Gundula’s 5 Favorite Museums in Berlin
Whenever tour guide Gundula is not leading a tour, researching for her next endeavor or exploring the streets of Berlin, she might be inside a museum. Here are her five favorite Berlin museums:
“The Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, Greek and Roman statues or famous paintings – that’s what you find on Museum Island or at the “Kulturforum” next to Potsdamer Platz. But today, I suggest some smaller museums, more often than not created on the initiative of private citizens. Follow me into the world of Currywurst (the iconic Berlin fast food), daily life in the GDR (the former socialist German state) or into the history of Jewish life in Germany, incidents at Checkpoint Charlie or the fascinating Museum of Technology.”
For Trains Spotters and Wannabe Pilots: The Museum of Technology
Is there a young boy who doesn’t want to become a pilot or a railway engineer? Check out the Museum of Technology! Aerospace, navigation, rail transport, road traffic and photo technology, to name just the most important departments. Learn more not only about technical innovation in itself, but also what it meant to the people and the development of society. The museum has an important outdoor space as well and outside of the entrance you are greeted by a DC 2, one of the aircraft the US Air Force used for the airlift in the years of 1948/49 when supplies were flown into landlocked West Berlin.
Deutsches Technik Musuem, Trebbiner Straße 9,10963 Berlin, Tue thru Sun, sdtb.de
Daniel Libeskind’s Masterpiece: The Jewish Museum
The building from 1998 is an attraction in itself: You enter by the so-called “Kollegienhaus” from 1735 that is used for temporary exhibits and by an underground walkway you access the basement of the new museum. The building has the shape of a thunderbolt and some interesting aspects like the Garden of Exile, the Holocaust Tower and the Voids – empty rooms symbolizing the loss that the Holocaust and the history of pogroms caused in Germany.
There is an exhibit about the Holocaust, but the focus is on 2,000 years of Jewish life in Germany. The Jewish Museum has an extraordinary collection of religious objects, pieces of art, maps of the Holy Land and the autobiography of “Glickl von Hameln”, a successful businesswoman and mother of twelve of the 17th century, written in Yiddish.
Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin, Mon thru Sun, jmberlin.de
Life in the Old East: DDR-Museum
Would you like to know how it felt to be a citizen of the German Democratic Republic (GDR – DDR in German)? Then come and visit the “DDR-Museum”. It is a journey back in time: cars, clothes, furniture, TV shows, recreation, food … Almost everything can be touched and tried. In order not to become too nostalgic, the museum covers the Stasi (secret police) and the political opposition as well and offers guided tours for (school-) groups. For more visit our post on the museum…
DDR Museum, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1 10178 Berlin, Mon thru Sun, ddr-museum.de
Celebrating Iconic Fast Food: The Currywurst Museum
A Currywurst is a pork sausage, sliced and served with a hot sauce and curry powder. Some fast food stands also offer a beef version. The museum is only 100 m (yards) off from Checkpoint Charlie and tells you everything you always wanted to know about Berlin’s favorite snack. Feel like a Currywurst chef behind a fast food counter, learn about the woman who invented the Currywurst or follow an American film maker from Currywurst to Currywurst in Berlin and finish your visit in the museum’s own Currywurst Café. Currywurst fans might find this blog on Berlin currywurst interesting.
Deutsches Currywurst Museum, Schützenstraße 70, 10117 Berlin, Mo thru Sun, currywurstmuseum.com
How to escape from East Berlin: Haus am Checkpoint Charlie
In 1962, only a year after the Berlin Wall was built, a group of concerned citizens opened a museum about the Wall, escapes from the East and non-violent struggle for human rights worldwide. You can see the original vehicles people used to escape. The museum grew organically from a small apartment to the present large exhibit in three connected buildings at Checkpoint Charlie which makes it a little chaotic. The legends are in German and the languages of the allied forces: English, French and Russian.
Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstraße 43-45,10969 Berlin, Mon thru Sun, mauermuseum.de
+Tip: To save money when visiting Berlin’s museums, you might want to check out our blog on Berlin’s city passes.+
+++Meet Gundula on her tours with Free Tours by Foot Berlin!+++