What is the Reichstag
The Reichstag in Berlin is the traditional seat of the German Parliament. Built in 1894, it was a contentious sparking point to World War II. When it was set on fire during the height of political hysteria in 1933, Hitler used the incident to seize total control of the government.
After the war, the building stood in disrepair as the seat of the parliament of the German Democratic Republic was moved to Palast der Republik in East Berlin with the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany moving to the Bundeshaus in Bonn.
In the 1960s some attempts at saving the building were made, but a full renovation wasn't complete until reunification on October 3rd, 1990. Architect Norman Foster took on the project and in 1999 the Reichstag became the meeting place of the German parliament again. Its new modern glass dome was a realization of the theory of glasnost.
Everyone is welcome to tour the Reichstag (with a little planning) and view active parliamentary proceedings. This site also offers one of the best panoramic views of the Berlin skyline.
How to Visit the Reichstag
Visiting the Reichstag requires pre-registration. This may be as simple as stopping by the site, showing ID and returning at a specific time, but it is best to register online before you plan on visiting.
Requests can only be submitted with a complete list of participants (naming all members of your group). The following information is required for each person: surname, first name and date of birth.
Register online here.
Even with registration, there is almost always a line to get into the Reichstag, but don't worry, it moves fast and it's worth the wait. Be prepared to show your ID (preferably a passport) and go through a metal detector.
For disabled visitors, families with small children, and visitors who have reservations for the Reichstag restaurant, guides will escort you to a special elevator entrance.
As soon as you exit the elevator atop the building you are offered a comprehensive audioguide. It provides insightful commentary on the city, its buildings and history over the course of a 20 minute, 230-metre-long ascent up the dome. It is available in eleven languages: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Dutch and Chinese. Special audioguides will also be available for children and for people with disabilities.
The Berlin Reichstag is the only parliamentary building in the world that features a public restaurant; Restaurant Kaefer and its roof garden are located on the top of the Reichstag, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner at reasonable prices – breathtaking views included.
Visitor Information at the Reichstag
- Address: Platz der Republik 1, 10557 Berlin
- SBahn: Unter den Linden (take S1, S2, or S25)
- Bus Station: Unter den Linden (take Bus 100)
Opening Hours at the Reichstag
Daily, 8:00 til midnight
Lift to the glass dome: 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Opening Hours at the Reichstag Restaurant
- Breakfast: 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
- Lunch: noon - 2:30 p.m.
- Coffee, tea, and cake: 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
- Dinner: 6:30 p.m. - midnight