Berlin’s iconic Reichstag Building has a history so rich and a crowning glass dome so dazzling that it draws thousands upon thousands of visitors from around the globe every year. In fact, it’s the most popular tourist attraction in the city. After a tumultuous series of events, the historic building today is home to the German house of parliament, Bundestag.
The Reichstag Building opened in 1894 after 10 years of construction. Back then, it housed the parliament of the German Empire until 1933, when a fire destroyed its dome and chamber. During World War II, the already-damaged building further suffered from air raids, and it was renovated and periodically used until 1990, when renowned ‘starchitect’ Norman Foster led a full refurbishment while maintaining the integrity and beauty of its grand, historic facade. The 1990s also saw the building become the permanent home of the Bundestag.
Preregistered visitors to the Reichstag have the chance to sit in on parliamentary meetings in the public gallery, but far and away the biggest drawcard of the building is its magnificent dome, where visitors can stroll up the winding walkway (or catch the lift) all the way to the top to find 360-degree views of Berlin. Because of high demand, it is indeed best to preregister for your dome visit to avoid disappointment.
With another famous landmark just a short walk away, it’s a good idea to combine your visit to the Reichstag with a stop at the imposing Brandenburg Gate (which you can also see from Reichstag’s dome). Then stroll down historic Unter den Linden boulevard. The Reichstag dome is open from 8am to midnight, giving visitors the tough choice of whether to view it in the daylight, or as it lights up the city skyline at night. Make your way to the Reichstag by catching the S-Bahn to Brandenburger Tor and walk or catch a bus for a short ride from there.