Walk through ancient Babylon, meet an Egyptian queen, clamber up a Greek altar or be mesmerised by Monet's ethereal landscapes. Welcome to Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin's most important treasure trove, spanning 6000 years' worth of art, artefacts, sculpture and architecture from Europe and beyond. Spread across five grand museums built between 1830 and 1930, the complex takes up the entire northern half of the little Spree Island where Berlin's settlement began in the 13th century.

The first repository to open was the Altes Museum, which presents Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities. Behind it, the Neues Museum showcases the Egyptian collection, most famously the bust of Queen Nefertiti, and also houses the Museum of Pre- and Early History. The temple-like Alte Nationalgalerie trains the focus on 19th-century European art. The island's top draw is the Pergamonmuseum, with its monumental architecture from ancient worlds, including the namesake Pergamonaltar. The Bode-Museum, at the island's northern tip, is famous for its medieval sculptures.