berliner Fernsehturm (TV Tower), Panoramastraße 1A, Mitte, 10178
Given that the Park Inn by Radisson and Berlin Cathedral Church are in such close proximity to one of Berlin’s most iconic structures, it’s no wonder it appears in the background of one or two shots.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church/Gedächtniskirche, Breitscheidplatz, Charlottenburg, 10789
This filming location (like the three above it) appear in Atomic Blonde within quick succession of each other. Right after the film cuts away from Lorraine on the roof of the Park Inn by Radisson, a timelapse of this historic monument is on our screens. And David Percival is waiting right outside.
And I do love a bit of real-life continuity in films. A Carl F. Bucherer watchmaker shop is just down the road from the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Kurfürstendamm 45, 10719, so it’s quite feasible he’d be sneaking in a cheeky cig outside the church before walking down the road to the shop to do some spying.
One last thing…
The business card that the Russian spies give to Lorraine is for a very swanky bar she ends up visiting. The bar is called Central Cafe Und Restaurant. The address is Fasanenstraße 9-10 which, I’m sorry to say, is actually home to the Hotel Savoy in Berlin, and from the photos online it doesn’t look like the bar scenes were filmed there. Sad face! I wanna know where that bar is…
And those are all the Atomic Blonde film locations in Berlin! Have you watched the film? Let me know in the comments below!