If you’re considering a city break and want to take the kids, Berlin is less than a two-hour flight from Heathrow. This thriving and cosmopolitan city is full of galleries, museums, and parks, and is somewhere the whole family can relax and have fun.
The Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, and Berlin Wall will bring your children’s history classes to life and are the reason for the countless school trips to Berlin each year. The Brandenburg Gate has a rich history and was built between 1788 and 1791. It has witnessed many significant historical moments and has been the location for many famous political speeches. Since the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, it now represents a unified Germany.
The Holocaust Memorial or the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe officially opened 60 years after the end of World War II. The site was designed by Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold and consists of 2,711 concrete slabs or ‘stelae’. The names of almost 3 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust are also listed near by.
On 9th November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell uniting the people of Germany.
Part of the wall still stands today and remains a symbol of triumph over oppression. It’s possible to walk or cycle along the path where the wall stood.
There are many guided tours to point out areas of significance.
After taking in the various sites, it’s time to sit back and relax. Several kindercafes have popped up in recent years and have been created with families in mind. These hip cafes are popping up throughout the city and are popular in up and coming areas such as Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg.
Though usually associated with art, music, and culture, Berlin also has a large number of swimming venues and lidos. During the summer months, families can enjoy swimming in various open air locations such as public pools and lakes. Then in the winter months when the open air pools close, you can still take advantage of several indoor pools. Popular venues include Weißer See, Haubentaucher, and Sommerbad Olympiastadion.
Many of the museums and galleries offer family-friendly exhibitions and activities. Museum Island is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. It is home to five of Berlin’s most important museums; Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum, and the Pergamon Museum. One ticket will allow access to all five.
The Pergamon Museum houses the Pergamon Altar, the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, and the Market Gate of Miletus. Each of these structures was constructed from the ruins found in ancient Turkey and the Middle East. While the Neues Museum is home to an Egyptian bust of Nefertiti.
The Reichstag is the home of the German parliament and provides an unrivalled view over the city. The roof is made entirely of glass and offers some of the best views. Though the dome is free to enter, it is necessary to book in advance. Audio tours are also available to talk you through your visit.
Berlin has everything when it comes to family-friendly breaks; education, history, sports, museums, galleries, art and even kindercafes.
It’s definitely worth adding to your itinerary if you’re planning a city break this year.