Top 12 Locations to Photograph in Berlin

Berlin TV Tower

If you’re planning a trip to Europe, Berlin is likely towards the top of your destination list. As Germany has a rich history, distinct culture, and beautiful architecture, it’s only natural to assume that Berlin is a photographer’s playground. After spending 5 days in Berlin I have mapped out 12 of the best photo and instagram spots for photography across the city. I’ve also included a few tips, the gear I used, and each location on Google Maps.

Written and Photographed by Mike Lindle

1. Victory Column

Designed by Heinrich Strack and inaugurated on 1873, this tower commemorates the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War (1864), the Austro-Prussian War (1866), and the Franco-Prussian War (1871). It also gives tourists and locals access to one of the best views in Berlin. Be prepared to climb the 270 stairs to the observation platform at the top! Pictured you can see the Reichstag, TV Tower, and the Berlin Dom.

Berlin Victory Column Sunset
View of Berlin from the Top of Victory Tower

2. Top of Fernsehturm / TV Tower

The tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the German Democratic Republic. Towering at 368 meters (1207.35 feet) it easily has the most accessible and astonishing view above Berlin. Once on top you can stay for as long as you need, and there’s a bar serving libations and snacks. They do not allow tripods, but they offer a free service to check them in with security so you can retrieve it on your way out.

Berlin TV Tower Cityscape Train Fernsehturm
View of Berlin & Spree River from Top of TV Tower

3. Hotel Radisson Blu Indoor Aquarium

If you love urban architecture then this location is a must. One of Berlin’s hidden gems sits inside an unassuming hotel across the street from the Berlin Cathedral. Hotel staff are not sensitive to traveling tourists who are not hotel guests, so you need to be strategic if you want to photograph this epic location.

  • Pro Tip – Avoid getting kicked out for taking photos and grab a beer/lunch inside the atrium if you’re not a hotel guest.
  • Cost – Price of a Beer or Lunch in the Atrium
  • Camera – Nikon D750
  • Lens – Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art
  • Location
Berlin Radisson Blu Aquarium Architecture
Indoor Aquarium at Radisson Blu Hotel

4. Outside Berlin Cathedral / Berlin Dom

With a history dating back to 1451, the Berlin Cathedral has gone through numerous iterations of existence. Additions, demolitions, and refurbishments finally led to the completion in 1905 which is for the most part as it stands today. Explore the perimeter and marvel at the architecture!

  • Pro Tip – Photograph the Cathedral symmetrically from the front (when construction is not visible) or find a compelling view framed by the Spree River.
  • Cost – Free
  • Camera – Nikon D750
  • Lens – Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art
  • Location
Berlin Dom Cathedral Dome Outside Boat River
Berlin Dom seen from over the Spree River

5. Inside / On Top of Berlin Cathedral

No trip to the Berlin Dom is complete without marveling at the inner Dome or climbing the 270 steps to the top. Few views in Berlin compete with those found in the Berlin Dom.

Berlin Dom Cathedral Dome Inside
Inside Berlin Dom – The Dome
Berlin Dom View Top TV Tower Fernsehturm
View of TV Tower and Radisson Blu from the Top of Berlin Dom

6. Brandenberg Gate

An 18th-century neoclassical monument to the successful restoration of order during the early Batavian Revolution. One of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks sits in the middle of the Mitte neighborhood. A lively destination during the day and at night, there are a few things you can do to beat the crowd. Usually arriving for sunrise or 3am on weekdays are your best strategies for finding this site empty.

Berlin Brandenberg Gate Night Light
Ground View of Brandenberg Gate

7. Reichstag Dome

The Historic Reichstag opened in 1894 to house the Imperial Diet of the German Empire, it was soon severely damaged after being set on fire in 1933. After WW2, the building fell into disuse and though there was an attempt to partially refurbish it in 1960, it wasn’t until after German reunification in 1990 that it was fully renovated and reopened on 1999 to house the German Parliament.

Berlin Reichstag Building Interior Staircase
Central Staircase atop the Reichstag Building

8. Weberwiese U-Bahn Station

Berlin has many funky and unique U-Bahn stations. You’ll likely find many of them just by traveling around and stumbling upon these colorful locations. One in particular that stuck out to me was the Weberwiese U-Bahn Station, as the entire scene is bright yellow, including the iconic trains that travel through Berlin. If you’re traveling to East Berlin (especially if you plan to travel to Ostkreuz neighborhood for lunch), add this station as a stop.

Berlin Weberwiese Station Long Exposure Train
Chasing Trains at Weberwiese Station

9. East Side Gallery – The Socialist Fraternal Kiss

The East Side Gallery is an open-air gallery in Berlin that runs 1316 meters along what is left of the Berlin Wall. It consists of numerous murals painted directly on the Wall, located near the center of Berlin. This specific mural, The Bruderkuß, or The Socialist Fraternal Kiss, is historically known as the most iconic mural of the Cold War. Painted in 1990 by muralist Dmitri Vrubel, The Bruderkuß, displays communist leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker in an impassioned embrace.

Berlin East Gallery Fraternal Kiss
The Bruderkuß

10. Palazzo Ottagonale

The Palazzo Ottagonale, or Octagonal Plaza, is a classic destination among local photographers. Walking distance from Berlin’s CheckPoint Charlie, this courtyard offers a unique lookup with beautiful contrasting colors.

Berlin Palazzo Ottagonale Octagon Plaza Lookup Architecture
Lookup for the View at the Octagonal Plaza

11. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a Holocaust memorial which opened to the public on May 10, 2005. This monument houses 2,711 concrete slabs of varying heights arranged in a grid. The “Place of Information” underneath the site contains the names of approximately 3 million Jewish Holocaust victims. According to designer Peter Eisenman, the “whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason.” Many observers also note it’s resemblance to a graveyard for the unburied and murdered Jews of the Holocaust.

  • Pro Tip – Do Not Climb the Pillars! Instead, bring a tripod / monopod and raise your camera above your head for a new perspective.
  • Cost – Free
  • Camera – Nikon D750
  • Lens – Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art
  • Location
Berlin Memorial Murdered Jews of Europe Sunset
Rise Above

12. HTW Behrensbau – Peter Behrens Building

What was once a television electronics manufacturers’ industrial complex has been renovated and absorbed partly by the HTW university campus and partly by local businesses that spun-off from the former factory. There isn’t much in the neighborhood and it’s a trek from central Berlin but this destination is a must for urban architecture and urbex lovers.

Berlin Peter Behrens Building Architecture Lower Interior
Peter Behrens Lower
Berlin Peter Behrens Building Architecture Upper Interior
Peter Behrens Lower

I hope you found this guide to the 12 Top Locations to Photograph in Berlin useful. If I had more time, I would have also explored these locations! Unfortunately, it was extremely difficult to fit everything into the schedule.

If you enjoyed this, check out Focal Collective’s other travel guides in the adventure section of our blog Focal Points. Feel free to look through our Artist Interview Series as well!

Author Mike Lindle (@MikeLindle) is a founder of Focal Collective. His goal is to offer advice and tips to those who crave adventure. He lives in Denver, CO but spends most of his working hours exploring California and beyond.

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