How to Take a Tour of Olympic Stadium in Berlin

This post will give you an introduction to Berlin’s historic 1930s-era Olympic Stadium or ‘Olympiastadion.’ We will also include recommendations on tickets and how to plan your visit, along with some details about what you can expect to see on a tour of the stadium.

 

 


Overview

The original plans for the Olympic Stadium were spurred by Germany’s winning of the license to host the 1916 Olympic Games, thus ensuring plans would be set for a stadium in Charlottenburg, nestled within the area’s Grunewald Forest.

However the games were canceled due to WWI, and thus the foundations of a ‘German Sports Forum’ on the eventual building site were left untouched for years.

In 1931, Germany was selected a second time, this time giving the Nazi Party an opportunity to spread its propaganda to a wider audience when they came into power in 1933.

 

Olympic Stadium Berlin

 

Adolf Hitler placed architect Werner March in charge of the building of an enormous sports complex named ‘Reichssportfeld’, including an entirely new stadium.

Construction took place between the years of 1934 and 1936. Ultimately covering 132 Hectares (326 acres) of land, the complex included various additional sporting venues such as the 50k capacity Maifeld, the 25k capacity Waldbühne amphitheater, and finally the 110k capacity Olympiastadion, complete with a special stand for Adolf Hitler and his entourage.

The only significant part of the complex to be destroyed during the war was the Bell Tower, a 77-meter tall spectacle used as an observation deck by officials. This tower contained the Olympic bell, originally designed for the 1936 Olympics. It was rebuilt by architect Werner March in 1962 using the original design.

During the final battle of WWII, the Soviet army fought to gain control of the stadium, but there wasn’t much damage caused at the time. After the fall of Hitler’s Third Reich in WWII, the stadium was briefly used as barracks for the British army, who used the Bell Tower for anti-tank target practice, as it fell within the British-run section of West Berlin.

Since then, Olympic Stadium has become the official home of Berlin’s Hertha BSC soccer team and hosts the annual German Cup.

 


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Ticket Information

If you want to take a tour of the Olympic Stadium, the price of admission will be included with your ticket price. You can find more information about the cost of this tour in our tour information section.

For those who would rather just visit Olympic Stadium without taking the tour, you are free to purchase standard admission and take a look around at your leisure.

That said, it is important to note that there are some areas you cannot visit without a professional tour guide.

 

Jesse Owens Lounge

 

TIP: Admission to Olympic Stadium is included for free with the Berlin Pass. If you plan on seeing other famous sites in the city, this is a great way to save money on several different activities.


Self-Guided Tour Tickets

  • €8/Adults | €5.50/Concessions
  • €4/Children (6-14 years old)
  • €16/Family Card (2 adults and 3 children)
  • Concession pricing is available for students, disabled people, and groups of 10 or more visitors

Purchase or learn more about Olympic Stadium tickets

For an additional €2 per person, you can get a multimedia guide. This guide is available as an app and headset which – in conjunction with your phone – function as a GPS.

The entire audio tour will last between 75-100 minutes, so even if you can’t make the guided tour, you can still learn a lot about the stadium while you’re here.

Multimedia guides are accessible until 2 pm from November – March until 4 pm from April – October, and until 5 pm in August.

They are also included for free when you purchase your tickets ahead of time.


Along with the tours offered at Olympic Stadium, you can also purchase tickets for the nearby Bell Tower (Olympia-Glockenturm) to get an incredible view of both the venue and the city of Berlin. Admission for this attraction is very reasonable, but it is a separate cost which you will have to pay for individually.

TIP: If you’re more interested in seeing various sites around the city center, you may want to consider an alternative observation deck such as Panoramapunkt, Berliner Dom, the TV Tower or the Reichstag Dome.

Olympic Stadium also offers tours on days when there are no other previously scheduled events. These tours will allow you to see locations that are usually off-limits to self-guided visitors. If you want to experience more of the stadium and learn more about its history, this tour is an excellent opportunity.

The cost of admission is included in the price of this tour.

Highlight Tour Tickets

  • €11/Adults | €9.50/Concessions
  • €8/Children (6-14 years old)
  • €24/Family Card (2 adults and 3 children)
  • Concession pricing is available for students, disabled people, and groups of 10 or more visitors

Purchase tickets for the Highlight Tour

This is the most frequent tour offered at Olympiastadion, but there are a few others you may want to consider. For more details about both the highlight tour and other excursions, make sure to read our tour information section.

 


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Plan Your Visit

This section will provide a plethora of information to make your trip as fun and easy as possible. We will include information about hours of operation, best times to visit, what to expect and how to get there.


Hours of Operation

If you plan on seeing a game or attending an event at the Olympic Stadium, the hours of operation will depend upon the organizers of that event. Guided tours of the stadium won’t be available on these days. If you are interested in taking the tour, you can expect the following hours.

  • Stadium Hours: 9 am – 7 pm
  • Tour Hours: 10 am – 6 pm
  • Tours are offered hourly
  • Tour hours may vary

During some days and at certain times of the year, tour availability may be reduced to once every two hours. For more details on opening hours, make sure to check the official Olympic Stadium hours of operation.

If you want to visit the nearby Bell Tower (Olympia-Glockenturm) as well, you can expect slightly different hours.

  • March 30th – October 31st
    • 9 am – 8 pm
  • November 1st – March 29th
    • 9 am – 6 pm

For more details about the Bell Tower, visit our ticket information section.

To learn more about Olympic Stadium tours, please read our tour information section.


Best Times To Visit

Visitors who are planning to come for the stadium tour probably won’t have to worry about large crowds. Due to the fact that they don’t offer these tours during special events and game days, you’ll always be visiting during off hours when few people are likely to be in the stadium.

Olympiastadion Popular Times

The typical hours at Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Image Source: Google.com.

As you can see, there really aren’t any bad times to come during weekdays. Most major events take place on or around the weekends, so you can expect a much larger crowd at those times.

Tour groups are kept to a maximum of 30 guests, so you can rest assured that you probably won’t have much trouble getting around during this activity.

Bell Tower Popular Times

Olympiastadion Bell Tower hours. Image Source: Google.com.

If you plan on visiting the nearby Bell Tower (Olympia-Glockenturm), you can expect things to get crowded every now and then. In particular, the late morning appears to be a very popular time for this attraction.

Sunset is one of the best times to visit the Bell Tower, as it isn’t very crowded and you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy wonderful views of the city and Olympic Stadium. 

 


What To Expect

You are greeted upon entrance to the visitor center with an introductory film (in English). After this, you will be allowed access to explore the stadium yourself or potentially take a guided tour if there are open spots.

Not only do their guided tours provide historical information about the location, but you will also be allowed to visit certain places that are off-limits to visitors who choose to explore the stadium on their own.

If you want to visit the stadium’s Bell Tower (also known as Olympia-Glockenturm), you will need to pay an additional €5 for admission to the site. This service is separate from the Olympic Stadium tour and you will need to purchase another ticket for it. The Bell Tower offers exciting views across the stadium and the city of Berlin.

TIP: Visitors looking for an alternative may want to consider going to an observation deck such as Panoramapunkt, Berliner Dom, TV Tower or the Reichstag Dome.

Olympic Stadium tours will take about one hour, but you could spend even more time looking around on your own. As a result, you should plan on being here for between 1-2 hours.

If you plan on visiting the Bell Tower as well, you should set aside another 30-60 minutes for that activity.

One of the few persistent complaints about the stadium is the refreshment prices; a single small coffee costs €3.10. If you plan on going during lunch time, consider getting something to eat either before or after your trip to Olympic Stadium. Unfortunately, outside food is usually not allowed inside Olympiastadion.

If you would like to consider attending a major event such as a sports match or concert at the stadium, check out their official website for event dates.

Online reviews state that the atmosphere tends to be very exciting when Berlin’s local soccer team Hertha plays, though many reviewers criticise the sound quality of concerts. One occasional criticism online is that smoking is allowed inside the venue, which may be a nuisance to some visitors.

 


Security

No bags of any kind are allowed inside the stadium, and according to online reviews, the wait to rent a locker for one’s bag can take some time. If you want to avoid the wait altogether, consider using one of the many bag storage services available in Berlin.

Visitors should also be aware that – like many Berlin venues – Olympic Stadium is a cash-only venue, so be sure to visit an ATM beforehand.

All significant areas are wheelchair-accessible, but there are no wheelchair rentals available on-site. Prams are allowed in the stadium, but it is important to note that you may need to carry them up some stairs depending on where you want to go.

Photographs are allowed for private use, but you will not be allowed to take photos for commercial use unless you obtain permission from the press office. You will not be allowed to record the entire tour.

 


How to get to the Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium is accessible by various modes of public transportation, each of which leaves visitors with a short, clearly signposted walk to the gates.

 

How to Get to Olympic Stadium Berlin

 

The under and overground train station ‘Olympiastadion’ is served by the U2 U-Bahn line and S9 S-Bahn line. Each line provides direct travel times of roughly half an hour from central Berlin stations such as Friedrichstraße and Alexanderplatz.

If you look at the map above you will see that the U-Bahn and S-Bahn exits for the station are in separate locations. The ‘P’ denotes parking.

 

 


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Tour Information

Whenever there are no scheduled events, Olympic Stadium offers fully guided tours. Depending on when you choose to visit, tours will take place either hourly or once every 2 hours.

No matter when you choose to arrive, you’ll have the opportunity to look around many of the open areas of the stadium at your leisure both before and after the tours. For more details on hours of operation, check our plan your visit section.

Highlight Tour Tickets

  • €11/Adults | €9.50/Concessions
  • €8/Children (6-14 years old)
  • €24/Family Card (2 adults and 3 children)
  • Concession pricing is available for students, disabled people, and groups of 10 or more visitors

Purchase tickets for the Highlight Tour

English-language tours which last between 60-75 minutes can be booked either ahead of time or on-site. If you want to avoid sold out tours, you should purchase your tickets before arriving.

Apart from the highlight tour, there is also a premium option which lasts for a total of 2 hours and includes a guided walk through Olympiapark. If that isn’t of interest, you may also want to consider their Hertha BSC tour which focuses on the football team that calls this stadium home.

Premium Tour Tickets

  • €13/Adults | €11.50/Concessions
  • €10/Children (6-14 years old)
  • €28/Family Card (2 adults and 3 children)
  • Concession pricing is available for students, disabled people, and groups of 10 or more visitors

Purchase tickets for the Premium Tour

Hertha BSC Tour Tickets

  • €12/Adults | €10.50/Concessions
  • €9/Children (6-14 years old)
  • €26/Family Card (2 adults and 3 children)
  • Concession pricing is available for students, disabled people, and groups of 10 or more visitors

Purchase tickets for the Hertha BSC Tour

These tours are not as frequent, so you will definitely need to purchase them well in advance in order to secure your spot.

If you want to learn more about the history of the Olympic Stadium and how it has been used, there is a 6-hour tour-by-bus you may want to consider. This tour will take you from Berlin to Olympiastadion in a VW Bus, explaining some of the histories about the location along the way. Once you’re there, you will learn about what happened during the Olympic games which were held here in 1936. Entrance fees are not included.

Olympic Games 6-Hour Tour

 


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What You’ll See

There are a lot of different things to see at the Olympic Stadium. In addition to the main building, there are several attractions and notable landmarks around Olympiastadion as well. This section will discuss a few of the more notable items you might want to see while you’re here.

Bell Tower (Olympia-Glockenturm)

After being demolished in 1947 as a result of WWII, this tower was rebuilt and designed as pretty much an exact replica of the original in 1963. You can still visit the top of the tower today, but a separate ticket will be required to gain entry. For more details, check our ticket information section.

Langemarck Hall

Located right outside the park, this WWI memorial pays tribute to 80,000 young soldiers who were killed during a battle in the Belgian village Langemarck on November 11th, 1914. There is an exhibition about this event in the basement of this hall.

The Horse Tamers

These statues were created by Josef Wackerle, one of the most important artists during the rule of the Third Reich. Found right outside the stadium, these sculptures can be seen facing in the direction of the Bell Tower and looking out across the Maifeld.

The Olympic Bell

Even if you’re not interested in paying more to see the top of the Bell Tower, you should definitely take a good look at the original bell from this site. The original Olympic bell featured a design with the olympic rings and an eagle, as well as the motto ‘I call the youth of the world’ and two swastikas.

Goddess of Victory

This sculpture of the Greek Goddess Nike can be found near the Saxon Gate. Designed by Willy Mellers, this is one of the bigger statues near the stadium. In her right hand, she holds out a bundle of oak leaves – a German symbol for Victory.

Wall of Fame

Take a moment to learn about some of the more historic moments that have happened here with the help of this Wall of Fame. This installation includes 75 years of sporting history which has taken place at Olympiastadion.

Relay Runner & Discus Thrower

Standing 7 meters tall, these statues can be found surrounding the outer walking path around the stadium. Designed by Karl Albiker, they are both an excellent example of the type of artwork that was fairly prevalent during the early days of National Socialism in Germany.

Olympic Gate

This is the original gate into the stadium, and the Olympic rings can still be seen hanging above. On either side of the gate, there are two pillars with clocks representing two of the German tribes – one named the Bayernturm and the other Preussenturm.

 


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