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60 Museums and Galleries in Berlin

Updated: May 4, 2024

Our tour guides are always being asked about the best museums to see in Berlin, and we've compiled a lot of their most useful information and advice below.

In this post, we cover many of the best museums in Berlin, including art galleries, science museums, museums on history, food, as well as culture.

We'll also include a section for tips from locals and travelers, allowing you to see their perspective as well.

So, let's check our coats and get started.


ART GALLERIES

Below, we list 19 entitites that are either dedicated art galleries or locations that devote much space for art exhibitions.

The first 5 are all part of Museum Island.


Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)

The Alte Nationalgalerie is a listed building on the Museum Island in the historic centre of Berlin, Germany.

Originally housing the Nationalgalerie's whole collection, it's now just one of 6 entities that make up the National Gallery.

Currently, the Alte Nationalgalerie possesses one of the most beloved art collections in Germany, housing the largest collection of 19th century art and sculpture in the country.

Alte Nationalgalerie
By Jörg Zägel - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10191350

The gallery was built from 1862 to 1876 by the order of King Frederick William IV of Prussia.

The building resembles a Greek temple raised high off the ground and accessible only by stairs.

It is a design that at the time paid homage to the logic and thought of Ancient Greek art and philosophy.

The building's outside stair features a memorial to Frederick William IV.

Website


Pergamon Museum

Located on the UNESCO World Heritage designated “Museum Island,” the Pergamon Museum consists of three collections – the Antiquity Collection (also partially housed in the Altes Museum and the Neues Museum), the Middle East Museum and the Museum of Islamic Art -

Each collection is impressive enough to warrant its own internationally renowned museum.

Pergamon Museum
Pergamon Altar by Paul VanDerWerf, CC BY 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/Roxg86

The main attractions of the Pergamon Museum are its legendary reconstructions of monolithic archaeological antiquities.

The eponymous Pergamon Altar, a forty metre wide 2nd century BCE structure excavated from what is now Turkey, features a detailed frieze depicting a battle between Gods and Giants.

For many, the most impressive site contained within the museum is the Ishtar Gate.

By Rictor Norton - httpswww.flickr.comphotos24065742@N00151247206, CC BY 2.0, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=1409322

It was a processional corridor and massive arch excavated from the ancient city of Babylon (in modern day Iraq, near Baghdad).

Parts of the building are closed for renovation until 2025.

Website


Altes Museum (Egyptian Museum)

The Altes Museum is a listed building on the Museum Island in the historic centre of Berlin.

The Altes Museum today houses the Collection of Classical Antiquities, which consists of sculptures, pottery, reliefs, paintings, mosaics and jewelry.

The ground floor is primarily Ancient Greek artifacts, while the first floor focuses on Etruscan and Roman pieces.

The collection showcases objects from a wide array of social classes and uses, placing as much emphasis on items of daily use as on decorative adornments of the elite.

Most famously, the museum is home to gorgeous portraits of Antony and Cleopatra, a collection of exquisite silver Roman vessels, and a stunning Greek bronze statue entitled “The Praying Boy.”

Currently, the Altes Museum is home to the Antikensammlung and parts of the Münzkabinett.

Website


Neues Museum

The Neues Museum houses two collections and is my top pick for anyone fascinated by Egyptology and/or Stone Age and Prehistoric artifacts.

Objects are featured from a vast time span, from 4000 BCE all the way until Roman rule in the third century CE.

The most famous is a stunning, vividly-colored bust of Nefertiti in exquisite condition.

Von Arkadiy Etumyan - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=545098

Scarabs, mummified human remains, intricately designed sarcophagi, and the ever-popular mummified cats are all on display.

The other collection housed in the Neues Museum is the Museum of Prehistory and Early History, spanning thousands of years and home to over 200,000 objects mainly excavated from the European continent.

Website


Bode Museum

The Bode-Museum, formerly called the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum (Emperor Frederick Museum), is a listed building on the Museum Island in the historic centre of Berlin.

Its collections showcase the continent’s cultural journey from the Byzantium era until the present.

The Bode is home to two collections – The Sculpture Collection and Museum of Byzantine Art and the Münzkabinett (coin collection).

If you fancy coins and other metalwork, Bode’s Münzkabinett (coin cabinet) is the place for you.

Boasting the world’s largest “numismatic” collection of coins, from the seventh century BCE until the present day, the Münzkabinett counts over 500, 000 items in its possession!

Website

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James Simon Gallery

First and foremost, the James Simon Gallery (German: James-Simon-Galerie) is the visitor center for Museum Island and an art gallery.

The gallery connects directly to the Altes Museum as well as the Pergamon Museum.

James Simon Gallery
James-Simon-Galerie by abbilder, CC BY 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/2kMSPL3

There are information and museum ticket desks, a gift shop, a cafe, and toilets.

There is also a space for art exhibits that change periodically.

Website


Bauhaus Archives

The Bauhaus Archive is a state archive and Museum of Design.

It collects art pieces, items, documents, and literature which relate to the Bauhaus School (1919–1933), and puts them on public display.

Bauhaus Archiv Berlin
By Eisenacher - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16732001

According to the museum's website, its collection "comprises some one million objects: paintings, sculptures, photographs, models, plans, graphic works, design objects and archived records of all kinds".

Currently, the museum is closed due to construction work. It has a temporary space at Knesbeckstr. 1–2 in Berlin-Charlottenburg.

Check out their online exhibitions.


Berggruen Museum

The Berggruen Museum is one of 6 museums that make up the Nationalgalerie.

It is housed in the western Stülerbau opposite Schloss Charlottenburg, in what is now known as the Museum Berggruen.

It hosts a collection of modern artworks by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, and Alberto Giacometti.

In particular, it possesses 120 works of Picasso from his early years till his Cubist period.

By Pablo Picasso - Berggruen Museum, PD-US, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40528113

Note: Currently closed for renovation, reopening planned for 2025.

Check out the museum's online collections.


Gemaldegalerie

The Gemäldegalerie (Gallery of Paintings) houses European artworks from the 13th to the 18th century and is located in Berlin's Tiergarten district.

Numerous well-known artists are represented here, including Albrecht Dürer, Jan van Eyck, Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Vermeer, among others.

Berlin Gemäldegalerie
By Roi Boshi - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3949351

German, Dutch, and Flemish paintings dominate the collection, but there are also pieces by Italian, French, and Spanish artists.

Highlights of the collection include Jan van Eyck's "Arnolfini Portrait," and Rembrandt's "Self-Portrait with Two Circles" .

You don't need to be present to enjoy the collection. There is a virtual tour on the gallery's website.

Website


Hamburger Bahnhof Nationalgalerie

The Hamburger Bahnhof is one of the 6 museums that contain collections of the Nationalgalerie.

Hamburger Bahnhof is the former terminus of the Berlin–Hamburg Railway in Berlin, just north of today's Hauptbahnhof.

Today it serves as a contemporary art museum (Museum für Gegenwart) focusing on paintings, sculpture, video, film, and other forms from 1960 to the present day.

Website


Bröhan Museum

Located in Berlin's Charlottenburg, this museum houses a collection of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Functionalism.

Broehan Museum
By Bröhan-Museum - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=95280387

Named after its caretaker Karl. H. Bröhan, this museum primarily focuses on the collections of its founder.

It also includes prints and paintings from the Berlin Secession.

Website


Berlinische Galerie

The Berlinische Galerie is a museum of architecture, photography and modern art.

Berlinische Galerie
By Francisco Anzola - Berlinische Galerie, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32183759

The collection ranges from painting to sculpture, from prints to drawings, and from photography to architecture, from the 1870s until the present day.

Website


C/O Berlin

C/O Berlin is an exhibition space that showcases exhibits in photography and visual media.

It presents works by renowned artists and also promotes upcoming talents.

C-O Berlin
By © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37040544

C/O Berlin organizes Artist Talks, Panel Discussions, Film Screenings, and guided tours to exchange new ideas and offers visitors a place to express their thoughts on the exhibition program and engage in discussions on visual culture.

Website


Humboldt Forum

Located in the Berlin Palace on Museum Island, the Humboldt Forum is a museum showcasing exhibits related to human history, art, and culture.

Das Humboldt-Forum
Das Humboldt-Forum by abbilder, CC BY 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/2mWK2fR

Considered the German version of the British Museum, it is a place for non-European collections of the Berlin State Museums, touring exhibitions, and public events.

Website


Konig Gallery

Founded in Berlin in the year 2002, KÖNIG GALERIE is named after its founder Johann König.

Presently, the gallery showcases collections of 40 international upcoming and renowned artists, and most of them belong to the younger generation.

Konig Gallery
By Treinhold - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=116999869

Interdisciplinary, concept-driven, and space-based approaches in a range of mediums, including sculpture, video, music, painting, printing, photography, and performance, are the main areas of focus of this program.

Website


Martin Gropius Bau

Originally it was a museum of applied arts and since 1966, the building has been a listed historical monument.

Martin-Gropius-Bau-innen
By CTHOE - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32427430

The museum is dedicated to cultural history, contemporary art and photography and organizes contemporary and archaeological exhibitions to provide new experiences to people.

Website


Museum of Decorative Arts (Kunstgewerbemuseum)

In addition to spectacular jewelry made of gold and priceless gemstones, gorgeous glass and porcelain vases, exquisitely embroidered linens, ornate inlaid furniture, and vintage examples of modern industrial design are among the world-famous works of art it houses.

Museum of Decorative Arts (Kunstgewerbemuseum)
Le tabouret papillon de Sori Yanagi by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, CC BY 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/XFat2Y

The Schloss Köpenick site of the museum has exhibits of interior design from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Website


Museum of Prints and Drawings (Kupferstichkabinett)

It is a print museum in Berlin, Germany.

It is part of the Berlin State Museums and is located in the Kulturforum on Potsdamer Platz.

Museum of Prints and Drawings (Kupferstichkabinett)
By Manfred Brückels - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10262149

Containing works from 1000 years of history of arts, it is the largest museum of graphic art in Germany, with more than 550,000 prints and around 110,000 individual works on paper (drawings, pastels, watercolours, oil sketches).

The museum houses work from some renowned artists like Andro Botticelli, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, Adolph Menzel, Vincent van Gogh, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Pablo Picasso.

Website


Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery)

It is a museum for modern art in Berlin, with its primary focus on the work from the early 20th century.

Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery)
NEUE NATIONALGALERIE (NEW NATIONAL GALLERY) 1 by Michael, CC BY 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/77Ln4d

The museum makes a part of the National Gallery of the Berlin State Museums.

The collection has masterpieces of artists like Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Barnett Newman.

Website


Urban Nation

URBAN NATION Museum is a museum of urban contemporary arts that was founded by the initiative of the non-profit foundation Berliner Leben.

Urban Nation
By Gunnar Klack - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68667698

This is a one-of-a-kind street art museum that promotes all forms of street art ranging from graffiti, murals, paintings, and sculptures to installations.

Note: Admission to this museum is free.

Website


Cold War Museums

Below are 11 museums that cover the period of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Cold War.

These museums focus on everything from military history to the everyday life of citizens in East and West Berlin.


Alliierten Museum (The Allied Museum)

The Allied Museum is a museum that documents the political and military activities of the Western Allies in Germany, especially in Berlin.

Alliierten Museum (The Allied Museum)
Von Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley) - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17928641

The focus is between the years 1945 and 1994 and on the contribution of allies to free Berlin during the Cold War era.

Some of the popular exhibits include Willys MB jeeps, The Hastings manufactured by Handley Page, The French military train, and a spy tunnel from West to East Berlin.

Note: Admission to this museum is free of charge.

Website


Berlin Wall Memorial + Documentation Centre

The Documentation Center is part of the Berlin Wall Memorial.

It provides in-depth historical and background information about the politics and history that led to the construction of the Berlin Wall.

It has a permanent exhibition in German and English language and also has an observation deck overlooking a section of the original border.

It also offers a wide variety of tours, seminars, and thematic events.

Note: Admission to this museum is free of charge.


Checkpoint Charlie Museum (Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie)

It is a private museum in Berlin.

Named after the famous border post on the Berlin Wall, it was created to document what the East German general Heinz Hoffmann called "the best border security system in the world".

Checkpoint Charlie Museum
Checkpoint Charlie by Luigi Rosa, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/P95PH

In the collection, you can find the photos and related documents of successful escape attempts from East Germany, together with the escape artifacts like a hot-air balloon, a mini-submarine, getaway cars, chairlifts, and a mini-U-boat.

Website


East Side Gallery Museum

The East Side Gallery is a permanent open-air art gallery on the longest surviving section of the Berlin Wall.

It's located in Berlin-Friedrichshain on Mühlenstraße between the Berlin Ostbahnhof and the Oberbaumbrücke along the Spree.

East Side Gallery Museum
East Side Gallery by George M. Groutas, CC BY 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/2nbddMm

It contains a series of murals painted directly on a 1,316 m long remaining portion of the Berlin Wall.

A short walk from the southeastern entrance of the East Side Gallery leads to the Wall Museum.

In its 13 themed rooms, the Wall Museum looks at modern Berlin's history and the story of the Berlin Wall through multimedia exhibits.

Website


GDR Museum

The DDR Museum gives an interactive insight into life in the Soviet-era German Democratic Republic (GDR) or rather, East Germany.

This museum offers a hands-on experience of the life of East Germans. 

Some of the popular exhibits of this museum include Recreated WBS 70 tower block flat with five rooms, A Trabant car with a driving simulation, A motion-ride "elevator", A Volvo limousine 264 TE, and so on.

Website


German Spy Museum

The German Spy Museum takes visitors on a journey through the history of espionage, from spying in the Bible history to the present and future.

German Spy Museum
By Scontrofrontale - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45570012

The museum holds a collection of artifacts from the Second World War and the Cold War. It also holds a sizeable collection of props from James Bond movies.

Some of the popular exhibits include The TopSec GSM crypto phone, Lafayette model 76056 polygraph, BW Poppr field telephone listening device, ZVOUK lipstick camera, Enigma, and tons of other espionage pieces.

Website


Marienfelde Transit Camp Memorial (Notaufnahmelager Marienfelde)

Marienfelde refugee transit camp was one of three camps operated by West Germany and West Berlin during the Cold War.

This camp dealt with the large incoming of immigrants from East Germany, especially between the years 1950 and 1961.

Marienfelde Transit Camp Memorial (Notaufnahmelager Marienfelde)
By Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-P060458 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5474931

Refugees arriving in West Berlin were sent to the reception centre located in the Marienfelde district.

There they received medical treatment, food, identification papers, and housing until they could be permanently resettled in the West.

Website


Museum of the Kulturbrauerei

The Museum of Kulturbrauerei is a contemporary German history museum.

Permanent exhibits of this museum focus on everyday life in the German Democratic Republic.

Museum of the Kulturbrauerei
Di © Stephan Klonk / Stiftung Haus der Geschichte - http://www.hdg.de/bonn/presse/pressefotos/2013-pressefotos/pressefotos-vom-07112013/, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39700243

Museum has a range of exhibits in different areas like Media, Photography, Caricature, Technical arts, etc.

It is located in the Kulturbrauerei building complex in the Prenzlauer Berg district in Berlin.

Note: Group visits are free of charge.

Website


Palace of Tears (The Tränenpalast)

Located at the Berlin Friedrichstraße station, the Palace of Tears served as a former border crossing between East and West Berlin between 1962 and 1989.

Now it serves as a museum showcasing Berlin during the Cold War period and also tells the story of the process of German reunification.

Palace of Tears (The Tränenpalast)
By Jörg Zägel - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9953242

It acted as the border crossing for travelers on the S-Bahn, the U-Bahn, and trains running between East and West Germany.

It had separate checkpoints for West Berliners, West Germans, foreigners, diplomats, transit travelers, and East Germans.

Note: Admission to this museum is free of charge.

Website


Stasi Museum

The Stasi Museum is a research and memorial centre related to the political system of former East Germany.

Stasi Museum
By Stasi-Museum - Stasi-MuseumAlbumarchiv von Stasi-Museum, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63231921

It is located in the Lichtenberg locality in the former headquarters of the Stasi.

The main center of attraction of the exhibition is the office and working quarters of the former Minister of State Security Erich Mielke.

Website


Trabi Museum

The Trabant is the gem of East German automotive engineering.

The museum gives visitors the ultimate experience of Trabi in all its facets - whether in everyday life or on vacation, as a family carriage or racing car.

Trabi-Museum Berlin
Trabi-Museum Berlin by Gérard Colombat, CC BY 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/28pH5GL

Visitors can find Trabi rally cars, military vehicles, jeeps, police cars, wooden chassis cars, and much more.

Website


3rd Reich and WW2 Museums

The museums listed below cover topics such as how the Third Reich came to be and how it met its demise.

They also cover the victims of the Nazis as well as the resistance to them.

Anne Frank Centre

The Anne Frank Centre is the German partner of the Anne Frank House situated in Amsterdam.

With exhibits and a range of educational programmes, the Centre reminds visitors of Anne Frank and her famous diary.

Anne Frank Centre
Anne Frank street art by Rae Allen, CC BY 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/nzaTDD

The Anne Frank Centre's permanent display "Anne Frank. Here & Now" is a historical and contemporary exhibition.

The exhibition's primary focus is on Anne Frank's diary and her personal life.

Website


Anti-War Museum

Described as the world's first anti-war museum, it was founded in Berlin in 1925 by pacifist and writer Ernst Friedrich.

The museum focuses on the horrors and consequences of all forms of warfare.

It displays images, records, and artifacts from both World Wars I and II.

A large world map provides information about the current trouble spots.

Display boards, images, and showcases provide insights into the topic of "Modern weapons of war."

Website


Berlin Bunker Story

The Berlin Story Bunker was built as Anhalter Hochbunker in 1942 and acted as a former air raid shelter of the Deutsche Reichsbahn in Berlin.

Berlin Bunker Story
Berlin Story Bunker by Torsten Maue, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/pGoaJ4

Presently, the bunker houses the Berlin Story Museum and the Führerbunker documentation.

The exhibition depicts the series of events that took place before Hitler's suicide in the Führerbunker in 1945.

One of the major attractions of the museum is the reconstruction of Hitler's personality study.

Website


Topography of Terror (Topographie des Terrors)

The Topography of Terror is an outdoor and indoor history museum located in Berlin.

Topography of Terror (Topographie des Terrors)
Germany-04418 - Topography of Terror by Dennis Jarvis, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/MfV6ot

At the time of "The Third Reich", the premises holds the headquarters of the Secret State Police, the SS, and the Reich Security Main Office.

The Topography of Terror Documentation Center and Terrain houses three permanent exhibitions.

These bilingual exhibitions are about the Topography of Terror. Gestapo, SS, and Reich Security Main Office on Wilhelm- and Prinz-Albrecht-Straße; Berlin 1933–1945 Between Propaganda and Terror and; Topography of Terror Site Tour. The History of the Site.

Note: Guided tours are free of charge.

Website


German Resistance Memorial Center (Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand)

The German Resistance Memorial Center serves as a venue for active learning, political studies, documentation, and research.

All the exhibits of the center primarily focus on the resistance to National Socialism.

The aim of the center is to show how individuals and groups acted against the National Socialist dictatorship from 1933 to 1945 and used the freedom of action they had.

Note: Admission to this museum is free of charge.

Website


Holocaust Memorial Museum (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas)

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, is a memorial in Berlin to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, designed by architect Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold.

Holocaust Memorial Museum (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas)
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe by Rodrigo Galindez, CC BY 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/5ocdoR

The main objective of the center is to showcase how people and organisations used whatever freedom of action they had to protest the National Socialist rule between 1933 and 1945.

Website


Haus der Wannsee Konferenz (The Wannsee Conference)

Named after the Wannsee Conference, this house now acts as a Holocaust memorial and documentation center.

Haus der Wannsee Konferenz (The Wannsee Conference)
By Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27727051

The museum features permanent displays of written works and images that depict the Holocaust events and their plans.

Note: Admission to this museum is free of charge.

Website


Jewish Museum (Jüdisches Museum)

Opened in the year 2001, The Jewish Museum Berlin is the largest Jewish museum in Europe.

With new perspective and scenography, the museum tells the history of Jews in Germany from the Middle Ages to the present.

Jewish Museum (Jüdisches Museum)
By © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22546173

The collections, the library, and the archive document German-Jewish history, and the same is reflected in the museum's program of events.

Note: Admission to this museum is free of charge.

Website


Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial + Museum (Gedächtniskirche)

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is a Protestant church affiliated with the Evangelical Church in Berlin, Brandenburg, and Silesian Upper Lusatia, a regional body of the Evangelical Church in Germany.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial + Museum (Gedächtniskirche)
By JoJan - Own work own photo, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20784817

Originally built in the 1890s, the church was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943.

The damaged spire of the old church was not rebuilt and its ground floor is converted into a memorial hall.

Note: Guided tours are free of charge.

Website


Museum Berlin-Karlshorst (Surrender Museum)

The Berlin-Karlshorst Museum is the place where the High Command of the German Wehrmacht signed the unconditional surrender in front of representatives of the Soviet Union, the United States, Great Britain, and France on the night of May 8-9, 1945.

Museum Berlin-Karlshorst (Surrender Museum)
By Grahamdubya - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10224243

The museum depicts the history of German-Soviet relations from 1917 to 1990. It also focuses on the German-Soviet War which lasted from 1941 to 1945.

Note: Admission to this museum is free of charge.

Website


Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Center (Dokumentationszentrum NS-Zwangsarbeit)

The Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre is located in the Berlin district of Niederschöneweide in the Treptow-Köpenick district.

Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Center
By Tim Rademacher, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-3.0, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16811624

It is the only exhibit of its kind in Germany that throws light on the life of forced laborers during the National Socialist era.

The entire 3.3-hectare ensemble, which is the last of almost 3000 Berlin forced laborer shelters, has been a historically classified monument since 1995.

Note: Admission and tours are free of charge.

Website


Otto Weidt Workshop for the Blind (Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt)

The Otto Weidt Museum's Workshop for the Blind tells the story of the owner of a small factory that employed mainly blind and deaf Jews during World War II.

Otto Weidt Workshop for the Blind (Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt)
By OTFW, Berlin - Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13941832

The workshop is used to produce brooms and brushes.

Using personal artifacts like letters, poetry, and photographs, the museum portrays the lives of Jews that are continually in danger of persecution and deportation.

Additionally, it also depicts the valiant attempts of Jewish workers to flee their oppressors with the help of Otto Weidt.

Note: Tours are free of charge.

Website


Silent Hero Memorial Center (Gedenkstätte Stille Helden)

The Silent Heroes Memorial is a memorial for the resistance against the persecution of the Jews from 1933 to 1945.

The permanent exhibition brings forth the story of brave people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who supported persecuted Jews during the National Socialist dictatorship.

Note: Admission is free of charge.

Website


Science Museum

The following museums cover scientific concepts, including medicine, energy, communications, engineering, and natural history.


Body Worlds (Körperwelten)

Body Worlds is an exhibit featuring dissected humans, animals, and other anatomical elements of the body that have been plastinated to preserve them.

In the late 1970s, Gunther von Hagens created the preservation technique that unites subtle anatomy and modern polymer chemistry.

Website



Energy Museum Berlin (Energie-Museum Berlin)

On May 10, 2001, 30 workers and retirees of the former Bewag AG founded the Förderkreis for the collection of historical plant parts and equipment from the technology of the electricity and heat supply in Berlin e.V.

Energy Museum Berlin (Energie-Museum Berlin)
Von Assenmacher - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19615745

The non-profit association, which is open to anyone with an interest, runs the Energy Museum Berlin on the premises of the Steglitz substation of Stromnetz Berlin GmbH in the building of what was once the world's largest battery storage facility.

The mission of the museum is to illustrate the growth of the energy industry and its surrounding regions.

Note: Entrance to the museum is free of charge.

Website



Museum for Communication (Museum für Kommunikation Berlin)

With 2,000 pieces in its collection, this museum covers more than 40,000 years of communication history - from the hand ax to the modern-day smartphone.

Museum for Communication (Museum für Kommunikation Berlin)
Le musée de la Communication (Berlin) by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, CC BY 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/5aZh8D

Website



The Natural History Museum (Naturkunde Museum)

The Naturkunde Museum is a natural history museum located in Berlin, Germany.

The Natural History Museum (Naturkunde Museum)
By Ilja.nieuwland at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40685831

It showcases a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history.

It is one of three major museums in Germany in this domain alongside Naturmuseum Senckenberg in Frankfurt and Museum Koenig in Bonn.

Website


Optical Illusion (Illuseum Berlin)

It is a unique kind of museum where the brain is put to the test with optical illusions, games, and kaleidoscopes.

The purpose of this museum is to trick the senses while amazing the visitors in the process.

Website



Technical Museum (Museum of Technology)

As the name suggests, Deutsches Technikmuseum is a museum of science and technology, and it houses a large collection of historical technical artifacts.

Technical Museum (Museum of Technology)
German Museum of Technology, Berlin by Sergiy Galyonkin, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/RYuCmQ

In the start, the museum primarily focused on rail transport, but today it also features exhibits of various sorts of industrial technology.

In 2003, they also introduced maritime and aviation exhibition halls in their newly built extension.

It also has a science center named Spectrum.

Website


History, Food, and Culture Museums

The following museums cover just about everything else not covered in the previous sections.

Here you will find museums on Berlin neighborhoods, food history, sports, and more.


Disgusting Food Museum

At the Museum of Disgusting Food, visitors are encouraged to explore the world of food and question their preconceived beliefs about what is and isn't edible.

The exhibition offers over 90 extraordinary food exhibits related to different cultures.

Website


Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is a wax museum founded in 1835 by French wax sculptor Marie Tussaud in London, spawning similar museums in major cities around the world.

Madame Tussauds is a major tourist attraction, displaying the waxworks of famous and historical figures, as well as popular film and television characters.

Website


FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum

The FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum is a history museum that primarily focuses on the borough of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg in Berlin.

The museum has a historical archive pertaining to both districts.

Permanent exhibitions focus on urban development and social and immigration history, and temporary exhibitions focus on the district's past and present.

It also has a historic printing press.

Note: Admission to all exhibitions is free.

Website


Sports Museum Berlin

With more than 100,000 objects and a huge photo collection of about 1.5 million images, this museum houses the largest sports collection in Germany.

In addition to this collection, the library holds some 37,000 volumes of sports history literature, including all the association journals of German sports in the East and West from 1945/46 to 1989.

Due to renovation work, the park is temporarily closed until 2024.

Note: Entrance is free for this museum.

Website


Bundeswehr Military History Museum (Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr (MHMBw))

As the name suggests, the Bundeswehr Military History Museum is the military museum of the German Armed Forces, also known as the Bundeswehr, and one of the major military history museums in Germany.

Bundeswehr Military History Museum (Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr (MHMBw))
By GALAXY 2018 A7 - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82632666

Museum is situated in a former military arsenal in the Albertstadt neighborhood of Dresden.

After a long history of switching titles and approaches to military history, the museum was finally re-opened in 2011 with a new internal and external concept.

The museum showcases the human side of war, while also focusing on the development of German military equipment.

Website


Charlottenburg Wilmersdorf Museum

The Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf Museum is dedicated to the research and communication of the regional history of the borough and the cultural history of Berlin.

It is housed in the Villa Oppenheim since January 2012.

The ground floor is used for a special exhibition that holds temporary exhibitions of regional history.

Charlottenburg Wilmersdorf Museum
De Foto: Sven Wolter, Lizenz: Creative Commons by-sa-3.0 de, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8116186

The permanent exhibition includes the Charlottenburg art collection which is housed on the first floor of the museum.

Note: Entrance is free for this museum.

Website


Citadel Spandau (several museums)

The Spandau Citadel is a fortress and also one of the best-preserved Renaissance military structures in Europe.

Built from 1559–94 on an island near the confluence of the Havel and the Spree rivers, it was designed to protect the town of Spandau, which is now a part of Berlin.

The inner courtyard of the Citadel also serves as an open-air concert venue in the summertime.

Website


Museum of European Culture (Museum Europäischer Kulturen)

The Museum of European Cultures is committed to gathering, studying, preserving, showcasing, and throwing light on the artifacts of everyday European culture and contemporary human lived experiences from the 18th century until today.

Exhibits are displayed in the permanent exhibition named Cultural Contacts: Living in Europe, in the Motion Detector, as well as in rotating exhibitions.

For traveling exhibitions, some artifacts are also lent to other museums in Europe.

Website


Museum of Musical Instruments (Musikinstrumenten-Museum Berlin)

This musical instruments museum holds over 3,500 musical instruments from the 16th century until today and is one of the largest and most representative musical instrument collections in Germany.

Museum of Musical Instruments (Musikinstrumenten-Museum Berlin)
By Photo: Andreas Praefcke - Self-photographed, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5992390

Objects include a "Bach Cembalo", the Mighty Wurlitzer Theater organ, flutes owned by Frederick the Great, Moritz brass, rare wind instruments from the Baroque period, travel-harpsichord: a rarity at the Prussian Court, and so on.

Website


Museum of Photography (Museum für Fotografie)

Located in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin, the Museum of Photography is one of the Berlin State Museums administered by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

It was opened in the year 2004 and also houses the collection of the Helmut Newton Foundation.

Museum of Photography (Museum für Fotografie)
By Tim from Ithaca - Photos, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5619828

In addition to the rotating special exhibits and the permanent exhibit "Helmut Newton's Private Property", the exhibition room displays all forms of photography dating from the 19th century to the present day.

Website


German History Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum)

Popularly known by its acronym DHM, the German Historical Museum is a museum in Berlin devoted to German history.

German History Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum)
By Ansgar Koreng / CC BY-SA 3.0 (DE), CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56210831

It describes itself as a place for "strengthening historical judgment, where overarching philosophical, ethical and historical questions are negotiated".

The collection of the museum is divided into numerous sections like Everyday Life Culture, old and valuable prints, picture archive, film collection, print collection, numismatics, posters, etc.

Website


Ramones

Located in the Kreuzberg borough of Berlin, the Ramones Museum is dedicated to the American punk rock band the Ramones.

Ramones museum
By Smalltown Boy - Own workOriginal text: selbst fotografiert, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52857161

While the Ramones are usually associated with their hometown of New York City, bassist Dee Dee Ramone grew up in Berlin, the city, and Germany found places in various Ramones songs.

It is also used as an occasional concert venue.

Website


Maerkisches Museum

The Märkisches Museum is situated in the Mitte borough of Berlin.

Founded in 1874 as the museum of the city of Berlin and its political region, the March of Brandenburg, it occupies a building on the northern edge of Köllnischer Park, facing the Spree.

Maerkisches Museum
By Presse Stadtmuseum - Own workOliver Ziebe, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64226803

It is now the main facility of the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin, Landesmuseum für Kultur und Geschichte Berlins, and the City of Berlin museum foundation, which also operates four other sites.

Note: Entrance is free for this museum.

Website


Museum der Dinge

The Museum der Dinge is a publicly funded institution that is documenting modern material culture and product culture of the industries by collecting historically significant objects and archival materials since the 1970s.

Museum der Dinge
Von San Andreas - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30389475

Mainly belonging to the 20th century, the collection consists of articles totaling approximately 40,000 documents and 40,000 objects.

Website


Computer Games Memorial (The Computerspielemuseum)

Computer Game Museum is a video game museum founded in the year 1997.

It had a permanent exhibition in Berlin from the year 1997 to 2000.

After that, it became an online museum only.

In 2011, it reopened its permanent exhibition in Berlin's neighborhood of Friedrichshain, on Karl-Marx-Allee.

Website


Kaethe Kollwitz Museum

As the name suggests, the Käthe Kollwitz Museum is a museum in Berlin dedicated to the work of German artist Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945) and owns one of the largest collections of her works.

Kaethe Kollwitz Museum
Door © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4758024

Collector Pels-Leusden endowed 95 printed graphics, 40 drawings, and 10 original posters to the museum.

The museum now owns over 200 works, including prints, drawings, posters, sculptures, and woodcuts.

Website


Classic Remise

The Classic Remise is a center of vintage cars installed in a large hangar on the tramway.

Built in the imperial time, the origin of the building dates back to 1899.

The building withstood some damages caused by the bombs of the 2nd World War and is still visible in certain places on the ceiling.

Classic Remise
By Neuköllner - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86555364

In 2002, this decommissioned West Berlin tram depot was bought by its current owners and they restored it to make it a classic car center.

Website


Designpanoptikum

It is a "surrealist museum of industrial objects" which features a huge collection of technological objects, collected and arranged by Vlad Korneev in Berlin.

The museum showcases utilitarian objects from numerous fields like medicine, film, sports, aviation, construction, and industry.

The museum emphasizes less on individual objects, and more on their arrangement and compilation.

Some of the notable exhibits are film projectors from Zeiss Ikon, a plate camera, an iron lung, an ejection seat of the company Martin-Baker and operating tables from Maquet.

Website


Currywurst Museum

It was a museum dedicated to German currywurst sausage.

Deutsches Currywurst Museum
By Assenmacher - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17166868

The museum was located in Berlin-Mitte near Checkpoint Charlie and was the first and only museum about currywurst.

The museum has been permanently closed since 21 December 2018.

Website


Tips From Locals and Travelers

If you're still trying to figure out where to start, you're not alone. There are a lot of museums in Berlin, and seeing even a handful of them can sometimes be a daunting task.

With that in mind, we've included some of the thoughts and opinions of locals and travelers who have been to Berlin.

These tips and recommendations come from our Berlin Travel Tips Facebook group, and we suggest using this as a resource for additional suggestions.

Whenever anyone in our group asks about the best museums to visit, there are usually at least half a dozen responses recommending the Pergamon.

This is unquestionably one of the most popular attractions in the city, and that's why it's actually important to consider getting tickets ahead of time.

According to some of our members, tickets can often sell out for the Pergamon. Thankfully, this isn't as common of a problem with other locations.

The Altes is also one of the more popular museums in the city, but most visitors report that they were able to get in without purchasing admission in advance.

With all of that said, here are a few more locations that several travelers/locals suggested.

As you can see, the DDR and Spy Museum are quite popular options, and many travelers recommend visiting when you come to Berlin.

If you're looking for a free museum, Amanda notes that the Humboldt Forum has a lot to see and a rooftop terrace with excellent views of the city.

Why spend extra on an observation deck when you can just enjoy the view at a free museum?

Topography of Terror is also frequently mentioned, and Karen reveals exactly why, describing the museum as "making (the subject) relevant" to modern audiences.

These are just a few of the more commonly discussed museums in Berlin, but that doesn't mean all the others aren't worth visiting.

Regardless, if you want to visit more than one of these locations, some travelers recommend getting a concession pass.

Nicole notes that with services such as the Berlin Welcome Card, you can skip the ticket line and enter the building without needing to book admission.

While this will certainly be true for a lot of Berlin museums, it isn't always going to be the case.

Even so, you can learn more about what travelers and locals think about these concession passes on our Berlin Travel Tips group on Facebook.


About The Author

Anne Wittig

Anne was born in East Berlin and came of age in the unified city. She has an intimate relationship with her city of birth and still calls Berlin home. For the past 10 years, she has managed and written Free Tours by Foot's Berlin blog, detailing the best places to go, where to stay, and what to do in her hometown. This blog has been featured on Berlin's official website, mainstream press like Berlingske, and local blogs like Berlinforallthefamily.com. Over 14,000 visitors to Berlin have taken a tour from Free Tours by Foot.
Updated: May 4th, 2024
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