Art & Design
With more than 150 museums, Berlin is the perfect city for wet-weather sightseeing.
From the huge state run archaeological and art collections to more specialised
quirky exhibitions, there is something here for everyone´s area of
interest, whether it be Islamic Art, sugar, police history, piano
making or gay
Now over 15 years after reunification, Berlin´s state museums are
finally again establishing their world class reputation, badly damaged by
the effects of the Second World War and 40 years of division between East
and West. A major milestone to recovering its cultural status came with
the allocation in April 2000 of 2 billion Deutschmarks of state and city
funds to carry out the museums 'Masterplan'. At the centre of this plan
is the refurbishment of the Museum Island (Museumsinsel), which was declared
a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in March 2000. Over the next 10 years,
the five museums on this site are to be upgraded and connected by underground
walkways, to enable the visitor to cover 6,000-odd years of cultural and
art history in one quick jog around the block. In addition to the
Pergamon Museum (archaeology/Islamic art/Near East) and the
Museum (Greek and Roman art), the complex will include the
Bode Museum (sculpture/Byzantine art, reopened 2005), and the Alte Nationalgalerie
(19th century art, reopened 2001).
The Neues Museum, which was left ruined and unused after the war, is to house the collections from the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of Primeval and Early History in Charlottenburg after its projected reopening in 2008. All this turmoil means that, like much of the rest of Berlin, construction and renovation work can often disrupt the best-laid plans of travellers and sight-seers - always check opening hours/years beforehand to avoid disappointment.
Berlin´s State Museums - combined ticket
Price: €4-€8 for one day, €15
for 3 days (€7.50 concession).
One ticket is enough to get you into all of Berlin's state museums
- now you just have to decide how much time it's going to take to
get around them all. Tickets can be bought at any of the participating
museums, or in advance at Berlin
Tourismus Marketing offices. At some museums, you need
to collect a receipt at the ticket desk before entering the museum
- check with the attendants. The combined ticket is not valid for
special exhibitions. More information in English about the tickets
can be seen here.
Here's what State Museums you get according to district:
Mitte - the Altes Museum , the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode Museum, the Pergamon Museum and the Schinkel Museum (Friedrichswerdersche Kirche).
Tiergarten - the Hamburger Bahnhof/ Museum für Gegenwart Berlin , the Musical Instrument Museum (Musikinstrumentenmuseum) , the Painting Gallery (Gemäldegalerie), the Art Library (Kunstbibliothek), the Museum of Prints and Drawings (Kupferstichkabinett) , the Museum of Arts and Crafts (Kunstgewerbemuseum) and the Neue Nationalgalerie.
Charlottenburg - the Egyptian Museum , the Berggruen Collection ("Picasso and his time") , the Romantic Gallery and the Primeval and Early History Museum (Museum für Vor- and Frühgeschichte).
Dahlem - the Museum of European Cultures and the Ethnological Museum (Ethnologisches Museum).
Long Night of the Museums
(Jan & Aug)
"The long night" is becoming something of a cult event for people who don't look good enough in lycra to go to the love parade. Twice a year over 90 musuems open their doors until 2.00am and the public comes in droves. Along with their usual exhibitions the museums put on special events and entertainment for punters who often face long waits to get into highlight venues such as the Pergamon .
Price: €16 (48-hour) or €22 (72 hour)
for one adult accompanied by up to three children under the age
The WelcomeCard is a public transport ticket valid for 72 hours on all buses, trams and trains circulating within the A,B and C fare zones of the VBB (Berlin-Brandenburg Transport Association) network. In addition, WelcomeCard holders are entitled to free admissions or up to 50 % reductions on guided tours or walks, boat trips, museums, theatres and recreational and leisure facilities in Berlin and Potsdam. Check individual listings for details. WelcomeCards are available at all VBB ticket offices, Berlin Tourismus Marketing offices and many Berlin hotels.
One trap to avoid in Berlin - many museums traditionally close on Mondays. To avoid the unnecessary frustration of standing outside locked doors, consult the following list for a wide variety of museums and collections which defy the tradition.
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