There are about 30 towers with heights above 250 meters around the world, each with their own unique claim to fame. I’ve been to New York’s Empire State Building and Seattle’s Space Needle, and now I can add another to the list – the Berlin TV tower.
Next to the Brandenburg Gate, this tower is the most recognizable landmark in the city and is used on just about everything from advertisements to clothing. It costs a pretty penny to go up the tower (EUR 13), but it’s not so bad when you’re only paying for yourself rather than a group.
The tower was built in 1969 and is 368.03 meters (1,207.45 ft) tall. Visitors can go up to 203 meters to the observation deck that has windows 360 degrees around the spherical section of the tower. You get to the observation deck by taking a special elevator from the base of the tower that takes guests to the top in 40 seconds and has an observation window on the top to allow riders to watch their progress as they scale to the tower’s heights.
If you really want to treat yourself, feel free to go up a few more meters to the tower’s restaurant. I’ve been told that reservations for this place sometimes have to be made a year in advance – I’m not quite sure that’s true, since I believe I saw a family that had come up the elevator with me simply ask and enter. Regardless, it’s not a cheap place to eat.
The view, however, is priceless. You can see almost the entire expanse of the city from the tower. At each set of windows are plaques that give a general idea of what direction of the compass you’re facing, important buildings that are within your line of vision, history and facts about sightseeing locations in that general direction, and cities from around the world that are on the same longitudes.
The Spree graceful slides through the city and sets the sun sparkling into different buildings. Far across to the Southwestern part of the city, almost in Potsdam, is the other tower that calls Berlin home. Several key structures are easy to see, other required more searching. Overall, it is a great way to have a bird’s eye view of the city. If you’re ever in Berlin, be sure to take a chance to see visit the tower – you won’t be disappointed.