Berlin boasts almost 200 museums in its region, so of course we have to tell you about some of our favourites. How about visiting a museum or two? Germany has almost 200 museums in its capital city, so there must be one you like. Whether you want to go alone, with friends or maybe your family, there is something for everyone. Start your trip with our small list of favourites!
Berlin Museums: Museum Island
What better way to start your cultural outing than by visiting the Museum Island? Right in the centre of Berlin you can find these 5 museums surrounded by the river Spree. Therefore, it’s the perfect place to start exploring. Little fact: UNESCO has declared the entire island a World Heritage Site.
- The Altes Museum or Old Museum is, true to its name, the oldest museum in Germany. It used to be called the Königliches Museum when it was built in 1830 by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. This museum is the perfect place to admire classical antique collections.
- The Neues Museum (New Museum) finished in 1859 according to plans by Friedrich August Stüler, a student of Schinkel. Destroyed in World War II, it was rebuilt under the direction of David Chipperfield for the Egyptian Museum of Berlin and re-opened in 2009. Here you can even see papyrus, the paper of Egyptians, in real life.
- Designed by Friedrich August Stüler and completed in 1876, the Alte Nationalgalerie has a lot to offer. Originally the entire Nationalgalerie resided here but now this gallery is divided between several museums.
- The Bode Museum can be found on the Island’s northern tip. The building opened in 1904 and was then known as the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum. It exhibits the sculpture collections and late Antique and Byzantine art.
- The Pergamon Museum, constructed in 1930. It contains multiple reconstructed immense and historically significant buildings such as the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. In this museum you can find an antiquity collection, an exhibition dedicated to the Middle East and an exhibition about Islamic art.
Berlin Museums for Children
Going to a museum might sound like an activity that is only for adults, but this doesn’t always have to be the case when it comes to museums in Berlin. Here are some suggestions of museums perfect for a family outing!
- The Museum für Naturkunde, is an integrated research museum (within the Leibniz Association). It’s the perfect place to discover more about zoology, palaeontology, geology and mineralogy. Take your family here and discover all there is to know about the earth and its inhabitants.
- The Spionage Museum, right next to the S-Bahn station Potsdamer Platz, shows you that Berlin is really the Capital of Spies. Their permanent exhibition makes use of all your senses to give you a unique experience. Try to cross the laser maze or crack the password code in this thrilling museum!
- If your family has a passion for music, then Das Klingende Museum is the right place to be. This museum gives you the chance to learn about music through interaction. All instruments are there to be used by the children visiting. This way, they can learn about music through touching and making sounds by themselves. A great way to find the next Mozart.
Berlin Museums: Something Different
Along with the average art and children-friendly museums, you can find something extra in the museum department. After all, when you have so many museums in one city, you have to be original. Here are some museums you wouldn’t expect to find.
- Deep underground, in the basement of Hamburger Hof, you can find all sorts of supernatural matter in the Magicum Berlin – a museum revealing all sorts of magic from all over the world and in different times. From the Middle Ages to witchcraft, to some of the modern illusions used today, you can find out all about them here.
- Ever imagined what it was like to be inside a camera? IMAGO 1:1 is a one-of-a-kind, real-life camera big enough to actually stand in! Visitors can enter the 7x4x3 room which looks like a gigantic photo booth and create life-sized portraits of themselves. Definitely worth a visit. Do note, though, that IMAGO 1:1 is only open during the week, at specific times.
- The Berlin museums collection would not be complete without a Hemp Museum. Whether it is an influence from our neighbours or not, this museum will teach you all about this curious little plant. Did you know that the famous painter Van Gogh painted with hemp oil-colours? After your visit you can also enough a hot cup of hemp tea (totally legal, I swear).
Berlin museums are everywhere and this list is only the beginning of your cultural adventure. Enjoy Berlin and all the gems it has to offer, whether on a rainy or a sunny day.