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“Smaller than some but a wonderful experience”

DB Museum (German Railway Museum)
Ranked #10 of 185 things to do in Nuremberg
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Having opened its doors in 1882, the DB Museum is now the world's oldest museum devoted to the railways. Its main building is located in Nuremberg, and it also has two other branches - one in Koblenz and the other in Halle an der Saale. Property of the Deutsche Bahn Foundation, the Nuremberg building may be old, but it is nothing if not modern, as its collections and exhibitions have been completely overhauled in recent years. The heart of the Nuremberg exhibition is a panoramic sweep of rail history in Germany from its humble beginnings around 1800 up to the present day, and even taking a look at what the future may have in store. Covering a total space of 6,800 m², it takes a different approach to most railway museums in that the history of train technology is just one aspect among many others. All of them are woven together to tell a much larger story. Scores of objects, from original locomotives to old advertising signs, are given their own interactive settings and vividly bring this tale to life. The original vehicles at the museum are another major draw for visitors. Some 40 rail legends are on show in two halls. They include the oldest surviving passenger coach in Germany, a replica of the country's first steam locomotive, the Adler, and a model of the ICE 4, the next generation of high-speed train. The museum's external exhibition space covers some 15,000 m² and includes a vintage train platform, interactive signal box and a display depot containing train-related treasures from the museum's various collections. Younger visitors can look forward to KIBALA, a railway paradise created specially for children to experiment and play with. It's got lots of buttons that need pressing, a train simulator and a miniature railway that shunts our little visitors around the entire exhibition grounds. The museum hosts different special exhibitions dedicated to specific topics, and its programme of events also includes a wide range of concerts, talks and celebrations that ensure there's never a dull moment at Lessingstrasse 6.
Reviewed December 12, 2013

This is arguably the first railway museum in the world and offers a valuable insight into German social history in addition to engineering genius. A definite must do!

Thank JohnStratfordUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 22, 2013

I first visited this museum way back in the late 1960’s… it has been greatly expanded since then. It now also houses a communication museum, but since our time was limited, we had to concentrate on the rail exhibits. You can easily spend several hours learning about the history of the German rail system. There are several halls and outdoor exhibits with various pieces of historic rail equipment including the steam locomotive 05 001 which is the sister engine to 05 002 which shares a controversial steam locomotive speed record with the British LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard.

Thank Michael G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

There was no English on any of the displays, but the history of the rail from birth thru the current day including, engineering, railroads part in the wars, the Princes rail cars, were all outstanding!

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

At the same time as the British, the Germans developed a very effective railway network which contributed to the development of the country as an industrial power. That started in XIX century, well before Germany existed as we know it now, when a string of kingdoms shared the actual German territory. One of the more prosperous and rich was Bayern and so was its railways network. The main hub was in Nuremberg, so it’s not a coincidence that the city is the home of the German National Railway Museum. The Museum is split in two sites. One is in a public building near the main station, where there are several exhibitions about the history of the Deutsche Bundesbahn, its origins, its key developments, some historic rolling stock (impressive the Royal train of Ludwig II, of Neuschwanstein Castle fame), the first electric locomotives, prototypes, equipment and systems. This part of the Museum also has a significant didactic area for kids, including driving cabins and a comprehensive H0 scale model layout with lots of trains running at the same time. A well furnished souvenir/memorabilia shop and a restaurant can be found next to the entrance.
The second part is across the road in a disaffected rail yard and there, there is an impressive collection of original famous locomotives and trains, from the world speed record steam engine BR05 Stromlinie to the popular VT11.5 TEE of the sixties. In definitive a must for any train enthusiast, model train collectors (most of the engines in the exhibition have been reproduced by all European model manufacturers), people interested in engineering and for kids and young people, of course.

Thank raimon_d_Menorca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2013

Although a lot smaller than a museum like the NRM in York, the DB Museum packs in a lot of interesting history, from the story of the first German railway (told via an entertaining 10 minute film, with English subtitles) to a lengthy discourse of the railway's employment in wartime and the how the post-war split into East and West lead to different developments for the networks.

There are a few locomotives displayed in the main building (although they are a little close together for anyone hoping to photograph them) and there is an additional building across the road with some more interesting locomotives, including some of the huge wartime steam engines. Then from there, there is a large outdoor section with more displays and an old signal box from which you can watch the main east end of Nuremberg train station, with local and express trains coming in and out. As a railway fan you could easily spend a good hour watching the trains and the location is great for photography.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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