Visiting Berlin with your family : advice from a mother

08/02/2021

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It is a city with many faces, sometimes festive and ultra-trendy, sometimes the undisputed capital of slow living. Berlin offers many small pleasures to live with your family for a stay as exotic as it is dynamic. Let’s set off on an invigorating and 100% natural getaway in the heart of an authentic and endearing city where the gentle way of life is a philosophy.

Family-Berlin-Happy-Street

 

A rallying point for festive and artistic European youth with an overflowing nightlife, Berlin is nevertheless a very popular destination for families who appreciate its paradoxes and its rich cultural offer.

According to me, there is no particular season to be privileged to get to know this atypical city and let your children discover its treasures. We went there in winter where the warmth of the welcome generously compensates for the harshness of the climate. In December, we stroll through the Christmas markets, joyfully illuminated with a glass of mulled wine or sparkling apple juice. And you and your family can enjoy ice skating on the large ice rink at Potsdamer Platz.

In the summer, the city’s 2,500 or so parks (!) are a delight to explore and give the city its unique character.

« Berlin is a bit like the countryside in the city! »

You feel safe on the streets and there is not much traffic. You can walk safely with the children on the wide tree-lined avenues, where the bicycle is king, to admire this architectural marriage, both successful and singular, between modern and classic. And the Berliners are really relaxed and open-minded. A real breath of fresh air in the heart of Europe!

Many airlines fly to Berlin, and air travel is still the fastest way to get there.

 

Where to put you suitcase?

Once there, I found you, with the complicity of Little Guest, the ideal spot for a dynamic and cosy family stay.

I invite you to discover the very cheerful Hotel Lulu Guldsmeden. Situated in the heart of the Tiergarten district in a beautiful building dating back to 1850, this warm and welcoming place offers an incredible insight of Berlin hospitality.

The perfect image of a contemporary, family-run hotel that skilfully blends contemporary design, Nordic design and Balinese spirit. Yes, I know, it’s unexpected and original, but the result is a joyful mix that will immerse you in a unique experience.

In this Hygge environment, very much in the spirit of the times, everyone will find their place.

High ceilings, great attention to detail (cosy parquet flooring, vintage furniture, works of art, handcrafted lighting from Bali, shells brought back from a trip…), a patio with trees, far from the noise of the city, to relax after a hectic day, and a team of caring staff who will know how to personalise your stay. In short, you feel good at Lulu!

Family Berlin Lulu Guldsmeden Bike Rental Suite

 

The icing on the cake is an eco-responsible environment that favours the choice of eco-labelled wooden furniture, natural toiletries with the iLove EcoEssentials label, a delicious organic restaurant (signature of the Guldsmeden group) that offers international dishes cooked with fresh and carefully sourced products, and the availability of bicycles for hire, so you can explore the city in a green and cool way.

The rooms and suites include beautiful family lofts that can accommodate 5 people. A special mention for the absolutely delicious and healthy breakfast. Relax in the comfortable armchairs in the light-flooded common areas and in the evening, from 6pm, you can relax in the family bar.

The hotel is located on one of Berlin’s busiest streets, Potsdamer Strasse, which combines a slightly gaudy, alternative character inherited from the 1980s with the bourgeois chic of a residential area. There are many galleries and designer boutiques here and it’s very lively. Just a few steps from the hotel you can reach the Brandenburg Gate or the famous Check-Point Charlie (one of Berlin’s border crossings over the Wall that divided the capital between East and West during the Cold War).

 

Slow-living and nature

Berlin is the perfect embodiment of the slow-living spirit that has become a true philosophy of daily life. Here, authenticity and sharing are given pride of place, and people slow down to enjoy life more fully, in a setting where nature is very much present.

The city reveals numerous parks and green spaces, one of the most famous of which, the 200-hectare Tiergarten, is just a few steps away from the Hotel Lulu.

Here you will also find the city zoo, which enchants young and old alike with its facilities.

It is a magnificent urban animal park that opened its doors in 1844. It has one of the largest aviaries in Europe. It can be visited from 9am to 4.30pm in winter and from 9am to 6.30pm in summer and I advise you to book in order to avoid queuing too long outside.

Family Berlin Carousel Tiergarten

 

I recommend you to walk through this very romantic park which extends over 3km and offers beautiful ponds. In the summer, you can picnic, take a boat trip and sip a lemonade in one of the typical Biergarten. In the 16th century it was originally the hunting reserve of the Princes and was partly destroyed during the war for use as firewood. There are also beautiful playgrounds for the little ones.

In general, all the other parks are pleasant, I would also particularly recommend the Victoria Park with its waterfalls and water jets dating from the 19th century. Situated on a hill, it offers one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Berlin.

 

A bit (or a lot!) of culture

Berlin is a colourful, very open to the world, cosmopolitan city, but it is also a city of culture that is very much appreciated by its visitors. The Potsdamer Platz (designed by Renzo Piano) and the Kulturforum (also known as the Museum Island, where many of Berlin’s museums are located) are within easy reach of the Hotel Lulu and are a must for lovers of art and bold architecture.

The Neue Nationalgalerie is worth a visit, not only for its architecture, but also for its magnificent permanent collections where Paul Klee, Otto Dix, Rothko, Picasso, Fernand Léger or Max Ernst live together in a 5000 sqm surface area.

Family Berlin Postdamer Platz Kulturforum

 

I would also recommend two museums that are perfect for children. Starting with the famous MACHmit! which combines exhibitions and activities for children with superb indoor playgrounds.

But also the Labyrinth Museum which allows children to enter the world of creative games in a very interactive way. It’s a real paradise for children!

And why not take a little trip to the puppet museum which offers numerous shows for the youngest.

To book your visits with children and get all the details about the workshops in the museums, I invite you to visit this reference site.

 

Let’s eat!

Berlin is also a gastronomic capital, with most of its specialities generally delighting children.

There are many kid-friendly restaurants. We were delighted to discover throughout our stay that children are well received throughout the city. I particularly loved Süper, a very nice concept store restaurant with a beautiful view of the zoo. Café Pförtner, located in an old bus, a setting that still makes an impression. But also the restaurant at the top of the TV tower, the Fernsehturm (368 metres), which has a breathtaking view of the whole city. It is more gastronomic but invites the entire family to an unforgettable experience.

Family Berlin Tower Bar

 

Apart from the restaurants, all over the city you can enjoy in the numerous snack bars (called Imbiss) some local specialities such as the famous Curry Wursts (sausages covered with tomato sauce with onions and curry) or the Apfestrudel, the German star dessert, served lukewarm.

There are also many pleasant parent-child cafés in Berlin, such as the AMITOLA boutique café, which also offers a buffet brunch at weekends (Krossener Straße 35, 10245 Berlin) or Café Blume, with its charming little terrace, which offers a delicious and balanced breakfast until 3pm for late risers (Fontanestraße 32, 12049 Berlin).

 

Children’s Special

The black granite carillon in the Tiergarten Park is one of the most popular sights for children. It is the 4th largest carillon in the world, has 68 bells and is 42 metres high. It was donated to Berlin for the 750th anniversary of the city in 1987. The bells ring for 5 minutes each day at 12 and 6 pm and in the summer there are sometimes live concerts.

The Sony Center on Potsdamer Platz is a transparent marquee-shaped building made of glass and steel. Its extremely futuristic and daring shape is very popular with children, who sometimes find the contours of a spaceship in it. It took 4 years to build and its night-time illumination is a great show to see. It houses cafés, restaurants, cinemas and the audiovisual museum.

Good to know: this portal provides all the necessary information for family visits.

Berlin is renowned for its quality of life and offers many advantages for family holidays. The city’s rich recent history and the wide variety of cultural events on offer are sure to appeal to the youngest members of the family. A destination that is sure to appeal to families looking for a change of scenery and nature in Europe.

 

Have a nice trip!

 

 

Catherine, married, Justine’s mom, from Paris

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