Berlin Fernsehturm |The Berlin TV Tower
When you’re in the center of Berlin, you cannot miss it: the Berlin Fernsehturm (the Berlin TV Tower), with its iconic silver sphere on a slim concrete column and the red-and-white antenna on top. On a sunny day you will see the famous reflection in the form of a golden cross on the dome. The height is 368 meters(1200 ft.), which makes it Germany’s tallest structure. Hexagonally shaped pavilions, serving as entrance space and tourist information surround the tower.
- Things to See in Central Berlin
- Things to See in East Berlin
- Get 25% off the ticket price with the Welcome Card
Preview of the views from the Berlin TV Tower
Visiting the TV Tower
Visit the TV tower and enjoy a 360′ view of Berlin. March through October, opening hours are at 9 a.m. to 12 am, November through February 10 a.m. to 10 pm, seven days a week. Two of the three elevators are for visitors; the observation deck is on 670 feet (204 meters). There is no outside platform. Above the observation deck is the upscale “Restaurant Sphere” where you might want to bring your date. The restaurant is rotating, so while you have a drink at a table you will see a lot of Berlin without even moving. In good weather, the view is about 26 miles (42 km) around Berlin. During the Cold War, visitors were able to follow the line of the Berlin Wall and have a glance at the West. There are regular tickets, fast-track tickets, early-bird and night owl tickets. Children under 4 are free, up to 14 they must be accompanied by an adult.
Regular Tickets (get 25% off admission with the Berlin Welcome Card)
- 13€ – Adults
- 8.50€ – Children (4-16)
- can only be purchased on site.
- Berlin residents with a valid ID get a discount
Fast Track (no queue) (get 25% off admission with the Berlin Welcome Card)
- 19.50€ – Adults
- 12€ – Children (4-16)
- can be purchased online
On our Berlin-in-a-in a day-Walking Tour we’ll see the TV tower all the time.
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. 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.
Things to see and do near Berlin’s TV tower
- The ruins of a gothic-style monastery church Franziskanerkirche are across the main street Grunerstrasse/ Otto-Braun-Strasse. If you walk towards the main shopping mall Alexa, the ruins are a 4 minute walk to the right. The monastry was destroyed in WWII, and is today used for exhibitions, concerts, and other events. Entrance is free.
- The Nikolaiquarter (Nikolaiviertel) is the oldest residential quarter of Berlin’s east, and it’s a quaint little area with shops, famous traditional German restaurants such as the Nussbaum and it’s Nikolaichurch in the center. The Nikolaiquarter was completely destroyed during WWII, so today you’ll mostly get to see it’s renovated and new replica. The well near the church with its coat of arms featuring an eagle and a bear symbolizes the founding of the city of Berlin. The Nikolaiquarter is a 10-minute walk away from the TV tower, walk on Rathausstrasse past the red city hall.
- Since you are right in the center of it all, take a selfguided tour of the area of Berlin Mitte East and explore nearby sights such as Berlin’s dome on Museum Island, or the beautiful square with two domes and a concert house at the Gendarmenmarkt or go find the memorial of the Nazi book burning on Bebelplatz.
- Explore the graffiti and street art scene at Dircksenstrasse where lots of tags and paste-ups can be found. Walk north from the TV tower and cross over Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse. Dircksenstrasse is right next to the train tracks. Here is a guide with further info on Berlin graffiti and street art.
In Need of Better Broadcasting
In 1952, during an international conference on broadcasting in Stockholm, the GDR, a state which wasn’t recognized by almost no other state, 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 stain less 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”. The steel used for the sphere, is a product of West Germany. When the TV tower was opened in 1969, the height was 1,197 feet, 6 inches (365 m), only the renovations in the 1990s let it “grow” another 9 feet (3m). After having passed landmark legislation in 1975, the government granted the TV tower this status. The reunited Germany acknowledged it. The renowned architect of the GDR, Hermann Henselmann, is the official designer of the TV tower. But after the unification of Germany, some of his former colleagues claimed copyright.