Berlin is poor, but sexy.
– Klaus Wowereit
The emphasis here is on Berlin-made photography, but there's a selection of homegrown sculptures, paintings, and arhcitectural models that are international in scope.
Also known as “kunstbunker.” Hello awesomeness. In an actual bunker from World War II, it's a private collection of contemporary art installed to the specifications of the space. You must book your visit way in advance (guided tours in English only on weekends).
A circus-like showcase of rarities from a Russian collector who dutifully handpicks and restores all of his beloved, weird, wild objects -- from birthing doll to airplane engine, to life-size Power Ranger.
There are several enclaves for the new art scene, but one place to start is the area near Checkpoint Charlie, where nearly 50 contemporary art galleries and museums have sprung up.
Impressive collection and curation of modern art in a cavernous neoclassical train station. There's plenty of breathing room for larger-than-life Warhols, Beuys, and Lichtensteins.
A distinctive-looking Protestant church, destroyed during 1945 air raids, features a wall of concrete honeycomb inlaid with thousands of piece of blue glass. One partially destroyed spire has been made into a memorial.
Grand old movie theater popular on the festival circuit. Huge screens and seats for 447. During the decades of division it served as one of East Berlin's leading cinemas.
A large gallery/small contemporary art museum tucked into a courtyard in Mitte. Post-viewing, join artsy folks for a coffee and fresh croissant in the glass cube called Cafe Bravo.
Start the morning (or end the night) with a dip in a domed saltwater pool. A good example of the new urban bathing culture, the spa has wild light projections and live DJs.
The incredible exhibition space is the central venue for the Berliner Festspiele, a cultural institution that plays host to many of Berlin’s international festivals (Musikfest Berlin, the International Literature Festival, JazzFest Berlin) throughout the year.
On weekends, hipsters and hippies converge on a giant lawn that's one part flea market, one park playground, and one part pop-up dance party (complete with rigged disco ball). A small set of bleachers becomes the center of a public karaoke contest, and there are, unexplainably, plenty of people in costume.
At the very least, please pass by the exterior of Mies van der Rohe’s glass museum. The enormous first floor room, nearly empty, plays tricks with light and space. The excellent exhibition is located underground.
The building (which showcased an ensemble of Neoclassical antiquities) was war-torn, bombed-out, and neglected by Communist East Berlin for about 70 years. It took British architect David Chipperfield another eleven to figure out how to fix it up. The revamp is incredibly delicate and modern. A fine place for the bust of Nefertiti.
An arresting collection of original-sized, reconstructed buildings from ancient cities in Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East. The Islamic antiquities and archaeological holdings are spectacular.
Every Saturday, Erika Hoffman opens up her bright and airy apartment for guided tours of her private collection — room upon room of large-scale installations, paintings, video works, and sculptures she's collected since the '60s. Intimate and exciting, and a fascinating contrast to the private Boros Collection.
Promenade along the river bank that tours through Museum Island, the Reichstag, and the futuristic government district. Get an architectural overview of the municipal buildings. Break in a lounge chair near the water.
950-acre airport opened in 2010 as a city park. Runways, terminals, and hanger are the same as they ever were. Bikers, rollerskaters and skateboarders are all over the tarmac. The only air traffic comes from the many kites flown from the runway.
Berlin’s central park, big and leafy -- with barbecues and a lovely low-key beer garden.
Berlin’s tallest structure, a Soviet-era needle spiked with a metal ball, becomes a default point for orientation. You can get a drink at the Telecafe up at the top, but you’ll be paying to take an elevator and sit among a mob of teen tourists.
A provocative building housing provocative art. The "People's Theater" makes presence in stature (large, imposing, well-lit from below) and staging (exciting experimental theater).