Mitte/Tiergarten Museums, Berlin (Self Guided)

Berlin boasts a number of world-famous museums and hundreds of galleries attracting art lovers and hosting art festivals and events. The exhibitions range from large to small, local to international. This walking tour features all of Berlin's major museums and galleries in Mitte and Tiergarten.
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Mitte/Tiergarten Museums Map

Guide Name: Mitte/Tiergarten Museums
Guide Location: Germany » Berlin (See other walking tours in Berlin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Author: clare
1
Jewish Museum Berlin

1) Jewish Museum Berlin (must see)

The Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum Berlin) covers two millennia of German Jewish history. It consists of two buildings, with one being the old Kollegienhaus, a former courthouse, built in the 18th century and the other – a new addition specifically built for the museum, designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind.

This was one of the first buildings in Berlin designed after German reunification. The museum opened to the public in 2001. The original Jewish Museum in Berlin was founded on Oranienburger Straße in 1933. The museum adjoins the old Berlin Museum and sits on land that was both East and West Berlin before the Berlin Wall fell. The Museum itself, consisting of about 161,000 square feet, is a twisted zig-zag and is accessible only via an underground passage from the Berlin Museum's baroque wing. Its shape is reminiscent of a warped Star of David. A "Void," an empty space about 66 feet tall, slices linearly through the entire building.

Tip:
Don't miss 'Schalekhet' (Fallen Leaves), a thought-provoking multi-sensory art installation.
This museum is also included in the 3-day Museum Pass (29 euros for adults; children go free).

Operation Hours:
Daily: 10am-8pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Mauermuseum Haus

2) Mauermuseum Haus

Situated at the famous Cold War period Checkpoint Charlie, that once separated East and West Berlin, Mauermuseum is truly unique. It features some really fascinating artifacts—original gadgets and tools—employed by Eastern Germans to escape to the West, from hot-air balloon to Trebant car to chairlift. The small car, whose trunk wasn't even thought of as fit to accommodate a person and therefore wasn't checked at the border, presents quite a sight. Another bizarre container for smuggling a human is a pair of suitcases, cut open and put together. One of the most horrific exhibits is, of course, the spring machine gun used by the GDR border patrolmen. Films, original recordings and photos displayed at the Museum tell the story of miraculous and fascinating escapes made by Eastern Germans into the West. You can also meet some real witnesses to get an idea what life was like under the Communists in Eastern Germany.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
3
Topography of Terror Museum

3) Topography of Terror Museum (must see)

The Gestapo and SS Headquarters in Berlin is the location of an outdoor museum called the Topography of Terror. It is a chilling memorial of one of the cruelest interrogation agencies since the inquisition.

The Gestapo and SS headquarters was the building where people who were regarded as a threat to the Nazi regime were questioned, tortured, and killed. It was completely ruined during the Berlin bombings of WWII and only the cellars survived. In 1987, a group of students excavated the cellars of the Gestapo Headquarters with their bare hands and the objects they found there form the outdoor exhibition named Topography of Terror. The museum aims to show the world how people were tortured to death without a fair trial by a totalitarian regime. There is also a covered exhibition complex and a library adjacent to the outdoor display.

The Topography of Terror Museum is a monument to liberty and the aim is to illustrate that democracy and civil rights need to be defended on a daily basis. It chronicles the war crimes committed by the Nazi regime in a blatant abuse of power. A free headset is available at the reception with English language commentary for the benefit of visitors.

Why You Should Visit:
A must-see for all who want to learn about the dark history of the Nazi party.
Tastefully presented in a bright modern building, which includes a café and free restrooms.

Tip:
Leave your coats and bags in the lockers and make sure you take the excellent self-guided audio tour.
For the memorial/storyboard outside start from the left and if you're going in winter time make sure to wrap up as it can get cold.
Try and go on a Sunday when there's a free tour in English at 3:30pm giving a quicker overview of the information without going through every panel.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-8pm; Free admission
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin

4) Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin (must see)

Deutsches Technikmuseum or the German Museum of Technology opened as the Transport and Technology Museum in 1983. In 1996, it was renamed and became the repository of over 100 technical collections with varying themes.

The early Transport and Technology Museum was envisaged by a group of citizens of Berlin called the Society for the Re-establishment of a Transport Museum in Berlin. The efforts of the group bore fruit when the Museum was established in 1982. The Deutsches Technikmuseum was opened incorporating the transport museum and covering all aspects of technology in 1996.

Deutsches Technikmuseum is housed in a series of five interconnected buildings. Some exhibits are displayed in a nearby park and in a Science Center located across the road. Sections in the museum include different forms of transport like trains, ships and aviation, textiles, jewelry, industrial machinery, the history and evolution of the computer, photography and the history of film and the history of brewing. There is a section devoted to different energy forms and their uses with a focus on alternative forms of energy. Visitors can get a guidebook at the entrance and weave through the vast maze of exhibits at the museum to get an insight into the many scientific inventions and developments to which the Germans have made a significant contribution through the ages.

Why You Should Visit:
Knowledgeable, fun and interesting place for people of all different ages to visit.
It would be better if you could read German, although there are English audio guides that can help a bit.

Tip:
Ask about the demo times in the different sections so you can plan to watch as many as possible (live-operated machinery such as undercarriages of planes, flight simulators, the making of paper, and typecasting of newspapers).
When tired, visit the café or get to picnic points in the park with your own snacks.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Fri: 9am-5:30pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Neue Nationalgalerie

5) Neue Nationalgalerie (must see)

Editor's Note: Closed for refurbishment since 2015, this museum is scheduled to be re-opened in 2020.

Neue Nationalgalerie at the Kulturforum is a museum for modern art, mostly by Germans, in Berlin, with its main focus on the early 20th century. The museum building and its sculpture gardens were designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and opened in 1968.

The collection features a number of unique highlights of modern 20th-century art. Particularly well represented are Cubism, Expressionism, the Bauhaus and Surrealism. The collection owns masterpieces of artists like Pablo Picasso, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Joan Miró, Wassily Kandinsky and Barnett Newman.

The design of the building, despite its large site, allows for the display of only a small part of the collection, and the displays are therefore changed at intervals. Nearly all of the museum's collections are located within in a stone podium, solid to protect the art from damaging daylight, partially in the ground of the sloping site, with windows only on one side facing a walled sculpture garden.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Gemäldegalerie

6) Gemäldegalerie (must see)

The Gemäldegalerie is an art museum in Berlin that holds one of the world's leading collections of European art from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Its collection includes masterpieces from such artists as Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, and Johannes Vermeer. It was first opened in 1830 and was rebuilt in 1998.

The Gemäldegalerie prides itself on its scientific methodology in collecting and displaying art. Each room can be taken in as a single statement about one to five artists in a certain period or following a certain style. Especially notable rooms include the octagonal Rembrandt room and a room containing five different Madonnas by Raphael. Other notable experiences include Flemish moralistic paintings which stretch across the north side of the museum, showing an interplay between the religious motives of the artists' patrons and the often sensual inspirations of the artists.

Why You Should Visit:
Famously void of tourists but absolutely full to the brim with old Masters.
The interior is awesome and well organized so that you can enjoy the paintings individually and collectively.
The commentary on the audio guide (available in multiple languages & included in the price) is really engaging and especially valuable.

Tip:
Take a rest every hour or so; there are glass balconies at the corners of the building which give your eyes a chance to wander off into the distance.
You need to allocate at least two to three hours to get through the whole thing, especially if there's a special exhibit.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Wed, Fri: 10am-6pm; Thu: 10am-8pm; Sat-Sun: 11am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Bauhaus Archive (Museum of Design)

7) Bauhaus Archive (Museum of Design)

The Bauhaus Archive (German: Bauhaus-Archiv) Museum of Design, in Berlin, collects items, documents and literature which relate to the Bauhaus School (1919 - 1933), one of the most influential schools of architecture, design, and art of the 20th century and puts them on public display. The Bauhaus Archive was founded in Darmstadt in 1960. Walter Gropius and other members of the Bauhaus movement gave their support. The collection grew so quickly that a dedicated museum seemed attractive and Gropius was asked to design it. The foundation stone was finally laid in 1976 and the building was ready by 1979. There is not that much left of Gropius' original 1964 design apart from the characteristic silhouette of the shed roofs. The collection documents the history of Bauhaus in art, teaching, architecture and design. The collection includes teaching materials, workshop models, architectural plans and models, photographs, documents and a library.

Operation hours: Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm; Wednesday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Berlin, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Berlin

Create Your Own Walk in Berlin

Creating your own self-guided walk in Berlin is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Mitte Governmental Sites Walking Tour

Mitte Governmental Sites Walking Tour

Reunified Germany’s government district comprises several buildings that symbolically link the former East and West Berlin. Follow this route around the Mitte borough to comprehend Berlin's historic, political and architectural connections in their entirety.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 km
Mitte Orientation Walk

Mitte Orientation Walk

Ever since the reunification of Germany, Berlin has been enjoying a growing influx of tourists year on year. This orientation walk takes you to the central-most borough of Berlin – Mitte – emerged in 2001 as a result of amalgamation of some former West and East Berlin districts. On this tour you will visit, among other attractions, some of the city's most iconic highlights, such as the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km
Berlin for Kids Walking Tour

Berlin for Kids Walking Tour

Berlin has a lot to offer its little tourists and their parents too. Here, kids will have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy boundless games, sports and recreation facilities. Numerous museums will let them discover the world of art and history. Take this tour together with your little ones to dive into the miraculous atmosphere of childhood.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Third Reich Walking Tour of Berlin

Third Reich Walking Tour of Berlin

The Third Reich and Nazi Germany are the common English names for Germany between 1933 and 1945, while it was led by Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Take this tour to get familiar with the unparalleled history of the most defining figure and regime of the 20th Century – Hitler and the Third Reich.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Kreuzberg & Mitte Nightlife

Kreuzberg & Mitte Nightlife

Berlin is arguably the best clubbing city in Europe, if not the whole world, seeing thousands of party-goers flock in every weekend to the local bars and clubs to dance and drink themselves “into a frenzy” all night long, thanks to the most liberal opening hours. There's a bar or club for every taste here, especially in the Kreuzberg and Mitte neighborhoods - from filthy and loud joints...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 km
Scheuenviertel Walking Tour

Scheuenviertel Walking Tour

Scheuenviertel or "the Barn Quarter" was named so after the barns built here in the 17th century to store hay. Once the center of the Eastern Jewish community, nowadays Scheuenviertel is a trendy entertainment, art, and shopping zone.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km

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Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Berlin, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.