A Visit to the Berlin TV Tower
Standing at just over 1,200 feet, when in Berlin, it’s impossible to overlook Fernsehturm, more commonly known as the Berlin TV Tower. Considering that it’s the tallest building in Germany, the Berlin TV Tower dominates the city’s skyline and offers 360-degree views below. With a design inspired by the Stuttgart TV Tower and Sputnik, the first artificial Earth satellite, the tower was built not only for broadcasting purposes, but also to symbolize East Germany’s strength. Today, the Berlin TV Tower remains an iconic symbol of the country as a whole. So of course a visit to tower was on our short list of things to do in Berlin.
Knowing that Berlin would host an influx of tourists who, like me, were in town for ITB, I decided to purchase our tickets to the tower online well in advance of our travels to avoid waiting in long lines. To further avoid long waits, we purchased Late Night tickets (13 €) that provide access to the tower from 9:30-11pm. With our tickets, we were able to visit the Panorama Bar inside the tower.
Since we reserved the 10pm slot, we thought we had plenty of time following a full day of sightseeing to return to our hotel room to rest up a bit. But what was supposed to be an afternoon nap turned into a full on sleep fest, and by the time I finally decided to shut off my buzzing alarm, it was 9:30pm.
As we lay in bed half asleep, Jave and I debated whether we should keep our reservation at the tower or sleep on. Jave, being the easygoing guy that he is, left the decision up to me. Not wanting to add our failure to visit the television tower to my list of travel regrets, we groggily got out of bed, dressed, and headed to the bus stop to catch a ride to the tower which is right next to Alexanderplatz in the city center.
By the time we made our way inside the tower, only a handful of locals were waiting in line with us to take the steep but quick elevator ride up. And when we made our way to the bar area, another handful of locals and a few tourists were already enjoying their second and third rounds.
The view from the Panorama Bar was underwhelming, perhaps because it was nighttime and visibility wasn’t as great as it likely is during daytime hours. Apart from Museumsinsel which is just a few short blocks away from the tower, it was hard to distinguish which landmarks we were looking at. Plus, the glass and lighting made it nearly impossible to capture a worthy snapshot. We asked if we could walk up a level to the restaurant area, but our tickets only allowed us into the bar area.
After enjoying a few drinks and a few laughs, we walked around reading some of the placards that line the windows which provide some historical details about the tower and its construction.
Overall, while our visit to the tower was a fun diversion and I’m glad we didn’t sleep through it, the next time around, in hopes of having better views, I’d be willing to splurge a little extra for a Fast View ticket (19.50 €) which is good for a daytime visit during a chosen time slot. While there are other general day tickets available for 13 €, they require a wait in the queue, and when visiting a city as popular as Berlin, there’s no telling how long that could take!
For visiting hours, ticketing info, and other details about the Berlin TV Tower, click here.