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“Strangely interesting ”
Review of Berliner Spreepark

Berliner Spreepark
Ranked #102 of 373 Tours in Berlin
Attraction details
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Strangely interesting ”
Reviewed 14 October 2013 via mobile

Unfortunately we went there on a weekday when it was closed, but we were able to walk along the parameter and have a glimpse of the abandoned and decayed theme park. Even if you don't have the $$ to take the tour, it's worth walking around in the surrounding beautiful forest and having a peek through the fences as you stroll. Very interesting indeed.

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Thank Cassyrulz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
69 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“A symbol of what is "cool" in Berlin”
Reviewed 1 October 2013

The abandoned amusement park has the trashy flair of what is cool in Berlin. I was a family dream gone wrong do to amateurism and strange business decisions. It's been closed since 2001, having been in business for about five years. In the middle of the Treptower Park, the remaining atractions were covered with vegetation. Our guide was the daughter of the family who owned the place, and grew up there. The tours are ony in German and she talks a lot (very well, but maybe a bit too much). So if you are bothered by the fact you will not be able to understand, take the train instead, which takes about 15 mintures (the tour takes 2 hours). If you ate not bothered, take advantage of the time when the guide is talking to make pictures before the crowd disperses. We were told they are finally tearing down everything in the end of 2013. The Court should have decided by then what to do with the place.

Visited September 2013
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Thank Cainha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Interesting & unusual”
Reviewed 28 September 2013 via mobile

One of Berlin's most unusual "attractions", an abandoned amusement park with lots of strange scenes and surprising views behind almost every corner. Only 4 stars because the guide was a German speaking stand-up comedian and a lot of her info/stories was lost on me. But the photo opportunities fully outweigh that drawback. The small train costs 3 € and the walk 15€, a bit steep but acceptable. Open Saturdys & Sundays only.

Visited September 2013
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Thank MatthiasMar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
94 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
“Unique and atmospheric”
Reviewed 6 April 2013

Spreepark is a derelict, abandoned amusement park. To enter the park without a tour guide is a crime (breaking and entering), and there are security guards chasing the many people who break in to take nicely post-apocalyptic moody photos here. However, there are now tours on most weekends. These tours are in German only - but you get to walk around much of the park and there are many opportunities for photography and soaking up the atmosphere.

Much of the tour narrative is about the history of the park, and the family of carnies who used to run and own it. It's a bafflingly complex tale, full of lawsuits and business deals and anger at misrepresentations in the popular press. It is fascinating stuff, but, aside from the operatic last chapter (what some members of the family did after the park closed), it is not very atmospheric.

In short, if you don't speak German, you'll not miss much that would add to the visual experience of strolling through an abandoned, derelict, overgrown amusement park, next to a river and a park, in the shadows of industrial chimneys and power stations across the river...

Some of the park decorations are stunningly sinister: the flower beds are all shaped like coffins for toddlers, while one of the cafes features a life-sized giant sculpture of a dying elephant, bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds and half-submerged in quicksand. However, the park was not meant to be a scary / gothic place - whoever picked the decor back then must have been totally bonkers. On a more cheery side, there is a fake fairy tale town, all the boats are shaped like swans. The giant ferris wheel screeches a continuous lament and turns in the wind, while the dinosaurs have fallen over, and there are little uber-creepy go-karts all over the park, shaped like moustache-wearing heads wearing monocles (and looking surreal and unsettling). I have never been to Spreepark, but the remnants of it have a surreal, incoherent, dreamlike, somewhat deranged atmosphere about them.

The park has been used as backdrop for movies and music videos (e.g. the Hollywood movie "Hannah", starring Saorsie Roardan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett) and fascinates photographers and people who like moody, derelict places with a hint of romance and madness about them.

The park is fenced and patrolled by guards, and some areas are not safe to enter. Nevertheless, there are many thousands of people breaking in every year to go for a stroll or take photos etc. - it is, however, illegal and could theoretically lead to prosecution. (During the tour, you will be accompanied by the guide and one or two guards - and the guards will leave the tour to chase people walking around the park without authorisation several times even during your tour)

Spreepark in Berlin is one of those secret gems that few non-German tourists visit. Perhaps with good reason: it is only open to visitors for special guided tours (in German) on weekends, and occasional festivals. It is, however, one of the most visually interesting things you could visit while in Berlin.

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(In case you are very curious about what the tour guide will be telling the tourists: the Spreepark history reaches back to the German Democratic Republic / Communist times. After Reunification, the local government wanted the amusement park to become a major tourist attraction. So they tendered a contract to turn the existing park and surrounding lands into a major amusement park. A German family clan of carnies / business people owning an empire of amusements took over the contract and invested millions into adding attractions. However, they did not instantly clear all the land that formed part of the lease, and left the greenery in place.

After a few years of heavy investment, they wanted to add more attractions within the leased grounds of the park and add more car parking. However, by then, the city had declared the trees and greenspaces within the amusement park's land to be newly protected areas, and refused permission to add car parking or new attractions. Without sufficient car parking, and with poor transport connections, the park floundered, and, unable to use their land as originally promised by the local government, the businessmen running the park realised it was never going to become profitable or sustainable, so they chose to terminate their contract. They removed their own (mobile) attractions.

Then, all kinds of lawsuits happened, and the park was impounded, shut down, and has been lost in legal wranglings for almost twenty years now. The way ownership of the company was structured is complex, tied up with a family and a divorce and all kinds of complexities between company and city government, so frankly, it's confusing and complicated enough to keep dozens of lawyers happily employed for decades.

The remaining attractions have crumbled and decayed. Enthusiasts try to repair some of them - the circuit railway going around the perimeter is back in operation - and some experts estimate that several attractions could be brought back into operation relatively cheaply.

The story of the family, meanwhile, took more dramatic twists and turns than the park's legal wranglings, as the father, divorced form his wife (who legally owned the Spreepark company), tried to make his fortune in Latin America, together with his son. However, his business there failed, and, desperate, he took a loan from career criminals, later being forced to smuggle drugs in order to repay them. He and his son were arrested, and while the father was imprisoned in Germany and released after serving his sentence, the son was arrested and imprisoned in Latin America, where he still is in prison to this day due to being sentenced much more harshly. The father is back out of prison, and insists his son had never known anything of the drugs (which were hidden inside an amusement lorry that was being shipped back from Latin America), but to no avail. Oh, and, long before the entire Spreepark saga, in his youth, the father was the owner of an attraction in Hamburg that suffered a disaster killing many park visitors. He'd served a prison sentence for negligence for that, long before his wife took over Spreepark, but the entire Spreepark business saga was always reported by the press in lurid colours tainted by his past.)

Visited May 2012
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5 Thank Federhirn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
176 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Atmospheric, Great photo oppurtunites, weird but strangely wonderful!”
Reviewed 3 November 2012

Spree park, an abandoned theme park in Treptower park Berlin, you can now go on tours around the park viewing all the abandoned rides and stalls. It's hard to explain the feeling, but seeing completly man-made objcts, things that bought amusement and excitement to families being completely eaten up by nature. Very calm and atmospheric. Amazing photo oppurtunities. The tour is only in German but there are about 30-50 people on the tours so if you don't speak german like me then it's fine, you can just look round and take great photos. The price is 15euro and depending on your views it' between average but bordering on over priced. I enjoyed my time walking round Spreepark and would recommend it to anyone into the more quirkier, atmospheric, off the beaten track kind of places.

Visited October 2012
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3 Thank Kayleigh T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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