Berlin is so jam-packed with landmarks, museums and good falafel joints, it’s difficult to work out how you’d fit everything in one trip. Especially film fans, as we might have the added desire to check out our favourite Hollywood film locations in Berlin.
When I visited Germany for the Berlinale Film Festival in 2016, I attempted to hit as many Berlin film locations as possible. Lucky for me, many of the filming locations in Berlin are landmarks themselves. And some filming locations are utilised again and again for different Hollywood films. Here are all the top Hollywood film locations in Berlin, Germany’s capital city.
P.S. If you’re wondering where Atomic Blonde (2016) is on this list, don’t panic! Atomic Blonde filming locations are all listed on this blog post here.
Hollywood Film Locations in Berlin
1. Underneath Savignyplatz station as seen in Cabaret (1972)
Where: Berlin Savignyplatz station, S-Bahn, 10629
Bob Fosse’s popular film Cabaret was shot entirely in Germany and set in Berlin. Other filming locations include the Bavaria Studios in Munich and Lübeck as well as the Tiergarten neighbourhood of Berlin.
One scene, in particular, is when Sally screams as a train passes overhead. This was shot underneath the S-Bahn station Savignyplatz.
2. Checkpoint Charlie as seen in Octopussy (1983)
Where: Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117
James Bond sure does get about a bit. But then, you would if you kept reincarnating every few years. Octopussy sends Bond to India, Cuba and several places in the UK. But, he also pays Germany a flying visit.
This must be one of the most recognisable Hollywood film locations in Berlin. On the tail of a circus troop performing in Berlin, Bond masquerades as a furniture salesman to pass into East Berlin, which he does at Checkpoint Charlie. It’s still a super popular tourist destination.
3. Oberbaum Bridge as seen in The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Where: Oberbaumbrücke, 10243
The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) and Jason Bourne (2016) have all shot in Berlin. Sometimes, Berlin is used as a stand-in for other countries. None more so than The Bourne Supremacy. In this Bourne film, Berlin also acts as the Netherlands, Russia and Italy.
And that’s why there are so many Bourne filming locations in Berlin, including the filmed-to-death Messedamm underpass (more on that later). But one of the most notable landmarks is Oberbaum Bridge. After Jason Bourne arrives in Berlin at Ostbahnof station, he jumps in a taxi which drives across this bridge. It’s a fabulous piece of architecture complete with turrets and one of the best Berlin landmarks in the film.
4. Bendlerblock as seen in Valkyrie (2008)
Where: Bendlerblock, 10785
The film is a depiction of the rebel Nazi soldiers who plotted to kill Adolf Hitler and take control of the country. So, naturally, the film was shot in Berlin to maintain maximum authenticity.
The Bendlerblock building complex and the courtyard is the real-life location of where the co-conspirators were assassinated after their plan was thwarted (sorry, spoilers!). Today, there is a German Resistance Memorial Centre in the building complex.
The production almost didn’t get permission to film in Bendlerblock because of Tom Cruise’s casting as high ranking Nazi officer von Stauffenberg. Since Tom Cruise is a Scientologist and Scientology is considered a ‘dangerous cult’ in Germany, officials weren’t too happy. Eventually, the film was greenlit and filmed all over Berlin.
5. Café Einstein as seen in Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Where: Café Einstein Stammhaus, Kurfürstenstraße 58, 10785
Even though most of Inglourious Basterds was set in France during WWII, most of the filming took place at Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam.
‘Chez Maurice’ where Shoshanna is summoned to meet Josef Goebbels isn’t in Paris, or France at all. It is actually Café Einstein Stammhaus in Berlin. The café has a Viennese style and does apparently serve very nice strudel, which is what the characters eat in the film.
6. Spreepark as seen in Hanna (2011)
Where: Spreepark, Kiehnwerderallee 1-3, 12437
Did I mention I auditioned for the lead role in Hanna? Just mentioning it in case you’re one of the very few people I haven’t told.
Hanna filmed all over Europe but its final scenes were set in Berlin. This film also shot scenes in the legendary Messedamm Underpass and Babelsberg Studios but also Spreepark, an abandoned theme park in Berlin. Formerly known as Kulturpark Plänterwald, the theme park closed in 2002 after 33 years of operation. This might be the most interesting Hollywood filming location in Berlin. Definitely, a fun one to visit!
7. Brandenburg Gate as seen in Unknown (2011)
Where: Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz, 10117
Unknown shot exclusively in Germany and features some cracking Berlin landmarks. One of the first in the film is the famous Brandenburg Gate, now an iconic symbol of unity between all sides of Berlin.
Liam Neeson’s character passes the Brandenburg gate on his way to Hotel Adlon. The hotel is literally right next to the Brandenburg Gate and is infamous for being the hotel where Michael Jackson held his youngest son off the balcony, The Lion King (1994) style, and almost dropped him.
8. Berlin Crematorium as seen in Cloud Atlas (2012)
Where: Berlin Crematorium, Südostallee 55, 12437
Yes, an actual crematorium. Somewhere that cremates people. This might be the most unusual on my list of Hollywood film locations in Berlin but also, weirdly, one of the prettiest. Berlin Crematorium has won architecture awards for its awe-inspiring interior.
Cloud Atlas used the space for a Somni’s execution scene, so it’s in keeping with the use of the real-life location in a morbid kind of way.
9. The Reichstag building as seen in The Fifth Estate (2013)
Where: Reichstag, Platz der Republik 1, 11011
I really am loving just how many famous landmarks we’re ticking off whilst we look at all the Hollywood film locations in Berlin. Apart from a few famous WWII memorials and museums, we’ve basically hit them all!
The Reichstag is a parliamentary building in Berlin. Granted, it’s exterior was only seen briefly at the beginning of The Fifth Estate. But I’m totally counting it.
10. Krampnitz Barracks as seen in The Monuments Men (2014)
Where: Krampnitz Barracks, 14476, Potsdam
Okay, so the Krampnitz Barracks aren’t technically in Berlin, they’re just outside in Potsdam. But this is a really cool filming location! It’s a military complex built by the Germans between the World Wars. After World War II, it was used by Soviet troops until it was abandoned for good in 1992. You’ll have absolutely no problems visiting the bombed-out army barracks because that’s exactly what it is, abandoned.
The barracks were also used as a Hollywood filming location in Inglourious Basterds, Valkyrie and Enemy at the Gates (2001).
11. Messedamm Underpass as seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)
Where: Messedamm underpass, Internationales Congress Centrum (ICC), Messedamm 22, 14057
You knew it was coming, and here it is! A random carpark/underground tunnel underneath a conference centre, that happens to be painted orange, has been filmed for so many Hollywood films. Not only has it been shot for The Bourne Supremacy, Hanna and now The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 but also Atomic Blonde (2016) whose filming locations I’ve listed here in full. And I’m sure many others I don’t know about!
The Hunger Games moved most of it’s production to Berlin for the last two films, creating a different tone to the previous movies. The Messedamm Underpass stood in for the subway system underneath the Capitol.
12. Glienicke Bridge as seen in Bridge of Spies (2015)
Where: Glienicke Bridge, Königstraße, 14109
Speilberg’s cold war film Bridge of Spies took authenticity to the next level. During the Cold War, actual Russian and American spies were traded on Glienicke Bridge which is exactly where filming took place for the trade-off in Bridge of Spies. I guess the film is named after the bridge.
This is probably my favourite out of all the Hollywood film locations in Berlin because obviously Speilberg is the absolute boss and made sure he filmed on the actual bridge. Also, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (another absolute boss) came to watch the filming.
13. Sony Centre as seen in Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Where: Sony Centre, Potsdamer Straße 4, 10785
Finally, the last film on my list of Hollywood film locations in Berlin is a Marvel film! Quickly becoming one of the most well-travelled franchises since James Bond.
The Sony Centre in Berlin acts as the UN Conference in Vienna (so, not actually Vienna) which suffers a bomb attack and the King of Wakanda is killed.
Have you ever visited any of these historic landmarks/Hollywood film locations in Berlin? Let me know in the comments below!