Berlin really is for everyone: what to do with teenagers

Berlin really is for everyone: what to do with teenagers

Here’s the bad news; rental bikes, fragments of the Wall and a panoply of Nazi lowlights – that just doesn’t really cut any longer with teenaged visitors. Even as recently as a decade ago, your average fifteen year old would have eagerly dived in to Berlin’s unique history but, sorry, the sun is setting on its relevance for the next generation.

Boomers and X-ers needn’t worry. Berlin’s DNA thrives on constant reinvention, whether out of necessity for just for shiggles, and the city has been the European focal point for tech innovation since the turn of the millennium. And, while from Shanghai to Seattle, that has all passed us by in a dollar-fuelled blur, the German fetish for documenting the present has held true – modern, relevant, and utterly fascinating museums are the Next Big Thing in Berlin, especially in our borough and the other central neighbourhoods of Berlin.

Let us take you on a teenager-tested tour of just a handful of these new, unmissable collections of human knowledge – fascination on steroids!

imago-berlinImago 1:1 – The largest photo booth in the world:

The Aufbau Haus in Kreuzberg is home to the IMAGO 1:1, a walk-in large-format camera. This, the only existing camera of its type, was built in the 1970s by German physicist Werner Kraus and artist Erhard Hößle. It is based on an optical system invented by Kraus for scientific purposes.

The device hibernated in museum storage from 1976 to 2006, when it was rediscovered and rebuilt by the inventor’s daughter, artist Susanna Kraus.

Visitors can use its unique shooting system to create life-size black and white portraits directly on photographic paper. Simply walk through the door into the interior of the camera, look at the reflected image and take the photo. An unusual experience, to say the least!

IMAGO 1:1 in Berlin is a fascinating and unique experience that can captivate teenagers and adults alike! Questions? Were are hoteliers rather than nutty professors, but we will do our best…

What is IMAGO 1:1?

    • IMAGO 1:1 is a one-of-a-kind large-format which you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
    • It captures life-sized portraits on a special direct positive black-and-white paper.
    • The camera itself is gigantic, measuring 7 meters in height, 4 meters in width, and 3 meters in depth.
    • When you step inside, it feels like entering a gigantic photo booth where you become the subject of a unique portrait.

How does it work?

    • The process is magical: light particles touch you when the shutter is released, creating your life-sized image.
    • Within just 10 minutes, you’ll hold your IMAGOgram in your hands—a true original, an irreplaceable masterpiece.
    • Each portrait is 1:1 scale, meaning it accurately represents your actual size.

Why Teens will forever think that selfies are lame:

    • Interactive Art: Teenagers can actively participate in the creation of their own portrait.
    • Uniqueness: The concept of having a one-of-a-kind portrait appeals to their sense of individuality.
    • Black and White Aesthetics: The timeless beauty of black-and-white photography will resonate with young minds.
    • Statement Piece: Displaying a life-sized portrait becomes a conversation starter and a personal statement.


    • Location: IMAGO 1:1 is situated barely 20 minutes’ walk from Die Fabrik.
    • Experience Duration: All in all, this is a good hour well spent although the core process, from posing to receiving your portrait, takes around 10 minutes.
    • Memorable Souvenir: Imagine having a giant portrait of yourself as a memento of your Berlin visit!

So, if your teenagers appreciate art, photography, and the thrill of being part of something extraordinary, IMAGO 1:1 is definitely worth a visit. For more information, you can explore their official website.

Prinzenstraße 85 D
10969  Berlin

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri plus Sun, 14:00–19:00
Sat: 12:00-1800

illuseumIlluseum Berlin

Teenagers can have a fantastic time at the Illuseum Berlin! Located in the heart of Berlin, this unique museum offers a blend of fun, interactivity, and education for visitors of all ages. Here’s why teenagers might just get a kick out of it:

  • Interactive Illusions: The Illuseum features over 80 exhibits that will fool their eyes and entertain their natural curiosity. From mind-bending optical illusions to interactive experiences, teenagers can immerse themselves in a world of WTF.
  • Vortex Tunnel: For the brave-hearted, there’s the Vortex Tunnel, which creates the illusion that the world is spinning around them. It’s a thrilling experience that challenges their senses.
  • Ames-Room: Watch loved ones appear to shrink and grow in the Ames-Room, where perspective tricks play delightful games with perception.
  • Reverse Gravity Room: In the upside-down room, they can defy gravity and pretend to fly or stick to the ceiling. It’s a fun twist on reality.
  • Educational Insights: The Illuseum mashes up silliness with valuable learning – it also teaches fascinating facts about our brains and how we perceive the world. Teens can explore wooden puzzles and toys that are both entertaining and thought-provoking.
  • Kaleidoscope: They can marvel at the kaleidoscope, an ancient illusion that beautifully demonstrates how mirrors and angles can deceive our senses. Count the faces you see – it’s a delightful challenge!

Remember, most exhibits are designed to question reality and reveal the magic of illusions. So, whether they’re snapping funny photos or pondering the mysteries of perception, teenagers are sure to have a memorable time at the Illuseum Berlin!

For more information and tickets, visit the Illuseum Berlin website.

Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 9,
10178 Berlin

Opening Hours:
Everyday, 10:00 – 20:00
(Closes at 17:00 on Thursdays)

Magicum Berlin:

Magicum Berlin Magic Museum is a captivating place that can blow the minds of even the most sullen, seen-it-all teenagers. Proof? Many Die Fabric guest families have tested it on real, live specimens and the feedback is first class.

  • Poetic Contrast: Located in the heart of Berlin, near Hackescher Markt and Museumsinsel, Magicum offers a poetic contrast to the bustling city. The neighborhood, once the notorious outskirts of old Berlin, is the perfect setting for myths and magic.
  • Magical Cosmos: Descend into the cellar rooms of the beautifully renovated, listed Hamburger Hof (formerly an old forge). Here, you’ll immerse yourself in a magical cosmos—from Abracadabra to Zaubertrank (magic potion). The exhibition lovingly narrates the origins of magical thinking, ancient sciences, ancestor worship, illusion play, and the power of intuition.
  • Labyrinth of Wonders: Explore the labyrinthine exhibition spaces and marvel at exhibits from diverse cultures and continents. From ancient world religions to hidden forces of nature, Magicum weaves a spellbinding tale.
  • Magical Salons: Bask in the enchanting atmosphere of the magical salons. Engage in puzzles and riddles to discover your own magical talents and intuitive abilities.

magicumSo, whether they’re unravelling mysteries or pondering illusions, we reckon that teenagers are sure to find Magicum bewitching.

Große Hamburger Str. 17,
10115 Berlin

Opening Hours:
Open every day from 10:00 to 18:00 (Closes at 19:00 on Saturdays)

Yesterday is today and tomorrow:

From Kherson to Khan Younis, the global news bulletins are a running commentary upon whose turn it is this week to be bombed in to oblivion, and that means that the civilian experience is a relevant today as it was in the the 1940s. That’s as good a reason as any to take a deep dive in to the thoroughly immersive Berlin Underworld Museum – this is where war is, and always will be, everybody’s personal story.

unterweltenWelcome to a fascinating warren of subterranean spaces that sheds light on Berliners’ own experience from an unconventional perspective. Check out some of the most interesting details:

  • Location: The museum is located in the former Bunker B, behind an unassuming door in the Gesundbrunnen underground station in the northern Berlin borough of Wedding. The headquarters of the organisers, the Unterwelten-Verein, is right here, too.
  • Raison d’être: The Berliner Unterwelten e.V. wants to give the general public an insight into the city’s life underground. Bunker B was leased by the BVG transport company in March 1998. Due to its authentic and unique state of preservation, it was awarded listed building status in autumn 1999. Since then, dedicated members of the association have invested more than 10,000 hours of voluntary graft in to restoring and reconstructing the infrastructure.
  • Exhibition: The Berlin Underworlds Museum extends over four underground floors. The constantly updated exhibition shares information on various aspects of Berlin’s history from an underground perspective. The focal points include:
  • Civilian air defence in the Second World War: Eye-witness accounts of being under relentless attack and of the social and psychological effects of the bombing war.
    • Modern archaeological finds and munitions salvage: Insights into archaeological discoveries and salvage operations.
    • The forced-labour register: The story of the discovery and analysis of a forced labour file from a forgotten bunker site.
    • Other themed rooms: Tubular mail (a bewilderingly ingenious system using compressed air to propel correspondence from one end of the city to the other), breweries, railway and modern archaeology, complemented by impressive exhibits and colour photographs.
  • Visit: The Berlin Underworlds Museum is not a conventional museum where visitors can turn up unannounced. It can only be visited as part of the “Dark Worlds Tour” on a public guided excursion or as a booked group tour. A wealth of information about the tour is available on their site in various languages, and bookings can be made with a minimum of fuss.

Brunnenstraße 105,
13355 Berlin

Opening Hours:
Open every day from 10:30 – 16:00

So if you’re looking for unusual and stimulating brain-food for younger visitors to Berlin, these unique destinations will definitely keep them off their phones for a few hours, and they will live long in the memory for many years to come!


Images: Generously made available by Unspash & Creative Commons.