Berlin gets about 100 days of rain a year. The good news? You don’t have to stay at home when the weather’s bad! With around 170 museums, Berlin is the only European city with more museums than rainy days. These range from museums showcasing artistic masterpieces to smaller, more unusual exhibits such as the Hemp or Lipstick museum. We’ve put together a selection of the highlights of Berlin culture just for you:
Berlin cultural highlights on Museum Island
Berlin’s Museum Island is home to the world’s largest collection of museums, boasting cultural riches that have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its five museums house treasures of the art world, including the celebrated Pergamon Altar and the Nefertiti Bust.
Pergamon Museum: Berlin’s most-visited museum showcases ancient archaeological findings from Western Asia such as the Ishtar Gate, the Processional Way, the Market Gate of Miletus and the Pergamon Altar.
Bode Museum: At the Bode Museum, you can find a sculpture collection with works dating from the Middle Ages until the late 18th century, along with treasures from the Museum of Byzantine Art and the Coin Cabinet.
Neues Museum: The Neues Museum takes you on a colorful journey through the most important eras of human history. Here, you can marvel at papyrus collections and Egyptian exhibits including the Nefertiti Bust.
Altes Museum: The Altes Museum is home to artworks, sculptures and masterpieces from Ancient Greece and Rome.
Alte Nationalgalerie: The outside of the Alte Nationalgalerie resembles an ancient temple. Inside, you can discover paintings and sculptures from a wide range of eras, including Classicism, Romanticism, Biedermeier, Impressionism and the early modern period.
A slice of German history
DDR Museum: Experience German history up close at the DDR Museum, which is definitely one of the highlights of Berlin culture. Take a seat aboard a Trabi (the iconic East German car) and have a browse through an authentic GDR living room, complete with original-style furniture, in a 120 m2 prefabricated Plattenbau apartment. You can also learn all about the wiretapping techniques used by the Stasi, the East German secret police.
Museumswohnung WBS 70: To get a better feel of what it was like to live in the GDR, visit this Plattenbau museum apartment in Hellersdorf, which is open on Sundays. The apartment-turned-museum, with original furnishings including typical GDR flooring and wallpaper, can be visited free of charge. What’s more, the staff offer up first-hand anecdotes too!
Unusual Berlin museums:
Computerspiele Museum: Rediscover the games of your youth and experience the rapid development of technology up close at this interactive computer games museum. Here, you can try your hand at classics including the GDR slot machine Poly Play, a range of rare games, 3D simulations and modern VR experiences.
Hemp Museum: The exhibition at the Hemp Museum is dedicated to the many different uses of the world’s oldest crop and medicinal plant. A series of eight rooms present textiles, food items and paper made from hemp in addition to old hash pipes and a greenhouse.
Illuseum Berlin: At Illuseum, you won’t believe your eyes! Nothing is as it seems in this Berlin museum of optical illusions. From creative photo ops to interactive stations, puzzles, brain teasers and games to get your teeth into, you’re in for an entertaining time at Illuseum.
Our Living Hotels Berlin Mitte and Großer Kurfürst offer the perfect base for exploring the highlights of Berlin culture. Museum Island is just a nine-minute walk from here. Or if you want to stay somewhere a little quieter, we recommend our idyllic Living Hotel Weißensee.