For all its status because the capital of cool, Berlin makes a superb household vacation spot. Berliners are typically tolerant of kids, public transport is straightforward, low cost and quick, and the town brims with parks, playgrounds and lakes. Queues for the primary points of interest are normally shorter than in lots of different cities due to Berlin’s comparatively small inhabitants (3.6 million) and spectacular wealth of cultural delights, and it’s normally doable to beat the queues for large sights just like the Reichstag and the TV Tower by merely reserving on-line.
Children received’t need to be dragged spherical countless rooms of Renaissance portraiture and Greek sculpture at museums such because the Gemäldegalerie or the Bode Museum, however many different big-hitters are geared to households. My eight-year-old son is a fan of the Naturkundemuseum (€8, household ticket €15), and never just for its authentic skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex and the preserved stays of Knut the polar bear; those that perceive German can take a torchlight tour between October and February. He would additionally very a lot advocate the sprawling 25,000-square-metre Deutsches Technisches Museum (€4, household ticket from €9), particularly the planes suspended from the ceiling, giant assortment of locomotives and crusing boats and shows spanning computer systems, radios and cameras. There’s additionally a big park with windmills and a watermill, and each day demonstrations, actions and guided thematic excursions.
Don’t need to expose the children to the extra emotionally wrenching second world warfare memorials or chilly warfare websites? Verify the Anne Frank Museum (€5, households €12), an accessible place for youths to be taught in regards to the holocaust, as is because the extremely interactive DDR museum (from €8.50 grownup, €4.50 baby), which my son additionally loves for its wealth of buttons to press, drawers to open and the Trabant which you can sit in and nearly drive.
For one thing extra area of interest, attempt the Computerspiele Museum (€9, baby €6, household €21) on historic Karl-Marx-Allee. The primary museum on the earth devoted to laptop video games, it has round 300 objects to browse, together with interactive displays, reconstructions of 1980s arcade video games and even some splashy multimedia artwork. For youthful youngsters, the adorably offbeat Puppet Theatre Museum (from €Four grownup, €Three baby) in Neukölln has yearly altering exhibitions that embrace glove puppets, marionettes and cartoon characters from far-flung corners of the globe, in addition to guided excursions, performances, workshops and lectures (in German).
In case you can’t be bothered to plan, head to Prenzlauer Berg, a child-friendly district with retailers, kindercafes (see beneath) and the superb MACHmit! Museum (€5.50, under-3s €3,50), a inventive and academic area inside a transformed church that has common exhibitions, play areas and artistic actions and workshops.
The place are all the opposite youngsters?
Berliners are likely to take full benefit of their metropolis’s beneficiant sprinkling of lakes, parks and woodlands. I usually take my son to Tiergarten, essentially the most well-known and central park, for a picnic, a motorcycle experience or a stroll; go to the child-friendly beer backyard and restaurant at Cáfe am Neuen See, and row a ship across the cafe’s lake. The huge Tempelhofer Feld, a former airport that’s now a leisure area fashionable with rollerbladers, cyclists and kite-flyers, is one other favorite, as is the big Grunewald forest within the south-west of the town. This has the benefit of being near Wannsee beach and lido (the biggest within the metropolis), in addition to the charming Pfaueninsel, or Peacock Island, the place peacocks do certainly roam free across the kitsch 17th-century citadel and varied historic and artwork installations.
Whereas West Berlin’s Zoo and Aquarium and its jap counterpart Tierpark are frequented by locals, they are often costly and busy. Attempt as an alternative one of many metropolis’s Kinderbauernhöfe. These city farmyards for youngsters are smaller, cheaper and extra hands-on, the place youngsters can stroke and feed home animals and take part workshops and actions. The Kinderbauernhof auf dem Görlitzer in Kreuzberg’s Görlitzer Park or Pankow’s Pinke Panke – each central and inside or subsequent to parks and playgrounds – are two of our favourites.
Many cafes and eating places provide the same old primary youngsters’s menus (rooster nuggets, fries) or could make smaller parts. A couple of locations, particularly kindercafes, are particularly geared to households – with devoted play areas for infants and youthful youngsters. In hotter climate, the town’s beer gardens are principally family-friendly too. All have easy snacks (sausages, meatballs, pasta), some even have playgrounds, and within the case of Kreuzberg’s Brachvogel there’s mini-golf and a good Sunday brunch (€9.90 grownup, €5 baby). A trendier alternative is the Markthalle 9, which runs celebrated occasions such because the weekly Road Meals Thursday, a month-to-month Breakfast Market with choices starting from eggs benedict to Vietnamese porridge (€4-10), and occasional sweet markets which can be free for youths.
Probably the greatest areas for households is Prenzlauer Berg; native letting company Oh-Berlin has a wide variety of enticing properties right here (and in different areas), together with this two-bedroom flat (above) sleeping six near Friedrichshain park from €400 for 2 nights. Brilliant Apartments has a number of locations – a few of which sleep six from €135 an evening – which can be near the Mauerpark (flea market on Sundays), quite a few cafes and eating places, and the Berlin Wall memorial. Mitte can be a really handy space; attempt Miniloft, which affords free stays for youths beneath two, a 10% low cost on second flats and facilities for youngsters (excessive chairs, pushchairs, child bedding and exercise packs).
Paul Sullivan is the editor of Slow Travel Berlin