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Art & Design Experiences in Berlin

A cosmopolitan European capital with a turbulent past, Berlin is renowned for its vast array of historical sites and will provide your group with an invaluable educational and cultural experience. This creative city is reflected in its visit options for Art & Design students: from world-renowned art galleries to the open-air Berlin Wall East Side Gallery, Street Art Tours and one of the most influential schools of architecture, design and art of the 20th century, the Bauhaus Archive.

Berlin will inspire your students which is home to some of the most impressive architecture in the world reflected in the design of the city’s museums and iconic landmarks. Being able to gaze upon works of art created by famous artists and admiring the unique architecture helps to generate discussion, debate and the opportunity to sketch and improve artistic and drawing skills.

With so much to see and do our included city travel card will enable you to make journeys across the length and breadth of the city. We then recommend you don your walking shoes so you make the most of your visits to each of the attractions.

You may well choose to begin your exploration of the city at Potsdamer Platz, the most striking example of the urban renewal that turned Berlin into the ‘New Berlin’ in the 1990s. The area today consists of the three developments known as Daimler City, the Sony Centre and the Beisheim Centre, which literally transformed the dormant wasteland where the Berlin Wall stood between east and west Berlin until 1989. The challenge of rebuilding the heart of post Cold War Berlin was no trifling matter – how to transform a desolate sandy wasteland into the new German capital’s city centre - and what can be seen today is rightly regarded as a successful compromise. 

01 Tour Highlights

Bauhaus Archiv Museum of Design

This famous Bauhaus building, known as Bauhaus Archiv, now houses the Museum of Design. Designed by Walter Gropius, it was built by Gropius’ long-time associate Alec Cvijanovic.

This popular and accessible museum includes an introduction in English to the overall context of the times and a permanent exhibition with original artefacts such as furniture, ceramics, sculpture and photographs from the Bauhaus Workshop of the 1920s. Gropius’ original model of the building is also an exhibit.

Bauhaus, which stands for the early 20th century modernist, aesthetic movement and educational philosophy, was founded as a state-run school by Walter Gropius in Weimar. The Bauhaus workshop, as it was known, operated from 1919 to 1933 and regained public interest in West Germany after the war.

East Side Gallery

The East Side Gallery is a 1.3 km-long painted stretch of the former Berlin Wall along the Mühlenstrasse in former East Berlin. It is the largest open-air gallery in the world with over one hundred original mural paintings. Galvanised by the extraordinary events which were changing the world, artists from all around the globe rushed to Berlin after the fall of the Wall, leaving a visual testimony of the joy and spirit of liberation which erupted at the time.

Wall murals had been a highlight for visitors and a Berlin attraction for years, but were only to be found on the western side of the Wall. Some of the best known paintings include “The Mortal Kiss” by Dimitrji Vrubel, of Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev’s mouth-to-mouth embrace and Birgit Kinder’s Trabi (Trabant) knocking down the Wall. The paintings which still reflect the patchwork, eclectic and bohemian atmosphere of Berlin today are a mixed-bag of surreal images, political statements and graffiti-like effusions. Guided themed tours aimed at school groups can be arranged, lasting 1-1½ hrs. Arrangements can also be made to meet an artist.

Alte Nationalgalerie

Alte National Galerie houses one of the most important collections of 19th century paintings in Germany and includes masterpieces by Caspar David Friedrich, Adolph Menzel, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir and Auguste Rodin. Amongst the most important highlights are Friedrich’s “Der Mönch am Meer” (from 1810), Adolph Menzel’s “Flotenkonzert Friedrich des Großen in Sanssouci” (1852) and Edouard Manet’s “Im Wintergarten” (1879).

The Museum was built between 1866 and 1876 and restored in neoclassical style by Friedrich August Stüler in the style of a Greek temple. The Museum reopened to the public after a thorough restoration in 2001. The Alte National Galerie is one of the five museums forming the ensemble known as Berlin’s Museum Island – a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Berlinische Galerie (Modern Art)

The Berlinische Galerie is one of the newest museums in the German capital and collects art from Berlin dating from 1870 to the present day – with both a local and international focus.

Fine art – painting, graphics, sculpture, multimedia – photography, architecture and artists’ archives provide a rich source, whose interdisciplinary relationships create exciting dialogues. Its outstanding collections include Dada Berlin, the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) and the Eastern European avant-garde. The art of the divided and reunified city of Berlin provides another focus.

The Atelier Bunter Jakob is an art studio deep inside the museum, and it provides a space for children and teenagers to do creative work. Artists join the discussions about what art actually is and why it matters to us. Art and reality are explored in exciting, productive ways. This studio has to be booked in advance and costs may apply. Following renovations the Berlinische Galerie re-opened in Spring 2015 with special exhibitions and a new presentation of its permanent collection.

The Reichstag

Following German reunification in 1990, the Bundestag (German Federal Parliament) decided to make the Reichstag building the seat of Parliament in Berlin, the restored capital of reunited Germany. After a complete restoration of Paul Wallot’s original 1894 building, the Bundestag reconvened here in Sir Norman Foster’s spectacularly restored Reichstag building on 19th April 1999.

Foster was commissioned to carry out the mammoth conversion project, which caused heated controversy as his original design of a baldachin roof covering the entire building was rejected in 1995. The Bundestag voted for a slightly more conservative reconstruction of the original dome in modern guise. In fact the Reichstag’s new dome with its vast central glass cylinder is amongst the most impressive features visually and technically designed to reflect natural light into the plenary chamber.

A visit to the Reichstag is a must, a highlight includes the lift ride to the top of the building to a large viewing terrace for the breath-taking views of Tiergarten, the dome and the mirror cylinder at the centre. All groups are pre-booked with details of identification sent in advance.

02 Accommodation

Transit Loft

This 19th century factory has been modernised and converted into a youth hotel. It is situated within a courtyard just ten minutes walk from Alexanderplatz.

Hotel Transit

This building was originally an enamel factory that was converted into a youth hotel in the 1980s. It is located in a quiet courtyard in the Kreuzberg area.

Steps Apartments

This traditional building has been converted into a family-run youth hotel. It is located in the Wedding district of Berlin – ideal if you want to be away from the city centre.

Singer 109

Situated close to Alexanderplatz – this building recently was restored and converted into a youth hotel. Singer 109 is located within a courtyard with an atrium.

Acama Group

The Acama Group has three hotels in central Berlin – two in Kreuzberg and one on the Ku’Damm. The Acama hotels have excellent facilities for youth groups and the central location of Acama Ku’Damm makes this hotel the most popular choice.

03 Further Information

Your Meals

Your package price includes continental breakfast each morning. For lunches and dinners you can choose to make your own arrangements, alternatively your Study Experiences Tours Specialist can pre-book packed lunches or arrange affordable, value for money meals from a selected number of restaurants in and around Berlin.

Your Study Experiences Tour Manager

A Study Experiences Tour Manager will meet your group at the airport, transfer with you to your accommodation for check-in and provide a half day's service/guidance. Additional Tour Manager services can be added to your quote depending on your group's requirements.

Group Size

Our prices are based on a minimum group size of 20 students.

Your Choice of Travel Dates

As our Berlin trips are available throughout the year, during term time and also during half terms and holidays, you are able to select travel dates that suit you and your students. Please note that certain dates may carry a supplement to the prices shown. In particular, tours during the Easter Holidays can be prohibitively expensive.

Your Educational Visits & Attractions

To ensure that you make the most of your trip to Berlin your Tours Specialist is able to arrange a wide choice of educational visits, activities and dining options. Full details of everything you might wish to see and do are available in our Berlin ‘Educational Visits and Attractions Guide’.

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