Museum Island

Berlin, Germany

8 places

Tanya Stella


I remember my first visit to this museum during our school excursion when I was struck not so much by particular exhibits, as by the history of European avant-garde itself. The exposition helps visitors to perceive the atmosphere of the famous Bauhaus school. The museum designed by Walter Gropius is a classic example of Bauhaus architecture. It displays the works of such artists as Vassily Kandinsky, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Paul Klee, etc. The museum also hosts educational events – lectures, specialized exhibitions, readings, workshops, discussions and concerts.

Bode Museum

Passionate about collecting coins or medals? If you are – don't miss this venue. The Bode Museum also features sculptures, comprehensive collections of Byzantine art, Italian Gothic, Middle Ages, early Renaissance, and also 150 works from the picture gallery.
Four numismatic halls and one of the first gambling machines from Constantinople will definitely keep your attention for a couple of hours. The neo baroque building of the museum features a monumental dome and two-sided marble staircase. Set on the very edge of the Museum Island, the museum looks like a floating island itself.


The Third Reich came to an end right here on April 30th, 1945. Adolf Hitler shot himself dead and Eva Braun took cyanide in this bunker. The place was bombed twice: first during the capture of Berlin by the Red Army soldiers, then during the fall of the Berlin Wall. For a long time its exact address was kept secret, for the government feared that the neo-Nazi would worship this place. However, in 2006 a press wall with the address appeared in the city. The bunker is situated near the Brandenburg Gate, a few steps from the Holocaust Memorial.

Hamburger Bahnhof

A Mecca for lovers of modern art, which is worth spending a whole day on. The combination of history - the museum was opened in 1996 in what was earlier a railway station - and modern times (minimalist design, geometric shapes, glass roofs), and even the exhibition area of 10,000 square meters invite you to make a long tour, guided or on your own. The place has floors, levels, long exhibition halls and small rooms. Make sure you visit the second part of the museum located in the basement. The collection of Berlin private collector Erich Marx is the core of this exhibition and includes works by Anselm Kiefer, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys and my favorite Cy Twombly. You can wander around the so-called 'artist rooms' of John Cage, Bill Viola, Rebecca Horn and other conceptualists. Hamburger Bahnhof often hosts retrospectives and exhibitions of young artists. Don’t pass by without stopping at the museum's bookstore – it offers a wide selection of publications in English.


I love the museum's fresh and diverse view of contemporary art, which is quite unusual for a government facility. Last year Martin-Gropius-Bau opened a collective exhibition of such famous artists as Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Henry Richter and Ai Weiwei. About 2,000 people were welcomed by Peter Sloterdijk at the opening ceremony.
Built in 1881 to exhibit arts and crafts, the museum was once completely renovated, and in 1996 recognized as a historical monument. An interesting fact: the museum was built by a great-great-grandfather of Walter Gropius, the famous founder of BauHaus. The museum's central atrium boasts Baroque splendor. It's olde-worlde bookstore is a nice place to spend an hour or two.

Altes Museum

This outstanding museum was built and designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and is a classicism landmark. The idea belongs to Friedrich Wilhelm IV who wanted everyone to admire royal art collection. That's how the story of the Museum Island (northern part of Berlin's Spreeinsel that houses many important museums) began. Atles is an essential art venue and has many antiques in its collection.

Pergamon Museum

This is my fav museum on the Museum Island. My pal, an expert on Mesopotamian cuneiform, once gave us an exclusive excursion which turnd an ordinary visit into a real journey to some faraway and mysterious times. Historical periods and exhibits with names difficult to pronounce refer to myths and legends of our ancestors from all over the world, including frieze from Mschatta, Ishtar Gates from Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar II throne room front, Milesian Market gates, etc.

Jewish Museum Berlin

The Jewish Museum in Berlin is without a doubt a marvel of conceptual art and architectural imagination. American architect Daniel Libeskind, an author of this project, successfully combined humanistic spirit, reflections on the fate of alienated people and a radical approach to working with space, form, structure and light. The building, 15,000 square meters in area, is shaped as a warped Star of David. It consists of empty mine-like rooms symbolizing the vacuum which appeared in Germany and Europe after the destruction of Jewish culture. One can easily get lost or lose a sense of balance in the museum: the floor and the ceiling are tilted, windows look like narrow slits, concrete columns of "the Garden of Exile" in the basement are set at the wrong angle.
Both children and adults are welcome to visit lectures and seminars which take place at the museum's Education Center.


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