Germany’s natural scenic beauty, its spectacular landscapes, historical sites, robust cuisine, and superb accommodation make the country a prime choice for family vacations. All of these appeal to travellers of different budgets, interests, and proclivities. Consider including these top 15 attractions in your itinerary.
Hotel Schloss Waldeck
The imposing fortress high above Edersee Lake used to be a castle in the 1100s before it became a hotel, the home of the counts of Waldeck. Your children will be delighted with the tour of the castle’s kitchens using torchlights, the excursions to the surrounding area of the Edersee and fireworks displays.
Travel Tip: Stay for two days and save up on money by dining in the hotel’s two restaurants which serves banquets featuring authentic medieval recipes.
Steiff Bear Museum
The Steiff Bear Museum’s interactive tour will be a learning experience for both children and adults. The museum itself has been designed like the iconic Steiff button. Located in Giengen an der Brenz, 120 km from Stuttgart, the museum houses the original bears created by Margaret Steiff from 1893.
Travel Tip: Steiff teddy bears are collectible toys made from plush materials. If the prices at the museum tend to be stiff, purchase them online instead.
Take a tour of Rothenburg’s oldest bakery, Bäckerei Striffler or Striffler’s Bakery, and enjoy their breads, pastries, pies and other baked goods which are all freshly-made from recipes handed down through generations.
Travel Tip: A 4th-generation Striffler baker is always more than willing to do a demonstration of pretzel-making, especially for children.
See the inspiration behind the castle of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty. Neuschwanstein Castle was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria, the “Fairytale King,” in honour of his favourite composer, Richard Wagner, with many of the interiors of the rooms design
ed with Wagner’s opera characters in mind.
Travel Tip: Remember to get the €2 Neuschwanstein Castle commemorative coin to bring back home.
Germany’s largest park is 68-hectares of more than a hundred attractions which both adults and children can enjoy immensely. Located in Germany’s southwest region of Rust between Strasbourg, France and Freiburg, Europa Park has themed hotels and 11 roller coasters including the Alpenexpress, a powerful coaster guaranteed to make the children scream with delight when it speeds its way through the shafts of a diamond mine.
Travel Tip: Discounted ticket packages are available and the entry fee is cheap. The adults can enjoy the Gladiator Stuntshow, the Varieté Show with acrobatics, dancing and magic illusions, and the Ice-Show.
Deutsche Märchen Straße
Established in 1975, the German Fairy Tale Route, or Deutsche Märchen Straße, is 600 kilometres long, running from central Germany’s Hanau to Bremen, where locations of where the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, creators of Grimm’s Fairytales, lived and worked are the route’s focus. You and your children can visit the homes of the Pied Piper, Sleeping Beauty, and the Bremen Town Musicians on the route.
Travel Tip: Check out the events being held until the end of 2013 to celebrate the bicentennial of the Grimm Brothers’ first published work, “Children’s and Household Tales.”
Designed in 1972 for the 20th Olympics held in Munich, Olympiapark’s different athletic areas – swimming pool, Olympic stadium, and ice skating rink, among others — are still being used, by tourists, this time.
Travel Tip: Adventurous children and adults can do the roof-climb, a tour on the Olympic Stadium’s rooftop covering.
Founded in 1158 by Henry the Lion, Marienplatz today has a promenade where visitors can stroll the time away marvelling at the New Town Hall’s Gothic façade or gawking at the 43 bells of the glockenspiel with a face depicting the wedding of Renata von Lothringen and Duke William V.
Travel Tip: The glockenspiel’s performances – with life-sized figures atop a 260-foot tower – are 15 minutes each and go on at 11:00 AM, 12 NN, and 5:00 PM.
Young and old alike can satisfy their sweet tooth in the Chocolate Museum of Cologne. Made of aluminium and glass, the museum is a showcase of the chocolate’s 3,000-year-old culture with exhibitions of the history of chocolate from its beginnings as “drink for the gods” in ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures, to its pre-eminent status today as energy fuel disguised as candy.
Travel Tip: You and your family can dip waffles provided by the museum into the chocolate fountain, which measures 10 feet in height, for a taste of the delicious chocolate. A selection of German chocolates is available at the shop inside the museum.
Stroll around Hannover Zoo and experience torturous pathways, caves shrouded in mist, and a hanging bridge. See gazelles, antelopes, blue-necked ostriches, and zebras race together across 12,000 square metres of beautiful landscape.
Travel Tip: The children can safely learn how animals are trained from the expert professional animal trainers at the zoo.
Nuremberg Christmas Market
Walk through the Nuremberg Christmas Market, which opens during the last week of November, amidst 180 handcrafted stalls from wood and festooned with fresh garlands, twinkling fairy lights, and white and red fabric.
Travel Tip: Children will thoroughly enjoy the steam engine train and carousels.
The largest automobile plant in the world is that of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, an hour’s ride from Berlin. This gigantic car museum has displays of the various Volkswagen cars throughout the years, driving courses for both adults and children, a hotel and a restaurant.
Travel Tip: The children will be fascinated by the all-glass elevator that takes visitors to the top of Car Tower, with a height of 160 feet, as well as more than 800 Volkswagen cars in actual production.
The Guiness Book of Records listed Pfund Molkerei, or Pfund’s Dairy, as the world’s most beautiful amongst the world’s dairy shops. Just outside the Neustadt district of Dresden, the shop looks like a miniature palace with its interior of tile paintings depicting cherubs, playing children, mythical creatures, and the dairy farm itself in the neo-Renaissance style.
Travel Tip: This shop has mouth-watering ice cream, slightly sweet and refreshing buttermilk, and excellent in-house cheeses that you and your family can sample.
Haribo Gummy Bear Factory
Were you even aware that the gummy bear candy you ate as a child was made in Germany? Haribo’s gummy bears were manufactured in Bonn in 1920 and has since become the world’s largest producer of gummy sweets. While visitors to the factory are not allowed, you and your family can visit the original Haribo factory just beside the factory store, that has an exhibit which chronicles the history of Haribo.
Travel Trip: The gummy sweets are a whole lot cheaper than the ones sold in candy shops and food stores.
One of the biggest exhibitions of the largest dinosaur skeletons in Europe is at the Senckenberg Naturmuseum, or the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Frankfurt. Egyptian mummies and fossil amphibians are only some of the thousands of exhibits found at the museum.
Travel Tip: The museum’s shop has miniature stuffed toy dinosaurs, a large selection of literature natural history topics, and the popular Senckenberg fan t-shirts (discounts may be requested when purchasing in bulk).
A stay of two weeks in Germany with the proper travel insurance in a reasonably-priced accommodation can spell the difference between memorable and frustration. Quite frankly, a few days will not allow you to see the beauty, culture, attractions, entertainment, or taste and savour the food (sausages) and beverages (lager), of Germany. Maximise time with your family by making wise decisions on your itinerary. Choose accommodation that has proximity to museums and other places of history and culture, restaurants, travel insurance offices, churches, the cinemas, chemist’s shops, hospitals, and police stations.Author Profile:
I’m Julia and I’m very fond of travelling as well as photography. I`m very active and communicative person who adores making new friends around the globe. Being also a traveller writer, I’m trying to describe the most incredible travelling experiences in my stories. Cover photo by ESB Professional / shutterstock.com