Tränenpalast, situated in the heart of the city, is the former border crossing where West Germans bid goodbye to East Germans while going back to West Berlin where East Germans were not allowed to enter. The literal translation of the name means Palace of Tears. After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, this building was used as a nightclub and live concert venue. Today, it is a museum featuring videos, photographs, audios, artifacts and documents which tell the story of this former border checkpoint and the history of Berlin's separation and reunification.
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.
This small museum is worth the trek out of the city center. It houses the works of the Brücke Group, considered to be Germany's pioneers in Expressionism. The group was founded in Dresden in 1905, but later moved to Berlin. The permanent exhibition includes works by all the members of the group—Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emile Nolde, Otto Müller, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Max Pechstein. Nazi repression in the 1930's lead to the destruction of many of the group's works—but what has survived is fascinating.
Learn about the art of espionage at the Spy Museum in Berlin. This unique museum features exhibits about spies, from real hidden cameras used by the CIA to props from the James Bond movies. Separate fact from fiction as you learn about the history of espionage during Cold War Berlin, see how long it takes to crack a password, or try your luck at navigating a laser maze. Don't miss out on this fascinating museum that brings to life all the hidden secrets of espionage.
The Deutsches Technikmuseum houses a broad-based collection of scientific and technological exhibits, both historical and contemporary. Alongside its permanent exhibition, it also has frequent temporary exhibitions on various science and technology related themes. Germany has a history of innovation that is highlighted in the many fascinating exhibits on display in the museum. Kids and adults alike will be amazed at the inventions and engineering marvels featured in the museum's halls.
The Museum for Natural History is one of the largest and most important museums of its kind in Germany. The extensive collection offers a new perspective on the world of nature, the earth as a planetological and biological environment, and on the process of evolution. The museum was founded in 1810 and has since acquired a collection of over 20 million items. Everything about the earth is exhibited here, from minerals to meteorites. One of the highlights of the museum for both kids and adults is the dinosaur hall.
The MeMu Menschen Museum is a unique body art museum which showcases the anatomy of the human body. The exhibits on display here answer many of the mysteries of the human body and visitors can learn more about the structure of the body. There are more than 200 exhibits here which showcase the various anatomical movements of the body and the functions of the organs. A truly unique museum, this place is definitely worth a visit.
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.
Forum Willy Brandt Berlin is a museum in Berlin that commemorates the life and deeds of Willy Brandt, the German politician. Documenting the life of the public figure in the form of permanent displays consisting of pictures, records, personal belongings, interactive displays and other artifacts, one can learn about the German leader and the political situation at that time. One can even see his Nobel peace prize medal at this museum. It is a must to have a glance at this museum that is free for all and even provides tours.
Located at Senefelderstraße, in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood of Berlin, MACHmit! Childrens Museum encourages kids to play as a way to learn. The museum is housed in a old church that has been updated to include space for a bunch of exciting exhibits that kids will love - including a large wooden climbing structure where kids can safely explore the towering heights of the old church. Workshops are scattered throughout the museum and teach kids about various arts and crafts; some of the workshops include a print-making shop, a soap shop, a house of mirrors, and a stage where kids can be a part of their own performance.