At the beginning of summer I published Top 11 Rooftops of Madrid and it seems rooftops are gaining popularity among Europe. Since there aren’t many skyscrapers yet, any building with more than 10 stories often hide a potentially interesting spot on its top floor.
Last week I traveled to Berlin so I was curious and visited the best rooftops of this capital too. It turns out that 7 were absolutely spectacular. All of them were located on the city center except one, which involved taking 2 trains and walking up a mountain but had a lot of fun doing nonetheless.
This list includes only cultural rooftops, stay tunned for Berlin Top Rooftop Restaurants and Bars. Hope this information is useful to you and if you find I missed any let me know and I’ll add it to the list.
Location: Potsdamer Platz 1
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (10-6)
Admission: 5,50€, students 4€
Best Views: Berliner Fernsehturm, Berlin’s Cathedral, Reichstag Dome, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin State Library and Berlin Philharmonic Hall, both by Hans Scharoun and The Neue Nationalgalerie by Mies van der Rohe.
Brief Description: Access is through the left side of the building (from Potsdamer Platz). In my opinion it is the best one of Berlin, it has unique skyline views. The PANORAMACAFÉ is nice option for breakfast. Bring your sketch book here.
Name: Berlin Cathedral
Location: Am Lustgarten
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat (9-7), Sun (12-7)
Admission: 7€, students 4€
Best Views: Berliner Fernsehturm, St. Marienkirche Church, Museum Island, the Synagogue, Gendarmenmarkt, the Reichstag, and the Rotes Rathaus.
Brief Description: Built in 1822 by Schinkel as the largest church in the city. It reminded me a bit of San Pietro’s stairs for going up. You feel you will never reach the top but the views make it all worthwhile. Oh and you can now see how the Berliner Schloss is being built.
Name: Berliner Fernsehturm
Location: Panoramastraße 1A
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (10-midnight)
Best Views: Amazing 360º panorama that includes all view’s of Berlin.
Brief Description: Built in 1969 by Hermann Henselmann and Jörg Streitparth as a television tower. With its height of 368 meters, it is the tallest structure in Germany. The revolving restaurant (Wed to Sun from 7pm) includes Piano-Live-Music, totally worth it at sunset. However, if you want to take good pictures NEVER come without daylight. All of my pictures had light reflections of the windows. Horrible.
Name: Siegessäule Berlin Victory Column
Location: Straße des 17. Juni/ Großer Stern
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (9.30-6.30)
Best Views: Flats at Hansaviertel, Reichstag Dome, Brandenburger Tor and Haus der Kulturen der Welt by Hugh Stubbins
Web: Source (No official website)
Brief Description: Four neo-classical temples built by Albert Speer indicate the entrance points. It takes a while to get to the top but you have small chairs integrated on the stair (how cool is that?). Views are pretty impressive, especially at sunset.
Name: Französischer Dom
Location: Gendarmenmarkt 1-2
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (10-19)
Best Views: Schauspielhaus by Schinkel, The Deutscher Dom, Berliner Fernsehturm and the Berlin Cathedral.
Brief Description: Built in 1785 by Carl von Gontard as the French Church of Friedrichstadt. The Deutscher Dom, located in Gendarmenmarkt too is its twin tower but can’t be visited. You’ll get to see what the tower where you stand from looks like. Great panoramic views.
Name: Reichstag Dome
Location: Platz der Republik 1
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (8-23)
Admission: FREE admission but advance registration required.
Best Views: Berliner Fernsehturm, Berlin’s Cathedral, Sony Center and Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Brief Description: The dome was built in 1992 on top of the rebuilt Reichstag building and was designed by Norman Foster. It symbolizes the reunification of Germany and that the people are above the government (parliament is underneath the stair). Love that the perspective is always changing. Make sure you visit the rooftop restaurant located east of the dome which is open daily (9-16.30/18.30-24).
Name: Teufelsberg Abhörstation (Abandoned spy station)
Opening Hours: During daylight hours.
Best Views: Unité d’Habitation by Le Corbusier, Olympiastadion Berlin and a 360º anorama of Berlin
Brief Description: This abandoned spy station was built over a Nazi college that couldn’t be destroyed after the end of World War II by the US. Used to spy on Soviet and East Germany communications. “Unofficial” tours now have an admission fee since it became a popular spot for graffiti painters. It’s difficult to find this place but views are totally worth it. Besides that, who doesn’t enjoy a bit of adventure?
Check these and other amazing spots of Berlin on the map below or download the Free Architecture Guide of Berlin.