The Altes Museum, or Old Museum, is the oldest structure on Berlin’s UNESCO World Heritage–listed Museum Island. The neoclassical building was built in 1830 to resemble the Pantheon in Rome, and today its 18 Ionic columns welcome visitors to experience its collection, featuring artifacts from the ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan eras.
In addition to its stunning classical antiquities—including the largest collection of Etruscan art outside of Italy—the Altes Museum is one of Berlin’s finest pieces of architecture and is highlighted on many tours of the city center. If you want to dive deep into the art history of the city, book a private tour to learn more about the fascinating works of the Altes Museum and the other buildings on Museum Island. To get a comprehensive overview of Berlin’s cultural heritage, you can purchase the Museum Pass Berlin, which includes admission to more than 30 exhibitions and museums. Alternatively, a 2- or 3-day Berlin Pass gets you into the Altes Museum and more than 50 other city attractions.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Altes Museum is a must-visit for lovers of ancient art and art history.
- There is a free cloakroom for storing personal items as well as those not permitted in the museum, including large bags and backpacks, tripods, and umbrellas.
- Visitors under the age of 18 receive free admission.
- The museum is suitable for those with hearing loss or impairment, learning disabilities, and limited mobility.
How to Get There
The Altes Museum is located in Berlin Mitte on Museum Island. There is no parking available so take the S-Bahn to Hackescher Markt, or tram M1 or 12 to Georgenstr./Am Kupfergraben.
When to Get There
The Altes Museum is open from 10am to 6pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and until 8pm on Thursday (when there are fewer visitors); check the website for holiday hours. It is advised to visit the museum outside of the summer months when Berlin is less crowded.
A German Monument That Stood the Test of Time
In the 1800s King Friedrich Wilhelm IV commissioned the Altes Museum to house some of Germany’s most beautiful and ancient art and artifacts. Upon completion, he designated the northern part of Spree Island—known today as Museum Island (Museumsinsel) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site—to house even more pieces from around the world. Despite the bombings of World War II and the harsh communist government during the Cold War, most of the buildings survived and subsequently lovingly repaired to reflect Germany’s passion for preserving art and history.