This actual day in Berlin, Germany includes reviews from a real family for activities they participated in. Get some great ideas for travelling with your own children to this capital city of Germany with its art, history and a bit of fun along the way.
The type of vacation we typically choose is luxury. For our activities, we like luxury and often stay at the finest hotels, but we are also adventurous and love off the beaten path types of experiences and always seek them out. We aren’t bothered by very “local” experiences anywhere and think these are very important to our vacation. We love adventure. We also like a mixture of regular, touristic and organized places. We enjoy hiking and outdoorsy activities. We enjoy museums, markets and other activities geared towards children. We like to maximize each day by seeing as much as possible.
Our children at the time of this itinerary: 6 children- Boy age 15, Girl age 15, Girl age 15, Girl age 11, Boy age 8 and Girl age 3.
A Special Note: In order to maximize time, get the most out of each location and facilitate easier travel in a new city which we had a limited time to enjoy, we made use of a guide. We highly recommend this approach if it is within reason for your family.
Our guide was named Heidi and she was simply fantastic. She added a lot to the experience. She was intelligent, informative, knowledgeable, flexible and very kid friendly.
She comes with a small dog (optional) which our kids really liked! Her full name is
Heidi Leyton and she can be found at http://www.tourguidesberlin.com/
Address: Straße der Nationen 22, 16515 Oranienburg, Germany
Phone: +49 (3301) 200 200
Hours: March 15th until October 14th: Daily 8:30AM – 6:00PM, October 15th until March 14th: Daily 8:30AM – 4:30PM (The Museum and Library are closed Mondays but the open-air exhibition is still accessible)
Admission: Free of charge, Guided tours run €15 (approx $20 on the date of this publication) for up to 15 people.
Description: Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was a Nazi prison camp during World War II and went through many similarly horrible iterations over time. Today the museum that occupies its grounds serves as a powerful reminder of human tragedy and the scars left by it. Though not for all families, those so inclined will be forever moved by the experience here. The museum takes a decentralized approach to exhibition. Rather than a main area where one can read about the various parts of the camp, visitors are encouraged to walk the grounds and learn what happened in the actual settings in which they took place. It is difficult to convey in words a place such as this, it will move you in ways utterly without comparison.
Our Experience: We all thought this was a very important site for everyone to visit. It was very moving and impactful. While not easy to handle at times and not exactly a “fun” stop it was critical to understand a powerful piece of history. Our 11 and 15 year olds absorbed it all,
Our 8 year old absorbed what he could and of course our 3 year old didn’t absorb anything. Parents should prepare their children before and be ready for questions during and after. As adults we also say it is a must see.
Address: S7 Grunewald | Grunewald, Berlin, Germany
Hours: The memorial is always available for viewing
Description: This site, part of the S-bahn Grunewald station, is a sobering memorial to the holocaust and the victims shuttled by train to concentration camps across Germany and beyond. The rail line features metal grid markers right on the platform which indicate the departure dates, destination (which concentration camp) and the number of victims on each train. Numbers vary from 20 to over 1000 on a given trip. A walk along both platforms will provide the time to read each of these markers and pay respect to all of those who lost their lives.
Our Experience: Our kids and adults also thought this was a very important site to see. We walked around the memorial and saw the dates and number of people deported engraved along the edge of the platform. It didn’t require a long time to feel the impact and even a brief stop carried a lot of weight for us.
Address: Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 25002333
Hours: The gate is always available for viewing
Description: This gate is one of Berlin’s most significant landmarks and an important piece of architecture, besides representing over 200 years of history. This former city gate was rebuilt in the late 18th century as a neoclassical triumphal arch. Its central location makes it easy to incorporate as a brief stop in between other sites and gives a great perspective on the city and its history.
Our Experience: The entire family appreciated this. Adults and older children recognized it as an important piece of history and even the youngest could at least appreciate its awesome size and impressive construction. More than worth a brief stopover.
Address: Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 26394336
Hours: This outdoor memorial is always open
Admission: Free of Charge
Description: Officially known as the “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe,” this memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust is powerful and haunting. Consisting primarily of large concrete blocks, this site was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. According to them , the grid-like arrangement of concrete “stelae” over a sloping field are meant to “produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason.” This is yet another impactful reminder of a trying time in history and its lasting impact on the world.
Our Experience: We thought this was an incredibly important site to visit. If you go, make sure to spend some time walking through. We were time pressured and wish we had more time to take it in as everyone got something out of this experience.
Address: Wall Museum, Bernauer Straße, 13355 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 467986666
Hours: Daily 8AM – 10PM
Admission: Free of Charge
Description: A sobering memorial to one of history’s most trying times and the wall that separated East and West Germany. The Berlin Wall memorial consists of an open-air exhibit (mind the weather) and a Visitor Center/Museum. It is hard to imagine a visit to this great city without taking the time to reflect on this site and the events that took place there. There is a lot of information posted, documentary film strips displayed in the visitor center and a viewpoint tower you can climb in order to get the best perspective on the preserved piece of the wall itself. While it may be difficult or over the heads of some younger children it is worth considering for the historical impact.
Our Experience: This site represents a critical piece of history that comes to life when you can actually stand in front of it. As far as we are concerned, this stop as well as everything on the tour up to this point have been must-do’s. The rest of the day has some options that we chose to add in but no visit to Berlin would be complete without this stop at the wall.
Address: Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Hours: This memorial is always available for viewing
Admission: Free of Charge
Description: This powerful historical site is known by the nickname given to it by Western Allies during the cold war. It was the best known crossing point between East and West Germany. It stands today as an iconic reminder of the territorial and political division of Germany, and the world at large during this period. This single site was the border between capitalism and communism, and in many ways between freedom and oppression.
Our Experience: The historical value of this site alone makes it worth a stop. If you have the time by all means go, but this could have been skipped without too much concern had we been tighter on time.
Address: Departs from Panoramastraße 1A, 10178 Berlin, Germany and ends at gallery space at the HB55 centre in Lichtenberg.
Phone: +49 (0)162 81 98 264 (en)
Hours: Departs Monday, Weds, Friday and Saturday at Noon (regular tour) if you need other accommodation call them and they will work with you.
Admission: 15 Euros per person
Description: For an experience unlike any other Berlin offers street level tours of the underground art scene so famous around the world. The complete experience has two parts: a tour and a workshop. This is sure to be a truly memorable experience for children (over 11) and parents alike. The private, artist led workshop (materials and protective gear provided) will teach you grafitti art techniques in an abandoned factory setting. You will create a canvas piece which will double as a very personal souvenir. This amazing outing combines art, history, street life, language and fun into a one-of-a-kind chance to safely (and legally) delve into the underground and come back to tell about it. It is optional to add the second part, the graffiti tour of the city highlighting famous works and artists in the underground art scene.
Our Experience: A great way to end a day otherwise filled with difficult history. This helped us unwind, have fun and end the day on a more upbeat note. We would recommend this approach to other families. The kids – all 6 of them- thought this was very cool. They loved that they each got a small canvas and go to paint “graffiti ” on it and will treasure these souvenirs they got to create. They rated this a must do as well. They typically don’t allow 11 or under and we did not come at their regular time but they were willing to work with us, and allow us to come for just the workshop (not the tour) portion and allowed all our kids to do a project. The staff was really nice friendly and incredibly helpful.