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5 Berlin Museums You Must See

By Edited May 30, 2016 0 4

There is more to Berlin Museums than just Museum Insel (island).

If you're in Berlin and in search of the Museum Trail, you may find yourself walking around the city for days as  there are over 170 museums and galleries to discover.  

Hopefully this list of 5 of the best will help you 

I use and can recommend the Lonely Planet for Berlin edition available from amazon.com



1. DEUTSCHES HISTORY MUSEUM  -  Unter Den Linden 2, Berlin.

History Museum, Berlin(78697)

Housed in an enormous building that was severely bombed in 1944/45, the Deutsches Historiches Museum is home to many long and short term exhibitions plus a permanent exhibition in the Zeighaus.  

Reconstruction of the museum lasted from 1948 to 1965 and today it sees hundreds of thousands of visitors per year.

With it's permanent exhibition on Deutsch history, visitors can take a trip through the country from the year 1BC to the present day whilst viewing over 8000 historical objects.

Spread over two floors of the former Prussian armory building, it presents an intellectually enriching tour of the country's history complete with illustrative multi media stations.


2. TOPOGRAPHY OF TERROR MUSEUM  -  Neiderkirchner Strasse, Berlin. (Formerly Prinze Albrecht Strasse)

Topography of Terror Museum, Berlin(78696)

This open air permanent exhibition has it's setting in a trench alongside a preserved section of the infamous Berlin Wall.  On the site of the former control room for the Nazi Party and from where Hitler's elite ran their operations, this site was one of the most feared addresses in wartime Berlin.  It was also from this site that the concentration camps were administered while in nearby prison cells, thousands of Nazi opponents were held and often tortured before being sent to the camps.

The Topography of Terror Museum is considered different to other Berlin museums dedicated to the victims of the Nazis, because it is situated on an authentic site.  It also gives much focus to the Nazis themselves, detailing the identities of some members of the Nazi killing machine, including state prosecutors and members of the SS, Gestapo and police force.


3. JEWISH MUSEUM  -  Linden Strasse 9-14, Berlin.

Jewish Museum, Berlin(78695)

Berlin's Jewish Museum as we know it today opened in 2001.  It showcases a permanent exhibition of 2000 years of German Jewish history allowing visitors to see the Germany of the past through the eyes of the Jewish minority.  Special exhibitions highlight particular aspects of Jewish life and history including one exhibition entitled "How German Is It?" which asks us whether such a thing as a national identity actually exists and presents 30 artists' thoughts on memory, myths and the experience of migration.


4. PERGAMON MUSEUM  -  Am Kupfergraben 5, Museum Insel, Berlin.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin(78694)

Berlin's Pergamon museum is famous for it's archeological holdings.  It is really three museums rolled into one - the Museum of the Ancient Near East, the Collection of Classical Antiquities and the Museum of Islamic art.  

The Collection of Classical Antiquities includes a 2nd century BC Pergamon alter with a freize depicting a battle between the Gods and the Giants.

The Museum of the ancient Near East houses what is considered to be one of the world's greatest collections of treasures from this region.  It's masterpiece is the bright blue Ishtar Gate of Babylon from the 6th century BC.  A transparent back wall allows visitors to see how the massive Gate was reconstructed from fragments.    The museum also houses a reconstructed Neo-Assyrian palace from the 12th century BC and artefacts from the earliest known history of the written word.

The Museum of Islamic Art began in 1904 with a donation of carpets from Wilhelm Von Bode. Highlights are colourful 8th to 19th century pieces of art from Asia, Egypt and Iran.  These include a 17th century coloured room of a Syrian merchant's house that is painted with Arabian and Persian versus and pictures of people, plants and mythical beings.


5. NEUE MUSEUM  -  Bode Strasse, Museum Insel, Berlin.

Neue Museum, Berlin(78693)

The first sections of the Neue Museum were opened in 1850 showing the Museum of Prints and Drawings and the Egyptian Collection.  Following years saw the opening of the Plastercast Collection, the Collection of Germanic Antiquities and the Ethnographic Collection.  

In 1929 a walkway was created linking the Neue Museum to the Pergamon Museum.

During WWII the Neue Museum and many of it's artefacts were severely damaged and it took until 1985 for restoration work to commence.  

Museum Insel (Museum Island) was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999.


Wherever your travels take you, amazon travel guides will have you covered with great guide books



Jan 9, 2012 4:28pm
I've not been to Berlin. I'll have to go there sometime and scope out the museums.
Jan 12, 2012 9:59am
Hi aguy and thanks for commenting.
The Berlin Museum scene is huge and attracts millions of international visitors every year. The summer here is really nuts with tourists!
Feb 27, 2012 4:46am
I am leaving for Berlin tomorrow morning. I will definitely be checking out the Topography of Terror Museum at some point during my trip. I'd never heard of it before but it sounds really interesting.
Feb 27, 2012 5:12pm
I personally love the 'Haus am Checkpoint Charlie' - which is basically a history of the Berlin wall. It sounds more boring than it is though! It shows some amazing ways that people tried to get through the wall - human catapults and everything! Amazing :-)
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