If you are visiting Berlin and you are a fan of museums, than the museum island (or Museumsinsel) should certainly be on your itinerary! With five world class museums on a small island in the heart of Berlin, there is so much to see, you’ll need a few days to cover all the museums. Whether it’s history or art, there are plenty of options, so read on to find out what the best museum would be for your visit!
Them museum island is a complex of five museums on a little island in the Spree River. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and very popular with visitors to Berlin. All the museums are housed in beautifully restored buildings, worth visiting for the architecture, even if you have no plans of going inside! As you might have noticed from reading my blog, I’m visiting quite a few museums and have visited all of the museums in this complex, some of them multiple times. I will provide you with a short overview of the different museums and how to visit them. There will be more detailed reviews of my favorite museums with lots of photos later, so make sure to come back!
My favorite museum here because of the significance of its exhibition is the Pergamon Museum. It stands out for its original-size reconstructions of colossal buildings, like the Pergamon Altar from Egypt or the Ishtar Gate from Babylon. Either one would make any museum proud and is worth the visit alone.
The New Museum (“Neues Museum”) houses an exhibit that is anything but new – especially the Egyptian, pre-historic and early history exhibits, including the famous bust of Nerfertiti! The exhibit is well done and even better than the National Museum in Cairo, Egypt.
The Old Museum (“Altes Museum”) shows the antiquities collection from the ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan civilizations. The countless sculptures and painted vases are worth exploring in detail and make for a fascinating visit!
If you are more interested in painting and sculptures from more recent times, the Old National Gallery (“Alte Nationalgalerie”) has your ticket: It shows a huge collection from the 19th century, including famous artists like Monet and Manet, Caspar David Friedrich or Schinkel!
The “Bode Museum” covers some of the eras between, offering a collection of sculptures, paintings and coins from Byzantium to the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque times. The “Muenzkabinett” or coin collection alone holds more than 500,000 items, so bring enough time to check it out!
If any of this sounds interesting to you, you should plan your visit ahead of time! The museums are very popular and I recommend to purchase tickets online before you go to avoid lines or the disappointment of not being able to get in. Fortunately, there is a well organized website with all the opening times, ticket prices and other information for the visitor. You can buy the tickets online for all of them for EUR10-12 each (for a specific day) or, if you plan to visit several of them EUR18 for all 5 of them – you can get more information and purchase the tickets here!
If you have more sightseeing planned, you can also buy the “Berlin Welcome Card” with access to the Museum Island, public transport and other visitor benefits.