Jan on non-art museums in BerlinBerlin has dozens, if not hunderds of cool museums to visit. Not only the 'arty' museums I wrote about earlier, but many other museums on topics ranging from punk to the second world war. Here's a list of my favorites:
The Ramones museumThe Berlin Ramones museum is the first, only and by far coolest Ramones museum in the world. The museum has a cozy bar with some of the best cheesecake in Berlin, including many vegan options. A great place to drink, snack or learn about punk, conveniently located next to the U1 and the Oberbaumbrücke.
€ 6 euro, including a beer 📍 location 🕐 1 hour
Design PanoptikumThe design panoptikum or surreal museum of industrial objects features crazy and cool objects whose original purpose is hard to guess or believe. The Russian museum director will happily guide you and answer your questions or ask you some of his own. Please check the limited opening hours to prevent you missing this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
€ 10 euro 📍 location 🕐 45 minutes
TränenpalastThe Tränenpalast ('palace of tears') houses a touching collection of artifacts related to life in the GDR, crossing its border or fleeing it altogether. The exhibition also includes some interactive installations, video's and audio. The museum is located in the former border control building of train station Friedrichstraße, letting history come as close to you as it can get.
€ free 📍 location 🕐 1 hour
Trabi museumIf you like Trabants, you are gonna love the Trabi museum. The museum has several special edition Trabants standing around and loops an interesting documentary about the Trabant in its small cinema. The museum is really small, so the 5 euro entrance fee seems a bit steep.
€ 5 euro 📍 location 🕐 1 hour
The David Hasselhoff museumOne of Berlin's best hidden secrets is this mindblowing museum dedicated to the Hoff. To quote just a few reviewers: 'Absolutely breathtaking. A must see in Berlin!', '...worthy shrine to The Hoff, recognising his pivotal role in defeating the Nazis...', 'It is the ONLY reason to visit Berlin.'. Don't be confused by the staff of the co-located Circus Hostel denying the existence of the museum. They are just trying to grow the mystery surrounding it. Sneak down to the basement toilets and you will find the entrance to the museum. After visiting the museum, grab a coffee and cheesecake in the hostel bar.
€ free 📍 location 🕐 15 minutes - half day
Gatow military history museumThe site of a former British airbase Gatow has been transformed into a military history museum. Interesting to see because of the many planes standing around, interesting indoors exhibitions and the site itself. It is a bit outside of the city, so either cycle up there or take public transport to get there. In both cases, you can combine the trip with a boat ride (bicycles allowed) on the Wannsee and a beer in the Biergarten overlooking the lake when weather allows.
€ free 📍 location 🕐 2 hours
Berliner UnterweltenA great all-weather experience is taking a Berliner Unterwelten underground tour. Several tours are on offer, most in German, English and Dutch. I especially enjoyed Tour M - under the Berlin wall, a tour focussed on attempts to flee the GDR by going under the wall.
€ around 10 euro 📍 location 🕐 2 to 3 hours