The best known of Berlin’s symbols, the Brandenburg Gate stands proudly in the middle of Pariser Platz, asserting itself against the hyper-modern embassy buildings that now surround it. Crowned by its triumphant Quadriga sculpture, the famous Gate has long been a focal point in Berlin’s history: rulers and statesmen, military parades and demonstrations – all have felt compelled to march through the Brandenburger Tor.

  • Pariser Platz

Tourist information

  • Brandenburger Tor

  • Apr–Nov: 9:30am–6pm daily; Nov–Mar: 10am–6pm daily

  • 030 25 00 25

The Brandenburg Gate seen from the east

One of the best spots for a coffee or a bite to eat in Pariser Platz is Theodor Tucher, a café and restaurant that opens at 9am.

A small exhibition, housed in the northern side wing of the Brandenburger Tor, tells the history of the Gate.

Top 10 Sights
  1. Brandenburger Tor

    Since its restoration in 2002, Berlin’s symbol is now lit up more brightly than ever before. Built by Carl G Langhans in 1789–91 and modelled on the temple porticos of ancient Athens, the Gate has, since the 19th century, been the backdrop for many events in the city’s turbulent history.

  2. Quadriga

    The sculpture, 6 m (20 ft) high above the Gate, was created in 1794 by Johann Gottfried Schadow as a symbol of peace. As a model for the laurel-crowned goddess of peace in the chariot, Schadow used his niece, who subsequently became famous throughout Berlin.

  3. Hotel Adlon Berlin

    Completed in 1997 and now favoured by visiting dignitaries, Berlin’s most elegant hotel is a reconstruction of the original Hotel Adlon. This legendary hotel, destroyed in World War II, was host to the rich and famous, including Greta Garbo, Thomas Mann and Charlie Chaplin .

  4. DZ Bank

    This modern building, designed by the American architect Frank Owen Gehry, combines the clean lines of Prussian architecture with some daring elements.

  5. Akademie der Künste

    The new building, erected between 2000 and 2005 by Günter Behnisch and Manfred Sabatke, incorporates behind a vast expanse of windows the ruins of the old art academy, which was destroyed in World War II. Today it is an Academy of the Arts and features compelling exhibitions.

  6. French Embassy

    In 1999–2001, an elegant new building was constructed by Christian de Portzamparc, on the site of the old embassy, which was destroyed in World War II. Its colonnades and tall windows, a homage to the former French Embassy palace, are particularly remarkable and worth seeing.

  7. Palais am Pariser Platz

    This complex by Bernhard Winking, a successful modern interpretation of Neo-Classical architecture, is slightly hidden to the north of the Brandenburger Tor. It is worth venturing inside where you will find a café, a restaurant and a souvenir shop around a pleasantly shaded courtyard.

  8. Eugen-Gutmann-Haus

    With its clean lines, the Dresdner Bank, built in the round by the Hamburg architects’ team gmp in 1996–7, recalls the style of the New Sobriety movement of the 1920s. In front of the building, which serves as the Berlin headquarters of the Dresdner Bank, stands the famous original street sign for the Pariser Platz.

  9. Haus Liebermann

    Josef Paul Kleihues erected this building at the north end of the Brandenburger Tor in 1996–8, faithfully recreating an earlier building on the same site. The house is named after the artist Max Liebermann, who lived here. In 1933, watching Nazi SA troops march through the Gate, he famously said: “I cannot possibly eat as much as I would want to puke out.”

  10. American Embassy

    The last gap in the line of buildings around Pariser Platz was finally closed in 2008. A dispute between the embassy and the Berlin Senate delayed building for several years: an entire street was to be moved to satisfy the USA’s security requirements. But in the end, the historical street stayed where it was.

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