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The Top 8 Unique Museums and Galleries in Berlin

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Berlin is often called the European capital of contemporary art for a reason – you probably won't find any other place in the world where dozens of influential galleries and museums stand shoulder by shoulder with independent projects and open-air pop-up galleries that transform into clubs and saunas in the evenings. What else can you expect from a city that is an art object itself? Take a look at our selection of top 7 unique museums and galleries in Berlin!

1. Jüdisches Museum

The Jewish museum is devoted to two thousand years of German-Jewish history. The new complex was opened in 2001 and combines two buildings, the old one built in baroque style, and the new one – a deconstructivist masterpiece by a Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind, who called his project “Between the lines”.
The interior of the Jewish Museum is truly “between the lines” and quite an experience itself: everything evokes the sense of instability, disorientation, unsafeness and even danger that persecuted Jewish people felt during the Holocaust. The visitors instantly lose balance and have to make an extra effort to move forward through its labyrinth zig-zag corridors, bizarre empty concrete rooms, and leaning walls and floors.

2. Computerspielemuseum

What can you expect from the Museum of Computer Games? Of course, you can play pretty much every game they have, and trust us, it is more than enough for an afternoon. Everything from good old 8 Bit Games to augmented reality experiences – great time is guaranteed for all. The museum is kids friendly.

3. Designpanopticum

Designpanopticum, or the Surreal Museum of Industrial Objects, is truly a gem. The museum crew claims to transport you into a world of fantasy, and it is pretty much the truth. You are going to be surrounded by strange objects of all sorts – from rare collectibles and mysterious devices to the ones you use every day. Note that according to the rules of the museum, you don't just have a permission to touch the exposition, but you actually have to try and test everything.

4. East Side Gallery and Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery

It would be a crime to visit Berlin without even seeing the Berlin wall, or fair to say, what is left from it.  The eastern part of the Wall, East Side Gallery, is now officially the longest open-air gallery in the world and truly a monument of freedom. Now it contains 101 pieces painted by the locals directly on the blocks of the Wall. As it is located along the street, the gallery is publicly accessible and free.
In the other part of Berlin, there is Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer – a memorial complex that contains not only the Wall as it was in its authentic state but also a museum where you can get familiar with the history of separated Germany. The entrance is also free of charge.

5. Schwules Museum

Another museum to expect from Berlin is Schwules Museum, a museum of homosexuality and the history of LGBT movement in Germany. Its vast and diverse collection contains pictures, paintings, and historical documents.

6. Sammlung Boros

Located in an actual air-raid bunker, the history of which dates back to 1941 as a shelter, a textile and fruit warehouse in the 1950's, and then a scandalous techno club during the 1990's, Sammlung Boros is now a private contemporary art museum and gallery well kept by Christian Boros and his family who live on the top floor of the building. The collection features some curious pieces by world-famous and independent artists, wisely arranged in multiple rooms with traces of graffiti from the bunker's rebellious 1990's rave phase. Sammlung Boros offers only pre-signed up guided tours – make sure to sing up for one online!

7. Auguststrasse

Auguststrasse is, perhaps, the street with the highest density of galleries in Berlin. If you are looking for the place where you can see an actual happening of art, Auguststrasse is the place to be. Most of the galleries are independent and don't charge any entrance fee – you can easily spend an afternoon here flying from one door to another and enjoying new works of contemporary artists.

8. Teufelsberg Berlin

Teufelberg in Berlin

Teufelberg in Berlin

A former NSA Spy Station, Teufelsberg complex is located on a hill in the western part of Berlin. After 30 minutes walk through the woods and climbing the hill, you will end up in, perhaps, the most Berliner place of all. An abandoned construction features few buildings. The main one contains a few levels of what looks like a parking lot and a couple of huge whimsical spheres – you can even walk inside the top one of them through the dark to enjoy an amazing acoustics and the view. Around the building there is a magical garden with various objects that seem like some sort of contemporary art. There are plenty of graffiti paintings on the walls as well, and you might catch an artist at work if you are lucky – Teufelsberg is their permanent residence and the main treasure. Even if you are not here for the art, come on a sunny afternoon to take advantage of the magnificent view on Berlin from the top floor of the building.

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