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Rick Steves' 'snapshot Berlin':
" enthusiastic historian who grew up behind the Wall..."

before and after


Museums in Berlin



In Berlin there is a place called the Museum Island that is situated in the middle of the Spree River.

On this island are five world-renowned museums: the Old Museum, the Old National Gallery, the New Museum, the Pergamonmuseum and the Bode-Museum.

But Berlin has still more to offer. Here is a list of my five favorite museums:


Kleiner Friedrich1  The New Museum

This museum, which was constructed in 1855, houses the Egyptian collection, including the world-renowned Nefertiti. But that’s not a big deal if you consider the building itself. It looks—from the outside as well as the inside—like a mass of ruins. The patches of missing plaster, the many holes and various scrapes that reflect damage from the war and neglect by the Communist government afterward show history in all its roughness. At the same time, this a very sophisticated and fully working museum … like ruins that are actually a museum. Come with me and I will show you the details.... website in english


Kleiner Friedrich1  The Jewish Museum

It is hard to describe this building, because you just have to SEE it. Some people say that from above it looks like a broken Jewish Star. In any case, what you’d see would be a form that resembles a long stretched-out body that looks like it is made from metal and that houses a very comprehensive exhibition of Jewish life in Germany since the country’s earliest days. Its architectural features make this place so unique—the axes, the Garden of the Exile, the Holocaust Tower, and many spaces that are in english


Kleiner Friedrich1  The Pergamon Museum

Did you ever walk through history? I mean, on stones laid down before Christ? This remarkable museum houses a few gigantic pieces from the ancient Greek world, like the Altar of Pergamon, and pieces from ancient Babylon, like the Ishtar Gate. website in english


Kleiner Friedrich1  The German - Russian Museum

This museum is for people interested in military history. It has a rather large collection of World War II vehicles in the garden, and inside there are numerous artifacts related to World War II. The central piece of the museum is the huge hall where the final surrender was signed on May 9, 1945. Oh, you say it was signed on the 8th? Come with me, and I will tell you the real story. website in english


Kleiner Friedrich1  The GDR - Museum

I have been working with this particular museum since it opened in 2006. I designed the tours in the museum and know many stories, more than I will have time to tell you. What was life like before 1989 in East Germany? The museum depicts the broad political context as well as the small actual details of the lives of ordinary citizens. website in english


  Friedrichgold4 © Bernhard