20 Best Museums in Germany to Visit

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Topography of Terror, one of the top tourist attractions in Berlin

Germany is undeniably beautiful, with wonders, sights, destinations, and exciting things to discover and experience. The museums in Germany were among the fascinating destinations to see and explore in this stunning country.

From Berlin, Germany’s capital, to Munich, Mainz, and other picturesque cities, fascinating museums were scattered, where can be found to see historical artifacts, behold art masterpieces, and learn more about Germany’s culture and history in these galleries.

The museums in Germany were the spots to check out and learn more about Germany, aside from witnessing the country’s beauty through its towns.

For history and art enthusiasts, visiting such galleries will be fun and create a memorable trip in Germany for tourists seeking a great learning adventure.

Best Museums in Germany to Visit

Deutsches Museum

Interior of the Deutsches Museum, one of the best Museums in Munich

Address: Museumsinsel 1, 80538 München, Germany

The Deutsches Museum (also known as the German Museum, officially Deutsches Museum von Meisterwerken der Naturwissenschaft und Technik (English: German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology) is located in Munich, Germany.

It is the biggest museum of science and technology in the world. It features around 28,000 exhibited objects gathered from 50 areas of science and technology. This Museum welcomes over a million visitors yearly. The museum was launched on the 28th of June 1903 during a meeting of the Association of German Engineers (VDI).

Its founding was an initiative of Oskar von Miller. This Museum is presently the biggest in Munich. For some time, rock and pop concerts were held at the museum. Stars such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Elton John have all graced the Deutsches Museum. The main location of the Deutsches Museum is on a little island on the Isar River.

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DDR Museum

Camera Exhibits at DDR Museum
DDR Museum” by ra_o is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Address: Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany

The DDR Museum is situated in the heart of Berlin, in the old government region of East Germany, directly on the River Spree, opposite the renowned Berlin cathedral.

The museum is presently the 11th most visited in Berlin. The exhibition shows life in old East Germany ( in German, called the Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR) in a direct, realistic way. For instance, visitors are given a hidden listening bug/device to provide a feeling of being “under surveillance.”

Visitors can also dress up in DDR clothes within the remade block tower apartment. They can make use of an original old typewriter or switch TV channels. The exhibition features three themed sections, namely: “Life in a Tower Block,” “Public Life,” and “State and Ideology.”

All the themed areas showed critically, under both positive and negative lights. Thirty-five modules in total showcase these three themes, including music, media, literature, fashion, borders, family, private niche, equality, health, diet, childhood, fashion, youth, partnership, construction, work, consumption, education, construction, free time, living, and vacation.

Also, wall, brother states, Ministry for state security, authority, penal system, party, environment, ideology, and opposition. The DDR Museum began operations on July 15, 2006, as one of Germany’s renowned private museums. In 2008, it was nominated for the European Museum of the Year Award. Check out these other top museums in Berlin, Germany, while in town.

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Neues Museum

Neues Museum
Isaac Mok / Shutterstock.com

Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany

The Neues Museum (New Museum) is located on Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the heart of Berlin’s historic center. It was constructed from 1843 to 1855 under the order of King Frederick William IV of Prussia in Renaissance and Neoclassical Revival styles.

This building is regarded as one of the main works undertaken by Friedrich August Stüler. After the damage and decay wrought by World War II, this building was finally restored by David Chipperfield from 1999 to 2009.

Presently, the Neues Museum houses the Papyrussammlung, the Ägyptisches Museum, the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, as well as some parts of the Antikensammlung. The Neues Museum is the second museum to be erected on Museum Island.

It was meant to be a supplementary building to hold collections the Altes Museum could not carry. These collections included early historic and prehistoric collections (Museum der vaterländischen Altertümer), old Egyptian artifacts, drawings and prints (Kupferstichkabinett), and a collection of ethnographics.

Consequently, it is regarded as the “source” of collections found in Berlin’s Egyptian Museum and the Ethnological Museum of Berlin. The exhibits contain prehistory, early history, and Egyptian collections like before the war broke out. The legendary Egyptian queen Nefertiti bust is part of the artifacts being housed here.

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Neanderthal Museum

Neanderthal Museum, Germany

Address: Talstraße 300, 40822 Mettmann, Germany

The Neanderthal Museum is located in Mettmann, Germany. It was built right on the location of the first Neanderthal man discovery. Thus, it features a remarkable exhibit focused on human evolution. This Museum was built in 1996 following a design created by these architects – Arno Brandlhuber, Zamp Kelp, and Julius Krauss.

Every year, about 170,000 visitors come to this Museum. There is an archaeological park on the main discovery site, an art trail called “human traces and a Stone Age workshop. The museum’s audio guide and direction signs are in English and German.

The garden area, set up within the museum precinct to depict the museum valley, features numerous attractions along the titled paths, including the “Human Traces” Art Trail. Wild horses and ‘Aurochs’ can also be sighted close to the Game Reserve.

The primary excavation site where Neanderthal man fossils were found is near the museum. There is a collection of unique human fossil casts showcased by the museum, depicting the general hominid evolution and Neanderthal evolution.

This collection of casts was put together based on finds obtained from different excavated sites across the world. Donations from the Halbach Foundation and Alfred Krupp von Bohlen supported it.

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House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany

Museum Koenig, Bonn
Haus der Geschichte – Bonn” by westher is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Address: Willy-Brandt-Allee 14, 53113 Bonn, Germany

Haus der Geschichte (officially known in German as Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, i.e… “House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany”) is a contemporary history museum situated in Bonn.

The museum receives about a million visitors per annum. It is known as one of the most commonly visited museums in Germany.

Like the “Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig,” the “Tränenpalast” am Bahnhof Friedrichstraße, and the “Museum in the Kulturbrauerei,” the Haus der Geschichte is a member of the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Foundation.

The permanent exhibition in the Haus der Geschichte showcases Germany’s history spanning from 1945 till the current day. Several temporary exhibitions focus on different unique historical features.

In addition, the Haus der Geschichte sets up guided tours of the old Federal Assembly, the Palais Schaumburg, and the Chancellor’s bungalow. This renowned museum features a cartoon gallery containing over 75,000 political caricatures and cartoons.

The House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany is part of the Museumsmeile (Museum Mile) in Bonn, part of the old West German government district. It is situated north of the Kunstmuseum Bonn and the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, which also comprises the Museumsmeile.

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German Museum of Technology

Address: Trebbiner Str. 9, 10963 Berlin, Germany

Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, or the German Museum of Technology, is a science and technology museum showcasing a sizeable collection of technical and historical artifacts. Originally, the museum focused on exhibits of rail transpiration.

However, it expanded its exhibition range to include several industrial technologies. In 2003, aviation and maritime exhibition halls were added to the museum in a freshly constructed extension. The museum also houses a science arena known as Spectrum.

The Museum für Verkehr und Technik (Museum of Technology and Traffic) was launched in 1982 and carried on the convention of the Königliches Verkehrs-und Bamuseum (Royal Museum of Traffic and Construction), which began operations in the old Hamburger Bahnhof station building in 1906.

The current German Museum of Technology is situated on the old freight yard that used to be part of the Anhalter Bahnhof in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin, including a couple of office buildings and two historic roundhouse.

The other attractions in the museum are a Dutch windmill, a German windmill, a forge fuelled by a water wheel, and a brewery.

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Mercedes-Benz Museum

Mercedes-Benz Museum Building with Lights

Address: Mercedesstraße 100, 70372 Stuttgart, Germany

The Mercedes-Benz Museum is a museum of automobiles located in Stuttgart, Germany. It presents the Mercedes-Benz brand history and the story of brands linked to this famous automobile manufacturer.

Stuttgart is where the international Daimler AG headquarters and the Mercedes-Benz brand are situated. The present building is right in front of the Daimler factory main gate in Stuggart, and UN studio is the brains behind the building design.

The structural design is a cloverleaf-based concept with three circles that overlap with a deliberately removed center that makes up a triangular-shaped atrium. The Mercedes-Benz museum features over 160 vehicles, returning to the earliest motorcar engine days.

The vehicles in the museum are taken care of by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center of Fellbach. The museum was formerly in a designated building in the factory complex area. In the past years, visitors were moved from the main gate area via a secured shuttle.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum offers visitors free audio tours in several different languages. In 2007, a record number of 860,000 people visited this historic museum.

In addition to visiting the museum, tourists are offered a chance to tour the Untertürkheim engine factory close by, which makes most of the Mercedes Benz diesel engines.

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Germanisches Nationalmuseum

Exhibits and Chairs in Germanisches Nationalmuseum

Address: Kartäusergasse 1, 90402 Nürnberg, Germany

Founded in 1852, the Germanisches National Museum is a museum of cultural history located in Nuremberg, Germany. It is the largest cultural history museum located in Germany.

As a museum of cultural history, the Germanisches National Museum investigates, collects, and stores art and artifacts from the entire German-speaking region.

The museum is also an important educational and research center regarding the history of the German-speaking region. The museum houses some 1.3 million exhibits, but only about 25,000 are on display.

The range of artifacts at the museum is quite expansive, with some dating as far back as pre-historic times. The art collection at the museum is displayed in several sections, such as folk art, Middle Ages, late Middle Ages, medicine and crafts, and so on.

The museum is an architectural masterpiece comprising several buildings built over the years. Beginning in 1857, when the King of Bavaria presented a Carthusian monastery to the museum’s founder, buildings have been consistently added to get the museum to where it is today.

The entrance to the museum is located on the Kartäusergasse, and Dani Karavan, an Israeli sculptor, today knows it as the Way of Human Rights after it transformed.

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Bode Museum

Bode Museum Building by the River

Address: Am Kupfergraben, 10117 Berlin, Germany

The Bode Museum is located in the Mitte district in Berlin’s historic central area. The Bode Museum was founded in 1897 and initially began as a museum that was to be dedicated to art from the Enlightenment period.

Eberhard von Ihne designed the museum, originally named the Friedrich-Kaiser-Museum at its opening in 1904. It was eventually renamed the Bode Museum in 1956 after Wilhelm von Bode, the museum’s first art curator and the biggest influence on its philosophy of art.

The museum was heavily damaged during the Second World War and had to be shut down for several renovations. In 2006, it was finally reopened to the public with a new face and a more expansive collection than the founders envisaged.

Following the philosophy of Wilhelm von Bode, the museum is dedicated to collecting disparate pieces of art. The two major collections at the museum are the Munkabinett and the Sculpture Collection and the Museum of Byzantine Art.

The Munzkabinett is a numismatic collection and is one of the most extensive collections of coins and medals worldwide. The sculpture museum houses a collection of sculptures, some dating as far back as the Middle Ages.

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Gutenberg Museum

Gutenberg Museum, Germany
Gutenberg Museum” by myahya is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

Address: Liebfrauenpl. 5, 55116 Mainz, Germany

Located opposite the cathedral in the Old Mainz region of Mainz, Germany, the Gutenberg Museum is one of the world’s oldest printing museums. The museum regularly attracts tourists from all over the world, including historians, experts, hobbyists, etc.

The museum was founded in 1900 by a group of people who wanted to build a tribute to the legacy of the great Johannes Gutenberg, who invented a movable type of printing that revolutionized the printing industry.

The original collection at the museum was due to the generous donations of several publishers, manufacturers, and printing presses. The museum has grown to have one of the most extensive catalogs of printing-related artifacts, beginning with the books, equipment, artifacts, and machines donated.

Some of the more famous artifacts at the museum include two of the original Gutenberg Bibles and the reproduction of Gutenberg’s workshop, with exhibitions showing how printing was done then.

Visitors can take a personal, guided audio tour through the museum. The audio tour takes the visitor through the museum’s history up to the present day in several highlights. The tour can be taken in either German, French, or English.

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Altes Museum

Snow Covered Ground and the Building of Altes Museum

Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Located in Berlin, Germany, the Altes Museum is one of the several State Museums located in Berlin. The museum was built over five years, from 1825 to 1840. The design for the building was done by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and executed on the orders of King Fredrick Wilhelm III of Prussia.

The building is a magnificent work of neoclassical architecture and is as famous as the art it houses. The architect carefully designed the museum building to fit with the other magnificent buildings surrounding Lustgarten Park.

The Stadtchloss is to the south, the Zeughaus is to the west, the Berliner Dom is to the east, and the Altes Museum is to the north.

The Altes Museum houses and displays a large collection of classical art from several historical places and periods. The artifacts include art from Greek, Roman, and Etruscan cultures. The artifacts are arranged chronologically in the museum, beginning as far back as the 10th century BC.

Over the years, the wonderful museum has had to undergo several makeovers and expansions. In the Second World War, a truck exploded outside the building and had to undergo extensive renovation before it would open to the public again.

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German Historical Museum

Address: Unter den Linden 2, 10117 Berlin, Germany

The German Historical Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum in German) is located in the central Mitte district of Berlin. The museum was founded in 1987 on Berlin’s 750th anniversary.

The museum is considered a German history museum but with an international perspective. The pieces at the museum reflect German history and Germany’s complex relationship with the countries around it and the world on a larger scale over the years. There are over 7000 unique pieces of art housed at the museum.

Collections range from documents and pictures to films, portraits, sculptures, weapons, etc. The museum spans two buildings; the first is the Zeughaus or armory on the Unter den Linden. The second building is the Exhibition Hall, designed by the Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei.

Visitors to the museum can go through the chronological display of art at the Zeughaus, from the Middle Ages to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The exhibits are also staggered to make the experience more interesting, and so you can find a sculpture standing next to a vacuum cleaner in the building.

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German Spy Museum

Line to Enter the German Spy Museum
Spy Museum by Hossam el-Hamalawy is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Address: Leipziger Pl. 9, 10117 Berlin, Germany

The German Spy Museum is in Berlin, Germany, close to the historic Potsdamer Platz. As its name suggests, the museum is dedicated to collecting art from all over the world related to the history of espionage and spycrafts.

It was founded in 2015 by Franz-Michael Gunther, and in September 2015, it was officially opened to the general public. The museum is located in Berlin, which used to be the spy capital of Germany, and it is the only spy museum in all of the central parts of Europe.

With over 1,000,000 visitors since its opening, the museum is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Germany. The museum features over 1000 exhibits, equipment, and artifacts, taking its visitors through several centuries of various tools, tricks, and espionage methods.

The artifacts at the museum focus on the two World Wars and the Cold War and the various espionage methods during that period. The museum also prides itself as an educational center, featuring screens around the museum that immerse visitors in a unique experience detailing the history of espionage through several periods.

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Museum Ludwig

Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Heinrich-Böll-Platz, 50667 Köln, Germany

The Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, is a museum of modern art with an extensive collection of some of the greatest artists of the modern era.

The museum was founded in 1976 when it broke out of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum and decided to chart its path as an independent organization. The museum is one of Cologne’s biggest tourist attractions.

The first artwork at the newly formed museum was a collection of 350 artworks donated to the museum by Peter Ludwig. The museum is dedicated to the collection of contemporary art and its already burgeoning collection of modern art.

The museum’s art collection is divided into two somewhat distinct collections. The Sammlung Ludwig displays works from Russian avant-garde artists and American pop-art artists. With about 900 works from Picasso, the Sammlung Ludwig houses the world’s third-largest collection of Picasso art.

The Sammlung Haubrich houses art donated to the city of Cologne by Josef Haubrich, featuring works from 1914 to 1936. Haubrich donated his collection of Expressionism art with artists such as Erich Heckel, August Macke, and Otto Mueller represented in the collection.

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German Tank Museum

Address: Hans-Krüger-Straße 33, 29633 Munster, Germany

The German Tank Museum (Deutsches Panzermuseum Munster in German) is a museum in Munster, Germany, dedicated to collecting and exhibiting armored fighting vehicles. The museum’s collection depicts the history of armored war vehicles.

From the creation of tanks in the 19th century to this day, weaponized vehicles have been an important part of the history and development of modern warfare. The museum was created in 1983 and covered an area of over 9,000 square feet.

The collection on display, while very varied, is largely made up of tanks given by the German Army (Bundeswehr) over the years. Other than the German tanks on display, there are tanks from the armies of the Soviet Union, the United States of America, Britain, and so on from the World War period.

There are also several tanks from the modern era, like the Merkava from Israel. The exhibits include the first tank built by the Germans, the A7V, built for combat during World War I.

Along with the tanks on display are videos and other multimedia depicting the tanks in question and giving visitors new insight into how these tanks were built and operated.

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Aviation Museum Hannover-Laatzen

Plane Display and Sign at  Aviation Museum Hannover-Laatzen

Address: Ulmer Str. 2, 30880 Laatzen, Germany

Covering over 3,500 square meters of space in Laatzen, the Aviation Museum Hannover-Laatzen is a museum dedicated to aviation history.

The museum was partly the work of entrepreneur and aviation enthusiast Gunther Leonhardt. Gunther had built a private aviation collection mostly comprised of Ju-52 aircraft he had recovered from a Norwegian lake after the end of World War 2.

In 1992, Gunther would somewhat move his collection over to the aviation museum, which was located in the same building as the company he owned named Nelke.

The exhibits at the museum include over 30 aircraft engines, 800 aircraft models, and 38 airplanes displayed inside and outside the building. Documents, carriages, clothing worn by pilots, and artifacts other than the aircraft can also be found at the museum.

Several historical developments in aviation can be found at the museum, with the most prominent perhaps being the Jumo 004A, which was one of the first jet engines ever made.

The exhibits at the museum are arranged chronologically. Visitors can walk through the history of aviation from its earliest days down to modern developments.

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Museum at the Kulturbrauerei

Address: Knaackstraße 97, 10435 Berlin, Germany

The Museum at the Kulturbrauerei (German: Museum in der Kulturbrauerei) is in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin, Germany. Usually referred to as a museum of contemporary German history, the museum features a permanent exhibition about life in the German Democratic Republic before Germany’s unification.

The museum is located in the building where the Schultheiss Brewery used to operate. It was opened in 2012 to the public with the inaugural ‘Everyday Life in GDR’ exhibition. Since the initial exhibition, the museum has continued to grow, adding several hundred new artifacts to its collection to paint a more vivid picture of the GDR.

The exhibit takes visitors on an immersive journey into the reality of life under the communist government of the German Democratic Republic. The exhibition features a collection of audio files, videos, documents, and everyday objects from the GDR that help to shed light on the reality of life for the citizens of the GDR.

The museum also offers several educational programs like guided tours, workshops, and the curating of materials for people who would like to do a bit more research.

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German-Russian Museum

Road Leading to the Building of German-Russian Museum
File:Karlshorst GER-RUS museum.jpg” by Mangan2002 (sv.wikipedia.org) is marked with CC BY 2.5.

Address: Zwieseler Str. 4, 10318 Berlin, Germany

The German-Russian Museum, located in Berlin, Germany, is a unique museum dedicated to the history of German-Soviet and German-Russian relations. The museum focuses on the war between Germany and the then-Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945.

Although the particular focus of the museum is on the 1941-1945 period, the artifacts take visitors through German-Russian relations beginning as far back as 1917 to the 1999s. The museum has over 1000 square meters of exhibitions.

The museum site at Berlin-Karlhost is unique to German war history as it was where, in 1945, the German Armed Forces finally surrendered, ending World War Two after six years of fighting. The museum was opened in 1995 on the 19th of May, exactly 50 years after the surrender of the Germans.

Right at the entrance of the museum is a Soviet T34 tank that was used during the war. Photographs, documents, and clothing are among the several artifacts on display at the museum. Mines, propaganda maps, military uniforms, medical equipment, military vehicles, and other exhibits bring to life the reality of life as a soldier during the war.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Hanover

Technik Museum Sinsheim

Address: Eberhard-Layher-Straße 1, 74889 Sinsheim, Germany

Located one hour south of Frankfurt in Germany, the Technik Museum Sinsheim (Automobile and Technology Museum) is dedicated to artifacts highlighting the history of technology over the years.

The Technik Museum Sinsheim is Europe’s biggest privately owned museum. With over 1 million visitors to the museum annually, it is also one of Europe’s most visited museums.

The exhibits at the museum are mostly vehicles from various periods, showing the development of the machines over the years. Motorcycles, sports cars, racing bikes, and steam locomotives can be found on the exhibition grounds, along with several other vehicles.

The exhibition area covers over 50,000 square meters and features over 3,000 exhibits on display. The museum also owns a 3D IMAX theatre where visitors can take an immersive journey through the history and technology of the automobiles on display.

Some major features at the museum include a Concorde aircraft donated to the museum by Air France. A permanent exhibit of Formula 1 racecars is the largest in Europe. There is also a walk-in Russian shuttle that was acquired in 2004 by the museum.

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BMW Museum

Exhibit of Old Cars at BMW Museum

Address: Am Olympiapark 2, 80809 München, Germany

The BMW Museum, located in Munich, Germany, is an automobile museum dedicated to the history and development of the BMW brand. The museum first opened its doors to visitors in 1973. Its exhibition space covers over 5,000 square meters and features over 120 exhibits.

The exhibits follow the history of the BMW brand and include engines, vehicles, turbines, motorcycles, and so on. The permanent exhibition featuring 125 unique cars, engines, and other artifacts significant in the history of BMW takes up most of the space.

Germany is a great hub for automakers and enthusiasts of the auto industry, and the BMW Museum is a great addition to the tourist attractions. The museum is one of the most visited museums in all of Germany. Since 2008, it has recorded more visitors, seeing over five million.

The architectural design of the building is unique, and it blends in with the rest of the exhibition. The building is shaped like a bowl, usually called the salad bowl or white cauldron. Karl Schwanzer oversaw the overall design of the building.

FAQs

What is the most important museum in Germany?

The most important museum in Germany is the Deutsches Museum in Munich. It is renowned as one of the world’s largest science and technology museums, attracting millions of visitors annually. The museum’s extensive collection spans various fields, including natural sciences, technology, and industry, showcasing numerous interactive exhibits and historical artifacts. The Deutsches Museum is celebrated for its dedication to educating the public about the evolution and significance of science and technology.

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Kyle Kroeger
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Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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