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Know Before You Go: Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is one of a select few structures and buildings in Berlin that needs no introduction. Also, no trip to Berlin would be complete without seeing it.

It is one of the most iconic structures in Europe, if not the world. It has been the silent witness to many of the critical historical events of the cities history. To visit the Offical Page of the Brandenburg gate click here.

Things to Know Before You Visit the Brandenburg Gate

  • Napoleon marched through the gate triumphant after defeating the Prussian Army at Jena in 1806. If that wasn’t enough he had the quadriga on top removed and taken to Paris.
  • The Nazi’s marched through it with the first of their torch-lit processions on the 30th January 1933. Taking place after Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany.
  • Once the Berlin Wall was constructed in August 1961, no-one was walking through it. This was because it stood isolated in the death-strip just in was East Berlin. Reagan implored Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” in front of the gate in 1987. Once the Berliners had finally torn down the wall David Hasselhoff sung “I’ve been looking for Freedom” in front of it on the 31st December 1989.
  • Some pedigree, eh? It even saw Micheal Jackson dangle his baby out of the upper floor window of the Adlon Hotel.

Food Drinks & Bathrooms at Brandenburg Gate

Thirsty business all this history, eh. If you are thirsty or hungry and in desperate need of a break. There are options near the Brandenburg gate, some better than others, but this is definitely not an area packed with food and drink options.

Food: Naturally, there is the ubiquitous Starbucks, and Dunkin Donuts. For a more “traditional” coffee/snack option there is the Bäcker Weidermann. These are what they are. What I generally do if I need a coffee, is head over to the Academy of Arts (next to the Hotel Adlon). Here you can find a fairly quiet coffee, cake, and bathroom cafe option there. Certainly out of the hustle and bustle. I would avoid the strip of restaurants located by the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Drinks: If the very thought of David Hasselhoff demands that you drink alcohol to cleanse your soul. Or, if you need no excuse, then this is the spot to go. If you take a right turn after walking through the gate along the road towards the Reichstag. You will find a traditional style bar/restaurant called the Hopfingerbraü. The beer is cold and if you fancy a more substantial than a snack then that is a good spot.

Visit the Brandenburg Gate Top Tips

There is a lot more history surrounding Berlin’s historic landmark. If you would like to find out more nab Birchy for a private tour find our list here.

Top Tip: In high season it can be very busy. It is highly recommended to visit early in the morning before 9.30am or in the evening.

Best Photo Spot: Looking through the gate from the end of Unter den Linden towards the Tiergarten is to look due west. You can get some amazing photos if your visit coincides with the sunset.  Like-wise the gate is illuminated and there personally I think it looks better at night than during the day.

Be Safe on your visit:

Bikes: There is no traffic passing through the gate with the exception of bicycles. Be wary and be prepared to hop out of the way. As is usually the case, Berlin is a bike-friendly city. The people riding the bikes, however, are not necessarily the friendliest of road users.

Pick-pockets: Touch wood, Berlin is a very safe city but like most busy citys you should be aware of pickpockets. One of the other annoyances is fake charity collectors. These people will try and get you to sign a petition (usually pertaining to increase facilities for the disabled. Once you have signed them then they will try and get cash from you. A firm polite “no thank you” usually suffices.

Other scams: Never ever play the “find the ball-under-the-box” gambling game. You would be surprised how many time I have seen some very unhappy spouses around the city after their partner has played.

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