This post covers the Berlin TV Tower (Fehrnsehturm), the city's 203 meters (667') observation deck, including tips on tickets, discounts, and planning your visit. Or you can just order skip-the-queue tickets here.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
When you’re in the center of Berlin, you cannot miss it, with its iconic silver sphere on a slim concrete column and the red-and-white antenna on top. At 368 meters (1200 ft.), it's Germany’s tallest structure. It's one of the city's most visited attractions, so a bit of advanced planning is in order if you would like to avoid wasting time.
In this section, we cover the best times to visit (below), a brief explanation of ticket options, info on security and prohibited items, how to get here and other things to do in the area.
Hours of Operation
Visit the TV tower any day of the week and enjoy a 360′ view of Berlin.
- 9:00 a.m. to midnight (March through October)
- 10:00 a.m. to midnight (November through February).
Last entry is 22:30 (10:30 pm)
Best Times to Visit
It's important to start off by saying that the TV Tower doesn't appear to have very long queues even when the attraction is busy. Reviews on TripAdvisor seem to indicate that walk-up ticket purchasers face wait times of usually between 30 - 60 minutes on average to enter the tower.
As one might expect, the Tower is busiest on weekends with Fridays and Mondays also drawing higher numbers.
If you are coming on a weekend, we recommend visiting before 11:00 am or after 19:00 (7 pm), otherwise, we recommend purchasing a fast track ticket. Read the fast-track reviews.
Weekdays, especially Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are the best days to visit if you can. It almost doesn't matter when you come, but if you are here during the peak summer months, then keep in mind that midday is the busiest.
Sunset is a popular time and due to Berlin's location, sunsets can be really early in the winter and late in the summer. Check out Berlin's sunsets schedule before booking.
There are several ways to visit, either with a standard timed-ticket, a priority, skip-the-queue ticket, or you can purchase a ticket to the slightly higher, 207 meters (680') rotating restaurant.
If you purchase tickets at the tower, you will get the next available timeslot, so you may end up waiting 30 minutes (or more) before entry.
We detail these ticket options plus ways to save up to 50% in our ticket section.
Visitors should be wary that wheelchair users and people with limited mobility, such as those who are unable to move without assistance or crutches, are unable to enter the tower.
Entry requires consent to a bag check and is not possible whilst carrying food, animals other than guide dogs or large items of luggage. Be sure to check out our post on short-term luggage storage in Berlin.
How to get to the TV Tower
The Fernsehturm (TV tower) is situated next to the Alexanderplatz, at a major public transportation hub also called Alexanderplatz. It's best to just use this Google Maps link for directions to the Tower.
The TV tower is located on the western side of the elevated S-Bahn tracks, close to the city red hall. The entrance and ticket office is towards the right side of the Starbucks coffee shop.
The TV Tower is very centrally located that it makes a lot of sense to combine a visit to the Tower with several other popular Berlin attractions, many of which are also part of several tourist discount passes.
Here are some of the most popular.
- The DDR Museum
- Alexander Platz
- The Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)
- Museum Island
- The Berlin Aquarium
- Hackescher Markt
TICKET + DISCOUNTS
First, keep in mind that children 4 and younger enter free of charge. Ticket prices depend on the service that you desire. We also recommend reading about the discounts available to you before paying full price. You can browse all of the ticket options and read reviews here.
If you decide to buy the tickets for the rotating restaurant called "the Sphere", you will have access to both the view from the restaurant and the view from the observation deck below it.
- €15.50 - Adults
- €9.50 - Children (4-16)
Fast Track (skip-the-queue) Tickets
- €19.50 - Adults
- €12.00 - Children
Rotating Restaurant Inner Table
- €19.50 - Adults
- €12.00 - Children
Rotating Restaurant Window Table
- €23.50 - Adults
- €15.00 - Children
There are many discounts available to you. Several Berlin tourist discount passes offer discounts or free admission to the TV Tower as well as other popular Berlin attractions and tours.
- Fast-track tickets are included free with the All-Inclusive Berlin Welcome Card as well as the Berlin City Card.
- Students get 20% off just showing their valid ID.
In Need of Better Broadcasting
In 1952, during an international conference on broadcasting in Stockholm, the GDR, a state which was recognized by few other states, received only two TV-frequencies with low performance. Using several small radio masts was only a temporary solution; a tall TV tower was needed.
But it took the country more than 10 years to finally opt for the site in the center of Berlin. And the government wanted more than just a tower to place the antenna; it wanted a masterpiece. A tall one. The Berlin TV tower was the first to have a globe. Other famous TV towers have more cylinder-shaped main pods.
Beloved Symbol of Berlin
The TV tower is more than a tall antenna, an observation deck and a restaurant with a view. It’s what the East German regime always dreamt of: a modern, internationally renowned building, showing off what architects, engineers, and workers can achieve together in a socialist society.
The sphere is also an expression of the “space craze” of the 1960s. After the Soviet achievements with the launch of the first satellite, the globe-shaped “Sputnik” in 1957, and Yuri Gagarin as the first human in outer space, everything outer space was highly in fashion in the GDR.
The GDR had more than a dozen stamps with the TV tower and the 100-DDR-Mark-bill bore it as well.
The TV tower is still pretty much in fashion today. It’s used in German TV and advertising and the American movie “The Bourne Supremacy” from 2004 shows it in several shots. For the World Cup 2006, which took place in Germany, the sphere was transformed into a giant soccer ball.
Some Trivia on the TV Tower
Due to the diamond-shaped tiles of stainless steel that clad the sphere, there is the reflection of a golden cross on the main pod on sunny days. People in West Berlin used to call the cross “the Pope’s revenge”, in East Berlin people sometimes said: “a plus for socialism”.
When the TV tower was opened in 1969, the height was 365 meters (1,197 feet), only the renovations in the 1990s let it “grow” another 3 meters (9').