Sporthotel Hohenschönhausen

Feb 1, 202335 comments

The drugs don’t work

East Germany’s athletes were better than all the others – until the others started taking drugs, too.

The poor DDR athletes, who often didn’t know they were doped, were feted while winners, now dismissed as cheaters no matter their achievements, all tarnished through guilt by association.

Now it’s the hotel they stayed in that needs drugs. And quick! The more drugs the better. Doesn’t matter they don’t work – it can’t get any worse.

The Sporthotel und Kongresszentrum des Sportforums Hohenschönhausen really is in a sorry state, beyond salvation, thrashed, smashed, burnt, pillaged, used and abused.

This junkie is waiting for the end, the end to its suffering, the next hit, life, death, it doesn’t care, it doesn’t matter. It used to be so different. Oh, the good times seem so long ago now!

But there were good times, in another country, back in the DDR, where the sport-hotel and congress center were built toward the end of the 1970s to cater for stars of the adjoining Sportforum Hohenschönhausen complex, the second biggest sports training center in Berlin after Olympiapark.




















The sports complex, constructed from 1954, is around 45 hectares big, comprising a football stadium, gymnastics halls, ice-skating halls, indoor and outdoor facilities for athletics, volleyball, handball, judo, fencing, archery and beach volleyball.

Germans love their sports – it helps release their pent-up rage from having the verbs at the end of sentences.

Dynamo Berlin still use it, as they did during their DDR heyday supported by Stasi boss Erich Mielke. Let’s just say he pulled a few strings.

The complex was also home to the Eisbären Berlin (Berlin Polar Bears) hockey team, before they upped sticks for the new shiny fancy-pants corporate venue down beside the East Side Gallery. Not cool, Eisbären, not cool.

But there are still enough teams and people making use of the complex, apparently around 3,000 athletes every day. Germany’s biggest Olympic training center is here too.

I thought it was abandoned on my first visit until I tried making my way in only to find it well-secured, shiny, clean and impervious. Then I saw people and figured it was still in use.




















Athletes like discus champion Robert Harting or speedskaters Claudia Pechstein and Jenny Wolf train here – though none of them will go within an ass’s roar of the sorry sport-hotel and congress center, discarded and forgotten to the side.

Only rats, pigeons and zombies use it now, finding it a cheaper alternative to more comfortable and centrally located options in Mitte. Broken glass, shattered metal, shredded curtains – the shine has long gone from its achievements.

Apparently Pechstein used to eat in the congress center’s restaurant, as did swimmer Franziska van Almsick and handball player Stefan Kretzschmar among others.

“You could see them every day. They were known then too,” Eisbär Sven Felski told the Berliner Kurier. “It’s a scandal what’s happened there.”

You certainly couldn’t eat any of the food you’d find there now. The pungent scent of piss wafts blissfully through the air. No need for urine tests, there’s plenty of it.

Former DDR ice hockey Legende Hartmut Nickel told Berliner Kurier that the players would stay there for international games back in the good old days. The hotel was modestly furnished but it had all they needed. Presumably it didn’t reek of piss back then.

“The name says it all: Sporthotel! The sportsman doesn’t need Schnickschnack (bells and whistles) – he has to deliver good performances,” Nickel said. “I don’t understand how it can go down the drain.”

I’m not sure when it was abandoned exactly but it was already in a bad way in 2007-08, when Sat 1 shot some series called “GSG 9 – Ihr Einsatz ist ihr Leben” here. No doubt it was crap.

Now there are plans to knock it down and replace it with a skyscraper complex of glass and steel called “The Square 3” – not “Der Platz 3” because it isn’t cool to have German names in Germany anymore. Englisch ist viel cooler.

Construction of the three towers at a cost of €450 million (in 2013) was supposed to be already underway but bureaucratic hurdles have led to delays. Dit ist Berlin.

The sport-hotel and congress center are still waiting to be put out of their misery. Now the drugs don’t work, they just make you worse, but I know I’ll see your face again.





















  • What: Sporthotel und Kongresszentrum des Sportforums Hohenschönhausen, or the Hohenschönhausen Sportforum’s hotel and congress center, a relic of the DDR, abandoned some time before 2007 and left to rot in its own filth since.
  • Where: Weißenseer Weg / Konrad-Wolf-Straße, 13055 Berlin, Germany.
  • How to get there: Trams! The M6 goes all the way from S-Bahnhof Hackescher Markt and the M5 goes from Hauptbahnhof. Both stop right outside the door. The stop’s called Hohenschönhauser Str./Weißenseer Weg. Just walk across the road till you see the big obvious ruin on the corner. That’s it. Otherwise, if you’re not lazy or your bike hasn’t already been stolen, you could just cycle here. At least then you won’t have to wait for the damn tram to turn up, unless your bike was stolen while you were exploring. Best to bring a couple of bikes just in case.  Here it is on a map.
  • Getting in: Some unfriendly people have gone to great trouble to keep people out with a great big fence all around the property. Probably the AfD, Pegida, NDP or Frontex – they’re all big into fences and keeping people out. But thankfully there are holes in the fence through which most normal-sized humans can fit. Go around to the back of the taller building, find the hole in the fence there, go in, and go to the corner where the two buildings meet. On the opposite corner you should see a convenient little mound of wood underneath what used to be a window. That’s your way in. You’ll need to clamber over the wood and pull yourself up onto the windowsill. It’s a bit tricky but it should be manageable for most people. There’s a wooden table on the other side, a bit shaky, but it can help you get down again. Be careful! Otherwise, athletic types can climb over the planks at the staircase on the other side. It’s harder though. This is also an alternative way out.
  • When to go: Daytime is safer to avoid injury, night time more exciting if you want a party. You could potentially get onto the roof for a sunset beer, though the vistas in this part of Berlin are not exactly inspiring.
  • Difficulty rating: 9/10. Getting in is difficult – it used to be a lot easier.
  • Who to bring: DDR sports fans, your boyfriend/girlfriend if they’re impressed by Hohenschönhausen sunsets, your pet rat if he or she’d like to meet other rats.
  • What to bring: Bring a torch so you don’t trip over anything or fall down any deep holes. Jaysus, you don’t want to fall in any of them holes! Otherwise, the usual stuff – camera, sandwiches, beer, wine, wodka, Beyoncé lemonade, Hohenschönhausen guidebook, a few bowling balls…
  • Dangers: Life is full of them, nowhere’s safe, so just be careful and you’ll be fine. Of course, watch out you don’t plunge to your death, get eaten by zombies or nabbed by Polizei – just like you would anywhere else.

Many thanks for Monica for the tip, Daniel Cassus for the reminder, and Mark Rodden for proofreading again!

Keep fit, do sports



Blub was a swimming and leisure center with pools, slides and crazy stuff that was very popular before the rats noticed it too. Then it was a blubbering mess.

Strandbad Tegel

Strandbad Tegel

The abandoned status of Strandbad Tegel looks secure. Campaigners are trying so hard to reopen it that you can be sure it won’t be opening anytime soon.

Pankow Schwimmhalle

Pankow Schwimmhalle

Don’t jump in at the deep end of Pankow Schwimmhalle or you’ll land on your face with a mouthful of broken glass. No water since it was abandoned in 2002.


  1. Unknown

    do you enter the white building next to this building? it was the main part of the hotel.

  2. Spudnik

    No, unfortunately not. You’d need a good ladder and I don’t even have a bad one.

  3. Unknown

    great man thanks for the update !
    but why they put a fence around it ? do you have any informations about it?

  4. marc

    I was there beginning of March..and there was no fence at all around the property. I found a metal sort of ladder, which I put up against the window (at the backside..the side where the apartment block is), close to where the spiral staircase (the 1 in your pic) is lying in the grass. And was easy to get in…but not tat much to see inside anymore. Seems someone took the ladder away…?

  5. Unknown

    We just went there last week and didn’t have any issues. There was a few different ways of getting in. We did run into someone sleeping there, but he just yelled and we went the other way (he kept yelling, but we never actually saw him so whatever). You can get to the white/main part of the building from the caved in connection between the two. You can climb up the rubble that was part of the ceiling, get on top of the crossway, and then head over to the other building, which is considerably cleaner than the more easily accessed portion.

  6. Unknown

    You can get to the white/main part of the building from the caved in connection between the two. You can climb up the rubble that was part of the ceiling, get on top of the crossway, and then head over to the other building, which is considerably cleaner than the more easily accessed portion.

  7. Unknown

    You can get to the white/main part of the building from the caved in connection between the two. You can climb up the rubble that was part of the ceiling, get on top of the crossway, and then head over to the other building, which is considerably cleaner than the more easily accessed portion.

  8. d0ra_expl0ra

    I went in last week, it was very easy to get in, the fence was down and I just walked in. However, the reason is there’s been a massive fire, it was impossible to go from one building to the other as the roof had collapsed in the middle,so you’d have to go around from the outside and find your way in again. Also, please be careful, there was lots of asbestos lying around, exposed by the fire damage. There are people living there as it’s very easy to get in and out right now, so be respectful and stay out of their way. I had no problems, but I still felt a bit uneasy, and the fire certainly added a creep factor to the building. Great explore though ��

  9. Anonymous

    I went there today.. At first there is a quite new fence all arround so you can only enter the building at main door with the big stairs. Sadly we only were in the white building which isn’t interesting at all: tons of garbage, empty bottles, sleeping backs and crap..
    We tried to enter the main building, but because of the soccer field and the appartments you can’t get arround the whole building, without getting noticed. Like some people already wrote, the connection between the white and the main building is destroyed by a fire, so you can’t enter through that. I was a bit disappointed about my visit 🙁

  10. Unknown

    the connection between the 2 is destroyed, but because it’s destroyed, the roof caved in, and you can actually easily climb up the rubble and get on the roof between the 2 buildings and easily get to the main building

  11. Unknown

    Went today, and it was very easy to access the main building. There is an apartment building next to the structure, perhaps a student wohngemeinschaft or something, but from this vantage point its easy to breach the gate. A broken window, MAYBE 50m from this point is the best way to get in. There was a piece of wood that was easy to prop against the side of the structure to climb through the totally removed window. Cautiously we headed up through each story of the building. Creepy at night, but one should be confident that theres nothing to worry about, even though lots of sound goes through the building at night as the wind blows. Check out each level. Somebody has set up a skating area on the top level (lol). We headed to the top floor above a beautiful old theater inside the structure, which lead us to the roof. Kinda intimate, to have all that space to yourself in Berlin. Just know where you go in and out, have friends with you, and don’t be afraid of noise.

  12. AntonyM

    Went this week, and there are massive gaps in the fencing. Round the back there is a chair to stand on to get in. But… the place has really been trashed badly.

  13. Anonymous

    There are some homeless guys living in the building, got me pretty scared when I was in a dark place in the big roundish building!


  14. Spudnik

    Again, as I replied to your other comment, but I think it’s pretty important: If you encounter homeless people in these places you should leave them alone, give them a wide berth, treat them with respect and try not to disturb them. If they’re living there, it’s their home, and of course they’re not going to like intruders – just as you wouldn’t like intruders in your home. If the situation feels dodgy, leave – don’t take any chances.

  15. Unknown

    Was there today there is a new barbed wire fence and it’s all boarded up now.

  16. Unknown

    As mentionned above, don’t go. They locked up everything. It’s impossible to enter, unless you bring a very big ladder.

  17. Alice is dead

    Easy to go inside, just climb over the fance and find a open window at the back of this building. Have fun!

    …and if you do not want to climb there is also a hole under the fance at the front 🙂

  18. Dev

    Went today! You can indeed get in, but it takes a little bit of looking around and also fence hopping.
    What I did was go out back and hop the fence there. It’s a little high but not too hard as long as you are somewhat fit.
    Once inside, all the doors and windows are heavily boarded up, so it seems like there is no way to get inside. But if you walk around to the back and look around a bit you will find a boarded up section with a small hope- you can crawl through here and then you’re in!
    The place is quite big and you can spend a lot of time in here. It is completely trashed though, so there is broken glass and rubbish everywhere. Fortunately though, the floors and stuff seem to be in good shape so I never felt scared the floor was gonna break or something .You can go upstairs and even get on a couple roof sections.

  19. Dev

    *hole not hope, lol

  20. Captain Power

    Visited on the 6th of October. Big fence around it with razor wire for the most part. Not suitable for climbing over. Found a hole in the fence which you could open and close. Like a cat flap. It’s on the side of the Weissenseerweg. Found an open windows on the same side by the white building to the left. From there you enter the basement. Bring a flash light! You can enter the other building from there. Huge site but trashed a lot and on a busy street.
    Some people saw a going in but didn’t mind.

  21. Unknown

    We went today. Easy acces to the property, just go under the fence. But there is no possibility of entering the building anymore. All possible entry points have been closed.

  22. Anonymous

    Stayed there March 1969, was not too bad. Also there at same time was the Italian Football team

  23. Soul

    Hey guys i was there today. There is a big door next to the fence where the building ends with the locker that seems closed but you can enter the area of the building as the locker is broken , you just need to open the door. Then we entered from a broken window the one of the buildings. We did not have time to check out how we can get in the other buildings but for sure there is a ladder that you can see from the street before you enter the area of the buildings that can drive you to the other building. Take care because it is not in a good condition. The floor and the ground looks stable but the ladder is not in the best condition and it looks like there was fire in some parts. Guys if you visit the places of this website feel free to update with comments. It always help and saves time. Thanks abandoned Berlin for this site, hope to see new articles soon.

    • Spudnik

      Thanks for your comments Soul! For sure they will be useful to others, and it’s great that people are willing to help each other out – reassuring even, in these difficult times.
      As for the new articles, I’m working on them! Thanks again 🙂

  24. klrmlx

    Hey! First of all thank you very much for sharing your spots and recommendations, I love to use your map and to know some history about places I explore 🙂
    I tried to visit the Sporthotel on February 13th and they built a new metal fence. It’s like 2.5m high with rounded-spikes, it’s not possible to make a hole and go through. I managed to climb up on a corner (I have some climbing skills) but my friend couldn’t. We gave up and we went to Volkspark Prenzlauer Berg for the sunset (satisfying consolation prize).
    I have to try this place later 😉

  25. Mark

    Went yesterday. Current entering difficulty is 1/10.
    This place is worth a visit for sure. Unfortunately a lot of the treasure (aka ‘old rubbish’!) that you can see in the photos here has gone, but the buildings are still really interesting. The basement level seems to connect all different parts of building and there are some interesting parts to it, so a torch is recommended. Decent shoes too, as usual, lots of broken glass. The roofs are fun and can be accessed at different levels.
    Getting in is super easy. There’s an impressive barb wire fence, but don’t be put off – up in the north east corner of the complex, by the car park to the Sporthall, there’s a gate with a lock on it… which is broken! We just walked through there. Even if someone replaced that lock there’s no fence on the southern side along Konrad Wolfe Str, and access from the East side looked easy for anyone not wanting to walk in from the main road. There’s a building site to the north which had workers leaving as we arrived, but to be honest it didn’t feel like one of those sites people are very bothered about you entering. Viel spass!

  26. Anonymous

    The reason they did build a fence was indeed that they planned to make the building next to it into cheap apartments for students, but since the city had struggled with finding places for asylum seekers back then, they made it into a place for them instead. Since the area is not always friendly and maybe partly because they didn’t trust the “newcomers”, they built fences around the abandoned building, but it has calmed down.
    I have seen that the building seems to have gotten an official visit of some sort around 1 or 2 months ago. Might not be up for that much longer.

  27. google maps

    I forgot to post a comment at the time but I was here back on the 5.7. with a friend of mine. Despite the place mostly being empty. There was definitely some work done on the building at some point, we found one corridor had all the dust and debris brought into one pile, and one room had been filled with large bags like the ones you see at construction site. We didn’t check what was in them but it was probably more rubble. The area around that room did seem suspiciously clean, like someone had swept the entire place down at some point. The upper floor of the congress center also seemed to be cleared out, but we didn’t risk going up there as we felt we would’ve been too visible from the surrounding apartments. This is also the same reason we didn’t venture on to either of the roofs.
    as stated below, entry is very easy. We entered by using a hole cut in the fence around the hotel building on the west side of the building to the right of the stairs. then we walked along the interior of the fence until the south stairwell of the hotel, where we climbed through a a broken window using some boards placed there by someone before us.
    I still very much enjoyed the visit, the lowest level of the complex feels like you’ve been buried underground with all the boarded up windows. I thought that The engine room of the hotel elevator and the kitchen of the congress center were especially interesting.

  28. Max20001212

    I went here today and yesterday (03/08/21). It’s very easy to enter into the buildings. On the backside of the white building there is a big hole in the fence and behind the fence is a open door to the white building. Both buildings are mostly empty since I think they are going to be demolished in a near future and the workers are emptying the buildings. I saw a room full with white construction bags. It’s still a amazing place and I would highly recommend it for everyone who hasn’t been there yet. Entering the hotel building is also very simple. When you enter into the white building there are stairs at the end of the corridor to the right. Upstairs there is a passage to the hotel building through a big hole in the wall. Hen I was there I didn’t see anybody in the buildings and it seems to be secure. Going there requires a good flashlight since some rooms and the basement are very dark. It’s also a but dangerous since there are holes in the floor at some points. A highlight was the bowling alley in the basement and the huge kitchen upstairs.

  29. Kevin

    Went there yesterday (04/08/2021). It’s still quite easy to enter. There are two buildings. You should definitely carry a flashlight with you (especially for the basement). All in all some cool stuff to check out (kitchen, bowling alley) but it seems, that this place will be demolished in quite some time. PS:Some people might living or sleeping there, so be careful.

  30. Kevin

    Tried to visit this place again with some friends (27/02/2022) – there are new fences so no entry possible at the moment.

  31. Anonymous

    Yup, if you don’t mind solid barbed wired fences, jumping few meters high, or bringing a ladder to get through the window, then the entry is slightly.. impossible.

  32. Anonymous

    This one had a scary vibe walking through it as there are people living inside here in random parts. Entry in the back corner towards the busy walk way, be careful 🙂

  33. Doggo

    One of the best abandoned sites in Berlin. Not super easy to enter, but possible – best way imo is to go around the building, thru the sportforum parking lot and around their little office or whatever it is, then cut across the field to the right. Behind the field there is only one fence, which is climbable (no barbed wire). From there you can see a hole in the building thru which you can get inside


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