• tip english
  • The Queen’s Gambit: 12 locations from the Netflix series filmed in Berlin

tip English

The Queen’s Gambit: 12 locations from the Netflix series filmed in Berlin

Since its release in October 2020, Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit has stirred up some serious hype — in Berlin and beyond. Based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, director Scott Frank and screenwriter Allan Scott developed the drama mini-series into a plush vintage sensation. The seven episodes revolve around unexpected chess prodigy Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Harmon — from her childhood in an orphanage, where she learns her first moves, to her ascent to the elite ranks of a male-dominated sport.

Die Hauptrolle der Beth Harmon in der Erfolgsserie "Das Damengambit" spielt Anya Taylor-Joy. Foto: Netflix Medien-Center
Anya Taylor-Joy plays the lead role of Beth Harmon in Netflix smash The Queen’s Gambit. Photo: Netflix Media Center

Beth Harmon is played by Anya Taylor-Joy, star of US psychological thriller Split and its sequel Glass, as well as UK series Peaky Blinders. Although The Queen’s Gambit is set mainly in Lexington, Kentucky, many of the backdrops might seem a little…. familiar. Most of the series was, in fact, filmed in Ontario, Canada and Berlin. Our beloved city masquerades as the US, Paris, Moscow and Mexico at various points throughout the series. So, without further ado, here are 12 Berlin locations featured in The Queen’s Gambit. *(Spoiler alert!)*

The hotel in Paris

At the start of the series, lead character Beth Harmon is in Paris. Photo: Netflix Media Center

Paris 1967… or Berlin 2019. In the opening scenes of The Queen’s Gambit, Beth Harmon is in a Parisian hotel. However, the film was actually shot in Berlin — in Haus Cumberland, a grand hotel on Kurfürstendamm built in the early 1920s.

Until the end of 2019, the ground floor was home to Café Grosz, a meeting place for celebrities, business types and Berlin’s high society. With its many old mirrors, ornate picture frames and gently worn accessories, the café has a special charm reminiscent of a Viennese coffee house or Art Nouveau brasserie. The perfect setting for a luxury French hotel.

  • House Cumberland Kurfürstendamm 193-194, Charlottenburg

The girls’ orphanage

Drehorte Damengambit: Nach dem Tod ihrer Mutter kommt Beth ins Christliche Mädchenwaisenhaus Methuen Home. Foto: Clemensfranz/CC BY-SA 3.0
After the death of her mother, Beth is taken to the Christian girls’ orphanage ‘Methuen Home’. The location was shot in Germany. Photo: Clemensfranz/CC BY-SA 3.0

The filming location for Methuen Home, the Christian girls’ orphanage where Beth lives after the death of her mother, is Schulzendorf Castle. The old manor house from 1889 is located in the Brandenburg district of Dahme-Spreewald on the outskirts of Berlin.

The Renaissance-style square tower that juts out of the building was digitally reworked for the series, as it looked too much like medieval Europe.

  • Castle Schulzendorf Dorfstraße 15C, Schulzendorf

Ben Snyder’s Department Store

Beth’s shopping trip with Alma, her adoptive mother, at Ben Snyder’s. Humana Secondhand & Vintage Kaufhaus in Berlin was used as the location in The Queen’s Gambit. Photo: Netflix Media Centre

In the second episode, Beth visits Ben Snyder’s Department Store with her adoptive mother Alma (Marielle Heller). The exterior shots of the shop were filmed in Toronto, but the interior shots feature vintage clothes store ‘Humana’ at Berlin’s Frankfurter Tor.

  • Humana Secondhand & Vintage Kaufhaus Frankfurter Tor 3, Friedrichshain

Henry Clay High School in Lexington

Beth nimmt an einem Schachturnier in der Henry-Clay-Highschool teil. Foto: Netflix Medien-Center
Beth participates in a chess tournament at Henry Clay High School. Photo: Netflix Media Center

Although there’s also a real-life Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky, the Max Taut School in Berlin-Rummelsburg was used as the setting for the series. The educational complex, built between 1927 and 1932 to the designs of German architect Max Taut, is one of the largest school buildings from the Weimar era.

  • Max-Taut-Schule Fischerstraße 36, Rummelsburg

The Hotel in Cincinnati

Fans der Serie kommt das bekannt vor: Der Meistersaal ist ein geschichtsträchtiger Raum für Kunst und Musik. Foto: Wikimedia Commons/A. Savin
Fans of the series will be familiar with this interior: the Meistersaal is a historical room for art and music. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/A. Savin

To participate in an open chess tournament, Beth travels to Cincinnati with her mother Alma three times in a row. However, the hotel scenes were actually filmed in Berlin, not Ohio. Berlin-Spandau, to be precise. The shots for the hotel lobby were filmed in Spandau town hall.

The room with the wood-panelled ceiling is the Meistersaal, a listed chamber music hall dating from 1910. In 1976, Meisel Musikverlage (Meisel Music Publishers) acquired the property on Köthener Straße where the hall is located. The Meistersaal, renamed Studio 2, became the headquarters of the Hansa recording studios and was used by artists including David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Iggy Pop, Jon Bon Jovi, Nick Cave and many more. Today the historic hall in Kreuzberg, near Potsdamer Platz, is a popular venue for events.

  • Rathaus Spandau Carl-Schurz-Straße 2–6, Spandau
  • Meistersaal Köthener Str. 38, Kreuzberg

Hotel Mariposa

Das Palais am Messe-Funkturm ist Ausstellungskomplex, Veranstaltungslocation – und Filmset für "Das Damengambit". Foto: Imago Images/Uwe Steinert
The Palais am Funkturm is an exhibition complex, event space — and film location for The Queen’s Gambit. Photo: Imago Images/Uwe Steinert

Hotel Mariposa in Las Vegas is the venue for the US Open in episode three of The Queen’s Gambit. However, the location was also shot here in Berlin — at the Palais am Messe-Funkturm. The exhibition complex from the 1950s had to be modified slightly for the scenes — palm trees were placed at the entrance, as seen from the summer garden, and another building was added digitally.

The Palais am Funkturm houses Berlin’s largest ballroom, complete with extendable staircase and height-adjustable chandelier. The perfect backdrop for an opulent hotel in the city of casinos.

  • Palais am Funkturm Hammarskjöldplatz, Charlottenburg

The Aztec Palace Hotel

Friedrichstadt-Palast is a revue theatre famous for its modern stage technology. In The Queen’s Gambit it was the Berlin location for a Mexico hotel. Photo: Imago Images/Manngold

Episode four, The Aztec Palace Hotel in Mexico — or the foyer of Friedrichsstadt-Palast in Mitte. Built in 1984 and listed since 2020, the Palast has evolved from circus to playhouse to variety theatre. Today, the show palace stages all-singing, all-dancing spectacles with over a hundred performers and cutting-edge lighting.

It’s here that Beth Harmon first meets the young Russian, Georgi, and maestro Vasily Borgov.

  • Friedrichsstadt-Palast Friedrichstaße 107, Mitte

US Championship in Ohio

Das Damengambit: Beth nimmt als einzige Frau an der US-Meisterschaft in Ohio 1967 teil. Foto: Netflix Media-Center
Beth is the only woman to take part in the US Championship in Ohio in 1967. Photo: Netflix Media Center

In episode five, Beth participates in the US championships in Ohio, 1967. The scenes were filmed on the grounds of the Evangelische Hochschule Berlin in Zehlendorf. The EHB is a training and research institution in the fields of social work, health and education. In 2004 the university celebrated its centenary and is thus one of the oldest training centres for social professions in Germany.

  • Evangelische Hochschule Berlin Teltower Damm 118-122, Zehlendorf

The café in Paris

In der Eingangshalle des Bode-Museums auf der Berliner Museumsinsel steht ein Reiterstandbild von Friedrich Wilhelm I. – ein Drehort in der Netflix-Serie "Das Damengambit". Foto: Imago Images/Michael Kneffel
In the entrance hall of the Bode Museum on Berlin’s Museum Island is an equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm I — one of the scenes from The Queen’s Gambit filmed in Berlin. Photo: Imago Images/Michael Kneffel

In the penultimate episode of the series, Beth returns to Paris. Apart from Haus Cumberland, which served as a location for the first episode, the shots for the sixth episode were filmed mainly in the Bode-Museum on Berlin’s Museum Island. This magnificent gallery specialises in Byzantine art, sculptures, medals and coins. The entrance hall of the museum, featuring an equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm I, was used as a backdrop for the Parisian café-restaurant.

  • Bode-Museum Am Kupfergraben, Mitte

The Moscow tournament

The 1968 Moscow Masters Chess Tournament was filmed in the Bärensaal at Altes Stadthaus. Photo: Netflix Media Center

The championship tournament of 1968 — Beth is in Moscow. Or not. The scenes weren’t actually shot in the Russian capital, but in the Bärensaal of the Altes Stadthaus in Berlin. The administrative building in Berlin-Mitte was built between 1902 and 1911. In the past, the town house served as the registry office headquarters for Mitte — today the city administration for interior affairs is based here.

  • Altes Stadthaus Klosterstraße 47, Mitte

The hotel in Moscow

A block of flats on Karl-Marx-Allee serves as the backdrop for the hotel in Moscow. Photo: Imago Images/STPP

The façade of the Moscow hotel is actually a block of flats on Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin, which runs from Alexanderplatz to Frankfurter Tor, where it turns into Frankfurter Allee. The architecture of the Friedrichshain section is dominated by Soviet classicism — with the Prussian influence of Karl-Friedrich Schinkel.

The Panorama Bar of Kino International, also located on Karl-Marx-Allee, serves as the hotel restaurant. The cinema opened in 1963 and hosted glamorous premieres in the GDR until 1990.

  • Kino International Karl-Marx-Allee 33, Mitte

The final scene

Im Finale von "Das Damengambit" trifft Beth in Moskau noch einmal auf ihre Schachgenossen. Foto: Netflix Medien-Centrum
In the finale of The Queen’s Gambit Beth meets her chess mates once again in Moscow. Photo: Netflix Media Centre

In the final scene, Beth walks through the streets of Moscow and meets her chess-playing peers. The scene was also shot on Karl-Marx-Alle, in the Rose Garden. The park in Friedrichshain was laid out in the early 1950s. On June 16th, 1953, a protest by construction workers began here, which eventually led to a nationwide popular uprising with strikes, demonstrations and protests throughout the GDR.

  • Rosengarten Karl-Marx-Allee 103, Friedrichshain

Berlin is overflowing with historical locations — from Flughafen Tegel and its unlikely reign as Berlin’s favourite airport, to Prenzlauer Berg with its surprisingly dark and murky past. And don’t forget Berlin’s abandoned hospitals, ballrooms and other spooky locations fit for a horror film.

Berlin am besten erleben
Dein wöchentlicher Newsletter für Kultur, Genuss und Stadtleben
Newsletter preview on iPad