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Graffiti and Hip Galleries in Mitte

The alternative art scene in the former Jewish neighborhood in former East Berlin
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.1 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  This walk follows Berlin's hip art scene through old squat houses, refurbished post offices and small galleries in East Berlin's Mitte... more »

Tips:  Most small, independent galleries are open 11am-6pm Tuesdays through Saturdays. (Some close earlier on Saturdays.) Don't do this tour ... more »

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Points of Interest

Your tour starts in front of the lovely Hackescher Markt S-Bahn station. Built in 1882, it is one of the few above-ground stations in Berlin to have survived the city's WWII bombing and subsequent neglect from East German authorities.

On weekends there's a food and craft market in front of the station. But you'll always be able to grab a... More

2. Graffiti Courtyard with Nazi Resistance Museums

This neighborhood features many courtyards filled with shops, but your focus should be the tattered-looking gateway to the courtyard at Rosenthaler Strasse 39.

Inside is a spectacular exhibit of graffiti. If this great selection of street art doesn't convince doubters that graffiti is a veritable art form, I can't imagine anything could.

The ... More

3. Banana Props

At Sophien Strasse 18 is the Sara Aspeger Gallery, with a yellow banana spray painted on the front wall.

This banana is courtesy of Thomas Baumgaertel, a famous graffiti artist who spray paints small bananas on the outer walls of galleries he approves of.

You'll see Baumgaertel's stamp of approval at galleries around the neighborhood.

If the... More

4. August Strasse: Galleries Galore

This street is so chockfull of small, independent galleries you are going to be overwhelmed. My advice: Pop in and out as the spirit moves you. Most are free.

Of note, but not free, is the newly opened me Collectors Room at August Strasse 68. It's got a quirky cornucopia of strange objects from around the world.

Next door is the KW Institute for... More

This former Jewish department store was built in 1908. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the building was scheduled for destruction. It was saved when a group of artists occupied it, an act that quickly turned the mammoth building into a nexus for art and activism in the city. For 20 years, artists lived, exhibited their work and ran a cafe,... More

6. Sprüth Magers Gallery

One of the city's most respected modern art galleries, whatever is being exhibited at Sprüth Magers is a must-see.
Oranienburger Strasse 18
+49 30 28884030

7. Beach Bar

Wander through the lovely Monbijou Park (My Jewel Park) all the way to the beach bar nestled on the Spree River. Rest your feet and gaze at the beautiful view of Museum Insel, where a concentration of Berlin's more traditional museums can be found.

With a refreshing beverage in hand, you can ponder what to do next. My suggestion is to top off... More

Another one of Berlin's amazing modern art gems is Contemporary Fine Arts in a building built by the famous architect David Chipperfield.
Am Kupfergraben 10
+49 302887870

9. C/O Gallery

This photography gallery is located in a beautiful former post office, ergo its "C/O" name.
Oranienburger Straße 35/36
+49 30 284441661

10. Quality Art Detour

A worthwhile detour off August Strasse is to head down Linien Strasse, where there's a beautiful courtyard with several of Mitte's most well-respected galleries, namely neugerriemschneider and Kicken.

(Kicken has another gallery at Linien Strasse 161.)
Linien Strasse 155
+49 30 28877277
Linien Strasse 155
+49... More

When you reach Sophien Strasse 21, you'll notice a passage gateway next to an instrument store. Pass through to see just how lovely the couryards of this neighborhood can be.

Inside there are two tantalizing options: You can have a coffee and piece of excellent cake at Barcomi's. Or if it is a Saturday and you've reserved ahead, you can visit the... More

12. 'Stolpersteine': An Art Project to Remember Persecuted Jews

As you walk up busy Rosenthaler Strasse, make sure you stop at Rosenthaler 32 and look down. Among the cobblestones you will see three brass cubes with the names of Jewish people who lived in that building until they were deported to a concentration camp in 1941.

These memorials to individuals persecuted by the Nazis are the brainchild of artist ... More

This Nazi bunker-turned-gallery is wonderfully stocked with modern art, but you're going to have to reserve a spot on a tour.
Reinhardtstraße 20
+49 30 27594065