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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 993 Properties near DDR Museum
Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz $71
Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz

Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz

Alexanderplatz 7, Berlin
     
    4.0
    of 5, from 7,539 reviews
    4.5 out of 5.0

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

    Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin $106
    Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin

    Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin

    Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 3, Berlin
       
      4.6
      of 5, from 6,898 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 Gendarmenmarkt $71
      Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt

      Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt

      Charlottenstrasse 66, Berlin
         
        4.1
        of 5, from 1,786 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Friedrichstrasse and Gendarmenmarkt. Checkpoint Charlie Museum and Galeries Lafayette are also within 10 minutes.

        The Westin Grand, Berlin $153
        The Westin Grand, Berlin

        The Westin Grand, Berlin

        Friedrichstr. 158-164, Berlin
           
          4.4
          of 5, from 1,974 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.

          Hampton By Hilton Berlin City Centre Alexanderplatz $87
          Hampton By Hilton Berlin City Centre Alexanderplatz

          Hampton By Hilton Berlin City Centre Alexanderplatz

          Otto-Braun-Strasse 69, Berlin
             
            4.4
            of 5, from 376 reviews
            3.5 out of 5.0

            Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Torstrasse and Alexanderplatz. TV Tower and Nikolaikirche are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Adina Apartment Hotel Berlin Hackescher Markt $91
            Adina Apartment Hotel Berlin Hackescher Markt

            Adina Apartment Hotel Berlin Hackescher Markt

            An der Spandauer Bruecke 11, Berlin
               
              4.7
              of 5, from 2,025 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              This family-friendly Berlin hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Berlin Dungeon, Museum Island, and DDR Museum. Berlin Cathedral and TV Tower are also within 10 minutes.

              Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz $102
              Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz

              Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz

              Grunerstrasse 11, Berlin
                 
                4.7
                of 5, from 48 reviews
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Located in Mitte, this motel is within a 5-minute walk of TV Tower and Alexanderplatz. Nikolaikirche and DDR Museum are also within 15 minutes.

                IntercityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof $91
                IntercityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof

                IntercityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof

                Katharina Paulus Strasse 5, Berlin
                   
                  4.4
                  of 5, from 2,611 reviews
                  0.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of German Chancellery and Reichstag Building. Brandenburg Gate and Victory Column are also within 1 mi (2 km).