• Berlin
  • Long Night of the Museums: What to see, where to see it

Berlin

Long Night of the Museums: What to see, where to see it

Also known by the German title 'Lange Nacht der Museen', here's what you can expect from this epic, late night, city-wide event.

Long Night of the Museums at the Neue Nationalgalerie, 2022. Photo: Katinka Schuett

The theme for this year’s Long Night of the Museums is ‘Sounds of Berlin’, so expect musical and audio-visual treats around every corner. The programme features a staggering variety of events, including exhibition tours, art installations, workshops, live performance and more. Read on for our breakdown of everything Long Night of the Museums: How it works, what to expect, and what we recommend seeing. 

What is Long Night of the Museums?

Long Night of the Museums at the Deutsches Technikmuseum, © Kulturprojekte Berlin. Photo: Sergej Horovitz

In Berlin, we’re always ahead of the cultural curve. Back in 1997, the Hauptstadt was the very first city to put on the now European-wide event. That year, just 12 institutions took part, today it’s over 75. In fact, it was so successful that it was replicated across the continent, and now takes place at some 1,200 museums across 120 cities. It’s Berlin’s biggest cultural event (which is really saying something for this city) and a lot of fun for museum veterans and novices alike, with access to permanent exhibitions alongside once-off performance events.

Ticket details

  • Tickets are 18€ for adults (12€ reduced) and kids up to age 12 go for free.
  • This one ticket will give you access to all participating museums, events, and shuttle bus services.  It’s a pretty unbelievable deal, considering entrance to some museums would set you back 12€ on a normal day.
  • Your ticket is valid from 6pm on August 26, to 2am on August 27.
  • You can buy your ticket online here, or at a booth in the Lustgarten in front of the Berliner Dom on the day.

What, where, when

Long Night of the Museums at the Naturkunde Museum, © Kulturprojects Berlin. Photo: Oana Popa

On Saturday August 26, between 6pm and 2am, 75 of the city’s museums will stay open late into the night, and will each host a variety of special events. These will include things like guided tours of the museum collections, performance art, live music and more. See the full list of participating institutions here, and find details about all of the events going on at each location here.

On Museum Island, you can find a ticket office (open from 12pm) and an information point (open from 5pm to 2am). If you find yourself with a bad case of museum legs, head to the central square on Museum Island, where you can grab something from the food trucks and bars. Lustgarten will be a great place to start from or come back to during the course of your explorations.

But remember, while Museum Island will be a central hub, this event takes place literally all over the city (click here for a handy map). There’s an incredible amount to choose from, so to help you out we’ve selected a few highlights. 

What are the highlights? 

In keeping with the ‘Sounds of Berlin’ theme, we’ve selected a few auditory highlights for you to check out.

Radio Glasnost at the Stasi Museum 

© Kulturprojects Berlin, Photo: Oana Popa

Listen to a sound installation with excerpts from the radio show ‘Radio Glasnost – Out of Control’. 

Radio Glasnost was a collaborative broadcast between radio stations in East and West Berlin at the end of the 1980s. This hour-long radio show was broadcast once per month on the West German radio station Radio 100. The contributions from East Berlin activists reporting on DDR opposition were recorded on tape in the East and then smuggled into the West for broadcast. Unsurprisingly, the Stasi were listening in… 

  • Stasimuseum, Ruschestr. 103, Friedrichshain, (6pm-2am) details

Songs from the 20s at the Schwules Museum

Photo: @DorotheaTuch

Sigrid Grajek performs songs from the 1920s covering topics from homosexuality to the emancipated 20th century woman. 

Grajek is a prominent queer performer who loves to poke fun at traditional gender roles. Her program takes repertoire from the inter-war years of 1918 to 1933, reflecting the different realities of life during those turbulent fifteen years, sometimes with humour, sometimes with melancholy. Grajek’s programme creates a musical mirror of a legendary epoch. 

  • Schwules Museum, Lützowstr. 73, Tiergarten, (6:45-11:45pm) details

Open air festival

On Museum Island itself, there is an open air festival going on throughout the afternoon.

From 4pm until midnight there will be live music and performances happening all over the island. 

Photo: Alexander Rentsch

Kicking off the proceedings is the wonderful Stegreif Orchestra, who combine classical music with improvisation. They’re followed by an interactive drumming performance, a Japanese folk fusion band, and later on there will be DJ sets at the Colonnade Courtyard. The official opening of the Long Night of the Museums event also takes place here, on the steps of the Altes Museum. 

  • Museum Island, Mitte, (4-10pm) details.

Sound portraits at the Museum of Unheard (of) things

Photo: Museum der Unerhörten Dinge / Museumsportal Berlin

Come and hear field recordings of the streets of Berlin across the years at the wonderfully quirky Museum of Unheard (of) Things. 

Sound installations will include an audio portrait of field recordings on Hessische Straße, 100 sounds of Schöneberg, and of the regional train station Bahnhof Zoo. It’s an auditory exploration of Berlin across time and space. 

  • Museum der Unerhörten Dinge, Crellestr. 5-6, (6pm-12:15am) Schöneberg, details

The Sound of Cannabis 

Photo: Hanf e.V.

Accompanied by a musical soundscape from Klangwirkstoff Lab for Experimental Music, the Hanf Museum Berlin invites you to explore the possibilities of cannabis in the city.

You can smoke cannabis, but can you hear it man? With the news that Germany is now legalising the purchase and possession of cannabis for recreational use, presumably the folks at the Hemp Museum are over the moon. Their special sound exhibit will attempt to transmit the acoustic world of cannabis, with musicologist Hans Cousto experimentally setting the cannabinoids THC and CBD to music. 

  • Hanf Museum, Mühlendamm 5, Mitte, (6pm-1am) details

Transport 

To help get you to all the many participating museums and make the most of the night, the Long Night of the Museums team has put together a special transport system. Click here to read all about it.

Photo: IMAGO / David Heerde

There will be four themed shuttle bus routes which you can jump on at any time with your ticket, each of which will take visitors to a number of participating museums en route. The Tempelhof-Schöneberg route is particularly cool, because you’ll be travelling on vintage 50s and 60s buses! The other option is a Jelbi mobility voucher. With the purchase of your ticket, you’ll get a 10€  voucher to use on any of their mobility services.

Shuttle bus routes 

  • The Charlottenburg route is packed with goodies for art fans. It will take you from Zoologischer Garten to Schloss Charlottenburg via Uhlandstraße and Kantstraße. On this route you can visit six participating museums. Busses run between 18:00-02:00, departing every 20 minutes.
  • If you’re interested in the history of technology, the Tempelhof-Steglitz route is for you. This one is particularly special because the buses you’ll be travelling in are historic ones from the 50s, 60s and 70s. The route will take you from Trebbiner Straße to Teltowkanalstraße via the Schwerbelastungskörper and Munsterdamm, and takes you past five participating museums. Busses run from 18:00-00:00, departing every 30 minutes.
  • The Lichtenberg-Hohenschönhausen route links the two central bases of the DDR Ministry of State for Security. It takes you from Magdalenenstraße to Freienwalder Straße via Schottstraße. On this route you can visit two participating museums: Stasi-Zentrale and the Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. Busses run from 18:00-00:00, departing every 20 minutes.
  • The Archenhold Shuttle route takes you on a loop of Treptower Park to get to the Archenhold Observatory, which was built in 1896. Busses from 18:00-00:00, departing every 20 minutes.

Jelbi partnership

© Kulturprojekte Berlin. Photo: Oana Popa

If you download the Jelbi mobility app on your phone, you can claim a 10€ voucher with your Long Night of the Museums ticket. You can also claim your voucher at one of six pop-up Jelbi stations at Lustgarten. Through the Jelbi app, you can use your voucher to rent scooters, bikes, mopeds, and even take taxis.