This post lists 11 locations in Berlin to get a great overview of the city.
We include observation decks, church towers, helium balloons, a victory column, and even a spy station built on WW2 rubble.
Berlin TV Tower (Berlin Fernsehturm)
With its recognizable silver sphere on a skinny concrete column and the red and white antenna on top, the Berlin Fernsehturm is impossible to miss when you're in the middle of Berlin.
It is the highest building in Germany at 368 meters (1200 feet), with an observation deck at 203 meters (over 665 feet).
Two advantages of this observation deck are that it’s inside and is open late.
The disadvantage is the price. It’s the most expensive observation deck in Berlin by a wide margin.
Visit the TV tower any day of the week and enjoy a 360′ view of Berlin.
- 9:00 a.m. to 23:00 (11:00 pm) (March through October)
- 10:00 a.m. to 22:00 (10:00 pm) (November through February).
The last entry is 30 minutes before closing.
There are numerous ways to visit, including with a regular-timed ticket, a priority, a skip-the-line ticket, or a ticket to the 360-degree revolving restaurant at a slightly higher elevation of 207 meters (680 feet).
Tickets start at €25.50 for adults, but the entrance is free or discounted with one of Berlin’s tourist discount passes.
Read our post on visiting the TV Tower, where you can get additional planning tips.
Panoramapunkt is an outdoor viewing platform that gives you a 360° perspective of Potsdamer Platz.
This observation deck is located at the top of Kollhoff Tower, about 100 meters (328 feet) above the streets of the city.
Famous locations including the TV Tower, Berlin Cathedral, Museum Island, and more can be seen from the top.
Once inside the tower, you will use the quickest elevator in all of Europe to ascend to the 25th level in under 20 seconds.
Panoramapunkt has different hours depending on the season.
No matter when you choose to visit, the last entry will be 30 minutes before closing time.
- Summer Hours: 10:00 am - 20:00 (8 pm)
- Winter Hours: 10:00 am - 18:00 (6 pm)
There are two different types of tickets you can purchase at Panoramapunkt: General Admission and VIP and there are discounts available through several of the city's tourist discount passes.
- €13.50/Adults | €11/Reduced
- €29.50/Family (2 Adults + 4 Children)
- Children under 6 are free
General Admission Tickets
- €9/Adults | €7/Reduced
- €19/Family (2 Adults + 4 Children)
- Children under 6 are free
Read our post on https://freetoursbyfoot.com/panoramapunkt-berlin/, where you can get additional planning tips.
Reichstag Building Dome
Although this observatory reaches just 47 meters (155 feet) in height, it nonetheless offers a relatively good perspective of the city.
Since admission to the dome and viewing platform is free, they are the most affordable options among the city's true observation decks.
History buffs might be more interested in seeing the Reichstag Dome because it is one of Berlin's most historic sites.
You can also take a free tour of the Reichstag Building itself.
There are 4 ways to get tickets to visit the dome:
- advanced reserved
- same-day tickets
- tickets as part of a guided tour (this last one isn't always free).
- reserve a table at the terrace restaurant
The Dome is open most days of the year.
Visiting hours: 8 a.m. to midnight. The last admission to the Dome is at 20:00 (10 pm).
For more information, read our post on how to get tickets to the Reichstag Building and dome.
Die Welt Balloon
This option, operated by Berlin Air Service, which also operates helicopter tours, is yet another option to enjoy fantastic views of Berlin.
However, it's quite a unique option, and not for the faint of heart.
When you board this balloon, you'll soar to a height of 150 meters (500 feet), giving you a clear view of the city's core.
The fire-resistant, helium-filled, captive balloon is tethered to the ground by a steel cable and a 10-ton winch.
It should be simple to incorporate this before or after a historical tour because it is close to Checkpoint Charlie.
This 15-min experience is arguably the most exciting way to get a view of the entire city.
Crowds could be an issue in the warmer months with this choice due to the small size of the viewing platform. The basket has a 30-person capacity.
The major disadvantage is that this service's tickets cost a little bit more than those for Panoramapunkt and TV Tower, €29/adult.
Another disadvantage is that you are completely exposed to the weather with no recourse until the balloon descends.
Berliner Schloss Humboldt Forum
The new Berliner Schloss (Berlin Palace), once the seat of the German Emperor, has been rebuilt following its destruction following the Second World War.
Today, it is the home of the Humbolt Forum, a hub for discussion, exchange, and culture.
There is also a rooftop terrace that is roughly 30 meters (98 feet) that wraps around most of the building.
Though not as high as other observation points mentioned here, the terrace affords sweeping views of Berlin.
And it’s free, but reserved tickets are required.
For more information, read our post on how to get tickets to the Humbolt Forum rooftop terrace.
Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)
It is the largest church building in Berlin and one of the largest Protestant churches in Germany.
The huge cupola with its height of 75 meters (225 feet) and diameter of 33 meters (100 feet) makes you think of the Dome in Florence or even St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
And like at St. Peter’s, you can climb to the top of the dome for wonderful, 360-degree views of Berlin.
The Dome is open to the public every day from 10 am through 5 pm.
Learn more about the Berliner Dom and how to visit.
The more adventurous visitors can elect to climb the 285 steps inside the 67-meter-tall Siegessäule “Victory Column".
The Siegessäule, which was created in the 1870s to mark the end of the Prusso-Danish War of 1864, is one of Berlin's most well-known monuments and a favorite sight for tourists.
Visitors can ascend to the summit for a few euros and enjoy a spectacular panorama of the Tiergarten and the surrounding area.
While not free, the entrance ticket to the top costs only €4 per adult and €3 for seniors, students, and other concessions.
Französischer Dom (French Cathedral)
The Französischer Dom is part of an ensemble that makes up Gendarmenmarkt, a notable square in the centre of Berlin.
Although its name includes Dom, which means cathedral, the name actually only refers to the tower.
A climb of 284 steps brings you to the top of the tower, where an observation deck provides you with a 360-degree panoramic view of Berlin 40 meters (131 feet) above street level.
Tickets are just €6.50 for adults with concessions available and include entry to the interesting Huguenot Museum.
This radio tower located just to the west of the center of Berlin offers panoramic views of the city from 127 meters (416 ft.) above street level.
There is also a restaurant located 55 meters (180 ft.) above the ground with spectacular views as well.
It's located near the Messe Convention Center, so it could be the go-to option for those attending events hosted here.
In fact, it's often only ticket holders to events can purchase tickets to the Funkturm.
Tickets cost €8/adult and €4/concession.
And do note that the tower and restaurant are closed in the winter, opening on April 1st of each year.
Teufelsberg stands for Devils Mountain, a manmade hill created out of the rubble of Berlin from the Second World War.
During the Cold War, it became the grounds of a US National Security Agency (NSA) spy station.
And on this hill, is a rooftop terrace on the top of a tower, affording a 360-degree panoramic view of West Berlin.
In addition to the views, Teufelsberg is also an open-air street art gallery, an innovative use of the ruins of this unique Berlin landmark.