I love seeing cities from above, especially in a new city. It gives you a completely different perspective of the city and the sights. You can often piece together the locations of places a lot better, and it makes you understand just how big (or small!) a city is. Often you’ll get a really pretty view that simply isn’t possible from the ground.
This post was written by Ali, a resident of Berlin since 2015, and includes her favorite places to see views of Berlin from above and take photos in Berlin!
Berlin’s TV Tower, or Fernsehturm in German, is one of the most iconic sights in the city. The tower was built in the 1960s in East Berlin to represent the Soviet socialist system, and it can still be seen from almost anywhere in the city. There’s a viewing level and a bar and restaurant area on a different level. For an interesting meal in Berlin, this could be a good choice, but book your table ahead of time, and don’t expect it to be cheap.
The TV Tower the most popular place to go for views of Berlin from above for good reason. It’s 368 meters (about 1,207 feet) tall including the antenna, making it the tallest structure in Berlin. Being that tall and close to the center of the city makes for some fantastic views.
From up there you can see Tempelhof Park, the main train station, the Berliner Dom, and much more. What you won’t have in your photos is the tower itself, which is why I think it’s a good idea to go to at least one other high point in the city for a different view.
Since the TV Tower is so popular, it can get crowded and often has long lines. If you want to go, I highly recommend booking skip-the-line tickets ahead of time.
The TV Tower is located just outside the Alexanderplatz station. Normal tickets purchased in person are 15.50€, and fast track tickets to skip the line can be purchased online.
The Victory Column, or Siegessäule in German, is a 67 meter (about 220 foot) tower that was originally built as a symbol of Prussia’s victory in the Franco-German war. The column has a bronze statue of the Roman goddess of victory on top, and the viewing platform is at her base.
There’s no elevator, so if you enjoy the feeling of accomplishment from physical exertion, the Victory Column might be a good choice. You’ll have to climb about 270 stairs to reach the viewing platform. But you’ll be rewarded with views of Berlin that include the TV Tower, as opposed to being in the TV Tower. It’s also straight down the street from Brandenburger Gate, so you can get a nice view of that with the trees of Tiergarten on either side of it.
The Victory Column is located at Großer Stern 1 and can be reached by bus. Don’t try to run across the street though, use the pedestrian underpass. Entrance is 3€.
Located in the Kollhof Tower, Panorama Punkt isn’t exactly the most impressive thing to look at. It’s basically an office building. But remember, you’re here for the views of the city, not the building. This also means there’s an elevator, so if climbing hundreds of stairs isn’t your thing, come here instead of the Victory Column.
Panorama Punkt is not as well known as the TV Tower and the Victory Column, which means there aren’t as many other visitors. It’s also closer to transport than the Victory Column, and it’s in the middle of a big shopping and entertainment district. Views from Panorama Punkt include the TV Tower, the Reichstag building, Potsdamer Platz, and more.
Panorama Punkt is located at Potsdamer Platz 1, right near the Potsdamer Platz Sbahn station. Click to purchase skip the line tickets for Panoramapunkt.
Monkey Bar at 25 Hours Hotel
For something a little more hip, try Monkey Bar in the 25Hours Hotel. The hotel is located right next to the Bikini Berlin mall, so stop in for a drink with a view after some shopping. They serve beer, wine, and some really interesting, though slightly expensive, cocktails. The menu also includes non-alcoholic drinks and some food.
This hotel’s bar is unique because it overlooks the Berlin zoo. Though I haven’t personally seen any monkeys yet, I have seen quite a lot of pretty birds below in the zoo. The floor to ceiling windows give you a sweeping view of western Berlin, and you can see low flying airplanes in the distance near Tegel Airport. Even the bathrooms have huge windows looking out into the city and down into the zoo.
Monkey Bar is on the top floor of 25Hours Hotel, which is located at Budapester Str. 40. The closest transit station is the Zoologischer Garten.
Sky Bar at Andel’s Hotel
The Vienna House Andel’s Hotel is an upscale hotel in eastern Berlin with a classy bar on the top level. Since it’s located almost directly east of the center of the city, I think it offers wonderful views of the Berlin’s skyline. You can see the TV Tower, the top of the Berliner Dom, Frankfurter Tor, and various church spires in the surrounding neighborhoods. You can also see airplanes shortly after they’ve taken off from Tegel Airport.
The Andel’s Hotel isn’t near tourist attractions, which means it’s a little under the radar as a place for views of Berlin from above. But the nearby Sbahn makes it very well connected to other parts of the city, so it’s easy to reach from wherever you are. Try to get there about an hour before sunset so you can get some pictures while it’s still light out and then watch the sun go down over the city.
The Sky Bar is on the top floor of the Andel’s Hotel, which is located at Landsberger Allee 106 and just a few steps from the Landsberger Allee Sbahn station. Find more information here.
Tower at Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial
This tower does not provide your traditional view of Berlin from above. It’s part of the Bernauer Strasse Berlin Wall Memorial, and it’s not very high, but it’s an interesting view and an important part of the city’s history.
The Wall Memorial is a one-mile section of a road that was split in half by the wall, and at about the halfway point is the Documentation Center. It’s a museum dedicated to the history of the Wall, and at the top is a viewing platform. From there you can look out into what was the death strip behind a section of the Wall that still stands. The death strip was the section of land where someone trying to escape from the East into the West was likely to be shot and killed if guards caught them.
In my opinion, the Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial is a must for your Berlin itinerary. It’s the best place in the city to visit for Berlin Wall and Cold War history. Definitely watch the short films in the visitors center near Nordbahnhof, and make sure to go to the top of the tower at the Documentation Center for a better view of the neighborhood that was torn apart by the Wall.
The Wall Memorial is located along Bernauer Strasse between the Bernauer Strasse and Nordbahnhof stations. Entrance is free, but check opening hours for the visitors center and Documentation Center. Find more information here.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’][/author_image] [author_info]About the author: Ali Garland is a hopeless travel addict who made it to all 7 continents before her 30th birthday. She and her husband live in Berlin, Germany, and she’s a full time travel blogger at Ali’s Adventures and Travel Made Simple.[/author_info] [/author]