Travellers who love visiting art and culture museums around the world should include Berlin in their travel plans. The city’s Museumsinsel (Museum Island) in particular is a site that’s not to be missed by museum lovers. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a cluster of world-class museums located on Spreeinsel (Spree Island) in Berlin’s city centre. Built between 1823 and 1930, the five museums that make up this complex illustrate over a century of evolution in architectural design. Even more impressively, they house collections of art and cultural artefacts that span nearly the entire history of human civilization. You can plan to take your time exploring them by purchasing a three-day Museum Pass Berlin for 24 euros, which will also grant you entry to more than 45 other museums in the city. Alternatively, you could buy a single-day Museum Island area ticket that would cost you 18 euros.
Completed in 1930, the Pergamonmuseum was the last out of the five museums to be built on the island. Today, it is one of the most popular sites, attracting around a million visitors every year. What makes it truly impressive is its reconstructions of huge archaeological structures, such as the beautifully-coloured Babylonian Ishtar Gate and Processional Way. The museum also holds one of the world’s most impressive collections of Islamic Art.
2. Alte Nationalgalerie
Originally opened in 1876, the Alte Nationalgalerie houses thousands of exquisite 19th-century paintings and sculptures, many of which exemplify romanticism and impressionism. Most notably, they include works by Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, and Auguste Rodin.
3. Neues Museum
Neues Museum, a mid-19th century museum, was partially destroyed in World War II and was only fully re-constructed and re-opened in 2009. It showcases archaeological finds from Europe and parts of Asia, as well as Egyptian artefacts that include the world-renowned bust of Nefertiti.
The Bode-Museum was constructed between 1897 and 1904. This domed building sits just above the water at the northernmost tip of Spree Island. It is a beautifully-designed space that houses one of the world’s largest collections of ancient sculptures, as well as world-class works of Byzantine art, and an extremely extensive coin collection.
5. Altes Museum
Constructed between 1823 and 1830, the Altes Museum was the first public museum in Berlin. Housed in a striking Neoclassical building, its collection is dedicated entirely to classical antiquity, highlighting the art and culture of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Where should a museum buff stay in Berlin?
Some Berlin hotels can make you feel as if you’re staying in a museum. The Honigmond Hotel, for instance, offers guests the opportunity to experience the charm and elegance of the late 19th century. Its rooms have a unique historic atmosphere, featuring colonial-style furniture, paintings, chandeliers, and ceiling frescoes. Meanwhile, the eccentric Arte Luise Kunsthotel transports guests into the world of modern art with polka dot wallpaper and colourful abstract paintings. Each of the hotel’s 50 rooms is a distinctive work of art — a spatial concept created by one of the 50 artists who worked on designing the guest rooms.
This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.
As always, happy travels!