Bucketlist Travels logo

Travel bucket list idea:

World-class art in Berlin

  • Berlin, Germany

Last updated: 23 April, 2024

Berlin is a world-class art destination, thanks to three primary, complimentary causes.

First, there was a hoard of masterpieces collected on the order of culture-mad Friedrich the Great, followed by a succession of emperors – their royal curators and architects equipped with lavish budgets. Second came the spoils collected from a globe-spanning German Empire, and third, a generous amount of public funding in recent years has established Berlin’s state-owned museums way up there on the world’s A-list of art collections.

No less impressive is Berlin’s thriving contemporary art scene – the most fertile in Germany – with more than 600 private and commercial art galleries, showcasing a wealth of well-known, emerging and undiscovered talent.

Who to go with: tour operators

14
  • Berlin, Germany

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the ‘edgier’ east of the city suddenly offered up a wealth of low rent, avant garde studios and exhibition spaces. The result was an explosion in Berlin’s art scene – the city now boasts more than 600 private art galleries, handily concentrated in the trendy suburb of Mitte.

Wander its streets to take in a whole spectrum of artists, from students to masters, struggling to world-famous.

Good for age: 18+

Berggruen Museum

  • Berlin, Germany

white exterior building of the Berggruen Museum in berlin

Experience

This renowned art institution houses the impressive modern and contemporary art collection of Heinz Berggruen, a German-American art collector. It spans various artistic movements, including Cubism, Surrealism, and German Expressionism and includes works by prominent artists such as Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, and Alberto Giacometti.

Adult price: £10

Good for age: 18+

Bode Museum

  • Berlin, Germany

Bode Museum

Experience

Reopened in 2006 after a major refurbishment, the museum now houses a fine collection of Byzantine art, coins, medals, and most notably, one of Europe’s finest collections of sculpture.

Adult price: £8

Good for age: 18+

Boros Collection at Kunstbunker

  • Berlin, Germany

a former Bunker of the Secod World War which has been turned into a private home and art collection (Boros Foundation), Berlin-Mitte.

Experience

This authentic World War II bunker in Mitte has been converted into a sprawling 3,000sq m contemporary art gallery to house the superb private collection of advertising guru Christian Boros. Also on display are works by luminaries such as Olafur Eliasson and Anselm Reyle. Access by 1.5-hour guided tours only, available Thursday-Sunday. Book ahead.

Adult price: £16

Good for age: 18+

  • Berlin, Germany

East Side Gallery

Bucket List Experience

East Side Gallery

This 1.3km-long, visually captivating segment of the old Berlin Wall is the largest open-air gallery in the world, adorned with paintings by 118 artists bidding goodbye to the Communist regime. Many of the colourful works pursue themes of hope, peace and freedom on this longest, most authentic section of the ‘anti-Fascist protection barrier’ (the GDR’s parlance).

Look out for The Mortal Kis by Dimitrji Vrubel, the confronting image of Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev engaged in a mouth-to-mouth kiss, and Birgit Kinder’s Trabi knocking down the Wall.

Good for age: 8+

  • Berlin, Germany

Gallery of Old Masters

Bucket List Experience

Gallery of Old Masters

First opened in 1830, the Gemaldegalerie is one of Europe’s finest assemblies of European art from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance (13th-18th centuries).

Although Italians such as Caravaggio, Raphael, Rubens and Titian grab the limelight, at the heart of the museum are its Dutch and Flemish masterpieces, notably 16 works by Rembrandt at the height of his powers.

Other gems to look for include Franz Hals’ Mad Babette, Bruegel’s impish Netherlandish Proverbs and Vermeer’s Glass of Wine.

Adult price: £16

Good for age: 18+

Museum of Decorative Arts, Berlin

  • Berlin, Germany

Museum of Decorative Arts, Berlin

Experience

The Kunstgewerbemuseum showcases decorative arts and design, with an extensive collection of objects spanning various historical periods and artistic styles. Exquisite displays of ceramics, glassware, and furniture, complement those of textiles, jewellery, and other decorative items. The museum’s collection encompasses both European and non-European works, providing a comprehensive perspective on global decorative arts.

Adult price: £6

Good for age: 18+

Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin

  • Berlin, Germany

exterior of the Museum-of-Islamic-Art- in berlin

Experience

Prestigious museum showcasing the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the Islamic world. through a mightily impressive collection of over 15,000 artifacts, spanning more than a millennium. Marvel at exquisite examples of Islamic art, including intricate calligraphy, illuminated manuscripts, ceramics, metalwork, textiles, and architectural elements.

Good for age: 18+

Museum of Photography, Berlin

  • Berlin, Germany

Exterior brown stone facae of the Berlin-Museum-of-Photography

Experience

A museum that celebrates the art and history of photography through a rich and diverse collection of iconic works from renowned photographers around the world. Temporary exhibitions highlight various genres, techniques, and historical periods of photography, from black-and-white classics to cutting-edge contemporary pieces.

Adult price: £8

Good for age: 13+

  • Berlin, Germany

This architecturally impressive neoclassical building which used to be one of Berlin’s main railway stations (Hamburger Bahnhof), now houses one of the largest and most significant public collections of contemporary art in the world.

The focus is on art since the 1960s (where the Neue Nationalgalerie leaves off), and includes a mix of sculpture, painting, installations and multi-media.

Top of the bill is the Marx collection, a heavyweight line-up of works by Anselm Kiefer, Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly, plus more than 60 drawings by Andy Warhol.

Adult price: £12

Good for age: 18+

  • Berlin, Germany

New National Gallery

Bucket List Experience

New National Gallery

The Neue Nationalgalerie houses an impressive collection of 20th-century artworks up until the 1960s. The museum’s sleek and minimalist design – designed by the renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe –provides an ideal backdrop for the display of modern art.

The collection includes paintings, sculptures, and multimedia installations. Look out for masterpieces by artists such as Picasso, Kandinsky, and Warhol, among others.

Good for age: 18+

  • Berlin, Germany

Old National Gallery

Bucket List Experience

Old National Gallery

The Alte Nationalgalerie, one of the three internationally-renowned galleries on Museum Island, showcases one of the world’s largest collections of 19th-century sculpture and paintings, with additional collections of neoclassical, Romantic, Impressionist and early Modernist artwork.

Adult price: £10

Good for age: 18+

Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection

  • Berlin, Germany

Extrerior of the building housing the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection in berlin

Experience

This unique museum houses an extraordinary collection of surrealist and fantastical art.

The collection was founded out of the private collection of Otto Gerstenberg, and includes artworks by renowned artists such as Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, and René Magritte.

It’s a captivating immersion into a world of dreams, symbolism, and the subconscious mind that delve into the depths of the human imagination.

Adult price: £10

Good for age: 18+

Urban Nation

  • Berlin, Germany

interior display galleries of the Urban Nation street art museum in berlin

Experience

A contemporary urban art and street art museum showcasing a diverse range of artworks, installations, and murals created by renowned street artists from around the world. With its ever-evolving exhibitions, they explore the intersection of art, culture, and the urban environment, promoting artistic expression and cultural exchange.

Good for age: 8+

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Unless they’re private collections, you generally don’t need to book online before you go and can just turn up. The big art museums all have audio guides, and some have guided tours (check in advance, as they may need booking).

The Berlin Museum Pass permits entry to all the major Berlin museums – including its art museums – for three days, for about €25. It comes with a guide containing helpful information and listings of participating museums.

The more comprehensive Berlin Welcome Card gives you up to 50% off entrance to most of the city’s top attractions, including its art galleries and museums, and includes free public transport and a free handy guidebook. The price varies depending on the number of days you want – from 48 hours to 6 days.

When to do it

Galleries and art museums are open all year round; most open Tuesday to Sunday and close on Monday.

Who to go with: organised tours

2

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Berlin

Artists tell you the secrets, the history, the techniques, the rules and the personal stories of graffiti and street art in a walk through a city whose walls are canvasses. A comprehensive history of graffiti and its culture. Berlin's air is thick with paint. Its soundtrack is the clack-clack of a spraycan in the night. Tags tell as much of a story as five storey murals, a blast from a high pressured fire extinguisher can be as expressive as a centuries old canvas from a Dutch master. And we know the history and the culture of it all. Let artists themselves show you the sweetest spots and the finest pieces, whilst giving a comprehensive history of urban art in its modern day Mecca. See huge murals, heaven spots and and throw-ups. Learn about trainbombing and tagging, stencils, paste-ups, stickers and everything in between. Tour includes Urban Nation gallery. Covers Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Schöneberg.

Price €20

Min age 0

Rating 4.81 / 5 [154 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >
  • Berlin

Learn about extraordinary people with extraordinary stories. Of art and architecture, cinema and squats. War and peace. East and West. A deeper look below the surface of Berlin. Shine a light into the shadows of history and why it effects the present on the Real Berlin experience. Visit districts that have changed beyond recognition over the decades, through processes as diverse as squatting, revolution and gentrification. Experience the never ending, ever changing chaos. We tell you the stories you don't know, of pioneers of cinema and those who refused to bow to fascism. . We will make you fall in love. This 3hr tour will include various locations spread across Prenzlauerberg, Mitte and Kreuzberg.

Price €450

Min age 0

Rating 4.91 / 5 [37 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >