German patriotism unimaginable just a few years ago, many held placards thanking them for a thrilling run to the final.
The team's plane from Vienna had made a series of low-flying passes over central Berlin to get a closer look at the enormous crowd jamming the centre of the German capital.
"We were all pretty sad last night but I think we achieved a lot with second place and I think we can all be proud that we were in the final," coach Joachim Loew said.
"Spain were a great team throughout the tournament and they were a class act last night. But if we meet Spain in a tournament again, we'll beat them next time."
Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann admitted giving away the goal was going to haunt him.