Nominated as European Museum of the Year in 2008, the privately funded DDR Museum is an engrossing, interactive glimpse into life behind the Iron Curtain. It explores and presents the every day lives of those who lived in the German Democratic Republic (the Deutsche Demokratische Republik in German, hence the DDR moniker) before the Wall came down.
This museum examines both sides of life in the GDR to great effect. The sinister side manifests in examples of the heavy-duty military border defences along the Berlin Wall, and covert listening devices that ‘bug’ you. The lighter side encourages you to explore traditional homes, rummage through cupboards, browse magazines, relax in a traditional living room and drive a Trabi, the most popular car in the GDR. Archive films and artefacts show how the inhabitants holidayed, including that stereotypical German favourite – the nudist beach.
An instant success upon opening, it has fast grown into one of Berlin’s most visited museums, but don’t let that put you off – there’s room for everyone.
The authentic restaurant serves dishes still found in East German households such as Boulette, Milchreis, Jägerschnitzel, Soljanka, Gulash, Broiler, or pasta with sugar. This cuisine is quite different from Bavarian fare and not easy to find in restaurants, so take full advantage of the rarity here.
Most GDR products have not survived the transformation to capitalism, but the ones that have are available in the shop. Examples include Rotkäpchen Sparkling Wine, Knusperflocken sweets, traditional egg holders and Spreewaldgurken. If the museum stimulated your appetite for knowledge, sort through the DVD collection with films like ‘Goodbye, Lenin’ or CDs from the Puhdys and Karat. For the German-speaking visitors we recommend the classic film ‘3 Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel’.
+49 (0) 30 847 123 731
Monday – Friday 10.00 – 20.00
Saturday 10.00 – 22.00
U-Bahn: Alexanderplatz (U2, U5, U8)
S-Bahn: Hackescher Markt (S5, S7, S9, S75)