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Locations throughout Munich, Germany

Everyone will want to stop for “kaffee und kuchen” while visiting Munich. Breaking for coffee and cake, a German tradition, isn’t as simple as it sounds though, as there are dozens of konditorei throughout the city. The confectionary shops, or bakeries, are filled with all kinds of pastries and other baked goods, and the cakes will be especially appealing to children. Among the German specialties to try are linzertorte (shortcake topped with fruit preserves and nuts), Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (chocolate cake with cherries and whipped cream), obsttorte (glazed fruits atop a cake), Sachertorte (dense dark chocolate cake with fondant icing), or a Berliner (jelly doughnut). So even if you put on a few pounds sampling the sweets, you’ll be sure to walk it off visiting the city’s attractions, including when you search for the next delectable place to have more coffee and cake.

Adventure Playground EV


Bruggener Weg 8
40547 Dusseldorf, Germany

Options abound for ages 6 to 14 at this expansive adventure playground. Covering 10,000 square meters (107,640 square feet), there are fields and courts to play football, basketball, and table tennis, while kids interested in climbing can try bouldering. The playground includes paid staff so there is adult supervision for children and teens to try their hand at making a fire, pottery, or building items in the construction zone. Seasonal special events are offered that include cooking and making handicrafts. One area includes animals that children can visit and learn to care for. With all the space available, kids can also enjoy unstructured playtime and run, jump, and swing. Entrance to the playground is free.

Alpenpark Neuss

Ander Skihalle 1
Neuss, Germany

In the first indoor ski region in Germany you will find everything a ski area needs: gentle slopes with 10 to 18 percent incline for children and beginners as well as a steep upper slope. The 100-meter (328-foot) long, separate beginner's slope is the ideal practice area for anyone who has never been on skis or snowboards. Our four-seater chairlift brings you to the "mountain station" of the 300-m (984-ft) long main slope at an altitude of 110 m (360 ft). Alpenpark Neuss is located a close 20 minutes from Dusseldorf, so pack your skis and snowboards and plan for a full active day. Includes eateries that make it easy to spend a full day hitting the slopes.

AquaDom and SEA LIFE Berlin

Spandauer Strasse 3
Berlin, Germany

Marvel at the sea’s amazing creatures in a translucent underwater world, at AquaDom and SEA LIFE Berlin. From clownfish and sea horses to jellyfish and stingrays, there’s hours of educational entertainment within. The AquaDom is a 25-meter-tall (82-foot-tall) cylindrical aquarium with a built-in transparent elevator. Other exhibits include Tropical Coral Reef, Depths of the Atlantic Ocean, Ray Bay, and areas specifically for octopus, sea horses, and jellyfish. Daily shows and feeding times offer more up-close experiences. Stop by the souvenir shop for a memento of your time here. Children ages 3 and under get in for free. Find the aquarium inside the Radisson Blu Hotel in the DomAquarée complex at Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse in central Berlin.


Merianstraße 1
50765 Cologne, Germany

An indoor waterpark, Aqualand offers a fun and refreshing escape for every member of the family. Plan for a full day of activity and time to explore the many unique offerings, like the Himalaya Sea Salt Grotto with more than 9,000 salt blocks. There are seven large slides, several pools, a paddling area for kids, water jets, and lazy river that flows outdoors. Free lockers are available, and a restaurant will keep the family fueled up. Parents have several choices when they’ve gotten their share of slippery thrills, as there’s an on-site spa offering a range of treatments including massages. There also are indoor and outdoor saunas offering warm relaxation and a pool bar too. Visit the website for more information and details on all the offerings as well as operating hours.

Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum

Kaiserswerther Straße 380
40474 Dusselfdorf, Germany

The Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum is a cultural and scientific institution that represents an inseparable link between zoo, aquarium, and natural history museum. In a unique synergy of living animals, vivid exhibits, and interactive media, it enables understanding the origin, evolution and diversity of animals and plants. On a tour of the themed rooms, you follow the evolution of living beings: from the emergence of life in water, the spread of organisms in the sea, the conquest of freshwater and the colonization of all habitats on land. Over 5,000 animals from more than 500 species, more than 1400 fascinating museum objects and interactive elements and media are waiting to be discovered.

– Information provided by Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum

August Kestner Museum

Trammplatz 3
Hannover, Germany

A lifetime's work in Rome and Naples gave German diplomat August Kestner all the opportunities he needed to accumulate this enviable collection of antiquities. Though he died in the Italian capital in 1853, he bequeathed his artworks to his home city. The museum opened in Hannover in 1889, and though the building underwent significant postwar reconstruction, Kestner's sensational ancient artworks are still visible today. The highlights include a substantial Egyptian collection, which features steles, statuettes, sculptures, amulets, and funerary pieces including mummies. Other Mediterranean civilizations are also represented, including Greek pottery, clay lamps, and gems, Roman utensils and sculptures, and Etruscan terra-cotta statuettes. Alongside the museum's coin collection is a wide-ranging section on European design (covering work in metal, wood, enamel, glass, ivory, bronze, and textiles), which spans a millennium of artistic history and is updated with contemporary products every year.

Barefoot Park

Barfusspark Dornstetten-Hallwangen

Silberwaldstraße 22
Dornstetten, Germany

Known as Barefoot Park, Barfusspark Hallwangen is where the shoes come off and the Earth’s natural textures are experienced. Travel along a 2.4-kilometer (1.5-mile) route with areas where wood, stone, mulch, grass, clay, and water offer a true sensory experience. Kids especially should enjoy the opportunity to freewheel in nature. Guides can accompany you along the trail or venture off to enjoy at your own speed. Head to the giant trampoline, rope pyramid, or the water adventure playground when you’ve experienced the trail. A barbecue and picnic area offers grills, shelter, and seating so come prepared with snacks or a meal. The park also is a great place for birthday parties. And don’t worry—there’s a foot washing station for when you’ve finishing squishing the mud between your toes. Find the park about 30 minutes southeast of Stuttgart in Dornstetten.

Bavarian National Museum

Bayerisches Nationalmuseum

Prinzregentenstraße 3
Oberschleißheim, Munich, Germany

There is so much to see at Bavarian National Museum that even the toughest critics will find several objects of interest to pass at least a few hours. Founded by King Maximilian II of Bavaria in 1855, it is renowned for both its original building style and collection of German cultural artifacts. The historical collection, arranged in 40 rooms, contains artworks in Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Classical, and Art Nouveau styles; sculptures from different ages; ivory and gold works; textiles; glass paintings; tapestries; and shrines. Also on display are musical instruments, furniture, oil paintings, sketches, clocks, stoneware, majolica, miniatures, Nymphenburg porcelain, and faience (glazed earthenware), all of which reflect the culture of courtly life. The museum's folklore section has a representative collection of traditional Bavarian furniture, rural pottery, and religious folk items.

Berlin Cableway

IGA Cable Car

Blumberger Damm 40
Berlin, Germany

See the world from above and relax with a ride on the Berlin Cableway. Float right over the Wuhletal valley, from Kienberg to Gärten der Welt (Gardens of the World). The spectacular view from up to 35 meters (115 feet) stretches as far as Berlin’s city center and includes mountain and valley views. With a stopover at Wolkenhain, an elevated viewing structure known as the Cloud Grove, the cableway runs a total length of 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles). If you're lucky, you might even catch one of the six glass-bottomed cars, which hold up to 10 people. The cableway includes three stations, in Hellersdorf, Marzahn, and Kienberg.

Berlin TV Tower

Berliner Fernsehturm

Panoramastraße 1A
Berlin 10178, Germany

A one-time symbol of the GDR government that was constructed it in 1969, the needle-topped 368-meter-tall (1,200-foot-tall) Fernsehturm lights up the Berlin skyline. The centrally-located tower, found on Alexanderplatz adjacent to the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), is the fourth-tallest freestanding structure in Europe. It is visited by over a million people each year. No longer a demonstration of the socialist party system, today it's a reminder of reunified Germany and a top Berlin tourist attraction, housing an observation deck at 203 m (666 ft), a bar, and a restaurant. While the tower is an impressive sight from almost any point in the center, especially at night, those making the journey to its top will be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of the city. 

Berlin Zoological Garden

Zoologischer Garten

8 Hardenbergplatz Berlin
Berlin 10787, Germany

Berlin Zoological Garden is the oldest surviving and best-known zoo in Germany. Opened in 1844, it covers 35 hectares (86.5 acres) and is located in Berlin's Tiergarten. Both the aquarium and the zoo are popular tourist attractions. Frederick William IV, King of Prussia, donated animals to start this zoo. Today it has a collection of about 20,200 animals from 1,380 species, including the rare giant panda. The zoo has a special breeding program for white and black rhinoceroses and gaurs. Annually, the zoo attracts around 3 million visitors from all over the world.

BMW Welt

Am Olympiapark 1
80809 Munich, Germany

Car lovers of every age will enjoy checking out the hot rides, museum, and other attractions at BMW Welt. The massive venue is engaging inside and out, and within the sleek, contemporary building are all things BMW. Guided tours are offered, featuring the wide range of BMW vehicles, from historic models to the fastest and highest-end cars. There are exhibitions all about BMW’s MINI line and motorcycles, as well as Future Forum and other exhibits focusing on cutting-edge technology and innovations that have elevated the BMW brand over the past 100 years. Junior Campus is geared toward children, so have tweens and teens check out its Future Lab where they can design their own vehicle or program a robot. You and the kids will learn more than you ever imagined about what goes into creating these notable German cars. Located next to Olympic Park, BMW Welt also hosts events and has shops as well as places to eat when you need a break from admiring all the sleek and shiny cars.

Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin

Königin-Luise-Straße 6-8
Berlin, Germany

See the world in one garden at Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, a magical place that appeals to all the senses. Relax on the lakeshore, take a walk on picturesque paths—nature is always in season. One of the largest botanic gardens in the world, the 43 hectares (106 acres) encompasses 20,000 plant species. The Great Tropical House is an architectural masterpiece from the Art Nouveau era that includes palm trees, lianas, giant bamboo, and other plants from the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Special greenhouses feature cactus, orchids, ferns, and bromeliads, while kids of all ages will be fascinated by a house just for carnivorous plants. Outdoors, visitors will find gardens of medicinal plants, a fragrance and touch garden, moss garden, swamp and water garden, and more. A two-level museum includes exhibits on plant and vegetable kingdoms and the tribal history of plants, among others, while the library is an additional attraction. Guided tours are available.

Information provided by Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin

Castle Square


Stuttgart, Germany

European squares don't come much bigger or better. The point of access to most of Stuttgart's premier tourist attractions, Schloßplatz is a happening venue in its own right, hosting the world-renowned Weihnachtsmarkt every December, outdoor concerts, children's festivals, and garden shows. The square is bookended by the jaw-dropping façades of the Altes Schloss and Neues Schloss and the Mercury Pillar, completed in 1958, is located in its northern sector. Although the square is incredibly historic, a contemporary feel has been achieved thanks to several tasteful renovations over the last 30 years. Anyone riding a night bus or one of the underground train services is likely to pass through Schloßplatz, for it is also a major transport hub.

Children’s Farm Pinke Panke

Kinderbauernhof Pinke-Panke

Am Bürgerpark 15-18
Berlin, Germany

This seasonal attraction lets kids see and touch farm animals and learn traditional crafts. Open from April through October, visit with donkeys, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chicken, cats, and other gentle animals. Kids can help with farm chores, feed the animals, hear from storytellers, and learn about where food comes from. Pinke Panke is a popular draw for Berliners, open for more than two decades. Kids can try their hand at pottery and felting or learn how to bake bread on an open campfire. Workshops take place during the summer school break as well. Coffee and cake, a German tradition is available inside the farm’s timbered houses that represent the country’s traditional architecture. Admission is free for kids, with adults encouraged to make a small donation.

Cologne Cable Car

Kölner Seilbahn

Riehler Strasse 180
50735 Cologne, Germany

Step into a gondola and ride high above Cologne and across the Rhine River to take in panoramic views of the city and surrounding region. The crossing is 930 meters (3,051 feet) long and lasts for six minutes, so even the nervous types should be able to manage. A trip on the cable car is a convenient way to reach both the city’s zoo and playground at Rheinpark, both being quality attractions for children of varying ages. Discounts are offered for groups of four or more and for those who plan to take multiple journeys across, which, considering the vantage point and access to kid-friendly attractions, may be a good deal. The cable car does not run during the winter. See the website for hours of operation and fees.

Cologne Cathedral

4 Domkloster
Cologne, Germany

The sheer magnitude and distinctive Gothic features of Cologne Cathedral are truly impressive. Dedicated to St. Peter and the Virgin Mary, the architectural wonder was completed in the late 19th century. It is Cologne's most famous landmark and the second-tallest Gothic structure in the world with two towers rising 157 meters (515 feet). The cathedral boasts the largest free-swinging bell in the world, St. Petersglocke (Bell of St. Peter), which weighs nearly 22 metric tons (24 tons). The cathedral's other treasures include the gilded 13th-century Sarcophagus of the Magi, largest reliquary (container for relics) in the Western world, Gero-Kreuz (the oldest cross north of the Alps), and Milan Madonna (Mailänder Madonna), a wooden sculpture dating to 1290.

Cologne Zoo

Riehler Straße 173
Cologne, Germany

Kids love zoos, as animals from throughout the world are wondrous and engaging no matter what age. Cologne Zoo is home to more than 10,000 animals including meerkats, tigers, hippos, camels, penguins, sea lions, aardvarks, and more. Asian elephants reside in a large elephant park that’s one of the largest in Europe, at 20,000 square meters (215,278 square feet). The zoo has a small aquarium with corals, seahorses, starfish, anemones, and several other creatures, and a barnyard petting zoo lets visitors touch rabbits, donkeys, sheep, and cows. There also is a terrarium housing chameleons and poison dart frogs, an insectarium, rainforest house, and jungle house for great apes, among several special areas housing unique creatures. Aim to make it to feeding time at the baboon enclosure to observe their funny antics. An expansive playground area lets kids run and play while adults relax.

Dreamland Amusement Park

Freizeitpark Traumland

Auf der Bärenhöhle
Sonnenbühl, Germany

Young children will be thrilled to romp and play the day away at Freizeitpark Traumland, a mini amusement park for kids just their size. Colorful rides include spinning, tilting, and twirling classics like a carousel, Ferris wheel, log flume, and others featuring larger than life animals. Fairy Tale Forest brings to life popular fairy tale characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, the Seven Dwarfs, and heroic knights fighting dragons. See reality turned upside down in the Crazy Forest House. An adventure playground offers slides, climbing structures, nets, and other engaging features to play on. Ride the train or drive the pedal go-karts before splashing in the water playground or jumping on the trampoline. An assortment of small restaurants and kiosks offer a range of treats. Find Freizeitpark Traumland about 45 minutes from Stuttgart in Sonnenbühl.

Dyck Castle

Schloss Dyck

Düsseldorf 41363, Germany

Schloss Dyck, a moat-encircled castle first mentioned in 1094, is another highlight and one of the most important cultural monuments of this area around the river Rhine. Notably, the structure remained in the hands of the Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck family for 900 years until it became the Center for Garden Art and Landscape Design. The castle and English landscape garden not only attract culture buffs and garden lovers but also families for a special day out.

Ebbelwei Express

Applewine Express

Stadtwerke Verkehrsgesellschaft, Frankfurt

An offbeat and enjoyable way to see some of Frankfurt's sights is by purchasing a ticket for the Ebbelwei Express. The trip on the distinctive, multi-colored tram takes about one hour and comes with complimentary pretzels and a bottle of apple wine to wash them down. The tram makes a loop that twice crosses the river Main and stops at a number of attractions, including Römer (city hall), the zoo, Hauptbahnhof (central station), and Festhalle, which is part of the Frankfurt Fair & Exhibition center. Passengers can jump on and off whenever they like at each stop on the itinerary. The tram operates on the weekends and public holidays with 10 trips a day, although service is cut back somewhat between November 1 and March 31.


Hohenzollernstraße 28
30161 Hannover, Germany

Located in the center of Hannover, Eilenriede is Germany’s largest urban forest. There are 640 hectares (1,600 acres) to explore, including pathways, play areas, fields, and ponds. Families can easily spend a day exploring here, and kids have the option to play at 10 playgrounds. You can bike or hike the forest park, which includes 38 kilometers (23 miles) of bike paths and 80 km (50 mi) of hiking trails, or just have a seat and enjoy nature. Seek out the lawn maze or play some mini golf, while the cafes offer options to relax and enjoy a snack. Eilenriede includes 50 wooden bridges and is about twice the size of New York City’s Central Park.

English Garden

Englischer Garten

From Central Munich to the northeastern city limits
Munich, Germany

One of the world’s largest inner-city parks, English Garden offers so much to see, do, and experience that you’ll want to plan for a full day. At 375 hectares (926 acres), it features Kleinhesseloher Lake and four beer gardens. These are kid-friendly areas, so while the adults can enjoy a cold one, children can eat sausages, potato salad, pretzels, and apple strudel. There also is a carousel to whirl on, Monopteros (a Greek-style temple), and Japanese teahouse, which conducts a traditional tea ceremony. While the southern part of the park becomes sunny and crowded, the northern part, called Hirschau, is a more serene area. From playing at the playgrounds to riding paddle boats or renting bikes, English Garden offers quality family time in a relaxed environment.

Erlebnis Zoo

Adenauerallee  3
Hannover, Germany

It isn't just the animals that have enjoyed a wild ride at Erlebnis Zoo. The institution itself has had something of a rocky history since its founding in 1865. After World War I, following financial straits, it was managed by the Ruhe animal trade company, who used the enclosures as a kind of shop window to sell off the animals to other zoos and collectors. Local government officials also had to step in after World War II, during which the zoo was badly damaged. In the last 20 years, however, the zoo has become one of Saxony's star attractions, with more than 1.5 million visitors annually. People flock to the seven different habitats, from the snowy wastes of Yukon Bay to the Australian Outback section, from the Zambezi riverboat experience to the Jungle Palace of Asian elephants, tigers, and monkeys.


2 Europa-Park-Straße Rust
Baden-Württemberg 77977, Germany

The Europa-Park opened in 1975 to act as a showcase for many different roller coaster models. The mascot of the park is a grey mouse named Euromaus who has an elephant friend named Europhant. The park is divided into 14 sections, each named after a region in Europe. There is a choice of nine roller coaster rides, a variety of shows, and a 3-D Cinema. The park also has a family coaster called Pegasus and a new interactive dark ride named Atlantis Adventure, which is part of the Greek-themed area. Europa-Park is also a major resort that offers holiday packages and has its own hotels, a guesthouse, the budget-price Tipi Village, and a golf course.

EXPERIMINTA Science Center

Hamburger Allee 22-24
Frankfurt 60486, Germany

The whole family will have fun with the interactive exhibits at EXPERIMINTA’s more than 130 experiment stations. Focused on MINT (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, and technology), exhibits include hands-on activities such as getting inside a giant soap bubble and watching miniature solar car races. Visitors can explore the inside of a huge eyeball to understand the physics of human vision, watch a tornado, create and learn about waves, build a bridge, and so much more. The museum’s giant kaleidoscope will show 1,000 versions of yourself and the shadow theater invites movement and expression. Check the website for special events and operating hours.

Fragrance Museum

Farina Duftmuseum

Obenmarspforten 21
50667 Cologne, Germany

Visitors may find a visit to Farina Museum to be a special experience, as this is the oldest fragrance house in the world. Dating to 1709, there are more than 300 years of fragrance history to learn about across the museum’s three floors. Smell some of the vast array of different scents used to make today’s perfumes, learn about their sources, and what goes into the process of making perfume. You’ll also get to smell the original Farina fragrance, a formula that hasn’t changed since 1709. Guided tours, lasting about 45 minutes, are offered every hour on the hour, seven days a week and in several languages. It is recommended that tour tickets are purchased online in advance. An attached shop offers all the Farina fragrances, which make for memorable souvenirs that will be a reminder of this unique Cologne attraction.

Frankfurt City Forest

Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt City Forest encompasses nearly 5,000 hectares (12,355 acres) south of Sachsenhausen, making it the largest urban forest in Germany. In addition to walking, visitors can bike or even ride horses over its many kilometers (miles) of paths and trails. There are ponds and playgrounds, as well as the Goetheturm (Goethe Tower), a wooden observation tower that sits in the forest's northern edge. It's no longer possible to climb the tower but there is a beer garden at its base. This land was once part of the Imperial Forest before the city purchased it in 1372 from Emperor Charles IV. In the 15th century, stones were placed to mark off an area where sheep could graze, and they're still visible today on the Sheep Stone Path.

Frankfurt Zoo

Bernhard-Grzimek-Allee 1
Frankfurt, Germany

Established in 1858, Frankfurt Zoo has earned a reputation as one of Europe's most impressive and significant zoological gardens. Approximately 500 animal species from around the globe are housed here, and it is their accommodations that give the zoo its distinctive flair. A main attraction is the nocturnal building, where day becomes night, and you can watch animals that only appear after dark do their thing. Another exhibit not to be missed is the Exotarium, where species from the North Sea to the Amazon are on display in their natural environments, and twice a day a tropical storm moves through the Australian freshwater crocodile habitat. The Borgori Forest is home to gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, and bonobos in a setting that makes you feel as if you're in the middle of a jungle. See the website for operating hours.

Freizeitbad Dusselstrand

Dusselstrand Leisure Pool

Kettwiger Strase 50
40233 Dusseldorf, Germany

All ages will enjoy this indoor-outdoor water park in Dusseldorf. There are various pools for big and small splashers, so you can swim a few lanes or take kids to play among bubblers, a waterfall, and geyser. Sporty swimmers also have the option to shoot hoops or zoom down the snake slide. There’s a toddler pool for the littlest kids as well. Adults can relax in the sauna or steam room and a bistro offers snacks and other food. Weekends can get busy though conditions are less so during the week.

Gardens of the World

Gärten der Welt

Blumberger Damm 44
Berlin, Germany

Nature lovers will want to plan a visit to Gärten der Welt, a 100-hectare (247-acre) venue that showcases not only the world of plants and flowers but also art and design. The stunning array is organized into 10 themed gardens: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Balinese, Oriental, Christian, Jewish, English, and Renaissance. Additionally, Gärten der Welt includes garden cabinets—outdoor rooms that depict traditions found throughout the world such as the fire-stick farming (controlled burning) of Australia’s Aborigines. Meant to convey a “dialogue of cultures” the cabinets include sunken sections and multi-level features, ponds and pools, stone and reflecting walls, bridges, and other characteristics. The garden cabinets are Australia, Brazil, Chile, Great Britain, Lebanon, China, Los Angeles, South Africa, and Thailand. Within the spacious grounds are public art and sculpture as well as architecture. Kids will want to navigate the maze and labyrinth. Guided tours are available in six themes, and an open-air arena hosts concerts, festivals, and other events.

German Film Museum

Deutsches Filmmuseum

Schaumainkai (Museumsufer) 41
Frankfurt, Germany

The whole family will appreciate just how far movie-making and special effects have come after a visit to this museum. Offering plenty of interesting sights, the German Film Museum includes two permanent exhibits. One covers the period leading up to 19th-century cinematography, offering a chance to put models of flip books through their paces and examine a phenakistiscopes and a Laterna Magica. There is also a camera obscura large enough to walk into that presents images of the Frankfurt skyline and the river Main. The second exhibit explains how a film studio creates films through every stage of the process. There are several hands-on opportunities here, including a model car that puts you in the middle of a car-chase sequence. There also is a cinema, where the program can range from retrospectives to premieres, as well as series and festivals. Check the website for information on these events as well as for operating hours.

German Museum

Deutsches Museum

Museuminsel 1
Munich, Germany

German Museum has an entire floor dedicated to kids, and there are so many interesting things for children to see and do that you shouldn’t miss bringing them along. Located on a small island in the middle of the Isar River, it is one of the world's largest and most important museums of science and technology. There are 17,000 objects displayed, from World War I U-boats to experimental airplanes. Children’s Kingdom (Kinderreich) features several interactive displays that let kids turn day into night, lift water, experience the moon, and more. Little ones can crawl inside a giant guitar to feel the vibrations when someone plucks the strings, and there is a giant fire truck made from LEGO bricks. Adults also will find much to see and marvel over at Deutsches Museum. Children under age 6 are free. Check the website for operating hours.

German Museum of Technology

Deutsches Technikmuseum

Trebbiner Strasse 9
Berlin, Germany

Under the motto "touching is allowed" you and the kids can check out airplanes, sensory illusions, spinning houses, and exciting experiments at the German Museum of Technology. The museum features the Science Center Spectrum, together covering 26,500 square meters (285,243 square feet) at a former factory and railway station. Permanent exhibits include those on chemistry, printing technology, railroads, film and photo technology, jewelry production, computer science, and aerospace, among others. The Science Center Spectrum’s world of experiments addresses seeing and perceiving, light and vision, electricity and magnetism, strength and energy, music and listening, and other topics. A café and restaurant are on site.

German National Museum

Germanisches Nationalmuseum

Kartäusergasse 1 90402 Nuremberg
Nuremberg, Germany

With a collection that numbers more than a million pieces, this colossal museum (closed Mondays) is probably Germany's finest institution for art and artifacts. Take a millennial journey that encompasses hand axes dug from Stone Age earth, the golden headdress of a Bronze Age priest, a fifth-century Ostrogoth brooch, a metal armband worn by Emperor Barbarossa, and the Renaissance religious work of Lucas Cranach. Founded in 1852, this museum's art collection would please any gallery, particularly the works by German master Albrecht Dürer. Look out for artwork from the old East Germany, which has been integrated into the permanent collection. Amid the venerable religious relics, altarpieces, and manuscripts, the building itself is worthy of inspection. The inner core of the museum was originally a Carthusian monastery, even if the various reception halls and extensions owe more to the 21st than the 14th century.

German Spy Museum

Leipziger Platz 9
Berlin, Germany

Berlin’s German Spy Museum gives a unique insight into the shadowy realm of espionage. State-of-the-art technologies are available to visitors to uncover the sophisticated and sometimes bizarre methods of agents and secret services through multimedia and interactive exhibits. Germany's only spy museum offers a gripping journey through time from the biblical scouts to the present and future in the middle of the capital of spies. Decipher secret codes, pass the laser course, crack your "secure" password, and hack your favorite website!

—Information provided by German Spy Museum

Glowing Rooms Miniature Golf

Venloer Strasse 383
50825 Cologne, Germany

Glowing Rooms provides a memorable experience for all ages while fostering some good-natured competition. The indoor venue offers blacklight miniature golf featuring colorful three-dimensional pictures and other graphics. Wearing 3D glasses, you have the choice of three courses: Kosmos, Inka Trail, and Tiefenrausch (deep intoxication). Have your tech-savvy kids pull up the venue’s Minigolf Pro app for added fun. The creative and captivating courses will transport you into magical worlds. See the website for operating hours and to reserve a time to play.


Am Grasbrookpark
20457 Hamburg, Germany

This maritime-themed park includes several options for fun. Covering 7,000 square meters (75,347 square feet), there are spacious lawns to enjoy and natural tree and shrub borders ingeniously create “hedge ships” along the south and west sides of Grasbrookpark that provide shelter from nearby traffic. Kids can climb the pirate ship climbing structure, romp in the splash pad water area, or explore the mud table and walkways. As the park is near the city’s cruise ship terminal, there’s also the sight of massive ships coming and going, which, as parents of little ones know, will fascinate tiny eyes for hours on end.

Hamburg Zoo

Hagenbecks Tierpark

Lokstedter Grenzstraße 2
Hamburg, Germany

This family-owned zoo is one of the oldest and most popular animal parks in all of Germany. Founded around the turn of the 19th century, the zoo was the first city park in the world to permit wild animals-including chimps, lions, and elephants-to roam freely in large open corrals surrounded by moats as opposed to cages. Fishmonger and animal enthusiast Carl Hagenbeck Sr. established the animal collection in 1863, bringing exotic animals through the port in what turned out to be quite a lucrative business. Part of the zoo's storied existence includes an incident in the 1950s when a group of rhesus monkeys escaped their enclosures to greet horrified housewives in their bedrooms and bathtubs. Today the park remains a notable attraction, featuring an artificial African desert, a tropical rainforest, and a marine habitat, among other major exhibits.

Heide Park Resort

1 Heide Park Soltau
Lower Saxony 29614, Germany

Encompassing about 85 hectares (210 acres), Heide Park Resort is one of the biggest amusement parks in Germany. The park opened in 1978 with six rides and nearly 200,000 visitors. Most of the 40 rides at the park are meant for families, but thrill rides like the Colossus wooden roller coaster, ranked as one of the world's steepest wooden roller coasters, are also popular. The latest thrill comes from the 103-meter-tall (338-foot-tall) gyro-drop-tower Scream. With a 71-meter (233-foot) drop and a ride speed of nearly 98 kilometers per hour (61 miles per hour), it is one of the biggest of its kind in the world.

Hellabrunn Zoo

Tierpark Hellabrunn

Tierparkstraße 30
81543 Munich, Germany

Zoos are always engaging, full of the world’s array of fascinating animals, of which the Hellabrunn Zoo has about 5,000 representing around 730 different species! Opened in 1928, it is the world’s first geozoo with animals grouped into their respective continents. There are regions depicting environments found throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and America. The zoo’s newest addition is the 10,000-square-meter (107,639-square-foot) African giraffe savannah, where giraffes live with meerkats and porcupines. Additionally, visitors can watch giant anteaters, sloths, llamas, penguins, blue-mouthed monkeys and many other primates, giant tortoises, zebras, red pandas, pythons, elephants, lions, and more. Little ones will want to visit the petting zoo, and there are two playgrounds—one at Café Rhino—and other attractions such as a small vintage train. There also are two shops, a restaurant, beer garden, and three cafés as well as Tao Garden in the Asian zone that gives the feeling of dining in an exotic locale. See the website for information on special events and hours of operation.

Herrenhausen Garden

Herrenhäuser Straße 4
Hannover, Germany

This heritage site from the Hanoverian Kings is made up of four different gardens. The Great Garden, commissioned by Sophia of Hanover in the late-17th century and laid out by the French gardener Martin Charbonnier, with 50 hectares (124 acres) of lawns, hedges, walkways, statues, and a fountain, is one of the most distinguished formal gardens in Europe. Its orangery serves as a venue for many cultural and art festivals every summer. The Berggarten was created in 1666 as a vegetable garden but, after experiments with breeding new varieties of plants such as tobacco and mulberry, eventually developed into a botanical garden. Georgengarten and Welfengarten are English gardens that have become popular recreation areas for Hannoverians.

Hessenpark Open-Air Museum

Laubweg 5
Neu-Anspach 61267, Germany

Worth the 30-minute drive from Frankfurt is an engaging 65-hectare (160-acre) attraction called Hessenpark Open-Air Museum. Visitors will experience 400 years of history come to life as they wander among Germany’s traditional half-timbered houses including more than 100 historical buildings. There are areas focused on craft making and demonstrations of farm work, agricultural areas with live animals, and more. Take a break to refuel at one of the restaurants and then let the kids play on the playground before popping into some of the boutique shops. Visit the website for information about tours, special events, and when the market is available.

Hindenburgschleuse Anderten

An der Schleuse
30559 Hannover, Germany

If you’re looking for a relaxed, scenic area to get away from the busy city hustle, plan a visit to Hindenburgschleuse Anderten. The area is surrounded by historic monuments and includes several canals. Pack some snacks and a ball to toss and bring the kids to enjoy the sights, roam the area, and watch the boats that travel the canals.

Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

Kurfürstendamm 235
Berlin, Germany

Settle in to see the sights of Berlin aboard a bus tour that offers to flexibility to jump on or off as you please. There are red and blue routes, with a total of 20 attractions seen from the double decker, open-topped buses. See historic Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Zoo, Alexanderplatz, Museum Island, and the Victory Column, among many other key city attractions. An audio guide is offered in eight languages, delivering the history of the city from the comfort of your cushy seat. Tickets are available for one or two days, with classic, premium, deluxe, and evening tour options.

Imhoff Chocolate Museum

Am Schokoladenmuseum 1
Cologne, Germany

Imhoff Chocolate Museum, a real-life Wonka land, was opened in 1993, although much of its collection nearly ended up on the scrap heap. During an office move in 1975, founder Hans Imhoff, who bought the ailing Stollwerck chocolate factory, stumbled on some boxes filled with bric-a-brac earmarked for the dumpster. He investigated and found 1,600 antique glass photographic plates, examples of old Stollwerck product labels and praline boxes, abandoned chocolate vending machines, and the real prize—a series of letters written by Ludwig Stollwerck, Kaiser Wilhelm, and Thomas Edison. While these discoveries may be most interesting to adults, everyone will be drawn to the Aztec chocolate history, manufacturing process—seen through glass-sided machines—and miniature candy samples. In all, there are nine exhibition areas in the 4,000-square-meter (43,055-square-foot) museum, including a 10-meter-tall (33-foot-tall) tropical greenhouse that shows how cocoa trees are the starting point for what becomes sweet, melty goodness.

Imperial Castle


Auf der Burg 13
Nuremberg, Germany

The military insurance for Nuremberg's religious and political power for centuries, the Kaiserburg was altered and augmented between the 11th and 15th centuries, by Franks and Holy Roman Emperors alike. The castle is full of fascinating historical details, including exhibits on medieval armor, displays on castle building techniques and defensive tactics, the cylindrical Sinwell Tower to the Tiefer Brunnen (Deep Well), a 47-meter-deep (154-foot-deep) water source. This shaft is one of the guides' favorite features-they lower a tray of candles by rope, or invite visitors to pour water down the well and wait to hear the splash. Look out, too, for the Doppelkapelle, a two-tier space for worship arranged around an atrium. The upper story (reserved for nobles and their families) looks elegant, if a little severe, but the lower space is little more than a crypt. If you have a hankering to stage a reception at the place once owned by Frederick Barbarossa, you can hire the castle courtyard, Rittersaal (Knights' Hall), or Kaisersaal (Emperor's Hall) for private parties.

Keiekeberg Open-Air Museum

Am Kiekeberg 1
Rosengarten-Ehestorf, Germany

Plan a day to visit Keiekeberg Open-Air Museum and discover how Germans lived from 1800 to 1965. The museum offers an authentic village setting on 12 hectares (30 acres). Stroll through more than 40 historical buildings and gardens, immerse yourself in the everyday life of our ancestors, and encounter the breeds of farm animals from this time. See houses made of wicker, clay, and stone surrounded by ornamental, herb, and kitchen gardens, some growing old varieties of grain and potatoes. Seasonal events include a historical fair, while the on-site bakery tempts with fresh-baked treats to take home. Find Keiekeberg Open-Air Museum about 30 minutes south of Hamburg.

– Information provided by Keiekeberg Open-Air Museum

Kienberg Park

Hellersdorfer Strasse 159
Berlin, Germany

Kienberg Park has many enjoyable features, named for the Kienberg mountain that is its central attraction. At an elevation of 110 meters (360 feet), Kienberg is the second-highest spot in Berlin and offers panoramic views which only get better by climbing up to the Wolkenhain. This impressive 30-meter-high (98-foot-high) lookout tower and viewing platform is referred to as a cloud and includes sections made from a translucent membrane that is illuminated at night. A restaurant is located at the base of the structure, a good spot to settle in and enjoy food with a view. Kienberg Park is a 60-hectare (148-acre) space that includes gardens and a playground for kids, located next to Gardens of the World and offering a unique vantage point of the natural space.

Killesberg Höhenpark

Stuttgart, Germany

Known simply as Killesberg by locals, this park has many attractions that offer a day of fun.  Most alluring for kids will be the 3,000-square-meter (32,291-square-foot) playground with ziplines, swings, slides, and climbing structures. There also is a petting zoo for adoring gentle animals. Small children will want to ride the carousel, and there’s the kids train, operating from April through October in the southern part of the park. Gardens with large flower beds are impressive throughout the seasons and include the Valley of Roses. Access the impressive spiral structure that is the Killesberg Tower by dropping some coins into a slot, then climb the 174 stairs to reach the top of the 40-meter-tall (131-foot-tall) tower. See panoramic views of the Swabian Alb and Swabian Forest from the top. (Yes, it is designed to sway slightly in the wind, so beware!) Also in the park are beer gardens, where kids are welcome, and you can get food and non-alcoholic drinks as well as that quality German beer. An open-air stage is the site of summer concerts. Located just north of downtown Stuttgart, some attractions are free and others cost a small fee.

KL!CK Kindermuseum

Achtern Born 127
22549 Hamburg, Germany

Bring your children to KL!CK Kindermuseum so they can get hands on and have fun while learning too. Along with temporary exhibits and special events are several permanent exhibits that include interactive and engaging options. Kids can learn about the history of money, make their own, and spend it in shops in Money-and good! They can get an understanding for the body, visit a dentist, and measure reaction speeds in Body Meeting Point, while Great-grandmother’s Everyday Life shows how domestic chores were accomplished before modern technology made it all so easy. There’s also Minus 10,000/Stone Age to show how the first settlers lived and Construction Site- Please Enter!

KölnTriangle Cologne View

1 Ottoplatz
50679 Cologne, Germany

As far as the eye can see ... the unique view of Cologne from atop KölnTriangle promises not only a special visual feast but a treat for all the senses: feel the wind high above the rooftops, hear the muted sounds of the pulsating metropolis on the Rhine, and let the vast expanse make an impression on you. The viewing platform of the KölnTriangle office tower is at a lofty 103 meters (338 feet) high. Discover Cologne and its surroundings—with a direct view of the neighboring cathedral—in a way you've never seen it before!

—Information provided by Cologne View

Lake Unterbach

Unterbacher See

40627 Dusseldorf, Germany

There’s rarely a better choice for a summertime outing than to hit the beach. Unterbacher See (Lake Unterbach) has two swimming beaches, and boat rentals offered here are a great way to explore the lake. Rent some bikes and explore the area or plan to camp at the campsite. There’s places to barbecue as well, whether you stay the weekend or just the day. Kids and adults will enjoy the playground, where kids can have some unstructured playtime. A restaurant and cafe located on the waterfront are additional options for snacks and meals.

LEUZE Mineral Bath

Am Leuzebad 2a
Stuttgart, Germany

Children and adults will find much to enjoy at this Stuttgart attraction. The pools in the LEUZE are fed by two state-approved healing springs. A total of nine pools with almost 1,800 square meters (19,375 square feet) of water are available in the combined thermal indoor and outdoor pool. Stop at massage jets, waterfalls, bubble beds, or a flow channel and bathe in the midst of a work of art by Otto Herbert Hajek. There also is a hot tub, exercise pool, sauna, sunrooms, playground, and restaurant. Water aerobics are offered hourly, with massages a relaxing option.

—Information provided by Das Leuze Mineralbad

Lower Saxony State Museum

Willy-Brandt-Allee 5
Hannover, Germany

Although this museum was founded in the 1850s, the neo-Renaissance building dates from the turn of the 20th century. It was built to house the city's growing art collection, and designed by Hubert Stier, the architect also responsible for Hannover's Hauptbahnhof (Train Station). Inside, it's an eclectic mixture of archaeology, art, and animals. On the lowest of the three floors is an aquarium, with a few reptiles thrown in. The middle story deals with anthropology, featuring a life-size Iguanodon dinosaur and the remains of prehistoric man dubbed Roter Franz for his red hair. The cream of Lower Saxony, however, rises to the top, where the art collection is spectacular. Among the highlights are German, Italian, Flemish, French, and Dutch artists, including Lucas Cranach the Elder (with studies of Martin Luther, both alive and dead), Rubens, Tiepolo, Monet, Holbein, and a famous series of four paintings (Morning, Midday, Afternoon, and Evening) by Caspar David Friedrich.

MAGICUM Berlin Magic Museum

Große Hamburger Strasse 17
Berlin, Germany

MAGICUM is the world’s first interactive museum of magic and mysticism, located in central Berlin. Be enchanted by magic props from all over the world and testimonies of ancient wisdom. Test your magical powers and discover how to access the realm of intuition and creativity while puzzling and playing games. About 450 exhibits include: Alchemy and Science, Myths and Fairy Tales, Religions and Culture, Magic and Cultures, World of Illusions, and Witches and Witch Hunting, among others. Guided tours, classes, and special events are offered, and the museum includes a shop as well.

—Information provided by MAGICUM Berlin Magic Museum

Main Tower

Neue Mainzer Straße 52–58
Frankfurt, Germany

An impressive panoramic view of Frankfurt awaits all who travel the 200 meters (660 feet) up to the viewing platform at the top of Main Tower. On clear days, the entire surrounding region is visible including the Wetterau Hills to the north, where the orchards that supply the apples for Frankfurt's favorite beverage are located, and Taunus Mountains to the west with its tallest peak, Großer Feldberg. The tower is actually two structures, one round and the other square, that are connected to each other. When completed in 1999, it was Europe's first high-rise building with a façade made entirely of glass. One floor below the observation deck is a restaurant and bar with huge windows that keep the views coming even as the family breaks for snacks and refreshments.

Marienburg Castle

Marienburg 1
Pattensen, Germany

This picturesque castle, just 30 minutes from Hannover, is worth a visit for its classic fairytale appearance. There are several turrets, battlements, and towers, and any child who is a Harry Potter fan will feel like they’ve been transported to Hogwarts Castle. Wander through 30 furnished rooms or ascend the tower and see expansive views of the surrounding countryside from the viewing platform. Learn about the history of Marienburg Castle and those who built it. The castle grounds includes a cafe and shop, too. Tours are offered, including the Classical Castle Tour with guides attired in historical costumes.


Marienplatz 8
80331 Munich, Germany

The Marienplatz has been Munich’s central square since 1158, a spot to gather, socialize, and sell goods. There are many attractions to see at Marienplatz, but its defining feature is City Hall (Neues Rathaus), which was completed in 1908. Plan to visit at 11 a.m., noon, or 5 p.m. to watch the figures in the tower's carillon (Glockenspiel) perform the Schäfflertanz, a dance commemorating the end of the plague in 1517. Kids should find this charming, animated attraction fun and interesting. Follow the cobblestoned streets to some of the city’s best shopping, sidewalk cafés, and historical sites. There is a toy museum in Old City Hall, which will give kids a peek at when toys didn’t have batteries, high-tech features, or internet capabilities. Near the Marienplatz is the “world’s most famous tavern” the Hofbrauhaus, offering beer for the adults and plenty of tasty treats for kids, as children are welcome in Germany’s beer gardens.

Maschsee Lake


Rudolf-von Bennigsen-Ufer
Hannover, Germany

Situated south of Hannover's center, the artificial Maschsee Lake is the city's most popular recreation spot. Walk over on a weekday morning and visitors will share the promenade with joggers and cyclists. Come on the weekend and you'll find skaters, walkers, families, and picnickers. The Maschsee was one of Saxony's success stories during the mid-1930s. The Nazi administration used unemployed workers to dig out the flood meadows of the River Leine, creating the 2-meter-deep lake between 1934 and 1936. It was intended as an ecological barrier against floods, but the artificial lake became one of Hannover's favorite parks. Come in winter and you have a chance to skate on the frozen surface. Visit during the summer and you can swim, sail, row, or windsurf. And if those sound too taxing for a vacation, there are fireworks and festivals for kite boats and dragon boats as well.

Mercedes-Benz Museum

Mercedes Straße 100
Stuttgart, Germany

Learn all about Stuttgart's rich automotive history with a visit to this uniquely shaped building, which contains 120 years' worth of technological milestones and daring designs. The highlight must be the Blitzen Benz, which broke the world land speed record in 1911. Other groundbreaking vehicles include the 260D, the first diesel-powered automobile, and the Mercedes Benz 300L coupe, with its distinctive wing-door design. The gorgeous special roadsters and deluxe emperor's cars from the 1930s are also well worth a browse. The Mercedes-Benz past is explored in detail, but the future is not left to the wayside: Special exhibits about the car designs of tomorrow are both entertaining and educational. Activities for kids include sketching their dream car in the Fascination of Technology area, where it takes shape with the help of museum experts. The museum offers birthday packages for a memorable experience, too. Kids 14 and under get in for free. 

Middle Castle Gardens

Mittlerer Schlossgarten

Stuttgart, Germany

This is the shining buckle on Stuttgart's celebrated green belt, a 600-year-old park containing hills, streams, bridges, shady trees, and gorgeous flowers. Originally the personal garden of the Duke of Württemberg, the area remains majestic today. Visitors come to view the romantic ruins of the pleasure house and the old pavilion, the modern art sculptures, and the decorative fountains, and then stop off for a rest at the lakeside café or the large beer garden. Mittlerer Schlossgarten's superb location means that if you walk far enough in any direction, you will arrive at one of Stuttgart's many other draws, be it the Altes Schloss and Neues Schloss, the Staatsgalerie, the Staatstheater, Wilhelma Zoologisch-Botanischer Garten Stuttgart, or the ancient mineral terrain of Bad Cannstatt.

Miniatur Wunderland

Kehrwieder 2-4, Block D
Hamburg, Germany

There are many engaging sights and activities happening at Miniatur Wunderland that families should plan to visit while in Hamburg. Miniatur Wunderland holds a Guinness World Record for having the longest miniature railway, populated with over 1,000 trains. There’s also an airport with 47 planes that take off and land, ships floating in water, and an erupting volcano. See over 260,000 figurines and replicas of many famous Hamburg buildings and other city venues. There are 200 push buttons that allow interaction from visitors, who can make scenes come alive. Children should love making a gold-wrapped treat emerge from a miniature chocolate factory, for example. There are so many captivating and realistic scenes that you should plan to stay several hours. Trust us, this is one spot you don’t want to miss.

Munich Botanical Gardens

Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg

Menzinger Straße 65
80638 Munich, Germany

For nature enthusiasts, the Munich Botanical Gardens are a must-see and make for a lovely family outing. On the 21-hectare (52-acre) space are more than 19,000 species from around the world, and the tropical butterfly exhibit is particularly beautiful. Spend a few relaxing hours admiring flowers, trees, themed gardens, ponds, greenhouses, and more. There also is a small alpine garden, Schachen Garten, and though it’s only open in the summer, it has a charming display of alpine plants not found anywhere else in the world. The arboretum displays trees, woody plants, and shrubs according to their family groups. One area is all about herbs and plants that end up in your salad. Enjoy a slice of cake or a full meal at the cafeteria, maybe on the terrace overlooking the gardens, while a gift shop rounds out the offerings.

Museum for Communication Frankfurt

Schaumainkai 53
Frankfurt 60596, Germany

On the banks of the River Main, Museum for Communication Frankfurt provides a fascinating insight into the history of communication. Highlights include the art and communication section and a range of activities offered by the children’s workshop. The museum’s permanent exhibition, Histories of Media, covers 2,500 square meters (26,910 square feet). Visitors can discover a wealth of treasures related to postal and telecommunications history, from the traditional African bush drum to the mail coach and internet. The first floor comprises the forum—an exhibition room for smaller, temporary exhibitions—and activity rooms for the children’s workshop.

—Information provided by Museum for Communication Frankfurt

Museum of Illusions

Museum der Illusionen

Mailänder Platz 27
Stuttgart, Germany

Visit the Museum of Illusions in Stuttgart for amazing sensory experiences that will also make you smarter. Nothing is what it looks like and if a picture is worth a thousand words than an illusion hides over a million of them! Be brave and venture into the illusion of the vortex tunnel—it will drive you crazy and make stepping through a rotating cylinder seem like a great challenge. Distort your image in the mirror room, immerse yourself in the infinite space, resist the laws of gravity and size relation, and take selfies in every conceivable position. Have fun with the collection of holograms, taking a close look at every optical illusion. They are such wonderful, playful reminders that our assumptions about the world and how we perceive it are often only a shadow of illusions. Exhibits include Kaleidoscope, The Wrong Room, The Endless Tunnel, The Tricky Stick, Turntables, and The Head on the Serving Plate, to name a few.

—Information provided by Museum der Illusionen

Museum of Natural History

Invalidenstraße 43
Berlin, Germany

The Museum of Natural History in Berlin offers exciting insight into the natural world. Follow the development of life on Earth, and discover how different forms of life evolve. Be astonished by prehistoric animals, birds, and the legendary polar bear Knut. Or look back into the genesis of the universe. One highlight is encountering the world's largest dinosaur skeleton, a colossal 13.27-meter-tall (43.5-foot-tall) Brachiosaurus. Permanent exhibits include World of Dinosaurs, System Earth, Cosmos and Solar System, Evolution in Action, Minerals, Birds and Native Animals, and Highlights of the Preparation Art and Wet Collection. Among the many sights inside the museum is the biodiversity wall, on which 3,000 animal species are preserved.

—Information provided by Visit Berlin

Neanderthal Museum

Stiftung Neanderthal Museum

Talstraße 300 Mettmann
Düsseldorf, Germany

Most people couldn't tell you where the first Neanderthal remains were found or why the species is called Neanderthal in the first place. These questions and many more are answered by the museum located about 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) outside Düsseldorf, in the valley that gave our first cousin his name. With interactive installments and maps, life-size replicas, an impressive collection of Neanderthal remains and tools, and a superb story told by experienced guides, the museum provides the type of experience that dazzles children and keeps adults hooked. The museum is easily reached by car, public transportation, or booking through most travel agencies in the city.

NeonGolf Hannover

Heiligerstraße 15-16
30159 Hannover, Germany

You can play black light mini golf on 500 square meters (5,382 square feet), at NeonGolf. In three themed rooms you immerse yourself in a completely new world that is brought to life with 3D chromadepth glasses. First you travel under water, then further into the jungle and finally space shines in bright colors and shapes. You can prove your skills on a total of 18 well-known miniature golf courses and exciting new courses. Whether a family outing, a start into the evening, or a company event, NeonGolf Hannover offers leisure sports and a lounge atmosphere, regardless of the weather, on a total of over 1,000 sq m (10,764 sq ft) in the city center. 

– Information provided by NeonGolf Hannover

Nicolaus-Copernicus Planetarium 

Am Plärrer 41
90429 Nuremberg, Germany

Nicolaus-Copernicus Planetarium is a sky simulator. It can recreate an artificial sky on a huge dome-shaped ceiling. Sophisticated equipment is used to present virtual voyages through space and time. All presentations take place in the air-conditioned sky-theater on the upper floor of the building. See astronomy shows with explanations of the night sky and information on space research, or attend public science lectures on various topics related to modern astrophysical research, the history of science, or science in general. The planetarium includes children’s shows for kids of 4 years and up, with fictional stories presented with relation to stars and space. A cafe and shop are on site.

– Information provided by Nicolaus-Copernicus Planetarium

Nord Park

Kaiserswerther Straße 365
40474 Dusselfdorf, Germany

Spend a relaxing family day exploring one of the larger green spaces in Dusseldorf—Nord Park. Fountains bring relief on hot days and will surely engage the kids, while adults will appreciate the flowerbeds and overall geometric design. There’s a scenic Japanese Garden as well as a water lily garden, so pack a picnic and settle in to this lovely natural refuge. Stretching east and west along Kaiserswerther Straße, Nord Park is near the Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum as well. Together, the two sites will offer children and families a memorable day in Dusseldorf.

Nuremberg Castle

Tiergärtnertor Square
Auf der Burg 13
Nuremberg 90403, Germany

Part of the Holy Roman Empire, Nuremberg Castle is a group of medieval fortified buildings encircled by walls in the center of the city. Today, visitors to the site can tour the Double Chapel, climb Sinwell Tower, peer down into a 50-meter-deep (164-foot-deep) well, and explore the Imperial Castle Museum. By booking a room with DJH Youth Hostel Nuremberg, it’s even possible to sleep at the castle.

Nuremberg Toy Museum


Karlstraße 13–15
Nuremberg, Germany

Toys are big business in Nuremberg. Since 1950, there's been an annual trade fair here for toy makers that attracts as many as 75,000 attendees, offering one million different products. Since its establishment in 1971 (a bequest from Paul and Lydia Bayer), this intricate museum has paid tribute to that tradition. Visitors in search of a nostalgia kick should seek out the technical toys, post-war train sets, space vehicles, and steam engines. Germany's own toy-makers are well represented, for example the firm of E.P. Lehmann. There are hundreds of years of children's play in this attractive four-story townhouse, from Renaissance-era dollhouses to contemporary high-tech playthings. And if you think you're escaping without a chance to buy something for the little ones, think again. A puppet theater, guided tours, kids' birthday parties, and a museum store all offer great ideas for the next Christmas or birthday present purchase.

Nuremberg Transport Museum

DB Museum

Lessingstraße 6
Nuremberg, Germany

This heritage hybrid is a curious diptych, combining the Deutsche Bahn railway museum with the city's Museum für Kommunikation (Communications Museum). The common link between the collection of trains and exhibits on stamps (40,000 of them), the telegraph, and telephony, is communication. To deal with the technology first, visitors can learn the history of messaging, from the earliest wire links to Samuel Morse's code, from the first stagecoaches to state of the art IT developments. Among the 30 trains on display is the Adler, which made the first rail journey in Germany from Nuremberg to Furth in 1835. Built in Newcastle, England, it was constructed by Robert Stephenson's locomotive company. Other historic vehicles include the train of Ludwig II and an ultra-modern ICE II, currently in service on Germany's rail system. Finally, don't miss the huge model train exhibit, which has been built up over more than a century. Find Kids Trainland after heading through the Communications Exhibition.

Nuremberg Zoo

Tiergarten Nürnberg

Am Tiergarten 30
Nuremberg, Germany

Rebuilt in the 1950s, this long-running city zoo has loads of space for the animals over its 170 acres. Originally founded in 1912, the zoo was an early victim of the Nazis, who wanted its prime real estate for their Luitpoldhain rallying grounds. Today, it's one of the city's most popular attractions, drawing a million visitors a year to see animals such as the famous polar bear Flocke. Among the other carnivores are Asiatic lions, Siberian tigers, wolves, and cheetahs. Ungulates (mammals with hooves) include reticulated giraffes, Somali wild asses, Pere David's deer, American bison, Plains zebras, and Mongolian kulans. The larger animals live in sizable enclosures across the varied landscape, which gives the park a natural feel not often experienced in zoos. Four aquatic species-Californian sea lions, bottlenose dolphins, manatees, and a flock of varying water birds-fill out the animal directory.

Nymphenburg Palace

Schloss Nymphenburg

Schloss Nymphenburg 1
80638 Munich, Germany

Nymphenburg Palace and its parks are one of Munich's best-known sights, and the magnificence of this once royal residence should make an impression on the whole family. Designed in 1664, the palace was expanded to include two pavilions and stables, an orangery (a greenhouse conservatory to cultivate oranges), and ring of baroque mansions. Of special note are the ceiling frescoes in the Stone Hall (Steinerner Saal) and original baroque decorations in the Gallery of Beauties. The museum in the stables houses the magnificent carriages and sleighs of King Ludwig II as well as a collection of Nymphenburg porcelain from the factory in the palace complex. One of the premier royal palaces of Europe, its façade measures 632 meters (2,073 feet) wide, surpassing Versailles Palace in France. The gardens feature lakes, fountains, a hedge maze, and more. Guided tours and events geared toward children and families are available. See the website for more information and hours.


The Adventure Museum

Corintostraße 1
51103 Cologne, Germany

Spend a few fascinating hours at Odysseum, a high-tech, interactive science and technology museum entirely focused on kids. Permanent exhibits include Live Themed World, revealing all things related to nature, and Themed World Earth, where you’ll feel like you’re in space. The Museum with the Mouse is an animation studio and hobby room where kids can create their own cartoon. A hands-on and interactive venue, children can excavate dinosaur bones, make a movie, train to be an astronaut, or just romp around in the soft play area. There also are live demonstrations, workshops, and various special events. See the website for more information and operating hours.

Old Botanical Garden

Alter Botanischer Garten

Sankt Petersburger Straße 1
Hamburg, Germany

Located within the larger Willringpark, the Alter Botanischer Garten showcases its rare and exotic plants cultivated in five interconnected glass greenhouses built by Hermkes Bernhard in the 1960s. Among these five large and beautiful greenhouses is the Show Greenhouse, or Schaugewächshaus, which features subtropical displays of native flora from the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, South Africa, California, Chile, and more. The other four showcase ferns, ancient plants, succulents, and tropical vegetation. Specialty gardens, including an herbal and medicinal plant area, are clustered around the moat area and are not to be missed. Admission into the greenhouses and grounds is free. Note that this garden is also refered to as the Tropengewächshäuser (Tropical Greenhouses).

Olympic Park


Spiridon-Louis-Ring 21
Munich, Germany

A variety of recreation, both indoors and outdoors, is available at Olympic Park, site of the 1972 Summer Olympics. Visitors can swim in an Olympic pool and take in stunning city views from the 190-meter-tall (620-foot-tall) Olympic Tower. In addition, the park is home to Olympic Stadium, featuring acrylic glass canopies supported by steel cables. Other activities at the 85-hectare (210-acre) park include miniature golf, rollerblading, train rides, exercise equipment, and paddling on the lake as well as basketball and tennis courts. SEA LIFE Munich, a small aquarium best suited for children ages 4–11, also is located in the park. Visit the website for information on tours, special events such as a flea market, and operating hours.

Palm Garden


Sismayerstraße 63
Frankfurt, Germany

The marvelous Palm Garden offers a chance to experience the astonishing variety of plant life that exists on planet Earth. What's even more amazing is that all of it is situated on a 20-hectare (50-acre) urban park in the heart of Frankfurt. Most of the themed gardens are in climate-controlled buildings, which is why it's possible to choose among a cactus garden featuring samples from the US, Africa, and the Canary Islands; a sub-Antarctic collection featuring samples from the cool, temperate areas of the southern hemisphere; and a series of tropical landscapes that include a savannah, fog deserts, and a rainforest. There are many themed flower gardens as well, and paths that wind through a rockery with a major waterfall and a rhododendron garden, both of which are inviting spots to sit with a picnic and take some family photos.

Peshwa Park

Near Saras Baug Swargate
Pune, Germany

If anywhere in Pune could rightly be called "the children's park" it's this place, with its fairground rides, toy train, zoo enclosure, and boating facilities. The little ones will love romping around the picturesque gardens, riding on the seesaws and slides, and gawking at the monkeys, elephants, jackals, and tigers. Rare birds fly freely around the premises and make for great photo ops. There are countless little spots for picnics; during the summer bloom, the delightfully sculpted flowerbeds bring vibrant color that people of all ages will appreciate. Opening hours are daily, 9am to 5:30pm Closed on Sundays and government holidays.

Pforzheim Wildlife Park

Wildpark Pforzheim

Tiefenbronner Strasse 100
Pforzheim, Germany

Engage with nature and see the world’s captivating creatures at Wildpark Pforzheim, about 30 minutes northwest of Stuttgart. There are more than 400 animals at the 16.5-hectare (40-acre) venue, including rare mammals, amphibians, fish, and a variety of bird species. There are axial deer from India to dwarf goats from Africa, as well as alpaca, mini pigs and ponies, reindeer, raccoon dogs, wild cats, and many more including various deer, cattle, and sheep. March through June is when to visit and see newly born baby animals. See otter and lynx feedings or purchase a park-approved food box for a small fee and feed the animals yourself. There also is a petting zoo, children’s farm, and playgrounds. The park offers tours and can host birthday parties. An on-site beer garden offers a variety of food and drinks including kid-approved treats such as ice cream.


Berggeiststraße 31–41
50321 Brühl, Germany

The drive to Phantasialand should pass quickly as kids anticipate the fun they’ll have at this huge amusement park, located 30 minutes southwest of Cologne. The park is divided into six lands: Berlin, China Town, Deep in Africa, Fantasy, Mexico, and Mystery, some featuring towering cliffs and waterfalls. Big kids and adults can opt for thrill rides including several rollercoasters and a range of exciting water rides. A giant swing spins riders above shooting water jets, and little kids have many classic spinning rides to enjoy in an area just for them. In addition, there are a variety of games and entertainment options including dinner shows. Open April through November, the park also has overnight accommodations.

Plants and Flowers Park

Planten un Blomen

Klosterwall 8
Hamburg, Germany

The Planten un Blomen, or Plants and Flowers Park, is located in Hamburg's city center among the remains of a 17th-century fortified wall that protected the city during the Thirty Years' War. The park itself opened in the 1930s and is famous for its well-kept gardens and tranquil ambience. This also is a very family-friendly attraction, with a children's adventure playground on the south end of the park featuring kid-friendly pools and pony rides. On a warm summer night, stay for the Wasserlichtkonzert, a fantastical display of water, lights, and music showing from May to September. In the winter months, the grounds are home to an ice skating rink enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Admission to the Planten un Blomen is free.

Playmobil Fun Park

Brandstätterstraße 2-10
Zirndorf, Germany

Kids will enjoy the fun environment at Playmobil Fun Park, which covers 90,000 square meters (968,751 square feet). Themed play worlds include a farm, police station, Dinosaur Land, and a knight’s castle. There is a large water play area and another to play in sand, and toys are found throughout the park. There’s an indoor climbing area too, while cafes and snack kiosks offer food and drinks and a store offers mementoes. The miniature golf course invites the whole family to have a little friendly competition. Special events including birthday parties can be held at the fun park, which also includes a hotel. Find Playmobil Fun Park in Zirndorf, 25 minutes west of Nuremberg.

Porsche Museum

Porscheplatz 1
Stuttgart, Germany

This is more than just a display of classic vehicles: It's an exhibition stadium with a dynamic and highly original design. Visitors are guided around the paradigm shifts that made Porsche the immense brand it is today, from the wheel-hub motor of the world's first automobile prototype dating from 1900 all the way to the latest Porsche 911. A transparent glass workshop allows visitors to gain an intimate understanding of the tiniest details of Porsche engineering. A coffee bar, restaurant, and exclusive bistro cap a quite unique experience. 


Auenweg Rheinpark
50679 Cologne, Germany

Let the little ones have some free time at Rheinpark to play, the very thing they find most enjoyable much of the time. Older kids also will find much to enjoy, as a quality playground offers climbing ropes, a huge slide, and zipline. The Youth Park, located under the bridge near the zoo, features basketball courts, a climbing wall, miniature golf course, two trampolines, and lanes for skateboarding and biking. The Park Café—found next to a water garden—is available for when it’s time to break for snacks and other refreshments. There are sculptures and fountains to admire and a small train for touring the area operates from March to October—a great option when little legs tire out. Nearby, you can see the thousands of padlocks symbolizing couples’ eternal love along the Hohenzollern Bridge.

Rhine Boat Tour

Left bank of the Rhine at Hohenzollern Bridge
Cologne, Germany

Take a leisurely cruise along the Rhine River and get an often unseen view of many Cologne’s highlights. Among these are the cathedral, Old Town, chocolate museum, and German Sports and Olympics Museum. Pass under several bridges and view green rolling meadows. Tours are long enough for kids to stay engaged while the adults can relax and let them wander the deck in safety. Several companies—such as Colonia and KölnTourist—offer tours in varying lengths during the summer.

Rhine Tower


Stromstraße 20 Unterbilk
Düsseldorf, Germany

Completed in 1982, the Rheinturm (Rhine Tower) soars 172.5 meters (566 feet) up into the sky, affording magnificent views of the Rhine and the city from its viewing deck, the self-service restaurant, or the revolving restaurant, Top 180, at the very pinnacle of the tower. An interesting fact: The portholes on the tower form the world's largest decimal clock: from top to bottom, vertically arranged yellow lights-separated by horizontal red ones-show tens of hours, single hours, tens of minutes, single minutes, tens of seconds, and single seconds.

Robin Hood Playground

Elfriede-Kuhr-Strasse 7
Berlin, Germany

Located in the city’s Schöneberg district, Robin Hood Playground should please fun-loving kids. With features integrated into the surrounding trees, the playground offers quirky and imaginative houses and castles with chambers and rooms to explore. There are swings, rope bridges, classic and tube slides, climbing structures including a small climbing wall, and walkways. Children can climb, crawl, slide, and run to their hearts’ content. Imaginations will roam in this fun world that contains wooden animals, including a black cat found on the roof of one of the play structures as well as a chicken and pig. Walkways roam throughout the park, with lawns beckoning adults to lounge, perhaps with a picnic, while the kids get to be kids.

Rosenstein Park

Stuttgart, Germany

Bring a picnic, book, and some games for the kids and relax at this park billed as the largest English garden in southwest Germany. Built between 1824 and 1840 on the orders of King William I of Württemberg, Rosenstein Park features geometric flower beds and a sweeping lawn that invite a game of catch or frisbee. In total, the park covers 100 hectares (247 acres) and includes a rose garden, exotic trees, and giant sequoia trees. Runners or walkers have a 3-kilometer (1.9-mile) loop to traverse, by which they’ll see Rosenstein Palace and Löwentor (Lion’s Gate). The park is a peaceful and beautiful spot to spend a few hours or the whole day. The State Museum of Natural History is located within the park, while Wilhelma Park and Zoo is found just north.

Sea Life Hannover

Herrenhäuser Straße 4A
Hannover, Germany

A good option for rainy spring days is this tropical aquarium, based in the Herrenhäuser Gärten. Sea Life, one of 25 similar centers spread across Europe, offers visitors a glimpse of 5,000 marine creatures who make their home everywhere between the Caribbean and the Amazon. Kids will like the touch pools, where they can reach in and touch a starfish or hold a crab. Other popular features are the sea otters and seahorses, and don't forget the feeding times for stingrays, sharks, sea turtles, and piranhas. Budding marine biologists may enjoy the quiz trails, which test how well you've been paying attention. Or walk through an eight-meter (26-ft) tunnel, with thick glass walls that provide a fine viewing chamber for the giant sea turtles and sharks in the main deepwater tank.

Senckenberg Natural History Museum

Naturmuseum Senckenberg

Senckenberganlage 25
Frankfurt 60325, Germany

Kids and families will marvel throughout the Senckenberg Nature Research Society's museum of natural history, the second-largest of its kind in Germany. It’s famous for its huge collection of dinosaur skeletons and nearly 1,000 specimens of stuffed birds. Crowd-pleasing exhibits include the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Triceratops, and other life-size recreations of dinosaurs in scientifically researched and recreated settings. Visitors will see Lucy, a skeleton of the upright hominid Australopithecus afarensi, and Egyptian mummies too. Permanent exhibits include Anatomy in Glass, Evolution of Man, Dinosaur Dig, The Fascination of Diversity, and many more. Also on display are originals from the Messel excavations, such as a 60-centimeter-tall (24-inch-tall) predecessor to the modern horse that existed over 50 million years ago. See the website for information on temporary and online exhibits as well as operating hours.

Sprengel Museum

Kurt-Schwitters-Platz 1
Hannover, Germany

It was a chocolate magnate, Bernhard Sprengel, who gave life to this excellent gallery of modern art. In 1969, he donated his collection to the city and offered to share the cost of constructing a home for the works. Ten years later, the Sprengel Museum opened, instantly becoming one of Europe's foremost public collections for German expressionism and cubism. The square on which the museum stands is named after Kurt Schwitters, one of the city's avant-garde artists whose work was suppressed by the Gestapo in the 1930s. Schwitters is one of the lesser-known artists, but there are dozens of big names on display, including Pablo Picasso, Ferdinand Léger, El Lissitzky, Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Edvard Munch, and Max Beckmann. The museum also features works by two significant groups of German artists from the first 20 years of the 20th century: Die Brücke (The Bridge) and Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider).

State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart

Rosenstein 1-3
Stuttgart, Germany

The State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart offers visitors over 12 million objects in two exhibition buildings, making it one of the largest German natural history museums. Those enthusiastic about prehistoric animals from dinosaurs to mammoths can admire unique original fossils and compare them with scientifically exact reconstructions of animals, plants and habitats. Learn about the famous Steinheimer skull, at 300,000 years one of the oldest fossil human finds in Central Europe. If you are more interested in today's animal world and its habitats, get an overview of the most important groups of plants and animals from algae to humans or visit the Sea Hall for displays of whales, great white and whale sharks, and a 13-meter-long (42-foot-long) sei whale. Habitats of the Earth is five lavishly staged halls, offering a journey through the large landscape zones of the earth, from the tropical rainforests to the icy deserts of the polar regions. There is so much more to marvel over at this museum that you may want to plan for a full day or come back a second time.

—Information provided by State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart

Stuttgart Art Museum

Kunstmuseum Stuttgart

Kleiner Schlossplatz 1
Stuttgart, Germany

The Kunstmuseum Stuttgart's state-of-the-art, cube-shaped premises, complete with illuminated limestone interior walls, were opened in 2005. This is a sight to behold before you even get to the 5,000-square-kilometer space, which contains 15,000 exhibits. At the heart of the museum are modern art works by the cream of southwest German talent: the Swabian impressionists Adolf Holzel, Dieter Roth, and Otto Dix. There's also a good restaurant, bar, museum store, bookshop, and special-event rooms. A glass gallery affords superlative views of the city's heart and the surrounding valley slopes. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  It is closed Mondays.

Stuttgart Children’s Museum

Schillerplasse 6
Stuttgart, Germany

Children can get hands on at this museum focused on history, culture, and the arts. The castle setting is an added allure, and the colorful and interactive exhibits inside are dynamic and call for imaginative participation. The museum’s focus is on independent discovery, experience, research and dreaming. Kids will see regional costumes as well as other clothing and can create some of their own. Several areas offer art supplies to draw and get creative, inspired by the exhibits, both permanent and temporary. Learn about regional characters such as the Man with the Seven Knives. The past comes to life inside and history is made fun, at Stuttgart Children’s Museum. Birthday parties and guided tours are available.

Stuttgart Pig Museum

Schweine Museum Stuttgart

Schlachthofstraße 2A
Stuttgart, Germany

Children and families should enjoy a visit to this museum that is all about pigs! The largest pig museum in the world, it has two levels containing more than 50,000 items from across the globe. See everything from photographs and cartoons to piggy banks and more in 27 themed rooms. Permanent and temporary exhibits include fascinating information about pig-based rituals, boar hunting, and pig worship across different cultures. Learn about the development of different breeds of pigs, Chinese Year of the Pig, and meaning of “The Divine Pig.” The pig theme continues in the museum’s beer garden, which offers delicious pork dishes and fun drinks like the Miss Piggy non-alcoholic cocktail. Guided tours and birthday parties are available.

Stuttgart Television Tower

Fernsehturm Stuttgart

Jahnstraße 120
Stuttgart, Germany

Recognized as the world’s first television tower, Fernsehturm Stuttgart offers memorable views from inside. The tower is 217 meters tall (711 feet) and made from reinforced concrete, with many other facts including the building’s history explained in the information center. See the countryside and city of Stuttgart displayed through panoramic views. The two-story viewing platform is located at 150 meters (492 feet), with the second level built just for children. A restaurant is located at the base of the tower, and a café is found at the top—a great place to linger over food with a view. Experience the engineering marvel that was replicated the world over, from Johannesburg, South Africa to Wuhan, China. A shop offers souvenirs by which to remember Stuttgart’s television tower.

Swimming Pools at Festland and Holthusenbad

Holstenstraße 30
Hamburg, Germany

Goernestraße 21
Hamburg, Germany

Let the kids splash and swim while you relax and enjoy watching them enjoy unstructured and refreshing playtime. Festland includes both indoor and outdoor pools and kids have a spacious 900 square meter (9,687 square foot) Dinoland area with giant dinosaur figures to keep them company. There are large and small slides and an area just for babies too. Adults can enjoy massages, the sauna, or take an aqua fitness class. Holthusenbad swim facility offers indoor and outdoor pools and kids have their own large water play area. There’s also a wave pool and thermal pool to enjoy.

Taunus Wunderland

Haus Zur Schanze 1
Schlangenbad 65388, Germany

Plan a day at this amusement park that offers rides for the whole family, located just 40 minutes from Frankfurt. There are three themed areas: Aunt Rosi’s Candy Floss Land; Uncle Benno’s Farm; and Grandpa Alfred’s Dinosaur Valley. Ride the slides, boats, bumper cars, and free-fall tower, visit parrots in the aviary, and put on a brave face to tour the haunted house. The littlest kids may have the most fun, including when making a frog concert, while in the playhouse, or when jumping on the trampoline. Several restaurants offer the chance to break and refuel before parents get back to watching their kids enjoy the fun offerings at Taunus Wunderland. Check the website for more information including operating hours.

The Story of Berlin

Kurfürstendamm 207–208
Berlin 10719, Germany

This interactive journey through Berlin's 800-plus years of history explores the city's development from its 13th-century inception to modern times. Twenty-three themed rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art animation technology and walk-through sets that effectively recreate the atmosphere of various eras in Berlin history including Prussia, the Third Reich, industrialization, and the Wall. Light and sound effects add to the authenticity of the experience. The guided tour includes a walk through an original nuclear bomb shelter beneath the bustling Kurfürstendamm shopping street. Additional highlights: a peek into two reconstructed Berlin Wall-era living rooms from the East and West sectors of the city, a vibrating factory floor, and a conceptual, disconcerting Third-Reich exhibit.


Straße des 17. Juni 100
Berlin 10557, Germany

The oldest public park in Berlin and one of the world's largest inner-city parks, the vast 210-hectare (520-acre) Tiergarten (Animal Garden) is confusingly named. Tiergarten usually means "zoo," but in Berlin's case, the name actually refers to what was once a 17th-century hunting preserve for the Elector of Brandenburg. True, the park does contain the 34-hectare (84-acre) Zoologischer Garten Berlin, but the zoo is only one significant element in a landscape of greenery, grand thoroughfares, monuments, and museums. The park's longitudinal avenue, the Straße des 17 Juni, leads from the historic Bahnhof Zoo rail station to the Brandenburg Gate. On the way, it intersects Großer Stern (Great Star) square with its central Siegessäule (Victory Column). Despite its regal historical associations, today the park is probably best known as a central congregating point for participants in Berlin's legendary Love Parade, when Straße des 17 Juni becomes a giant dance floor.

Tiergarten Hannover

Tiergartenstraße 117
30559 Hannover, Germany

Bring the family to Hannover’s Tiergarten, a recreational forest that includes an assortment of animals. Deer, rabbits, squirrel, wild boar, and several bird species call the park home and offer close-up views for children to enjoy, as many of the animals are within natural enclosures. There are 112 hectares (276 acres) to wander, and an 18th century barn is also on site. Plan for a few relaxing hours enjoying nature and the surrounding peace and quiet.

Tucherland Indoor Playground

Marienbergstraße 102
90411 Nuremberg, Germany

Children of all ages can really let off steam at Tucherland Indoor Playground. They’ll find huge adventure climbing frames, wobbling bouncy castles, and a trampoline. Rush over the 12-meter-long (39-foot-long) slides or whiz down the 14-meter-long (45-foot-long) speed tube slide, or ride the pedal cars. The playground is spread across 3,800 square meters (40,900 square feet) and includes a large toddler area with mini trains and more. An 8-meter-high (26-foot-high) climbing wall with four climbing routes or the 40-meter-long (131-foot-long) course in the high ropes course at a height of 6 meters (19 feet) challenge and promote a thirst for adventure and a sense of balance. Children’s birthdays can be held here and the playground includes a snack counter.

– Information provided by Tucherland Indoor Playground

Victuals Market


Munich, Germany

When the city’s central square, Marienplatz, became too small for the cereal and agricultural market that took place there until the early 1800s, the market was given its own location. Today, in addition to the original farmers’ market, Viktualienmarkt sells gourmet items and traditional Bavarian specialties. There are flower shops, bakeries, restaurants, and, of course, a beer garden where children are welcome. Locals come here to find exclusive food products not sold elsewhere in the city, and tourists come to find a wide array of Bavarian delicacies all in one spot. Its proximity to Marienplatz makes it an ideal place to grab breakfast before embarking on a day of sightseeing or a great rest stop between attractions. It's not uncommon to see Bavarians here in traditional dress, enjoying a Weissbier (wheat beer) or shopping with their big wicker baskets.

Waldhochseilgarten Jungfernheide

Heckerdamm 260
Berlin, Germany

This high ropes course offers hours of challenging fun for the whole family. Located in the trees of Jungfernheide park, at heights between 3 and 17 meters (9.8 and 56 feet), there are three courses just for kids, and adults have their choice of nine ropes courses. These are organized by colors which indicate the level of difficulty. After watching an instructional video and harnessing up, guests will complete the introductory course and are off to balance, climb, and navigate through the trees. The spacious, 150-hectare (370-acre) Jungfernheide park where the course is located includes a petting zoo and children’s playground as well. During the summer, stay a while to enjoy pizza and the beer garden.

Wildpark Grafenberger Wald

Grafenberg Wildlife Park

Rennbahnstraße 60
40629 Dusseldorf, Germany

On the edge of the Grafenberg Forest is one of the oldest wildlife parks in Germany. Many native animal species live in spacious enclosures on the almost 40 hectare (98 acre) area. Unlike in the zoo, the 100 or so animals can decide for themselves whether to show themselves to people, so a little patience is sometimes required. For little guests, Wildpark Grafenberger Wald offers great opportunities for expeditions, adventures, animal observation, games, fun, and much more. Children can romp around and play to their heart's content in the children's playground. There is an even larger playground opposite the wildlife park, 5 minutes' walk into the forest, at the children's playground Plaggbergwiese, with a fountain and water muddy facility. Visitors are allowed to feed the hoofed animals, with apples and carrots brought with you as well as with the feed from the automatic feeder.

– Information provided by Wildpark Grafenberger Wald

Wildpark Schwarze Berge

Am Wildpark 1
Rosengarten, Germany

Wildlife parks are great choices for seeing animals in a natural environment, and Wildpark Schwarze Berge is a kid-friendly venue the whole family can enjoy. See over a thousand animals including bears, lynx, pygmy goats, bison, pigs, and many more in animal exhibits, enjoy the petting zoo, and watch daily bird air shows. Kids can see feedings of otters, badgers, fox, and raccoons, while food is also available for humans to enjoy. There’s also a mini train to ride, playgrounds, and special seasonal events like the autumn market and crafting activities. Find Wildpark Schwarze Berge about 25 minutes south of Hamburg.

Wilhelma Zoological Botanical Garden

Wilhelma Zoologisch-Botanischer Garten Stuttgart

Wilmelma 13
Stuttgart, Germany

Nearly two million visitors come here a year, attracted by the acres of well-attended gardens and rare and exotic animals. Wilhelma Zoologisch-Botanischer Garten Stuttgart took 10 years to build and was originally themed along Moorish lines. Today, it features delightful collections of orchids, hundreds of camellias, and a large coral and fish display. Amongst the 9,000 animals are crocodiles, apes, zebras, bears, and elephants, and you can watch the latter being washed on a daily basis. The Demonstration Farm lets you get up close and personal with domestic livestock and learn about how these species interact with their environment. The excellent restaurant here has space for 350 guests.

Young Museum Frankfurt

Saalhof 1
Frankfurt 60311, Germany

Children and their families can experiment and learn about the world at the Young Museum Frankfurt, formerly the city’s children’s museum. Among the permanent exhibits are Environment, Climate and YOU, and Frankfurt Once, which steps into the past and includes interactive features aimed at kids ages 7 and under. Youngsters can learn what it means to become a collector, sorting through and researching various objects, while workshops for making paper and jewelry are other hands-on offerings. There also are three historic themed playrooms for role playing. Young Museum is found on levels 0, 2, and 3 of the city’s Historical Museum.

Zoological Museum

Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3
Hamburg, Germany

Numerous fascinating animal preparations can be found on 2,000 square meters (21,527 square feet). From the huge whale skeleton to the tiny insect, animals from all over the world can be discovered in all sizes, shapes, and colors. You can even see bears, tigers, and crocodiles up close. The entrance area is dedicated to the Anthropocene and shows how great the influence of humans is on our environment and habitats. The museum's extensive range includes changing special exhibitions on current topics, lectures, events, and a wide range of educational programs—for people of all ages.

– Information provided by Zoological Museum