Where can you find the best Instagram photo spots in Berlin? Those which show the coolest corners of the capital — but not necessarily the same tourist clichés you’ll see on every other profile. We collected 12 unique and partly hidden spots that’ll do wonders for your feed.
James Simon Galerie
Museum Island’s new entrance building and visitor centre was only unveiled in July 2019. Designed by British architect David Chipperfield, the impressive edifice is named after one of the most important patrons of the Berlin’s State Museums: James Simon (1851-1932). It’s one of our favourite photo spots in Berlin thanks to its minimal colour scheme, the concise geometry of its column-and-stairway façade and the optimal lighting conditions.
- Bodestraße, Mitte
In 1998, Ludwig-Erhard-Haus was built according to the designs of British architect team Nicholas Grimshaw & Partner. Today, the striking industrial-style building is a major commercial hub housing the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Berlin Stock Exchange. The six panoramic lifts, the soaring steel arches and the glass construction make the building a unique eye-catcher.
- Fasanenstraße 85, Charlottenburg
The Säulengalerie (‘Column Gallery’) on Museum Island is a great spot for anyone strolling along Bodestraße between famous museums, galleries and the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral). Professional photo shoots often take place here, and the location is also popular for wedding photos. However, it’s best to avoid the place during weekend rush hours when throngs of tourists descend.
- Bodestraße, Mitte
Meininger Hotel Berlin Airport
The Meininger Hotel at Schönefeld Airport is an unexpected rainbow burst for good-mood pictures! Here you can snap effortless fashion portraits in front of the high, colourfully painted walls. Such a backdrop is perfect for any Instagram feed.
- Alexander-Meißner-Straße 1, Bohnsdorf
This famous square was designed by Johann Arnold Nering at the end of the 17th century. Here you’ll find, amongst other things, the German and French cathedrals and an illustrious concert hall. Gendarmenmarkt oozes charm with its elegant buildings and abundant history — those who come here find themselves in the old world of Prussia. No wonder the place is so popular for photos.
- Gendarmenmarkt, Mitte
In 2003, the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus was inaugurated as the third new parliamentary building on the Spree after five years of construction. Designed by Stephan Braunfels, it houses the second largest hall of the German Bundestag and is named after the liberal politician and women’s rights activist Marie Elisabeth Lüders.
- Adele-Schreiber-Krieger-Straße 1, Mitte
Hard to believe, but these orange columns have already made it into more Hollywood movies than the Reichstag. The underground station at Messedamm has appeared in blockbusters from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay to The Bourne Supremacy and Atomic Blonde. The tunnel is also popular for amateur photo shoots. By night, in particular, you’ll find a unique 70s ambience.
- Messedamm, Charlottenburg
The Hansaviertel (‘Hansa Quarter’) shines thanks to its late 1950s architecture. Here you’ll find buildings by famous architects such as Egon Eiermann, Walter Gropius and Arne Jacobsen. The colourful house entrances and shopping arcades make it one of the best Instagram backdrops in Berlin.
- Altonaer Straße, Hansaviertel
Gärten der Welt
At Gärten der Welt (‘Gardens of the World’), landscape art meets culture, leisure and fun. Across an area of 43 hectares, there are ten themed gardens that invite visitors on a journey to Bali, Japan, China, Korea, the Middle East and Europe. The Chinese and Moroccan gardens are a particular Insta-highlight.
- Blumberger Damm 44, Marzahn, www.gaertenderwelt.de
In July 2008, the garden city of Falkenberg was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites — one of six housing estates of the Berlin Modernist era to which this honour was bestowed. Due to the striking colour scheme of the residential buildings and their playful design, the settlement is also known as the ‘Paintbox Estate’.
- Acacia courtyard 4, Altglienicke
Built in 2019, The Futurium was designed by Berlin architects Richter and Musikowski as a collaborative project between scientific institutions and the German government. Simultaneously museum, forum, and platform for open questions on our collective future, the transparent glass facade and the butterfly-shaped wings of the building are particularly impressive.
- Alexanderufer 2, Mitte
Café Moskau was planned as a Russian restaurant by Josef Kaiser and Horst Bauer in 1959, and was completed in 1964. The 9 by 15-metre mosaic ‘From the Life of the People of the Soviet Union’ by painter Bert Heller dominates the Karl-Marx-Allee entrance and is particularly striking. The open architecture and transparency also make this place special.
- Karl-Marx-Allee 34, Mitte
Original article by Charlotte Hölter
For all its photogenic charm, Berlin is also home to some truly ugly buildings it’s worth checking out. And if you’re not done seeking out the city’s quirkiest corners, head to one of Berlin’s most unusual museums.