Berlin

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Berlin - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Alte Nationalgalerie

    Mitte

    The permanent exhibit here is home to an outstanding collection of 18th-, 19th-, and early-20th-century paintings and sculpture, by the likes of Cézanne, Rodin, Degas,...

    The permanent exhibit here is home to an outstanding collection of 18th-, 19th-, and early-20th-century paintings and sculpture, by the likes of Cézanne, Rodin, Degas, and one of Germany's most famous portrait artists, Max Liebermann. Its collection has masterpieces from such 19th-century German painters as Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Caspar David Friedrich, the leading members of the German Romantic school.

    Bodestr. 1–3
    - 30 - 2664–24242

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €10 (combined ticket for all Museum Island museums €29), Closed Mon.
  • 2. Berlinische Galerie

    Kreuzberg

    Talk about site-specific art: all the modern art, photography, and architecture models and plans here, created between 1870 and the present, were made in Berlin...

    Talk about site-specific art: all the modern art, photography, and architecture models and plans here, created between 1870 and the present, were made in Berlin (or in the case of architecture competition models, intended for the city). Russians, secessionists, Dadaists, and expressionists all had their day in Berlin, and individual works by Otto Dix, George Grosz, and Georg Baselitz, as well as artists' archives such as the Dadaist Hannah Höch's, are highlights. Special exhibitions are usually well attended and quite worthwhile.

    Alte Jakobstr. 124–128
    - 030 - 7890–2600

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €12, Closed Tues.
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  • 3. Brandenburger Tor

    Mitte

    Once the pride of Prussian Berlin and the city's premier landmark, the Brandenburger Tor was left in a desolate no-man's-land when the wall was built....

    Once the pride of Prussian Berlin and the city's premier landmark, the Brandenburger Tor was left in a desolate no-man's-land when the wall was built. Since the wall's dismantling, the sandstone gateway has become the scene of the city's Unification Day and New Year's Eve parties. This is the sole remaining gate of 14 built by Carl Langhans in 1788–91, designed as a triumphal arch for King Frederick Wilhelm II. Troops paraded through the gate after successful campaigns—the last time in 1945, when victorious Red Army troops took Berlin. The upper part of the gate, together with its chariot and Goddess of Victory, was destroyed in the war. In 1957 the original molds were discovered in West Berlin, and a new quadriga was cast in copper and presented as a gift to the people of East Berlin. A tourist information center is in the south part of the gate.

    Pariser Pl.

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
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  • 4. DDR Museum

    Mitte

    Half museum, half theme park, the DDR Museum is an interactive and highly entertaining exhibit about life during communism. It’s difficult to say just how...

    Half museum, half theme park, the DDR Museum is an interactive and highly entertaining exhibit about life during communism. It’s difficult to say just how much the museum benefits from its prime location beside the Spree, right across from the Berliner Dom, but it's always packed, filled with tourists, families, and student groups trying to get a hands-on feel for what the East German experience was really like. Exhibitions include a re-creation of an East German kitchen, all mustard yellows and bilious greens; a simulated drive in a Trabi, the only car the average East German was allowed to own; and a walk inside a very narrow, very claustrophobic interrogation cell.

    Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1
    - 030 - 8471–23731

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €9.80
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  • 5. Deutsches Historisches Museum

    Mitte

    The museum is composed of two buildings. The magnificent pink, baroque Prussian arsenal (Zeughaus) was constructed between 1695 and 1730 and is the oldest building...

    The museum is composed of two buildings. The magnificent pink, baroque Prussian arsenal (Zeughaus) was constructed between 1695 and 1730 and is the oldest building on Unter den Linden. It also houses a theater, the Zeughaus Kino, which regularly presents a variety of films, both German and international, historic and modern. The new permanent exhibits offer a modern and fascinating view of German history since the early Middle Ages. The Zeughaus and the permanent exhibits are closed for renovations until the end of 2025. Behind the arsenal, the granite-and-glass Pei building by I. M. Pei holds often stunning and politically controversial changing exhibits; it remains open during the Zeughaus renovations. The museum's café is a great place to stop and restore your energy.

    Unter den Linden 2
    - 030 - 203–040

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €8
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  • 6. East Side Gallery

    Friedrichshain

    This 1-km (½-mile) stretch of concrete went from guarded border to open-air gallery within three months. East Berliners breached the wall on November 9, 1989,...

    This 1-km (½-mile) stretch of concrete went from guarded border to open-air gallery within three months. East Berliners breached the wall on November 9, 1989, and between February and June of 1990, 118 artists from around the globe created unique works of art on its longest remaining section. One of the best-known works, by Russian artist Dmitri Vrubel, depicts Brezhnev and Honecker (the former East German leader) kissing, with the caption "My God. Help me survive this deadly love." The stretch along the Spree Canal runs between the Warschauer Strasse S- and U-bahn station and Ostbahnhof. The redbrick Oberbaumbrücke (an 1896 bridge) at Warschauer Strasse makes that end more scenic.

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  • 7. Gemäldegalerie

    Potsdamer Platz

    The Kulturforum's Gemäldegalerie reunites formerly separated collections from East and West Berlin. It's one of Germany's finest art galleries, and has an extensive selection of...

    The Kulturforum's Gemäldegalerie reunites formerly separated collections from East and West Berlin. It's one of Germany's finest art galleries, and has an extensive selection of European paintings from the 13th to 18th centuries. Seven rooms are reserved for paintings by German masters, among them Dürer, Cranach the Elder, and Holbein. A special collection has works of the Italian masters—Botticelli, Titian, Giotto, Lippi, and Raphael—as well as paintings by Dutch and Flemish masters of the 15th and 16th centuries: Van Eyck, Bosch, Bruegel the Elder, and Van der Weyden. The museum also holds the world's second-largest Rembrandt collection. Portions of the Gemäldegalerie will be closed until at least October 2023 due to the installation of new lighting to better showcase the collection.

    Matthäikirchpl.
    - 030 - 2664–24242

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €12 (€8 until construction finishes), Closed Mon.
  • 8. Gropius Bau

    Kreuzberg

    This magnificent palazzo-like exhibition hall first opened in 1881, and once housed Berlin's Arts and Crafts Museum. Its architect, Martin Gropius, was the great-uncle of...

    This magnificent palazzo-like exhibition hall first opened in 1881, and once housed Berlin's Arts and Crafts Museum. Its architect, Martin Gropius, was the great-uncle of Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus architect who also worked in Berlin. The international, changing exhibits on art and culture have included Painting in the US and USSR 1960–1990; a Yayoi Kusama retrospective; Art, Craft, and Concept in Berlin; and works from Korean artist Lee Bul.

    Niederkirchnerstr. 7
    - 030 - 254–860

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €15, Closed Tues.
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  • 9. Hamburger Bahnhof—Museum für Gegenwart

    Mitte

    This light-filled, remodeled train station is home to a rich survey of post-1960 Western art. The permanent collection includes installations by German artists Joseph Beuys...

    This light-filled, remodeled train station is home to a rich survey of post-1960 Western art. The permanent collection includes installations by German artists Joseph Beuys and Anselm Kiefer, as well as paintings by Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, and Robert Morris. An annex presents the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection, a collection of the latest in the world's contemporary art. The more than 1,500 works rotate, but you're bound to see some by Bruce Naumann, Rodney Graham, and Pipilotti Rist.

    Invalidenstr. 50–51
    - 030 - 2664–24242

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €14 (free 1st Thurs. of month 4–8 pm), Closed Mon.
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  • 10. Humboldt Forum

    Mitte

    This reconstruction of the former 15th-century palace that once stood on this site now houses a range of globally focused collections, including the Ethnological Museum...

    This reconstruction of the former 15th-century palace that once stood on this site now houses a range of globally focused collections, including the Ethnological Museum and Asian Art Museum, which display more than 500,000 cultural objects from around the world; Humboldt University Lab, which explores science and society; and Berlin Global, which looks at Berlin's connection to the rest of the world through such topics as entertainment, fashion, war, and boundaries. The Forum also includes regularly changing temporary displays, such as the history of ivory and a children’s exhibit. Controversial from the start, due to the razing of the ‘70s-era East German Palast der Republik that formerly stood on the site and the display of colonial-era objects (some of which will be repatriated to their countries of origin), this sprawling museum makes a fascinating day out to see both the building itself and the exhibits inside. Note that you will need to buy individual timed tickets for each exhibit either online or onsite at the ticket office; it isn’t currently possible to buy one ticket to see everything. Though there are several cafés, make a reservation for Baret, the restaurant on the rooftop, if only to see one of the finest panoramic views of Berlin.

    Schlosspl.
    - 030 - 9921–18989

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Berlin Global €7; temporary exhibits €12 (children’s exhibits free); Ethnological Museum, Asian Art Museum, and Humboldt Lab free, with timed ticket, Closed Tues.
  • 11. Jüdisches Museum Berlin

    Kreuzberg

    Using a mix of historical objects, art exhibitions, interactive exhibits, and virtual reality, the history of Germany's Jews from the Middle Ages through today is...

    Using a mix of historical objects, art exhibitions, interactive exhibits, and virtual reality, the history of Germany's Jews from the Middle Ages through today is chronicled in the museum's permanent collection (revamped in 2020), from prominent historical figures to the evolution of laws regarding Jews' participation in civil society. A few of the exhibits document the Holocaust itself, but this museum celebrates Jewish life and history far more than it focuses on the atrocities committed during World War II. An attraction in itself is the highly conceptual building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, where various physical "voids" in the oddly constructed and intensely personal modern wing of the building represent the idea that some things can and should never be exhibited when it comes to the Holocaust. ANOHA Children's World, across from the main museum, contains a 7-meter (23-foot) tall circular wooden arc with more than 150 sculptured animals inside, all made from found objects.

    Lindenstr. 9–14
    - 030 - 2599–3300

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free (with time-slot booked online), ANOHA closed Mon.
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  • 12. Kulturforum

    Potsdamer Platz

    This unique ensemble of museums, galleries, and the Philharmonic Hall was long in the making. The first designs were submitted in the 1960s and the...

    This unique ensemble of museums, galleries, and the Philharmonic Hall was long in the making. The first designs were submitted in the 1960s and the last building completed in 1998. Now it forms a welcome modern counterpoint to the thoroughly restored Prussian splendor of Museum Island, although Berliners and tourists alike hold drastically differing opinions on the area's architectural aesthetics. Whatever your opinion, Kulturforum's artistic holdings are unparalleled and worth at least a day of your time, if not more. The Kulturforum includes the Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery), the Kunstbibliothek (Art Library), the Kupferstichkabinett (Print Cabinet), the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts), the Philharmonie, the Musikinstrumenten-Museum (Musical Instruments Museum), the Staatsbibliothek (National Library), and the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery).

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Prices vary for each museum, Closed Mon.
  • 13. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

    Mitte

    An expansive and unusual memorial dedicated to the 6 million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe...

    An expansive and unusual memorial dedicated to the 6 million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was designed by American architect Peter Eisenman. The stunning place of remembrance consists of a grid of more than 2,700 concrete stelae, planted into undulating ground. The abstract memorial can be entered from all sides and offers no prescribed path. An information center that goes into specifics about the Holocaust lies underground at the southeast corner. Just across Eberstrasse, inside the Tiergarten, is the Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted under the National Socialist Regime: a large concrete block with a window through which visitors can see a short film depicting a kiss.

    Cora-Berliner-Str. 1
    - 030 - 263–9430

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Information center closed Mon.
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  • 14. Museum Barberini

    On the site of the Barberini Palace, destroyed by a bombing in 1945, this elegant art museum displays large-scale exhibitions, many of which focus on...

    On the site of the Barberini Palace, destroyed by a bombing in 1945, this elegant art museum displays large-scale exhibitions, many of which focus on Impressionism, along with a small selection of works from the German Democratic Republic.

    Humboldtstr. 5–6
    - 0331 - 2360–14499

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €16–€18, Closed Tues.
  • 15. Museumsinsel

    Mitte

    On the site of one of Berlin's two original settlements, this unique complex of five state museums is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a...

    On the site of one of Berlin's two original settlements, this unique complex of five state museums is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit in Berlin. The museums are the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Altes Museum (Old Museum), the Bode-Museum, the Pergamonmuseum, and the Neues Museum (New Museum). If you get tired of antiques and paintings, drop by any of the museums' cafés. A state-of-the-art visitor center is expected to open here in 2019. To avoid standing in long lines (especially during the summer), buy a combined day ticket that covers all Museum Island museums in advance online at www.smb.museum/en or www.visitberlin.de/en, or at any of the individual museum ticket offices (the Altes Museum tends to be less busy).

    - 030 - 2664–24242

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €18 combined ticket to all Museum Island museums
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  • 16. Neue Nationalgalerie

    Potsdamer Platz

    Bauhaus member Ludwig Mies van der Rohe originally designed this glass-box structure for Bacardi Rum in Cuba, but Berlin became the site of its realization...

    Bauhaus member Ludwig Mies van der Rohe originally designed this glass-box structure for Bacardi Rum in Cuba, but Berlin became the site of its realization in 1968; it closed in 2015 for a freshening up by British architect David Chipperfield, finally reopening in August 2021. Highlights of the collection of 20th-century paintings, sculptures, and drawings include works by expressionists Otto Dix, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Georg Grosz, along with a fine collection of East German art plus works from the likes of Francis Bacon, Paul Klee, and Pablo Picasso. Temporary exhibitions, such as Alexander Calder's mobiles, dominate the top floor, while the excellent permanent collection sprawls over the bottom floor.

    Potsdamer Str. 50
    - 030 - 2664–24242

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €14, Closed Mon.
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  • 17. Neues Museum

    Mitte

    Originally designed by Friedrich August Stüler in 1843–55, the building housing the Neues Museum was badly damaged in World War II and has only in...

    Originally designed by Friedrich August Stüler in 1843–55, the building housing the Neues Museum was badly damaged in World War II and has only in the 21st century been elaborately redeveloped by British star architect David Chipperfield. Instead of completely restoring the Neues Museum, the architect decided to integrate modern elements into the historic landmark, while leaving many of its heavily bombed and dilapidated areas untouched. The result is a stunning experience, considered by many to be one of the world's greatest museums. Home to the Egyptian Museum, including the famous bust of Nefertiti (who, after some 70 years, has returned to her first museum location in Berlin), it also features the Papyrus Collection and the Museum of Prehistory and Early History.

    Bodestr. 1–3
    - 030 - 2664–24242

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €12 (combined ticket for all Museum Island museums €29), Closed Mon.
  • 18. Neues Palais

    A larger and grander palace than Sanssouci, the Neues Palace stands at the end of the long avenue that runs through Sanssouci Park. It was...

    A larger and grander palace than Sanssouci, the Neues Palace stands at the end of the long avenue that runs through Sanssouci Park. It was built after the Seven Years' War (1756–63). Impressive interiors include the Grotto Hall with walls and columns set with shells, coral, and other aquatic decorations. The royals' upper apartments have paintings by 17th-century Italian masters. All visits are at scheduled times when you buy a ticket.

    - 0331 - 969–4200

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €6, Closed Tues.
  • 19. Palais Populaire

    Mitte

    The reconstructed 18th-century Prinzessinnenpalais (Princesses’ Palace) now houses selections of Deutsche Bank’s contemporary art holdings, which rotate several times a year. Past exhibitions include Ways...

    The reconstructed 18th-century Prinzessinnenpalais (Princesses’ Palace) now houses selections of Deutsche Bank’s contemporary art holdings, which rotate several times a year. Past exhibitions include Ways of Seeing Abstraction, works from German figurative painter K.H. Hödicke, and international photography from the 1970s to the present, along with shows featuring Deutsche Bank's “artists of the year.” Though the art selections may be compact, they’re most often provocative and worthwhile. Take an art break at the attached LePopulaire café, which serves up salads, sandwiches, and heartier mains for lunch or snacks.

    Unter den Linden 5
    - 030 - 202–0930

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free (with timed ticket), Closed Tues.
  • 20. Pergamonmuseum

    Mitte

    The Pergamonmuseum is one of the world's greatest museums and its name is derived from its principal display, the Pergamon Altar, a monumental Greek temple...

    The Pergamonmuseum is one of the world's greatest museums and its name is derived from its principal display, the Pergamon Altar, a monumental Greek temple discovered in what is now Turkey and dating from 180 BC. The altar was shipped to Berlin in the late 19th century. Equally impressive are the gateway to the Roman town of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate, and the Babylonian processional way. Work to refurbish the museum began in 2014 and is expected to continue until at least 2025. Its famous altar is currently inaccessible. That said, the majority of the Pergamonmuseum will continue to be open to the public, and it is still very much worth a visit. Until the altar reopens, visitors can also see Das Panorama, 360-degree visuals of the ancient city of Pergamon designed by artist Yadegar Asisi and combined with a selection of original sculptures, in a temporary pavilion on Am Kupfergraben, across from Museuminsel.

    Bodestr. 1–3
    - 030 - 2664–24242

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €12 (combined ticket for all Museum Island museums €29), Closed Mon.

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