Destination Spotlight: Berlin’s Art and Culture

09 Mar 2018

by Sara Jane Crane – 

Berlin, Germany, is a treasure trove for art lovers.

Building in a few extra days to your Elbe River Cruise or other European vacation to indulge in some of Berlin’s many cultural offerings is highly recommended.

The heart of Berlin’s classical art world is located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Museum Island. Located on Spree Island at the very center of Berlin, Museum Island consists of five buildings built between 1830 and 1930: Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Old National Gallery, Bode Museum and Pergamon Museum.

An exploration of these five museums will take you through six thousand years of culture and history from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt to Classical Antiquity to 19th Century European art. Don’t miss the bust of Nefertiti, the 1300 BC Egyptian Queen at the Neues Museum, the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate (pictured above) at the Pergamon Museum.

Another very important center for high art and culture in Berlin is the Kulturforum (Cultural Forum) and Potsdamer Platz. The buildings in this quarter offer the whole range of European art and culture. The Gemäldegalerie (Old Masters Gallery) contains paintings from Italy and Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, France and England from the late Middle Ages to the end of the 18th Century. Masterpieces from all epochs in the history of art are on permanent display here, including paintings by Jan van Eyck, Pieter Bruegel, Albrecht Dürer, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, and Jan Vermeer van Delft.  Audio-tours are available in English.

Pro Tip 1:  3-Day Berlin Museum Pass

This pass guarantees free admission to over 30 museums on three consecutive days. The Museum Pass Berlin allows you to explore a wide spectrum of Berlin’s museums including all institutions of the National Museums in Berlin (including the Museum Island), the Jewish Museum of Berlin, the Deutsches Technikmuseum and the Museum of Natural History.

Pro Tip 2: The Berlin WelcomeCard

Berlin’s transport network is well developed – all museums, palaces and memorial sites can easily be reached by public transport. So all visitors to the capital would be well advised to purchase the Berlin WelcomeCard. This allows you to travel anywhere in Berlin by S-Bahn, underground, tram or bus for two, three, four, five or six days. It also gives you a discount of at least 25% for many museums, theatres, city tours and round trips.

This article is sponsored by Viking River Cruises