The historic Reichstag building is where the German Parliament (Bundestag) meet regularly. Restored by Norman Foster in 1990, it has become one of the iconic symbols of the capital. Discover how to visit it.
The historic Reichstag building is the seat of the German Parliament (German Bundestag). Established in 1894, it has an almost “classic temple” like façade, crowned by a large modern dome, which is opened to the public.
Located on the border with East Berlin, the Reichstag was separated from the nearby Brandenburg Gate for nearly twenty-nine years by the Berlin Wall.
The edifice was opened in 1894. In the first years, it became the headquarters of the Diet, the German government until workers and soldiers occupied the building after World War I and the Weimar Republic was declared.
In 1933, the building was partly destroyed by a fire, under unusual circumstances. The Nazis accused a supposed Dutch communist agitator, but in fact the only party that benefited from the fire were the Nazis.
Hitler’s party used this excuse to enforce the Enabling Act of 1933 that gave the Chancellor Adolf Hitler plenary powers and dissolved the Reichstag.
After the end of the World War II, the German Parliament was partly demolished by the bombings. There a large debate on whether to demolish it completely or rebuild it. Finally, in 1956, the decision was made to restore the building, but without its original dome.
Visiting the Parliament
You’ll be handed an audio guide when you get off the lift that will accompany you throughout the visit. The highlight of the visit is the impressive glass dome, located directly above the Plenary Hall of the Parliament.
The dome, redesigned by the renowned architect Norman Foster, is a symbolic element to represent that the Reichstag building is the center of parliamentary democracy. The citizens, from above, can check that all the matters are carried out transparently.
The dome is decorated by numerous old photographs through which the history of the edifice is depicted.
There is an observation deck with views over the city at the top of the dome. However, the views are not as impressive as from other landmarks like the Television Tower or Berlin Cathedral.
You must book in advance
If you wish to visit the Bundestag, you must book online in advance. You can book your tickets for free via following link:
Daily: 8am - midnight.
Brandenburg Gate (288 m) Pariser Platz (326 m) Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (555 m) Potsdamer Platz (1 km) Unter den Linden (1 km)