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H’off to Berlin soon? If you are bored of the Brandenburg Gate or find Museum Island too mundane, we may have something a little more offbeat for you to try. The Circus Hostel in Mitte Berlin is home to the world’s first (and probably only) David Hasselhoff Museum, dedicated to all things the Hoff.
But why would Germans be interested in this hairy chested 80s TV star? Answer – he is considered an absolute legend here, and he was probably more famous in Germany in the 1980s than he was in the USA.
On New Year’s Eve 1989, just a few weeks after the iconic night of November 9th (the fall of the Berlin Wall), David Hasselhoff belted out his hit song ‘Looking for Freedom’ at Brandenburg Gate near the remains of the wall.
He was wearing his famous leather jacket and piano key tie, whilst suspended from a crane above a crowd of one million adoring Germans. The song had been number one in the German charts for several weeks during the summer of 1989 before the wall fell, and many Germans credit David Hasselhoff for contributing towards east and west Germany’s reunification!
Inside the David Hasselhoff Museum
Fast forward many years later to 2008 when a small version of the unofficial David Hasselhoff museum was created by bartender and superfan Sebastian Neeb at the Circus hostel.
Renovations in 2015 allowed for a larger and more permanent version of the museum to be created and it officially opened on March 6 2015 to the public displaying a half shrine, half collection of memorabilia with items from Baywatch to the Berlin Wall.
The museum is free to enter and items on display in glass cabinets include a replica of the piano key scarf that he wore on New Year’s Eve 1989, a piece of the Berlin wall, Baywatch outfits, Knight Rider toys and a signed photo.
The main attraction is a massive illustrated mural of David Sexily reclining with his shirt unbuttoned that has also been signed by the very man himself, when he visited the ‘museum’ in June 2017 (he even did a Facebook live video!)
So is it worth a visit if you aren’t a Hasselhoff fan? Well, yes and no. As fans of all things kitsch and 1980s (think The A-Team, Tiffany and the Rubik’s Cube), we visited specifically as we just had to see this place for ourselves – seeing is believing! Although fun, it is fair to say that the ‘museum’ description is a little misleading – this in a single, dark, tiny basement corridor room next to the hostel’s toilets – even if you peruse every single item, you’ll be done in 5 minutes.
This might be the reason why there is no pomp and circumstance in terms of directions or signs at the hostel – we just wandered into the Circus Hostel and had to find our own way. Maybe it is a joke that just got a little out of hand and they are now embarrassed about it – really, we feel they need to embrace it more and shout about it’s presence. Hell, even introduce some related brews in the microbrewery like Hoff-meister, I’ve Been Looking For Beer-dom* etc. The ‘museum’ isn’t for everyone but (‘h-off the record), we actually quite enjoyed it.
*sorry / not sorry
Like this? Then may we also recommend you seek out the Detective Columbo bronze statue in Budapest.
More Germany blog posts
- Things to do in Berlin
- A Berlin food tour in fashionable Friedrichshain
- Things to do in Cologne, Germany