Berlin’s Museum Island, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, is a collection of five museums and a couple other sites on the northern half of Berlin’s Spree Island. The buildings on this island, all built between 1830 to 1930, include the Alte Nationalgalerie, Altes Museum, Berlin Cathedral, Bode Museum, Neuses Museum, and Pergamon Museum. Considered one of the greatest museum complexes in the world, Museum Island is very convenient to tourists looking for a one-stop history, art, and culture spot. In this post, I’ll be going you the ultimate guide to Museum Island – with info on what it is, where it is, why you should visit, and what to see while there!
Just a few blocks away from the Fernsehturm and Checkpoint Charlie, Museum Island is pretty much located in the heart of Berlin. The museums on the island are closed on Mondays (disincluding Neuses and Pergamon), and are open from 10AM to 6PM all other days (plus two hours later on Thursdays). Tickets to the museums can be bought as a full deal, with access to all five museums for one day. They cost €18, and are free for those 18 and under.
Arguably the most important church/cathedral in Berlin, the city’s Berlin Cathedral is truly stunning! One of the only non-museum buildings on the island, this landmark is very photogenic and picturesque. The Cathedral overall has a very long history, though the current one standing today is Neo-Renaissance style and is a United church.
Pleasure Garden / Lustgarten
Made up of a small grassy area in the middle of the island, Lustgarten is located in front of Berlin Cathedral and the Altes Museum. It is very historically important, as it was the site of many mass rallies by the Nazis which at times attracted over a million people (hard to imagine due to its small size!).
Likely the prettiest museum on the island architecture wise, the Old National Gallery (Alte Nationalgalerie in German) originally opened in 1876. After renovations, it reopened in 2001, making it the first museum to reopen after the reunification of Germany. This museum holds a huge collection of 19th century art, including many well known pieces.
Hence its name, the Old Museum was the first museum to open on the island back in 1830. One of the smallest museums of the five, it showcases art pieces from the Greco-Roman world. Its design was evidently inspired by a Greek Temple, going along with its inventory.
The Bode Museum, located on the island’s northern tip, houses many sculptures as well as Byzantine art. It is said to look like a ship boat driving through the Spree, which you can visualize from the photos of it shown above!
Damaged during World War II, the Neuses Museum remained a ruin until its recent reopening in 2009. Its collections ranges through many time periods and comes from all over the world. The museum’s Ancient Eygptian section specifically is very famous, most well known for its bust of Queen Nefertiti.
Attracting over a million visitors annually, the Pergamon Museum is one of Germany’s top visited museums. It is definitely the “crowd puller” of the island, as most tourists come to the island with visiting the Pergamon in mind. Currently under construction with a new wing being added, the museum houses a collection of Greek, Roman, and Babylonian pieces.
That’s all for my post about Museum Island! I hope you enjoyed. If you read my last post all the way to end, you’d know I’m currently in my former homecity, Toronto! I’ve been having a great time here so far and I can’t wait to post and upload some of the I’ve been working on here 😉 Have you ever been to Museum Island? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!