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Museum lates: The Berlin exhibitions you can visit after work

Exhibitions aren't just for weekends. We round up the Berlin museums you can visit on weekday evenings.

Most cultural institutions close by 6pm each weekday, meaning the only time to check out that must-see exhibition is at the weekend (along with the crowds). But some of Berlin’s museums stay open to until 8pm or 9pm in the week – perfect for some after-work culture.

Humboldt Forum

The exhibitions at the Humboldt Forum are worth several evening visits. Photo: Imago/Michael Kneffel

At the Humboldt Forum in the rebuilt Berliner Schloss, you’ll get your money’s worth several times over after work. Except for Tuesdays, when the museum is closed all day, you can visit all three permanent exhibitions from Monday to Friday until 8pm.

Our tip: Since the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art each require 90 minutes, Berlin Global about 120 minutes and After Nature about 60 minutes, we recommend that you visit the three exhibitions on separate evenings.

In the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art, you’ll fined artistic carvings from Oceania and a Japanese teahouse, as well as spatial sonic experiences in ‘Sounds of the World’. Here you can gain insight into different perspectives on universal questions of humanity and literally broaden your horizons – or understand why the museum is so controversial

  • Ethnological Museum and Museum of Asian Art Schloßplatz, Mitte, Mon 10am-8pm, Wed + Thu 10am-8pm, Fri + Sat 10am-2pm, Sun 10am-8pm, admission free, 030/992 11 89 89, website.

Berlin may well think of itself as the centre of the world. The interactive exhibition ‘Berlin Global’ tells how Berlin and its inhabitants are connected to the world in seven themed rooms.

  • Berlin Global Schloßplatz, Mitte, Mon 10am-8pm, Wed + Thu 10am-8pm, Fri + Sat 10am-2pm, Sun 10am-8pm, €7/ erm. €0 (free entry to 18s), 030/992 11 89 89, website.

There can never be enough focus on the climate and its state of crisis. The Humboldt Forum makes its contribution with the exhibition ‘After Nature’. If you want to collect interactively prepared information from important researchers on environmental and resource issues after work, this is the place to go.

  • After Nature Schloßplatz, Mitte, Mon 10am-8pm, Wed+Thur 10am-8pm, Fri+Sat 10am-2pm, Sun 10am-8pm, admission free, 030/992 11 89 89, website.

German Spy Museum

Immerse yourself in the world of the secret services at the German Spy Museum after work. Photo: German Spy Museum

Work day dragging on? We recommend clocking off promptly and heading to the German Spy Museum (Deutsche Spionagemuseum), which is open daily until 8pm. The interactive high-tech exhibition will jolt you back to life even without caffeine by taking you into the dark world of espionage and secret services.

Here you can take a close-up look at a reconstruction of the ‘Bulgarian umbrella’, which is said to have been used by the KGB in London in 1978 for an assassination attempt, going down in history in the process. The spy museum’s repertoire also includes everything from hidden submachine guns in briefcases to the notorious Enigma.

If you want to learn more about Berlin’s reputation as capital of spies during the Cold War, make an after-work pitstop at the German Spy Museum.

  • German Spy Museum, Leipziger Platz 9, Mitte, daily 10am-8pm, €12/reduced €8 (admission free for children under 6), 030/398 20 04 51, website.

DDR Museum Berlin – open until 9pm

What an end of the day in the DDR might have looked like. Photo: DDR Museum, Berlin 2017

The permanent exhibition ‘Alltag eines vergangenen Staates zum Anfassen’ (‘Everyday life in a bygone state at your fingertips’) at the DDR Museum provides a close-up look at life on the east side of the Wall. Among other things, you’ll find a typical concrete Plattenbau apartment furnished with original East German decor. The museum aims to contribute to the scientific reappraisal of the DDR without overloading it with Ostalgie

  • DDR Museum Vera-Brittain-Ufer, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1, Mitte, daily 9-9pm, €9.80/reduced €6.00 (admission free up to 6 years), 030/847 12 37 31, website

DDR Motorcycle Museum

In the DDR Museum, visitors can marvel at vehicles from 40 years of GDR two-wheeler production. Photo: Imago/Schöning

Slightly more niche: for fans of motorised two-wheelers, the insider after-work tip is a visit to the DDR Motorcycle Museum. Just 10 minutes’ walk from the actual DDR Museum, you can marvel at motorbikes, scooters, mopeds and sidecars from 40 years of DDR two-wheel production. Over 800 square metres of exhibition space between Hackescher Markt and Alexanderplatz station, there are not only cult classics like the Schwalbe, but also real rarities to discover.

  • DDR Motorcycle Museum Rochstraße 14c, Mitte, daily 9am-2pm, €8/reduced €6 (admission free for under 6s), 030/24 04 57 25, website.

These museums are open late on Thursdays

While the first Sunday of the month is known as Museum Sunday in Berlin, there is also something akin to Museum Thursday. Every Donnerstag, you can take advantage of longer opening hours at some of the city’s most exciting museums – the perfect way to slide into Friday and start the weekend inspired. For your own Museum Thursday, we recommend visiting the following cultural gems after work.

Late Thursdays at Hamburger Bahnhof

Works by Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys, among others, are on display at Hamburger Bahnhof. Photo: Imago/agefotostock/Novarc Images/ Christian Reister

The Hamburger Bahnhof / Museum für Gegenwart Berlin is home to a wide range of contemporary art. Here you can marvel at works by the likes of Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys, and fans of painting or object art will get their money’s worth just as much as photography lovers. The sprawling gallery is one of the cultural instituations in Berlin that is open longer in the evening – at least sometimes. Every Thursday, visitors can stay open until 8pm.

  • Hamburger Bahnhof, Invalidenstraße 50-51, Moabit, Tue + Wed 10am-6pm, Thu 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm, €10/reduced €5 (free admission up to 18 years), 030/266 42 42 42, website.

Late Thursdays at Neue Nationalgalerie

Die Neue Nationalgalerie kann sich architektonisch sehen lassen – an Donnerstagen auch länger als sonst, dann ist das Museum bis 20 Uhr geöffnet. Foto: Imago/Schöning
The architecture of the Neue Nationalgalerie is impressive – on Thursdays, the museum is open longer than usual, until 8pm. Photo: Imago/Schöning

Reopened in 2021, the Neue Nationalgalerie is always worth a visit as an architectural and cultural icon. In 1968, the ‘Temple of Modernism’ was opened by Bauhaus architect Mies van der Rohe and now houses 20th-century fine art. What better way to celebrate the almost-weekend than with a visit to this beautiful museum? The exhibitions are open until 8pm on Thursdays, so you can soak up some modernist culture on a school night.

  • Neue Nationalgalerie, Potsdamer Str. 50, Tiergarten, Tue + Wed 10am-6pm, Thu 10am-8pm, Fri-Sun 10am-6pm, €12/reduced €6 (admission free for under 18s), 030/266 42 42 42, website.

Late Thursdays at the Museum of Photography

You can marvel at photographs from three centuries in Hamburg’s Museum of Photography. Photo: Imago/Photopress Müller

In the building of the former Landwehr Casino, photography enthusiasts get their money’s worth on Thursdays after work until 8pm. The Museum of Photography shows photos from the 19th to the 21st century. Don’t forget to check out our weekly roundup of the best new exhibitions in Berlin.

  • Museum of Photography Jebensstraße 2, Charlottenburg, Tue-Wed 11am-1pm, Thu 11am-8pm, Fri-Sun 11am-1pm, €10/reduced €5 (free admission up to 18 years), 030/266 42 42, website.

Late Thursdays at the German Historical Museum

At the German Historical Museum, you can journey through time on Thursday evenings. Photo: Imago/Travel-Stock-Image

If you fancy a journey through time after work, stop by Germany’s own national history museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum – DHM), where the baroque-style Zeughaus meets the contemporary architecture of the Pei-Bau (pictured). While the Zeughaus is expected to remain closed until the end of 2025, the Pei-Bau, with its exhibitions on the most influential people and events in German history, is always worth a visit.

  • German Historical Museum, Unter den Linden 2, Mitte, Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu 10am-8pm, Fri-Sun 10am-6pm, €8/reduced €4 (admission free for under 18s), 030/20 30 40, website.

Original article by Dorothea Klein for tipBerlin.