This represents a trip in progress. Let us know what you think! Have any experience in the area? Any other things you would have chosen? Some questions about choices made? Please feel free to comment and let us know what you think.
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)
Getting There: The best way to get there from Berlin is by car, with the drive lasting approx 40 minutes. It is accessible by public transportation though that will take close to 1 ½ hours and eat a large portion of your day and still involve a 20-30 minute walk, prohibitive for some children. This itinerary assumes driving.
Admission: Free of charge, Guided tours run €15 (approx $20 on the date of this publication) for up to 15 people.
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.
Sachsenhausen is located in Oranienburg, a fairly small suburb of Berlin located on the Havel River. Most residents are commuters working in the city. The drive will give you a chance to reflect on and discuss what you have just seen and take in some of the German countryside.
Address: Rosenthaler Straße 39, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 28599407
Hours: Daily 10AM – 8PM
Getting There: If not taking the driving route laid out in this itinerary, The Berlin Metro is a fast and efficient way to get around the city.
Admission: Free of charge, including guided tours.
One man risked everything to try to help his fellow human beings through the darkest of days. Otto Weidt owned a small factory manufacturing brooms and brushes. During the Holocaust he employed mainly blind and deaf Jews, risking his own safety to save them from certain death. His story has earned him status as one of theRighteous Men of the World’s Nations. It is a truly inspirational tale that will bring hope to the discussion of one of history’s darkest periods and instill good values in children while focusing on the people rather than the violence of the time. It tells the story of both the factory’s owner and the workers through letters, poems, photos and other documents.
Rounding out this stop will be a visit to the Hackescher Hofe. The largest enclosed courtyard in Berlin is a cultural touchstone and favorite of both locals and tourists. The first courtyard is known as Endellscher Hof courtyard, and was designed by Art Nouveau artist and architect August Endell.The second courtyard Theater Hof is home to the Hackesche-Hof-Theater. Both of these, as well as several smaller courtyards are home to vibrant art galleries and great restaurants making this the perfect spot for a midday meal.
Address: Wall Museum, Bernauer Straße, 13355 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 467986666
Hours: Daily 8AM – 10PM
Getting There: Approx 6 minutes from last stop by car or cab, 15 minutes by metro that leaves every 15 minutes.
Admission: Free of Charge
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. This memorial is widely considered more powerful than that at Checkpoint Charlie.
Address: Mühlenstraße, 10243 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 172 3918726
Hours: This open-air exhibit is always accessible.
Getting There: About 15 minutes by car or cab from the Wall Museum,
Admission: Free to all. If interested in a private tour contact the office for more information.
The world’s longest open air gallery features over a hundred large scale images painted directly on the wall that formed part of the border between East and West Germany. It serves as both an art exhibit and a memorial to freedom from oppression and tries to capture the euphoric feeling at the time the wall was dismantled. It is a slice of history, a collection of great minds and a statement for the ages all rolled into a kilometer of open space.
A short drive will then take you past the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate to the Nazi street of terror, starting at the former SS and Gestapo headquarters, now recently excavated Topography of Terror. Along the way you will see one of the largest buildings in WWII Berlin, the former Headquarters of the Nazi Air Force which escaped years of bombing raids almost completely undamaged. You can pass by and even stand above the Fuehrer bunker, on top of the very room where Hitler finally ended himself, and look at how the site is treated today. Then walk down the street to experience Peter Eisenman’s iconic ‘Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe’.
From there you can quickly pass Checkpoint Charlie and Gendarmenmarkt so see them, on route to Babelplatz, the site of the famous Nazi book-burning, where it is worth pausing for a moment. Continue on for the final leg and pass by Museum Island and see Humboldt University where Einstein lectured and Karl Marx was expelled for his anti-monarchical politics. There are so many things to do in Berlin, we have chosen a select few to enjoy but this will allow you to at least SEE many more.
NOTE: Families not driving or taking cabs will omit this step and reverse stop 5 and stop 7 for easier use of The Metro.
Address: Leaves from a point you set, concludes at Josep Orlopp Strasse 38, Lichtenberg
Phone: (866) 648-5873 (USA) or +1 (702) 648-5873 (International)
Hours: Availability varies by day but contact them for details and to set your personal tour/workshop time as per your preferences. Lasts 4-41/2 hours.
Getting There: You contact them to set a convenient start point, within S-Bahn circle line zone of The Metro (AB transport ticket recommended).
Admission: As of the date of this publication price was set at $54 per person. Prices are updated constantly on their site but guaranteed once they are booked.
For an experience unlike any other Berlin offers street level tours of the underground art scene so famous around the world. Divided into two parts, a tour and a workshop, this is sure to be a truly memorable experience for children and parents alike. The first part features an artist-led tour of street art in Berlin that will feature great pieces, teach “tagger” lingo and give a perspective of the city you can’t find anywhere else. The second part will consist of a private, artist led workshop (materials and protective gear provided) which 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 tour 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.