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Berlin for families

family travel guide

Family trip to Berlin: key takeaways

  • One of Europe's most unique capital cities
  • Major cultural centre
  • Extensive programme of children's tours
  • Numerous parks and woodlands
  • Great opportunities for walking and cycling
  • Good public transport
  • Significant savings with travel cards
  • Famous Christmas markets
  • Experience traditional German cuisine
  • Wide choice of hotels and apartments


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Family holidays in Berlin

Berlin is a city with a rich history and a unique character. Its streets recall great and tragic events, but the city is also living a new, modern life, changing but still retaining recognisable traits.

Whether you're a child used to the hustle and bustle of the big city, or a little dreamer looking for some privacy, Berlin's character makes it a comfortable place to stay. Best of all, the best attractions for kids: Legoland Discovery Centre, Little BIG City Berlin, Zoo, MACHmit! You'll find everything you need for a great family holiday in Berlin. Find out more about how to spend your time in Germany's most beautiful city and enjoy your trip.

Berlin on the map of Germany

The city of Berlin is the capital and largest settlement of the Federal Republic of Germany, one of the 16 federal states of Germany. It is located in the east of the country, on the banks of the River Spree. From Berlin to the border with Poland — about 70 km, to Hamburg — 292 km, to Munich — 592 km, to Prague — 345 km, to Vienna — 673 km.

In the area where Berlin is located, there were already urban settlements at the beginning of the 13th century. The largest of them gradually absorbed other cities and in 1417 became the capital of: first — the Margraviate of Brandenburg, then — Prussia, the German Empire and finally Germany. There are 12 administrative districts in modern Berlin, but many people still divide the German capital into West and East Berlin, although the wall that separated West and East Berlin fell more than 30 years ago.

Berlin for Kids

Can you call a huge city a children's holiday destination? When it comes to Berlin, you can and you should. Make the most of the metropolis and a holiday in Berlin will leave nothing but positive impressions.

Firstly, the German capital is easily accessible from many countries by plane, train, bus and car, with minimum change, easy transfers and maximum time to explore. Secondly, there are plenty of things to see in the city.

Berlin is home to five world-famous museums and several dozen other lesser known but no less interesting museums. The city also has special museums for children with interactive exhibits.

Thirdly, children will always have the opportunity to have fun. And you don't even have to go to the amusement park, the zoo or the circus — just find the nearest playground. All playgrounds in Berlin are sanded and equipped for active play and often have a small pool for water games.

Fourthly, a big city can afford to have lots of parks and even a forest. Whenever you feel like taking a break from running around museums, take your child to one of the green areas and enjoy the peace and fresh air.

Fifthly, public transport makes getting around the city quick and easy. It's only a short underground or local train ride from one attraction to the next, and it rarely takes more than 20 minutes.

Finally, in Berlin you can just relax in a good hotel or apartment. You can even take a baby if you stay in a hotel away from the tourist attractions. All that remains is to decide when to go to Berlin with children and what to do. Spoiler alert: we've already done that for you.

Best time to travel

The tourist season in Berlin has two peaks December and May September. In winter, people come for the pre-Christmas atmosphere and in summer for the sightseeing.

During the rest of the year, tourists still visit the German capital, but there are fewer of them, so prices for flights, hotels and package tours drop. The only downside to the off-season may be the unpredictable weather, but if you're mainly interested in visiting museums, the off-season is a good time to go.

It is best to travel to Berlin with an infant during the warm season, as the damp winter winds can be detrimental to the baby's health.

The most popular time to visit Berlin with a child is during the summer holidays. But if possible, try to postpone your trip to May, June or September. In July and August, the city is flooded with tourists and it's often hot.

If you're trying to decide when to go to Berlin, check out the events calendar. Try the Carnival of Cultures in June, the Long Night of Museums (August and January), the BMW Berlin Marathon (September) or the Pyronale Light Festival (September).

Berlin's Christmas markets deserve special mention. The city is transformed, with fairytale towns in the squares and lots of surprises especially for children: treats, carousels and a giant Ferris wheel, a Christmas train around the Christmas tree and much more.

Weather and climate

Berlin's climate is perfect for city walks: temperatures rarely drop below freezing in winter and there's no unbearable heat in summer. Rainfall is moderate, so sightseeing is pleasant and comfortable. And on a rainy day, it's easy to escape into one of the many museums.

Winter and summer vie for the right to be called the best time to holiday with children in Berlin. Winter is the holiday season, while summer has the right weather for hiking and outdoor activities.

Many people plan their holidays in Berlin in December to visit the Christmas markets and experience the festive atmosphere. You'll need warm clothes to walk around the city in winter. Although temperatures in December and February range from +3°C to -3°C, the humidity and wind make the city chilly. Snowfall is rare and short-lived, but snow and rain can lead to slushy weather.

Spring here is long, with cooler days lasting until mid and sometimes late April. Temperatures can range from +8°C to +13°C, but the icy winter breezes finally give way to warmer winds. By May, you can expect real warmth. Daytime temperatures reach +19°C, although the nights are still cold.

The warmest time of the year is undoubtedly summer. The average temperature in June-August is +22-25 °С, although sometimes the air heats up to +30-35 °С. Summer rains are not uncommon, but after a good rain the gardens and parks are so pleasant to breathe in.

Berlin's heat lasts until the end of September. During the day, the air stays around +19°C, although it gets colder at night. In October there are already fewer sunny days and towards the end of autumn the temperature drops to +7°C.


Most hotels in Berlin include continental breakfast in the room rate. For tourists who spend most of their time sightseeing, this is convenient: you can have breakfast at the hotel and have lunch and dinner in restaurants to get to know Berlin's cuisine.

Berlin's cuisine includes spicy Currywurst sausages, Berliner Eisbein (Simmered Pig Knuckles), Kassler smoked pork, Kohlrouladen (German stuffed cabbage rolls) and traditional side dishes: sauerkraut, boiled potatoes and mashed peas. For a taste of it all at once, order the Berliner Allerlei.

Kids will love the dessert table, especially the Berliner Pfannkuchen doughnuts. You can order them in any restaurant, but it's much more tempting to visit a children's café, such as the famous Kreuzzwerg (Hornstraße 23) or Das Kindercafé Spielzimmer (Schliemannstraße 37). These places are very popular in Berlin. The food takes second place to the café's play area, which has everything you need for noisy and quiet games. Note that hotels sometimes offer a children's menu. Check what's on it, as it could be fast food.


Germany's capital covers an area of 891 square kilometres. The distances are vast, so be prepared to travel a lot. Public transport in Berlin is a well-oiled system, including the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, buses, trams and even a river ferry.

Fares vary according to fare zones, of which there are three: A — city centre, B — outskirts but within the city limits, C — outlying suburbs. A single ticket costs €3 for zone AB and €3.80 for zone ABC. Tickets for children aged 6-14 are cheaper: €1.90 for the AB zone and €2.70 for the ABC zone. Children under 6 travel free on all modes of transport.

For frequent travellers, a day ticket costs €8.8 (€5.60 for a child) in the AB zone and €10 (€6.10 for a child) in the ABC zone. 7-day passes and group tickets are also available.

For a short trip, you can buy a Kurzstrecke ticket. This allows you to travel 3 stops by metro and city train (with change) or 6 stops by metro and bus (but no change). The ticket costs €2 for adults and €1.50 for children.

If you are planning to stay in Berlin for at least 2 days, it makes sense to buy the Berlin WelcomeCard or the Berlin Pass.

Transport in Berlin follows a clear timetable, which can be found on the city's website and on the websites of the transport companies. S-Bahn trains start at 4:30am on weekdays and end at 1:30am at weekends and run around the clock.

Underground trains run from 4:00 am to 1:00 am on weekdays and around the clock at weekends. Trams and buses also start at 4:30 to 5:00 but end earlier, at 22:30 or 23:00 (at weekends they start later and end at 18:00 to 18:30). Only night buses with numbers beginning with the letter N and special vehicles, the Metrobus and underground trains, which run 24 hours a day, operate at night.

You can hail a taxi in Berlin by simply waving on the street, finding a free car in one of the many car parks or ordering one by phone. All cars are metered, with a charge of between €2.10 and €2.80 per kilometre, plus €4.30 for entering the taxi.

If you intend to hire a car, don't leave it on the street or in a yard, or you could get a hefty fine. There are plenty of parking spaces in Berlin, including in the city centre. There is usually a charge for parking.

Things to do with Kids

The number of activities for children and families in Berlin is staggering. The city rivals even Vienna, which is a recognised centre for family outings. Everything here seems to be of interest to the child — attractions, museums and animal encounters.

Sightseeing tours

The first place to start is, of course, the historic part of the city. There are so many sights to see that it's exhausting to walk around with a child, but there's a great way to see them: you can catch the 100 bus, which will take you around almost the entire city centre to admire the architecture, and then simply get off at the bus stop to see the most interesting places.

There are also around two dozen sightseeing buses in Berlin, including the Berlin City Circle Sightseeing and Berlin City Tour.

An alternative to this is cycling  you can join an organised tour or hire a bike and ride around the capital.

The most child-friendly museums

The Labyrinth museum is the smallest of the museums, but it is very much like a school and a playground in the same room. Children play physics and learn how to water plants, draw maps and experiment with baking. If you don't want to be jealous of the kids, buy a family ticket and take part in these exciting activities.

Another children's museum, MACHmit! — is a place to play, explore and discover new talents. It encourages curiosity, loves the inquisitive and provides a safe environment for restless children. The museum speaks German, but the children understand everything without words.

Amusement parks

Perhaps the main attraction for children in Berlin is Legoland centre, where you can see Berlin made up of Lego pieces and build your own city. Modellpark is also a 1:25 scale replica of Berlin. The miniature park features replicas of the capital's main attractions.

Just outside Berlin is Europe's largest water park, Tropical Island. Here, even in winter, tropical summers reign and holidaymakers bask on the sandy beaches under the canopy of palm trees.

In summer, however, it's much more fun to spend time with the kids in outdoor pools with all kinds of water activities: Kinderbad Monbijou, Sommerbad Kreuzberg, Sommerbad Pankow.

And what do you do with your little one when it's raining and cold outside in Berlin? Kids will love going to the Dockx indoor entertainment centre. It's so big that there's room for a maze, laser tag, 3D mini-golf and lots of other attractions for kids.

A special attraction in Berlin is a visit to the Cabuwazi Circus. Its programmes are designed exclusively for children and young people. All the major circus acts are there for the little ones, from gymnasts and acrobats to animal trainers and clowns.

Parks, gardens and forests

Berlin's parks and woodlands are perfect for a relaxing holiday with your child. There is Grunewald, the city's largest forest park, Britzer Garten, the Botanical Gardens and the Gardens of Peace. All the parks have excellent modern playgrounds for children.

You can also take your child for a walk in the zoo. Berlin's zoo is the largest in Germany in terms of the number of animals, and includes an aquarium and an exotarium.

There is another zoo in the city, Friedrichsfelde, which is smaller but no less wonderful. Many animals roam freely around the grounds, so you might come across lemurs or pelicans.

Finally, you can visit the Mauerplatz Children's Farm, which is not in a quiet village but right in the city. It's a great place to take a walk and introduce your child to animals domesticated by man thousands of years ago.

If you're not lucky with the weather during your family holiday in Berlin, take the chance to get up close to nature at SeaLife. The SeaLife Oceanarium is home to the most amazing creatures from the rivers and oceans.


Children's museums are of course at the top of the list of things to do with kids in Berlin. But adult museums are just as much fun for kids, so find out what you can show your child to get them excited.

  • The Pergamon Museum and the Neues Museum are a living history of the ancient world. Imagine holding fragments of the Tower of Babel, a Neanderthal skull and a bust of Queen Nefertiti. Both museums are located on Museum Island, where there are several other museums. They are all on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • The Spandau Citadel is an old fortress and historical museum. There are weekend craft workshops and a children's festival in May.
  • The Natural History Museum is mainly devoted to dinosaur skeletons. But with around 30 million objects in the collection, there's plenty to see, from stuffed animals to giant models of insects.
  • The German Technology Museum is a 'place of power' for anyone interested in the development of technology and wanting to try their hand at it. Children will particularly enjoy the interactive exhibits, such as the ship simulator. The museum also houses the Spectrum Science and Entertainment Centre, with facilities for physical and chemical experiments. Would children be surprised to find that familiar objects such as mirrors and kitchen scales are used in the experiments?
  • Madame Tussauds is a famous collection of celebrity waxworks. Children will see many familiar faces, from Robert Pattinson to Spider-Man.
  • The Düppel Ethnographic Museum Village is an opportunity to forget the modern world and immerse yourself in a life without smartphones, cars or the other benefits of advanced civilisation.

One of the best museums to visit with a child in Berlin is the DDR Museum (Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1). Children are unlikely to notice a hint of sadness in the exhibits, but they will enjoy exploring the interior of a typical East German apartment and may even discover familiar toys.

Best museums nearby

A trip to Potsdam is practically a must on any Berlin holiday with children. Potsdam's two museums are specially designed for the whole family.

The Extavium Experimental Museum will delight children who like to try things out for themselves. It's a safe environment where you can create lightning, carry heavy weights and even set off a nuclear reactor. The Biosphere Museum is a completely different environment. Here, a corner of the jungle has been recreated where butterflies flutter, parrots chirp and snakes snooze (in cages, of course). The museum has several themed tours, but children will be most excited by the jungle treasure hunt.

How to save money on excursions and trips

One of the most convenient things you can do is buy a special tourist card that gives you discounts on sightseeing. There are four types of card in Berlin, each with different benefits.

  1. The Berlin WelcomeCard entitles you to free travel and discounts at museums. The card is valid for 2 days for €25, 3 days for €35, 4 days for €43, 5 days for €48 and 6 days for €53. Each card can be used by one adult and 3 children aged 6 to 14. Please note that the standard card does not cover the Museum Island — you must buy an extended card to visit it.

    A special kind of card, the Berlin WelcomeCard all inclusive is the most convenient option for those who do not intend to leave any of Berlin's museums unattended. It includes free admission to 30 sights, a guided bus tour and free travel on all public transport. Even if you've already decided what you want to see in Berlin, this package will expand your list of excursions. The card is available for 2, 3 or 4 days and costs €89, €109 and €129 for adults and €59, €65 and €75 for children aged 3 to 14. There is also a card for attractions in Berlin and Potsdam.

  2. The Museum Pass opens the doors to 30 exhibitions and museums, including those on Museum Island. The pass costs €29 for an adult and €14.50 for a child for 3 days. Please note that this card does not entitle you to free travel on public transport.
  3. The CityTourCard is valid as a public transport pass and gives you discounts on sightseeing. The card is valid for 2 to 6 days and costs between €20 and €45. There is also a card for Berlin and Potsdam.

Things to Do with Kids

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Where to stay: Berlin districts

As Berlin covers a huge area, we recommend that you stay in areas where most of the attractions are within easy reach. As Berlin covers a huge area, we recommend that you and your children stay in areas where most attractions are within easy reach.

The first option for staying in Berlin with children are hotels in the city centre, in the Alexanderplatz area (Mitte district). You can easily find a budget or luxury hotel there. The second is Charlottenburg or Kurfürstendamm (Ku-damm). In addition to the hotel infrastructure, this area of Berlin has very good transport links.

The third district is Steglitz-Zehlendorf, a quiet, green and peaceful area. The centre of the district is about 20 minutes away. The district of Treptow-Köpenig is suitable for lovers of outdoor activities (surfers, divers) as well as for those who want to relax in nature without leaving the city.

We do not recommend accommodation in the Neukölln or Hohenschönhausen districts as an option for accommodation in Berlin.

You can also look for accommodation near Berlin, for example in Oranienburg or Potsdam. Berlin's suburbs are connected to the city by suburban and regional trains.

Hotels or apartments

The standard of service in Berlin's hotels is high, regardless of their star rating. You can find a three-star hotel in the city centre and have a great holiday without spending a lot of money. But you can also get a room in a luxury five-star hotel.

When choosing the best place to stay with children, look for hotels with a range of family-friendly facilities. Playrooms, clubs and swimming pools are few and far between, but there are cots, high chairs, potties, bathtubs, bottle warmers and other essentials for the little ones.

When choosing the best place to stay with children, look for hotels that offer a range of family-friendly facilities. There are few playrooms, clubs or swimming pools, but there are cots, high chairs, potties, bathtubs, bottle warmers and other essentials for babies.

Places to Stay

Getting to Berlin

By Plane

Tegel and Schönefeld airports host international flights. Flight schedules are available on the website of Berlin airports.

How to get to Berlin:

  • from Tegel by buses 128 and 109 or by JetExpressBus TXL and X9;
  • from Schönefeld by S-Bahn S9 and S45 as well as by buses X7, 163, 164, 171. The N7 and N60 buses run at night.

By Bus

Buses from other cities in Germany and Europe arrive at the central bus station (Zentralen Omnibusbahnhof Berlin or ZOB). Tickets are sold at ticket machines, ticket offices and on the operators' websites. The timetable is available on the bus station's website:

By Train

Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the largest railway station in Europe. It receives trains from all over Europe and also serves as a departure point for trains to other German cities. Timetables and tickets can be found on the Deutsche Bahn AG website:

By Car

There are advantages to driving in Germany and it is possible to either arrive in your own car or hire one after crossing the border.

How to get to Berlin:

  • from Warsaw, Brest, Minsk — take the E30;

  • from Kyiv —  take the E373 to Lublin, then the E77 to Warsaw, then the E30;

  • from cities in northern Germany — take the E28.

For more information on airports and train stations, please visit the official Berlin website.