The Berlin Television Tower is hard to miss, and you can see it from pretty much everywhere in the Alexanderplatz region. The reverse is also true – ride up to the top of the enormous television tower, or sit in the revolving restaurant, and you can see 40 kilometers in each direction.
Berlin Television Tower. Image BBM Explorer via Flickr
The Berlin Television Tower was built by the East German government in 1969, both for practical reasons (television and radio transmissions) and as a show of strength, to make the West Berliners jealous of the East. The tower remained a functional and symbolic site after the reunification of Berlin, and in 1990 was renovated, with the revolving restaurant made to turn faster. In 2006 it was partially rebuilt again to mark the World Cup games hosted in Germany.
The Television Tower, known locally as the Berliner Fernsehturm, is hugely popular and attracts over a million visitors a year. The powerful elevators in the tower shoot visitors 203 meters above ground level in only 40 seconds: braver visitors choose to walk 986 steps. Some visitors enjoy starting their day with a view of the city, while others enjoy dining in the evening above the city lights, in the revolving restaurant and bar. It’s worth taking into account the weather in Berlin before you plan your visit to the Television Tower. Although the view can still be enjoyed in the winter, and seeing rain or snow over the city is actually quite dramatic and exciting, it’s not worth going up on foggy days. On sunny days, the view is stunning, and the viewing deck and restaurant are thankfully air-conditioned.
Visiting the Berlin Television Tower
Unfortunately, as a result of its popularity, the tower is crowded during peak seasons, and visitors sometimes have to queue for more than an hour. It’s best to book a ticket in advance, either by booking at the machines and spending time walking around Alexanderplatz until its time to go up, or by ordering tickets in advance.