Alexanderplatz has always been one of the liveliest places in Berlin, with shops, cinemas, restaurants, and many attractions within walking distance.
Alexanderplatz in Mitte is one of the best-known public squares in Berlin – and it’s certainly the biggest. Named after Tsar Alexander I, who visited the Prussian capital in 1805, most people simply call it Alex.
Alexanderplatz is Berlin’s eastern centre and is an important transport junction – for the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, regional trains, trams and buses. It also has a great many great tourist attractions within walking distance, making it the ideal starting point for a sightseeing tour of Berlin.
Alexanderplatz in the 19th century
Up to the 1850s, Alexanderplatz was a military parade and exercise ground, as well as a place where local farmers sold their produce. It became a major transport junction when the railway station opened in 1882.
The construction of the central market hall in 1886 and the Tietz department store between 1904 and 1911 made the square the city’s main shopping centre. It gained literary fame around the world with Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel Berlin Alexanderplatz.
Scene of historical events
Alexanderplatz is not only a major transport junction, but also a historic site. There was street fighting in the square during the March Revolution of 1848, and in November 1989 – just before the fall of the Berlin wall – the peaceful demonstrations against the East German regime culminated here.
Alexanderplatz now and in the future
Largely destroyed in the Second World War, Alexanderplatz did not take its current shape until the 1960s. With the square converted to a pedestrian zone, it is surrounded by busy multiple-lane roads. It was during this time that the big department store then known as Centrum was built, along with the adjacent Alex-Passagen, the Weltzeituhr (world clock), the Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft (Fountain of International Friendship) and the Fernsehturm– East Berlin’s famous television tower. After the square was completed in 1971, it was often the venue for large events such as the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the GDR.
Since reunification, Alexanderplatz has been in a constant state of change: a shopping centre, a multiplex cinema, a department store, shops, hotels – more and more facilities are being built, yet there are still gaps. There are plans for several high-rise buildings around the square, but whether and in what form this project takes place has not yet been decided. Only one thing’s for certain: Alexanderplatz is still the biggest public square in any city in Germany.
Sleep in the centre of the city and wake up in pole position for a sightseeing tour. Click here for hotels near Alexanderplatz, or book your train journey and hotel together.
Parking at Alexanderplatz
Alexanderplatz is a pedestrian zone that is busy day and night. There is hardly anywhere to park so we recommend coming by public transport.
Christmas markets at and around Alexanderplatz
In the winter you will find several Christmas markets at Alexanderplatz: at the Rotes Rathaus, at the Alexa shopping centre and around the world clock. For more information on this and everything else you need to know about Berlin in winter, go to winter.visitBerlin.de.