Germany’s capital, Berlin has a rich history and a checkered past. It is not only one of the most hauntingly beautiful cities in Europe but has become a modern travel hub and popular tourist destination. For families planning to visit; here are our favorite family-friendly spots in the city Berlin. Some are culture rich; others are great places to shop or relax.
The infamous Berlin Wall is a must-see historical site for anyone traveling to the city. The complete destruction of the wall in 1990 marked the official dawn of a new era; the reunification of Germany. Nowadays, tourists can still see the last bits of the wall in the city’s Center which serve as reminders of German dark times.
Fashioned by Peter Eisenman of international fame, the Fields of Stelae represent the thousands of Jews slaughtered during the Holocaust. The solid black marble rectangles create a wave when viewed from within and provide visitors with a moving experience. Travelers should be advised the site can get muddy and slippery during the rainy season since it is all outdoors.
This area is an old city gate on the west side of the city that led to a former Prussian palace. It is impressive and has become one of the most recognized landmarks in the city. The gate is the entry point to Unter De Linden; the boulevard of Linden trees. It is beautiful and spectacular, a real gem especially in the springtime.
This location, also known as Checkpoint C, was one of the main entry gates connecting West Berlin and East Berlin for over five decades. This point received its name from the Western Allies and became a symbol of the separation of Berlin during the Cold War. Today, it is a tourist attraction featured in the Allied Museum in the Dahlem neighborhood.
Part memorial and part research center, the Stasi aims to preserve and understand what East Germany stood for. Known by the locals as the secret police headquarters during the Cold War; the otherwise plain looking building opens a window into a fascinating world of spies. While visiting the venue, families can learn about the communist German regime’s tactics to control its citizens through constant fear and terror.
The three tunnels underground were part of a plan to build what the locals know as Germania during Hitler’s regime. During the Cold War, a few people did manage to use them to escape from the Eastern side to the democratic West successfully. Though the tunnels are closed to the public, private tours are available.
For travelers who are sensitive to smells or feel claustrophobic; the Bunker Museum is a better way to experience the history of the tunnels without actually walking underground.
The oldest zoo in Germany and the most visited zoo in Europe, the Berlin Zoo is a wonder in itself. Featuring an aquarium on site and its scheduled animal feedings, the zoo is an educational and entertaining experience that has been wowing crowds for decades. On-site, cafes are available for light snacking or meals.
The epitome of luxury the impressive Adlon Hotel houses three fantastic restaurants, a lobby lounge, and luxury spa. Rumored to be Hitler’s home away from home the property’s well-appointed and luxurious accommodations do not disappoint.Families traveling during the holidays should check out the hotel’s Christmas elaborate decorations; particularly the lit up gingerbread house in the center of the lobby.
As a shopper’s dream, the Christmas markets of Berlin will delight all members of the family. Travelers can find authentic old world wooden Christmas toys; handblown glass ornaments and many other trinkets sold at the different stalls. Not to be missed are the special holiday foods to be sampled at the markets like mulled cider, sausages, and other tasty treats.
Autism Travel Tips:
- Many of these places offer guided tours which may be helpful since many signs are not in English.
- The Holocaust Memorial is a site to pay respect. Parents should make sure children are respectful in this area.
- The Christmas Market is an excellent place not only to stock up on souvenirs but a good opportunity to introduce kids to new delicacies.
- Children who are claustrophobic or afraid of dark areas should probably not tour the Berlin Tunnels.