As BBS member, Nadav Gablinger says “Since Berlin is a flat city, from almost every roof you will have a beautiful view of the city.”
That’s the good news.
But just how do you choose the best Berlin view to wow your date, impress your Instagram followers or simply enjoy a new perspective?
We’ve compiled a list of 9 places to get that picture-perfect Berlin panorama, based on the recommendations of our members.
With options including rooftop eateries, historic war memorials, former spy stations, a quirky bar situated on top of a car park and a tower built on top of a disused bunker, you’re sure to find the perfect spot. Read on to find out which views are rated most highly by local guides.
The Best Central and Classic View of Berlin
Built to commemorate the wars of German Unification at the end of the 19th century, the Victory Column was moved from its original location near the Reichstag to the Großer Stern under Hitler’s reign. For just a few Euros paid at the base, you can climb the 281 steps to the top for a stunning 360-degree view out across the Tiergarten.
“Perhaps the most rewarding is the view from the Victory Column, after squeezing past people up those narrow stairs; of course I am referring to pre-Corona times…”
Opened on Potsdamer Platz in 1999, Panorama Punkt offers excellent views of the city’s best-known landmarks. The most impressive views are from the rooftop, though you can also see a lot from the windows of the very comfortable bar. As well as views, this building boasts the fastest elevator in Europe – not that you get much time to enjoy it…
At 368 metres the Fernsehturm remains one of Berlin’s most striking landmarks, visible from all across the city. Still the tallest structure in Germany (and 3rd tallest in the EU), the TV Tower was completed in 1969 to mark the 20th anniversary of the GDR and was intended to symbolise that state’s power. For many the view is unparalleled. Why not pay a visit to the revolving restaurant too whilst you’re up there?
“The best view? Probably from the TV Tower but – a confession – I’ve never been up it!”
Visitors to the 10th floor of Bikini Berlin’s 25hours Hotel are in for a truly unique view from the Monkey Bar’s roof terrace. It’s called the Monkey Bar for a reason… Namely: from here you can see into the monkey enclosure of the neighbouring Berlin Zoo. Cocktail aficionados will feel right at home too, thanks to the extensive drinks list and expert mixologists.
The best off-the-beaten-track Berlin view
The Kreuzberg in Viktoriapark in… Kreuzberg
Opened in 1894, the Viktoriapark is in fact where you’ll find the original Kreuzberg (Kreuzberger Hill). The 66m (217ft) hill is topped with a cast iron monument commemorating the Wars of Liberation fought during the Napoleonic Wars and, in summer, is home to an artificial waterfall. The park is also located next to two vineyards.
Solar Restaurant, Excelsiorhaus
Inspired by the architecture of New York, Sobotka and Müller’s ’60s-built apartment complex is named after the Hotel Excelsior that used to stand in its stead before the Second World War. Today the building is home to 506 apartments and 39 businesses, including the much-lauded Solar Restaurant, where delicious food and drinks are served with a cracking view.
“The most interesting view, in my opinion, is from the Solar Restaurant in the Excelsiorhaus, which used to be the CIA’s spy station. In the basement there was a bunker that could hold 3100 people for 14 days.”
Located on top of the Neuköllner Arkaden shopping centre, this hipster hangout is a much-loved spot to watch the sun go down at the beginning of a long Berlin night. Expect less polish than the roof terraces of Berlin’s pricier districts. Here, between the flowerbeds, you can enjoy drinks and Mediterranean-inspired food in a cosy, distinctly DIY atmosphere – all set to a soundtrack provided by local DJs.
“Klunkerkranich – impossible for visitors to pronounce and sometimes even harder to find. Get that pure Berliner Luft surrounded by plants, hipsters, and wooden crates while standing on top of Neukölln.”
“Klunkerkranich has a special place in my heart because you’re in the thick of Neuköllln and it’s a great view of the TV tower to have while sipping on cheap lagers on a lovely patio!”
Aussichtsturm am Finkenberg, Döberitzer Heide
Brandenburg’s Döberitz Heathland was once a military training ground. Then, in the 2000s, the Heinz Seilmann Foundation transformed it into a 3,600-hectare nature reserve. On your way to the 15-metre observation tower – built on top of a disused bunker in 2011 – you can meander along pathways to take in the ground-level scenery and local wildlife.
“Worth the hike!”
Literally translated as “Devil’s Mountain”, Teufelsberg actually comprises two man-made hills located to the south of Berlin. It was made by piling WWII rubble onto the shell of the Nazis’ never-completed Faculty of Military Technology. The site was then used as a spy station during the Cold War, before street artists and graffiti taggers made it there playground in the 90s.
“Teufelsberg is great because who doesn’t want to get a nice panorama of Berlin atop an 80 meter man made hill made of literal garbage? Plus the surrounding Grunewald forest is beautiful.”
A more philosophical view of Berlin…
According to Ben Fisher, sometimes it’s less about where you’re looking from and more what you’re looking at that matters.
“What makes for a great view? A skyscraper’s panoramic observation deck? A monumental building to have as a selfie background? Green meadows and tranquil river flowing nearby? I‘ll tell you where’s the best view in town – put on your worst outfit, grab a bottle of Sterni and hang around for 2 hours at the Warschauer Straße bridge, connecting Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, on a Saturday night. I’d argue it’s the best view in the galaxy.”
Whichever spot you choose to take in the city from on high, the truth is: the best view is up to you. As Jeremy Minsberg puts it:
“The best view in Berlin is where you find it. It can be at the Gate, a museum or a Hinterhof (back courtyard). Every day the view changes and expands”