Berlin's Reichstag dome

One way to whisk past the long queues of tourists outside Berlin’s iconic Reichstag building is to make a reservation for breakfast in the German parliament’s restaurant, says Carol Brodie. It guarantees you great views through the dome windows, photo opportunities from the gallery and a chance to walk through the Sir Norman Foster designed building before the majority of the crowds.

Reichstag Food 200A breakfast option
Carol Brodie

Currently only visitors who have pre-booked a tour of the German parliament (Bundestag) and those with a reservation for a meal at the restaurant can visit the dome and the roof terrace, so there are big, big benefits to eating here, and it guaranteed us spectacular views across the centre of Berlin.

Booking a table was easy and breakfast was the most economical option of the restaurant's meal options, as well as a good way to kick off a day’s sightseeing. An initial enquiry by email in English drew a quick and helpful response. As part of the booking, personal details had to be supplied 48 hours before the visit to enable security checks prior to the visit, and a valid identity card with photograph was required on the day. Those with restaurant bookings are told to go straight to the front of the queue when they arrive. We did so. Having gone through security checks we were then whisked up to the magnificent glass dome in the lift. Our table was next to the window from where we could see out over the rooftops of Berlin. Full-length glass doors to the terrace were open as it was a very hot day and after our meal we went outside onto the roof terrace to take photographs.

Reichstag Couple 200Tucking into breakfast inside the Reichstag
Carol Brodie
The breakfast menu was very varied, with the Feel Good Breakfast the most expensive at €27 including a glass of fizz, freshly squeezed orange juice, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs as well as a selection of breads, jams, meats and cheeses. A more economical choice would have been Käfer’s omelette made with three free range eggs and a choice of filling from €8.50. My healthy choice, Fit for the Day, included a delicious spelt crêpe filled with tiny diced vegetables topped with a herby cottage cheese. This was followed by yogurt with blackberry sauce and a fruit salad.

Reichstag Restaurant 200The Reichstag restaurant
Carol Brodie
My husband tucked into the Dome Breakfast which included a selection of cheeses, meats and a ham truffle pâté, accompanied by a hard-boiled egg. He enjoyed this, despite having been tempted initially by the Bavarian breakfast with a Bavarian sausage, a slice of meatloaf, a pretzel and wheat beer. Both our breakfasts came with a tasty basket of organic wholegrain breads, jams, honey and butter. With coffee or a pot of tea these were substantial breakfasts, and service was both pleasant and timely.

Reichstag Dome Night 200Reichstag dome at dusk
Deutscher Bundestag / Jörg F. Müller
Following our breakfast, we toured the dome following the integrated walkways using audio guides with clear and lively commentary of the sights and background information on the building of the dome. There were fantastic views all around, even to the extent of being able to see below into the main parliamentary chamber. And it is hard to ignore the historical resonance of both the city and the building. You are, after all, standing just a stone’s throw from where the wall used to split east and west Berlin. It is a great building to explore and you can't fail to marvel at this modern architectural gem.

All in all this is a very good way of ensuring the best of both worlds; a leisurely breakfast with tremendous views across the city of Berlin, then spending time inside the famous modern glass dome.

Käfer Berlin
Reichstag, Platz der Republik, Berlin
Tel: (030) 2262 9933.
Email bookings:
Visitors who have already reserved a table can reach the rooftop restaurant via the entrance below and to the right of the West Portal (West C).

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