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The Trabi has long been a favourite with race car enthusiasts, both past and present. Rattling engines and the historically long waiting list to get one prove the cult car from the East Germany isn't perfect, but still hugely popular. Production of the Trabant ceased in 1991, but former owners can still feel nostalgic about their old cars. The Trabant has become a cult car, and now the museum in Berlin attracts visitors from all over the world. A visit to the Trabant museum will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the car, and you can even take a Trabant safari through the city. The museum at Checkpoint Charlie has classic Trabants such as the 601, alongside rarer rally cars.
Racing cars of all shapes and colours
The cult of the Trabant has been going strong for more than 25 years. In 2013, a museum dedicated to this iconic car opens at Checkpoint Charlie on the ground floor of a huge 19th century building, with the aim of preserving the history of East German car making. In 1958 the first model rolls off the production line, somewhat reminiscent of the VW Beetle. Trabants are displayed in chronological order, including the rare P50 and P60 models. The classic Trabant is the 601, which survives all the way up to the reunification of Germany. All variations and colours of the 601 are on display, including the campervan model. Look out for rare Trabi rally cars, military vehicles, jeeps and police cars. For a while, you'll be transported back to the GDR. The museum's oldest vehicle is the DKW, dating from the 1930s. Watch a film about the importance of Trabis in East German culture in the on-site cinema. Finish your visit in the shop, where you can buy souvenirs such as model Trabants. Right next door is TrabiWorld, a car rental place where you can get behind the wheel of a Trabi and hit the Berlin streets.
Highlights of the Trabi Museum Berlin
The DKW, the Trabi's 1930s predecessor.
The P601 model in all colours and finishes.
An authentic Trabi racing car.
Detailed history of the two-stroke engine vehicle.
Between the Berlin Wall and the Currywurst Museum: other attractions in the old border area
Just a few steps from the Trabi Museum at Checkpoint Charlie is the Cold War Museum. This tells the story of escape attempts across the border zone between East and West Berlin. Of particular interest is the original items used in escapes - everything from a car boot to a hot air balloon, and even mini-submarines and homemade surfboards. Also nearby is the German Currywurstmuseum, where you can learn everything about the invention of this classic German snack in the post-war era. The museum is highly interactive, and of course there's a chance to sample the snack itself. Children will also enjoy making sausages with the CurryUp! computer game.
Our tips for your visit
Take the U6 underground line to Kochstraße/Checkpoint Charlie station, emerging by the large portraits of soldiers on Friedrichstraße. Walk to the corner of Zimmerstraße and turn left. 100m along this street brings you to the Trabi museum, which is open daily. Children under 12 get in for free, and groups recieve a discount on request. Berlin WelcomeCard holders receive a 50% discount on the admission price.