By Vicky · Published Feb. 1st, 2024
This walking tour visits both the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and the Memorial to the Fallen Jews, three of the top sights in Berlin.
You can get to the Brandenburg Gate, the start of this walking tour, by taking the U-Bahn (metro) to Brandenburger Tor U-Bahn station. Bus 100 also stops here.
Brandenburg Gate & Reichstag Walking Tour Map
Tips for Brandenburg Gate & Reichstag Walking Tour
- Make sure to reserve your tickets to the Reichstag Dome in advance. It’s free but takes a while to receive confirmation of booking, and on popular days tickets sell out.
- Bring an official ID to enter the Reichstag. You must also go through an airport-style security check. You can bring liquids and cameras, but don’t bring knives or anything else dangerous as you won’t be allowed in.
- Check out other city tours and walks on our Germany Hiking Page.
Top Things to See near Brandenburg Gate
On this self-guided tour, you’ll visit the Brandenburg Gate & Reichstag along with several other sights of interest. If you prefer a guided tour, this private tour in English* covers both the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and more.
- Brandenburg Gate
- Memorial to the Fallen Jews
- Parliament of Trees
- Spree Riverside Park
- House of World Cultures
Brandenburg Gate & Reichstag Walking Tour Route
This walking tour starts from Pariser Platz, where the Brandenburg Gate is located.
1. Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks and a symbol of both the city and German history. It was built in the late 18th century by King Frederick William II of Prussia as a neoclassical triumphal arch. During the Cold War, the Brandenburg Gate became a powerful symbol of the division between East and West Berlin. The gate was located in the no man’s land of the Berlin Wall, and its image was often associated with the separation of the city and the ideological conflict between the communist and capitalist blocs.
Directions: Head through the gate and left down the main road between the gate and the Tiergarten.
2. Memorial to the Fallen Jews
The Memorial to the Fallen Jews, commonly known as the Holocaust Memorial is a somber memorial in the centre of Berlin. It was built in 2005, and consists of 2,711 concrete slabs or stelae of varying heights arranged in a grid pattern over a sloping field. You can walk through the maze-like arrangement of slabs, and the idea is to feel a sense of unease and disorientation while at the same time allowing for solitude and quiet reflection. On the far side is an underground information centre that provides more information about the memorial.
Detour: Hitler’s Bunker, where he committed suicide, is not far from here. Head right, down the street at the far end of the Memorial. You can’t see much today – it’s just a car park, but there’s a sign about how the area has changed over time and what happened to the bunker.
Directions: After walking through the Memorial, cross over into the Tiergarten and head back north towards the gate. Just past the gate, take a diagonal left through the park to the grand Reichstag building.
Key Information: Free entry, but you have to book timeslots in advance from the official website. Book at least one day before your visit as it takes some time to get the confirmation. Bring your official ID with you. It’s open daily from 8am to 9:45pm. There’s also a free audioguide.
The Reichstag is the seat of the German parliament. The main attraction is the Reichstag Dome, a large glass dome at the top with panoramic views over Berlin. It’s free to enter (but book in advance), and you can walk up the spiral ramp to the top while enjoying views of the city and the parliamentary chamber below. The audioguide will guide you around, and there’s also a small exhibit about the history of the building and the German government.
Directions: Walk around the far side of the Reichstag to the river and turn right. Head across the first bridge and then left to follow the banks of the river. Just past the next bridge, head right up the steps and across the road to the area of trees.
4. Parliament of the Trees
In this small park there are 16 trees representing the 16 federal states of Germany, all planted in 1990 to celebrate the reunification of Germany. There’s also an original stretch of the Berlin Wall at the back, covered in paintings and quotations. Today it’s a monument against war and violence, but also a reminder that we have to take care of nature to take care of ourselves.
Directions: Continue along the road and take a left across the first bridge, into Spree Riverside Park. If you want to visit the Futurium (a fun free museum about technology and the future), don’t cross the bridge but continue a short distance further.
5. Spree Riverside Park
There are great views from the Spree Riverside Park, which follows the banks of the Spree River. On the opposite side you can see the Futurium Museum, the large glassy Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), the even more glassy 3XN Cube Berlin, and many more modern architectural elements.
Directions: Walk along the riverside, admiring the views, until you reach the next stop.
6. House of World Cultures
The House of World Cultures (or Haus der Kulturen der Welt) is a distinctive building designed in the 1950s in a post-war modernist style. It hosts a wide range of cultural programs, including exhibitions, performances, concerts, lectures, and workshops. These events often focus on contemporary issues, cultural exchange, and global perspectives. You can wander in for free and look at the exhibits, though the concerts and other performances are all ticketed.
Directions: From here, head back across the grassy Platz der Republik towards the Reichstag. This is the end of the Brandenburg Gate & Reichstag Walking Tour. From here you can walk through the Tiergarten, take a bus, go to the Bundestag Metro Station, or return to Brandenburg Tor Metro Station for more public transport options.
Guidebooks to explore more of Germany
For more walking tours and hikes in Germany, see our Germany hiking page.