Berlin's Reichstag building is an old historical building with the appearance of a neoclassical temple crowned at the top by a modern glass dome. Today the majestic Reichstag operates as the official seat of the German Parliament and can be visited by tourists and locals alike. Here I tell you everything you need to know to get tickets to the Reichstag Berlin.
Considered as the most important symbol of the capital; throughout the turbulent history of the German nation the Reichstag has gone through all kinds of changes, being looted, burned, destroyed by bombings and rebuilt again and again to constantly adapt to the needs of the time; so on a tour of Berlin you can not miss this wonderful jewel of architecture, a sample of the evolution and resilience of the German nation. Let's see how to do it!
How much do tickets to the Reichstag Berlin cost?
The first and most important thing you should know is that the visit to the Reichstag is free for both tourists and locals, but an appointment by registration is required. The reason is simple: since it is one of the most visited monuments in Berlin, it is very necessary to coordinate groups of visitors in advance. To book your entrance to the Reichstag building in Berlin you have these options.
Book online your tickets to Reichstag
Through the official website Deutscher Bundestag you can book your visit to the dome of the Reichstag Berlin up to weeks before your trip.
Registration is extremely simple and only requires a few basic details for each of the participants taking part in the tour; general details include: first name, last name, date of birth, date of the tour and more. The reservation information will be sent directly to your email once registration is complete; remember to bring a document or copy of your identity with you on the day of the visit, usually a passport is a good idea.
Book to visit the Reichstag on the same day
If you are in Berlin and wish to visit the dome but have not booked in advance it is good to know that you can request your entrance to the Reichstag directly at the Visitor Service area located on the south side of Scheidemannstrasse, very close to the Berlin Pavilion.
Places to visit the Reichstag are subject to availability, and during peak tourist seasons it can be difficult to get tickets for the same day. Tickets are issued a minimum of two hours before the visit and expire two days after issuance.
As with the online booking you will need to provide your details and show an official photo ID, usually a passport is sufficient for foreigners. The opening hours of the service center are from 13h to 17,30h.
Are there guided tours of the Reichstag - is it worth it?
Guided tours of the Reichstag dome are available as long as the German Parliament is not in session. As a result, you will find several tour operators in the city that offer guided tours inside the Reichstag with an expert guide in your language able to narrate the most interesting aspects of the visit.
Price: Guided tours of the Reichstag Berlin are available from €15.
As to whether or not a guided tour is worth it... totally! It is without a doubt one of the best ways to get to know the iconic building and learn some really interesting details. Choosing a guided tour has many advantages and I will share them with you below.
Learn about the history of the city
Berlin is a European city that has been involved in important historical events mainly in the last century, this includes the events linked to the Second World War and the subsequent Cold War. Having a native expert guide to lead you through the most important landmarks is really enriching.
Save the line at the entrance
Waiting time to enter the dome, and many other attractions in Berlin, can be really long especially in the peak tourist months. However, guided tours avoid this kind of inconvenience and are especially useful if you are only in the city for one or two days.
Variety of options
Guided tours of the Reichstag can be combined with other experiences such as lunch at the complex's restaurant or a tour to other important historical buildings or museums in Berlin.
Are tickets to the Reichstag included in any of the city's sightseeing passes?
In Berlin you will find a tourist card known as the Berlin Pass that offers free entry to more than 60 attractions and museums throughout the city; however the Reichstag is not on this list of attractions because it is already a free attraction and free of charge even for tourists.
However, I recommend you to hire the Berlin Pass service to know the other attractions of the city, including the Museum Island, the Berlin Cathedral and you can even access a ticket for a cruise on the Spree River.
How to get to the Reichstag (from central areas, by bus, subway, etc.)
The Reichstag Building is located at Platz der Republik; it is located in the center of Berlin specifically at the western end. The beautiful building is surrounded by several points of interest that you can visit before or after your visit: to the south is Hauptbahnhof and to the north you will find Tiergarten and the famous Brandenburg Gate.
Due to its central location you will be able to get there very easily using any of the following means.
- Bus: You will find several bus stops nearby, Reichstag/Bundestag 3 minutes walk; S+U Brandenburg Gate 9 minutes walk; Behrenstr./Wilhelmstr. 12 minutes walk and Schumannstra 12 minutes walk. The Berlin Sightseeing Bus stops at the Reichstag.
- Subway: The nearest subway station is the Bundestag 6 minutes walk away, you can get here by taking the Berlin subway lines U2 and U5.
- S-Bahn: You will find two nearby stations S+U Brandenburg Gate at 11 minutes walking distance and S+U Friedrichstr. BHF at 13 minutes walking distance.
- Private vehicle: Parking available in the complex is limited and often hard to come by, however you will be able to find parking options all around.
Is it advisable to go to the Reichstag with children?
A visit to the Reichstag dome is definitely edifying for both children and adults, especially if you hire an expert guide who can accompany the family through the points of interest inside the exhibition.
If you decide to take the tour on your own, please note that the pre-booked Reichstag tour comes with an audio guide that you receive immediately upon entering the dome and the exhibition area. The audio guides are easy to use and are available in several languages including Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian. If you are visiting Berlin with children, you can request a special audio guide for children.
What you can't miss at the Reichstag
There is much to see inside the Reichstag and every traveler is likely to find his or her list of favorite items; in a personal consideration, it seems to me that every visit to the Parliament complex deserves a pause to admire the following highlights.
- The architecture of the dome: redesigned by famed architect Norman Foster, the Reichstag dome sought to establish a conceptual and symbolic link between modern Germany and its historical past; paying homage to a unified and stronger Germany after the fall of East Germany and the end of the Cold War.
The impressive structure is made entirely of steel and glass, the choice of material combined with its privileged position gives us fabulous 360-degree views of the center of Berlin.
- The cone of mirrors
The Reichstag Dome is located just above the Plenary Hall of Parliament and in addition to providing panoramic views of Berlin has another eye-catching element at its center: an inverted cone made of mirrors. This ingenious resource feeds natural light into the chambers of Parliament just below. From inside the dome it is possible to view the halls below.
- Photographic exhibition
Inside the Parliament building you will find hundreds of old photographs describing the history of the building together with the most important historical moments of the city.
- Bundestag Restaurant
On the rooftop of the Parliament building you will find a restaurant that offers amazing views of the center of Berlin; besides the good food it is worth a visit just for the wonderful panoramic view. If you decide to have lunch or dinner here, be aware that a reservation in advance (minimum two days before) is absolutely necessary. Another popular alternative is to book an excursion to the Reichstag that includes lunch at the restaurant.
How much time do you need to visit the Reichstag?
As you will notice once you enter the Reichstag, there is a lot to see inside the building; if you want to just walk around and see the highlights you can take a quick 40 minute tour.
But if you really want to enjoy the wonderful views of the city from the gigantic glass dome, if you want to appreciate the architecture of the Parliament and if you want to absorb all the historical information inside the building you should set aside about 2 or 3 hours of your itinerary. This is the time that most guided tours inside the Reichstag usually take to give tourists a complete tour of the place.
Reichstag opening hours
Access to the Reichstag Dome is available to the public from 8 am to midnight; the last entrance for tours is at 9:45 pm, this makes a visit to the Reichstag one of the best things to do in Berlin at night. If you are planning a trip to Berlin it is important that you keep in mind the days of limited opening hours or closure of the Reichstag.
- December 24: Reichstag will be closed all day.
- December 31: Limited opening hours, with the Reichstag closed from 4 p.m. onwards.
- Rest of the year: Access to the Reichstag Dome will be closed several days of the year for cleaning and maintenance work; it is important to consult the official website before visiting.
Best time to visit the Reichstag
The best time to visit the Reichstag may vary depending on your goals and what you want to get out of your visit.
- To avoid waiting in line, it is best to book a guided tour in advance of your trip, as due to the monument's popularity you will find lines almost all year round.
- To take pictures and get fabulous views of the city it is best to visit the Reichstag during the day. Take the opportunity to include other interesting visits or activities in the center of Berlin.
- For a dramatic and out-of-the-ordinary experience I recommend visiting the Reichstag on an evening tour and combining it with a show or dinner.