Berlin photography: Berlin is a vibrant city with a rich cultural and artistic life. The same applies to the Berlin’s active photography scene, which fosters many up and coming photographers of diverse genres and styles.

With our ultimate guide to Berlin photography, we seek to make your Berlin visit truly unique, whether you’re a professional photographer or just wanting to get to know the city better. You’ll be able to explore Berlin from a photography perspective, and create unique memories of this incredible city.

Berlin Photography Spots: Museums

Berlin photography museum

1. Museum of Photography Berlin

The largest and most famous of the photography museums is the Museum of Photography Berlin (“Museum für Fotografie Berlin”). Their repertoire is composed of all forms of photography from the 19th to the 21st century. The museum was first opened in 2004. Besides the many vast exhibition rooms spread out on a total of 2,000 square meters, it also counts with an art and photography bookstore on the ground floor.

The Museum of Photography Berlin also includes the Helmut Newton Foundation. It occupies the two lower floors in the building and honors the famous Berlin-born German-Australian photographer Helmut Newton. In addition to the permanent exhibition “Helmut Newton’s Private Property” on his most known and prominent works, there are temporary exhibitions on selections of Helmut Newton’s innovative and provocative images.

2. The C/O Berlin Foundation

After the Museum of Photography Berlin, the C/O Berlin Foundation is one of the most renowned Berlin exhibition venues for photography and visual media. They show around twelve solo and group exhibitions a year of internationally distinguished photographers, such as Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz and Robert Mapplethorpe.

The museum is situated in Charlottenburg, not far from the Museum of Photography Berlin.

3. Berlinische Galerie

While the Berlinische Galerie doesn’t focus solely on photography, it frequently exhibits photography works midst its repertoire. This museum for modern art, photography and architecture seeks to build, investigate, preserve and offer the public an interdisciplinary collection of modern and contemporary art made in Berlin.

The diverse exhibitions include many forms of art, such as painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, photography and architecture dating from 1870 until the present day.

4. Martin Gropius Bau

The Martin Gropius Bau, one of the finest museums in Berlin, is housed in a magnificent 19th century Italian Renaissance building. It is named after the architect and founder of the Bauhaus school Walter Gropius. While it also does not focus solely on photography, it organises high-quality, international-standard exhibitions. These include art forms such as painting, sculpture and photography. The beautiful inside of the building alone is worth a visit.

Berlin Photography Spots: Galleries

Berlin galleries

5. Freiraum für Fotografie

Freiraum für Fotografie offers visitors an opportunity to explore current issues relating to the medium of photography. They present five to six exhibitions a year of international author photography. In addition, the gallery organises regular discussions with photographers, events and workshops.

6. Camera Work Gallery

The Camera Work Gallery was founded in 1992 and focuses primarily on art photography. It features famous contemporary photographers such as Michel Compte and Blaise Reutersward, but also vintage photography from the likes of Helmut Newton, Irving Penn and Diane Arbus.

7. Kicken Gallery

This gallery gets its name from the important German photographer Rudolf Kicken. It sets an emphasis on 20th century photography from the German and Czech Avantgarde, which includes the Bauhaus movement and artists such as Man Ray. The gallery also exhibits contemporary fashion, conceptual photography and subjective photography from the 1950s.

8. Photo Edition Berlin

Established in 2008, this gallery aims to present and promote Berlin-based as well as international artists. It sets a major focus on innovative photography and also video and multimedia works.

9. Chaussee 36

Originally named Galerie 36, the gallery shows works of renowned photographers and designers and promotes upcoming talents. In addition to the exhibitions, the space counts with a library, a publishing house, an artist residency, an analog photography lab and a coffee shop.

10. The WOW! Gallery Berlin

Inspired by the Berlin creativity, this newly opened modern museum for photography in Berlin is an interactive space, where you can create and direct your own photography shoots.

The WOW! Gallery Berlin counts with more than 30 different installations spread out in an area of over 1,000 square meters. The sets include diverse types of decor and furnishing ranging from a ball pit and a confetti shower to a trampoline jump over the Berlin Wall. The additional lighting and equipment available make sure your photos look professional.

The WOW! Gallery Berlin

Whether you’re seeking to boost your Instagram and your personal photography with some new photos or just have a cool experience, make sure to visit the WOW! Gallery Berlin. Let yourself be inspired by the city’s art and innovation and create your own memorable pictures to take home with you as a souvenir from Berlin!

Note that the pop-up gallery is open for just 6 months, so make sure you pass by there on your upcoming trip to Berlin, so you don’t miss out on it!

11. PiB – Photography in Berlin

“Photography in Berlin”, often referred to by its abbreviation “PiB”, is a curated platform for fine art and documentary photography in Berlin. Discover all highlights from Berlin’s photography scene on their website, in their weekly E-Newsletter or in the bi-monthly printed issue of the PiB Guide. There you can read all about current photography exhibitions, events, courses and more taking place in Berlin. The platform also features publications and photo books, interviews with people from the international photography scene and promotes works from talented photographers.

Berlin Photography Spots: Schools

12. Ostkreuzschule

The Ostkreuzschule is a prestigious photography school in Berlin. Designed for beginners, the Base Class Photography Course seeks to give students an understanding of photography in its entirety. The Master Class is a course for more experienced and advanced photography learners. Students are generally trained to become either photographers or picture editors.

13. New School of Photography Berlin (Neue Schule für Fotografie)

This Berlin photography school counts with several teaching rooms, a photo studio, two black and white darkrooms, a color darkroom and also a large gallery.

The gallery organises five to six exhibitions a year and presents the work of the students, the faculty and also external photographers. It has become part of the Berlin art scene, being host to the yearly Leica Oskar Barnack Award.

The New School of Photography offers the regular 3,5-year photography course taught in German with the goal of teaching the students the image making skills necessary for a successful career in photography. Additionally, the school offers an International Class, an English-taught photography course for students seeking to spend one or two semesters at the school in Berlin.

Apart from the photography courses, the New School for Photography Berlin also offers workshops.

Berlin Photography Spots

14. Photo Walk Through Central Berlin

Whether you’re on a mission to take amazing photos of Berlin or just explore the city, a photo walk through Berlin is one of the best ways to get to know the city. We have put a walk together, that takes you past the most famous sights of Berlin, which also happen to be some of the best photo spots in the city.

15. Government District

Start off your tour at the main train station “Berlin Hauptbahnhof”.  The train station itself, the central rail traffic hub of the city, is worth a look at with its imposing glass structure. From there you can walk around the government district which includes the German Chancellery, the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders House and the Reichstag Building.

Berlin government district

16. The Reichstag Building

The Reichstag Building is home to the German parliament and has a futuristic looking dome at its top, which is open to the public for visiting. This iconic glass construction was designed to reflect natural light into the building. The main hall of the parliament below (the debating chamber) can actually be seen from atop.

In addition to the 360° view of the Berlin cityscape, the inside of the dome makes for amazing pictures with interesting perspectives and symmetries. Don’t forget to pre-book your ticket online to visit the Reichstag Building at least a week in advance, as it can get quite fully booked.

Berlin Reichstag Building

17. Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is immediately recognizable as belonging to Berlin and should thus not be missing on your camera roll. The gate is an 18th century neoclassical monument. It was built on the site of the former city gate that marked the beginning of a road leading out of Berlin to the city of Brandenburg an der Havel.

Brandenburg Gate

We recommend photographing it at sunset, when there is a beautiful light over the monument. Alternatively, you can go there at night, when the Brandenburg Gate is magically illuminated.

18. Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz is an important public square in the center of Berlin and gets its name from the city of Potsdam, located about 25 km from Berlin. The square marks the place where the former road from Potsdam passed through the city wall of Berlin. During World War II the square was completely destroyed and then bisected by the Berlin Wall.

After many redevelopment projects, it now has many modern architectural buildings. These make for great pictures out of diverse angles. The square is also a great place for street photography, as it is always bustling with people.

19. Holocaust Memorial

Also known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Holocaust Memorial consists of 2711 concrete slabs of different heights. It serves as a reminder to the 6 million Jews who were murdered during World War II and is situated on the way from the Brandenburg Gate to Potsdamer Platz.

Although it is not an adequate place to take posed photos for Instagram, it is important to remember the significance of the memorial and what it represents. Please respect this by not climbing on the slabs when you visit the memorial.

Berlin holocaust memorial

20. Unter den Linden Boulevard

This important boulevard in the center of Berlin (in the Mitte district) runs from the Brandenburg Gate to the City Palace, passing along many Berlin sights. Enjoy your walk along this avenue and observe all the daily activity happening around you. This is also a great area for street photography.

21. Friedrichstraße

Berlin Friedrichstraße

Friedrichstraße is an important culture, business and shopping street in the center of Berlin. It crosses many other important streets, one of them is the Unter den Linden boulevard. It was badly destroyed during World War II and thus has many modernized buildings nowadays. Stroll along Friedrichstraße to experience the daily hustle of Berliners pursuing their daily activities.

22. Alexanderplatz

This large public square is named after the Russian Tsar Alexander I and is commonly called “Alex”. It is an important commercial center, having more than 360,000 visitors a day. It includes many landmarks, such as the Berliner Fernsehturm (the Berlin TV tower), the Rotes Rathaus (the red city hall) and the Nikolai Quarter. There are thus many photo opportunities here.

Berlin Alexanderplatz

23. Berliner Fernsehturm

The TV tower, also known as the Berliner Fernsehturm, is one of the most famous landmarks of Berlin. You can see it from all over the city, as it is the highest building in Berlin! It is situated in the center of Alexanderplatz and has an impressive height of 368m.

You can go all the way up to the 203m-high viewing platform. There you’ll have a breath taking 360° view over the entire city and you will be able to take some incredible photos. Our tip is to go there during the day with a clear sky, as you’ll get the best light. But you can also achieve interesting photos with a different illumination at sunset.

Berlin TV tower

We recommend you purchase your online ticket beforehand to avoid standing in a long waiting line.

Other Great Berlin Photography Spots

Here we’ve listed some additional places located outside of the center of Berlin, that we recommend you visit. They will add to your first impression of the center of Berlin and will enable you to explore different sides of the city. These places offer great photo opportunities!

24. The East Side Gallery

The East Side Gallery is the largest open-air gallery in the world. It consists of a 1,316m long remnant of the Berlin Wall and is a heritage-protected landmark. About 100 paintings by artists from all over the world are painted on the wall.

East Side Gallery

Stroll along it to take some cool photos of the amazing paintings, where the artists express freedom and their ideas on the topic of the Berlin Wall. A great tip is to place someone in front of the Berlin Wall to give your picture some perspective and also some movement.

25. Oberbaumbrücke

The Oberbaumbrücke is one of the best-known bridges in Berlin. It consists of two levels: cars and people transit on the lower level and the U-Bahn trains pass by on the upper level. The Bridge is just a few steps away from the East Side Gallery and a great place to take some creative pictures.

Berlin Oberbaumbrücke

Our tip is to take a photo when one of the yellow trains is passing by on top of the bridge, so you get some interesting light trails. The bridge is also beautiful at night, when it’s illuminated.

26. View from the Victory Column

You will get one of the best panoramic views of the Berlin cityscape and the beautiful Tiergarten park from the observation deck at the top of the victory column.

Especially in the autumn, the trees in the Tiergarten take on various shades of yellow, orange and red. The majestic Brandenburg Gate and the TV tower in the background add to a breathtaking photo.

victory column

27. Spreepark, the abandoned theme park

The abandoned amusement park is located in southeast Berlin. It was opened to the public in 1969 and finally closed in 2002. Nowadays you cannot visit it on your own, but you can join a guided tour through the park.

You will be able to explore all the eerie abandoned attractions from close up and take some jaw dropping photos!

Spreepark

28. Teufelsberg

Teufelsberg, which can literally be translated as the Devil’s Mountain, is a former US listening station from the Cold War. It is situated on a 114m high hill made out of rubble and is now open to the public.

Take part in a public or a private tour to walk through the amazing building and then take in the impressive view of Berlin! Admire the TV tower and the Berlin cathedral from afar. This is a great photography spot, which many tourists don’t get to visit.

Teufelsberg

If you have some extra time and would like to admire some of the nature around Berlin, take a walk through Grunewald, in which Teufelsberg is located. The great expanse of forest is situated on the outskirts of the Charlottenburg neighbourhood.

Berlin Photography Tours

If you’d rather participate in a guided photography tour through Berlin, there are many options to choose from. You can easily research the available public as well as private tours with local photographers online. The guides will expertly show you the best photography spots of Berlin as well as give you valuable tips on how to perfect your shots.

Famous Berlin Photographers

Berlin has developed an active street photography scene with many up and coming photographers, which we’d like to focus on in this section. Here are a few of the many Berlin street photographers you should look out for.

Berlin photographers

Martin U Waltz

Martin U Waltz is a street photographer, author and educator in Berlin. His work is very much influenced by the constant movement and emotions of the city and reflects on the position of the human with the urban space. He offers photography coaching as well as frequent photography workshops in Berlin.

Maximilian Streich

Based in Berlin, Maximilian Streich works as a photographer as well as a brand consultant. He creates a unique atmosphere in his photographs, capturing timeless moments of everyday life in urban spaces. Following his motto “There is no such thing as bad weather”, his photos show the hidden beauty in moments which many people don’t see.

Oliver Krumes

Oliver Krumes has a unique eye for capturing people in urban, architectural spaces, especially in the city of Berlin. He creates strong light-shadow contrasts and often places a dominant colored element in his compositions, which would otherwise go unnoticed.

FAQ

What is the Berlin Welcome Card?

The Berlin Welcome Card is Berlin’s official tourist card. It grants free public transport, a free city guidebook and discounted entrance to over 200 Berlin sights and attractions. Additionally, it allows you to purchase discounted tickets for museums, such as the Berlinische Galerie, the C/O Berlin Foundation and the Museum of Photography Berlin.

What is the Museum Pass Berlin?

With the 3-day Museum Pass Berlin you attain free entry to over 30 exhibitions and museums for three consecutive days. It is also available as an online ticket, so you don’t have to queue up on site. The pass includes museums such as the Berlinische Galerie and the Museum of Photography Berlin.

Where can I find information on current photography exhibitions in Berlin?

These are the best websites to search for further information on all the Berlin photography museums and galleries and current photography exhibitions:

Museumsportal Berlin

PiB

Photography-now.com

Berlin.de (not limited to photography)

Conclusion: Berlin Photography – The Ultimate Guide

After you’ve absorbed all the inspiration from the dynamic Berlin photography scene, grab your camera and go explore the city from your own perspective! Let yourself be guided by the amazing photography spots, exhibitions and photographers of Berlin and embark on your personal quest to explore and develop your own photographic journey.