Night at the German museums

Night at the German museums

by Heather Ann Cosimo
Stripes Europe

Have you ever wondered what happens after-hours in a museum?

If you watched Ben Stiller’s lively encounters as a night watchman in “Night at the Museum” you may possess some imaginative ideas. Come find out what really happens after dark at one of Germany’s Long Night of Museums. Hosted by major cities on designated dates throughout the year, cultural institutions and museums stay open until the wee hours of the morning.

One flat entrance fee allows visitors to tour all exhibitions and establishments. There are guided tours, live music, workshops, readings and performances. Complimentary shuttle services ensure hassle-free transport to all participating venues, especially off-the-beaten path ones. Add in a splash of food and drink and it is an artful evening to consider.

“The concept is simple, to provide a chance to view multiple exhibits beyond usual opening hours. Hopefully, introducing new crowds to art and breaking through any reservations people may have about culture. The Long Nights of Museums attracts all kinds of people: those who work during the day, connoisseurs, know-nothings, young, old, families and singles,” said a German Consulate representative. 

In 1997, the first event was established in Berlin with 12 participating institutions. Today in the capital city, that number exceeds 70. It is now held twice a year, during winter and summer. The ticket allows access to all participating museums in addition to free use of the shuttle bus routes ( The next date for 2016 is Saturday, August 27. Admission is €18, with free admission to children under 12. The main gathering place is the Kulturforum at Potsdamer Platz. The events will begin at 6 p.m. and run until 2 a.m.

Gaining popularity over the years, the Long Night of Museums has spread to other cities including: Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Kassel, Munich and Stuttgart. Extended viewing hours makes it possible to cover assorted periods of art and collections. This enables guests to scout out Picasso, Baroque oil paintings, Goethe, Renaissance, sculptures and artifacts all in one night. Cologne will host its next Long Night of Museums on October 29, beginning at 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.




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