A visit to The Story of Berlin gives you the opportunity to learn about the history of the city. The multimedia displays, spread over 23 different rooms, walk the visitor through 800 years of Berlin history, from the earliest mentions of the city in the 13th century through to German reunification in the 1990s. The interactive nature of The Story of Berlin makes it an ideal attraction for families with children. The museum exhibits show everyday life of Berliners through different historical eras, starting at the entrance hall which is the recreation of a tenement housing building from the city's past. Museum exhibits have been collated by historians, artists and history education specialists, and mainly focus on the momentous events of the 20th century. Learn first-hand about how ordinary Berlin citizens live through two World Wars, and see the differences between life in the East and West during the communist era. End your visit with a guided tour of Berlin's largest nuclear bunker. Built in the 1970s, it offers protection for 3,600 people in the event of a nuclear missile attack, a function which the bunker would still have to undertake today.
History from a Berlin perspective
The Story of Berlin opens in June 1999 in the Ku'damm Karree mall with the purpose of exhibiting the everyday lives of Berlin residents through the ages. This is done by using modern technology in displays, and recreations of everyday scenes. It gives visitors the chance to experience history rather than just read about it. Go through a time tunnel to differently themed rooms that are not just about the past, they explore current issues too. For example, the space about Faith and Tolerance is all about how different cultures have lived together in Berlin through the centuries. The original nuclear bunker, which forms part of the display, is located deep under Kurfürstendamm.
This awaits you at The Story of Berlin
- a vivid journey through 800 years of Berlin history
- 6,000 square metres of modern multimedia displays and artistically designed theme rooms
- a showcase of the everyday lives of Berlin residents through history
- Exhibits such as the official state car of East German leader Erich Honecker and parts of the Berlin Wall
- guided tour of Berlin's largest nuclear bomb shelter
Attractions in the surrounding area
Just a few minutes' walk from The Story of Berlin is the Käthe Kollwitz museum, located on Fasanenstraße. Here you can learn all about one of Germany's most famous 20th-century artists in over four floors of exhibits. Next door to the Kollwitz museum is Literaturhaus Berlin, featuring frequently changing exhibitions from the contemporary literature scene, along with author readings. 20 minutes' walk or two underground stations away is the Gas Lantern Museum. At the Tiergarten S-Bahn station, you will find an open-air museum featuring the largest collection of gas lanterns in Europe. Open both during the day and at night, it is best to visit the Lantern Museum in the dark so you can experience the gas lanterns as they would have been seen in the past. Also close by is KPM, the royal porcelain factory museum, where you can learn about the history of porcelain making or take a factory tour. Explore the area around Hansaplatz to see how Berlin's architecture develops during the 1950s, with modernist buildings by the likes of Oscar Niemeyer and Walter Gropius. Finally, consider a visit to one of the many art exhibitions hosted by the Academy of Arts where events often focus on social policy issues. The building often hosts concerts, lectures or talks by well-known artists.
Practical information for your visit to The Story of Berlin
The Story of Berlin is in the west of the city on the famous Kurfürstendamm. The best way of getting to the museum is to take the U1 underground line and get off at the Uhlandstraße stop. Alternatively, you can take the S5, S7 or S75 S-Bahn lines and get off at Savignyplatz station. If you are a Berlin WelcomeCard holder, you will get 25% off the adult entrance price. Admission to the nuclear bunker is included in the ticket price, and guided tours run on the hour with increased frequency during the high season of March to October. Expect to spend around two hours in the museum and the bunker. Download the museum app onto your smartphone to help guide you through the themed rooms; the museum staff will give you the code to unlock the app when you arrive. The museum is happy to accommodate general group tours or themed tours when booked in advance.