Berlin with Kids: A Perfect Family Day
With a reputation for being a hip and happening city in the heart of Europe, Berlin is actually a great destination for family travel as well. At any time of year, with its diverse range of museums and parks, Berlin with kids can be a fun and educational experience.
Family vacations to Berlin wouldn't be complete without a trip to the zoo. Zoo Berlin is located on the west side of town, in the heart of the city, between the commercial shopping district and the Tiergarten. It's home to Knut, the famous polar bear who was rejected by his mother in 2006, and was hand-reared, winning the hearts of millions of Germans and visitors to the zoo.
If it's raining, make a beeline for Zoo Aquarium next door, where the kids can check out amphibians, fish and other aquatic animals, as well as a selection of reptiles, spiders and insects. You can get a good value combined ticket for Zoo Berlin and Zoo Aquarium for $28 for adults and $14 for children.
Hardenbergplatz 8, Charlottenburg
+49 (0)30 254 010
Oct–mid-Mar: daily 9AM-5PM; mid-Mar–Sept: daily 9AM-7PM
Adults $18, children $9
Zoo Aquarium Berlin
+49 (0)30 254 010
Budapester Straße 32
Adults $18, children $9
From Zoo Berlin on the west side of town, it's a short walk to KaDeWe for lunch. This is one of the obligatory things to do in Berlin, but there's an added bonus of the impressive view from the seventh floor. KaDeWe is short for Kaufhaus des Westens – "Department Store of the West." It opened its doors in 1907, and stocks a huge variety of luxury clothing, perfume and accessory brands.
The sixth floor is the delicatessen section, where you can stock up on supplies and fine chocolate for a picnic in one of Berlin's lovely parks. Alternatively, head to the seventh floor for the gourmet buffet in the light-filled atrium (what Germans call a "winter garden"). Take a table near the window, where the whole family can enjoy the view.
After lunch, take the S-Bahn or U-Bahn over to the Deutsches Technikmuseum – the German Museum of Technology. It's the modern glass and steel building with the airplane on the roof. You can't miss it. The museum is an exploration of old and new technologies. Permanent exhibitions include the technical history of photography and 200 years of German aviation. You can get up close to real vintage planes in this museum. There are lots of hands-on exhibits that are fun for kids and adults, too. This one of Berlin's best family vacation ideas to have up your sleeve if the weather isn't so good.
+49 (0)30 2121 0
Mon-Thu 10AM-8PM, Fri 10AM-9PM, Sat 9:30AM-8PM
Trebbiner Straße 9
+49 (0)30 902 540
Tue-Fri 9AM-5:30PM, Sat & Sun 10AM-6PM
Adults $6.50, children $3.50
If you've had enough "Wurst" (German sausage), take the family to Dolores in Berlin's Mitte district for dinner. Located just a short walk from Alexanderplatz, the menu is reasonably priced and the California-style burritos are served fresh. Order from the set menu (classic chicken with lime rice and black beans is a winner) or choose from the range of fillings and salsas to make your own personal burrito or quesadilla. Grab a fresh juice or a Bionade (organic soda, German-style) and grab a table next to the colorfully painted wall map.
If the kids are starting to pine after the latest Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks film, you can catch it in English at the CineStar cinema complex at Potsdamer Platz. Make your way to the Sony Center – just head for the building with the massive glass and steel canopy. You'll find all the latest American films screening there, so you can feel right at home in Berlin with kids. If you happen to go on the night of a premiere, you might just catch a glimpse of one of the stars. Any film that has OV after the title means that it's screened in its original language.
While you're at Potsdamer Platz head for Caffè e Gelato upstairs in the Arkaden shopping center. Of course, there are plenty of hole-in-the-wall ice cream vendors all over the city, but for Berlin family vacations, you can't miss Caffè e Gelato's ice cream sundae experience. For the kids, there are sundaes in the shape of animals. For adults, besides classic flavors, why not try the Fruttissimo, a kiwi fruit, banana and pineapple sorbet with passion fruit and mango sauce? There are also organic, sugar-free and lactose-free selections.
Rosa-Luxemburg Str. 7
+49 (0)30 2809 9597
Mon-Fri 11:30AM-10PM, Sat & Sun 1PM-10PM
Potsdamer Str. 4
+49 (0)30 2606 6400
Adults $11, children $7
Caffè e Gelato
+49 (0)30 2529 7832
Can't Get Enough? Discover More of Berlin
- Overview:Berlin Travel Guide