Where to Have a Fabulous Family Vacation in Germany
Being in the middle of Europe makes Germany easy to reach by road, rail, or plane. The country offers urban and natural experiences as well as historical wonders ranging from medieval castles to modern cars. This variety of vacation experiences makes the entire country an ideal spot for family vacations.
Start your explorations in Hamburg at Miniatur Wunderland, the most popular attraction in the country. This world’s largest train layout shrinks the world to 1/87th scale and includes such delights as an airport with planes that “fly,” highways with moving cars, cruise ships plying rivers with real water, and hundreds of thousands of tiny people going about their business in replicas of America, Venice, Hamburg, and Scandinavia.
Because there are so many little things to see, you can easily spend all day here. Lines to enter can be long, so it's best to reserve tickets online. The website also shows expected wait times.
BMW Museum in Munich
While you’re in a train mood, take the super-fast Intercity-Express or Ice to Munich, the fun-loving capital of Bavaria. The city is worth several days for the variety of attractions that it offers.
A visit to the always active Marienplatz, the city’s main square, is a must, if only to see the glockenspiel (clock) perform its animations. For automation of a different kind, the BMW Plant shows on guided tours how both robots and people creates its cars. You can then find out about the history of the brand at the nearby BMW Museum.
Cap off the day at the English Garden, one of the biggest urban parks in the world. Acres of greenery beckon the kids to run around as you relax at the Japanese teahouse or imbibe a local brew at the two beer gardens.
As a true fairy tale experience, Neuschwanstein Castle inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. While you can visit it on public transportation, the bus and train routings are a bit convoluted. It’s better to go on a tour, especially if you have kids. Many such excursions include a bike ride around the nearby Alpsee, a beautiful lake.
From the picturesque town of Hohenschwangau, the more adventurous hike through a steep trail past mountain and forest views to reach the edifice. A carriage or bus is also available. A half-hour guided tour of the interior is also available but it's best to buy these from the town before heading up to the castle.
Zeppelins and the Stone Age
For more lakeside fun, head for the resort town of Friedrichshafen on the shores of Lake Constance, or Bodensee. This Alpine body of water invites exploration through all kinds of watercraft that ply routes all across the water. You can take a ferry for the 41-minute crossing to Romanshorn in Switzerland for beautiful views of the area. At Friedrichshafen itself, you’ll find plenty of ice cream shops on the boardwalk serving all kinds of confections.
Take some time to visit the Zeppelin Museum, which features a full-size replica of some of the Hindenburg’s interior that you can enter, including the lounge and passenger cabins.
You can also travel back in time about 3,000 to 5,000 years to the PfahlBauh (Lake Dwelling) Museum, which duplicates a Neolithic lakeside village complete with homes and workshops where everyone can try their hand at Stone-Age crafts and activities. The museum is about an hour bus ride from Friedrichshafen.
You can easily spend many days exploring the natural and man-made wonders of the iconic Black Forest. The medieval town of Freiburg acts as a convenient base and is worth visiting for its daily farmer’s market and charming cobblestone streets.
If you’re looking to buy or simply admire some intricate cuckoo clocks, you’ll find several shops at Triberg. Just beyond this town, you’ll discover some beautiful waterfalls at the end of a winding path through the trees. You can also hike to the Ravenna Gorge, framed by a towering railway viaduct known as the Ravennaschlucht.
Have you visited Germany?
© 2019 Aurelio Locsin