Activities & Adventure 8 MINS READ

13 Amazing Museums and Galleries in Berlin, Germany

13 Amazing Museums and Galleries in Berlin, Germany

Activities & Adventure 8 MINS READ
The Museum Island, in Berlin, during Spring

Only a few could argue that Berlin’s cultural scene isn’t worth your time. Within the city, visitors are pleasantly surprised to find a sheer breadth of stellar museums and galleries where they are enticed to discover a bubbling pan of art, culture, and history.

The German capital city proudly flaunts over 170 museums and 300 galleries, so where you’ll go will depend on your interests. History buffs usually gravitate towards the age-old Charlottenburg Palace, while art lovers seek out big-name museums like the Berlinische Galerie, and cutting-edge galleries such as Sammlung Boros.

Is it a lot to take in? Yes. With such a glorious array of museums and art galleries, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by Berlin’s dizzying — yet enticing — cultural offerings. But fear not! We’ve created a complete guide to the best art galleries and museums in Berlin that deserve all the attention in the world. Have a look below!

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The Best Berlin Museums & Art Galleries

Museum Island

Museum Island, in Berlin, Germany

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999, the Museum Island is one of the most outstanding tourist attractions in Berlin. This treasured complex is made up of five museums — the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode-Museum, and the Pergamonmuseum —,  all of which were built from 1830 to 1930 by order of the Prussian Kings.

The Pergamonmuseum (Pergamon Museum) is the island’s number one museum. It was recently renovated to become a large three-wing complex, and it is well known for harboring three precious collections: the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of Islamic Art, and the Museum of Ancient Near Eastern Art. 

Pergamon’s most treasured highlight is the Pergamon Altar. Built in the ancient city of Pergamon in Turkey around 180 BC., this massive monument features a 370-foot long marble frieze that depicts the Gigantomachy from Greek mythology. 

Another must-see in Pergamon is the Mshatta Facade, the decorated part of the facade of the Qasr Mshatta or Mshatta palace, one of the Desert Castles of Jordan.

Altes Museum harbors Berlin’s precious Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities) and part of the Numismatic Collection, while the Bode-Museum plays host to the Collection of Sculptures, the Museum of Byzantine Art, and most of the Numismatic Collection.

In the Neues Museum (New Museum), you’ll get the chance to visit the Egyptian Museum —  home to a century-old bust of Queen Nefertiti —, and the Museum of Pre and Early History.

Don’t forget to also explore the Alte Nationalgalerie, the original home of Berlin’s National Gallery. There, visitors will come across approximately 1800 paintings and 1500 sculptures, including famous works by Paul Cézanne, Renoir, and German painter Caspar David Friedrich.

Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178

Opening Hours: Museum Island & Panorama Pass €19, Museum Pass €29

Jewish Museum Berlin

Jewish Museum Berlin, Germany.

History buffs can’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Jewish Museum Berlin. The largest of its kind in Europe, the museum is famous for hosting an extraordinary permanent exhibition entitled “Jewish Life in Germany: Past and Present”. 

Covering an area of over 3,500 square meters, the exhibit reflects on German Jewish history from the Middle Ages to the present day. While browsing through the galleries, you’ll come across an eye-opening collection of ceremonial objects, from a Torah mantle to a crown, as well as video installations, hands-on stations, 33 artworks, and immersive virtual reality experiences.

Address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969

Opening Hours: Open daily 10 am–7 pm

Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art

Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany.
Photo Credit: Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art

Set within a former residential building in the eclectic Schöneberg quarter, Urban Nation is the first German museum for urban art. There, visitors can stand in awe with a colorful array of paintings and graffiti by well-known street artists.

One of the most interesting features of the museum is its façade, which can be used as a canvas by the artists, transforming the building itself into a work of art. There’s also a catwalk stretching across the entire two-story interior, which allows the exhibited works to be observed both from a distance and close up.

Address: Bülowstrasse 7, 10783

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10 am to 6 pm

The Museum of Decorative Arts

The Museum of Decorative Arts, Berlin, Germany.

The Museum of Decorative Arts (Kunstgewerbemuseum) plays host to Germany’s most dazzling examples of European arts and crafts. Divided into two locations, the Kulturforum near Potsdamer Platz, and Schloss Köpenick on an island on the river Dahme, the museum is famous for housing a collection of sacred art from the Middle Ages, as well as masterpieces of interior design from the 16th to 18th centuries, precious gemstones, glass art, and precious Renaissance chests.

Worth-seeing relics include the chinoiserie Lacquer Room from the Palazzo Granieri, in Turin, glassware from Emile Gallé, furniture by German-American architect Mies van der Rohe, and jewelry by René Lalique.

Address: Bülowstrasse 7, 10783

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10 am to 6 pm

Stasi Museum

Stasi Museum, Berlin, Germany.

Set within the former headquarters of the Stasi, the secret police agency of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), this museum provides visitors with an impressive perspective into one of the most feared institutions of the Cold War.

While exploring this research and memorial center, visitors will catch a glimpse of the original equipment once used to spy on the citizens of East Germany, and gain an understanding of the influence of the Stasi on all areas of life.

During the tour, it’s also possible to visit the offices of Erich Mielke, the last minister of the Stasi who was feared and hated more than any other man in communist East Germany.

Address: Normannenstraße 20/Haus 1, 10365

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 10 am to 6 pm | Weekends, and Holidays 11 am – 6 pm

C/O Berlin

C/O Berlin, Germany.

C/O Berlin is a true wonderland for photography enthusiasts. This modern and innovative space was founded in 2000 by three passionate photography experts— photographer Stephan Erfurt, designer Marc Naroska and architect Ingo Pott —, and hosts several works by both emerging and well-established talents.

There, expect to marvel at eye-popping exhibits by famed photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Sebastião Salgado, and Irving Penn, as well as intriguing temporary exhibitions.

Address: Hardenbergstraße 22-24, 10623
Opening Hours: Daily from 11 am to 8 pm

Hamburger Bahnhof Museum

Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin, Germany.

A visit to the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart is a bucket list experience for culture vultures. Set within a former train station, the museum is home to one of the world’s largest and finest collections of contemporary art in the world.

The collection at Hamburger Bahnhof features major artworks created as of 1960, including treasured pieces by Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Cy Twombly.

Address: Address: Invalidenstraße 50-51, 10557

Opening Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 am to 6 pm, Thursdays from 10 am to 8 pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm

Contemporary Fine Arts

Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany
Photo Credit: Contemporary Fine Arts

CFA is one of the city’s most sought-after galleries thanks to its displays of provoking and immersive works. Located in Charlottenburg, in the heart of West Berlin, the space focuses mostly on international contemporary art representing a broad spectrum of visual arts such as painting, sculpture, and photography.

Address: Grolmanstraße 32/33, 10623

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm

Sammlung Boros

Sammlung Boros, Berlin, Germany.

Set inside Reichsbahnbunker, a former Nazi bunker from World War II, Sammlung Boros houses one of Berlin’s most outstanding private collections of contemporary art. The five-floor space is run by a couple of collectors, Christian and Karen Boros, and features 3000 sqm of exhibition space dotted with some 500 works by international artists dating from 1990 to the present.

To visit Sammlung Boros, it’s necessary to book a guided tour online at least a month in advance. 

Address: Reinhardtstraße 20, 10117

Opening Hours: From Friday – Sunday 10 am to 6 pm

Berlinische Galerie

Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany.

Located in the trendy Kreuzberg district, by the former Berlin Wall, the Berlinische Galerie is the city’s Museum for Art, Photography, and Architecture. The space — a former glass warehouse that underwent a total conversion — harbors an interdisciplinary collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and photography, all dating from 1870 until the present day. 

While browsing through the museum’s artworks, visitors are invited to dive deep into Berlin’s turbulent history and key events such as the Kaiser’s era, the Weimar Republic, the Nazi dictatorship, the Cold War, and Germany’s unification.

Address: Alte Jakobstraße 124-128, 10969

Opening Hours: Wed – Mo from 10 am to 6 pm

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin, Germany.

A masterpiece of Baroque architecture, the Charlottenburg Palace is home to some of the most fabulous art collections in Germany. The palace was built at the end of the 17th-century as a summer residence for Queen Sophia Charlotte, wife of King Frederick I, and it contains over 4,000 paintings and miniatures from the 15th to 20th centuries, as well as wall and ceiling paintings. 

Highlights include works by Caravaggio, Guido Reni, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens, and Jan Lievens, as well as an 18th-century collection of French paintings established by Frederick II and his siblings, making it one of the most important outside of France.

After visiting the palace’s galleries and lavishly decorated rooms, be sure to go for an idle stroll along with the surrounded gardens, which are a sight to behold!

Address: Spandauer Damm 10-22, 14059

Opening Hours: Summer season Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am to 5:30 | Winter season from Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am to 4:30 pm

Berggruen Museum

Berggruen Museum, Berlin, Germany.

The Berggruen Museum contains one of the most acclaimed modern art collections in Berlin. Named after German art dealer and collector Heinz Berggruen, who emerged as one of Paris’s leading gallerists, the museum is home to an impressive selection of works by geniuses like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, and Alberto Giacometti the Museum Berggruen.

Spread across three floors, the museum’s core exhibition is entitled “Picasso and his Times”, and it features over 100 examples of Picasso’s work — from early student sketches to the Blue and Rose period.

Address: Schloßstraße 1, 14059 Berlin

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday – Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm

Gemäldegalerie

Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

Nicknamed the “Old Masters Museum” Gemäldegalerie displays one of the world’s most impressive collections of European paintings ranging from the 13th to 18th centuries. There, you’ll stumble upon dreamy artworks by Botticelli, Dürer, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Titian, as well as the world’s largest collection of paintings by Rembrandt.

Some of the precious paintings you can expect to see at the museum include Mary with the Child and John the Baptist and John the Apostle, by Botticelli, Caravaggio’s Amor Vincit Omnia, and  Woman with a Pearl Necklace by Johannes Vermeer.

Address: Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday – Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm

FAQ

Where are 5 museums in Berlin located?

Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode-Museum, and the Pergamonmuseum are located on Museum Island.

Which Berlin museum is the best?

The best museums in Berlin, Germany:

  • Museum Island;
  • Jewish Museum Berlin;
  • Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art;
  • The Museum of Decorative Arts;
  • Stasi Museum;
  • C/O Berlin;
  • Hamburger Bahnhof Museum;
  • Contemporary Fine Arts;
  • Sammlung Boros;
  • Berlinische Galerie;
  • Charlottenburg Palace;
  • Berggruen Museum;
  • Gemäldegalerie.

Does Berlin have good museums?

Yes. Berlin flaunts over 170 museums and 300 galleries, which harbor some of the most dazzling art collections in the world.

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