If you ever wondered where most of ancient Mesopotomia ended up, here’s your answer. The Pergamon contains numerous treasures looted by German archaeologists, including the Ishtar Gate – Babylon’s extraordinary front door - and the Pergamon Altar - an amazing Elgin Marbles-style frieze stolen from what is now Turkey.
Am Kupfergraben; Tel: 0049-30208050; www.smb.spk-berlin.de/
It's a museum that tells the story of Checkpoint Charlie and those who tried to cross the wall in the bad old days of the divided city. The stories of those divided by the wall are really moving, and the tales of those who made it across the divide are astounding in their ingenuity. I spent hours here, even though it's just a small building, as there is just so much to take in.
Newly opened in May 2005, the Holocaust Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe occupies a vast site immediately south of the Brandenburg Gate. It's made up of more than 2,700 giant concrete slabs. Don't hop on them: it annoys the guards. The underground information centre is very good and well worth the queue.
Stresemannstraße 90; nearest S-Bahn: Unter den Linden; www.holocaustmahnmal.de
Be amazed and inspired seeing true-life stories of escapes from the former East Germany. As a New Zealander living in Berlin the last two years, my first stop for visiting friends is always the House at Checkpoint Charlie. Located right by the old Berlin Wall in central Berlin, you can easily spend three hours in complete awe seeing a huge range of stories, photos and more about escapes from the former East Germany. Don't miss it! They also have a great section on European human rights activists
Berlin's answer to Tate Modern. This fantastic museum for contemporary art sits in a old railway station (hence the Bahnhof). With works from Lichtenstein to Joseph Beuys it's a must for all modern art lovers.
The highly atmospheric district of Kreuzberg was famed for its squat scene, punks and alternative culture (which was partly due to its status on the very edge of West Berlin). Now that the wall has come down its status as an 'alternative' district has diminished considerably. But despite encroaching gentrification, particularly in the west, it still has its own special character.
For an overview of Kreuzberg take U-bahn line U1 from Schlesisches Tor to Gleisdreick. Trains run along an elevated section. West Kreuzberg is traditionally more upmarket, whereas the east is still more down-at-heel.
The main sights include the Jewish Museum and the Transport and Technical Museum. Typical Berlin tenements survive in Kreuzberg, and there are particularly interesting blocks at Chamissoplatz and Riehmer's Hofgarten, between Yorckstrasse and Hagelbergerstrasse.
Kreuzberg is also a good area for budget accommodation and has decent bars and restaurants.
Kreuzberg begins immediately south of Checkpoint Charlie so it's within walking distance of the centre. U-bahn lines U1, U6 and U7 run through the district, as do S-bahn lines S1 and S2.
It as a former concentration camp that has been converted into a museum. The graphic detail provided of what happened is very honest and helps crystallise the suffering that many of the prisoners went through. The radio commentary is easy to use and gives the right amount of info to get a sense of what went on.
It is located just outside Berlin in Oranienburg
Berlin’s equivalent to the Tate Modern, housed in a beautiful old train station. A great place to while away a few hours surrounded by an extensive mix of German and international modern art.
Great free museum. Located in central Mitte but for some reason not well known. A permanent exhibition of Stasi (DDR secret service) survelliance devices and information about daily life in the DDR.
The government runs it which is why it is free. There are sometimes old East Germans there filling in government forms to access their old Stasi files. Very interesting museum and the people are very friendly. The museum book costs only 2.50 Euro in English also.
Right below Pariserplatz. I think off Wilhelmstrasse Strasse in Mitte. U6 Stadtmitte
The Egyptian Museum, just across the road from Schloß Charlottenburg, has a superb collection of artefacts, but is worth visiting for one reason alone – as the home of the famous bust of Nefertiti. And nobody objects if you take your own photos of it either!
Schloßstraße 70, Charlottenburg, 14059 (3209 1261). U2 Sophie-Charlotte-Platz/U7 Richard-Wagner-Platz.
A new museum situated in the most appropriate place - opposite the Palast der Republic, and a stone's throw from the TV Tower. Small but well designed (featuring model Trabi, of course!). Perfect if you're short on time but still want to find out more about everyday life in the GDR without getting too political. Very hands on and interactive - factual but kitsch and with a sense of humour!
DDR Museum Berlin
Karl-Liebknecht-Str 1 (next to the river, opposite Berlin Cathedral)
U/S-Bahn Alexander Platz, Hackesher Markt
The audio guide is great. I felt like a kid again - curious and fascinated with everything. The museum's location has changed, however. It's now located in Museum Island, close to the Pergamon Museum.
Boats, ships, planes and trains, and even the odd rocket. The museum has a great separate kids' section, Spectrum. My son Ruskin is especially fond of the room on the top floor where you can whisper into a giant ear trumpet, and be heard 50 metres away.
Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, Trebbiner Strasse 9; Admission: €4.50, kids €2.50; Closed on Monday;
A compact but very illuminating visit to what life was like in communist era Germany. Reveals many artifacts of the era in the form of mock-ups of an apartment, a Trabant car etc, some of which you can handle. English and German commentary on the displays.
Great Winter diversion but light content, near cafes / aquarium near Alexanderplatz, open late to 8pm (10pm Sat).
By the river side at Spreepromenade
an der Liebknechtbrücke
Phone: +49 (0)30/847 123 73-1
This beautiful baroque palace, recently restored, on its own garden island in the Spree, is far less visited than others in the city. It houses a new museum and a great cafe.
Get there by tram from Köpenick S-Bahn (line 3) or take a boat from Treptower Park (1 hour);
A small collection , although on four floors with sculptures and numerous charcoal drawings by this left-wing artist. The pictures of mothers and children suffering want and hardship are very expressive and moving, as are the drawings of scenes from the Peasants' War of the 16th century and the Weavers' Revolt of the 1830s.
Fasanenstrasse 24, southern end, just after intersection with Kurfuerstendamm.
Nearest U-bahn Uhlandstrasse.Tel 882 5210 Open Wed-Mon 11-6.
This is the place when you're looking for free events like parties and museums in Berlin. Perfect for low-budget travellers. These are the events locals go to. Even real Berliners don't know everything you can get in Berlin for free. Most of the content is german, but can be translated at the bottom of the page.
The Bauhaus Archiv is a must see for any design/architecture fan. The collection is limited but of quality. They have a great range of Bauhaus posters on sale starting from five euros (a bargain) and the shop is full of gorgeous items classic and contemporary.
The cafe's good too - lots of healthy choices.
Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum of Design
D - 10785 Berlin
Wednesdays to Mondays, 10am - 5pm.
Usually the museum is closed on Tuesdays. On public holidays which fall on a Tuesday, 10am - 5pm
Bus 100 from the Zoo stops just along the street.
This is one of the world's great art galleries, with a masterpiece every few metres. The building is new (part of the Kulturforum) and is a pleasure to visit in itself.
The collection includes European painting and sculpture from the Middle Ages to about 1800.
Stauffenbergstrasse 40, a short walk from Potsdamerplatz (S and U-bahn) or Bus 200. Near the Berlinphilharmonie and many other places of interest.
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com