Top 10 Bucket List Activities in Germany (Toddler Edition)‏

Castle Visit in Germany

There’s no shortage of awesome adventures in Germany; from wingsuit flying to paragliding over the Alps, you can do it all. What sights should you visit when traveling with your family, especially young children though? Most families assume that because they have young children, they should stick to all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean but it doesn’t have to be that way. After a two-week, whirlwind adventure in Germany, I’ve come up with a German bucket list of ten family things to see and do while you’re in the country. Since traveling with a toddler can be so difficult, I’ve decide to make a toddler addition. And to prove how manageable it is, I’ve traveled to each of the destinations during two weeks on my own with Athena. If I can do it on my own, you can definitely do it as a family.

Top Ten Bucket List Activities in Germany (Toddler Edition) 

1. CABLE CARS TO MOUNT ZUGSPITZE

Mount Zugspitze View

Do you want to see what it feels like to have Germany at your feet? Visit Mount Zugspitze! At 2,962 metres above sea level, the Zugspitze is the highest mountain in the country and home to three glaciers and Germany’s highest ski resort. Right at the top, an impressive 360° panorama opens up to reveal extensive views over 400 mountain peaks in four countries. The spectacular views are just part of the adventure. Riding the cable cars are equally fun for children. The transportation in Germany is as exciting as the destination. 

Tip: The meter-gauge rack railway, Zahnradbahn, begins in Garmisch next to the railroad station and travels along the valley to Grainau and on to Eibsee before ascending the Zugspitze under cogwheel power. At the Zugspitzplatt, 2600 meters up the 2964 m mountain, you switch to the Gletscherbahn aerial cable car for a quick ascent to the summit ridge. Total travel time is 75 minutes from Garmisch. 

2. RIDE THE TRAIN

Germany by Train

Riding the train in Germany proved to be way more beneficial than I anticipated. It’s quick, cost effective, and runs like clockwork. Other passengers are friendly and helpful, especially when traveling with children. Athena loved getting her own ticket and playing with Mommy while traveling. I didn’t need to worry about driving myself so I could focus all of my attention on her and the spectacular scenery.

Tip: Use the DB Navigator to find the best times and connections.

3. VISIT NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle should be on everyone’s bucket list regardless of age. It’s ideally situated with the Alps on one side and flatland on the other side. Although its history isn’t as pretty, the castle itself is fairy tale worthy. You don’t even have to go inside to appreciate its beauty. Just stand on the neighboring bridge and reveal in the remarkable seven stories of greatness.

Tip: Take the bus up to the castle and walk to the bridge before going inside. Then, take the horse and carriage down to complete your enchanting experience. If you do want to visit the inside for the full experience, be sure to book your tickets in advance and avoid the excessively long lines.

4. BOAT TRIP ON FORGGENSEE LAKE

Lake Forggensee Boat Trip

One of the biggest tourist attractions in Füssen are the boat tours on the idyllic Forggensee Lake. They offer amazing views of the surrounding mountainscapes, the city of Füssen, and of the world famous castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.

Tip: If you are getting on in the boating harbor of Fussen,  go early and visit the playground. It’s equipped with swings, a slide, and other toddler-friendly play areas.  Athena was able to burn off some energy before the hour-long boat ride.

Also, visit the top deck of the boat for more child-friendly areas.

5. STAY AT KINDERHOTEL OBERJOCH

Kinderhotel

Kinderhotel Oberjoch is a child-friendly, all-inclusive hotel located in a sunny Alpine valley 1,200 metres above sea level in Germany’s highest mountain village. All of the hotel’s facilities are tailored to small guests including a zoo, a theater, a bowling alley, play lands for various ages, in-house childcare for children as young as 7 days old, an indoor children’s pool, a skating rink, hiking trails, and an adventure club. 

Tip: Plan to stay for a few days or longer. Once you arrive, you won’t want to leave.

6. GO SKATING AT KINDERHOTEL OBERJOCH

Skating at Kinderhotel

Although this is at Kinderhotel, I had to mention it again because it was Athena’s favorite activity of the entire trip. Skating at Kinderhotel put a huge smile on Athena’s face and she wanted to stay for hours. They provide the skates, helpful props, and hockey equipment. You just need to bring the smile.

Tip: Remember to wear socks and a sweater. Even though it’s not real ice, this room is cooler than the rest of the hotel.

7. VISIT RAVENSBURGER SPIELELAND

Driving Jeep at Spieleland, Germany

There are more than 60 attractions to discover at Spieleland. The park is organised around seven themes including Green Oasis, Kaleidoscope of Fun and Games, Fix & Foxi Adventure Land, Land of Discovery, Future World, Captain Bluebear’s Wonderland, and Interactive Land. A great layout makes it easy to navigate and toddler rides are sprinkled throughout the entire park.

Tip: Don’t miss the jeep ride at the back of the property. Athena loved driving herself (with a little help from me) and although she couldn’t reach the gas pedal, she still loved being in control of the wheel.

8. VISIT ISLAND MAINAU

Mainau Island

Allow yourself a break and enjoy a walk around Island Mainau or The Flower Island. The paths are alive with thousands of blossoms, shrubs, and trees. For children, there is a water world, a petting zoo, a butterfly house, and a children’s land with little houses and towers.

Tip: There is a ship from Uberlingen to Island Mainau, making an Uberlingen stay a great option.

9. VISIT AFFENBURG SALEM

Feeding Monkey at Affenburg

Affenburg is like being in the Planet of the Apes. More than 200 Barbary apes live freely in a 20 acre wooded area called Monkey Mountain in Affenburg Salem. Here, you are able to see the apes in their natural environment, observe their natural behavior, and hand-feed them. Don’t worry if you’re fearful of the apes. There are trained staff to guide you in the process and answer any questions.

Tip: Don’t bring a lot of gear to Affenburg. The hills are steep and everything needs to be packed in a bag before you can enter the gated monkey area.

10. VISIT EUROPA PARK

Europa Park Characters, Germany

One of the world’s leading theme parks, Europa Park should already be on your radar. Consisting of 13 European-themed areas with typical national architecture, foods, and flora, Europa Park is like visiting most of Europe in one day. There are 11 rollercoasters for the fearless and entertainment by 250 international artists who preform magic, juggling, singing, and dancing for those who want to take it more calm.

Tip: Europa Park offers a Baby-Switch program where one parent stays with the children, while the other one rides an attraction. Then, the second parent enters the ride without waiting.

 

****Our trip to Germany was sponsored by the German National Tourist Board but all thoughts, ideas, and options are my own.***

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33 thoughts on “Top 10 Bucket List Activities in Germany (Toddler Edition)‏

  1. I think this is the best portrait of you and your daughter so far! The joy and delight of being together radiates. My suggestion is the Toy Museum in Nurnberg. I saw it some 30 years ago on my mother/daughter trip and loved wandering through the displays of toys. Also that particular square has one of those fancy clocks that have figures which put on quite a show on the hour.
    Enjoy your memorable bonding time!

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  2. I noticed that missing from your list was a visit to giant beer hall. 🙂 I was born in Germany while my dad was in the service and we have pictures of me at the beer hall. The Germans love babies and apparently they would pass me down one side of the long picnic tables and then back up the other awhile later. It looks like it was a great trip and you both had fun.

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  3. I honestly have never wished to go to Germany before, but this list definitely made it a must see for me now. My daughter is only 7 months though, so we have a while before we can travel and enjoy all of the things you posted about. Thank you for sharing this post. 🙂

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  4. Lesley,

    It’s no wonder your blog has been a success right from the inception (which I recall clearly, as it was right around the time I started on WordPress, too…) I don’t get much chance to surf, & see all the sites I’d like to go to, but, I’ve always enjoyed yours… and, now, just look at you. I saw you’ve had over 5000 Likes on your About page! Wow…

    I have a strong passion for travel (though I’m not an adrenaline addict, such as yourself… in fact, I have a distinct issue with adrenaline, now, due to events earlier in my life… add that to more than merely mild vertigo, and visits to places with vistas become a thing of the past….), and love to read of yours…. I have covered quite a few miles on this globe myself, with a LOT of places I’ve yet to see… I’m only 63, so I have time, and now have more opportunity, since retiring… My Dad was in the Army from my birth until I turned 10, & we moved around, so I got a taste for it early.

    By addict, of course, I am not being critical, so please don’t be insulted at my choice of words; I admire your adventurous spirit, a lot, and am glad that Athena will be exposed to such a wonderfully varied set of travel experiences, as she will with you as her mother; she should be an amazing personality when she is all grown up, you can tell by her unaffected smile… so, many kudos for that, to you, and your partner in creating her….

    My travel, while not as, perhaps, exciting as yours, still contents me, and gives me the same feeling of fulfillment of potential that I think you feel, to have given your mind and spirit the chance to experience, and learn, and grow…. in whatever direction it happens to fly….

    Great post… I wish I had seen it twenty-five years ago, when my kids were little…. but, now I can forward it to my son, to consider as a future trip with his own son, so, that’s good… Thanks for sharing, and for all the great smiles over the years…. on your face, Athena’s, and, as a result, on mine…

    Ned, aka, gigoid, the dubious

    😎

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve added Neuschwanstein Castle to my list of majestic must see places. I’m new to the wordpress world but am greatly enjoying your blog so far. Looking forward to following your adventures. Love to You and Yours.

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  6. Pingback: 2014 Bucket List | Bucket List Publications

  7. I lived there with my military husband 30 years ago and I remember some of the places you went. One my favorite memories of that area was the salt mine tour in Berchtesgaden. Not sure how that would work with a toddler, but worth checking out for your next visit.

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  8. I stumbled upon your website as we are planning a trip to Germany with a toddler. I appreciated reading all your tips, as the information can become overwhelming. It looks like you’ll had a great deal of fun. Do you mind sharing what cities you’ll visited while you were there?

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