Heading to Berlin? Why not plan a visit to the German Museum of Technology! The Deutsches Technikmuseum is huge and offers great value for money.
We visited at the beginning of June 2017.
Berlin’s German Museum of Technology is one of the most popular museums in the city and provides great family entertainment. It is a hands-on, activity-oriented fun tour of the cultural history of technology located at the Anhalter freight station, one of Berlin’s former rail depots. | Berlin.de
Now clearly I’m a little biased, given that we picked this museum out of all the ones Berlin has to offer, but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Despite having around 3 hours here, it wasn’t long enough and there were sections we (literally) ran through and others we didn’t see at all. We genuinely had no clue as to the sheer scale of the Deutsches Technikmuseum and we didn’t even get to sneak a peek at the Museum Park – it closes half an hour before the museum itself!
There’s actually so much here it’s difficult to discuss without it just turning into a long, long list!
The main entrance on Trebbiner Straße takes you into the Old Building. Here you’ll find a cafe for light refreshment and a gift shop, bathroom facilities and a cloakroom. Don’t forget to pick up an English language Map from the ticket desk! You’ll need it.
The collection of exhibits in this building range from computer development and telecommunications to textile technology and papermaking. Additional floors can be accessed via a Horse Staircase! Yes, made for actual horses.
Don’t worry if your German is a little rusty, practically everything we saw had good English language descriptions. Though it’s fair to say the newer installations did better in this department – like with the World Wide Web sign above, reminding me of life pre-Internet! Uhh… I’m how old? Eek!
In the engine shed, you’ll find steam locomotives and everything relating to rail travel – for example, classic rail uniforms. Take in no fewer than 40 historical rail vehicles, including the opulent salon car of the last German Emperor. | Visit Berlin
The Engine Sheds house more than just trains. Located in the former engineering works of the Berlin-Anhalt Railway Company, the structure itself was built in 1874 before being damaged in World War II and then closed in 1952. Since 1987 it’s been the home of the museum’s Rail Transport section.
Current exhibits progress from steam trains to electric and diesel, alongside replica models, uniforms and other bits and pieces you’d expect to find at a train station. The restored, original figures of “Day and Night” (which sat on either side of the clock above the main Anhalter Bahnhof entrance) are on display and you’ll even find a surprising collection of train tickets! And no, I’m not a ticket or stamp collector – I just like having a nosey at old stuff!
It’s worth noting that the museum doesn’t ignore the period of the Second World War either. From choosing to include a section here on Jewish deportation, to the criminality of listening to BBC radio and more. Overall, we felt the museum did a decent job of placing items in historical context, regardless of the era being discussed.
Though the museum originally focused on rail transport, today it covers so much more. The New Building houses a large exhibition on shipping – with real boats and models aplenty. Aircraft dangle from the ceiling and two floors worth of space is given over to aviation.
Delving further into the museum, you’ll find the Beamtenhaus covers photo technology, pharmacy development and jewellery production. There’s a Historical Brewery on site and the Science Centre Spectrum is full of interactive, hands-on experiments to play about with.
The final section in the Ladestraße building touches on road transport and an exhibition entitled “The Network”. It opened in 2015 and looks at how people are connected and move data and knowledge around. It’s about people as users, the technology involved and the content that gets communicated.
Being computer game fans, we had a good giggle at the Games section (pictured above). It’s nice to see more recent technological developments being included in updated museum displays. Naturally, World of Warcraft features here!
If you’d like to find out more about any of the sections I’ve mentioned (or some of the ones I’ve missed!), the Deutsches Technikmuseum website has a really detailed English language section on their permanent exhibits here.
My thoughts? If you’ve got an interest in seeing the development of varying kinds of technology over time, put this fab museum on your ‘must-see’ list. Just make sure to allocate plenty of time to your visit!
Location | Deutsches Technikmuseum, Trebbiner Straße 9, D-10963 Berlin-Kreuzberg
Opening Times | Tuesday – Friday, 9am to 5:30pm | Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 6pm | Closed on Mondays and specific holidays
Admission | €8 Adults
Find Out More | Museum of Technology Website | Visitor Info
Always check with the Museum to confirm any details important to you before you travel!