Why visit Spreepark in Berlin
Concealed within the lush greenery of Treptow Park lies the abandoned Spreepark. For years, this former amusement park has been neglected and is now overgrown with weeds. Touring the discarded wonderland will reveal a macabre cast of characters; swan boats with frozen faces, fun cars sporting comically moustached heads, life-sized dinosaurs broken and graffitied, water slides with broken boats, a rusted roller coaster with shrubs shooting between its rails and the forgotten ferris wheel which looms over all of Spreepark. All the defunct rides invite investigation, telling a tale of a fun park which fell from grace.
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 objects, things that bought amusement and excitement to families being completely eaten up by nature. Very calm and atmospheric. Amazing photo opportunities. 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.
Learn the story behind the abandonment of Berlin’s favorite amusement park on this 2 hour guided tour. The dilapidated rides ensnared by foliage offer both an amazing atmosphere and surreal photos. The only place for a glimpse back to an era of GDR fun.
Spreepark Berlin history
Birth as Kulturpark Plänterwald
Spreepark Berlin began its life in 1969 as Kulturepark Plänterwald. It was the only permanent amusement park in the former East Germany. Constructed in only 7 months as a status symbol for the GDR’s 20th anniversary, the theme park was an unrelated mix of mediocre attractions and thrill rides on an asphalt lot. Despite its eclectic nature, visitors flocked en masse with the amusement park attracting 1.7 million visitors a year. Sadly, in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, so too did the state-owned ... Show more
Birth as Kulturpark Plänterwald
Spreepark Berlin began its life in 1969 as Kulturepark Plänterwald. It was the only permanent amusement park in the former East Germany. Constructed in only 7 months as a status symbol for the GDR’s 20th anniversary, the theme park was an unrelated mix of mediocre attractions and thrill rides on an asphalt lot. Despite its eclectic nature, visitors flocked en masse with the amusement park attracting 1.7 million visitors a year. Sadly, in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, so too did the state-owned Kulturpark Plänterwald.
Spreepark Berlin Rise and Fall
Norbert Witte and his family moved to Lima in Peru in 2002, taking with them 6 attractions under the ruse of the need for repair. He opened another amusement park in Lima, however, it also was a financial failure. Witte’s wife, now struggling to feed their family, returned to Germany with 4 of their 5 children.
Witte got in contact with a local Peruvian drug cartel and arranged to smuggle 180kg of cocaine to Europe in the hollow masts of the Flying Carpet ride. In 2003, he left his eldest son, Marcel, who was unaware of the illegal contents, to manage the shipment from Peru, while Witte returned to Germany. A member of the drug cartel was an undercover agent and both men were arrested for drug trafficking. Witte was convicted in Germany and sentenced to 7 years in a low security prison, 4 of which he served. But the real tragedy befell Marcel, who was sentenced to 20 years in one of Peru’s worst prisons.
Berlin Spreepark Movie Makers, Party Shakers and Myth
With debts of over €11 million, Spreepark has fallen into disrepair. The remaining of the attractions are suffering the ravages of time as nature slowly conqueres their space. The surreal atmosphere has attracted many urban explorers, photographers and even Hollywood, with the final showdown of the movie Hanna being filmed in Spreepark.
Bar 25, Berlin legendary nightlife institute, has its eye on Spreepark to re-open in a new location. However, Bar 25 was also soon to discovered that they would not be the first to reopen the park for a party. The venue was rented out for the electronic music festival Luna Land and Bar 25 lost all interest. Many other groups have also expressed an interest in buying Spreepark, however no plan have been approved.
Once released from jail, Norbert Witte once again took over management of the park, living in a trailer on the rundown grounds. A small area of the park, named Cafe Myth, is now open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays and the old Spreepark train is running again, albeit only once a weekend.
No set hours
Time to visit
S8, S9, S85 to Plänterwald
Kiehnwerderallee 1-3, 12437 Berlin, Germany