PHOTOGRAPHY IN BERLIN - THE ULTIMATE GUIDE
Berlin is a vibrant city with a rich cultural and artistic life. The same applies to Berlin's active photography scene, which supports many up-and-coming photographers from a wide range of genres and styles.
Mit unserer ultimativen Anleitung zur Fotografie in Berlin möchten wir deinen Aufenthalt in Berlin einzigartig machen, egal ob du ein professioneller Fotograf*in bist die Stadt einfach nur besser kennenlernen möchtest oder du planst die Stadt zu besuchen, zum Beispiel mit einem Junggesellenabschied in Berlin. Du wirst in der Lage sein, Berlin aus der Perspektive der Fotografie zu erkunden und einzigartige Erinnerungen an diese unglaubliche Stadt zu machen.
Photography Museums in Berlin
Museum of Photography Berlin
The largest and best known of the photography museums is the Museum of Photography Berlin, which opened in 2004. Its repertoire includes all forms of photography from the 19th to the 21st century. In addition to the large exhibition spaces, which cover a total of 2,000 square meters, the museum has an art and photography bookstore on the first floor.
The Museum of Photography Berlin also includes the Helmut Newton Foundation. It occupies the two lower floors of the building and honors the famous Berlin-born German-Australian photographer Helmut Newton. In addition to the permanent exhibition "Helmut Newton's Private Collection" on his most famous and prominent works, there are temporary exhibitions on a selection of Helmut Newton's innovative and provocative images.
The C/O Berlin Foundation
After the Museum für Fotografie Berlin, the C/O Berlin Foundation is one of Berlin's most renowned exhibition venues for photography and visual media. Every year it shows around twelve solo and group exhibitions of internationally renowned photographers, including Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz, and Robert Mapplethorpe.
The museum is located in Charlottenburg, not far from the Museum of Photography Berlin.
While the Berlinische Galerie does not focus solely on photography, it frequently exhibits photographic works from its repertoire. The Museum of Modern Art, Photography and Architecture is committed to building, researching, preserving and offering to the public an interdisciplinary collection of modern and contemporary art from Berlin.
Die vielfältigen Ausstellungen umfassen viele Kunstformen, wie Malerei, Skulptur, Druckgrafik, Zeichnungen, Fotografie und Architektur von 1870 bis heute.
Martin Gropius Building
The Martin Gropius Bau, one of the most beautiful museums in Berlin, is housed in a magnificent Italian Renaissance building from the 19th century. It is named after the architect and founder of the Bauhaus school Walter Gropius. Although the museum does not focus only on photography, he organizes exhibitions of high quality at an international level. These include art forms such as painting, sculpture and photography. The beautiful interior of the building alone is worth a visit.
Berlin photo galleries
Free space for photography
The Freiraum für Fotografie offers visitors the opportunity to engage with current issues surrounding the medium of photography. Every year they present five to six exhibitions of international auteur photography. In addition, the gallery regularly organizes talks with photographers, events and workshops.
Galerie Camera Work
Camera Work gallery was founded in 1992 and focuses mainly on art photography. It shows famous contemporary photographers such as Michel Compte and Blaise Reutersward, but also vintage photographs by Helmut Newton, Irving Penn and Diane Arbus.
This gallery takes its name from the important German photographer Rudolf Kicken. It focuses on 20th century photography from the German and Czech avant-garde, which includes the Bauhaus movement and artists such as Man Ray. In addition, the gallery shows contemporary fashion, conceptual photography and subjective photography from the 1950s.
Photo Edition Berlin
Founded in 2008, the gallery aims to present and promote Berlin-based as well as international artists. One focus is on innovative photography as well as video and multimedia works.
Originally called Gallery 36, this gallery showcases works by renowned photographers and designers and nurtures emerging talent. In addition to the exhibitions, the space has a library, publishing house, artist residency, analog photography lab, and café.
The WOW! Gallery Berlin
Inspired by Berlin creativity, this newly opened modern museum of photography in Berlin offers an interactive space where you design and stage your own photo shoots.
Die WOW! Gallery Berlin verfügt über mehr als 30 verschiedene Installationen, die sich auf einer Fläche von über 1.000 Quadratmetern verteilen. Die Sets umfassen verschiedene Arten der Dekoration und Einrichtung, die von einem Bällebad über eine Konfettiregendusche bis hin zu einem Trampolinsprung über die Berliner Mauer reichen. Die zusätzlich zur Verfügung stehende Beleuchtung und Ausstattung sorgen dafür, dass deine Fotos professionell aussehen.
Whether you want to spice up your Instagram with new photos or just have a cool experience, be sure to visit WOW! Gallery Berlin. Get inspired by the city's art and innovation and create your own unforgettable images to take home as a reminder of Berlin!
Note that the pop-up gallery is only open for 6 months. So be sure to stop by on your next trip to Berlin so you don't miss out on this cool experience!
PiB – Photography in Berlin
„Photography in Berlin“, oft mit der Abkürzung „PiB“ bezeichnet, ist eine kuratierte Plattform für bildende Kunst und Dokumentarfotografie in Berlin. Entdecke alle Highlights der Berliner Fotoszene auf ihrer Website, in ihrem wöchentlichen E-Newsletter oder in der zweimonatlich erscheinenden Printausgabe des PiB Guide.
There you can find out everything about current photo exhibitions, events, courses and more that are currently taking place in Berlin. The platform also offers publications and photo books, interviews with people from the international photo scene and promotes works by talented photographers.
Photography schools in Berlin
Ostkreuzschule is a renowned photography school in Berlin. The photography course in the basic class is designed for beginners and is intended to give students an understanding of photography in its entirety. The master class is a course for more experienced and advanced photographers. Students are usually trained to become either photographers or photo editors.
New School of Photography Berlin
This Berlin photography school has several classrooms, a photo studio, two black and white darkrooms, a color darkroom and a large gallery.
The gallery organizes five to six exhibitions per year and presents the work of students, faculty and also external photographers. It has become part of the Berlin art scene and hosts the annual Leica Oskar Barnack Award. The Neue Schule für Fotografie offers the regular 3.5-year photography course in German, with the goal of providing students with the skills necessary for a successful career in photography. In addition, the school offers an International Class, an English-language photography course for students who wish to spend one or two semesters at the school in Berlin.
In addition to photography courses, the New School of Photography also offers workshops.
Berlin has developed an active street photography scene with many up-and-coming photographers that we would like to focus on in this section. Here are some of the many Berlin street photographers you should look out for soon.
Martin U. Waltz
Martin U Waltz is a street photographer, author and educator based in Berlin. His work is strongly influenced by the constant movement and emotions of the city and reflects the position of people in urban space. He offers photography coaching as well as regular photography workshops in Berlin.
Der in Berlin lebende Maximilian Streich arbeitet sowohl als Fotograf als auch als Markenberater. In seinen Fotografien schafft er eine einzigartige Atmosphäre, indem er zeitlose Momente des Alltags im urbanen Raum festhält. Nach seinem Motto „There is no such thing as bad weather“ („So etwas wie schlechtes Wetter gibt es nicht“) zeigen seine Fotos die verborgene Schönheit in Momenten, die viele Menschen übersehen.
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 uses a dominant color element in his compositions that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Photo walk through Berlin-Mitte
Whether you're on a mission to take amazing photos of Berlin or you just want to explore the city, a photo walk through Berlin is one of the best ways to get to know the city. We've put together a walk for you that will take you past Berlin's most famous landmarks, which are also some of the best photo spots in the city.
1. Government quarter
Start your tour at Berlin's main train station. The station itself, the city's central rail hub, is worth a look with its imposing glass construction. From there, take a tour of the government district with the Federal Chancellery, the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus and the Reichstag building.
The Reichstag building
The Reichstag building houses the German parliament and has a futuristic looking dome on its roof that is open to the public for viewing. This iconic glass structure was designed to reflect natural light into the building. The main hall of the parliament below can be seen from above.
In addition to the 360° view of the Berlin cityscape, the inside of the dome offers amazing images with interesting perspectives and symmetries. Don't forget to book your ticket to visit the Reichstag building online at least a week in advance, as the Reichstag building can get quite booked up.
2. Brandenburger Tor
The Brandenburg Gate is immediately recognizable as belonging to Berlin and therefore should not be missing on your camera roll. The gate is a neoclassical monument from the 18th century. It was built on the site of the former city gate that marked the beginning of a road leading from Berlin to the city of Brandenburg an der Havel.
We recommend you to photograph it at sunset, when a beautiful light falls over the monument. Alternatively, you can go in the evening when the Brandenburg Gate is magically illuminated.
3. Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz is an important public square in the center of Berlin and owes its name to the city of Potsdam, located about 25 km from Berlin. The square marks the place where the former street of Potsdam passed through the Berlin city wall. During the Second World War, 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 from different angles. The square is also a great place for street photography as it is always crowded with people.
The Holocaust Memorial, also known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, consists of 2711 concrete slabs of varying heights. It commemorates the 6 million Jews who were murdered during World War II and is located on the way from the Brandenburg Gate to Potsdamer Platz.
Although it is not an appropriate place to take posed photos for Instagram, it is important to remember the significance of the memorial and what it stands for. Please respect this by not climbing on the concrete slabs when visiting the memorial.
4. Unter den Linden
Dieser wichtige Boulevard in der Mitte Berlins verläuft vom Brandenburger Tor bis zum Berliner Stadtschloss und führt an vielen Berliner Sehenswürdigkeiten vorbei. Genieße deinen Spaziergang auf diesem Boulevard und beobachte das tägliche Geschehen um dich herum. Dies ist auch ein großartiges Gebiet für die Straßenfotografie.
Friedrichstraße is an important cultural, business and shopping street in the center of Berlin. It crosses many other important streets, one of which is Unter den Linden Boulevard. It was heavily destroyed during the Second World War, so nowadays it has many modernized buildings. Stroll along Friedrichstraße to see the daily hustle and bustle of Berliners going about their daily activities.
This large public square is named after the Russian Tsar Alexander I and is often simply called "Alex". It is an important commercial center with more than 360,000 visitors per day. It includes many landmarks, such as the Berlin TV Tower, the Red City Hall and the Nikolai Quarter. So there are many photo opportunities here.
Berlin TV Tower
The Berlin TV Tower is one of the most famous landmarks of Berlin. You can see it from everywhere in the city, because it is the highest building in Berlin! It stands in the center of Alexanderplatz and has an impressive height of 368 meters.
You can go up to the 203 m high observation deck. There you will have a breathtaking 360° view over the whole city and you can take incredible photos. Our tip is to go there during the day when the sky is clear, because you will have the best light. However, you can also take interesting photos with a different lighting at sunset. We recommend you to buy your online ticket in advance to avoid standing in a long queue.
More great photo spots in Berlin
Here we have listed some additional places outside the center of Berlin that we recommend. They will contribute to your first impression of the center of Berlin and allow you to explore different sides of the city. These places offer great photo opportunities!
East Side Gallery
Die East Side Gallery ist die größte Freiluftgalerie der Welt. Sie besteht aus einem 1.316 m langen Teil der Berliner Mauer und ist ein denkmalgeschütztes Wahrzeichen. Etwa 100 Gemälde von Künstlern aus der ganzen Welt sind auf die Wand zu sehen. Schlendre entlang der Mauer, um all die erstaunlichen Gemälde zu betrachten, auf denen die Künstler Freiheit und ihre Ideen rund um das Thema der Berliner Mauer zum Ausdruck bringen.
Oberbaumbrücke is one of the most famous bridges in Berlin. It consists of two levels: Cars and people circulate on the lower level and subways 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 creative pictures. Our tip is to take a photo when one of the yellow trains passes by on top of the bridge, so you get some interesting light trails. The bridge is also beautiful in the evening when it is lit up.
View from the Victory Column
From the observation deck at the top of the Victory Column you have one of the best panoramic views of the Berlin cityscape and the beautiful Tiergarten.
Especially in autumn, the trees in the Tiergarten take on different shades of yellow, orange and red. The majestic Brandenburg Gate and the TV tower in the background contribute to a stunning photo.
Spreepark, the abandoned amusement park
The abandoned amusement park is located in the southeast of Berlin. It was opened to the public in 1969 and finally closed in 2002. Nowadays you can't visit it on your own, but you can take a guided tour of the park.
You can explore all the spooky abandoned attractions up close and take stunning photos!
Teufelsberg is a former US listening station from the Cold War era. It is located on a 114 m high hill of rubble and is now open to the public.
Take a public or private guided tour to walk through the amazing building and then enjoy the impressive view of Berlin! Admire the TV Tower and the Berlin Cathedral from a distance. This is a great photo spot that many tourists don't visit. If you have a little more time and want to enjoy some of the nature around Berlin, take a walk through Grunewald, where Teufelsberg is located. This large forested area is located on the outskirts of the Charlottenburg district.
Photo tours in Berlin
If you prefer to take part in a photo tour of Berlin, there are many options to choose from. You can easily research the available public and private tours with local photographers online. The guides will expertly show you the best photo spots in Berlin and also give you valuable tips on how to perfect your shots.
What is the Berlin Welcome Card?
The Berlin Welcome Card is the official tourist card of Berlin. It gives you free public transportation, a free city guide, and discounted admission to over 200 Berlin sights and attractions. In addition, you can use it to purchase discounted tickets to museums such as the Berlinische Galerie, the C/O Berlin Foundation and the Museum für Fotografie Berlin.
What is the Museumspass Berlin?
With the 3-day Museumspass Berlin you get free admission to over 30 exhibitions and museums on three consecutive days. It's also available as an online ticket, so you don't have to stand in a long line on site. The pass includes museums such as the Berlinische Galerie and the Museum für Fotografie Berlin.
Where can I find information about current photography exhibitions in Berlin?
Conclusion: Photography in Berlin - The Ultimate Guide
After taking in all this inspiration from Berlin's dynamic photography scene, grab your camera and explore the city from your own perspective! Let Berlin's amazing photo spots, exhibitions and photographers guide you on your personal quest to explore and develop your own photographic journey.