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DDR Museum

Leaf through original Communist school books and put your ear to secret police listening devices at this truly hands-on museum.

This popular and award-winning private museum aims to educate visitors about everyday life in socialist-era East Germany. DDR stands for Deutsche Demokratische Republik, which referred to the former East Germany. The English term is German Democratic Republic, or GDR.

Among the everyday artifacts here you’ll see magazines, canned food, government-issue kitchen and living room layouts, board games and typewriters. The museum encourages you to touch the exhibits; there are drawers and cupboards to explore, sofas to sit on, and Cold War-era television shows to watch.

Just inside the entrance sits one of the country's most iconic creations, the Trabant. These noisy little cars were the manufacturing pride of the East German government; more than 3 million were produced. Get behind the wheel of one of these vehicles and go for a simulated ride through East German streets.

While the museum highlights the domestic aspects of life under the GDR, it doesn’t shy away from the political realities of the times. Take a seat inside a recreated interrogation room used by the Stasi, the East German secret police. Or, listen in to a surveillance device used to spy on East German citizens. There's a second car in this museum, too, and it's very different to the standard Trabant. A luxurious Volvo limousine, one of the cars used by top members of the GDR government, gives insight into the lack of equality inside the country. Different kinds of media, from children's books to newspapers and TV newsreels, also give a sense of the propaganda prominent at the time.

This is a rather small museum, but it's very detailed, so allow a few hours for your visit. It can also get crowded; be prepared to wait to try the hands-on exhibits. If you get hungry, try some traditional German food at the museum restaurant next door.

The DDR Museum is directly across the canal from the Berliner Dom on Museum Island, and is easily accessible by S-Bahn, U-Bahn, bus, tram and canal boat.


Guide to Exploring around DDR Museum


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Lodging Near DDR Museum

See all 939 Hotels near DDR Museum
Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt $63
Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt

Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt

Charlottenstrasse 66, Berlin
     
    4.1
    of 5, from 1,718 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gendarmenmarkt, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, and Galeries Lafayette. Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag Building are also within 1 mi (2 km).

    Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz $78
    Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz

    Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz

    Alexanderplatz 7, Berlin
       
      4.0
      of 5, from 7,370 reviews
      4.5 out of 5.0

      Located in Mitte, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Alexanderplatz, TV Tower, and Red Town Hall. DDR Museum and Nikolaikirche are also within 15 minutes.

      The Westin Grand, Berlin $128
      The Westin Grand, Berlin

      The Westin Grand, Berlin

      Friedrichstr. 158-164, Berlin
         
        4.4
        of 5, from 1,949 reviews
        5.0 out of 5.0

        In Mitte, Berlin's historic district, the hotel is located where boulevard Unter den Linden meets Friedrichstrasse and is close to Brandenburg Gate, Gendarmenmarkt, Museum Island, and Potsdamer Platz.

        Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin $108
        Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin

        Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin

        Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 3, Berlin
           
          4.6
          of 5, from 6,743 reviews
          5.0 out of 5.0

          Located in the historic Mitte neighborhood, this Berlin hotel is on the banks of the River Spree and close to Berlin Cathedral, Alexanderplatz Square, and Museum Island, not to mention the metro station for those wishing to explore farther.

          Select Hotel Berlin The Wall $70
          Select Hotel Berlin The Wall

          Select Hotel Berlin The Wall

          Zimmerstrasse 88, Berlin
             
            4.5
            of 5, from 1,041 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Mitte, this hotel is steps from Checkpoint Charlie and Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Galeries Lafayette and Gendarmenmarkt are also within 15 minutes.

            Select Hotel Berlin Ostbahnhof $74
            Select Hotel Berlin Ostbahnhof

            Select Hotel Berlin Ostbahnhof

            Lange Strasse 31, Berlin
               
              4.2
              of 5, from 1,008 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Friedrichshain, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Mercedes-Benz Arena and Nikolaikirche. Alexanderplatz and TV Tower are also within 2 mi (3 km).

              Maritim proArte Hotel Berlin $102
              Maritim proArte Hotel Berlin

              Maritim proArte Hotel Berlin

              Friedrichstrasse 151, Berlin
                 
                4.1
                of 5, from 977 reviews
                4.5 out of 5.0

                In the central Mitte district, this hotel is steps from Unter den Linden and a 2-minute walk from a subway station. Brandenburg Gate, Gendarmenmarkt, and Museum Island are all within 0.8 km (0.5 mi).

                Novotel Berlin Mitte $83
                Novotel Berlin Mitte

                Novotel Berlin Mitte

                Fischerinsel 12, Berlin
                   
                  4.3
                  of 5, from 1,990 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  In Berlin's Mitte (central) district, this hotel is about a 5-minute walk from a U-Bahn subway station and 0.9 km (0.6 mi) from Museum Island and Gendarmenmarkt. Brandenburg Gate is 2 km (1.2 mi) away.