Determining MORE MUST-SEE MUSEUMS in Berlin is no easy task. This city has so many great ones. Some say Berlin has about 200 museums and most of them are super interesting. That puts Berlin up there among the cities with an incredible museum line up.
This post covers our absolute favourite Museums that are often overlooked or less visited. On another post we cover our favourite iconic museums. One a third post we will cover our favourite art galleries and art spaces. We will always keep the lists short as it can get overwhelming. That, however, should give you PLENTY to see and explore.
One of the cool things about the museums below is that, for the most part, you can just show up. Lines are usually super manageable and they can be visited at a very comfortable pace.
To make it more useful and to the point, we will only briefly describe each museum and give you a couple of tips on things/perspectives not to miss. It is easy to get “museums-out” so our suggestion is to pick 1 or 2 from each list.
MORE MUST-SEE MUSEUMS – TOP 9
– BERLINISCHE GALERIE
One of our absolute favourite modern art spaces in Berlin, the Berlinische Galerie is located in a former industrial glass warehouse. It The cool atrium is always used for interesting installations and is often striking. The sensational collection is Berlin focused and multi disciplinary (Fine Art, Photography and Architecture). It covers homegrown talent and movements. It includes artworks by painters such as Max Liebermann, Otto Dix, Georg Grosz and Hannah Höch and Georg Baselitz. Other works showcase the 1920s Berlin Russians as well as conceptual art and multimedia installations. Make sure to check their website for special events and lectures. MUSEUM’S WEBSITE.
– HAMBURGER BAHNHOF
If you are into contemporary art, this is a must visit. Hamburger Bahnhof is an old train station turned into contemporary art museum. It houses one of the most comprehensive contemporary art collections in the world. The permanent exhibits showcase works from artists such as Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Keith Haring as well as many iconic contemporary artists. We love the gigantic atrium and how the buildings architecture interacts with the artworks. Temporary exhibits are extremely well curated and are often not to be missed. There is a nice café and restaurant by star chef Sarah Wiener in the premises that serves a killer Wiener Schnitzel. Sit by the canal in the warmer months and enjoy a glass of wine after visiting this incredible art space. MUSEUM’S WEBSITE.
– MARTIN GROPIUS BAU
Another sensational exhibit space, the Martin Gropius Bau is located near Potsdamer Platz. The building itself is worth a visit. The building has a neo-Renaissance style and the main atrium is simply majestic. Don’t miss the mosaics. The Martin Gropius Bau is one of Europe’s top international exhibition and event venues. The often not-to-be-missed exhibits focus on contemporary and modern art. There are quite a few art shows per year and they are always top notch. Check out their website to find out what is going on at the moment. Mind you, depending on the exhibit’s popularity it is advised to get there earlier in the day and to avoid weekends as lines can be overwhelming. MUSEUM’S WEBSITE.
– MUSEUM BERGGRUEN
Located across from the gorgeous Charlottenburg Palace, Museum Berggruen holds a sensational Picasso, Klee, Matisse and Giacometti collection. This venue belongs to the Nationalgalerie and has an intimate feel to it. The building once housed the officer barracks of the Gardes du Corps. The museum has been recently expanded to include a neighbouring building and a newly landscaped sculpture garden. Budget a couple of hours for this important art collection. Do not miss this museum if you have time to visit the area around the Palace. MUSEUM’S WEBSITE.
– NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
One of the aspects of the Natural History Museum we like the most is the fact that it still feels super “old school”. Just hanging out at the atrium with the dinosaur skeletons is already worth a visit. The museum houses more than 30 million zoological, paleontological, and mineralogical specimens. It is famous for two spectacular exhibits: the largest mounted dinosaur in the world, and an incredibly preserved specimen of the earliest known bird (Archaeopteryx). It is certainly a great place to take kids, but adults are also guaranteed to have a great time here, even if you are not a nerd! MUSEUM’S WEBSITE.
– THE GAY MUSEUM
Sexual orientation diversity has long been accepted in Berlin. It is only natural that a this museum exists here. It is now located inside a printing house in Schöneberg and is the world’s first gay museum. There are well curated and thoughtful permanent as well as temporary exhibits. Which include historical exhibitions illuminating particular periods and historical events surrounding the gay culture in Germany and globally. A continuing series of homages to public gay icons include Oscar Wilde, Marlene Dietrich, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Michel Foucault and Thomas Mann. MUSEUM’S WEBSITE.
– PHOTOGRAPHY MUSEUM
Fashion/Celebrity Photography is be the dominant theme of this sensational museum. No wonder. It is home to the Helmut Newton Foundation and houses a great part of his collection. You can even check out Helmut’s actual living room and car. We particularly love the section of the museum that showcases celebrities photographed by Newton.With that said, there are always a couple of well curated temporary exhibits with themes that usually have nothing to do with Fashion. They usually happen on the top floor. Make sure to explore the whole museum. You will be rewarded.Budget about 90-120 minutes for this visit. It is a mid size museum. And there are usually no lines to get in! MUSEUM’S WEBSITE.
– BAUHAUS ARCHIV
The Bauhaus Archiv showcases the history and influence of the Bauhaus (one of the 20th century’s most important school of architecture, design and art). The current building, although sensational in it’s design, cannot hold and showcase the entire collection so a new building is to be added in the next couple of year (Yay!). At the moment you can have an interesting sample (about a third of the whole collection) of this great collection. Make sure to explore the building’s different angles. In 2005 it was used as an outdoor set for the science fiction films V for Vendetta and Aeon Flux. It houses works from Lyonel Meininger, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Van der Rohe, Oskar Schlemmer, among many others. MUSEUM’S WEBSITE.
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