Visiting the DDR Museum in Berlin

This guide will help you make the most of your visit, including how to get to the DDR Museum, ticket prices and how long to spend at the museum. The DDR Museum in Berlin is one of the most recommended museums to explore. If you’re from the States, you might be confused. No, it’s not about Dance Dance Revolution! The Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) is the German version of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) or rather, East Germany.  Purchase skip the line tickets here.

TIP: The DDR Museum is included either for free or at a discount with both the Berlin Welcome Card and the City Tour Card.

Is the DDR Museum worth going to?

Yes! The DDR Museum is the highlight of my guests visits to Berlin. Not only is the museum well-done and informative, it has covers a unique part of German history. East Germany was a closed society and the socialist government controlled many aspects of the residents lives in ways that are hard to imagine for Westerners. This interactive museum gives you a hands on experience for what life was like for East Germans.

As an interactive experience, the museum is great for families with kids. There is even a kindergarten room filled with toys and unlike most museums, you’re encouraged to touch and play with them. For older children, many computer simulations and videos can provide hours of entertainment and education.

DDR Museum reviews are consistently good, with mostly 4 and 5 star reviews. It is included on most Top 10 Museums to visit in Berlin Travel Guides. The most common complaint about this museum is the crowds. Due to its popularity, you’ll often find yourself visiting with tourists and school groups. The museum itself is small with narrow corridors and often lines to get to the more popular exhibits.

The best way to avoid the crowds is to go at an off-time. Many reviews state that going first thing allows you to get in before the crowds. The museum, like many in Berlin, is open late. It’s regularly open until 8pm and 10pm on Saturdays! You can also check Google Live to see how crowded it is before you go!

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How to get to the DDR Museum

Berlin DDR MuseumThe DDR Museum is a destination as you won’t likely accidentally pass it – unless you’re on a boat! The entrance is below the road along the banks of the Spree River, just across from Museum Island and Berlin Dom – the Catholic Cathedral.

While the official address of the DDR Museum is , the entrance is actually on the lower level of the pedestrian footpath, Vera-Brittain-Ufer which runs along the river. You’ll see a lower section closer to the water that looks as if its just for boarding the sightseeing boats, but the entrance to the museum is on that level. It is well signed area pointing you down the stairs to the museum entrance.

 

On public transportation:

For more information on navigating Berlin on public transportation, visit our page.

As with most of Berlin, it is easily accessible by public transportation.The DDR Museum is an easy walk from the Hackescher Markt (S3, S5, S7,  S75). It is about an 8 minute walk from the station to the museum.

Or an 11 minutes from Alexanderplatz S-Bahn (RB14, RE, RE1, RE2, RE7, S3, S5, S7, S75 and U2, U5, U8) stops. 

 

There are also many tram and bus stops nearby.

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Tickets and Visitor Information

Adults: 12 €
Concessions: 8.50 € (Children 6+, Students, Military – proof required)
Children under 6 are free

Purchase skip the line tickets here.

TIP: The DDR Museum is included either for free or at a discount with both the Berlin Welcome Card and the City Tour Card.

Online-VIP-Tickets (skip-the-line) from 8.50 € –this is one of the recommended ways of avoiding the crowds!

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Visitor Tips for the DDR Museum

  • The DDR Museum is open 365 days a year with long hours that are not affected by holidays. Going in the morning or evening will help you avoid the crowds.
  • There are lockers in the foyer by the ticket desk. You’ll need a 1€ to operate the locker, which will be returned to you when you return the key. They are fairly good sized lockers if you need to store backpacks or jackets. However, keep in mind that once you exit the museum, you won’t be able to get back in so take what you want for your visit. The gift shop is, of course, accessible without a ticket but during the winter months, the exhibit room can be chilly!
  • You’ll need to scan you ticket to exit the exhibit so make sure you keep it with you.
  • How long should you spend at the DDR Museum? Most visitors spend about 2 hours there. It is easy to spend longer if you happen to be there at a quiet time and can easily navigate and look into all the drawers.
  • Go in the entrance. This seems like an obvious tip but it is something that reviews comment on – it is easy to accidentally start at the back and you miss the introduction to the museum – and the map. From the ticket desk, the entrance to the front is on the right. You can enter on the left but then you’re just thrown into one of the exhibit rooms with no explanation.

What to see at the DDR Museum

The museum takes you into the life of an East German. While it is advertised as leaving the politics behind, it does have an obvious bias against the socialist state that many reviewers picked up on during their visits. It is an information heavy museum with lots of text (in English and German) hidden in drawers and behind doors, so be sure to find the description for the items you see in the display cases.

The museum is known for, and even won awards for, being interactive. Aside from opening cubbies and drawers, the highlights of the DDR Museum include:

  • Driving a TrabiVisiting the DDR Museumthe infamous East German produced automobile, for which there was sometimes a decades long wait list! The real car allows you to get behind the wheel and simulate driving through East German streets. The line to give it a try can be long and there are little to no instructions in any language. I couldn’t get the car out of reverse the entire time myself!
  • Watching state-run TV in an East German living room – tired of walking around? Have a seat on the coach in the living room and watch some television. There is also a small table and chairs with some games and a typewriter.
  • In fact, it is an entire replica of an East German high rise apartment – and you’re encouraged to be nosey. Touch things, open cabinets, press buttons. You will really get the sense of what a typical apartment was like in East Germany.When you explore the high rise apartment, go through the elevator. There is a way to avoid this if you walk around to the left but it is a fun experience to pretend to take the elevator. It isn’t real – you don’t move floors at all. However, to give you the real East German high rise experience the room jolts and jerks and the lights flicker on and off. Those with small children might want to avoid it as it can be a bit scary.

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