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.
Located in Berlin City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Konzerthaus Berlin and Gendarmenmarkt. Checkpoint Charlie Museum and Galeries Lafayette are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Berlin City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Alexanderplatz and Red Town Hall. Nikolaikirche and Museum Island are also within 1 mi (2 km).
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.
Located in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, this hotel is steps from Checkpoint Charlie and Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Galeries Lafayette and Gendarmenmarkt are also within 15 minutes.
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.
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).
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).
Located in Berlin City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gendarmenmarkt, Galeries Lafayette, and Berlin Cathedral. Museum Island and DDR Museum are also within 10 minutes.