Part 2 is, a summary of the history museums and places I’ve visited,Berlin december 2015.
A nice way to explore Berlin cheapy is purchase the Berlin WelcomCard, gives you reduction to several sights, tours, museums etc… and for me personally most important: have free public transport for my 6 days trip. There are 2 types of cards: Fare zone AB(Tegel Airport included) and a bit more ‘expensive’fare zone ABC(Airport Schonefeld and Potsdam included).
Visited museums and tours
*Former Stasi Prison “Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen” is located in East Berlin, catch tram M5 at the S/U Alexanderplatz to Freienwalderstrasse, and a 5 minute walk to the prison. The English tour(6 euro) start with a half hour introduction video about the Stasi. After, a former prisoner led us around the blocks, cells and explained very detailed how the Stasi tried to brainwash torture, interrogate dissidents and ordinary people. Bit out of the city, but a must see if you’re interested in Germany’s political history.
*A small museum with plenty of information about political conflicts and wars everywhere in the world is the Anti-Kriegs-Museum (Anti-War Museum). The museum founded by freedom fighter Ernst Friedrich,is a collection of artifacts and exhibition of people who fought and still fight for freedom in our world. It took me about an hour the check the museum. Free entrance(donations welcome), easiest way to reach the museum is take U8 from Alexanderplatz to U-Bhf Osloer Strasse and change to U9 and get off on U-Bhf Amrumer Strasse.
*With a 20minuts walk from the Anti-Kriegs-Museum(along the Seestrasse and go right to the Hans-Schomburgk-Promenade), you’ll find the former execution place Gedenkstätte Plötzensee next to the Plotzensee prison,what is nowadays peacefull memorial site to the victims of the National Socialism between 1933-1945. Open daily March->October 9am-5pm and November till February 9am till 4am. it takes you about an hour to explore this remembrance place. Free Entrance
*Another huge museum full with GDR history, located on the Karl-Liebknechtstrasse 1 is the DDR/GDR Museum. The museum give the visitors an introduction how it was to live in the Socialist State. Full of artifacts, objects, real trabant cars and it’s interactive character make this museum also for kids interesting and educative. Top Museum in the center of Berlin. Daily open and With Berlin WelcomCard pay 4€ instead of the regular 7€ fee. Visited the museum on a sundaymorning: very crowdy! Must see!
*Still can’t get enough of history? Jump on the RE7 from Alexanderplatz to Karlshorst Bhf and bus 296 brings you the German/Russian Museum. Get off on busstop Museum Karlshorst. In this former German Armed Forces Officers Mess, second world war became to an end with the surrender of Germany. After World War II the building became the seat of the Soviet Administration. From 1967 till 1994, was the building a Soviet Surrender Museum. After 1994 known as the German/Russian Museum. Free entrance, can spend easily 2 hours to explore all the exhibition rooms.
*One of the most famous and biggest museums of Berlin (and maybe even in Europe)is the Deutsche Technikmuseum. If you wanna visit this awesome museum, keep in mind that you need a day to see all the exhibitions and rooms full of old and new technology. Interactive and very educative, ideal for kids as well. The Berlin Welcomecard gave me the reduction from 6€ till 3,5€. Take U2 from Alexanderplatz and get off on Gleisdreieck, and a 5 minuts walk to the Trebinner Strasse where is Technicmuseum is located.
*Wanna have an insight of Berlin’s underground? Pick a tour of the Berlin Unterwelten. Berlin Unterwelten provide 5 underground tours in different languages. I took “tour 3” , what gave me a view on the subways and civil shelter bunkers in the Cold War. If you wanna take a tour, come at least a half hour before to purchase the tickets… quickly sold out. With Berlin WelcomeCard is the admission fee 9 euro. Top attraction in Berlin!
*One of the most known border crossings during the Cold War is Checkpoint Charlie, between East and West Berlin. Take a picture with the guards and go to the Museum Haus Am Checkpoint Charlie/Mauermuseum on the Friedrichstrasse for another overload of history:). A lot of stories about escapees and their fights for freedom. Must visit, every day open from 9am till 10pm . The Berlin WelcomeCard gives you a discount of 25% on the 12.5€ entrance fee.
*Another known checkpoint(in the Russian section) is Palace of Tears/Tranenpalast museum next to the Friedrichstrasse Station. This museum covers the stories of the people who travelled legally from the East to West(and vice versa). Why Palace Of “Tears”…. because of the big emotions and farewells took place at this checkpoint. Take an hour to see this interesting exhibition. A lot of informations,displays, objects and video’s. Free Entrance, must visit.
*And my museumtour, still not finished… the Jewish Museum was another awesome exhibition what gave me lots of information about the German/Jewish history from the Middle Ages till today. I have spend about 2 hours in this museum to read all the informations. Great impressive design building! And again, the Berlin Welcome gave me a reduction… 6€ instead of 8€. Getting tired of too much history? Combine this museum with the Berlinische Galerie, a museum for Modern Art, Architecture and Photography. A 6 minute walk.
*Last but not least…. Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand/German Resistance Memorial Center in the Berlin Mitte’s District is also worth a visit. A 10 minute walk from the Potsdamer Platz brings you the courtyard of the Memorial Center. The museum documents the fight of the citizens against the National Socialism dictatorship, also about the coup of 20th of july 1944, how the Sinti and Jews experienced the dictatorship and much more. Free entrance, easily u can spend more then an hour is this museum.
Of course,there are a lot of more history related museums in Berlin… just wanted to give a short impression of the ones I’ve been december 2015. Topography des Terrors, Holocaust Memorial … are definitely worth a visit too.