As a fan of 10+ years, I was super excited to visit the Ramones Museum in Berlin-Kreuzberg, Germany. It’s the first and only Ramones Museum in the world, and was founded by Flo Hayler, a music journalist and huge fan, in 2005. According to their website, more than 1,000 original artifacts, representing the band’s history from 1974-1996, are exhibited.
I was worried about getting hungry while touring the museum, so my first stop was the cozy (inside) Bar and Café area. All breakfast foods offered to guests are either vegan or vegetarian. I had the “Blitzkrieg Bop” breakfast, that consisted of two slices of bread with a few veggies, sliced cheese (a vegan spread can be ordered instead, if preferred), and veggie cold cuts, and a bottle of Club-Mate, a non-alcoholic caffeine drink often found in Eastern Germany. The food arrived quickly, and it was minimalist but amazing, just like many of the band’s songs! The punk music playing in the background was another bonus. There was no way to miss the Wall of Fame, where tons of great bands (e.g. Rise Against, Die Toten Hosen, and The Undertones), that had visited the museum, left their signature. And the photos of various artists on the wall are worth mentioning as well!
The “Blitzkrieg Bop” breakfast, and a small overview of breakfast food items available.
Then I walked through the swinging doors, to check out the museum area!
I quickly learnt that the museum’s treasures are shown in the chronological order of the band’s history, so it started with their early years from the mid to late 1970s. My favourite displays of this period were: A signed cover of the first Ramones album (1976), photo courtesy of the Ramones Museum, band member pictures and handwritten lyrics to “Judy is a Punk” (1976), a photo of Johnny Ramone and Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols (1977), a poster from their gig in Lyon, France, on Apr 28, 1977, and Marky Ramone’s shoes, worn during their European tour in 1978.
Next, I entered a separate room, where “Rock’n’Roll High School”, a teen comedy movie featuring the band, published in 1979, was playing. It was great to sit on the couch for a break, and I liked the cool t-shirts and posters hanging on the wall, that were made specifically because of the movie.
As I kept on walking, I found more awesome Ramones memorabilia, from the 1980s until 1996. Here are some examples: Ticket stub from a gig in Berlin, and picture of a show in Tokyo, Japan (both 1980), and an article in the New York Post about Johnny Ramone (1983). These two are photo courtesy of the Ramones Museum, then CJ Ramone’s bass guitar. Also, a set list for a gig, each band member’s profile, and poster of their show in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 16, 1996. The last one is also photo courtesy of the Ramones Museum.
After the museum tour, I couldn’t resist buying a Ramones Museum t-shirt and sticker from the gift shop. I mean, I had to get something to not forget that I visited this place, once I’m old… Just kidding. 😀
Many times, The Ramones Museum has been transformed into a concert venue, and these artists, among others, played (at least) one show: Frank Turner, Anti-Flag, The Gaslight Anthem, Jet, and even CJ Ramone! In August 2020, “Window Shows” were added to their program, i.e. the musician(s) play(s) inside, and the audience is outside. What an awesome way to enjoying yourself during the times we’re in right now! The museum often has hosted other events as well, like Rock ‘n’ Roll Jukebox, and a Vegan Punk Rock Brunch.
I was amazed by the immense detail, effort, time, and passion that must have been put into setting up the Ramones Museum over the years. Although the museum area is rather small, it’s very well organized. I also appreciated the kind staff, warm atmosphere, and very affordable prices (see below). So whether you’re into The Ramones or not, I think this museum is worth visiting, to learn about the band’s large impact on the history of music. Plus, their large breakfast kept my belly satisfied for a long time! For me, it was an awesome start to exploring Berlin, as several tourist attractions (e.g. East Side Gallery and the Brandenburg Gate) are not far away. Feel free to check out Rebecca’s blog post to learn more about Berlin’s tourist attractions, and tons of yummy vegan food options! 😋
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to try any of their (mostly vegan) cakes, a hot or cold (alcoholic) drink, or check out an event. But these are on my bucket list, so I can’t wait to visit the Ramones Museum again someday!
A small selection of pastries and drinks available, both photo courtesy of the Ramones Museum.
Directions to the Ramones Museum
The closest train station is Schlesisches Tor, which can be reached via subway (S-Bahn) and bus from the city center and Berlin-Tegel Airport. More details can be found on the website of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (Berlin transit information).
You can find the Ramones Museum here:
Oberbaumstraße 5, 10997 Berlin
Telephone: +49 30 61285399
Please note: Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation in Germany has worsened a lot recently, so the Ramones Museum is temporarily closed. Hopefully, they can reopen soon!
Under normal circumstances, the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- It’s 5 Euros to visit the museum, and this includes a Ramones Museum pin. If you bring it when you return in the future, admission is free!
- For 7 Euros, you get museum admission, plus a hot or cold drink (except longdrinks).
- For 12 Euros, you can visit the museum, plus a breakfast for one person.
- For 24 Euros, you get museum admission, and a shirt of your choice, except long sleeves.
Entering the Ramones Museum Bar and Café area is free of charge.
You can also book a (virtual) guided tour of the museum, or the Berlin Punk Rock Tour, to learn about the coolest DIY spots of the city. By appointment only. Please contact the museum for more details.
So if you’re looking for a truly unique experience while visiting Berlin, I highly recommend checking out the Ramones Museum!