Berlin’s beauty is in the details. Yes, despite being a very popular city, it is not exactly known for, let’s say, the typical understanding of beauty. People like this city for more subtle reasons. But we think it’s also a matter of perspective. When you take a few steps back and look at it from a distance – more specifically from above – you see the city in a whole new way. Things that you normally only realize when you spend more time here become very obvious: How green the city is, the massive parks that function as green lungs of the city. How low the city was built, almost devoid of sky scrapers that mostly give cities with skylines a very generic look. From the distance you will see the more iconic constructions of the city and how much they stand-out, details that every other big city would simply swallow in a jungle of concrete.
We should look at Berlin from a bird’s eye view way more often and appreciate this different kind of beauty! To give you an overview of where you can get this perspective, we selected our favorite high viewpoints for you. A little shout-out to some of our Instagrammers from our #berlin exhibition who made a big portion of the photos after the jump.
The Zionskirche in Mitte is a less known viewpoint and I think it’s quite a unique one. That’s why it’s on the top of my list. It’s not super high, but you still have a very nice view over the rooftops of central Berlin. You can access the tower every Sunday from 12-16h for a small fee of 2 EUR.
Pros: The arched windows make a beautiful frame for the photo.
Cons: It’s not very high up and entrance is only once a week.
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The TV Tower of Berlin is the most iconic sight of the city and people just love it. You can basically ascend it every day for a quite touristy fee of around 14 EUR. There is also a restaurant up there, but we can’t recommend that.
Pros: It’s a 360° view of central Berlin with all the famous sights in view. The platform rotates – the only one of its kind in Berlin.
Cons: Quite expensive, long waits in peak hours, can’t see the TV tower in the picture 😉
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Park Inn Terrace
The rooftop platform on the Park Inn Hotel right next to the TV Tower has one clear advantage: This is the closest view you could ever get of the spherical platform of the TV tower and the entry fee of 4 EUR is cheap compared to the tower.
Pros: Close view of the TV tower.
Cons: In the afternoon the view of the tower is totally against the sunlight, so go at noon or for the sunset.
photo: Nico Trinkhaus – Berlin Fernsehturm Alexanderplatz – CC-BY-NC
photo: Andreas Levers
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The big glowing balloon with the picture of a globe is one of the biggest helium balloons in the world, so contrary to what you might think, it is actually not a hot air balloon. Depending on the weather, it goes up every 15 minutes and from the platform you can see central Berlin from a height of 150m. It’s pretty cool, but quite touristy and it has its price: around 20 EUR, which makes this the most expensive option on our list.
Pros: It’s a balloon ride – how cool is that?!
Cons: Depends on the weather, quite expensive.
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The rooftop deck of the Kollhoff tower at Potsdamer Platz is a nice alternative to the Hi-Flyer as it’s less weather dependent and much cheaper, and still provides an equally great view over all of Berlin. The price is 6,50 EUR. There is also a cafe up there.
Pros: The most central view of Berlin.
Cons: It’s at the much-hated Potsdamer Platz.
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TU Cafeteria Skyline
This one is mostly unknown because it’s not a tourist spot. The cafeteria of the TU in the Telekom tower at Ernst-Reuther-Platz is the highest viewpoint in the West and the great thing is: It’s for free.
Pros: It’s free!
Cons: View of a less exciting part of the city.
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Here’s one for the adventurer. The Gasometer in Schöneberg is one of the most interesting high constructions in the city. The base of it is an event space now, but the circular structure towering over it can be climbed as part of a guided tour with a great view over the West of Berlin. You need to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for info and tour availability. The price is around 20 EUR per person.
Pros: Very adventurous climb!
Cons: Only by appointment and dependent on season and weather.
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One of the most popular places in Neukölln is the open air bar and event space Klunkerkranich on the roof deck of a parking house at the Neukölln Arkaden. It’s a lovely community project that brings together different kinds of happenings and scenes in the district. You have an amazing view over the city and apart from the view it’s also the most fun place to hang out at from all the places in our list. It’s currently on Winter break but will re-open in March 2016.
Pros: It’s a fun place!
Cons: Closed during most of Winter.
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This is another more touristic view point, but a nice one nonetheless. The victory column is right in the middle of the big inner-city forest Tiergarten, so you will see a lot of green. Open daily and the entrance fee is 3 EUR.
Pros: The ornaments of the balcony make a nice frame for your picture. The golden statue above you is really magnificent.
Cons: You see mostly forest with the city in the distance.
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Monkey Bar / Neni
The bar and restaurant inside the top floor of the 25 Hours Design Hotel at Zoo provide a nice view over the commercial center in West Berlin. You see the destroyed memorial church, the newly renovated Bikini house, and you can even take a peak into the zoo. All of that for just the price of a drink or a meal.
Pros: Great view by night.
Cons: Not very high.
photos: Mario Fajt
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The Funkturm is our miniature version of the Eiffel Tour at the fair grounds of Messe Berlin. You can go up and have a view of West Berlin. There is also a restaurant up there. Entrance is 3 EUR for the restaurant level or 5 EUR for the platform above.
Pros: It’s a mini Eiffel Tour!!
Cons: Kinda far away from everything.
photos: Funkturm Messe Berlin
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Last but not least, we have a viewpoint that is a bit outside the city, but totally worth the hike. The former spy station is a highly frequented spot for urban explorers from all over the world. The old station looks really haunting and is full of street art and graffiti. You have a great view over the city and the place itself is also worth a visit. It was a bit hard to find out how the current state of entry is in this place, since ownership changed last year. Last thing we heard you can get access for a fee of 7 EUR and get a tour from an informal guide of some sort. Check the comments section of abandoned Berlin for up-to-date info.
Pros: Stunning atmosphere and location.
Cons: Further outside of town, entry a bit sketchy.
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