This post is a guide to visiting the Reichstag in Berlin, home of the German Bundestag, and one of Berlin's most important landmarks, a must-see in Berlin.
We include how to get tickets to the glass dome as well as tours of the building.
- How to get Dome Tickets
- Guided Tours + Lectures
- Plan Your Visit
- Nearby Attractions
- Berlin Bus Tours
- Free Tours by Foot
Why Should You Visit?
The Reichstag Building houses the German Bundestag, the federal parliament of the German Republic.
The building was originally opened in 1894, just after German reunification, to house the Reichstag (what today is known as the Bundestag).
It housed the German Parliament until 1933 when a fire gutted most of the building. The parliament was dissolved by Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party.
It was also severely damaged in the Second World War.
Following the reunification of Germany, the Reichstag Building was renovated under the leadership of British architect Sir Norman Foster.
His glass dome, which affords a 360 view of the city as well as a unique bird’s eye view of the plenary chamber down below, is the biggest draw for visitors.
First, the good news: It is free to go up and inside of the dome of the Reichstag Building!
You will need to make a reservation. There are 4 ways to get tickets:
- 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
Tip: To save more money during your time in Berlin, you might consider a tourist discount pass.
There are several and we compare them in our detailed post, Berlin Pass vs Welcome Card vs City Tour Card?
The fastest and easiest way to register is online with the visitors' service on the Bundestag website.
You will need the first names, last names, and birthdays of everybody who joins you, as well as your email address.
Reservations time slots for the terrace and dome are every 15 minutes from 08:00 to 21:30 (9:30 pm).
You can request up to 3 dates and times. Priority will be given to your first choice. If that time is not available, your 2nd and 3rd-time choices will be considered.
Bring your booking confirmation and your government-issued ID and be prepared to go through a security check.
Note: Requests to visit the glass dome can only be submitted for the current month and the following month.
You can register in person at the Service Center near the Reichstag building on the south side of Scheidemannstraße.
The Service Centre is open from 8:00 am to 18:00 (6 pm) daily in winter (1 November - 31 March) and from 8.00 am to 20:00 (8 pm) daily in summer (1 April - 31 October).
The same-day option does not guarantee that there are any free places available at the time of your visit.
If there are, tickets have to be issued a minimum of 2 hours ahead and only a maximum of 2 days before your visit.
For that reason, we highly recommend you reserve in advance.
Make a Reservation at Käfer, the Rooftop Restaurant
Another alternative is to make a reservation at Käfer, the restaurant located on the terrace at the top of the Reichstag Building.
All reservations include access to the dome and terrace, and you can make reservations for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
This is by no means a budget option as the restaurant is quite expensive, but the food is delicious and it’s hard to beat the views of Berlin from there.
The same rules apply here as with a reservation for the dome only, full name and dates of birth of all guests, and must be made at least 48 hours before your desired date.
You will also need a government-issued photo ID to enter. Book directly through the restaurant.
In this section, we provide a brief introduction, give directions, advise on the best time to visit, and let you know about nearby attractions.
The Reichstag, designed by Paul Wallot in 1894, is the seat of the constitutional and legislative body of Germany, the Bundestag.
The dome and rooftop terrace of the Reichstag building is not only designed to offer visitors spectacular views across the city.
Its energy-efficient structure also funnels natural light via numerous mirrors as well as fresh air into the parliamentary chamber.
Not only will you be able to get a nice view of Berlin and its surroundings, the 20-minute GPS-enabled audio guide even tells you what you are looking at while you circle the 230 meters up and down the dome.
You can pick up the free audio guides on the roof terrace.
It comes in 11 languages: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Dutch, and Chinese.
Days: The Dome is open most days of the year. Closed all day on December 24-26.
Visiting hours: 8 a.m. to midnight. The last admission to the Dome is at 20:00 (10 pm).
Note: Admission slots are every quarter of the hour, ex: 10:00, 10:15, 10:30, 10:45, etc.).
On the dates when the dome is closed, you can still enjoy views from the roof terrace.
Dates of closure change every year, so be sure to check their website to know about closed dates.
Best Days to Visit
The best days to visit are good weather days so your view will be best.
Also, try to go on weekdays as weekends and holidays are peak times and it can get quite crowded and you will have to plan in some extra waiting time.
Nighttime is also relatively uncrowded. In fact, visiting the Reichstag is one of the top 10 things to do at night in Berlin.
GETTING TO THE REICHSTAG BUILDING
The Reichstag Building is located on the western end of Berlin's city center, just south of Hauptbahnhof and just north of Tiergarten and the Brandenburg Gate.
Use this Google map to get exact directions from your departure point.
The closest public transportation hubs are U5-station Bundestag, the S-Bahn station Brandenburger Tor, or the 100 bus to the Reichstag/Bundestag stop.
Tip: If you are new to Berlin transportation see our post tips on public transportation in Berlin.
Also, if you are considering a hop-on-hop-off bus ticket, then know that all companies have a stop right at the entrance to the Reichstag.
The Reichstag's central location means that there are numerous hotels in the area that would give you easy access to other popular Berlin sites.
You can view the top-rated hotels according to TripAdvisor to see if any suit your needs or budget.
Spree River cruise departures are just 10 minute walk from the Reichstag.
Walk northwestwards from the Reichstag towards the main train station (do you see the red DB sign?) to the River Spree.
The boat cruises depart near the Moltkebrücke, the reddish bridge.
Click here for more information on these boat tours.
There are also guided tours and lectures that you could join that include tickets to the dome and terrace following the conclusion of the tour.
Various free 90-minute tours are available when the German Parliament is not sitting. You can book guided tours directly from the Bundestag website.
They are offered in a number of European languages, with each language offered on certain days and times.
Most guided tours take you on a walk through the more official sections of the building, including several staterooms, and a memorial to members of the Reichstag incarcerated and murdered by the Nazi party.
Most tours even include a stop at a section of the building with graffiti from Soviet Soldiers after its capture, which has been preserved for posterity.
The tour also briefly visits the plenary chamber, where the public debates of the parliament take place.
When you book your tickets you will have the option to book a tour along with a visit to the Dome afterward.
- Tours that explain the functions, working methods and composition of the Parliament are offered daily at 9.00 hrs, 10.30 hrs, 12.00 hrs, 13.30 hrs, 15.30 hrs, 17.00 hrs,18.30 hrs, 20.00 hrs
- Tour of the Reichstag Building for families is tailored for children aged six to 14, traveling with their families. These are offered on Saturdays at 10.00 hrs, 12.30 hrs, and 14.30 hrs and Sundays and certain public holidays at 10.00 hrs and 12.30 hrs
- Art and architecture tours of the Reichstag Building are offered on Saturdays, Sundays, and certain public holidays at 11.30 am.
This is also the option to attend a lecture held in the visitors’ gallery overlooking the plenary chamber
followed by a visit to the dome.
The lectures are 45-min talks from the visitor’s gallery in the plenary chamber.
Due note that lectures in English only take place on Tuesdays at 11:00 am and only when the parliament is not in session.
During the lectures, you will learn about how the German parliament is made up, how it operates, as well as other interesting facts about the legislative body.
For all of the options run by the bundestag, then visit the Bundestag's website.
SKIP THE LINE TOURS | NO RESERVATIONS
If you want the ability to skip the line, you can opt to take a tour with a private company.
Some also include tours inside the Reichstag building while others include tours of the government quarter and then drop you off at the security entrance for your self-guided tour inside the dome.
Tickets for some of these tours are as low as €14 per person, so it’s much cheaper than booking a table at the rooftop restaurant.
Do note that most of these tours are in German. Some offer English days or you may find that they offer English as an audio option.
There are too many guided tours to list. You can see the full list here.
Here are some of the tours out there that will save you time when visiting the Dome.
- Hop-on Hop-off Tour with Coffee & Cake at the Reichstag (Affiliate Disclosure)
- Berlin: Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag Dome Tour (Affiliate Disclosure)
- Berlin WelcomeCard all-inclusive Skip the Line Dome
To find out about Berlin tourist passes such as the Berlin City Pass, the Berlin Welcome Card, and several others, be sure to check out our post, Berlin Pass vs Welcome Card vs City Tour Card.