Ostalgie in Berlin

16 10 2007

The official Berlin tourism site offers a program for East Berlin nostalgia tours, which you can find here. They claim that “The recent history in Berlin has many aspects and different ways of handling. On one hand there is the difficult historical discussion, on the other hand is the (n)ostalgic mood… Our tour shows both sides”.

Another option is taking the “Trabi-safari” tour, which costs between 25 to 35 euros, depending on the number of participants. Information about the “Trabi-safari” can be found in their website.

A Trabant.

The DDR (GDR) Museum
located on Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1 (directly opposite the Berliner Dom) offers “A hands-on experience of everyday life in the GDR”. It is open Mondays through Sundays (10:00 – 20:00) and on Saturday from 10:00 to 22:00. Admission is 5 euros (3 Euros reduced). And here is an interesting article about the museum.

Ostalgie Shopping

Mondos Arts (Schreinerstraße 6): GDR-souvenirs, movies, books, T-shirts and the popular “Ampelmännchen” in all forms. Read more here.

M. Koos-Ostprodukte (Alexanderplatz U-Bahn station): a shop that stocks kitschy Communist-era products, including cosmetics, wines, and candy. (49-30-242-5791).

Ostkost (Lychener Straße 54, Sredzkistraße 26): typical eastern products and goods.

Intershop 2000 (Ehrenbergstraße 3-7, near East Side Gallery): The society for the documentation of GDR history sells “East products” in removable containers. Open Wed-Sun 2-6 p.m.

The Karl-Marx bookstore (Karl-Marx-Allee 78): classics of socialist literature.

Food and drinks, East German style

Café Sibylle (Karl-Marx-Allee 72): named after East Germany’s popular women’s magazine. Part museum-grade exhibit, part traditional German ice cream parlor/café. Features an exhibition about the history of the avenue, which was known as Stalinallee until 1961. Events in the evenings, such as readings or concerts, also take place. Open Mon-Sun 10-20. Phone +49(30)29 35 22 03.

Mauerblümchen (Wisbyer Straße 4): cheap East European food, GDR memorabilia.

VErkehrsBeruhigte OstZone (Auguststraße 92): Ostalgic bar. Open Mo-Sa 6p onwards, Su noon onwards. +49 (0)30 2839 1440.


Ostel (Wriezener Karree 5): A budget hotel with Communist-style, retro decor and furnishings, located in a former East German housing block, near East Side Gallery. The place offers accommodation from 9 euros per night, and also special rooms, such as the “Stasi suite”. In the Ostel you can also find a store that sells vintage DDR souvenirs. The furnishings are original, collected by the founders, Daniel Helbig and Guido Sand, from flea markets, eBay, friends and family.

Picture gallery here.

And if you get tired of all this kitsch and sweetness, you can always visit the Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen (Genslerstraße 66), get a peek into the jailhouses and penal camps of the GDR, and learn something about the political oppression and prosecution under the communism. The premises can only be visited in a guided tour, which take place from Monday till Friday, on 11 and 13, and also on Saturday and Sunday, every hour from 10 till 16. Admission: 3 Euros, reduced 1,50 Euro. Exhibitions: daily 9 – 18, free entrance. (Phone +49(30)98 60 82-30/-32, Fax +49(30)98 60 82-464).

You know other Ostalgie places of interest? Do comment.



One response to “Ostalgie in Berlin”

17 10 2007
Yohay (01:02:03) :

Wow, I didn’t know that Ostalgie is a serious business. I thought that it was only in the hearts of some people. Very interesting.

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