Berlin's TV tower, or Fernsehturm, is the premier place to go to take in an unforgettable, 360-degree view of the German city. Located in the heart of Berlin, the TV tower does more than transmit television across the region - it is also a symbol of the reunited metropolis and an iconic part of the city skyline that draws in millions of visitors each year. This is an ideal destination for senior travel groups stopping by Berlin on their Rhine river cruises.
A Brief History of the TV Tower
The German Democratic Republic administration decided to build a tower to transmit its TV programming throughout all of reunited Germany in the 1950s, but it wasn't until 1964 that a location was chosen. Walter Ulbricht, the GDR's Head of State, picked a spot next to the Alexanderplatz public square in the heart of the city, according to the Fernsehturm website. Other proposed spots included the site of the former Berlin Palace and in the nearby Müggelberg mountains, but Ulbricht's choice proved to be the best. The tower was completed and operational by Oct. 3, 1969.
How High Can Visitors Go?
While visitors cannot travel to the very top of the tower, which stands about 1,207 feet tall, they are welcome to take an elevator ride to the spherical structure a little more than 650 feet above the city. There are two elevators that carry passengers up and down the tower, but adventurous guests can take on the challenge of climbing the 986 steps to the panoramic floor if they want. The sphere contains seven floors that are all open to the public, including the Panoramic Floor and the Restaurant Sphere, according to Berlin.de.
What's for Dinner?
The Restaurant Sphere is open all day, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner with a view. Not only do guests get to look out over the city from its highest point, but they will be treated to an ever-changing view. The sphere spins on its axis, making a complete rotation every half hour or hour. Dinner may be the best option, as Wednesday through Sunday, there is live music courtesy of an in-house pianist. There's also a full bar that offers happy hour specials daily for a fun-filled afternoon above Berlin.
Whether visitors want to learn more about the tower's heritage, share a meal in a one-of-a-kind location or simply take in a birds-eye view of Berlin, the TV tower is one place they won't want to leave off the itinerary on their next escorted vacation.