After LEGO DISCOVERY CENTRE and a quick sugar bump from GIMME GELATO, we rushed to Museum Insel to try to catch a boat tour. It’s one of the things that I regretted not doing during our posting in Berlin from 2013 to 2016 so it was in our Berlin 2022 wishlist!
We wanted to do the Museum Insel 1hr tour which costed €18.90 for each adult. It goes by the following:
- Government district
- House of World Cultures
- Bellevue Palace
- Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom)
- Museum Island
- Humboldt Forum (Berlin Palace)
They have many different kinds of tours, some lasting up to 5.5 hrs! Personally I thought it was long enough & packed with so much interesting information already.
We parked by the Berliner Dom. See where these cars are below? Thankfully because it was a weekday, there was parking! Just be sure to prepay for your parking & make sure it’s an actual parking space so your car doesn’t get locked.
If you aren’t going by car, here are some tips for getting around Berlin by public transport. Recently they had the 9 euro ticket per month to encourage people to start using public transport again as we recover from the pandemic, but I don’t know for how long they can do this. Prices of tickets change with time and everything that’s going on in the world.
There was a long line for tickets and into the boat when we arrived at the Stern und Kreisschiffahrt Nikolaiviertel station. So DiploBaby, Tess & I lined up for the boat while TD and Alex lined up for tickets. There was a bit of an issue because they wanted to give us unclaimed tickets to close out their sales for the day so we were one of the last ones to board. I wasn’t able to take a good photo of the ticket station itself because of the crowd so here’s a good one from Google Maps taken by Jürgen Hödl for those of you who want to go there in the future.
Personally I would recommend buying your tickets online so you don’t need to line up at the ticket stall, but we weren’t sure we could make the last tour of the day so for us it was better to physically buy tickets. We are happy we made it!
You can choose between staying on top of the boat – which we did – or underneath – which our friends did because A wasn’t able to put on any sunblock. The difference is that underneath is shaded, there are tables & you can easily order drinks. The only problem is your photos will have some reflections from the glass windows, unless you open the window.
We were able to grab nice seats in front, but we weren’t able to get the audio guide that translates into English from the servers downstairs. One of us should have lined up for the audio guide & the other reserved chairs up top.
The tour is in German or Deutsch so if you don’t speak that, you can get one of these audio guides wherein you can choose the language.
We were so lucky that our seatmates – a Catholic Group who were there for a Christian concert – were so generous & gave us 2 of theirs.
These audio guides are essential to truly appreciate the boat tour because it tells us about the history & importance of the beautiful buildings that we saw during the tour.
Berlin is such a beautiful city – a wonderful mix between new & old. I even find the street art beautiful. I hope that you enjoy the photos I took of the important & historic buildings around the Museum Island. I wont give to much of the interesting information away because I really think a boat tour is a must experience when you visit Berlin. There are many all over the different stops in the River Spree.
More on the Berliner Dom or Berlin Cathedral at the end of this post.
The Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus in the Government District is so striking and modern!
The Futurium has sides that look & transform in the light like scales. It houses interactive exhibits on important environmental issues for our future, like climate, housing, food & technology.
The 3XN Cube Berlin is such a striking & beautiful building. I loved photographing it! It claims to be “Europe’s smartest multi-tenant office – in a sculpture.”
The German Chancellery is the agency serving the executive office of the chancellor of Germany, the head of the federal government, currently Olaf Scholz. The Chancellery’s primary function is to assist the chancellor in coordinating the activities of the federal government. source
The House of World Cultures, looks like an open shell and was nicknamed the “die Schwangere Auster“ or “the pregnant oyster.” I distinctly remember attending a party there with a Brazilian diplofriend and having a blast.
At a certain point the boat makes a U-turn & you see the same buildings from another angle, which I thought was really cool. We also learned more about them on the audio guide. So the following pics are the same buildings from the opposite angle. Please enjoy!
The Alte Nationalgalerie or National Gallery is behind these columns.
Going back to the station we go under the Friedrichs Bridge again.
Taking phots as we patiently wait for the rest of the people to disembark from the boat.
There’s the closed Stern und Kreisschiffahrt ticket booth.
This is the underside of where we sat. Here they have tables for easily enjoy your drink but of course most of the people opted to sit up top to maximize the summer sunshine. Be sure to put on high SPF sunblock when doing the boat tour.
We saw there were many other types of boat tours in the Spree so it’s all about which stop you want to take, how long, which parts of the Spree and the experience itself. For example we saw some that had nice tables and chairs on top. I think next time I will look for this type so we can enjoy a drink while we are at it.
This is the reconstructed side of the Berlin Palace or Humbolt Forum. I remember when this was still under construction we had a WIB tour of the Humbolt Box where you can donate money for the reconstruction. It was a very expensive endeavor.
Also known as the Berlin Cathedral, this impressive 1800s cathedral has an organ with 7,000 pipes, royal tombs & a tall dome for city views. I have been on a tour of this magnificent structure with the Willkommen in Berlin ladies & highly recommend it. The dome is quite a climb so be prepared but it’s so worth it. You can book your tickets here.
The scale of this place is just mind boggling!
For me the Pergamon Museum is a Berlin favorite for a reason. It’s truly a masterpiece. The Great Altar of Pergamon from around 170 BC, Ishtar Gate & Market Gate of Miletus are unforgettable highlights for me.
I wish we had time to take DiploBaby into the museums, but maybe when he is a little older to appreciate it. We are just so happy our family got to spend time and make memories with our good friends Tess and Alex.
I hope you enjoyed this post and it encourages you to visit Berlin, one of the most underrated & the most affordable of EU capitals.
TO SEE THE REST OF OUR TRIP PLEASE
READ: OUR BERLIN 2022 VISIT ITINERARY
Small island in the Spree River, home to a unique ensemble of 5 renowned museums.
Museum Island, Berlin, Germany