FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a planetarium?

A planetarium is a domed room in which special projectors are used to create the illusion of a real starry sky. A planetarium is able to display the day or night sky for any place on earth and at any time. Additional video projectors, which together create a dome-shaped 360° video (= fulldome), as well as laser systems expand the image and illusion effects considerably beyond the starry sky.

What is an observatory?

An observatory is an observation station where optical instruments (telescopes, but also radio antennae) are used to observe and study objects in space. The size, power and purpose of the instruments can vary greatly depending on the research objective.

What is the difference between a planetarium and an observatory?

Observatories are research institutions, planetariums are educational institutions. An observatory explores the universe, a planetarium communicates the research results of the observatories. In an observatory, the telescopes are usually located under a dome that is opened for observations. In a planetarium, a projector is located under a dome that generally remains closed. Activities in an observatory are weather dependent. The shows in a planetarium run independently of the weather.

Does the planetarium have telescopes?

There is no telescope in a planetarium itself. The dome serves as a projection surface and must therefore always remain closed. Of course, there may be rotatable domes for telescopes in an annex of the planetarium, but with these, you always observe the real starry sky.

When do I have to pick up the reserved tickets?

Reserved tickets must be collected at least 30 minutes before the start of the event.

Can tickets be returned?

No. The return or exchange of tickets is excluded. For more information, please see section 3.3 of our General Terms and Conditions.

Is it still possible to participate in an event once it has already started?

No. For security reasons, no further access to the planetarium hall can be granted after the start of an event. At the Archenhold-Sternwarte, this also applies to persons leaving the planetarium during the event.

How can planetarium admission tickets be used for the observatories?

With the tickets to all planetarium events, you can visit one of the observatories (Archenhold-Sternwarte or Wilhelm-Foerster-Sternwarte) for free within six weeks. At the Archenhold-Sternwarte, you can participate in a guided tour or observing event, or attend a children's programme in the small planetarium. The tickets are NOT valid for workshops, special events and lectures.
At the Wilhelm-Foerster-Sternwarte, you can take part in a guided tour.
Note: Please be sure to reserve a place in advance for the event you wish to attend:
+49 30 421845-10 (Mon to Fri 9:00 - 17:00 | Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00).

Please note: The tickets of the planetarium events currently do not entitle to a free visit of the observatories. Direct observation of celestial bodies through the telescope is not possible during our guided tours of the observatories. Observation objects are projected - as far as possible.

Who gets a discount?

Reduced admission is available on presentation of appropriate identification:

  • School children
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Persons under 18 years of age
  • Holders of the "berlinpass"
  • Recipients of social assistance, basic social security, unemployment benefit II, social allowance and benefits under the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz)
  • Recipients of unemployment benefit, housing benefit or child allowance;
  • School leavers without an apprenticeship or a job
  • Military service volunteers
  • Persons doing a federal voluntary service or a voluntary cultural, social or ecological year

Who gets in free?

Free admission is granted on presentation of appropriate identification:

  • Accompanying persons of severely disabled persons with a "B" in their identity card;
  • Up to two teachers or educators accompanying a school class, children's or youth group
  • Reporters
  • Employees of planetariums, observatories and museums
  • Members of ICOM (International Council of Museums) and DMB (Deutscher Museumsbund)
  • Members of the sponsoring associations of the Stiftung Planetarium Berlin to all offers of the category "Learning"

When do children start paying?

Children of all ages are welcome in our facilities and pay reduced admission as soon as they require their own seat (from the age of 3).

Can my child, who is younger than 6 years old, see a film that says "FSK ab 6"?

No. According to the Youth Protection Act, cinema films must be marked with an age rating. Films with the "FSK ab 6" may not be visited by children under the age of 6. Therefore, children under the age of 6 will not be admitted to our cinema, even if accompanied by a parent or guardian. In this case, tickets already purchased cannot be refunded, rebooked or converted into a voucher. For more information on the FSK rating, please visit www.fsk.de.

I have a free ticket. For which events can I redeem it?

The free tickets are valid for events from the categories "Science/Astronomy", "Children/Family" and "Entertainment". They are not valid for special events and concerts.

Where can I buy vouchers?

Vouchers can only be purchased on site at the ticket counter. It is not yet possible to purchase vouchers online.

Are the programmes also available in other languages?

Yes, but currently only at the Zeiss-Großplanetarium. There, audio guides for some programmes presented in foreign languages can be rented at the ticket office. A deposit of € 10 for individuals and € 20 for families and groups is required to rent audio guides.

Is the planetarium/observatory barrier-free?

There are differences in accessibility between sites.

Archenhold-Sternwarte in Treptow: the museum, the Einstein Hall and the Zeiss Klein- Planetarium (Zeiss Small Planetarium) are wheelchair accessible. The small lecture hall and the observation instruments (Giant Telescope, Coudé Telescope, Astrograph Dome, Cassegrain Mirror Telescope and Solar Physics Cabinet) are unfortunately not barrier-free accessible.

Planetarium am Insulaner in Schöneberg: the planetarium hall is accessible for wheelchair users. However, there is no barrier-free toilet in the building itself. The Wilhelm-Foerster-Sternwarte is unfortunately not barrier-free accessible.

Zeiss-Großplanetarium in Prenzlauer Berg: the planetarium hall and the cinema hall are accessible for wheelchair users. An induction loop for hearing aids is available.

Am I allowed to take photos/videos?

Photography is not permitted in the planetarium hall. In the other rooms, photography or filming is only permitted for private purposes without a tripod. Photography for commercial purposes is only permitted with prior written permission and is subject to documentation and charges. Please send your request to kommunikation@planetarium.berlin.

How much is the cloakroom?

The cloakroom is free of charge.
Additional lockers are available in the Archenhold-Sternwarte, for which a key deposit of € 1 or € 2 is required.

Do jackets and bags have to be handed in?

No. If you wish, you can take your jacket and handbag with you into the planetarium hall. However, larger bags, satchels and backpacks, umbrellas and other bulky items must be left in the cloakroom.

Can I take drinks/food into the planetarium room?

No.

Are there any special birthday programmes?

You can celebrate a "children's birthday under the starry sky" at any Stiftung Planetarium Berlin institution. You can find more information here.

Can I hire out the planetarium for events?

Yes, for exclusive corporate events we have various rooms available with a capacity of 20 to 400 persons. You can find more information about this under Rental & Events.