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The top 10 most unusual museums in Berlin

Great love for small details

The Pergamon Museum, the Old National Gallery, the Jewish Museum. Around 180 museums preserve art in Berlin, including world-famous art, knowledge, and history that is thousands of years old. But isn’t it often the little things that give us special pleasure? On a tour through the Berlin museums I discovered many smaller, partly curious museums that are worth visiting along with their world-famous siblings.

The largest photo booth in the world – Imago 1:1

The Aufbau Haus in Kreuzberg is a place for wonderful discoveries. It isn’t just the home of a theatre, a club, a bookshop, and various craft and culinary companies within the former Pianofabrik C. Bechstein, it also houses the world's largest walk-in large format camera: the IMAGO 1:1. Its unique recording system enables people to be mapped at a ratio of 1: 1 directly onto photographic paper. The life-size black-and-white portraits can be completed within a few minutes: the visitor enters the interior of the camera through a door, gazes at a reflected image adapted to his or her point of view, and takes the picture.

Imago 1:1, Prinzenstraße 85, 10969 Berlin, daily except for Sunday, 10-19:00, free admittance

A look into the future – Games Science Center

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Technological progress is everywhere. We deal with more and more innovative products every day. Evidence that the ideas for these inventions often don’t come from the laboratories of major manufacturers, but were invented by inventors and small development teams, can be found in Germany's first museum of the future. And who hasn’t always wanted to try out the technology of tomorrow?

Games Science Center, Charlottenstrasse 1, 10969 Berlin, daily except for Tuesday, 11-19:00

It's all about the sausage here – Deutsches Currywurst Museum

Curry sausage
Curry sausage © visitberlin, Foto: Philip Koschel

Anyone who has always wanted to know which ingredients are in the famous Berlin snack, will find sufficient historical, cultural, and visual material in this interactive exhibition near Checkpoint Charlie. Trying things out goes hand-in-hand with studying: the spice chamber reveals the curry powder secret, and exotic fragrances rise up from the aroma station. If you get hungry, the three-dimensional map of Berlin snack stands will show you where to find the nearest curry sausage snack stand.

Deutsches Currywurst Museum, Schützenstraße 70, 10117 Berlin, daily, 10-18:00

From Abracadabra to magic potion – Magicum Berlin

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The Magic Museum has been taking you into the mysterious world of the supernatural since July 2014. Via numerous exhibits visitors learn all about magical phenomena in several rooms. In addition to the exhibits, such as a crystal ball, a witch scale, and a totem mask, the Magic Salon offers puzzles, games, and props you can try.

Magicum Berlin Große Hamburger Strasse 17, 10115 Berlin, daily, 10-20:00

Shush! – Museum der Stille (Museum of Silence)

Can you visit silence? This is a question that visitors to the Museum der Stille pose to themselves. This former church near Oranienburger Straße exhibits architecture. When viewing the visionary designs that are exhibited in the rooms, which are painted in deep red, it is all about peace and slowing down. You can retreat into yourself here – thinking about the architecture and history of Berlin. And that familiar question will arise: How do I want to live my life?

Museum der Stille Linienstraße 154a, 10115 Berlin, daily except for Monday, 14-19:00, free admittance

Completely legal: Hanf Museum Berlin (Berlin Hemp Museum)

Entrance of Hanf Museum Berlin
Entrance of Hanf Museum Berlin © Hanfmuseum Berlin, Foto: Steffen Geyer

Germany's only hemp museum has been located in Berlin’s Nikolai Quarter since 1994. On approximately 250 square meters you can learn all about the agricultural and cultivated hemp plant. The legal aspect and history of prohibition is also clearly presented. And how about finishing with a cup of hemp tea at the museum café?

Hanf Museum Berlin Mühlendamm 5, 10178 Berlin, Th.-Fr. 10-20:00, Saturday/Sunday 12-20:00

What doesn’t it have! – Museum der unerhörten Dinge (The Museum of Extraordinary Things)

Whoever enters this small museum between address numbers 5 and 6, will unwittingly embark on a journey of discovery. This is where you can suddenly see everyday objects from another unique perspective, to the point where they begin to tell their own stories. This is where an old piece of paper becomes the impact of a thought flash, or a colourful roll of yarn the thread of patience. Of all these many facts, which are basically correct, there is only one thing to say: That's definitely a thing!

Museum der unerhörten Dinge, Crellestraße 5-6, 10827 Berlin, Wednesday-Friday 15-19:00, free admittance

Kissable: Lippenstift-Museum (Lipstick Museum) René Koch

Lipstick-Museum René Koch
Lipstick-Museum René Koch © Dieter Stadler, Brigitte Dummer

In his private apartment, Berliner makeup artist Rene Koch has made a personal passion for collecting into a museum with 130 years of history around the topic of lipstick, movie stars, fashion, and the makeup of theatre and film, all shown here in chronological order. Including highlights such as a silver box with lipstick from Japan. Over the past few years, many celebrities have been immortalized in the museum with their kiss imprint, and the puckered lips of Klaus Wowereit are also on display.

Lippenstift Museum, Helmstedter Straße 16, 10717 Berlin, by appointment

Between art and Kitsch – Museum of Things (The Museum of Things)

Is it art, or something to throw away? As far as good taste is concerned, the Museum der Dinge can be recommended almost without reservations. Be it Christmas calendars, toys, or kitchen utensils: the museum showcases everyday objects. And not only that, it also shows how time shapes these things: this is where you’ll find pasta strainers made from steel helmets and cups made of cartridge cases.

Museum der Dinge, Oranienstraße 25, 10999 Berlin, Thursday-Monday 12-19:00