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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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Best Lodging Options Near DDR Museum

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Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt $54
Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt

Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt

Charlottenstrasse 66, Berlin, BE
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Friedrichstrasse, Gendarmenmarkt, and Konzerthaus Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie and Checkpoint Charlie Museum are also within 10 minutes. City Center U-Bahn and Stadtmitte Stationn are within a 5-minute walk.

    Select Hotel Berlin The Wall $59
    Select Hotel Berlin The Wall

    Select Hotel Berlin The Wall

    Zimmerstrasse 88, Berlin, BE
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Mitte, this hotel is steps from Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstrasse, and Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Gendarmenmarkt and Potsdamer Platz are also within 15 minutes. City Center U-Bahn and Kochstrasse U-Bahn are within a 5-minute walk.

      Hampton By Hilton Berlin City Centre Alexanderplatz $89
      Hampton By Hilton Berlin City Centre Alexanderplatz

      Hampton By Hilton Berlin City Centre Alexanderplatz

      Otto-Braun-Strasse 69, Berlin
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Torstrasse and Alexanderplatz. Berlin TV Tower and DDR Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). Alexanderplatz U-Bahn is 7 minutes by foot and Schillingstrasse U-Bahn is 7 minutes.

        Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz $95
        Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz

        Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz

        Alexanderplatz 7, Berlin, BE
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Mitte, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Alexanderplatz and Berlin TV Tower. Red Town Hall and DDR Museum are also within 15 minutes. Alexanderplatz U-Bahn and Alexanderplatz Station are within a 5-minute walk.

          Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin $127
          Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin

          Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin

          Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 3, Berlin, BE
             
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Berlin hotel is located in the historical district, steps from DDR Museum, Aquadom, and Berlin Cathedral. Berlin TV Tower and Alexanderplatz are also within 10 minutes. Hackescher Markt Station is 6 minutes by foot and Alexanderplatz Station is 7 minutes.

            TITANIC Comfort Berlin Mitte $63
            TITANIC Comfort Berlin Mitte

            TITANIC Comfort Berlin Mitte

            Elisabeth-Mara-Strasse 4, Berlin
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Gendarmenmarkt, Nikolaikirche, and Checkpoint Charlie. Museum Island (Museumsinsel) and Berlin TV Tower are also within 1 mi (2 km). Spittelmarkt U-Bahn is only a 3-minute walk and Markisches Museum U-Bahn is 8 minutes.

              Meininger Hotel Berlin Mitte Humboldthaus $46
              Meininger Hotel Berlin Mitte Humboldthaus

              Meininger Hotel Berlin Mitte Humboldthaus

              Oranienburger Strasse 67/68, Berlin, BE
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Friedrichstrasse, Friedrichstadt-Palast, and Hackescher Markt. DDR Museum and Humboldt University are also within 15 minutes. Oranienburger Straße S-Bahn is only a 2-minute walk and Oranienburger Gate U-Bahn is 4 minutes.

                citystay Hostel Berlin
                citystay Hostel Berlin

                citystay Hostel Berlin

                Rosenstraße 16, Berlin, BE
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Mitte, this hostel is steps from Berlin Dungeon and Aquadom. Berlin TV Tower and DDR Museum are also within 5 minutes. Hackescher Markt Station is only a 5-minute walk and Weinmeisterstrasse U-Bahn is 8 minutes.