Jul 18, 2022
Museum Island is a city within a city, a world within a world. This is Berlin, the German capital, filled with history and culture, with vibrant neighbourhoods and contemporary attractions, daylight buzz and night-time joy, and yet within it you have a small place where you could spend your entire stay and consider it a visit well spent.
A landmass in the middle of the River Spree in central Berlin, Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its own right, home to five world-class museums, several parks, restaurants, coffee shops and more. It’s also the place you will find Capri by Fraser, Berlin - a stylish, design-led hotel residence with all of the facilities necessary for business and leisure travellers.
Guests here wake up in the heart of Museum Island, and this is how to spend the ultimate 24 hours in one of Berlin’s most amazing locales.
Enjoy a leisurely awakening in one of Europe’s most exciting cities, and the chance to either make a coffee and a light breakfast in the kitchenette that all apartments at Capri by Fraser, Berlin come equipped with or wander downstairs for something a little more substantial.
Pay attention when you're in the lobby (above) to the archaeological excavation site that was discovered by chance during the construction of the building, and that has been preserved and showcased through a glass floor.
And then continue on to Caprilicious, Capri’s on-site restaurant, for an a la carte breakfast and coffee.
The magnificent Pergamon is the most visited museum in Berlin, and as such it’s well worth getting there early to beat the crowds. Start your journey by walking along the canal-front at Friedrichsgracht, through the Lustgarten and on to the Pergamon – it’s about a 20-minute stroll.
At the Pergamon (above), take a few hours to peruse the amazing collection of antiquities held across three sprawling wings of the museum. Highlights include the huge Roman Pergamon Alter, built in the 2nd century BC, the Roman Market Gate of Miletus, a colossal marble monument, and the Ishtar Gate, recovered from the remains of the city of Babylon.
After the Pergamon, it’s just a short walk to the Bode Museum, another sprawling space this time dedicated to artworks from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, in particular sculptures and coins. Here, find sculptural works by Donatello and Bernini, as well as more than 4000 coins and medals that stretch back to the 7th century BC.
If you happen to visit the Bode on a weekend, there’s also a flea market that takes place on the riverfront from 10am to 5pm.
It's lunchtime in Berlin, and if the weather is fine then you most definitely want to do as the locals do and spend some time in the sun. The best way to do that on Museum Island is to duck across the historic Friedrichs Bridge to Gran Café – about an 8-minute walk – to pick up some takeaway food.
A must-try is the German classic, a “Berliner currywurst” (above), a sausage with curry sauce and chips, or go with the Kasesspaetzle, small potato dumplings with cheese sauce, and take it back across to the Lustgarten.
This grassy inner-city parkland is the perfect place for an impromptu picnic, which can be taken with beautiful views of Berlin Cathedral to one side, and the Altes Museum on the other. Of course, if it’s winter, or the weather is bad, simply dine in at Gran Café.
The tour of Museum Island’s cultural highlights continues now with a visit to Neues Museum, yet another incredible building, this time constructed in 1859, all but destroyed during World War II, and then painstakingly resurrected and re-imagined over 10 years from the late 20th century.
The Neues Museum houses the Egyptian Museum of Berlin, and though its attractions are numerous and varied, most visitors go directly to the bust of Nefertiti. This sculpture of the wife of Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten is perhaps the single most famous piece on Museum Island, if not all of Berlin. Crafted in 1345 BC, it is stunningly well-preserved.
It’s also worth spending time, touring the many artefacts from the Stone Age and later prehistoric eras. It’s worth noting, too, that you could dedicate an entire day to each of the museums on Museum Island and still not have seen everything interesting.
Take the 15-minute stroll from the Neues Museum back to Capri by Fraser, Berlin. Catch a quick breather before you head out to experience Berlin by night. Kick off the evening on-site at Drinx, the cocktail bar in the lobby. Settle in with an aperitif – take a suggestion from one of the friendly bar staff for the perfect tipple – before heading out to dinner.
There are two excellent choices for dinner, both of which are a very short walk from the property. It just depends on what you’re in the mood for.
If you're looking for a fine-dining restaurant that serves elegant Japanese-Italian fusion fare with a creative edge, stop at Restaurant Balthazar your choice. It's just a 5-minute walk across the river. The service here is excellent, and the views across the Spree to Museum Island, unrivalled.
If you’re after something with more of a local flavour, walk a little further down the river to Zille-Stube, which serves classic German cuisine in a dining room adorned with historic Berlin bric-a-brac. Grab a schnitzel and a beer - you can’t go wrong.
Berlin is famous for its nightlife, and while Museum Island itself has limited options for late-evening entertainment, it’s just a short walk north to Hackescher Markt, an area with myriad bars and pubs.
Grab a tipple at The Liberate, a classy, cosy cocktail bar with a friendly crowd. It’s also just a 15-minute walk from Liberate back to Capri by Fraser, Berlin. But before that, you should factor in time to call at Rum Club, another cosy bar specialising in… well, you guessed it, rum-based drinks. Perfect nightcap material to end a great day out!