Alexanderplatz in Berlin, on the northernmost edge of the city's historic center, is one of the most visited places in Berlin thanks to its central location and abundance of attractions.
In this guide, we reveal tips and helpful information about Alexanderplatz, including its attractions, history and safety at the square.
Things to Do at Alexanderplatz
The "Alex", as Berliners affectionately call it, is the largest square in Germany and the fourth busiest square in Europe. More than 360,000 people are on the move on Alexanderplatz every day. Whether for strolling, shopping or dining, Alexanderplatz is definitely worth a visit.
Thanks to its central location, Alexanderplatz also offers excellent overnight accommodations. There are numerous hotels around the square that have a suitable place to stay for every budget.
Below you will find the top things to do at Alexanderplatz:
1. Shopping at Alexanderplatz
The Irish fashion retailer Primark is very popular, as is the Alexa shopping center, which is a small shopping paradise with 180 stores inside. Rathauspassage, where you can stroll leisurely towards Rotes Rathaus and wander through the many stores, are just as worth a visit.
The Galeria Kaufhof behind the fountain used to be called Centrum Warenhaus and was the largest of its kind in the GDR. Alexanderplatz station also offers further shopping opportunities with its numerous stores.
2. Restaurants & Bars at Alexanderplatz
Locals and tourists like to visit Alexanderplatz to go out for a meal or a drink with friends or family. From bubble tea and ice cream to currywurst and kebab, you can find everything here.
The hustle and bustle of the square is perfect for getting a taste of Berlin life. Sit down in one of the many cafés or bars to watch the colorful hustle and bustle, or indulge in delicacies of international or German cuisine in one of the many restaurants.
3. Attractions at Alexanderplatz
Even though Alexanderplatz is primarily a popular address for shopping and dining, the square also has a number of attractions waiting for you.
The square is home to the World Time Clock, a very popular photo motif and one of the most popular meeting places for Berliners. You can read the current time in 146 major cities of the world and the International Date Line on the metal gyroscope. The representation of the solar system with spheres as planets and steel circles as their orbits rotates once a minute.
The two buildings to the left and right behind the World Time Clock, the Alexanderhaus and the Berolinahaus, enclosed Alexanderplatz to the southwest before the GDR existed. The two oldest buildings on the square were heavily damaged during World War II, but were later faithfully restored. To the outside, they look as they did when they opened in 1932.
In the center of Alexanderplatz stands the Fountain of Friendship, inaugurated in 1970, a work by artist Walter Womacka. The listed fountain was popularly known pejoratively as the "hooker's brooch" because of its very colorful enamels and the prostitution that was practiced in the area.
Popular Tickets for Berlin TV Tower
4. Take off at the Park Inn Hotel
The roof terrace of the Park Inn by Radisson at 120 meters above sea level is open to the public for a fee and offers a breathtaking view of Berlin. The building, which is surpassed in height only by the Berlin TV Tower, was opened in GDR times, in 1970, as Interhotel. At that time, the 4-star hotel was the preferred residence of delegations from countries of the Warsaw Pact, the socialist brother states.
Today, you can take exceptional photos from the 40th floor of the hotel with the famous Berlin landmark, the TV Tower on the opposite side of Alexanderplatz.
But that's not all! At dizzy heights, you can celebrate your Berlin stay with a glass of sparkling wine and experience base flying, the rapid descent down the Park Inn Hotel's exterior facade to Alexanderplatz, up close. From the hotel lobby, take the elevator to the 35th floor. Then climb the five remaining floors to the panorama terrace on foot.
5. Explore the Surroundings
Numerous sights in Berlin such as the Berlin TV Tower, the Nikolai Quarter and Museum Island are within walking distance, making Alexanderplatz an ideal starting point for your sightseeing tour.
We recommend the self-guided audio tours from our partner YourMobileGuide. Thanks to the audio guide app, you can explore the city's attractions on your own while listening to exciting and informative anecdotes. The Best of Berlin Tour takes you to the most important sights in the center of Berlin, including Alexanderplatz, of course!
Safety at Alexanderplatz
Since Alexanderplatz has fallen into disrepute due to a high crime rate, the police are trying to get a grip on the situation at the square and convey a sense of security through increased security measures, such as their own police station.
Nevertheless, it is advisable to take care of your valuables, especially in crowded areas, to protect yourself from pickpockets and tricksters.
How to get to Alexanderplatz?
As an important transport hub, the "Alex" is also very easy to reach. Thanks to the Berlin Alexanderplatz train station, U-Bahn trains, S-Bahn trains, and regional trains run here regularly. Buses and streetcars in front of the Alexanderplatz station complete the route network.
- From Potsdamer Platz: Take the U2 and go 7 stops to the Alexanderplatz stop.
- Parking: Since parking at Alexanderplatz is difficult due to the limited parking spaces, the use of public transport is highly recommended here.
FAQ about Alexanderplatz
Alexanderplatz is located at the northernmost edge of the historic center of Berlin. It is situated right next to the Berlin TV Tower.
Alexanderplatz was originally called Königs-Thor-Platz. After the Russian Tsar Alexander I was welcomed here on his visit to the city, the square was henceforth called Alexanderplatz. In the vernacular, the nickname "Alex" quickly became established.
During the inner-German division, Alexanderplatz was located in East Berlin.
Since Alexanderplatz has fallen into disrepute due to a high crime rate, the police are trying to get a grip on the situation at the square and convey a sense of security through increased security measures, such as their own police station. Nevertheless, it is advisable to take care of your valuables, especially in crowded areas, to protect yourself from pickpockets and tricksters.
History & Facts about Alexanderplatz
The origins of the square date back to the beginning of the 15th century. When the Prussian King Frederick I moved to Berlin after his coronation in Königsberg in 1701, the gate through which he entered the city was named King's Gate and the square in front of it was henceforth called King's Gate Square. When the Russian Tsar Alexander I was received here on his visit to the city, the square was henceforth called Alexanderplatz. In the vernacular, the nickname "Alex" quickly became established. In 1882, Berlin's light rail system was opened and with it the Alexanderplatz light rail station. From 1884, the Grand Hotel in neo-Renaissance style welcomed its guests. In 1890, the police headquarters and the district court followed.
The square experienced its heyday at the beginning of the 20th century until the National Socialists came to power. Large department stores lined up one after the other. During this time, the square also developed into an important transportation hub with subway and commuter rail lines, long-distance trains, buses, and streetcars. From then on, it played this role until the present day.
During World War II, Alexanderplatz and many of the surrounding buildings were destroyed. After the war, a black market for barter developed on the destroyed square. Under the GDR regime, the square was transformed into a pedestrian zone.
In 1969, the 120-meter-high Interhotel Stadt Berlin (now Park Inn Hotel), the World Time Clock, and the TV Tower, which was the second-tallest tower in the world at the time and became the new landmark of East Berlin, were built.
The Alexanderplatz demonstration against the SED power regime on November 4, 1989 was one of the largest demonstrations in Berlin's history. A few days later, the Berlin Wall fell. Since then, the lively square has been in a constant state of change.
Contact & Map
- Address: Alexanderplatz, 10178 Berlin, Germany
- Public Transport: U2 to Alexanderplatz stop
- Berlin TV Tower
- Viewing Terrace of the Park Inn by Radisson
- World Time Clock
- Red City Hall
- Hackesche Höfe
- Nikolai Quarter
- Body Worlds Museum
- Berlin Dungeon
- DDR Museum
- Illuseum Berlin
- Museum Island
- Berlin Cathedral
- Unter den Linden Boulevard
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