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Ethnological Museum in the Humboldt Forum
Ethnological Museum in the Humboldt Forum © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss / Foto: Alexander Schippel

Berlin’s new cultural centre

The historic centre of Berlin in rapid transformation

Berlin’s historical centre is ultra-modern! On and around Museum Island and the new Humboldt Forum, new spaces are being created for experiencing world-class art exhibitions, culture and science. New excavations are also revealing exciting aspects of the city’s urban development.

Read what news you can expect and get a first overview on our infographic:


Hub: The new Humboldt Forum

In fact, the grand new Humboldt Forum is representative of the dynamic development of the entire historical centre of Berlin: it is ultra-modern! Hidden behind its baroque palace façades are high-tech exhibition and event halls, art collections and conceptual workshop spaces.
The wide interior spaces of the new Forum present various exhibitions on the city's history and on exciting topics related to art, society and research. In addition, the famous Ethnological Collections and the Museum of Asian Art can be visited on the upper floors.


Humboldt Forum Berlin, Foyer and Eosander Portal
Humboldt Forum Berlin, Foyer and Eosander Portal © SHF, Foto: Alexander Schippel

A gigantic steel bowl and a wide terrace along the riverbank

A new interactive monument is currently being built in front of the Humboldt Forum to commemorate German reunification: a 50-metre-long kinetic bowl made of steel that can be walked on and that will gently tilt to one side or the other like a pair of scales.

Rendering Freedom and Unity Monument Berlin
Rendering Freedom and Unity Monument Berlin © Milla & Partner

A few metres further on, the Schlossfreiheit is being built. This will be a wide terrace on the Spree Canal:

Planned flight of steps at the Schlossfreiheit at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin
Planned flight of steps at the Schlossfreiheit at the Humboldt Forum © Sora Images

New openings and exciting projects in and around the Humboldt Forum

In front of Museum Island and the Humboldt Forum, the Museum Island U5 underground station, which is vaulted with an artistic starry sky, opened in 2021 and connects important cultural highlights in Berlin.

U5 Station Museum Island in Berlin Mitte
U5 Station Museum Island © Foto: A.Reetz-Graudenz

The Pergamon Hall of the Pergamon Museum with its world-famous altar and the Hohenzollern Crypt of the Berlin Cathedral, which houses 90 unique coffins and magnificent sarcophagi, are currently undergoing renovation. Unfortunately, the Pergamon Museum has been closed since October 2023 for renovation work, but the Pergamon Altar is expected to be on display again in 2027. The historic armoury of the German Historical Museum opposite on Unter den Linden is also undergoing major renovation and present a new permanent exhibition in 2026.

Fascinating insights into the early urban development of Berlin

A short walk away is Petriplatz - one of the oldest squares in Berlin. In a few years, the House of One will be completed here. This will be a unique religious and architectural gem - three churches will be united under one roof: a mosque, a synagogue and a Christian church - making it a global symbol from the heart of Berlin for interfaith dialogue and tolerance.
Right next door, PETRI Berlin. Discover Archaeology, the city's new multi-storey archaeological visitor centre, opens in 2024. It is not only an exhibition space, but also an authentic workplace for Berlin's archaeologists.
Archaeological windows will be visible beneath both buildings, offering a glimpse into the city’s early history.
Exciting perspectives on early urban development in Berlin will also be provided by the excavations at Molkenmarkt: the nearby Molkenmarkt has consistently been an important centre of Berlin since the city was founded in the Middle Ages. Today it is overlaid with wide main roads and squares. Before its future redevelopment, archaeological traces from 800 years of urban development are now being unearthed and made visible to those interested in guided tours of the site.

Berlin’s international appeal: New museums and a new memorial in the cultural centre of the city

The children’s museum ANOHA, the Children’s World at the Jewish Museum Berlin, has been delighting young guests and every architecture lover since 2021: the centrepiece is a huge wooden Noah’s Ark with 150 animal sculptures that can be “played with” and climbed on at will.

Ark of the Children's World Anoha
Ark of the Children's World Anoha © Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Foto: Yves Sucksdorff

The ensemble of Berlin memorials was also enriched in a remarkable way in 2021: In the heart of the capital at Anhalter Bahnhof, the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation opened with its library and archive - a unique place where the problems of expulsion, displacement and forced migration can be experienced - a challenging and current topic today, as it also was in the past.

A world-renowned museum is once again open to the public at the Kulturforum since August 2021 following extensive renovation work: The New National Gallery Berlin, an architectural icon of the famous architect Mies van der Rohe, built in 1968. The highlight: The careful restoration proceeded according to the principle “As much Mies van der Rohe as possible”, and has resulted in hardly any changes to the extraordinary ambiance of the space.

Neue Nationalgalerie
© visitBerlin, Foto: mulinarius

What’s more, the Museum of the 20th Century is under construction in the immediate vicinity. From 2026, it will present world-class art from the second half of the 20th century on around 9,000 square metres of exhibition space.

In July 2022, the new cultural centre celebrated a high-profile museum opening on the boulevard Unter den Linden: the new Stabi Kulturwerk presents unique exhibits of book art in permanent and temporary exhibitions.

News for all Japan fans: Since 2022, the new Samurai Museum Berlin in Auguststraße has been inviting visitors to see masterfully forged armour, swords and masks of the Japanese samurai warriors. It is the largest collection of original exhibits outside Japan.

Samurai Museum Berlin, Armour
Samurai Museum Berlin, Armour © Samurai Museum, Foto: Manfred-M. Sackmann

Enjoy art on the way

In the cultural center of Berlin, the distances are short. Make your walk an experience by also paying attention to the historical and modern sculptures and monuments that are on your way. Take a look at our new compilation Berlin, Capital of Sculptures!

It’s also worthwhile to take a look at what’s happening in Berlin in 2024.


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