Do The Deutsches Museum: A Theme Park in Disguise

If you’re going to Munich, odds are that the Deutsches Museum has been recommended to you by at least one travel guide.

Lounging on the deck of a 1950s cruise ship.
Lounging on the deck of a 1950s cruise ship.

While we enjoyed visiting this colossal science and technology museum, it may not be for everyone. Should you go? Well, we’re here to help.

I am almost certain that there is no other museum in the world quite like the Deutsches Museum (which translates to German Museum) in Munich. The immense museum is renowned for its incredible historic artifacts and exhibitions, which explain and demonstrate important steps in the fields of science and technology.

Known at one time as the German Museum of Masterpieces of Technology and Science, the Deutsches Museum, one of Munich’s top attractions, opened its doors in 1925. The world famous museum is easily accessible by public transportation, located in the center of town on an island in the Isar River.

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So, just how big is the Deutsches Museum

It is very big. There are 28,000 objects on display from a range of 50 different fields of science and technology. I mean, that’s like all 5 Smithsonian Museums in one building.

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A beautiful room filled with pianos and organs.

Its size definitely makes sense though. The interactive exhibits at the Deutsches Museum cover a wide variety of topics including aerospace, astronomy, agriculture, computers, chemistry, electricity, glass, mining, pharmaceuticals, railways, telecommunication, and many more.

There are musical instruments of all varieties, from ancient brass instruments to modern synthesizers. Visitors can also enjoy woodcuts and copper engravings that date back to Gutenberg and his early printing press. The Marine Navigation exhibition even includes a lifesize model of the interior of a typical 1950s cruise ship. In the afternoon, we stumbled upon an electricity demonstration that produced “real” lightning. Simply, the little surprises hidden in each hall could keep museum goers intrigued for many days.

Who would love this museum

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Chris inside a cell. The Deutsches Museum is sometimes like the Magic School Bus.

We genuinely loved roaming the halls of the Deutsches Museum and could have spent two more days exploring its endless exhibitions. However, it’s easy to see that it may not be an ideal way to spend the day for every tourist. So, who’s going to get the most out of a visit to the Deutsches Museum?

Well, obviously anyone with an interest in science and technology is going to love this museum. Anyone who is curious about how things work is going to get a kick out of this place too. So much information is presented that it would be impossible not to learn something new. And like all good science museums, this place will keep the kids entertained for hours with cranks to turn, buttons to push, switches to flip, and life size displays to crawl through. Your young ones will never be bored!

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How to make the most of a visit to the Deutsches Museum

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Nap time at the Deutsches Museum.

If you have multiple days to visit the museum, then that is probably best. The museum can be exhausting due to its size and the complexity of the subject matter. After a few hours, we found our initial enthusiasm waning as we battled information overload and extreme fatigue.

If you can’t afford to spend a few days exploring the many displays (like us), then it is absolutely necessary that you prioritize exhibits ahead of time. The best way to do this is to pick up a map on the way in and spend a few minutes looking over the various parts of the museum. Make a plan and try to follow it.

Despite our plan, we did get distracted along the way since many exhibits were more interesting than we initially thought. The mining exhibit, for instance, sounded rather dull at first, but when we read that the exhibit is an underground re-creation of a mine shaft (rocks and all), and provides a realistic impression of the atmosphere in a mine we decided to make time for this exhibit too. (And we’re glad we did because it felt a bit like Disneyland.)

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!!!! Gem stones are excited about the Deutsches Museum.

Another thing to note – English-speaking visitors will find many resources at the Deutsches Museum, but not all exhibits are translated. This can be frustrating, but there is so much to see here that it didn’t bother us much overall.

We enjoyed our day at the Deutsches Museum and found it to be a worthwhile stop on our tour of Munich. The exhibitions are visually stunning, richly detailed, and interactive. We had fun and learned a lot in the process. We would definitely recommend this museum to all anyone with the slightest curiosity about science and technology.

Have you been to the Deutsches Museum? What did you think?


Click here to see more pix of our time at the Deutches Museum on Flickr.
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