For local football fans, Berlin’s Olympiastadion means just one thing – the home of the city’s leading Bundesliga club Hertha BSC, fondly dubbed the “Old Lady”. And when those fans get into position on the Ostkurve fan block terrace, they are ready for a roller-coaster of emotions – ninety minutes that can take them from the depths of despair to wild cheering and the joy of another match won.
There is a very special atmosphere when 74,475 enthusiastic fans gather in the fully sold out stadium – but the legendary Ostkurve terrace is always reserved for the blue and white colours of the Hertha fans as they fire on their club!
More than just football – Berlin’s Olympiastadion hosts top-flight sporting events and concerts
Berlin’s Olympiastadion is more than just the home venue for the Bundesliga football club Hertha BSC:
- In 2006, the Olympiastadion hosted the World Cup final, and in 2009 the World Championships in Athletics
- In spring, the stadium regularly hosts the German DFB cup final;
- Every September, the athletes in the annual ISTAF international track and field meeting enjoy a rousing welcome;
- In August 2018 athletes fought for medals at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin.
- And even as a recreational athlete, you have the chance to run through this legendary stadium – for example, at such events as the B2RUN or BIG25.
In summer, Berlin’s Olympiastadion is transformed into an open-air stage for the some of the world’s top events. The many legendary bands and musicians playing here over the past years have included such names as the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Robbie Williams, Depeche Mode and Coldplay.
Exploring the history of Berlin’s Olympiastadion
From 1934 to 1936, during the Nazi era, the old stadium on this site was demolished and a new stadium and sports complex built as the venue for the 1936 Olympic Games. Inspired by the clear geometric forms of sports’ arenas in the classical world, architect Werner March created a stadium capable of holding an audience of 100,000 people.
Today’s Maifeld is just one part of the Reichssportfeld (Imperial Sports Arena) planned by the Nazi regime as a site for propaganda events. The sports and events complex constructed for the Olympic Games also included the Waldbühne venue, designed like an ancient amphitheatre. In 1936, the Waldbühne was the site of the Olympic gymnastics competitions. Today, it has become a much-loved open-air concert venue, surrounded by green spaces.
Anyone visiting the Olympic Stadium complex is sure to visit the Glockenturm – the bell tower –, especially renowned for its amazing views. The lift whisks you to the top of the tower for a panoramic vista out across the nearby Maifeld and stadium to the city or over the Waldbühne to the woodlands beyond.
The eleventh Olympic Games took place from 1 to 16 August 1936. After 1936, another 20 major events were held at the Reichssportfeld, including the 1937 German football championship, the state reception for Mussolini and various sports festivals. At the beginning of the Second World War, the Reichssportfeld, which was partially set below ground level, was converted to a bunker, a production site for detonators, a storage area for munitions, food and wine, and a back-up radio broadcasting site.
A history trail on the Olympic site has 45 panels in English and German offering a fascinating insight into the complex’s origins and development down the years, as well as information on the historical art works from the early years of the Nazi regime.
On event-free days, you can explore the impressive stadium itself, either with an audio guide or as part of a guided tour. On live tours, you can also visit sectors normally off-limits to the public, including the locker rooms, underground warm-up halls, and the VIP areas.
At the turn of the millennium, extensive modernisation work began while the sporting events continued. The lower ring was renovated and 13 luxury boxes were added to the upper ring. Today, the total capacity is 74,475 seats. On 1 August 2004, there was an official reopening ceremony for the Olympiastadion. Without doubt, one of the highlights in the history of the new Olympiastadion Berlin was its hosting of the 2006 World Cup Final. The German Cup Final has been held here since 1985, and it is the home stadium of Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga.
How to get to the Olympiastadion and more details
Generous parking is available on non-event days. During major concerts and sporting events, parking is limited. The stadium can also be reached quickly and conveniently by public transport on the U2 line, the S5 S-Bahn line or a number of bus lines.
Olympiastadion Berlin Visitors’ Centre
The Olympiastadion is not just an attraction for football fans. Many people are familiar with the five-star stadium from television as venue for sports events and concerts. With the guided tour, you can take a look behind the scenes at the stadium and its facilities.
Have you ever been in a dressing room?
With or without a guide – everyone can explore the stadium in their own way. There are various panels with information about the Olympiapark site. For those who want to take a peek inside the players’ dressing rooms and the VIP area, there’s a 60-minute guided tour. Your guide is certain to have some inside information which will surprise even football experts. There is a special tour for Hertha fans to find out all about their club.
Tickets are available here at visitBerlin. There is an extra discount if you have a Berlin Welcome Card.
The recommended entrances are the East and South gates. There are wheelchair spaces in blocks C/D, G/H, J/K, N, Q/R and S/T, as well as accessible toilets.
Information for schools
- 60-minute guided tours of the Olympiastadion for school classes and two adults are available for €160.
- The topic can be architecture, sport or history.
- Tickets for pupils to a Hertha BSC match can be bought at a reduced price.
- Several times a week, the Hertha players take part in public training sessions which can be viewed for free
Find further information here