Soaring 368 metres into the sky, Berlin’s TV Tower is the city’s most visible landmark. But the tower on Alexanderplatzis not just literally a must-see sight, it is also the highest building in Europe open to the general public. And from the dizzying height of its viewing platform, you have spectacular 360-degree panoramic views out across the entire city – and beyond!
History of the TV Tower
The Berlin TV Tower was inaugurated on 3 October 1969 – shortly before East Germany held its twentieth anniversary celebrations. For Walter Ulbricht, then East Germany’s head of state, the TV Tower, constructed in just four years, was emblematic of the communist system's superiority – unequivocal evidence that the GDR was building a better future. The tower was designed by Hermann Henselmann and the group of architects around Fritz Dieter, Günter Franke and Werner Neumann in the state-owned enterprise Industrieprojektierung (Ipro) Berlin. For a time, the executive manager for the entire project was Gerhard Kosel, then President of the GDR’s Deutsche Bauakademie in Berlin.
East Germany, though, has long been history. But the TV Tower is still drawing the crowds – and is ranked among the top sights in twenty-first century Germany. After German reunification, the TV Tower took on an entirely new significance. No longer just a symbol of East Germany, the TV Tower quickly became an integral element of Berlin’s new cityscape, and soon came to symbolise the city – both nationally and internationally.
In 1979, during the days of East Germany, the TV Tower was already classified as a heritage building. Today, it welcomes over one million visitors annually from 86 countries. The viewing platform, over 200 metres up, offers spectacular views of this bustling city with its heady mix of history, cutting edge modernity and change. The TV Tower’s aptly named Panorama Bar and revolving Sphere Restaurant are also ideal places to linger over drinks and refreshments and enjoy the breathtaking views.
Berlin’s revolving restaurant – without queuing
Clear early morning skies – and not a cloud in sight? Then it’s time to hop out of bed and head for the TV Tower. For this popular tourist sight, the early riser really does skip the queues for the lift, especially on sunny days. And that avoids those long waiting times which children (and adults!) can find so tiresome. But whether you are an early riser or not, it’s always worth checking the weather beforehand – and booking fast track tickets. Our tip: Book e-tickets – and choose the time for the lift which suits you best!
If you’re planning to make the most of your visit and enjoy the spectacular views of the city from the revolving Sphere Restaurant, then online booking is really a must. The restaurant offers a wide range of tasty international cuisine, as well as selected children’s menus including chicken dishes and ice cream!
A bird’s eye view of Berlin – and beyond
In just 40 seconds, the express elevator in the TV Tower whisks guests to the observation platform high above the city. The fantastic panorama of the cityscape from here includes many of the city’s well-known sights, from the Reichstag Parliament building to the Olympic Stadium or the decommissioned Tempelhof airport. Through the coin-operated telescopes, you can explore the city below in detail and even see the wind turbines turning out in the surrounding countryside. The display panels set around the observation platform are marked with the key sights help you to identify buildings, parks and gardens.
Back down on the ground, you can find a great selection of posters, T-shirts and other items in the TV Tower gift shop, all decorated with one of the most iconic symbols of this reunited city – and providing a wonderful memento of your visit!
Information for school classes
To avoid long waiting times, school classes can make a group reservation on the TV Tower homepage. Since the TV Tower is a popular sight, you will need to reserve in good time.
TV Tower – Accessibility
For the TV Tower, the safety of all its guests is a top priority. Unfortunately, the tower as designed in the 1960s was not planned for accessibility. Wheelchair users or visitors with limited mobility are referred to the Accessibility information on the TV Tower homepage.