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Schmetterling - Peter Czech
© Peter Czech

Schmetterlingshorst

Explore the colourful world of insects

Please note: The current opening and closing hours and special hygiene rules for the Covid-19 are available on this website.

This collection of butterflies from all over the world is embedded in nature, far from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, in Köpenicker forest. Stroll through the exquisitely arranged permanent collection, the largest of its kind in Germany and one of Europe's most extensive. A glut of other facilities surround the building. The Köpenicker District Sports Association also uses the idyllic green space. The shore of the Dahme serves as a base for hiking, with a beer garden and snack bar in the summer and cosy hostelries during winter.

Between snacks and butterflies

The Schmetterlingshorst opens its doors in 1898 as a restaurant with a twist. The Czech entomologist and master glass engraver Johannes Bittner exhibits his moth collection in an anteroom. After the building sustains damage during the Second World War, reconstruction begins in 1947. The new tenant also runs a restaurant, and this rustic hostelry becomes a popular excursion destination during the GDR. When it subsequently threatens to fall, once again, into decline, the building undergoes a full restoration by the District Sports Association Treptow Köpenick e.V. Today, the Schmetterlingshorst has become, once again, what it once was: a beloved garden in the countryside. Under the shady canopy of tall trees, you can enjoy a hearty meal and refreshing drink. Since 2007, you can again admire the butterflies and insects, and learn about the fascinating world of arthropods as you explore 80 cases displaying more than 4,000 specimens. Herbert Jacobs bequeathed the ground floor collection in 1952. The cases are arranged so you can view the exhibits close up. You'll see many of the innumerable butterflies, which come in all shapes and sizes, for the first time. Scientists stationed throughout the collection provide fascinating insights into the world of entomology. Art lovers can also take excursions into nature here: painters and photographers regularly exhibit in the butterfly rooms.

What to expect at the Schmetterlingshorst

  • More than 3,000 butterflies from around the world.
  • Nearly 900 exotic insects.
  • Idyllic gardens with snacks and drinks.
  • Art installations, paintings and photographs.
  • Starting point for hikes around the Müggelberge.

Nearby: Exotic trees and plants, and Friedrichsfelde Castle

About 9 km north west of the Schmetterlingshorst lies the Späth-Arboretum of the Humboldt University. At the Botanical Gardens, enjoy a walk among exotic trees and shrubs from all over the world, as well as delightful themed gardens. Over 1,000 species of trees thrive here in an area of 3.5 hectares. Since 1961, the Humboldt University Institute of Biology has conducted research into plant biodiversity on site. Not far from the Friedrichsfelde district is a castle by the same name. The early Classicist building is the 18th and 19th century residence of the Prussian margrave and prince. In the 1970s, it is extensively renovated, along with Berlin's Tierpark. Walk through magnificent rooms with ornate frescoes, luxurious furnishings and beautifully painted fabric wall hangings. Also enjoy one of the concerts held regularly in the hall.

With tram or ferry to the Schmetterlingshorst

Enjoy a leisurely stroll to the Schmetterlingshorst. From Köpenick S-Bahn station, take Tram 62 to the last stop, Wendenschloss. From here, it will take you approximately 15 minutes to wander up to your destination. Or arrive by romantic ferry: the F1 ferry departs from Grünau/Wassersportallee in Köpenick and lands at Müggelbergallee. From here, it's also approximately a 15 minute walk. A special parking permit is also available for car users. Entry to the Schmetterlingshorst is free. Opening hours vary – enquire before visiting. Please register for guided tours and school visits.