Haus am Waldsee, Steglitz-Zehlendorf

In Berlin’s postwar years, Haus am Waldsee, founded in 1946, was one of the hottest spots in which to see contemporary art shows. These days its Steglitz-Zehlendorf location might be a bit out of the way but the programming is spot on: the Haus mounts impressive exhibitions along with concerts, performance and sound art. Its always-intriguing 10,000 sq m sculpture park frequently rotates artworks and a plucky offering underscores its legacy and continuing relevance.

30 Argentinische Allee, 14163
+49 (0)30 801 8935

Hamburger Bahnhof, Tiergarten

Housed in a 19th-century former railway station and part of the Prussian State Museum ensemble since 1996, this is the place to see a comprehensive collection of contemporary art. The soaring main hall has hosted blockbuster shows featuring artists such as Argentinean Tomás Saraceno and Carsten Höller. Don’t miss the Rieckhallen, a wing repurposed from the old railway’s dispatch warehouses. This ambling series of exhibition halls features works from the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection, presented to the museum in 2004 as a long-term loan. On view are pieces by every big-name artist imaginable (Joseph Beuys, Dieter Roth, Andy Warhol et al). Every other year the space hosts the National Gallery Prize, Berlin’s answer to the UK’s Turner Prize.

50-51 Invalidenstrasse, 10557
+49 (0)30 266 424 242

Martin-Gropius-Bau, Mitte

Martin-Gropius-Bau, a short walk from Potsdamer Platz, was built as a museum of decorative arts in the early 1880s (one of its architects, Martin Gropius, was Walter Gropius’s great uncle). The building was damaged during the war but restored and reopened in 1981. It has since morphed into a multipurpose exhibition space that puts on more than 20 art-photography and themed exhibitions per year. The museum also has an inviting café, a restaurant and a well-stocked bookshop that is always worth a visit.

7 Niederkirchnerstrasse, 10963
+49 (0)30 254 860

Images: Alamy, Silvia Conde

Go back: Berlin


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Monocle 24

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  • The Atlantic Shift