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The German Tank Museum (Deutsches Panzermuseum Munster) is a treasure trove of military armoured vehicles and artefacts from the First World War to the present.
While there are about 150 tanks and other vehicles from around the world to look at, the absolute highlight of the tank museum in Munster is the collection of 40 Second World War tanks.
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If you want to see the German “super heavy” tank, known as the Mouse (Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus), you’ll have to travel to Kubinka, the Russian Tank Museum (the biggest tank museum in the world).
Even if you’ve never been remotely interested in tanks, the German Tank Museum is fascinating! Read on to discover precisely what you need to know about visiting this armoured vehicle museum, including how to get there, plus what to see and do on your trip to the Deutsches Panzermuseum.
German Tank Museum – Know Before You Go
How to get to the Deutsches Panzermuseum
Address: Hans-Krüger-Straße 33, 29633 Munster -not to be confused with Münster (Muenster) in North Rhine-Westphalia.
By car: 60 minutes from Hamburg or 90 minutes from Hannover, then 15 km from the Soltau-Ost exit on the Autobahn A7.
By Train to Munster (Örtze) station
- From Bremen: 90 minutes
- From Hamburg or Hannover: Around two hours.
- From Berlin: At least three hours.
We travelled by train from Hamburg. It’s a very straightforward journey, with trains running every other hour.
The Deutsches Panzermuseum is a pleasant one-mile walk (1.5 km) from Munster (Örtze) station.
Top Tip: Munster (Örtze) station is tiny! There are no facilities, except for toilets. There’s not even a bench to sit on, so make sure to stock up on any drinks/snacks you need before you travel.
- June to September: Daily from 10:00 to 18:00
- October to May: Closed on Mondays, except for national holidays. Closed from mid-December to early January.
If you visit the tank museum during the cooler months, don’t forget a warm coat! The cavernous exhibition halls are draughty and unheated.
Tickets for the German Tank Museum
Admission: €8 for adults and €4 for children (Under 5s go free). A family ticket is €15. Check availability here.
Top Tip: Free audio guides are available (you may need to ask for one). If you don’t speak German, these guides are super helpful, as some of the exhibits don’t have a description in English.
A modest museum shop has a small selection of souvenirs, but the best souvenirs will be your own photos (unless you really want a book about tanks – in German).
While there’s a pleasant picnic area, the selection of drinks and snacks for sale is very basic – don’t forget to pack your own lunch!
What to see and do at the German Tank Museum
The exhibition includes tanks and other large military vehicles, cannons and motorcycles, a small selection of uniforms, hand weapons, military orders/awards and toys.
While the German tank museum is enormous, the collection on display represents only a tiny fraction of the museum’s complete collection of 6,000 items!
The German Tank Museum deals sensitively with the subject of war and doesn’t shy away from the human cost of using tanks in battle. Rather than glorifying war, the museum focuses on how the technology of tanks has developed over the years.
Germany has few military museums, and this superb collection of military vehicles is a hidden gem. It’s well worth the trek to visit.
The Collection at the Tank Museum in Germany
The museum is spotlessly clean and well-ordered, with most of the displays in chronological order. While the majority of the tanks are German models, these are complemented by armoured vehicles from other countries.
Detailed descriptions in German and English accompany many of the exhibits, and the audio guide provides lots of extra information too, making it easy to understand the exhibition.
There is a copy of the first German tank, Wotan, plus a video of German engineers experimenting with captured British tanks.
Second World War Tanks in the Munster Tank Museum
Tanks were vital equipment in the Second World War, and they were mass manufactured at speed by each of the countries involved in the war. One of the reasons that Germany lost the war was because they could not manufacture tanks as fast as Russia and America, especially in the last year of the war.
The display of tanks from the Second World War is impressive, and there are extra audiovisual displays to explain more about how these tanks were made and used.
Elements of War Exhibition
After the Second World War hall, don’t miss the small but interesting “Elements of War” exhibition. The uniforms, medals and decorations, smaller weapons, and toys in this area are poignant reminders of the impact of war on real people.
Don’t Miss: The rare Nazi-era medals, including German Crosses.
Tanks from the Cold War
The next exhibition includes about 40 tanks from the Cold War Period – alongside some of the support vehicles needed to keep the tanks in full working order. Cut-out models of some tanks – once used for training purposes – show how these vehicles were built.
Don’t miss the exhibition of tanks from East and West Germany.:
- The Bundeswehr (federal defence force of West Germany) tanks were based on American designs
- The Volksarmee (People’s Army – East Germany) had Soviet-designed tanks
There’s also an exhibition of armoured vehicles used for air defence systems.
Outside, there are more tanks on display, including a massive bridge-building vehicle and a Leopard I tank that visitors can climb on and sit inside.
Wrap Up – How to Visit the German Tank Museum
As you can see, the German Tank Museum at Munster is a fascinating armoured fighting vehicle museum. It’s the perfect place to visit to delve deep into military history to understand more about some of the major conflicts of the 20th century. It’s the ideal quirky museum to add to a trip to Northern Germany – even if you’re only visiting for a short break!
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