Visiting Berlin With Kids – Our Cheat Sheet

We’ll be in Berlin in early April and it’s time to come up with some form of itinerary! I’ve started by making this “cheat sheet” for visiting Berlin with kids. Here’s a list of 18 landmarks, parks and museums for a family visit to the German capital!

Visiting Berlin With Kids - Our Cheat Sheet

We’ve never been to Berlin or Germany, so this is terra incognita for us. Lots of recommendations around, of course, so I’ve been using these to create our own list of things to do in Berlin. I’ve put everything together in a single blog post that will be my own cheat sheet when planning our itinerary.

How to use this cheat sheet

This “cheat crib” includes the list of places we’d like to visit – landmarks, museums, parks and points of interest – along with addresses, opening hours and admission costs. Locations have been noted on a map as well, to make it easier to see “what goes with what”.

Note that I said “places we‘d like to visit”. This is by no means a comprehensive list of things to do and see in Berlin – I suspect would require a thick book! So, what’s included and what’s not? Let me tell you a thing or two about our own criteria, so you can see how well they match yours.

Traveling with kids

We’re traveling with our two boys, aged 13 and 15. While we are interested in the history of Europe and Germany, we prefer not to expose our kids to very graphic displays at this point.

Our kids are home-schooled, so we do see this visit to Berlin as an opportunity to teach them more about World War 2 and the cold war. It’s just that we just don’t want to traumatize them. We’ll have to find the balance in the overall itinerary but for now decided to avoid places like the “Topography of Horrors” display, the Stasi Museum or the “Palace of Tears”.

This is our first visit to Berlin

With so much to do and see in and around Berlin, we want to stick to the main and central attractions. That’s why some attractions that are located away from the center of Berlin were not included here (even though they may be really awesome for families with more time on their hands).

Please double-check the opening hours and admission rates.

I didn’t include closure dates unless they were a regular day of the week. If you’re visiting during a holiday, check the websites to see if opening hours change. Also, rates and opening hours can change, so check before you visit (that’s why I linked to the websites!)

With that in mind, I hope you’ll find our cheat sheet helpful! Here goes…

Landmarks & Points of Interest in Berlin

1. The Reichstag Building & the Reichstag Dome

This huge edifice has fascinating a history that echoes that of Berlin and of the modern German people itself.

Visiting Berlin with Kids: The Reichstag

Built in the late 19th century, it was the beating heart of German empire for decades. This is where the fragile German democracy of post-WW1 fell into the hands of the Nazi party, as the Reichstag building became the seat of Hitler’s Third Reich. After the end of the second world war, the building was abandoned and left in ruins until Germany was reunited in 1990. Finally, a decade later, after intense re-building and reconstruction, the Reichstag building reclaimed its former glory when the German parliament – the Bundestag – made it into its official home in 1999.

The reconstructed dome of the Reichstag building is made of glass. This is both a symbol of the transparency of the government’s work and a great viewing platform from which you can see Berlin all around you.

The Reichstag Dome

How to see the Reichstag Building

  1. Take in the views! From the front, and also from across the Spree river for a great reflection shot.
  2. Join a guided tour of the exhibition on German parliamentary history.
  3. Visit the dome for the views all around it. It’s free to visit but you do have to register in advance. Here’s a link to the online registration page.

Exhibition opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm (7pm from May to September). Admission: free

Address: Friedrich-Ebert-Platz 1, 10557 Berlin

2. The Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is a classical 18th century monument and major historic landmark that’s well worth seeing, even when visiting Berlin with kids.

Address: Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin

Brandenburg Gate at night

3. Memorial of the Berlin Wall

A memorial that tells the story of the victims of the city’s division and the tyranny of the GDR regime. This is where you can see a  section of the original wall (60-meter/200 ft long). There’s also a visitor center, a documentation center and a small church called The Chapel of Reconciliation.  Visiting Berlin with kids, we think this could be a good educational site to see.

Opening hours for the visitor center are are Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. The open air exhibition and memorial grounds are open throughout the week 8am-10pm. Admission: free.

Address: Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin – Website

4. The Holocaust Memorial

Officially named The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, this huge remembrance site consists of 2,711 slabs of concrete covering  4.7 acres.

The holocaust memorial in Berlin

Opening hours: The memorial is accessible 24/7. The visitors center Apr-Sept: Tue-Sun, 10 am-8 pm; Oct-Mar: Tue-Sun, 10 am-7pm. Admission: free

Address: Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin  –  Website

5. The Berlin Cathedral

Like many German monuments, the Berlin Cathedral suffered major damage during WW2 and was in ruins for decades later. It was gradually reconstructed and renovated during the second half of the 20th century.

Berlin Cathedral

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9am-8pm (during October-March, the cathedral closes an hour earlier). Sundays & Holidays noon–6pm.  Admission: 7 euros (kids/concession 5 euros).

Address: Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin

6. East Side Gallery

An open-air gallery showcasing a permanent display of paintings by international artists – all of them painted on what used to be a part of the Berlin Wall. The section of the wall is almost a mile long – 1.3 km  – featured no fewer than 105 paintings by various artists. Nowadays, part of the gallery wall is fenced off due to vandalism.

Opening hours: 24/7. Admission: free

Address: Mühlenstraße, 10243 Berlin

7. Victory Column (Siegessaule)

This historical monument stands 67 meters (220 ft) tall, from the bottom of its base to the crown on top of the golden statue of Victoria. If you’re up for it, you can climb the 270 steps to the observation deck for a view of the city.

Berlin Victory Column

Observation deck opening hours: November-March: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm / Sat-Sun 9.30am-7pm. April-October: Mon-Fri 9.30am-6.30pm / Sat & Sun 9.30am-7pm. Admission: 3 euros (kids/concession 2.5 euros)

Address: Siegessäule, 10557 Berlin Website

8. Checkpoint Charlie

The most famous of the three checkpoints that connected the western and eastern part of Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie was where non-Germans crossed the border on various political missions. It was right here where American and Soviet troops faced each other on both sides of the wall for 28 years.

More than a quarter of a century after the fall of the wall, there’s an open-air exhibition where Checkpoint Charlie used to be.

Address: Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117

9. The Berlin TV Tower Observation Deck

The observation deck at the top of this 207 meters high tower offers panoramic views of Berlin. There’s a bar and a restaurant at the top too.

Opening hours: March-October 9am-midnight (opens at 10am the rest of the year). Admission: Starts at 13 euros for adult (8.5 euro for kids). Fast track tickets available online.

Address: Panoramastraße 1A, 10178 Berlin, Germany Website

10. Tiergarten Park

Known locally as Großer Tiergarten, this is Berlin’s most popular park. The park’s 520 acres are home to the Berlin zoo as well as to numerous English gardens, ponds and streams. Centrally located, it’s the one park no tourist misses out on.

Tiergarten park in Berlin

(See location on map)

11. Tempelhofer Park

Tempelhof Field/Park is an abandoned airport, turned into a recreational park. If you ever dreamed of skating or cycling on a runaway, this is the place to make your dream come true!

(See location on map)

12. Potsdamer Platz

WW2 bombers flattened this area and made room for a new tall and shiny buildings. Germany made use of that room in the 1990’s to create a modern-looking plaza filled with tall and shiny glass buildings.

(See location on map)

13. Alexanderplatz

This large urban square in the center of Berlin was part of East Germany until 1990. Today it’s a lively open area in the city, with restaurants, shops and street vendors.

(See location on map)

14. Gendarmenmarkt

This square offers visitors a classical European feel, with reconstructed 18th century domes and the Berlin concert hall.

(See location on map)

Berlin Museums

15. Museum Island & Pergamon Museum

Museum island is a complex of five museums located on the northern side of an island of the Spree river in Berlin.

Museum Island in Berlin

The five museums are –

  • The Altes Museum (Old Museum)
  • The Neues Museum (New Museum)
  • The Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) c
  • The Bode Museum
  • The Pergamon Museum

The most visited of the five is the Pergamon museum, so if you only have time (or patience) for one museum, this is the one to go to. The Pergamon is famous for housing life-size reconstructions of famous ancient monuments including the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus and the Babylonian Ishtar Gate .

Opening hours: Daily 10am-6pm. Admission: 12 euros (kids/concession 6 euros). You can buy a daily ticket for all of the island’s museums for 18 euros (kids/concession 9 euros). 3-days passes are also available.

Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 – Website

16. German Historical Museum

Germany featured so prominently in some of the most horrific events of the Twentieth century, it’s easy to forget that the country’s history goes way back before that. Fortunately, the German Historical Museum provides visitors with an overview of Germany along the ages.

Opening hours: daily 10am-6pm Admission: 8 euro (kids/concessions 4 euro)

Address: Zeughaus and Exhibition Hall, Unter den Linden 2, 10117 Berlin Website

17. German Museum of Technology

This is the science museum of Berlin. We love science museums and this one comes highly recommended.

Opening hours: Tue-Fri 09:00-17:30, Sat-Sun 10:00-18:00 Closed on Mondays. Admission: 8 euro (kids/concessions 4 euro) – free for under 18 from 3PM.

Address:  Trebbiner Straße 9, 10963 Berlin-Kreuzberg Website

18. Museum fur Naturkunde (Natural History Museum)

Another good museum for spending a rainy day, complete with dinosaur skeletons and a huge selection of stuffed animals.

Opening hours: Tue-Fri 09:30-18:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-18:00 Closed on Mondays. Admission: 8 euro (kids/concessions 5 euro). Family ticket available at 15 euro

Address: Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin  Website

And now, the map!

Here’s an interactive map showing all of the places in this list. If you click on any of the place markers, it’ll bring up a menu with more details about the location. You can also click on the icon in the top left icon for a list of all of the place. Then click on any name in the list to highlight the correlating marker on the map.

I’d love to get feedback on this list. If you think we missed out on something that’s central and kid-friendly, let me know in the comments! Any other kind of feedback or question is welcome too!

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