Museum Island (German: Museumsinsel) is the name of an island in the Spree river in Berlin. The island’s name comes from the five internationally significant museums that are located there. If you’re coming to Berlin to experience some of it’s world famous museums, chances are you’ll end up here.
The medieval city of Cölln originally occupied part of the island although it wasn’t until the early 1800’s that the decision to build a new building dedicated to the arts was made. Eventually, more museums were built and after World War II, many were left in ruins. The buildings have since been repaired although some damage was intentionally left behind as a reminder of the consequences of war. Whether you’re visiting the museums or just walking around them, Museum Island is a great place to explore.
Today, Museum Island hosts the following museums:
The Altes Museum
This museum holds collections of stone sculptures, bronze and clay figures and silverware from Greek history. Roman and Etruscan art is also showcased here.
The Neues Museum
The Neues Museum is most famous for showcasing the bust of Nefertiti along with thousands of Egyption artifacts. This museum also houses Prehistory and Early History collections.
The Alte Nationalgalerie
The Old National Gallery houses one of the most important collections of 19th century paintings in Germany and includes masterpieces by a number of well known artists.
The Bode Museum
This museum principally houses the Sculpture Collection and the Museum of Byzantine Art. Also on display is a large collection of coins and medals from the Münzkabinett.
The Pergamon Museum
This museum contains multiple reconstructed large and historically significant buildings such as the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. This museum is currently undergoing construction and portions of it are closed. The hall containing the Pergamon Altar is closed until 2019. The north wing and the hall of Hellenistic architecture are also affected by the closure. The South Wing of the Pergamonmuseum, featuring the Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way from Babylon, and the Museum of Islamic Art, are still open to the public.
Address: Am Lustgarten 1, 10178 Berlin
How to get there
The closest S-Bahn station is Hackescher Markt, although many people walk from Alexanderplatz to see the other attractions that surround Museum Island.
S-Bahn: S5, S7, S75 (Hackescher Markt) o
Tram: M4, M5, M6 (Spandauer/Marienkirche)