C/O Berlin calls itself an "International Forum for Visual Dialogues," and while this may be apt, it doesn't actually describe what C/O is. It is simply an excellent gallery that houses temporary exhibitions of photographs and photographic installations by the world's leading documentary photographers, from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Trent Park. It is not particularly well known, but for photographers, lovers of photography, or even just people who are interested in the world, it is one of the must-see museums in Berlin. Its exhibitions, usually by multiple photographers, never leave the viewer untouched.
The botanical garden and botanic museum's large and sedate park in the southwest of Berlin provides the perfect respite to a hard day's slog through the hectic inner-city. One can admire the English gardens and a collection of flora from all over Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The many greenhouses here are home to many rare plants from around the globe. Visitors shouldn't miss the unique Botanical Museum at the entrance.
Located in the charming borough of Kreuzberg, Berlinische Galerie lies in close proximity to the Jüdisches Museum. Established in 1975, the gallery is fully devoted to exhibit and promote modern art in Berlin. Showcasing exhibits related to photography, architecture and contemporary art, the museum sees a lot of art aficionados, coming in from various parts of the globe. Apart from the changing installations and exhibitions, the museum's best collection includes the works of Berlin Secession, Georg Baselitz and Junge Wilde.
Heinz Berggruen was a passionate 20th-century art collector and native Berliner. Although he moved to the United States, his large and impressive collection of art remained in Berlin at the Museum Berggruen and is open for the public. Visitors can expect to see a large collection from the greatest artists of the modern era, including Picasso and Klee. This is a special treat for Picasso afficionados, up to three floors of the museum are dedicated largely to this revolutionary artist.
There is no denying the countless atrocities the Jews endured due to the Nazis but the many stories that abound of those heroic citizens who helped them give a silver lining to one of histories darkest periods. Otto Weidt who himself was blind owned a workshop for brush making. He had hired Jewish workers who were either blind or deaf. During the epitome of the Nazi reign, he had about 30 workers. He managed to forge their documents to protect them from deportation. Though he could only save a few, his bravery and compassion brought him many honors. Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt is set in his old workshop and tell his story. Managed by the Memorial to the German Resistance foundation, this simple repository with its archives and relics, is a wonderful reminder of courage and compassion.
What is cinema but shadows and illusions? Entering Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen, visitors gasp in awe as walls of mirrors transform the room into a seemingly endless hall. Film fans then wind their way along a narrow path, past huge screens with images of stars from the silent era into the universe of German films. Berlin's brightest star is undoubtedly Marlene Dietrich and the show seems to revolves around her, with countless scenes from the classic Blue Angel and from her days as a Hollywood diva. What then follows is darkness. The Third Reich's contribution to film is artistically presented in a series of austere metal drawers which line the walls. Post-war cinema is unjustly neglected and confined to just one small room with a handful of stars. The Deutsche Kinemathek Museum für Film und Fernsehen recounts the history of German films and television using the help of hundreds of enormous screens and projections. Objects vanish in the flood of images and sound and explanations are sparse. At the very least, it whets your appetite to go to the cinema again.
Anne Frank Zentrum tells the story of its namesake protagonist. This repository through its multimedia displays showcase Anne Frank's life and her dairy. The impact of what happened decades ago, still resounds in this current time. The center is also an education facility to create awareness of racial prejudices and more.
For a peek into the lives of Germans living behind the Berlin Wall in East Germany, visitors to Berlin should be sure to check out the DDR Museum. The museum was opened in 2006. Kids and adults alike will be fascinated by the information the museum puts forth about the network of over 200.000 informants that spied on the populace of East Germany. Interactive displays invite visitors to rummage through cabinets, and truly explore the exhibits, earning the museum the reputation of being one of the most interactive museums in the world.
Built on the site of Berlin's oldest church, the Nikolaikirche today is still the site of regular services, but also houses a museum highlighting its rich history, a tower which boasts some spectacular views, and fantastic acoustics, which are a boon when it hosts musical acts. This attraction is also worth a visit for its Medieval architecture and twin green spires.
The Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) rises up over Museum Island like an ancient Greek temple. The imposing, neoclassical edifice was designed and built by architect F.A. Stüler between 1866-1876 and contains an extensive collection of works by both German and international artists from the 18th and 19th Centuries. Visitors can admire masterpieces by French impressionists such as Cezanne, Manet and Renoir, the surreal works of Van Gogh and Münch, and sculptures by the likes of Schadow and Rodin.
19th-century architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel provided Berlin with many of its greatest buildings, including the magnificent Konzerthaus and the equally striking Altes Museum. The museum, which opened in 1830, was the first to be built on Museum Island. It now houses rotating special exhibitions and is home to part of the Antique Collection, a breathtaking collection of ancient Greek and Roman artifacts that were excavated by the famous German archaeologist Hildesheimer.