BERLIN'S MUSEUMS ARE GOING NOCTURNAL FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY

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Berliners are night-time creatures anyway so it’s a perfect idea.

A few cities across the world do annual events called White Night or Nuit Blanche. It’s a chance for museums, galleries, churches and other spaces to let the public experience culture in a different context – the dark of the night. Berlin’s doing a variation at the end of this week called ‘Long Night of Museums’ and it looks fantastic.

Berliners are known for having dinner at 10pm and partying until the early morning so a night-time museum bonanza is a perfect idea. It’s happening this Saturday 27 August – there will be loads of guided tours of planetariums, laboratories, galleries and museums, as well as workshops, film screenings and talks. There are a whopping 77 participating institutions and, to make things easier, there’ll be shuttle bus services and free bicycles to hire. From the Anti-War Museum to C/O Photography Gallery, there are enough places to interest everyone.

Museum für Kommunikation during last year's Long Night of Museums. © Marion Borriss

What Route Should I Take?

If you want to roam around the city and choose your own itinerary, you can do that – a pass for everywhere is €18. But to make things easier (and cheaper) the organisers have created 8 different tours that cover enough places to keep you interested and are only €10. They aren’t programmed according to subjects or themes but geography, so look at the map to decide which one’s best for you. 

If you’re staying at Generator Berlin Mitte, the easiest one might be Route 5. It starts at Kulturforum, the cultural epicentre of Berlin, and ends ten minutes' walk from the hostel. If you choose it you’ll be able to “take a selfie with an extraterrestrial” – the actual alien used in Independence Day (1996) – at the German Cinematheque and play the “Laser Game Challenge” at the Spy Museum: it basically involves you manoeuvring your body around lasers to avoid setting off an alarm! 

If you’re at Generator Prenzlauer Berg, perhaps Route 2 is best since it goes furthest east. It starts twenty minutes away via the M5 Tram at the Hohenschönhausen Museum, located in a former political prison used by the Stasi. It ends at the Zeiss Planetarium, where you’ll get to experience a “simulated flight” through distant galaxies on a 360 degree projection dome. An amazing – if somewhat vertiginous – way to end the night. 

‘Long Night of Museums’ runs from 6pm to 2am this Saturday 27 August. You can buy a ticket online but they’ll also be available on the day from select box offices around the city. Click here to find out more.