If There’s Heaven for Geeks: Deutsches Museum [Review]

Germany is strong, and it has a rightful reason for that: Engineering. Or rather, precision engineering. This is supported by a strong culture and belief in sciences, and this is most obvious in Deutsches Museum in Munich!

Deutches Museum is like a franchise of museums in Germany, and in Munich alone, there are 3 “outlets” of the museums. They are, in layman terms, the Main Museum, Transportation Museum and the Aviation Museum.

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One can buy tickets to just one of the museum, or gain entry to all of them at a discounted price. The joy of the latter is that one can choose to visit the museums on different days, so there’s no rush to finish all 3 of them in one day. This is good for 2 reasons: Deutsches Museum (Main) itself took us a full day (and we rushed through the visit) and the 3 museums are not exactly near each other. For example, the Aviation Museum is a good 40 minutes train ride away from the Main Museum.

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Location

The Main Museum is situated on an island in the middle of the river that runs through Munich, much like how Notre Dame is situated on an island on Seine. Even then, the building seen from the other side of the river was not the entrance itself (as N and I initially thought, and took plenty of photos of); the while museum is like a collection of buildings surrounding a courtyard, and the entrance is only accessed via the courtyard.

The ticket office is not in the museum building itself. Instead, it is in the courtyard, and guess what? There were no queues. It actually made me wonder if that was because the museum was a bore, even though N and I made a point to reach the museum as early as possible.

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The entrance opened to a cavernous hall consisting of coat room and entrances to the various exhibition rooms. Given the scale of the locker area, I would say that Deutsches Museum was really, really sincere to have people visiting them! The lockers required 1 Euro or 2 Euro coins, which were refundable. The sizes of the lockers were YUGE, even if you choose the smaller, 1-Euro-size locker. This meant that I could just chuck my coat here without going through the coat room service.

Deutsches Museum is also YUGE. From the outside, it looked just like a combination of a few buildings, however, I underestimated the size, because each building, which are by medieval standards, were huge in terms of floor area and height, so there were many exhibits beyond my expectations.

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Exihibits

The focus of the exhibits were science-based; the topics ranged from simple physics, to magnetism, to nuclear physics. The surreal thing about the exhibits was that they reminded me of the science experiments I read in science textbooks.

Except that in Singapore, most of those experiments remained in textbooks and it was up to the students to recreate them in their minds, while in Germany, students can refer to these experiments in their museums.

No wonder Germans are good in sciences!

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Believe it or not, the structure in the middle was supported just by the 3 walkways leading to it. It contained laboratories for resident researchers in the museum.

It was really a joy walking through various exhibits, even though my legs were breaking from all that walking, to see what other scientific demonstrations I could find in the next corner. Like the demonstration of magnetic flux using iron dust and turning of the magnets.

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On a normal day, the sun rays of the sun would be directed via the telescopes to the screen below, for people to see for themselves the corona (and other surface structures) of the sun.

I also enjoyed myself thoroughly from the range of astronomy-related exhibits, which reminded me of the days when I went through the reference books section to look for astronomy books that described everything about black holes and pulsars. There was even a full two-storey hall filled with telescopes and exhibits to demonstrate the placements of the galaxies in space!

In the walkway to the annex, there was a sponsored exhibit that made use of established facts (eg. red items would “disappear” under red light) to create interesting display, like the motion of a puma across the length of the walkway. In fact, Germans are ingenious in this way. This was just a makeshift walkway because the actual one was under renovation. However, they spiced up that journey with interesting exhibits. In Singapore, the walls would be plastered with boring advertisements!

Another fascinating hall would be the one on aviation and navigation. Yep, there were old planes hanging from the ceiling, and there were ships, complete with sails, on the ground. By then, I was tired from the walking, so I did not read the explanations to the exhibits, but the life-sized ships themselves were sufficient to escalate the sense of excitement.

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Lastly, remember to pop by the rooftop. We wanted to look for the observatory, which was unfortunately closed, so we ended up on the rooftops that showcased various time-measuring instruments. But of course, that also offered stunning views of Munich.

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Food

N and I underestimated the size of the museum and the thrill it would give us to motivate us to go through all the exhibits. We had to extend our original half-day tour into a full-day tour. Even then, we were rushing through some exhibitions, which meant that the museum could exhaust at least 2 days of time for geeks like us.

We were wondering if we should exit the museum to look for food (we actually forgot to have lunch, until hunger took over our consciousness at about 3pm) and then we found food.

Frequent museum-trawlers would be at home with the typical museum-cafeteria set up, except that instead of buying food from separate stalls, one picks up food from various stations and pay them at a centralised cashier, much like that of IKEA cafe. That freed up the rest of the space for dining. We were not sure if it was due to the fact that it was a weekday, or past lunch time, the whole cafeteria was empty, which provided much refuge from the children-screaming exhibition halls.

The food were typical – schnitzels, bratwust, pies etc etc. We had the schnitzel set, and I must say that despite being cheaper than those bought at specialised restaurants like Steinheil 16, the schnitzels at the cafeteria was still palatable, if not yummy.

Or perhaps we were just hungry.

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Verdict

This is going to be a very subjective verdict.

I enjoyed the museum very much, because it called out to the nerd in me. It was like the Mecca of all things science, and I cannot imagine what I will find if I were to visit Deutsches Museum in Frankfurt.

People who studied engineering of pure sciences (but ended up working in fields different from what they studied) would definitely love this place, as it stirred up nostalgia too.

If you have school-going kids, this is a must-go place. Seeing textbook experiments live before your eyes will be a great motivation for kids to persist in learning sciences. If not, they are still entertaining enough to stimulate the interest of your kids, while educating them at the same time.

As for bimbos and himbos, the place had plenty of insta-worthy exhibits, which would also make you look cultured before your friends 🙂

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How To Get There

Deutsches Museum
Museumsinsel 1
80538 Munich

Open daily 9.00 – 17.00

+49 (0)89/ 2179-333

http://www.deutsches-museum.de/en/information/

Like My Review

If you find the tips helpful in deciding whether to visit this museum, or what to do when you come here, do go to Tripadvisor, search for “Zenov” and like my review. Thank yoU!

Also, read my review on the Aviation Museum HERE.

Or, if you are planning for a trip to Bavaria this coming winter, follow my blog, as I will post more about my adventures in Bavaria, and tips on getting the best out of your vacation!

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View from inside the Deutsches Museum

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