Berlin is a city with a very rich history and interesting traditions, which is why there are many museums here. In addition to the famous Pergamon and the German Historical Museum, the German capital has something to offer you. Our list contains the best museums in Berlin.
In Berlin, as in most European cities, there are a dozen interesting historical, art, technical and contemporary art museums. In each of them you can learn something new and interesting about the history of Germany, Prussia or the GDR. Please note that unlike other European cities, Berlin has many free museums.
In addition, in the German capital there are several palaces with luxurious interiors and rich collections of porcelain and painting. Unfortunately, getting around in a day or even in two of these interesting places will not work, so we have compiled a list of those museums in Berlin that tourists consider the most informative.
Please note that Berlin has a museum island. Of course, not all museums are located on it, but there are a number of interesting institutions. If you want to save money, buy a single ticket to all museums located on the island. Its cost for adults is 29 euros, children and pensioners will pay 14.50 euros. The entrance ticket to the island is valid for three days from the date of purchase.
If you plan to visit the island of museums and want to actively use public transport, pay attention to the Berlin Welcomecard – a special discount card that can significantly save on trips to museums, cafes, restaurants and theaters. Also, the Berlin Welcomecard gives you the right to travel freely on public transport and the ability to book excursions at significant discounts. The cost of the card is 20 euros for two days or 43 euros for 6 days.
Pergamon (or Pergamon) – one of the most popular museums in Berlin, located on the island of museums. The exposition presents collections of ancient sculptures, paintings of the Islamic world and Western Asian art. In addition to small exhibits, in the museum you can see the gates of the goddess Ishtar, the Pergamon altar, the throne of Zeus and the panorama of Pergamum.
Look for more interesting information about the exposition here .
Topography of Terror
Topography of Terror is a museum about the crimes of the Nazis, which was opened in 1987. Initially, the GDR authorities opened an exhibition dedicated to the horrors of war in the old Gestapo cellars, and 20 years later this small collection turned into a large-sized gallery, which is visited annually by more than 500 thousand people. Located on Museum Island.
Now on display are photographs of SS crimes, Gestapo personal belongings, and hundreds of previously classified documents about concentration camps, gas chambers, and other horrors of war.
The main goal of the museum is to prevent what happened already 90 years ago. That is why in the Topography of Terror one can trace how Nazism appeared and came to power, and most importantly, to understand why this happened.
Tourists who visited the museum note that not every person can withstand even a half-hour excursion – there is so much pain and suffering in the photographs and documents presented.
- Address: Niederkichnerstrasse, 8, Berlin.
- Opening hours: 10.00 – 20.00.
German Historical Museum
The German History Museum was also founded in 1987, but the first permanent exhibition, “Pictures of German History,” opened in 1994. It is located on Museum Island.
At the moment, the museum has exhibited more than 8,000 exhibits that tell about the history of Germany from the Paleolithic era to the present.
One of the most interesting and visited halls is the “Graphic and Documentary History of Germany”, where, with the help of paintings and photographs, you can trace how German cities and their inhabitants have changed.
Three large exhibition halls on the second floor are adapted for temporary exhibitions – they often bring here collections of old clothes, sets of china and paintings by contemporary German artists.
- Address: Zeughaus, Unter den Linden 2, 10117, Berlin-Mitte (Museum Island).
- Opening hours: 10.00 – 22.00 (Thursday), 10.00 – 20.00 (other days of the week).
- The cost of visiting: 8 euros – an adult, 4 – a child.
Classic remise berlin
Classic Remise Berlin is a classic car center housed in an old tram depot. This is an unusual museum: in addition to oldtimers, there are also modern cars that were brought here for repair. Here you can also buy spare parts for a rare car or consult a specialist.
Interestingly, the cars presented do not belong to the museum. All equipment has different owners who can pick it up at any time. However, this rarely happens: it’s convenient for the owners to keep their car here, because then you don’t have to pay for a parking space and worry about the safety of the equipment.
The oldest cars are in special glass boxes, which do not allow the mechanisms to rust, and the paint does not crack.
Tourists note that this is a very interesting and atmospheric museum, which I want to return to again and again. There really is such an opportunity. For example, you can rent a museum for a day and have a wedding or any other holiday here.
- Address: Wiebestrasse, 36-37 D – 10553, Berlin.
- Schedule: 08.00 – 20.00 (weekdays), 10.00 – 20.00 (weekends).
Gemaldegalerie Painting Gallery
The Gemaldegalerie Painting Gallery houses the largest and most expensive collection of paintings in Germany. In the exhibition halls you can see the works of Rembrandt, Bosch, Botticelli, Titian and hundreds of other famous artists of different eras.
Each exposition hall exhibits works by artists from one European country. For example, the most visited are the Dutch and Italian halls.
In each room there are comfortable poufs, located on which, you can see all the small details in the paintings. Tourists advise taking at least three hours to visit this museum – this time is enough to slowly review many famous works.
- Address: Matthaikirchplatz, Berlin (Museum Island).
- Opening hours: 10.00 – 18.00 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday), 10.00 – 20.00 (Thursday), 11.00 – 18.00 (weekends).
- The cost of visiting: 10 euros for an adult, up to 18 years old – free of charge.
German Technical Museum
The German Technical Museum is one of the largest and most popular museums in Berlin. It will be interesting not only for adults – children here will also learn a lot of new and interesting things.
The museum consists of several rooms:
- Fire engine. The most visited hall. Here you can see huge old steam locomotives that came off the assembly line back in the late 19th century. They look like real works of art, which is why they attract visitors.
- Aviation. In this room you can see aircraft designed at the very beginning of the 20th century. Thanks to the famous German pedantry and accuracy, they are still in excellent condition today.
- Technology Hall. Here are the latest statistics on computers and corporations that are developing new technologies.
- Spectrum. The only museum hall in which it is allowed to touch everything and you can conduct experiments on your own. For example, museum employees will offer you to create a sheet of paper with your own hands, cause the wind with a ball and make a toy out of tin. Do not think that you will leave this hall in less than an hour.
- Address: Trebbiner Strasse, 9, Kreuzber district, Berlin.
- Opening hours: 9.00 – 17.30 (weekdays), 10.00 – 18.00 (weekends).
- The cost of visiting: 8 euros – adults, 4 – children.
The new museum is another attraction of Museum Island in Berlin. The building, which now houses the exposition, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, since it was built back in 1855.
Despite the fact that the museum is called new, it will not be possible to see modern exhibits in it: in 15 halls there are ancient Egyptian sculptures, plaster casts found during excavations, ethnographic collections and the interiors of ancient rooms are recreated.
The most interesting exhibits, according to tourists, are a collection of papyrus of Ancient Egypt and a bust of Nefertiti. Even in this museum in Berlin, you should definitely look at the completely restored interior of the Egyptian courtyard.
- Address: Bodestrabe 1-3, Berlin (Museum Island).
- Opening hours: 10.00 – 20.00 (Thursday), 10.00 – 18.00 (other days of the week).
- The cost of visiting: 12 euros for adults and 6 for children.
The Holocaust Museum or the Jewish Museum of Berlin was created in 1933, but after the events of Kristallnacht in 1938 it was immediately closed. The reopening took place in 2001.
The exhibition features personal items of famous German Jews. For example, the personal diary of Judah Leiba, in which he describes in detail the life of Jewish merchants in Germany, the memoirs of Moses Mendelssohn (a famous German philosopher) and a number of his paintings.
The second hall is dedicated to the First World War and the growing unrest among the local population. Here you can also learn about the creation of Jewish schools and social services.
A significant part of the exposition (5 rooms) is devoted to the Holocaust. Here are uninformative, but very emotionally strong exhibits that belonged to once killed Jews.
The very last, final part of the exhibition is the stories of those Jews who grew up after 1945. They talk about their childhood, youth, and hope that the horrors of war will never recur.
In addition to the above halls, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions. For example: “The whole truth about Jews”, “History of Germany through the eyes of Jewish artists”, “Homeland”, “Stereotypes”, “Cultural heritage”.
- Location: Lindenstrasse, 9-14, Berlin.
- Opening hours: 10.00 – 22.00 (Monday), 10.00 – 20.00 (Tuesday – Sunday).
- Ticket price: 8 euros for adults, children under 6 years old – free of charge. Audioguide – 3 euros.
Palace of tears
The Palace of Tears is a former checkpoint that separated Germany and East Germany. The name of the museum was not specially invented – that’s what the locals called it.
The museum consists of four rooms. In the first one you can see a lot of suitcases piled in a bunch, and in each of them – photos, letters, personal items. The second room is dedicated to the history of socialism and Mikhail Gorbachev (in Germany he is considered the only visionary Soviet politician).
In the third and fourth hall – hundreds of posters, plates and paintings that are associated with the division of the country and the fate of people from Germany and the GDR.
Many tourists note that the exposition of the museum does not cause a strong emotional response, and the information provided in the Palace of Tears is very mediocre. However, if you have some time, it’s worth a visit to the museum, especially since it is located right at the station.
- Where to find: Reichstagufer, 17, 10117, Berlin.
- Open: 9.00 – 19.00 (Tuesday – Friday), 10.00 – 18.00 (weekends), Monday – day off.
The GDR Museum is a museum of the history of German socialism, in which you can learn about how socialism in Germany was born and developed over 40 years.
The museum has recreated all aspects of the life of people of that time. There are halls dedicated to family life, fashion, relations of the GDR with other countries, art and industry. All exhibits are allowed to be touched, and in a small car “Trabant”, which is located in the second exhibition hall, you can even sit.
At the entrance to the building is a large souvenir shop. Here you can buy unusual magnets with fragments of the Berlin Wall and other historical artifacts. Interestingly, it was the staff of the GDR Museum in Berlin who took the initiative and retained a small part of the destroyed landmarks.
To the delight of the local authorities, the GDR museum is in great demand both among foreign visitors and among local residents. More than 800 thousand people visit it annually.
- Where to find: Karl-Libschnet, 1, Berlin.
- Opening hours: 10.00 – 22.00 (Saturday), 10.00 – 18.00 (other days of the week).
- Ticket price: 6 euros – adults, 4 euros – children.
During the visit, do not be afraid to take pictures – in museums in Berlin this is not only not forbidden, but even encouraged.
All museums in Berlin tell the story of Germany as it really was. The Germans do not try to embellish or change the past, but draw the necessary conclusions, and believe that what happened will never happen again. If you like technical innovations, contemporary art, history or painting, then you will definitely find many interesting places in the German capital.
All prices and schedules on the page are for July 2019.
Video: a selection of the most interesting museums in Berlin according to tourists.