The Reichstag Dome is one of the most beautiful structures in Germany’s capital, with hundreds of mirrors circling a dome and looking out at the stunning views of Berlin. The parliament originally had a stone dome but it was damaged in the war. In the 1960s, the Reichstag was restored and later, in the 90s, Sir Norman Foster designed a new, eco-friendly dome that collects rainwater and the mirrors even light up the room below.
There is good news and bad news when it comes to the dome, and the Reichstag in general. Let’s start with the bad news. Unfortunately, it is exclusive and you’ll need to book at least two weeks in advance to secure a place to visit. It’s easy to book on the Bundestag website. You’ll need to fill out your name and date of birth, then bring your passport with you as evidence. The dome is open daily from 8am till midnight, the last admission is at 10pm, but is sometimes closed in bad weather or when parliament is sitting. The good news is that because of this exclusivity, the dome has just the right amount of visitors. It’s easy to imagine with a place as beautiful and as monumental as this one heaving with tourists, but this is not the case. It’s a peaceful experience to wander round, listening to the facts about the dome and the views from the headset given. They have many languages available to choose from. The headset tells you information from your location. If you want to listen, walk slowly and remember to pause when it tells you, because if you walk too fast, the headset will skip onto the next set of facts about wherever you are standing.I was lucky enough to visit the dome at sunset and the views were magnificent. The views from the TV Tower in Alexander Platz and the Berliner Dom cannot compare to the up-close vastness of the Tiergarten.