Another Berlin: contemporary art at every turn
Contemporary Art in Berlin

Another Berlin: contemporary art at every turn

Berlin is the epicenter of rebellious youth, free creativity and life outside the laws of capitalism. The city is home to the trendiest party scene, electronic music, performances, galleries, and street art. Despite the fact that the neighborhoods are different, one thing is constant — ART.

Berlin is characterized by a unique culture, with classical and modern art coexisting here. The capital offers 180 museums to choose from — that’s even more than the number of rainy days in a year (and there are 106 of them). The music culture is very well developed: young people are sure to know the famous techno club Berghain. Even Berlin’s state museums don’t mind renting out their premises for parties and dance events: the city’s residents and tourists love it too.

Contemporary Art in Berlin

Kunst-Werke Institute for contemporary art (KUNST-WERKE)

The works of the Berlin Biennale are exhibited here. When Klaus Biesenbach opened the place after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the neighborhood was filled with local free artists. By the end of the 90s, the place was completely renovated and the first exhibition took place in 1999.

  • Hours of operation: Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Wednesday-Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday off
  • Cost: 8 €
  • Website

Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Bethanien House of Artists)

The space is located in Kreuzberg, an area famous for its informal style. The former hospital space impresses with its neo-Gothic style and anarchic spirit. Here you will find not only exhibitions of contemporary artists, but also real studios, film screenings, concerts or even parties in the rebellious spirit of the city.

  • Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 14:00 to 19:00
  • Cost: free of charge
  • Website

Hamburg Station (Hamburger bahnhof)

Pop art, minimalism, conceptualism, postmodernism — you will meet exhibits from 1960. The museum is amazingly full of contemporary paintings, installations and media. Although works from different countries are represented here, the advantage is given to local authors. The museum is located in the building of a former train station. Once real trains departed from here, and in 1906 it was a museum of transportation. Only in the nineties, several private collections were brought to the site — that’s where it all started.

  • Opening hours: Monday off, Thursday from 10:00 to 20:00, other days from 10:00 to 18:00
  • Ticket price depends on the exposition
  • Website
Hamburg Station Museum
Hamburg Station Museum
Hamburger bahnhof, museum of modern art
Hamburger bahnhof, museum of modern art

Martin-Gropius-Bau (Gropius-Bau)

There is no permanent exhibition here, but Martin-Gropius knows how to surprise with masterpieces: Frida Kahlo, Paul Klee, David Bowie and Berlin-Moscow are here. The building of the exhibition center was badly damaged during the war, and it was restored until 1981. The restoration in 1999 gave a new life to this place: the space was repurposed for contemporary art.

  • Hours are Tuesday off, Wednesday-Monday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., box office closes at 6:30 p.m.
  • Cost: 10—15 €
  • Website

Jewish Museum (Jüdisches Museum)

Although there are no modern exhibits here, the uniqueness of the exterior structure is the art of architectural forms. The building is quite minimalist: there are almost no right angles, the floors and walls are sloping, which creates the illusion of rickety and uncertainty. Inside, all that awaits you are steel walls and rays of light that shine through the cracks. The place evokes sorrow: the idea is that things convey the tragic history of the Jewish people.

  • Opening hours: daily from 10:00 to 20:00
  • Cost: standard 8 €, concessionary 3 €
  • Website

East side gallery.

The most real gallery right on the street — 1361 meters. Moreover, it is the longest gallery in the world. There is a huge amount of graffiti on the remnants of the Berlin Wall. And these are not just street sketches: each object has a name and history. Just imagine: 106 paintings, 118 artists from 21 countries. The space was opened on September 28, 1990. The most famous painting is called «Lord! Help me survive in the midst of this mortal love!». That’s right, it’s the same kiss between Brezhnev and Honecker, and it’s been going on for 36 years.

  • Opening hours: 24 hours a day
  • Cost: free of charge
  • Website
A kiss
A kiss
A symbol of freedom
A symbol of freedom
East Side Gallery
East Side Gallery

The gallery is located in the Friedrichshain district. After looking at the graffiti in the gallery, don’t forget to take a stroll through the streets. The neighborhood was favored by punks and hippies back in the early nineties. Nightclubs, bars, restaurants and night stands: it’s all a bit «shabby», but that’s the way it was meant to be. Along the way you’ll come across bars with colorful graffiti, a photo booth right on the street, and small handmade stores.

Graffiti on houses
Graffiti on houses
Friedrichshain
Friedrichshain
Courtyard with food area
Courtyard with food area

Raw area (RAW-Gelände)

Previously, this was the site of railway workshops, but now it is a center of attraction for young people. No restoration or renovation was planned here. The huge depots have been turned into ruins, cafes and bars have been built on the platforms, and the bunker has been transformed into a rock-climbing wall. You can watch street art during the day and party hard at night.

  • Opening hours: 24 hours a day
  • Cost: free of charge
  • Website

Street Art Museum (Urban Nation)

Not surprisingly, it was in Berlin that a museum opened where the walls became canvases. There is so much street art in the city that the local authorities spend about 35 million euros a year to clean the walls. But this does not stop the imagination of artists: drawings appear again and again. The museum has gathered the best artists from all over the world, including the elusive Banksy.

  • Opening hours: Monday off, Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00
  • Cost: free of charge
  • Website

They say there are 34 objects in Berlin that Banksy made. But that’s not accurate. The whole world still doesn’t know what he looks like, but the handwriting of his works is familiar to many.

Banksy’s itinerary

Abandoned radar station (Teufelsberg)

The most unusual place on the list is located on a mountain, not far from the city. The history of the hill is not simple, it was formed due to non-natural factors: after the war, construction debris was buried here. That’s how it all started. During the Cold War, the Americans decided it was a great place to set up camp. In fact, the site of the Radar Tower was a camouflaged listening station. When the need for espionage ceased and the intelligence service left for their homeland, the place remained abandoned for a long time and then became a creative space. Interesting works of street art artists, film screenings, theater performances, concerts and parties are concentrated here. If you come here in the evening, you will see a beautiful sunset with a view of Berlin. It is not advisable to stay out too late: there is no lighting in the forest.

Abandoned radar station (Teufelsberg)
Abandoned radar station (Teufelsberg)
  • Opening hours: round the clock
  • Entrance: from 5 €
  • Website

Contemporary art in Berlin has become a center of attraction: exhibitions attract more and more visitors, ideas become more and more epathetic, and masterpieces of world art are supplemented each year with contemporary works.

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