Monday, September 14, 2015

My favorite German city: Berlin

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My favorite city in Germany was Berlin. We spent four days there and it was not nearly enough. With this great city we balanced seeing art, history, and Lego adventures.

traveling with kids

Berlin has an energy about it that is hard to describe. It is very urban and has a fast pace. The public transportation is great, as usual for Germany, and was our primary mode for moving around. We parked at our apartment (We stayed at a place in the nearby suburbs right off a train line that we found from in a residential area within three blocks of the S-baum.

traveling with kids

traveling with kids
The museums in Berlin have extensive and amazing collections of art and architecture spanning from antiquity to present. Depending on what your interests are, you can choose how to best use your time.
My children, especially my oldest who was eight years old at the time, are big fans of ancient civilizations. So, we headed off to Berlin Neue Museum and Pergamon Museum. All I can say was that the collections are amazing.

traveling with kids

traveling with kids

traveling with kids

The building was built as a large shell specifically to house these collections that were taken piece by piece from their place of origin and reassembled in Germany. There is some controversy with the gathering of the collection, but I will not go into that here.

traveling with kids
We also spent some time looking at more recent history throughout Berlin. We saw the Arch modeled after France’s Arch de Triumph Check-point Charlie and the Berlin Wall.

check point charlie

Berlin Wall

To see all those places required a lot of train rides through the city which was fun for the kids, but tiring after a while. We were able to see a lot of the city this way and the kids had wonderful discussions with us about the historic events associated with each sight.
In the midst of all that sightseeing and history lessons, we scheduled some just plain fun. We went to the Lego Center. The kids needed a break and frankly the place is fun for all ages, including moms and dads. The two older ones (elementary and pre-school) went with their dad and built cars that they raced down ramps and visited every station with every type of Lego imaginable.
I took our toddler to the areas that had giant blocks and then moved to the Duplo sized blocks. We had a blast together and she was just as entertained as the older kids.



As you enter, there is a room that has all the major architectural sites in Berlin built in intricate detail with Legos. It was fun for the kids to identify everything they had seen wondering the city in Lego form. What made it more fun was that there were Star Wars scenes built into/around each building. As we entered, the kids were given a brochure that contained a scavenger hunt for the children to find all sorts of Star Wars characters around Berlin.

lego city


I highly recommend that no matter where you travel that you include play in your vacation planning. The kids gained a lot from seeing the art and history, but they also needed time to unwind and do something that was simply FUN.

traveling with kids

I hope that someday you get to explore Berlin with your family too.  And if you have, what was your favorite part?

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