If you have any doubts about visiting Berlin with your family, you shouldn’t think much about its turbulent past. Berlin is much more than that - it is exuberant countryside, gorgeous buildings, developed technology, and much more. It is a city that has everything that any child loves – from puppet theatres to timid farm animals.
PLACES TO VISIT
The extraordinary neoclassical monument of Brandenburg Gate from the 18th century is probably one of the first attractions that visitors see in Berlin. It is probably one of the main landmarks of the city. You will feel so small in front of the massive columns.
Reichstag Building is another colossal building that all visitors want to see. This is the place where Parliament sits, with a glass dome that can be visited free of charge (but you have to book your visit in advance).
Museum Island in the Spree River, a World Heritage Site, is the place with most Berlin’s museums: Pergamon Museum, Bode Museum, Neues Museum, Altes Museum, and Alte Nationalgalerie.
The magnificent building of the Berlin Cathedral Church built in the 19th century is located on Museum Island. It represents the Historicist architecture of the Kaiserzeit or the Era of the Emperor.
Berliner Fernsehturm or the TV tower gives a 360-degree view of Berlin. You can’t miss it, as it is the highest building in the city. It is located in the pedestrian area of Alexanderplatz, a historic meeting and market place in the middle of the city.
Visitors can learn about Berlin’s post-war life at the East Side Gallery, 1316-meter long remains of the Berlin wall, painted by artists from all over the world after the wall was torn down. It is an open space gallery.
Berlin Wall Memorial is another memory of the division of Berlin. It was created in 1998 and preserves a part of the city wall and a very illustrative exhibition.
Visitors usually have a great time at Checkpoint Charlie, once one of the most famous crossing points between West and East Germany. Today, you can take a photo with the “American soldiers,” and everything there looks exactly as it used to be during the Cold War.
The Holocaust Memorial, a memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, is not to be missed. It is an open space structure where you can freely walk around.
While walking around Berlin, you will certainly come to Potsdamer Platz, one of the central city squares. You can step on the foundation of the Berlin Wall there.
Charlottenburg Palace is another of Berlin’s must-see. This 300-year-old palace a bit outside the city center is one of the best Berlin attractions. The entrance to the park around the palace is free.
BERLIN FOR FAMILIES
Tierpark or Tiergarten is over 500 acres-park in central Berlin. After getting tired of sightseeing, it is the most amazing place to have some rest with your family. You can just sit or lay on the grass and watch your kids playing. Or you can take a stroll, rent a boat, or have a picnic.
After having some rest in Tierpark, continue to the Berlin Zoo, just a step away. It is one of the biggest Zoos in Europe. Kids will be happy to admire more than 1,350 exotic species, actually more than 20,000 animals and colorful birds.
They will enjoy spending time with some more animals at the Aquarium Berlin next to the Zoo. They will be able to see fish, coral reefs, jellyfishes, a crocodile, and even a giant python.
The Museum of Natural History is one of the children’s most famous. They can have fun with dinosaurs, monster lizards, and other prehistoric beasts.
FEZ: Children and Youth Leisure Center Wuhlheide is still a secret to tourists and it is a great place with different programs, imaginative and educational, that are constantly changing. There are festivals, playgrounds, a railway, an indoor swimming pool, and a beach in the summer.
Kids will find the German Museum of Technology as popular as the Natural History Museum, but instead of animals, they will be able to touch and explore airplanes, spinning houses, and see different illusions.
SEA LIFE in a gigantic cylindrical aquarium is another great place. It is 25 meters tall, and it shelters 1,500 fish from 97 different species like coral reefs, poisonous stingrays, seahorses, and much more.
Zeiss-Großplanetarium offers both youngest and the older visitors ultramodern starry night shows, and Jump HOUSE helps relieve stress and have fun at trampolines.
At LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Potsdamer Platz kids can enjoy a Lego world, an interactive playground, a 3-D cinema, and lots of Lego bricks to build your own creation.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
Berlin can boast of numerous museums and galleries. You should visit at least some of the following: Pergamonmuseum, the Humboldt Forum, The Museum of Decorative Arts, The Gemäldegalerie, the Neues Museum, the Topography of Terror, the New National Gallery, Bode-Museum, the Old National Gallery, Jewish Museum Berlin, and Brücke Museum.
In Berlin, you can easily book a family-friendly hotel with big family rooms, baby cots, high chairs, and a lot of space for kids to play. You can get information on playgrounds, pediatricians, and everything you need to make your holiday with children a nice experience.
WHAT TO EAT
In Berlin, visitors should try national dishes like Schnitzel and Pretzels. Different kinds of sausages are inevitable: Currywurst, Bockwurst, and Ketwurst. Then, there is Senfeier (hard-boiled eggs served with mashed potatoes and creamy mustard sauce), Eisbein (Pork Knuckle), Königsberger Klopse (meatballs), doughnuts with jelly, in Berlin called “Pfannkuchen,” which means pancake everywhere else in Germany. Of course, visitors can order Döner Kebab, Pizza, and Burgers, too.
· On their birthday, children are granted free admission to many attractions (Madame Tussauds, Sea Life, and AquaDom).
· Visitors can have fun shopping with their kids at the children’s flea markets around Berlin (in the winter, they are indoors).
· In many of Berlin’s libraries, there are playhouses and beautiful reading areas to spend some time.
· There are lovely playgrounds all over the city where the whole family can have adventures, like the one with Sherwood Forest, where the kids can play Robin Hood.
· Children’s Carnival of Cultures and many other festivals are free. You can have a great time there.
TIME TO VISIT
Between May and September, the weather is mostly warm and sunny and it is suitable for outdoor activities and sightseeing.
Markthalle Neun is a historic farmers market, with regional food supplies and affordable Berlin-style food.
Viktoriapark is a secret spot with grassy areas, a pond, and a waterfall at the top of the hill in Berlin.
During the summer, visitors can escape to Halensee, a lake near the center, with clear water and nice views.
It is great fun to go treasure hunting at the Flea market, one of many Berlin’s flea markets at the Mauerpark.
Spreepark used to be an old amusement park, but you can still explore it as one of the most original Berlin attractions.
It is easy to get around Berlin by public transportation. It consists of U-Bahn, S-Bahn, buses, and trams that reach every part of the big city. The system is well organized and safe, but still, visitors usually have to get maps to be able to use it efficiently.
If Berlin was not on your top list of places to visit with your family, you should change your mind. Berlin takes good care in helping its visitors, especially the youngest ones, to feel safe, pleasant, and amused.
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