Why is the Berlin Bear so prevalent in statues and signs throughout the city?

As you stroll through the vibrant streets of Berlin, you may notice a recurring symbol that captures the city’s essence: the Berlin Bear. From statues to signs, this adorable, yet powerful, figure seems to be everywhere. But what is the story behind the Berlin Bear, and why does it hold such significance? Let’s explore!

The Berlin Bear: A Symbol of the City’s History

The Berlin Bear has been an important symbol for the city for centuries. This noble creature represents the core values and rich history of Berlin. Legend has it that the city’s founder, Albert the Bear, encountered a bear during a hunting expedition, which he took as a sign to establish the city. Since then, the bear has become an enduring symbol of Berlin’s strength and resilience.

The Bear in Berlin’s Statues

When it comes to statues, the Berlin Bear is undoubtedly a star. One of the most iconic examples is the Buddy Bear – a series of painted bear sculptures that can be found all over the city. Each bear is uniquely decorated by artists from around the world, representing their respective cultures and promoting peace and harmony.

Another prominent statue featuring the Berlin Bear is the famous “Schaubude” at Alexanderplatz. This large, rotating sculpture showcases the bear juggling several objects, symbolizing Berlin’s vibrant arts and culture scene. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to gather and take pictures.

Tips for Exploring Berlin’s Bear Statues

  • Take a walking tour: Many local tour operators offer guided walking tours that highlight the city’s bear statues. They provide fascinating insights into the history and significance of each statue, making it an engaging and educational experience.
  • Keep an eye out: While some bear statues are easy to spot, others may require a keen eye. Keep a lookout while exploring the city and you may stumble upon hidden bear gems.
  • Collect bear souvenirs: The Berlin Bear has become an iconic souvenir for visitors. Consider picking up a small bear figurine or a postcard with bear-themed artwork to remember your Berlin adventure.

The Bear in Berlin’s Signs

The Berlin Bear is not limited to statues alone; it also makes frequent appearances on signs throughout the city. One notable example is the Ampelmännchen – the beloved pedestrian signal figure in Berlin. Originally designed in East Berlin, these traffic light men feature a hat-wearing bear with its arm raised to indicate “walk”. These charming symbols have become an integral part of the city’s identity.

You might also come across the Berlin Bear on street signs, indicating areas of historical or cultural importance. These signs not only provide useful information but also enhance the overall aesthetics of the city, subtly tying everything together.

Tips for Noticing Berlin’s Bear Signs

  • Look up and down: While exploring Berlin, remember to look both up and down. The bear signs can be found at eye level on buildings or at street level on signs and traffic lights.
  • Capture the details: When you spot a bear sign, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail. These signs often showcase artistic elements that add to Berlin’s unique charm.


The Berlin Bear symbolizes the spirit and character of the city, serving as a reminder of its history and resilience. Whether in the form of statues or signs, the bear is an ever-present companion during your Berlin exploration. So, keep your eyes peeled, take a closer look, and immerse yourself in the wonder of the Berlin Bear!





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