The front of the Alte Nationalgalerie with bronze sculpture of Frederick William IV.
Bronze model of the Museumsinsel
Banner and detail and of the James Simon Galerie with streetsign of the Bodestraße
Detail of the central roof of the Altes Museum, showing a sculpture and stone eagles
Detail of the roof, showing the sculpture of a griffin and part of the pediment of the Alte Nationalgalerie
The colonnade and the Alte Nationalgalerie
The Humboldt Forum with the Dom in the background
Photo of a banner showing the bust of Nefertiti
Frontal view of Schinkel's neoclassical Altes Museum
Reproduction poster outside the Deutsches Historisches Museum
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  • 2.5 hours | approx. 2 km walking
  • private tours: 120€ for up to 4 guests (additional tickets: 10€pp)
  • Available in German or English / Erhältlich auf Deutsch oder English
"The Museum Island is a truly unique collection of museums and simply one of the most stunning places of Berlin. I hope to pass on my enthusiasm for this special place through my tour."
  • Zeughaus (Arsenal/German Historic Museum)
  • Altes Museum
  • Neues Museum
  • James-Simon-Galerie
  • Alte Nationalgalerie
  • Pergamon Museum
  • Bode Museum
  • Humboldt Forum
Museums have long been considered to be neutral presenters of scientific knowledge and historical facts. It is still only a specialism of museum studies that points out how museums are employed to serve power structures and perpetuate certain narratives of history whilst hiding others.

Berlin's Museum Island hosts a truly unique collection of museums, each already presenting a wealth of interesting facts before even entering and visiting the collections. The tour looks at the museums from a 'museological' and historical point of view. This includes the architecture to start with and to consider how successive systems and governments have employed museums to present and 'write' history and tell those stories that suited their needs.

The tour will firstly look at the history of the Zeughaus Unter den Linden, which today hosts the German Historical Museum and which has a long colourful history of use as different museums for different governments, matching Berlin's unique history of successive historical government changes.

Afterwards, a walk across the Museum Island will look at the history of the Alte Nationalgalerie, Altes Museum, Bode Museum, Neues Museum, Pergamon Museum and the Humboldt Forum.

Too many collections to visit in a few hours, the walk will examine the history and function of these museums just by looking at the buildings from the outside. Musing the history of these museums will necessarily come with a good dose of German history.

This experience will change your view of museums irreversibly - for the better!

The Museum Island is a truly unique place without match in any other city or country. A guided tour and in depth introduction will open up your experience much beyond a self-guided visit.
About me:
I am a practicing artist / photographer whose work focuses on the function of museums. I LOVE museums and am passionate about museum culture. I have researched museology in depth as part of a PhD thesis which is partly published in 'The Thing About Museums' by Routledge.