the East Side Gallery, a famous stretch of the former Berlin Wall
the East Side Gallery, a famous stretch of the former Berlin Wallphilip koschel

Art-Lover's Guide To Berlin: Top Galleries, Street Art & Museums

Searching for an offbeat experience in Berlin? See it from an artist's lens! With over a hundred museums and galleries and vibrant street art sprinkled throughout the city, discover what this happening capital is all about through art

The ever-happening capital of Germany has been a top destination among keen travellers for many reasons, be it its regal historical monuments that house fascinating stories of the region's dynamic past to unparalleled natural wonders. But in addition to those, if you incline to art—whether contemporary or classic—Berlin takes the prize again with its innumerable museums, galleries, and wealth of vibrant street art. 

On the first Sunday of every month, around 60 museums throughout the city allow visitors to explore Berlin's diverse cultural heritage free of charge. From the impressive Museum Island to the intriguing exhibits at the Jewish Museum and the stunning artworks showcased at the Gemäldegalerie, there's something to enchant every art enthusiast's mind.

Street Art

The murals in the East Side Gallery provide a glimpse into Germany's political past
The murals in the East Side Gallery provide a glimpse into Germany's political pastGNTO

While Berlin has over a hundred museums, street art represents the capital's youthful energy the best. A must-visit to see the coolest murals is, of course, the East Side Gallery, a famous stretch of the former Berlin Wall. This monumental stretch is now coloured with works of artists from all over the world, and each mural narrates the story of resilience, unity and, above all, hope. But that is not all. The art here pours over to the rest of the neighbourhood where it is located, the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. This borough, known for its East German-era architecture, is a hip neighbourhood with the best cafes and bars lining the stretch.

The best way to explore the murals that hide around every corner is to take some time out to simply walk around. Another neighbourhood that feels like you may have just walked into a gallery is Holzmarkt. This urban set-up, consisting of food stalls and concert space, is located along the Spree and is freely accessible to anybody. Almost every building here features unique artwork that is best appreciated by strolling along the banks. Another unassuming spot that is loved by all locals is the vibrant Bülowstraße in Schöneberg. This particular stretch boasts works of many celebrated artists like Handiedan, Jeff Soto and Dan Witz.

Contemporary Art Galleries

If you love the elegance of contemporary art, there are many galleries in Berlin worth checking out. The Neuen Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof, and the KW Institut für Contemporary Art are all revered for their avant-garde exhibitions. Another great place to head to is Auguststraße in Mitte, Berlin's Old Town, as there are several galleries you can choose to simply walk into after grabbing a meal at one of the old eateries around. Another spot that should definitely make it to your itinerary while in Berlin is the Humboldt Forum in Schloßplatz. Spread across various rooms, each space features exhibitions by several artists from all over the world, bringing together a unique selection of displays.

Museum Island

The Ishtar Gate, known as the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon, is on display nside the Pergamon Museum
The Ishtar Gate, known as the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon, is on display nside the Pergamon Museum Olaf M. Teßmer

Another gem located along the River Spree is the Museum Island. Here, you can easily spend a day visiting the five grand museums that house an impressive corpus of celebrated classics. Moreover, they are architectural marvels in their own right, and such is their beauty that it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the Old Museum, you will be transported to the time of ancient civilisations, whereas in the Bode Museum, you will be awestruck by the intricately crafted sculptures. The Pergamon Museum boasts an extensive collection of antiquities, which will take you on a journey through the grandeur of ancient Greece to the opulence of the Islamic world.

This article is in collaboration with the German National Tourist Office, India.

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