Solveig Steinhardt spent her Sunday shopping for souvenir objets d'art in the city’s best museum gift shops.
Take home more than just memories at Berlin's best museum gift shops. BY SOLVEIG STEINHARDT
Sometimes an exhibit arouses the desire to take home more than just memories, which is one reason so many visitors enjoy browsing the gift shop. Another reason to love museum boutiques: Most are open on Sunday, giving shopaholics a chance to indulge in their favorite pastime on the day when the rest of the city's stores are dark.
Because of Berlin's multitude of museums (more than 170), there's quite an array of shops to choose from. We've narrowed down the list to our favorites: The large bookshop inside Martin
Gropius-Bau (p. 42) has ceiling-high shelves carrying a wide range of books, art manuals, and photography volumes both related and unrelated to the changing exhibitions. There's also a well-stocked kids' room with toys and literature, and a unique selection of German stationery. The Cedon gift shop inside the Jewish
Museum (p. 41) stocks an extensive range of Judaica, including literature about Jews and Berlin, klezmer CDs, menorahs, jewelry, and even humorous objects, such as disposable “100% kosher” napkins.
Lovers of photography will find their habitat in the shop of C/O Berlin (p. 44), which has a wide variety of photography books and reproductions, as well as original prints by famous photographers, which will set you back a little more than that repro postcard you were eyeing.
Perhaps the quirkiest gift shop of all Berlin's museums is the one inside me Collectors Room (p. 45). Entirely inspired
by the museum's Wunderkammer, the shop features offbeat décor, such as a stuffed giraffe, and sells mounted insects, skeleton erasers, exotic seashells, botanical prints, and a cornucopia of other curiosities.
For a dip in Berlin's Cold War past, enter the gift shop of the DDR Museum (p. 41), where you can buy reproductions of postcards from the divided city, maps of East and West Berlin, and the popular Trabant toy car with pullback mechanism, which even adults love taking home as a souvenir.
For more design and fabulous posters from the 1920s, head to the Bauhaus
Archiv (p. 41). The exhibitions are usually aimed at an audience of scholars and students, but the shop contains design objects and images – from the glorious but short German Bauhaus period – that will look good in any home. If it's kids you're shopping for, hit the
Deutsches Technikmuseum (Museum of Technology, p. 38), where you'll be able to choose between dinosaur-shaped paper airplanes, model trains, and many books, while the bigger gift shop inside the Museum für Naturkunde (Museum of Natural History, p. 38) has all kinds of scientific toys and books for the little ones, with a special emphasis on dinosaurs, as well as bird-sound CDs for fans of our feathered friends. Or head down to Potsdam to the Biosphäre tropical biosphere (p. 38). After a walk in the jungle and a mango smoothie at the (indoor) lakeside café, you might feel the need to shop for tropical seeds and pods to decorate your walls and fill your potpourri bowls.
A taxidermied albatross, Hebrew and Yiddish magnets, the popular pull-back toy Trabant, the gift shop at Biosphäre Potsdam.