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The 15 Best Museums in Berlin, Germany [2024]

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Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

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Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
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As one of Europe’s capitals, Berlin is a renowned tourist destination for people around the world. Surprisingly, however, many of its museums fly under the radar of some travelers. From history to art, numerous museums are worth visiting in the German capital, no matter your interests. Here’s a list of the best museums to help inspire your Berlin travel plans.

The Best Museums in Berlin

1. AlliiertenMuseum (Allied Museum)

Allied Museum
Image Credit: Allied Museum

Since its opening, the Allied Museum has been committed to educating visitors about the Allied forces of World War II. The exhibits cover the political history and development of the U.S., France, and Britain, including how these 3 nations became world leaders. 

The museum is divided into 3 main exhibits housing documents, artifacts, and artwork relating to the Allies, particularly between 1945 and 1994. There are also multiple art sculptures on the property, like the “Buddy Bear” and “The Day the Wall Came Down.” The latter even uses pieces of the old Berlin Wall to celebrate the day it was demolished.

Some pieces in the collection include military fatigues from all 3 forces, ID cards, newspapers, photos, the “Checkpoint Charlie” building, and broadcast recordings to help bring history to life. The museum also often houses temporary exhibits discussing contemporary goings in these countries. Various educational and cultural events are also held throughout the year.

Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Alliiertenmuseum.

  • Address: Clayallee 135, 14195 Berlin, Germany

2. Alte Nationalgalerie

Alte Nationalgalerie
Image Credit: David von Becker via Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

The Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) houses a collection of art in its 19th-century structure. The museum is included in the Museum Island UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its unique and historic architecture and cultural importance.

The museum doesn’t focus on collecting work from any particular art style but on a time period. Virtually all of its pieces were created during the 1800s by artists from around Europe. Notably, the facility houses Germany’s most extensive collection of sculptures from this period.

Some of the museum’s most beloved pieces are Adolph von Menzel’s “The Flute Concert,” Karl Friedrich Lessing’s “The Hussite Sermon,” and Carl Steffeck’s “Portrait of the Advocate Ernst Lau.” The gallery also represents artists like Monet, Manet, and Blechen.

The current collection includes 3,500 works of art in its exhibits and archives, but this number is likely to grow as the facility slowly acquires more pieces.

Admission is €10 (~$11), though a €5 (~$5) discount is available for qualifying guests. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is U Museumsinsel.

  • Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany

3. ANOHA

ANOHA
Image Credit: Yves Sucksdorff via ANOHA

The ANOHA Children’s Museum, opened in 2021, is one of Berlin’s newest museums. It’s become a favorite among local and visiting families with small children.

The museum aims to educate young visitors about Jewish culture and Judaism in a fun, interactive, and easy-to-understand way. The museum’s primary demographic is children between preschool and grade school, but visitors of all ages are welcome.

Though the museum’s overarching theme is the story of “Noah’s Ark,” the museum also allows children plenty of freedom to create, explore, and learn about other topics. The facility is divided into multiple interactive stations, like “Unicorn School,” “Dreams About Our Future,” and “100 Ideas for Our World,” which let children use their imagination and develop their senses.

Most of the museum’s written information is also available in simple English to better accommodate visitors from other countries. However, if you want to participate in on-site activities and events, like workshops, remember that they may only be available in German.

Admission is free for everyone. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Jüdisches Museum Berlin.

  • Address: Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz, 10969 Berlin, Germany

4. Bauhaus-Archiv Museum für Gestaltung (Bauhaus Archive)

Bauhaus Archive
Image Credit: Bauhaus Archive

The Bauhaus Archive is famous worldwide for its extensive collection of design pieces. The facility showcases and houses a wide array of artwork, literature, documents, and more that showcase the history, development, and work of the Bauhaus Art Institute. The museum can, in fact, be broadly divided into a few different parts.

The first section showcases the teaching side of the institute, with books, workshop models, and more on display. Another section, instead, looks at the history of the school itself, done through photos and documents. The last section of the museum showcases art that Bauhaus students created.

The museum houses over 90,000 pieces, though only a fraction are displayed at any given time. Since the Bauhaus school taught all types of fine arts, the museum houses paintings, ceramics, furniture, textiles, and more.

The Bauhaus Archive also hosts 4 temporary exhibits each year. Though many are held in German, the space also hosts educational and cultural events. Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Lützowplatz.

  • Address: Klingelhöferstraße 14, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Hot Tip:

The Bauhaus Archive is currently closed for several years due to renovations, but a temporary museum is open at Knesebeckstrasse 1, 10623 Berlin-Charlottenburg. The nearest transit stop is U Ernst-Reuter-Platz.

5. Bode-Museum

Bode Museum
Image Credit: Carolin Marie Kreutzfeldt via Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Previously known as the Emperor Frederick Museu, the Bode-Museum is home to 3 separate exhibit spaces to display over 500,000 items. Each of these spaces focuses on a different topic.

The Skulpturensammlung space houses one of Germany’s largest and most comprehensive collections of statues throughout history. The Museum of Byzantine Art area houses art and artifacts from the Byzantine Empire.

Last but not least, the Münzkabinett part of the Bode-Museum building houses mostly historical sculptures, coins, medals, and other jewelry items. Since the museum showcases so many different artifacts, visitors can learn about art, history, and culture all in 1 place.

Some of the museum’s highlighted pieces are “Mosaic Icon Featuring Christ the Merciful,” from Constantinople, “Satyr with Panther” by Pietro Bernini, and a sculpture showcasing the liberation of a besieged city. The museum’s exhibits notably cover a wide array of periods, with thousands of years of history from around the world on display.

Admission is €10 (~$11), but a €5 (~$5) discount is available for qualifying visitors. Admission is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Monbijouplatz.

  • Address: Am Kupfergraben, 10178 Berlin, Germany

6. Computerspielemuseum

Computerspielemuseum
Image Credit: Computerspielemuseum

First opened in 1997, the Computerspielemuseum is Berlin’s premier video game and arcade museum. It hosted online exhibits for a time but reopened as a physical museum in 2011.

Despite its relatively small space, the museum houses thousands of pieces, ranging from video games to magazines. This collection will likely grow as the facility acquires more pieces and video games change.

The museum has a singular main gallery that’s always open. This gallery showcases the evolution of the gaming industry. This exhibit space contains over 300 stations, including interactive displays, that give visitors a thorough look at the history of games.

Computerspielemuseum hosts various events and temporary exhibits throughout the year and even loans some of its collection to other facilities. One of the museum’s missions is to preserve digital artifacts for future generations, allowing it to save some rare or otherwise obsolete pieces from being completely lost to history.

Admission is free for children under 6, €7 (~$7) for children, students, and those who qualify for reduced tickets, and €11 (~$12) for adults. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Weberwiese.

  • Address: Karl-Marx-Allee 93A, 10243 Berlin, Germany

“If you ever happen to visit the Computerspielemuseum — the world’s first museum dedicated to computer and video games — be sure to check out the Poly-Play: It’s the only arcade machine ever developed in East Germany. You will rarely find another one of these elsewhere in the world.”

Matthias Oborski, exhibition director, Computerspielemuseum

7. DDR Museum

DDR Museum
Image Credit: DDR Museum

Opened in 2006, the DDR Museum uses artifacts and interactive exhibits to help visitors learn about life in East Germany after the Second World War.

For example, some exhibits show guests what it was like to be under constant surveillance and what a typical apartment would have looked like in this part of Berlin. The museum has several artifacts that can be picked up and worn to fully immerse guests in the experience.

The museum has 35 main sections focusing on themes like music, fashion, economics, and politics. So, while the entire museum is historic in nature, there are spaces that people with a wide variety of interests can appreciate.

The DDR Museum has become so popular that shortly after its opening, it was considered one of the best in Europe. The museum also houses special exhibits throughout the year examining parts of Germany’s DDR history.

Admission is free for children under 6, €8 (~$8) for children 6 and up, students, national military personnel, and visitors with disabilities, and €13.50 (~$15) for adults. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Museumsinsel.

  • Address: Vera Britain Ufer, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany

8. Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand (German Resistance Memorial Center)

German Resistance Memorial Center
Image Credit: German Resistance Memorial Center

First opened in 1980, the Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand (German Resistance Memorial Center) is meant to honor all the Germans who resisted the rule Nazi party during their time in power. Notably, the structure commemorates those who attempted to remove Hitler from power since it’s located on the spot of their strategy meeting.

The museum’s exhibits aim to give visitors a comprehensive and contextual look at Germany during the 1940s. In particular, they showcase the rise and fall of the Nazi party and how the politics of the time affected German culture. The main exhibit centers around the “July 20 Plot,” which saw numerous military leaders come together in an attempt to overthrow the regime.

The museum uses photos, documents, and artifacts to offer guests a better understanding of one of the most critical periods in recent history. The structure displays over 5,000 items in total. Other pieces from the archives or on loan from other facilities are often displayed in temporary gallery spaces.

Admission is free for everyone. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The nearest transit stop is Gedenkstätte.

  • Address: Stauffenbergstraße 13, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Gemaldegalerie
Image Credit: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Housing the largest portion of Berlin’s State Museum pieces, the Gemäldegalerie (Painting Gallery) has one of the most comprehensive collections of art from the 13th to 18th centuries. The museum houses work from some of Europe’s most renowned artists.

To create a cohesive experience, the museum has organized its pieces into groups of artistic styles or periods. However, some of the more prominent artists are given more attention. For example, Rembrandt has his own room, as does Raphael.

The museum showcases around 1,400 works of art at any given time, spread out among 18 rooms and 41 art cabinets. However, this collection is likely to continue growing as pieces are acquired or brought out of the archives.

Some highlighted pieces in the collection are “The Marsham Children” by Thomas Gainsborough, “Lady and Gentleman Drinking Wine” by Jan Vermeer van Delft, and “Mary with the Child and John the Baptist and John the Apostle” by Sandro Botticelli.

Admission is €9 (~$10) for qualifying visitors and €18 (~$19) for the general public. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Tiergartenstr.

  • Address: Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin, Germany

10. Jüdisches Museum Berlin (Jewish Museum Berlin)

Jewish Museum Berlin
Image Credit: Yves Sucksdorff via Jewish Museum Berlin

The Jewish Museum Berlin opened in 2001 as a history and culture museum intended to teach visitors about Judaism and Jewish customs from the Middle Ages through the modern day.

The idea of the current museum stems from the original Jewish Museum Berlin, which opened in 1933, but which had to close after the rise of the Nazi power. Another facility wouldn’t open again until the 1970s. The museum has a single main exhibit, further divided into 5 spaces to recount the history of Jewish life in the German territory.

Notably, the museum uses texts, artifacts, and stories from actual Jewish families to ensure the museum presents this history authentically. However, the museum is ever-changing and consistently hosts special exhibitions yearly.

The museum has hundreds of thousands of purchased and donated artifacts, many of which are texts housed in the on-site library. Other pieces are kept safe in the facility’s archives. Admission to the main exhibits is free for everyone. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The nearest transit stop is the Jüdisches Museum.

  • Address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin, Germany

11. Martin-Gropius-Bau

Gropius Bau
Image Credit: Martin-Gropius-Bau

The Martin-Gropius-Bau is known for being one of the best exhibition centers in the country. Originally built in the 19th century, it was intended as a museum for the decorative and applied arts. However, this function changed after the First World War. Subsequently, it was used as a museum of prehistory before eventually becoming a showcase space, particularly for contemporary artists.

Some of the most notable past exhibitions hosted in the museum recently include Anish Kapoor’s “Kapoor in Berlin,” a gallery of Barbara Klein photos, and an exhibit dedicated to the Vikings.

Since the museum is quite large, more than 1 gallery is usually hosted at the same time. These exhibitions tend to vary in style and medium, showcasing everything from paintings to digital art and photos. Though they’re rotated regularly, some galleries are displayed for a month or 2, while others can be housed here for a year or more.

Admission is €6 (~$6) for those who qualify for a reduced-rate ticket and €9 (~$10) for the general public. The museum is open Wednesday to Friday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Potsdamer Platz.

  • Address: Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin, Germany

12. Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Asian Art Museum)

Asian Art Museum Berlin
Image Credit: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Housing roughly 20,000 artifacts, the Asian Art Museum in Berlin is one of the largest of its kind in the world. The museum’s original collection began in 1873, though at this time, it mainly housed art and artifacts from India. It wasn’t until later that work from other Asian countries began to be part of the facility.

Today, the facility represents virtually all South, Southeast, and Central Asian regions. The gallery doesn’t focus on any particular type of art, but its collection of murals and sculptures is particularly notable. The museum also houses Germany’s most extensive art collection from China, Korea, and Japan, with 13,000 pieces from these parts of the continent alone.

The museum’s oldest pieces date back to the Neolithic period, ensuring virtually every period of Asian history is represented in the facility. Some of the collection’s highlights are the “Processional Bull Nandi” sculpture, the “Seated Buddha” statue, and the “Ceremonial Yue Axe.”

Admission is free for all guests. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Berliner Schloss – Berlin.

  • Address: Schloßpl., 10178 Berlin, Germany

13. Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum)

Museum fur Naturkunde
Image Credit: Carola Radke, MfN

Berlin’s natural history museum, Museum für Naturkunde, is one of the largest museums in Germany. First opened in 1810, the museum’s collection has grown to encompass millions of artifacts dating back millions of years. Since the collection is extensive, only a fraction of the structure’s features can be displayed simultaneously. The others are, instead, kept in archives or used for research.

Some of the museum’s collections are historical in their own right. For example, many of the specimens in the mineral department once belonged to the Prussian Academy of Sciences, which existed in the 18th century. The museum is also home to the world’s largest mounted dinosaur and one of the best examples of an early bird species.

The structure is divided into 5 exhibits covering dinosaurs, minerals, evolution, skeletons, and “wet specimens,” kept in jars. To accommodate visitors from around the world, much of the information is written in multiple languages, including English.

Admission is €5 (~$5) for children 15 and under, students, visitors with disabilities, and unemployed visitors, €9 (~$10) for families, and €11 (~$12) for adults. The museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Naturkundemuseum.

  • Address: Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany

14. Neues Museum (New Museum)

Neues Museum
Image Credit: David von Becker via Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Due to its architecture and cultural contributions, the Neues Museum (New Museum) is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Museum Island.

The museum is home to multiple exhibit spaces, including the Egyptian Museum wing, the Papyrus Department, the Museum of Pre and Early History, and a portion of the Antikensammlung collection of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. This variety of departments helps the museum create a comprehensive experience for those interested in learning about ancient history.

Some pieces on display in the facility are “The Crown of Kerch,” artifacts from Alexander the Great’s empire, busts of Queen Nefertiti, Cleopatra, and Caesar, and portions of ancient Greek and Roman temples.

Additionally, the museum hosts specialty museums and educational and outreach events for people of all ages. However, these events are typically held in German. The museum has 9,000 artifacts in its care, between those on display and those in the facility’s archives.

Admission is €7 (~$7) for those who qualify for a reduced ticket and €14 (~$15) for the general public. The museum is open Friday through Sunday, Tuesday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Hackescher Markt station.

  • Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany

15. Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror)

Topography of Terror
Image Credit: Topography of Terror

Located on the site where important governmental buildings stood during the Nazi regime, the Topography of Terror museum aims to ensure that the horrors of the Second World War aren’t forgotten. The museum is divided into 2 sections: the outdoor and indoor exhibits. Temporary exhibits and special events are also held on the premises.

The indoor portion of the museum uses photos, documents, videos, and other types of media to teach visitors what the Gestapo and regime security organizations did. One of the missions of this part of the facility is to prevent such things from happening again.

Instead, the museum’s outdoor portion is divided into 15 stations. These stations take visitors through the grounds to learn what the area looked like when its 20th-century buildings were still standing. Another part of the outdoor exhibit is the “Exhibition Trench,” a photographic timeline of Germany’s evolution between 1933 and 1945.

Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The nearest transit stop is S&U Potsdamer Platz.

  • Address: Niederkirchnerstraße 8, 10963 Berlin, Germany

How To Get Free or Reduced Admission to Berlin Museums

We’ve indicated with each museum whether or not children, students, or seniors receive free or reduced admission. Several other programs offer similar concessions.

Capital One cardholders can enroll in a complimentary 6-month membership with The Cultivist (through June 22, 2024) and receive access for themselves and a guest to the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Altes Museum, the Bode-Museum, the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche, the Gemaldegalerie, the Hamburger Bahnhof, the James-Simon Galerie, the Kunstbibliothek, the Kunstgewerbemuseum, the Neues Museum, the Pergamonmuseum, and more.

Visitors can also buy a Museum Pass, which grants holders access to a multitude of the city’s sites. The pass can be used for 3 consecutive days. The over 30 sites covered by the pass include the Bode-Museum, the New Museum, the Old National Gallery, and the Pergamonmuseum.

Participation is subject to change; please verify participating museums and entry conditions before your visit.

Hot Tip:

The Pergamonmuseum is currently closed for several years due to renovation works.

Final Thoughts

It’s not surprising that Berlin is home to some of Europe’s greatest museums. Whether you’re planning a solo trip or a family vacation, Germany’s capital offers exhibits and galleries suitable for nearly everyone. This list can help you plan what museums to visit during your ideal Berlin getaway.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Berlin's most visited museum?

Many of Berlin’s museums are extremely popular among tourists. Generally, the Pergamon Museum registers the largest number of visitors due to the vastness of its collection. However, there are many others that are beloved by locals and out-of-towners that cover a variety of topics.

Are museums in Berlin free?

In order to grant people of all socio-economic backgrounds access to the city’s cultural sites, over 30 museums offer access without charging any ticket fees. Some of these museums always offer free admission, while others may limit this to specific days of the month.

Does Berlin have good museums?

As Germany’s capital, it’s also often considered the country’s cultural center. So it has some of the best museums in the nation. It also houses museums covering an array of topics, from art to culture and even more obscure interests, so there’s something for everyone.

Do you have to book Berlin museums?

Some of Berlin’s museums do request that visits be booked ahead of time to ensure you’re able to guarantee your entry. However, in most cases, this isn’t a requirement. The one major exception is the case of large groups, which often require advanced notice.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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