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Where to go this Museum Sunday

On the first Sunday of every month, Berlin's museums open their doors for free. But not every museum participates! We round up some of our favourite institutions to visit.

Museum für Kommunikation Berlin, Leipziger Straße, Mitte, Berlin, Deutschland *** Museum for Communication Berlin, Leipziger Straße, Mitte, Berlin, Germany

Ephraim-Palais Museum

The staircase in the Ephraim-Palais Museum © City Museum Berlin | Photo: Sandra Weller

With a collection exploring the history of Berlin, the sumptuous Ephraim-Palais Museum (which was once home to the court jeweller and mint master of King Friedrich II) is one of the most elegant buildings still standing in the city. The historic building is home to the permanent exhibition BerlinZEIT: The City Makes History, which takes visitors on a journey through eight centuries of Berlin history.

  • Ephraim-Palais Museum, Poststr. 16, Mitte, details.

Kupferstichkabinett

Photo: IMAGO / Funke Foto Services

One of the world’s leading museums in the graphic arts, the Kupferstichkabinett (directly translating to “copper engraving cabinet”) houses an astonishing 600,000+ European prints, drawings and sketches from the Middle Ages through to the present. Because many of their pieces are sensitive to light, this museum has a constant rotation of temporary exhibitions. Stay up to date with their exhibition schedule to see what’s on.

  • Kupferstichkabinett, Matthäikirchplatz, Mitte, details.

Museum for Communication

Photo: IMAGO / imagebroker

Housed in a majestic Neo-Baroque building, the Communication Museum offers an in-depth view into the past 40,000 years of human communication. Visitors can engage with some 2,000 objects to understand technological developments in communication and their impacts on society. 

  • Museum for Communication, Leipziger Straße 16, Mitte, details

Jewish Museum Berlin

Photo: IMAGO / Jürgen Ritter

One of Europe’s largest museums focusing on Jewish history and culture, the Jewish Museum Berlin is home to a permanent exhibition which tells the dark story of Jewish oppression and genocide in Germany. The museum goes beyond this important documentation however, and also celebrates the history, art, music, culture and present-day life of Jewish life in Germany.

  • Jewish Museum Berlin, Lindenstr. 9-14, Mitte, details.

KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art

Photo: IMAGO / Joko

A former Kindl beer brewery in the heart of Neukölln, the KINDL hosts exhibitions of works by a range of modern and contemporary international artists working across various genres and mediums. Exhibits are presented across the listed building’s three floors.

  • KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Am Sudhaus 3, Neukölln, details.

Museum Island

Museum Island
Museum Island is a must see for everyone who visits Berlin. Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia

The bust of Nefertiti, the Pergamon Altar, Schlieman’s (stolen) Troy collection. Yes, Museuminsel is an obvious choice, but with good reason! The island is itself heritage listed, and all of the museums on it participate in Museum Sunday. This means you can check out the Pergamon Museum, the Bode Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, and the Altes Museum all in one go. It’s worth noting that if you do want to visit these museums, it’s essential you book a ticket in advance, as the free Museum Sunday tickets sell out very quickly.

  • Museumsinsel, Am Lustgarten, Mitte, details.

Anoha

There are more than 150 animal statues at Anoha. Photo: IMAGO / epd

The kid-friendly version of the Jewish Museum, ANOHA’s centrepiece is the enourmous wooden ark, with 150 animal sculptures that children can touch and even feed. It’s insanely popular, so make sure to book your time slots ahead of time. Read our interview with the museum director to learn more about the museum.

  • Anoha, Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohnplatz 1, Kreuzberg, details.

Berlinische Galerie

Berlinishe Gallery has been very popular on Museum Sundays. Photo: IMAGO / PEMAX

Home to some of the most important modern art in Berlin, the Berlinerische Galerie regularly hosts some of the hottest exhibitions in Europe. Originally founded in 1975, the gallery has moved several times, and does an excellent job of telling the story of art since 1840. The works cover photography, painting, installation, architecture, and digital artworks.

  • Berlinische Galerie, Alte Jakobstr. 124-128, Kreuzberg, details.

Humboldt Forum

The Humboldt Forum. Photo: IMAGO / Jürgen Ritter

Located in the centre of the city, the Humboldt Forum hosts an extensive programme of exhibitions focusing on human history, art and culture. It has a constantly rotating programme of showcases exploring ethnography and social studies. Read a bit about the building’s controversial history here.

  • Humboldt Forum, Schloßplatz, Mitte, details.

Bröhan-Museum

The Bröhan Museum. Photo: IMAGO / Jürgen Heinrich

Berlin’s top museum for all things art nouveau, art deco, and functionalism, the Bröhan-Museum is home to a large collection of applied arts pieces. With an array of ceramics, glassware, furniture, posters and fine art, the museum traces the history of European design from the late 19th century to the post-WWII era.

  • Bröhan-Museum, Schloßstr. 1a, Charlottenburg, details.

Deutsche Kinemathek

The Deutsche Kinemathek is right on Potsdammer Platz. Photo: IMAGO / Stefan Zeitz

You can experience over 100 years of German film and TV at the Deutsche Kinemathek. Founded in 1963, you can see everything from the first grainy, jumpy footage ever made, through the silent era, into the ‘talkies’ and all the way to contemporary art house cinema. Don’t miss the draft versions of 1927’s Metropolis.

  • Museum für Film & Fernsehen Berlin, Potsdamer Str. 2, Mitte, website

Schwules Museum

A caricature of Berlin’s first openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit. Photo: IMAGO / Stefan Zeitz

An authentic look into the lived experience of the gay, lesbian and transgender scene, the Schwules Museum is definitely one of the world’s greatest institutions for the research, preservation and communication of the history and culture of queer communities. This museum will take you on a journey through the history of the LGBTQI+ community in Berlin.

  • Schwules Museum, Lützowstr. 73, Tiergarten, details.

Gemäldegalerie

There is lots to see at the Gemäldegalerie. Photo: IMAGO / Jürgen Ritter.

Originally opened in 1830, the ‘Painting Gallery’ is home to many masterpieces of European art, from Botticelli to Rembrandt and Dürer. Anyone wanting an overview of important works from the Middle Ages and the early modernist period should definitely check it out.

  • Gemäldegalerie, Matthäikirchplatz 4-6, Tiergarten, details.

German Historical Museum

Unfortunately a lot of the Historical museum is being renovated. Photo: IMAGO / Stefan Zeitz.

The architecture alone makes a visit worthwhile, as both the baroque Zeughaus and the modern Pei-Bau exhibition hall are stunning. Whilst the Zeughaus is currently undergoing renovations and won’t reopen until 2025, there is still a lot to see here. Currently only the Pei-Bau is open, where they are showing an ever changing roster of temporary exhibitions.

  • Deutsches Historisches Museum, Unter den Linden 2, Mitte, details.

German Museum of Technology

Yes, that’s a plane. Photo: IMAGO / POP-EYE.

The Technikmuseum is one of the biggest technological museums in Europe, with an area of 26,500 square metres. Visitors can expect exciting and interactive exhibitions here from ships, planes and trains, as well as communication technology. They even have a saloon that belonged to Kaiser Willhelm II. We don’t think they let you take it for a spin though.

  • Deutsches Technikmuseum, Trebbiner Str. 9, Kreuzberg, details.

Hamburger Bahnhof

The train station is now a gallery. Photo: IMAGO / Jürgen Ritter

It’s a confusing name, but Hamburger Bahnhof isn’t a train station, but a-must see museum for contemporary and modern art in Berlin. The former train station regularly hosts temporary exhibitions and also houses works by artists such as Andy Warhol or Joseph Beuys. Everything from the 1960s to the present day can be found here; Expressioninsm, Pop Art, Minimalism – Hamburger Bahnhof goes deep into the history of all these styles. It’s not just paintings though. There is also an impressive collection of sculptures, video, installation art and photography to be seen.

  • Hamburger Bahnhof, Invalidenstr. 50-51, Mitte, details.

Naturkunde Museum

You call that a dinosaur, THIS is a dinosaur! Photo: IMAGO / Jürgen Ritter

The best way to get kids into science is dinosaurs and planets. At the Naturkunde Museum, you can see Tristan, the fully reconstructed T-Rex skeleton (standing at an impressive 4 metres high and 12 metres long) at the now permanent Dinosaurs! Age of the Giant Lizards exhibition. Also worth seeing are the Evolution in Action, Birds and Native animals and the Wet Collection exhibitions.

  • Museum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstr. 43, Mitte, details.

Neue Nationalgalerie

After six years of construction, the Neue Nationalgalerie is open. Photo: IMAGO / Schöning

The great artists of the 20th century are the centrepiece of the Neue Nationalgalerie. Housed inside this breath-taking Mies van der Rohe-designed building, you can find an incredible variety of temporary exhibitions, so keep an eye out for what’s coming next on their website. The permanent collection downstairs features works by some of European Modernism’s most important artists.

  • Neue Nationalgalerie, Potsdamer Str. 50, Tiergarten, details.

Museum of Musical Instruments

Museum of Musical Instruments. Photo: IMAGO / imagebroker /Joko

Whether or not you’re musically inclined, it’s worth checking out the 800-strong collection of classical instruments on display at the Museum of Musical Instruments. Handily located next to the Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin’s flagship concert hall and classical mecca, the museum showcases everything from Baroque wind instruments to synthesiser precursors. Whatever you do, don’t miss Benjamin Franklin’s glass harmonica and Europe’s largest ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’ theatre organ.

  • Museum of Musical Instruments, Ben-Gurion-Str., Tiergarten, details.

None of these tickled your fancy? Check out a full list here. Fair warning, the list is extensive! We recommend using the map view, or searching for a specific museum.