This Mysterious Underground U-Bahn Tunnel Is Now Open For Public Tours

Going underground
Going underground | © markusspiske/Pixabay
Megan King

Urban industrial explorers and those fascinated by Germany’s wartime legacy can rejoice, as Berlin’s oldest underground tunnel has recently been reopened to the public. After 30 years in the dark, this U-Bahn tunnel has been brought back to life, thanks to Berliner Unterwelten (the Berliner Underworld Association).

Berlin’s real underground

The team at Berliner Unterwelten (the lead authority on National Geographic’s documentary, Hitler’s Hidden City) are made up of archeologists and historians committed to the aspect of Berlin’s history that can still be explored below the surface, and know a side of Berlin that very few have the chance to see. And you’ve got to love their logo, which consists of the famous Berliner bear wearing a crown, walking down the stairs and holding a flashlight.

This non-profit organisation has spent years in the belly of the city’s past, providing those with a taste for history and adventure with special guided tours through relics such as the Humboldthain flak tower and the Cold War bunkers in Wedding. The team has now added the dusty 295-metre (968-foot) U-Bahn tunnel to its list of offerings. It is located beneath the former premises of AEG, one of the city’s first electric companies.

Humboldthain flak tower

In 1897, AEG founder Emil Rathenau initiated the building of the test tunnel in order to convince city planners that an underground railway line would be the answer to the increasingly problematic amount of traffic on the city’s roads. Visionary as it was, it came to nothing, and instead the city chose a more cost-effective overground alternative, the railway line known today as the U1.

If you’re ready to delve into the depths of the city, the expedition lasts for an hour and a half, and is led by a guide with a true passion for the underground. It’s dark and clammy down there, and won’t get much warmer than 10°C, so make sure to wear good shoes and an extra layer to keep you cosy.

A tour given by the Berliner Unterwelten

It’s incredible to imagine how much history this tunnel below the earth holds, from the crystallised ruins of ammunitions built in World War I, to the time when the tunnel was made into a bomb shelter for AEG factory workers during WW2. It was also used to transport materials that needed to be moved between AEG factories.

At the moment tours are offered only in German, but there are plans to expand into English before the end of 2017.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.