Overview: This walk follows Berlin's hip art scene through old squat houses, refurbished post offices and small galleries in East Berlin's Mitte... more »
This walk follows Berlin's hip art scene through old squat houses, refurbished post offices and small galleries in East Berlin's Mitte... more » neighborhood.
You will be directed into leafy courtyards boasting extraordinary graffiti art and stop at several well-respected independent galleries in the city's burgeoning art world. All the while, you can opt to rest your feet at a myriad of funky cafes and restaurants or perhaps a riverside beer garden. less «
Most small, independent galleries are open 11am-6pm Tuesdays through Saturdays. (Some close earlier on Saturdays.) Don't do this tour ... more »on a Sunday or Monday.
Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera. less «
Your tour starts in front of the lovely Hackescher Markt S-Bahn station. Built in 1882, it is one of the few above-ground stations in Berlin to have survived the city's WWII bombing and subsequent neglect from East German authorities.
On weekends there's a food and craft market in front of the station. But you'll always be able to grab a... More coffee, beer or meal at one of the many terraced restaurants facing the 19th century building.Less
This neighborhood features many courtyards filled with shops, but your focus should be the tattered-looking gateway to the courtyard at Rosenthaler Strasse 39.
Inside is a spectacular exhibit of graffiti. If this great selection of street art doesn't convince doubters that graffiti is a veritable art form, I can't imagine anything could.
The ... Morecourtyard also offers important Nazi-dissidence history. During the Third Reich, a German man named Otto Weidt helped blind and deaf Jews escape deportation by employing them in the brush factory in this courtyard. There's a museum devoted to Weidt here, in addition to two other Nazi-related museums: One for Anne Frank and the other called Silent Heroes, about everyday Germans who helped persecuted Jews.
Don't hesitate to walk to the very end of the courtyard and turn right. There you'll have the opportunity to grab a coffee in the shadow of a giant umbrella-wielding frog sculpture.
Rosenthaler Strasse 39
Otto Weidt Museum +49 30 28599407
Anne Frank Center +49 30 288865600
Silent Heroes Memorial Center +49 30 23457919Less
At Sophien Strasse 18 is the Sara Aspeger Gallery, with a yellow banana spray painted on the front wall.
This banana is courtesy of Thomas Baumgaertel, a famous graffiti artist who spray paints small bananas on the outer walls of galleries he approves of.
You'll see Baumgaertel's stamp of approval at galleries around the neighborhood.
If the... More exhibit at the gallery strikes your fancy, walk in and check it out. From here on in, you'll be passing a plethora of galleries you can wander in and out of.
Sara Aspeger Gallery
Sophien Strasse 18
+49 30 280 44 904Less
This street is so chockfull of small, independent galleries you are going to be overwhelmed. My advice: Pop in and out as the spirit moves you. Most are free.
Of note, but not free, is the newly opened me Collectors Room at August Strasse 68. It's got a quirky cornucopia of strange objects from around the world.
Next door is the KW Institute for... More Contemporary Art, which has small exhibits and a lovely courtyard cafe.
me Collectors Room
August Strasse 68
+49 30 86008510
KW Institute for Contemporary Art
+49 30 2434590Less
This former Jewish department store was built in 1908. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the building was scheduled for destruction. It was saved when a group of artists occupied it, an act that quickly turned the mammoth building into a nexus for art and activism in the city. For 20 years, artists lived, exhibited their work and ran a cafe,... More nightclub and cinema in the building.
In 2011 gentrifying forces sealed the building's fate. Half the occupants moved out after a 1 million Euro compensation package; the cafe and cinema closed. Have a wander around (and definitely up the remaining graffiti-soaked stair case) before Tacheles disappears forever.Less
One of the city's most respected modern art galleries, whatever is being exhibited at Sprüth Magers is a must-see.
Oranienburger Strasse 18
+49 30 28884030
Wander through the lovely Monbijou Park (My Jewel Park) all the way to the beach bar nestled on the Spree River. Rest your feet and gaze at the beautiful view of Museum Insel, where a concentration of Berlin's more traditional museums can be found.
With a refreshing beverage in hand, you can ponder what to do next. My suggestion is to top off... More your gallery tour with the CFA gallery (Contemporary Fine Arts, Am Kupfergraben 10; see next POI), another well-respected gallery among Berlin's in-the-know.
A second excellent option is the Boros Bunker, a gallery located in a bunker built during WWII, that was morphed into a fruit storage space during GDR times and then became an S&M club after the Berlin Wall fell before finally being bought by an art collector (see last POI). This option, however, requires reserving one of the few tours that are run. Check out www.sammlung-boros.de for more information.Less
Another one of Berlin's amazing modern art gems is Contemporary Fine Arts in a building built by the famous architect David Chipperfield.
Am Kupfergraben 10
This photography gallery is located in a beautiful former post office, ergo its "C/O" name.
Oranienburger Straße 35/36
+49 30 284441661
A worthwhile detour off August Strasse is to head down Linien Strasse, where there's a beautiful courtyard with several of Mitte's most well-respected galleries, namely neugerriemschneider and Kicken.
(Kicken has another gallery at Linien Strasse 161.)
Linien Strasse 155
+49 30 28877277
Linien Strasse 155
+49... More 30 288778 82Less
When you reach Sophien Strasse 21, you'll notice a passage gateway next to an instrument store. Pass through to see just how lovely the couryards of this neighborhood can be.
Inside there are two tantalizing options: You can have a coffee and piece of excellent cake at Barcomi's. Or if it is a Saturday and you've reserved ahead, you can visit the... More Hoffmann Collection, Erika Hoffmann's lovely selection of art that includes pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Nan Goldin and Andy Warhol.
Sophien Strasse 21
+49 30 28499120Less
As you walk up busy Rosenthaler Strasse, make sure you stop at Rosenthaler 32 and look down. Among the cobblestones you will see three brass cubes with the names of Jewish people who lived in that building until they were deported to a concentration camp in 1941.
These memorials to individuals persecuted by the Nazis are the brainchild of artist ... MoreGunter Demnig. They are called "Stolperstein," which means "stumbling block" in German.
In the last 15 years, thousands of these memorial cobblestones have been placed across Germany, Austria and other Nazi-occupied Europe to commemorate persecuted people. Keep an eye out for them throughout Mitte's streets; the neighborhood used to be densely populated with Jewish people prior to WWII.Less
This Nazi bunker-turned-gallery is wonderfully stocked with modern art, but you're going to have to reserve a spot on a tour.
+49 30 27594065