“ Address: Platz der Republik 1, Berlin D-11011 / Tel: +49 (0)30 2273 2152 / Open daily: 8am-10pm / Admission: Free. „
Ahhh the Reichstag, I remember fighting my way up it and placing my Russian Flag on the top. Oh well, although I saw the Reichstag at the end of Call of Duty World at War, I had never seen it in that scary place called real life, until a week or so ago.
Before I even went to Berlin I knew that I wanted to go up into the dome on the top of the Reichstag. After the Reichstag suffered damage it was only partially repaired and refurbished. It was not until the reunification of Germany that the famous architect Sir Norman Foster designed the dome that we see now. The dome, although causing controversy at the time, is now what draws tourists to this historic building. NOTE: This review will mostly focus on the dome itself, you can do a more thorough tour, but visiting the dome is the most common way of 'visiting the Reichstag'.
After queuing for a while you will eventually make it to the main doors in which you will not have to buy any tickets because the German Taxpayer pays for you instead. Inside you will go through security in which is much like airport security. Then you will queue for a tiny bit longer to enter the rather large lifts. Once the small lift 'journey' is over you can queue again for the optional audio guides.
As you enter the dome you will see a large cone of mirrors with glass below. These mirrors provide light for the room below containing purple seats, which is where the German Parliament resides. There is also a large 'shield', which I thought was decorative, but after further investigation moves automatically to block out the sun if it is too strong, as to not blind the German politicians. Around the glass in the middle of the dome in which you can see the purple seats, there is a display of text and picture of the Reichstag through the ages.
Also inside the dome is a small stall-vendor who sells soft drinks and snacks. Just in case you are feeling hungry/thirsty after all that sightseeing.
There are two ramps that are on a slight incline and that spiral up the dome. Each ramp is one-way, which is nice as it means you do not have to negotiate oncoming traffic as you enjoy your panoramic view of Berlin. At the top there is a viewing platform with a large 'thing' in the middle. I have no idea what it does, but as the very top if the dome has a small opening I assume it collects rainwater.
Now this is the part where you get a great little tip. On top of the Reichstag, next to the dome, is a café/restaurant. Here you can see the Berlin skyline, but also enjoy a great selection of cakes and gateaus, wines, hot chocolate or even a full meal! Everything in the café/restaurant is nice and expensive looking: There are waiters dressed in suits, and a display of the cakes on offer. The food isn't exactly cheap (I remember it being 3.60 Euros for a slice of cake), but you're on holiday!
Ok here's the tip. You can reserve a table at a certain time in the café/restaurant (reservation is free!). "So what?" You're thinking. Well... if you have reserved, you can skip the queue, this is the queue that can stretch right down the field in front of the Reichstag and can take hours to proceed through. With your confirmation email you can enter through the west door (on a compass, it's actually to the right of the main door, behind the right ramp). This is also the accessible entrance. To book a table, just drop a friendly email to:
BE WARNED: If you would like an audio guide, get one before you enter the café, as you cannot get back through to get the audio guides.
For more information on the Reichstag visit:
Visited here with my husband , there were small queues but nothing too bad. It is totally free to go in but you do have to pass through various security measures. Lots of glass doors and secure areas to pass through. The security is impressive but would need to be i expect being the seat of German Bundestag (parliament to you and i) . I was frisked very enthusiastically by a nice german lady!
It has seen some changes due to fire and the original dome was blown up in 1945 and never being rebuilt until the recent addition of the glass dome which is really impressive. The walk up into it is fun and the views outstanding.
You can look all over Berlin and also relax in the rooftop terrace which is lovely eben in the winter months (we were there in February) Looking over the snowladened Berlin from there was really gorgeous.
You can look over Parliament when in session which was fun to watch from the gallery above and can even join in role playing games or attend talks and classes.
It is open every day from 8am to midnight, but last admission is around 10 and the Dome isnt always open to access so it's always worth checking.
This is a must see for Berlin and we would actually go back and do this next time we visit.
THIS REVIEW WAS POSTED PREVIOUSLY ON QYPE BY MYSELF UNDER THE NAME SUNLINESAM
One of the problems with being at a smallish university and studying a language other than French is the people you end up with in your classes. Actually that sounds a bit nasty, and all of the others (all 8 of them….) are great, but they study some, erm, interesting subjects. We have Gerard doing Physics, Maggie and Laura doing Biochemistry and Natalie and Christina doing Textiles among others. We have to do subject related oral presentations occasionally, which is how the Reichstag came up in conversation. One of the textile pair brought in a book showing wonderful designs, and it featured this place (which is the reason I’m writing on it now if you were wondering where all this was leading). The Reichstag (translation – rich day?) was built between the years 1884 and 1894 to house the German Parliament. This in itself is enough to warrant a visit from history buffs, but the reason I, along with many other tourists, was dragged there was to see (and climb) the newly added glass dome. This was erected in the second half of the 1990s and was designed by, wait for it, a Brit. To be exact, Sir Norman Foster aka the bloke behind that wobbly bridge in London and LSE’s new library. My mother’s an LSE graduate and so seeing as she was in Berlin with me, that was another reason to go. We get up early in my family, even when on holiday, so we were there shortly after it opened. We had to queue to get in but not for an unbearable length of time. It was lucky we went when we did, because on leaving an hour and a half or so later, the queues were stretching out of the door, down the hill and around the corner onto the main street, such was the interest. Inside, what with it being the place the parliament types hang out, security is tighter than at other tourist spots. Bags and people are send through x ray machines and metal detectors respectively, and even so security guards seemed to be puling people aside randomly for spot sea
rches. This hasn’t happened to me since 1992 when, a fashion conscious 9 year old, I was puled over at Manchester airport for wearing too big a belt…… Once inside we were allowed to queue (and the Germans are as bad as the French at this) for the lifts which were both small and slow if you consider the vast numbers of visitors they have to transport each day. We made it to the top though, and from there we were allowed to start walking up. The place is set up kind of like an orange peel – round and round higher and higher until you reach the top. The path is sloped not staired, and so makes it suitable for those in wheel chairs, although those with children may find it a pain – if only because the little rascals race to the top and then make jumping-off motions (not possible of course since it’s all enclosed). At the top and the bottom are exhibitions about the place’s history (most only in German) and comfy seats to get you breath back. And that’s it. No films. No shops. One posh looking and incidentally closed when we went café. You walk up and then you walk down. Not wonderful exciting, but fun all the same if you’re like me and enjoy, ahem, climbing things. An alternative or complement to the Berliner Dom (I did both), there are some nice views from the top if a little limited in distance and obscured by fingerprinted glass. Guided tours of the main building are available, but apart from for these, entrance is totally free. The dome is open from 8am to midnight daily, but as I mentioned I would recommend avoiding the middle part of the day if at all possible. Nearest s-bahn is Unter den Linden (lines S1 and S2, or pink and green), and busses 100, 248 and 257 all pass close by. Useful Websites : www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/index.html www.reichstag-info.de
This is one of Berlin's most important features, politically speaking. It has been constructed after the fire of the Reichstag when Hitler was in power. It's near the brandenburg gates, which at the moment is being covered up by a huge poster. The most prominient element of the Reichstag is the glass dome, resting on the top of the reichstag. It was designed by a British architect, and its purpose, is that visitors can see the politicans operating below them. There are many viewpoints of dome as it is made out of glass, and an amzing viwe of berlin can be seen. The beautiful Potsdamer Platz lights can be seen to change colour from purple to ble to pink and so on. The whole Reichstag is heated by solar panels, that are placed at different angles. These reflect the light in many angles, heating the whole building. From the entrance of the building, it conveys a certain grandeur about it, and then having the security checks, plus the huge lift up many metres projects an elegance. An excellent sight to any avid historian!
The Reichstag was built to house the German Parliament, and is just a few yards from the Brandenburg Gate. The building was constructed at the end of the nineteenth century, and used as the home of the parliament until 1945. In 1916, the slogan "Dem Deutschen Volke" ('for the German people') was added above the entrance, and can still be seen today. After the Second World War, the building underwent extensive restoration. This included the removal of the building's original dome and much of the ornamentation around the outside of the building. In 1990, after the demolition of the Berlin Wall (which ran just to the East of the building), and the reunification of Germany, the first meeting of the Bundestag (the reunified German Parliament) took place in the Reichstag. A further phase of building work then took place on the Reichstag, starting in 1995 after the artist Christo, used the building as the basis of an enormous art installation, wrapping it in gleaming fabric. This, most recent, phase of construction work was directed by British architect Sir Norman Foster, and includes a spectacular dome, with a viewing gallery. The Bundestag resumed meeting in the Reichstag in 1999. Entrance of the Reichstag is free, but queues can be spectacularly long, particularly at weekends, so it can take a couple of hours to actually get in. Although several friends of mine have visited the Bundestag assembly hall, it wasn't open when I visited the Reichstag, and I'm not entirely sure why. In any case, I was still able to visit the dome on top of the building, and was very impressed with it. The glass dome is slightly elliptical in shape, and around the inner surface, there are two ramps that run up to a viewing gallery at the top. In the centre of the dome is a mirrored funnel, which, it is claimed, will direct sunlight into the assembly hall directly beneath the dome. There is also a small café and restaura
nt on the roof of the building. While the view is almost certainly impressive from the top of the dome, allowing you to see how much of the city is still under construction, when I was there it was raining very hard, and the visibility was exceptionally poor. However, there are leaflets available that show what the view is like on a clear day, and what buildings could have been seen, had the weather been more clement. A trip to the Reichstag is an interesting way to get a feel of the transforming city of Berlin, as it continues to rebuild itself following its devastation in the Second World War, as well as offering excellent views over the city – weather permitting!
After extensive renovations between 1995 and 1999 the Reichstag is now the residence of the German Parliament (Bundestag).