Due to the resounding success of the new Netflix show: The Queen's Gambit, chess is suddenly very popular! Chess boards are selling like hotcakes, a good tip if you need a nice Christmas present!
If you are not a born chess talent yourself but are still very much a fan of the series, then a city trip to Berlin might be a better investment! The story is largely set in the United States with a number of scenes in Mexico, France and Russia, but what you may not have known: the series was mostly shot in Berlin.
Many of the iconic halls, high ceilings, and impressive buildings featured in the series can be found in Berlin. To make the scavenger hunt in Berlin a little easier, we have listed a number of important film locations for you.
Let us know if you have spotted any other locations! A little disclaimer: not all locations are open to visitors.
The place where little Beth grew up and the place where she first learned to play chess from the grumpy janitor. This charming hideaway, Schloss Schulzendorf, is located just outside Berlin in Schulzendorf (Dorfstraße 15C, 15732 Schulzendorf).
Ben Snyder's Department Store
This is our personal favourite. Just like in the series, this beautiful fashion house is also a clothing store: HUMANA Secondhand & Vintage Kaufhaus (Frankfurter Tor 3). This is the perfect place to score beautiful vintage clothing and feast your eyes on the bizarre items that you can sometimes find here.
The Hotel in Cincinnati
Hotel Cincinnati is the first "fancy hotel" where Beth and her mother check-in for a chess tournament (Cincinnati Open) and where Beth takes her first major cash prize. These scenes from episode 3 were shot in two different locations: the hall of the communal house in Spandau (Rathaus Spandau Carl-Schurz-Straße 2–6, Spandau) and the Meistersaal (Köthener Str. 38, 10963 Berlin).
This is the location where the scenes of the nerve-racking US Open in Las Vegas were filmed. The open space and the iconic staircase are especially recognizable! The Hotel Mariposa is actually the Palais am Messe-Funkturm (Hammarskjöldplatz, 14055 Berlin), a classic 1950s ballroom that can now be booked for events.
The Aztec Palace Hotel
The Aztec Palace Hotel in Mexico City is where Beth has some really intense moments! These high-profile scenes were shot in the beautiful Friedrichstadt-Palast in the centre of Berlin. This theatre is THE place for glamorous shows and spectacular performances by famous artists. This is a real must-see during a city trip to Berlin!
The tournament in Paris
The nerve-racking scenes of the tournament in Paris were also not shot in Paris itself, but in Berlin. The photo below is inside the Bode Museum (Am Kupfergraben, 10117 Berlin). This stately museum first opened its doors in 1904 and is now part of the Staatliche Museen in Berlin. Nowadays you can admire beautiful Byzantine statues, sculptures and a collection of special coins and medals. This museum is also an absolute must in Berlin!
The tournament in Moscow
The Moscow Invitational, the tournament it's all about! Here Beth plays against the very best chess players in Russia. This impressive hall is called the Bärensaal and is located in the old town hall (Altes Stadthaus, Klosterstraße 47, 10179 Berlin) near Museum Island. This room can now also be rented for events.
The hotel in Moscow
During the tournament in Moscow, Beth will stay in a typical Russian hotel whose facade can be recognised in the buildings on Karl-Marx-Allee. This street (full of old Soviet buildings) runs all the way from Alexanderplatz to Frankfurter Tor and used to be THE shopping street of East Berlin.
On the street in Moscow
Beth finally manages to win after a mega exciting match against Borgov and is the very best in the world afterwards! She will celebrate this in Moscow by going into the city on her own. Here she returns to the park where a number of older men are playing chess. Here she is welcomed as a winner and she cannot resist playing a game. This amazing scene takes place in Der Rosengarten on Karl-Marx-Allee (Karl-Marx-Allee 103, 10243 Berlin) and is a wonderful place to relax in the sun, especially in summer.
So even more reasons to put Berlin on your do-to list! Besides the film locations from the Queen's Gambit, there is of course much more to see! Click here for offers to Berlin.