To experience the majesty of Germany’s Hohenzollern Dynasty, visit Berlin’s Charlottenburg Palace (Schloss Charlottenburg). Built in the 17th century as a royal summer residence, the palace combines rococo and baroque decor and architecture, while the grounds feature a formal garden modeled after the Gardens of Versailles, a belvedere building showcasing German porcelain, a theater, and a mausoleum of royal marble tombs. Aside from palace tours, the site’s evening concerts are the main draw.
The palace interior offers an extravaganza of opulence—in the Old Palace, you’ll find the Oak Gallery, King Friedrich I’s bedchamber, the royal apartments of Queen Louise, the Oval Hall, and the Porcelain Cabinet, while the New Wing (Neuer Flugel), added by Friederich the Great, features the Golden Gallery (Goldene Galerie) ballroom and the Silver Vault’s collection of tableware. The Charlottenburg Palace Park is also open to the public and famous for its tree-lined gardens, the Belvedere tea house with its extensive porcelain collection, and the neoclassical mausoleum, housing Queen Louise.
Various palace sites require various fees, but all-encompassing palace tickets are available. The palace is seen from afar on most Berlin city sightseeing tours, but you can get a closer look by purchasing tickets to explore the interior independently or visiting the Grosse Orangery for an evening concert featuring classical performances from the Berlin Residence Orchestra (Berliner Residenz Orchester) dressed in baroque costumes. Book a concert with a 3-course dinner for the full experience, and opt for VIP tickets to receive a glass of sparkling wine at intermission.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Allot two to three hours to explore the palace’s main attractions.
- The site’s restored Kleine Orangery now operates as the Palace Garden Cafe.
- Much of the palace grounds are wheelchair accessible.
- The gardens are free to enter.
- Admission to the New Wing includes an audio guide.
- Concerts at the Orangery typically sell out weeks in advance; book well in advance to secure your tickets.
How to Get There
Charlottenburg Palace is in inner-city west Berlin. From Alexanderplatz, take the S5 or S7 on the S-Bahn rail system to Zoologischer Garten, then switch to the U12 and get off at Sophie-Charlotte-Platz, the closest public transit stop. From there, it is a 15-minute walk to the palace.
When to Get There
The palace is open 10am to 5pm November through March and until 6pm April through October; it is closed on Mondays. During the holidays, the palace houses a Christmas market with stalls offering arts, crafts, and traditional sweets. Winter also brings special holiday concerts for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. The outdoor gardens make an excellent place to stroll and picnic during summer.