Doubling as the HQ of the many-stranded Stadtmuseum Berlin, the Märkisches Museum stands on the banks of the River Spree and backs on to the pretty Köllnischen Park. It is housed in a Neo-Gothic collage of monastic buildings designed by famous German architect Ludwig Hoffmann and opened in 1908. Inside the ecclesiastical theme continues with airy, light-filled interior punctuated with arched windows and a sprinkling of religious statuary. The displays showcase the history of the city and the Märkisches has several thoughtful permanent exhibitions, including ‘Here is Berlin!’, which takes a chronological look at the evolution of the city, and ‘Wall | Pieces’ exhibits several graffiti-ridden pieces of the Berlin Wall. Temporary displays might cover black-and-white images of the destruction of Berlin in World War II, while kids can have fun with the collection of automated pianos and organs, puppets, the 3D 19th-century camera and the mock-up of a barber’s shop.