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Berlin | David Bowie Exhibition

David Bowie Exhibition
The Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin

Last week I spent a few days in Berlin as birthday present to myself.  Aside from seeing friends, the David Bowie Exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau was at the top of my wish list.  I’ve been on a total Bowie kick for the last couple of years, and since he has such a strong connection to Berlin — living for three years in Schöneberg in the late 70’s  and recording three albums there —  I did not want to miss the exhibition!

And I definitely was not disappointed.  Unsurprisingly, it’s a complete multimedia experience.  You can take a close look at Bowie’s handwritten lyrics, costumes, and paintings while listening to the audio guide that automatically plays songs and interviews that correspond to your specific location in the exhibit.

It was fascinating to see how completely Bowie integrated his love for painting and theater into his music.  I walked away with a real sense of how he progressed as an artist over the decades —  as well as the extent of his influence on music, fashion, and culture.

David Bowie Suit
David Bowie in brown suit (featured in the exhibit).
David Bowie Heroes
The Heroes album
David Bowie
David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust (costume in exhibit). Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita.

If you’re anywhere near Berlin between now and August 10th, I highly recommend taking some time to visit the exhibition.  If not, you may still be in luck!  Here are the next stops on the tour:

  • 20 September 2014 to January 2015: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
  • 2 March to 31 May 2015: Philharmonie de Paris/Cité de la Musique, Paris
  • 15 December 2015 to 15 March 2016: Groninger Museum, the Netherlands

Tips for your visit

Since the exhibition is popular and the lines are long, purchasing an online ticket (€14 + €1.20 booking fee) for a specific time window is absolutely the way to go.  I didn’t have to wait in line for even a second before being let in.  That being said, the online timed tickets sold out a couple of days in advance — so plan accordingly!  Or if you’re flexible, check out ebay Kleinanzeigen for spare tickets for sale, (which is what I did).

Another thing to keep in mind is that the exhibition is totally packed on the weekend, so if you can manage to visit during the week, you’ll probably have a much more relaxed experience.

Martin-Gropius-Bau – Niederkirchnerstraße 7 – U-bahn or S-bahn Potsdamer Platz

Are you a Bowie fan?  What’s your favorite album?  


  1. Natalye says:

    I was really impressed with the thoroughness of the exhibit, though I thought the layout left a little to be desired, with no clear “path” in the rooms. If you read things in the order you entered the room, they would be backward, which was kind of annoying to me (a lot of needless moving around). But as far as the contents, it was a really good look into his life, with so many little touches that I really appreciated. I really liked the section with all the photos in Berlin! Also, I never knew about his dilated pupil, so it was fun to get that bit of trivia.

    • Hi Natalye, I’m glad you mentioned the lack of a path or specific order. It was so crowded during my visit that I just went wherever there was space and so I didn’t notice that about the exhibit. I loved those Berlin photos too! I loved that he came to Berlin to get clean and center himself — kind of the opposite of what you might expect these days. ;)

  2. Steven says:

    I saw that this was coming and I wanted very much to see it. Alas, my last visit to Berlin was just before it started and my next visit will be just after it ends. It looks like an amazing exhibition though.

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