25 COOLEST Museums in Berlin [May 2019]

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25 COOLEST Museums in Berlin [May 2019]

Berlin is infamous for many things. From its tumultuous past during WWII and the Cold War to it’s thriving and influential art scene, Berlin is a cultural capital that has left a prominent mark on the world.  It’s a city that’s constantly evolving, and one that has seen monumental growth since the unification of Germany in 1989.

While there is a seemingly endless supply of attractions in Berlin, some of the most fascinating experiences are inside the walls of the museums. Berlin is even home to Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses half a dozen of the city’s most famous buildings and museums. But no matter where you choose to explore in Berlin, you’re bound to find something that sparks your interests! 

 

#1 – Neues Museum

History Museum

Photo credit - WikiMedia

Photo credit – WikiMedia

  • Built in the mid-1800s
  • Egyptian and Pre-History exhibits
  • Cost: €12 (adults), €6 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Built inside a stunning neo-classical villa, the Neues Museum is one of the few museums to partially survive the bombing of Berlin. Consequently, the museum still contains some of the same exhibits that existed before the war, including the Prehistory and Early History installations.

However, the highlight of the museum is the Egyptian collection, which contains an impressive papyrus gallery as well as the infamous bust of Queen Nefertiti. Don’t miss a visit to the Neues Museum when you’re on Berlin’s Museum Island.

Don’t waste your time queuing to get into the extremely popular Neues Museum. Purchase your ticket in advance and skip the line!

 

#2 – Jewish Museum

History Museum

Photo credit - Greece-is

Photo credit – Greece-is

  • Jewish culture, history, and art
  • On-site archive and library
  • Cost: €8 (adults), €3 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

This museum is not just the largest Jewish Museum in Germany, but it’s actually the largest Jewish museum in all of Europe! Dedicated to Jewish history and art, Berlin’s Jewish Museum is a fascinating insight into Germany’s past.

One of the most stunning art installations at the museum is constructed by Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman titled Shalekhet or Fallen Leaves. Over 10,000 human faces and carved out of steel and represent the lives lost during the Holocaust.

 

#3 – Alte Nationalgalerie

Art Museum

Photo credit - wikiMedia

Photo credit – wikiMedia

  • Neoclassical paintings and sculptures
  • Artists like Friedrich, Biedermeier and Monet
  • Cost: €10 (adults), €5 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

With over 2,000 paintings and sculptures, Alte Nationalgalerie is one of the most famous (and one of the largest) art galleries in Germany. The museum contains a remarkably large collection of Neoclassical, Impressionist, and early Modernist artwork from both German and internationally renown artists.

You can’t miss the Romanesque style building with its grand protruding columns when wandering through Berlin’s Museum Island. Alte Nationalgalerie sits right at the center.

Alte Nationalgalerie is just one of the museums you can visit that’s included with your Museum Island All-Day Pass.

 

#4 – DDR Museum

History Museum

Photo credit - getyourguide

Photo credit – getyourguide

  • See what East Germany was like
  • Drive in a Trabi simulator
  • Cost: €8,50 (adults), €5,50 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Take a peek behind the wall and see what life was like back in East Germany at the DDR Museum. Although Berlin’s tumultuous past may no longer exist, you can see how civilians lived in isolation away from freedom.

There are hundreds of artifacts and objects to explore, as well as representations and models of real homes that people lived in. You can even drive in a classic Trabi, using a virtual, interactive simulator.

 

#5 – Puppentheater-Museum Berlin

Specialty Museum

Photo credit - Franziska-giffey

Photo credit – Franziska-giffey

  • Become your own puppet master
  • Watch puppet and marionette theater
  • Cost: €3,00 (adults), €2,50 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Spend a whimsical and playful afternoon at the Puppentheater-Museum in Berlin! What once started as a traveling exhibition, the Puppentheater-Museum aims to tell the history of dolls and marionette puppets using hands-on interactive fun.

Visitors are encouraged to test out their puppeteering skills, as well as join any of the daily workshops. But you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the puppets, children of all age or welcome! If you are lucky, then you’ll be able to catch a real live marionette performance.

 

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#6 – Deutsches Currywurst Museum

Specialty Museum

Photo credit - Media-Cool-Cities

Photo credit – Media-Cool-Cities

  • History and significance of the currywurst
  • Taste one of the best currywurst in the city
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Come hungry and feast your eyes on one of Berlin’s most iconic dishes – the currywurst! At the Deutsches Currywurst Museum, you’ll learn everything about this tasty treat, and how it becomes a German national symbol.

But this isn’t any old museum – most of the exhibits are interactive and hands-on! There’s even a giant sofa in the shape of a sausage that you can hang out and take photographs on. Of course, end your tour with a delicious and mouthwatering sample of currywurst from the cafe and snack bar.

Can’t get enough of Berlin snack foods? Take a 3-hour walking food tour and taste all the different treats Berlin has to offer!

 

#7 – Deutsches Technikmuseum

Science and Technology Museum

Photo credit - b-domke

Photo credit – b-domke

  • Trains, planes, and automobiles
  • Built in a defunct locomotive depot
  • Cost: €8,00 (adults), €4,00 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Although the Deutsches Technikmuseum originally started as a railway and transportation museum, it’s evolved t cover all aspects of industrial technology. You’ll find exhibits on airplanes,  wind energy, and even how a brewery works in production.

But don’t worry – Deutsches Technikmuseum hasn’t forgotten its roots. There’s still an enormous collection of trains, locomotives, and steam cars. The museum is even located in an old 19th-century locomotive depot that covers 33 tracks!

 

#8 – Berlinische Galerie

Art Museum

Photo credit - Viator

Photo credit – Viator

  • Most influential German contemporary artists
  • Graphic design and art exhibit
  • Cost: €10,00 (adults), €7,00 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Brush up on your German modern and contemporary art at Berlinische Galerie. Cover two floors, you’ll find paintings, sculptures, and drawings by some of Berlin’s most famous artists.

Highlights include the works of the Berlin Secession Group, the largest association of German artists, as well as paintings from Expressionist artists like Dix, Grosz, and Höch. The museum also has an impressive graphic design collection, with over 15,000 pieces on site.

Visit the Berlinische Galerie (and 30 other museums in Berlin) with a 3-day Museum Pass!

 

#9 – Game Science Center

Science and Technology Museum

Photo credit - TripAdvisor

Photo credit – TripAdvisor

  • History, present, and past of computers
  • Interactive video games
  • Cost: €14,00 (adults), €11,00 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Originally created by game developers, the Berlin Game Science Center is a playful interactive look into our future. With a constantly rotating collection of exhibits, GSC lets you explore and learn about how technology has shaped our world, and what it has stored in our future.

Play with new prototypes, try out high-tech video games, and interact more with computers than you ever thought possible! The Game Science Center is a rare glimpse into the future of our exciting and amazing world!

 

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#10 – Magicum Berlin

Specialty Museum

Photo credit - Berlinpass

Photo credit – Berlinpass

  • Watch live magic shows
  • Learn about different themes of magic
  • Cost: €19,50 (adults), €17,50 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 -2 hours

Magicum Berlin is more than just card tricks and pulling rabbits out of hats! This museum is a majestic world of illusion and enchantment! Some exhibits focus on mythical creatures, witchcraft, and wizardry, while others take you through the history of fortune telling and magical energy.

But the highlight of Magicum Berlin is the magic shows that are performed on the weekends. You’ll find exciting acts from local magicians, as well as well known illusionists from around the world!

 

#11 – Berlin Wall Memorial

History Museum

Photo credit - TripAdvisor

Photo credit – TripAdvisor

  • Learn about the history of the Berlin Wall
  • See original parts of the Berlin Wall
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 1 -2 hours

No trip to Berlin would be complete without a visit to the Berlin Wall. Although tourists flock to the main spots like East Side Gallery and Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall Memorial is an educational experience away from the crowds.

You’ll learn about the history of the wall and read information about the people who lost their lives trying to escape. There’s even a lookout platform where you can see watchtowers and plaques from sections of the original wall itself.

 

#12 – Hanf Museum Berlin

Specialty Museum

Photo credit - Yelp

Photo credit – Yelp

  • History and agriculture of hemp
  • Hemp related cafe and shop
  • Cost: €3,50 (adults), €3,00 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 -2 hours

Yes, the Hanf Museum Berlin, otherwise known as the Berlin Hemp Museum, is legal to visit! Here, you’ll learn about the history, production, and commercial distribution of everything hemp.

This museum is the only cannabis and hemp related museum in Germany. Because of this, there is also an exhibit on the legal status and prohibition of the plant. Of course, you can’t miss a visit to the on-site cafe where you can relax with a hot cup of hemp tea.

 

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#13 – Pergamon Museum

Archaeological Museum

Photo credit - Isic

Photo credit – Isic

  • Divided into three different museums
  • Archaeological Ruins
  • Cost: €19,00 (adults), €9,50 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

The Pergamon Museum is the single most visited museum in Germany, and for a good reason! It’s home to fascinating excavated ruins from Anatolia and Mshatta Facad, such as the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus, and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.

Besides wandering through the grandiose buildings, you’ll also be able to visit the Islamic Art Museum, which houses middle eastern art dating back to the 8th century!

Learn about everything you see in the Pergamon Museum with a personal guided tour!

 

#14 – The Museum of Extraordinary Things

Specialty Museum

Photo credit - Gagdaily

Photo credit – Gagdaily

  • Berlin’s strangest objects
  • Only open 3 days a week
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour

Discover a world of fascinating objects and quirky artifacts at the adeptly named Museum of Extraordinary Things! Although the museum is tiny at 20 square meters wide, it’s filled to the brim with bizarre curiosities and rarities of all kinds.

You’ll find pelts from rare animals, art with subliminal messages, and even an homage to Laika, the Soviet space dog! You won’t find items like this anywhere else in Germany, let alone the entire world!

 

#15 – Museum für Naturkunde

National History Museum

Photo credit - Museumfuernaturkunde

Photo credit – Museumfuernaturkunde

  • Rare animals and specimens
  • Tallest dinosaur skeleton in the world
  • Cost: €8,00 (adults), €5,00 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

With a whopping 30 million items, Berlin’s Natural History Museum is ranked one of the top five natural history museums in the world! This museum has it all, from marine life taxidermy to solar system shows.

You’ll find even the fossils, remains, and body parts from the rarest of animals on display. And although there are hundreds of unique items to see, a visitor favorite is the 13-meter tall skeleton of a Brachiosaurus dinosaur!

 

#16 – Lipstick Museum

Specialty Museum

Photo credit - top10berlin

Photo credit – top10berlin

  • Lipstick and make up history
  • Over 150 celebrity kiss marks
  • Cost: €20
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Pucker up, because you’ll want to kiss everything in sight at the Berlin Lipstick Museum. The museum was built by Berlin makeup artist Rene Koch, whose life’s passion was everything surrounding lipstick and makeup.

Besides seeing rare colors, historical cases, and advertising prints, you’ll also learn about the 150-year old history of lipstick. Finally, you can’t miss the wall at the end of the tour, with kissable, color imprints from over 150 international celebrities!

 

#17 – Topography of Terror

History Museum

Photo credit - Topographie

Photo credit – Topographie

  • WWII Memorial site
  • Longest undemolished section of the Berlin Wall
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Built on the site of a former Nazi headquarters, the Topography of Terror dives deep into the history of WWII and Germany’s repression under Nazi rule. While there are several permanent and rotating exhibits, most visitors come to learn about how the Third Reich impacted the city of Berlin and further infiltrated the world. You can also take a tour of the building itself, which is home to the largest untouched section of the Berlin wall.

History buffs will enjoy visiting the Topography of Terror on a half-day walking tour of Berlin’s WWII sights!

 

#18 – Käthe Kollwitz Museum

Art Museum

Photo credit - Simple.de

Photo credit – Simple.de

  • Dedicated to the life of Käthe Kollwitz
  • Emotional paintings, sculptures, and drawings
  • Cost: €7,00 (adults), €4,00 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

The Käthe Kollwitz Museum is dedicated the Berlin’s most influential female artist, Käthe Kollwitz. Built inside her former home, the Käthe Kollwitz Museum houses the largest collection of Kollwitz’s sculptures, drawings, and paintings.

And depending on when you visit, the museum might also be hosting an honorary art gallery which showcases the works of other up-and-coming artists. You can also take advantage of the free public guided tours, which happen every Sunday at 3 pm.

 

#19 – Deutsche Kinemathek

Cinematography Museum

Photo credit - deutsche-kinemathek

Photo credit – deutsche-kinemathek

  • German film and television history
  • Watch full length original German series
  • Cost: €8,00 (adults), €5,00 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

You might not think of Berlin as the Hollywood of Europe, but this capital city is one of the most underrated film-making centers! And at the Deutsche Kinemathek, you’ll learn all about Germany’s most prominent movie and tv series.

From famous award winner German films to the production and history of horror movies, Deutsche Kinemathek has it all. You can also rewatch highlights from one of your 10,000 or so favorite movies at the Television Media Library!

Tickets to Deutsche Kinemathek is just one of the 60 attractions that’s included with your Berlin City Pass!

 

#20 – The Hohenschoenhausen

History Museum

Photo credit - Welcome-to-berlin

Photo credit – Welcome-to-berlin

  • Former East German prison
  • Tours conducted by inmates
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

It might be an eerie place to visit, but a trip to the harrowing Stasi prison is well worth your time. Walk through the desolate halls and see machine gun towers, water torture chambers, and historic prison cells from the early to mid-1900s.

Besides tour the grim facility, you’ll also find over 500 objects and photographs that paint what life was like in East Germany. The tours are conducted by former inmates, which adds a frightening yet realistic touch to the entire experience.

 

#21 – Ramones Museum

Specialty Museum

Photo credit - flicker

Photo credit – flicker

  • The only museum dedicated to the Ramones
  • Bar, Cafe, and Giftshop
  • Cost: €4,50
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Rock music lovers can’t miss a visit to the Ramones Museum, which pays homage to the iconic New York rock band. The museum contains over 1,000 pieces of memorabilia, like personal photos, autographed instruments, and even original outfits that were worn on stage.

You can even continue jamming out to your favorite punk tunes while grabbing a tasty drink at the cafe and bar inside. And don’t leave the museum without drawing your own version of the Ramones in their guestbook!

 

#22 – Computer Games Museum

Specialty Museum

Photo credit - Couch-games

Photo credit – Couch-games

  • Play all your favorite video games
  • Test out virtual reality
  • Cost: €9,00 (adults), €6,00 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Calling all gamers! At the Berlin Computer Games Museum, you can transport into a virtual world of video games. There are over 300 exhibits that take you through the history of one of the world’s most famous past times.

You’ll even find some of your old favorites, like Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, and even the classic Pong! If you’re lucky, you might even be able to test new games that haven’t even hit the market yet!

 

#23 – Märkisches Museum

History Museum

Photo credit - Ashelyludaescher

Photo credit – Ashelyludaescher

  • History of Berlin
  • Located on the banks of the Spree
  • Cost: €7,00 (adults), €4,00 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

See Berlin as you’ve never seen it before! At the Märkisches Museum, you’ll learn everything about German and Berliner culture and history. Experience what the city was like during the Ice Age, and how it’s transformed to become the bustling city that you see today.

Even if you’re not a history buff, you’ll still be amazed at the location of the museum. You couldn’t get a better view of the Spree River even if you tried!

#24 – Spy Museum Berlin

Specialty Museum

Photo credit - WikiMedia

Photo credit – WikiMedia

  • Espionage tricks, tools, and gadgets
  • Interactive laser obstacle course
  • Cost: €12,00 (adults), €8,00 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Enter the world of espionage at the Spy Museum Berlin! With over 1,000 objects and 300 different exhibits, you’ll discover everything from spy gear and training materials to conspiracy theories and secret service tactics.

Although most of the exhibits focus on Berlin during the Cold War, you’ll learn about espionage practices from all around the world. But the big highlights of Spy Museum Berlin are the laser obstacle courses and the interactive spy simulations!

 

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#25 – Medical History Museum

Specialty Museum

Photo credit - Museumsportal

Photo credit – Museumsportal

  • Espionage tricks, tools, and gadgets
  • Interactive laser obstacle course
  • Cost: €12,00 (adults), €8,00 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Berlin’s Medical History Museum is not for the faint of heart or the squeamish! Often nicknamed the “Cabinet of Horrors”, the Medical History Museum examines the history of medical science over the last few centuries.

There is a collection of over 900 rare and unusual anatomical specimens, including abnormal body parts, diseased organs, and even genetic malformations. There’s even an exhibit on forensic science, where you can look into a real-life crime scene. Sorry kids, you have to be over 16 years old to enter.

FAQ

How many museums are in Berlin?

In a city thriving with history and culture, it’s no surprise that Berlin is home to over 150 different museums. You’ll find a little bit of everything here, from art galleries to specialty shops.

How many free museums are in Berlin?

Most of Berlin’s museums charge an entry fee to visit. However, there are many museums, even some of Berlin’s largest, that are free of charge to enter. Other museums also offer free entry after a certain time of day, or on a specific day of the month.

What are the hours of the museums in Berlin?

Most museums in Berlin are open from 10 am to 6 pm six days of the week. It’s not unusual for museums to be closed at least one day a week, usually on a Monday. However, most museums are open on Saturday and Sunday.

What can I bring into Berlin museums?

Photography is usually allowed in most museums in Berlin, although flash, selfie sticks, and tripods are not. Large bags and suitcases are also usually not allowed and must either be checked in a locker or left at home.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, this is just a small sample of everything Berlin has to offer. Besides what we’ve listed, you’re guaranteed to find dozens of other art galleries, history museums, and unique places to visit when visiting Berlin.

So while you walk the city, soak in the history and culture that undeniably overflows through the streets of Berlin. View the iconic landmarks that have left their mark on the world, and enjoy the creative and artistic atmosphere that makes the city so unique.

And when you’re eager to dive deeper, then check out one of the city’s top museums. There’s something exciting to see and learn around every corner.

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About the Author Nicola Smart

Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!