Step right up to one of the most iconic landmarks in Berlin and join the likes of Napoleon and Prussian emperors who have marched through this majestic city gate – the only surviving one of its kind in the capital. Standing at 26 metres tall, this impressive neoclassical sandstone structure harbours a dramatic past, but today, it represents a time of peace and unity.
Commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia, construction on the triumphal arch began in 1788 and carried through until 1791. The gate marks the official entry point to the Unter den Linden, a boulevard of shady linden trees that once led the way to the palace of the Prussian monarchs. A stroll down the boulevard from the Brandenburg Gate introduces you to a number of landmarks and attractions, from the Berlin State Opera to the grand Humboldt University. You’ll also encounter the oldest building on Unter den Linden, the Zeughaus (armory) – now the site of the German Historical Museum.
Just a few minutes’ walk north of the gate is another must-see Berlin attraction, the historic Reichstag Building – famously crowned with a stunning multitiered glass dome designed by architect Sir Norman Foster as part of a much-needed refurbishment in the 1990s. If you climb to the top of the dome (it’s best to preregister to do this), you can see the Brandenburg Gate from above.
For the full Brandenburg Gate experience, visit in the late afternoon to see it first by day before watching it come alive by night. After dark, it’s draped in a spectacular blanket of golden light, with the illuminated Goddess of Victory on her horse-drawn chariot looks down from the top to those on the ground below. The south wing of the monument has an excellent tourist information centre. To visit Brandenburg Gate and its surrounding attractions, take the S-Bahn to Brandenburger Tor.