For one night in summer and winter respectively, the ‘Long Night of Museums’ allows you to visit a slew of museums till 2am on one ticket. For dates and details, check lange-nacht-der-museen.de.
Museumsinsel. This island wedged in the middle of Mitte houses the big boys who’ve been around since the C.19th. Refurbishment won’t cease anytime soon, so expect cranes and plywood around these stunning, albeit war-damaged buildings. Start on the northern tip, at the Bode Museum / enter from Monbijoustr. / closed Mon / a fabulous collection of art documenting the course of Christianity, with a pretty café dome for a quick sip. Behind is the Pergamon Museum / enter from Am Kupfergraben / with Greek, Roman, Babylonian and Islamic treasures, including the incredible Pergamon Altar and Ishtar Gate. Further down are the Alte Nationalgalerie / closed Mon / with oodles of C.19th Euro and German greats, classical antiquities at the Altes Museum and the Neues Museum / 10am-6pm Fri-wed, till 8pm Thu / housing the Bust of Nefertiti and friends. When you get to the end, join the kids lolling on the aptly named Lustgarden, or saunter to the Renaissance-style cathedral Berliner Dom / 202 691 36 / 9am-8pm Mon-sat, from noon Sun / guided tours avail. by reservation / berliner-dom.de. Whatta whopper! You totally deserve a sit down, so cab it to nearby Hotel de Rome (see Accom.) for afternoon tea or an extra large gin-based beverage. Prost, Pamela! S: Hackescher Markt / museum day passes available at any of the museums, and are good for all of the above except Berliner Dom / museums open daily unless otherwise specified / general enquiries for all above call 266 424 242 / smb.museum
Kulturforum. Imagine the Wall behind as you wander into the west’s answer to a cultural precinct, loaded with landmark modern architecture. Scharoun provided two standouts, eclectic tent Philharmonie / Herbert-von-karajanstr. 1 / 254 880 / with a controversial yellow metal siding, home to the not-to-be-missed Berliner Philharmoniker; and the modular Staatsbibliothek / Potsdamer Str. 33 / 2660. Mies van der Rohe joined the party with his modernist triumph of light and glass, the Neue Nationalgalerie / Potsdamer Str. 50 / 266 424 510 / 10am-6pm, till 8pm Thu / closed Mon. The Painting Gallery Gemäldegalerie / Matthäikirchplatz 4/6 / 266 424 001 / 10am-6pm, till 8pm Thu / closed Mon / will knock any art buff’s socks off with its abundance of C.13-18th Old Masters, incl. the likes of Rembrandt and Caravaggio. Potsdamer Str. / Tiergarten / S: Potsdamer Platz / smb.museum
Jewish Museum. Liebeskind’s wing is an emotionallycharged edifice of jutting angles, with shifting displays about the historic plight of Jews in Germany and beyond. Lindenstr. 9 / Kreuzberg / U: Hallesches Tor / 259 933 00 / 10am-8pm Tue-sun, till 10pm Mon / jmberlin.de
Topography of Terror. Chilling Nazi war crime exhibit by the Wall, in the Gestapo and SS’S HQ and ‘house prisons’. Niederkirchnerstr. 8 / Potsdamer Platz / U: Potsdamer Platz / 254 50 90 / 10am-8pm daily / topographie.de
Bauhaus Archiv. Housed in Gropius’s own oeuvre are exemplars of one of C.20th’s vital schools of archi and design. Klingelhöferstr. 14 / Tiergarten / U: Wittenbergplatz / 254 00 20 / 10am-5pm / closed Tue / bauhaus.de