I LOVE BERLIN! Can I type that louder, probably not. If you are new to Germany or have been here for a bit you will probably agree, Berlin is incredible. I can not wait to return.Here are some of my family favorites in Berlin that make it a “must-see.”
When our son graduated last year, we offered for him to stay and play (guitar) for a year in the city, while he figured out his next steps after graduation. Can you believe he didn’t take us up on it? I know just crazy ~
Whether you are here for an extended week from the states or will be here for a few years, Berlin better be on your list. Here are some ideas for your family to visit and enjoy while you are touring the city.
1) Zoo’s gone crazy!
My kids love the Zoo! I’m not sure what that says about me ~ however I love going to the Zoo too. Berlin is so zoo crazy and there’s THREE of them!!
- The Berlin Zoological Garden is rated one of the best zoo’s in THE WORLD!! No kidding.
P.S. This neighborhood is also a great place to stay, check for accommodations in this area. Just like any major city, you’ll want to choose an area close to most of the family attractions that are also family-friendly. This is one of those areas! There are several B&B’s and hotels.
HOWEVER, Berlin no-longer allows AirBNB. I know saddy face emoticom here.
2. Tierpark Berlin – lots and lots to see, most people spend about 3.5 to 4 hours here!
3. Aquarium Berlin – if you like Nemo and all things under the sea, this is the place to go! Adults and kids alike have a blast here!
On our swift weekend trip, we did a lot, but we missed this zoo. It’s on my radar though and with glowing reports from my travel spies I’ve been told it’s a MUST-SEE! Spring is best because of all the babies and the exhibits and events are FuN, FuN, FuN! Last week, I wrote about the Hamburg Zoo, Tierpark Hagenbeck, don’t just pass up the zoos while you are here in Germany, you’d be missing out.
2) TV Tower (FernsehTurm)
The TV Tower is a stop on the Hop-off/Hop-on bus and has incredible views of the city. These towers were a tourist attraction built in the 70’s all over Europe. It’s really cool place to just snap pictures.
Visiting the TV Tower is a bit pricey for my taste at €21.50/adult for fast view, €14.00 for kids…eeek. That’s if you want the “Fast view.” Eek! It may be worth it to you so go for it! The TV Tower in Berlin is the fourth tallest structure in Europe. It does have 360 degree views of the city and you can catch a bite to eat while you are there too! Kids love this ~
3) Checkpoint Charlie
This neighborhood is not the greatest to walk around in (be careful of pick-pockets) and be wary of your surroundings. However, our Hop-off/Hop-on bus dropped us off close to Check-point Charlie and we didn’t stray too far.
My husband got a kick out of seeing the “new” soldiers manning the gates as they were definitely a change from when he was stationed here in the late 1980’s when it was still operational. Grateful for the times that are changing. Today, you can have your picture taken with the guards for a small fee and there is a museum within walking distance that has a replica of what Berlin looked like enclosed and after the wall came down.
4) Berlin Wall
There isn’t a 80’s girl alive that doesn’t know the words (in German or English to 99 Rot Luft balloons by Nena.) It was a classic. This was probably where my love for the language began. So seeing the Berlin wall and monument was super powerful for me.
As a teenager I imagined visions of repression and sadness of people trapped with no hope of freedom. As an American teen, this was not just a powerful ballad but a banner song ~ kind of like Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.”
All of these songs reflected the changing times and I am moved to have learned so much more now after being in Berlin. There is the monument dedicated for “The Wall” and then the actual Wall is located throughout the city and as we drove through town we passed miles upon miles of what’s still painted and decorated throughout the city. Our kids really liked seeing this changing, decorative symbol of expression.
5) Brandenburg Gate
Yes, I know you’ve probably seen umpteen million pictures of Brandenburg Gate on Google, and it’s the ultimate tourist spot. However, there is so much history here and if you walk through the Großer Tier park on the other side of the zoo you’ll see it’s totally worth it.
Just be careful when you are walking with little ones as we stumbled upon some “clothes-free” areas that were a little bit of a surprise. Follow the park straight out to the gate and snap those pics. It’s unforgettable!
6) The Vib
O.k. I had to write about this ~ My children are a little bit older, 21, 19 and 14 and they loved Berlin too. This is a young person’s town! Whenever I talk about Berlin to younger people I get excited. I think if I were single, 20-ish and had lots of ideas, I would head to Berlin. Considered one of the best co-funding places in the world to live and grow a business, Berlin offers many, many opportunities for entrepreneurs to get a start without “breaking the bank.”
Overhead and start-up costs can kill a dream, Berlin has a great way to keep their young people close by and reinvest in the city and its’ country. They provide classes and require certification programs before opening a start-up this ensures the success of the new business. New German IT companies are leading the way, however, more and more young people are graduating and staying put in Berlin. In fact, according to this linked article, every 20 seconds.
What I found out was there is a huge support system providing young people viable education and preparation for their businesses to be successful. We saw small coffee cafes, IT companies and restaurants, just hopping. Lots of shops in new up and coming neighborhoods, Berlin is growing and it’s a really cool VIB!!