Dinosaurs, Cocktails, Pizza and Spies…Sounds like the average Friday night right?
Back in Summer when my mum and sister came to visit after picking them up from the airport, and not one to have a chilled weekend, I took us directly to the Lange Nacht der Museen. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect but we had seen the ‘Night at the Museum’ films and honestly that was enough to get us all excited…
When you’re faced with more museums than you could ever dream of and free transport, what’s not to love!? We were planning our attack weeks before the event and were all super excited about the possibility of being able to please the whole family and choosing the best bits of our favourite museums.
Your tickets for the evening also include use of all designated public transport (U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams and busses in all zones ABC from 3pm-5am. Perfect for any tourists. The whole event was really well organised and the great transport connections took any potential chaos out of the whole event!
The first Lange Nacht der Museen in Berlin took place in 1997: In 2017, 20 years after the annual event began, over 32.000 people visited and the event had grown to include live performances and over 80 museums.
It’s fair to say that we didn’t have a plan but we did have a hit list! First was the Natural History Museum, and this turned out to be a great decision, we were greeted by dinosaurs and cocktails and a great atmosphere! People of all ages, from all over the world came along and took part in the amazing event. Experts from all sorts of fields were present, set up to next to specific instillations and exhibits to impart all their knowledge and answer any questions the visitors had. This was a rare opportunity and something that made the whole night really special as people could interact with the history and science around them like they may never have been able to before!
As with many things, this was a marathon and not a sprint and so some food was in order! We had a delirious mid-museum pizza stop, at Focaccia in Hackescher Markt. If you’re ever in Mitte and in need of a cheap, but cheerful sit-down meal, this is your place! 😊
The rest of the night we mixed our visits between the classics, such as the DDR museum right on the river Spree, and some new museums that we’d never visited before and might not have thought to go to usually! One of these was the Spionage museum near Potsdamer Platz. This was a real surprise for me and one that i’d definitely love to go back to! There’s no doubt that it was BUSY! But this was actually more charming than irritating, to see so many people out on a Friday discovering new museums and learning so much was really special.
My highlight of the whole night? It has to be sat on the steps of the Altes Museum with my mum and sister at 12am watching the most incredible firework display. I’ll never forget it!
- Start at a big museum! This will make sure you get the real initial wow-factor and if you wait too long it is more than likely you will end up stuck in a big queue.
- Don’t try and fit too much in! Don’t spend your night running from one end of Berlin to the other. Take it chill, soak up the atmosphere and have a great time!
- Use it as a test run! You don’t have to look at everything in every museum you visit but dip in and out from them to get some ideas of museums you’d like to go back to in the future to do properly!
- GO! My last tip is simply that if you’re in Berlin when the Long Night of the Museums is on, then simply go! You’ll have a great time and it will be a night you won’t forget!
We definitely didn’t do everything, but that’s the best reason to make sure we’re there again next year and I think I can safely say that we all had a brilliant time. It was a night, we’ll never forget!