Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rome, Italy


Location: Rome, Italy

Time Frame: May, 4 nights and 3 days

Lodging

Type. For this stop we rented a holiday apartment. We had the Apartment "Ponte Mammolo" from La Casa di Pasquino.

Cost. It was a total of 420 Euro for the 3 nights, plus a refundable 100 euro desposit (which we did get back).

Amenities. The apartment had 3 bedrooms, two with double beds, and one with a baby cot and a bunk bed.  We had a washing machine, two full bathrooms (one even had a bidet, which my children refer to as the "foot washer" since that is where they washed their feet every day), a full kitchen, living area with cable tv and dvd player (and dvd's), dining area, and small balcony.  There was an elevator in the building, and a small parking lot just outside the apartment building.

Other. The apartment was located in a what we would call a strip mall, and had several restaurants and shops.  It was a few blocks from a major Metro station, and was in a fairly quiet neighborhood.

Kid Friendly Rating: I would give this hotel four stars (****) for kid friendliness.


Transportation

Driving. We drove down from our home in Germany (via a few days in Pisa).  It took us about15 hours to get to Rome from Pisa (we did stop for a few hours in Florence).  There was a parking lot next to the apartment building, so we had a fairly safe place to leave our car.

Public Transportation. Rome has a pretty decent public transport system.  We used mainly the Metro (though there are a number of buses available), using a "Day card" which was 4 euro for each adult (kids went free).

Walking. You can easily walk throughout Rome, and we did a lot of our travelling between sites on foot.  Keep in mind Rome is a very dusty and dirty city, so we had to constantly wash our feet, and usually couldn't wear an outfit for more than one day.  Walking will be cheaper, but you may find it difficult.

Food
We took breakfast and dinner at the apartment, and usually hit up a pizza stand (which are common in Rome) or a fast food place for lunch.  Rome can be pricey as most of the food places "prey" on tourists.

Fast Food. Rome is home to many of those restaurants which we know and love (McDonalds, Burger King, etc). They also have several that are more cultural. There are a variety of food vendors around the major attractions, usually selling from trucks or stalls.

Sit Down. There were a large variety of sit down restaurants ranging from casual cafes to upper crust fancy places. We preferred not to use them.

Attractions

Colosseum

Times:
from 8.30 am to one hour before sunset (Good Friday 8.30 am – 2.00 pm):
January 2 - February 15: 8.30 am - 4.30 pm from
February 16 to March 15: 8.30 am - 5.00 pm
March 16 - last Saturday of March: 8.30 am - 5.30 pm
Last Sunday of March - August 31: 8.30 am - 7.15 pm
September 1 to September 30: 8.30 am - 7.00 pm
October 1 - Last Saturday of October: 8.30 am - 6.30 pm
Last Sunday of October - December 31: 8.30 am - 4.30 pm
Closed: January 1, December 25

Costs:
Combo Ticket (Colosseum, Palantine Hill, and Roman Forum) Good for two consecutive days:
Adults: 9 Euro
Reduced Fare: 4.50 Euro
Under 18: Free

Comments:  The Colosseum is certainly a place to see.  You can spend as much or as little time as you'd like.  Look around at the exhibits, tour the ruins of the stadium.  Our kids had fun, but our daughter was somewhat distraught that the building was "broken".
 
Palantine Hill

Times:
from 8.30 am to one hour before sunset (Good Friday 8.30 am – 2.00 pm):
January 2 - February 15: 8.30 am - 4.30 pm from
February 16 to March 15: 8.30 am - 5.00 pm
March 16 - last Saturday of March: 8.30 am - 5.30 pm
Last Sunday of March - August 31: 8.30 am - 7.15 pm
September 1 to September 30: 8.30 am - 7.00 pm
October 1 - Last Saturday of October: 8.30 am - 6.30 pm
Last Sunday of October - December 31: 8.30 am - 4.30 pm
Closed: January 1, December 25


Costs:
Combo Ticket (Colosseum, Palantine Hill, and Roman Forum) Good for two consecutive days:
Adults: 9 Euro
Reduced Fare: 4.50 Euro
Under 18: Free

Comments: Take a short hike up the hill to view the palace, the ruins of the hippodrome, and look over the vastness of Rome.

Roman Forum

Times:
from 8.30 am to one hour before sunset (Good Friday 8.30 am – 2.00 pm):
January 2 - February 15: 8.30 am - 4.30 pm from
February 16 to March 15: 8.30 am - 5.00 pm
March 16 - last Saturday of March: 8.30 am - 5.30 pm
Last Sunday of March - August 31: 8.30 am - 7.15 pm
September 1 to September 30: 8.30 am - 7.00 pm
October 1 - Last Saturday of October: 8.30 am - 6.30 pm
Last Sunday of October - December 31: 8.30 am - 4.30 pm
Closed: January 1, December 25

Costs:
Combo Ticket (Colosseum, Palantine Hill, and Roman Forum) Good for two consecutive days:
Adults: 9 Euro
Reduced Fare: 4.50 Euro
Under 18: Free

Comments: You can't miss the ruins of the Roman Forum.  Travel through what would have been the center of Roman life.  Refresh yourself from one of the public water fountains in the Forum area (yes the water is safe to drink)

Spanish Steps

Times: Accessible at all times.

Costs: Free

Comments: One of the most famous stops for tourists in Rome, don't miss a chance to stop and take a break.  Enjoy the fountain at the base of the steps.  We made an evening stop here (buying some yummy pizza near the metro stop), and enjoyed the cool evening air and stunning lights.

Trevi Fountain

Times: Accessible at all times.

Costs: Free

Comments: You can't visit Rome without a stop at the famous Trevi fountain.  Stop and enjoy the cool air after a long day of hot dusty sightseeing.  Throw a penny over your shoulder into the fountain to ensure a return to Rome.  Dip your feet or hands into the cool water, and enjoy a gelatto on the steps surrounding the fountain.


Times: Open Daily

Costs: Free

Comments: 
Marking the beginning of the Vatican, St. Peter's square is a sight to see.  You can view the outside of the bascillica, marvel at the fountains and statues, or simply take a moment to marvel at being in another country, right in the middle of Rome.

Vatican Museum

Times: 
Open Monday to Saturday: the Ticket Office is open from 9 am to 4 pm. The Museums close at 6 pm.
Closed:

  • Sunday (except the last Sunday of every month, free entrance from 9 am to 12.30 am; the Museums close at 2 pm unless it coincides with Easter Sunday, the 29th of June (St. Peter and Paul), 25th and 26th of December (Christmas and St. Stephen). Free entrance also the 27th of September (World day of Tourism)
  • January 1, 6
  • February 11
  • March 19
  • April 4 (Easter), 5
  • May 1
  • June 29 (St. Peter and Paul)
  • August 14, 15
  • November 1
  • December 8 (Immaculate Conception), 25, 26
Costs:

Full - Adult
€ 15,00
Reduced-Child 6-18
€ 8,00
Scholastic Ticket
Children (0-6)
€ 4,00
 Free

 Comments:  The lines here are huge, so either come very early in the morning, or consider booking a guided tour.  We waited over an hour to get in.  The staff was quite helpful and showed us the "disabled route" as we had our stroller with us.  Be careful though, this route goes against the flow of the normal tour, and we ended getting lost (and spent 4 hours trying to find the exit).  You will get to see a myriad of religious artifacts and other art and cultural artifacts from around the world.  Marvel at the painted ceiling in the Sistine chapel.  No food is allowed inside the museum, so be prepared if you have small people.  There are a few outside courtyards where you can grab a snack.

St. Peter's Bascillica

Times:
St. Peter's Basilica is open daily, Apr-Sep 7:00-19:00;
Oct-Mar 7:00-18:00
Treasury Museum: 9:00 - 18:15 (Apr - Sep) 9:00 - 17:15 p.m. (Oct - Mar)
Grottoes: 7:00-18:00 (Apr - Sep) 7:00-17:00 (Oct - Mar)
Cupola: 8:00 - 18:00 (Apr - Sep) 8:00 - 16:45 (Oct - Mar)

Scavi Office: weekdays 9:00 - 17:00

  
Costs: Free

Comments: A visit to St. Peter's is included in your ticket to the Vatican museum, or you can queue outside in Vatican square for a visit.  Bear in mind that strollers, bags, and baby backpacks are not allowed.  Children must be quiet and reverent as it is still a working church.  We ended up not going, as they would not let us in (our kids were tired after our marathon visit to the Vatican museum) with our upset kids or our stroller.

Pantheon

Times: 
8.30am-7.30pm Mon-Sat; 9am-6pm Sun; 9am-1pm public holidays

Costs: Free

Comments:  Come see where the old ways meet Christianity in Rome.  Marvel at the dome and it's oculus.  Tour around and look at the effigies and tombs for some of the well known of Rome's past.  Enjoy the abundance of art and sculpture, but keep the kids quiet as this is an active church so there are often people at prayer. 

Toilettes
When you travel with little ones, bathrooms are an important thing to be able to find. Europeans are generally not big on public restrooms.

Availability: Public restrooms can be found, but are scattered and not always easy to find. Your best bet is to make sure to make use of restrooms offered in the restaurants, museums, and other attractions that you visit. Most of the major attractions have restrooms.

Public/Private: Most available restrooms are actually going to be in some type of business, whether it is a restaurant or attraction.

Cost: Costs for restrooms can run from free to around 1 euro per person. Occassionally bathroom attendants will allow an adult to take a child into the restroom and only charge for one person (I did this with my kids, and even when I took both potty trained children, I usually only had to pay for me).

Nearby Amenities

Laundry: Luckily we had a washing machine in the apartment (which considering how dusty Rome was, and the fact that we had to change clothes mid-day most days), it was a necessity.  I believe there was a laundry mat near the apartment building, but as with all hotels/accommodations, make sure you ask the landlord or management where you can find one.

Groceries: There was a grocery store just a block from the apartment building, and it seemed that most neighborhoods had a central grocery store.  There were also several in Rome proper, and plenty of smaller speciality shops.

Review

We had fun in Rome, despite the unrelenting heat and dust (seriously sweat and dust are NOT a good combination).  There were some downsides, especially when hitting places like the Colosseum, in that there are plenty of re-enactors (there to have their picture taken with you) and vendors who are VERY VERY agressive (think Mafia inspired tourist vendors).

We were sad to miss the Bascillica at St. Peter's, but hey I guess they have the right to refuse entry, and after 4 hours of trying to find someone to tell us how to get out of the museum, our kids were in no mood to be inspired by religious architecture.

Our favorite stops were the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain (my kids LOVE water).  I'd love to go back again (preferrably without kids) just to see all the little things we missed.

Trip Highlights
-Colosseum
-Trevi Fountain
- Pizza and Gelatto!

Overall Rating
Rome is definitely a 5-star, must see before you die, location.

Tip: First Aid

It never fails that on any family trip that someone will get hurt.  From scraped knees, to bug bites, to sunburn, with kids you see it all.  When you are travelling, you also don't want to be carrying an ambulance full of medical supplies.

I like to limit my "kit" to what fits in a backpack, but keep in mind that includes my diaper bag, food, water, and other necessities.

Since we always need a band-aid or an aspirin, I've started carrying my own little medical bag.  I use an small cosmetics bag (which you can usually find at any discount or department store), which fits in one of the outer pockets of my backpack. 

Here are what I consider my essential supplies:

1. Hand Sanitizer: Trust me, when you have seen what kids will touch, you'll want some too, especially as bathrooms aren't so easy to find.  I recommend a small travel sized bottle, but carry a bigger bottle for refills (but leave that one in the car).

2.  Band-aids: So many times, I end up with one kid or another who has managed to trip and scrape a knee.  I carry a variety of sizes in a small sandwich sized ziploc bag. 

3.  Ointment: With cuts and scrapes in some not so sanitary places, it is a good idea to have some type of antibiotic ointment on hand.  I use a small spray  on version of Neosporin (you can find it at most drug or discount stores).

4.  Wet wipes: A mother's lifesaver.  I generally have about 6-8 of the single packs of these in my kit.  Helpful for messy meals or dirty knees.

5.  Sunscreen: I purchased a large container of kid rated (about 50 SPF) sunscreen that handily came with it's own travel sized container.  I put the travel sized one in my carry kit, and leave the big one in the car (or hotel).

6.  Baby/Grown-Up Tyelnol:  I always have a vial of baby rated liquid "tylenol" and a bottle of the grown up stuff, so any aches and pains can be readily attended to on the go.

7. Tissue:  Snotty noses always seem to abound on our travels, so I always make sure a full stocked travel pack of tissues is in my kit.

8.  Plastic shopping bag:  Hey, you may not always be able to find a garbage bin when you need.  Having one of these handy ensures those snotty tissues and messy wet wipes won't be in your pocket til you find one.

You can certainly add more items to your kit, or if you are like me, you'll have some other goodies stashed in your diaper bag!  It never hurts to be prepared :)

Pisa, Italy


Location: Pisa, Italy

Time Frame: May, 2 nights and 2 days

Lodging

Type. We cheated a little on this one.  We stayed at at DoD (Department of Defense) recreation center, at Camp Darby, Italy.  The Sea Pines Lodge is for military members and DoD civilians.  So, this is not a facility that most people would be able to use.  There are plenty of B&B's and small hotels in the Pisa area.

Cost. This room cost us about $84 a night.

Amenities. The room had two double beds, a sofa bed and we had asked for a baby cot.  It had a full bathroom (shower only), small kitchenette, with fridge and stove top, sink and dishes/cookware.

Other. This hotel also allowed access to other base facilities such as the Commissary, Base Exchange, and the food court.  The base also had a private beach on the Mediterranean, which had it's own price list for access.

Kid Friendly Rating: I would give this hotel three stars (***) for kid friendliness.

Transportation

Driving. We drove from our home in Germany, and it took us around 16 hours. Driving in the area was a little crazy, and the hotel did offer parking. We drove to most of our outtings, as the hotel was a ways out.

Public Transportation. Pisa did not appear to have a great public transport system, but there were many public parking areas.

Walking. The main center of Pisa was very pedestrian friendly, and you could walk to most of the main attractions in the area.

Food

Since we had a kitchenette, we made breakfast and dinner at the hotel.  Lunch we had out on the town, mostly from take away places.  We didn't forget to stop for some good Italian gelatto.

Fast Food. Italy is home to many of those restaurants which we know and love (McDonalds, Burger King, etc). They also have several that are more cultural.  Restaurants in Pisa seemed small and more geared toward the cafe crowd.

Sit Down.There were a large variety of sit down restaurants ranging from casual cafes to upper crust fancy places.

Attractions

Most of the major sites of Pisa are located around the Field of Miracles, behind the old city wall.  You can ticket information on all the major attractions, as well as opening times at Opera della Primaziale Pisana's website.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Times:

DECEMBER AND JANUARY
Leaning tower                 Ordinary: 10:00 - 16:30 (last climb)
NOVEMBER AND FEBRUARY:                
Leaning tower                 Ordinary: 09:30 - 17:30 (last climb)
MARCH:                
Leaning tower                 Ordinary: 09:00 - 17:30 (last climb)
FROM APRIL TO SEPTEMBER:                
Leaning tower                 Ordinary: 08:30 - 20:00 (last climb)
                                        Extraordinary from June to August: 08:30 - 23:00
OCTOBER:
Leaning tower                Ordinary: 09:00 - 19:00 (last climb)

Costs:
Tower:   euro  15   on site              euro  17   online

Comments:   The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of famous wonders of the world, and definitely a sight to behold.  The climb up the tower does cost a bit, and children under 8 years old are not allowed, so you may have to take turns here.  Even if you don't get a chance to go inside, don't forget to have your picture taken!

Il Battistero - Baptistery

Times:
DECEMBER AND JANUARY                   
Baptistery   Ordinary: 10.00 - 17.00

NOVEMBER AND FEBRUARY:                
Baptistery   Ordinary: 10.00 - 17.00

MARCH:                                   
Baptistery   Ordinary: 09.00 - 18.00

FROM APRIL TO SEPTEMBER:                
Baptistery                       Ordinary: 08:00 - 20:00

OCTOBER:
Baptistery                          Ordinary: 09.00 - 19.00
                     
Entrance to the monuments is allowed 30 minutes prior to closing time.

Costs:
1 Monument:   euro  5
Baptistery or Monumental Cemetery or Opera Museum or Sinopie Museum

2 Monuments:   euro  6
A choice between Cathedral, Baptistery, Monumental cemetery, Opera del Duomo Museum, Sinopie Museum

4 Monuments:   euro  8
Baptistery, Monumental Cemetery, Opera Museum and Sinopie Museum
 From 1 November to the end of February

5 Monuments:   euro  10
Cathedral, Baptistery, Monumental Cemetery, Opera Museum and Sinopie Museum
 From 1 March to the end of October

Il Duomo Pisa

Times:
DECEMBER AND JANUARY
Cathedral                        Ordinary: 10.00 - 12.45 / 14.00 - 17.00
NOVEMBER AND FEBRUARY:
Cathedral                        Ordinary: 10.00 - 12.45 / 14.00 - 17.00
MARCH:  
Cathedral                        Ordinary: 10.00 - 18.00
FROM APRIL TO SEPTEMBER: 
Cathedral                        Ordinary: 10.00 - 20.00
OCTOBER:
Cathedral                        Ordinary: 10.00 - 19.00

Costs:
Cathedral:   euro  2

Free entrance from 1st November to end of February.
In ogni caso l'ingresso per la preghiera, presso la Cappella del SS. Sacramento, è sempre consentito.

2 Monuments:   euro  6

A choice between Cathedral, Baptistery, Monumental cemetery, Opera del Duomo Museum, Sinopie Museum

5 Monuments:   euro  10

Cathedral, Baptistery, Monumental Cemetery, Opera Museum and Sinopie Museum From 1 March to the end of October


Comments:  A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is a sight to behold.  If you are interested in cathedrals or architecture, this is a place to see.  Your kids can mark the occasion by lighting a candle (my kids love this practice, and yes they know what the candles are for).

The Mediterranean Sea

Most of the beaches in Pisa are "for a fee", even the American beach is!  We managed to find a sliver of beach that wasn't private and had a nice afternoon playing in the sand and water.  After a hard day of sightseeing, a nice cool dip in the ocean is wonderful!


Toilettes

When you travel with little ones, bathrooms are an important thing to be able to find. Europeans are generally not big on public restrooms.

Availability: Public restrooms can be found, but are scattered and not always easy to find. Your best bet is to make sure to make use of restrooms offered in the restaurants, museums, and other attractions that you visit. Most of the major attractions have restrooms.

Public/Private: Most available restrooms are actually going to be in some type of business, whether it is a restaurant or attraction.

Cost: Costs for restrooms can run from free to around 1 euro per person. Occassionally bathroom attendants will allow an adult to take a child into the restroom and only charge for one person (I did this with my kids, and even when I took both potty trained children, I usually only had to pay for me).

Nearby Amenities

Laundry: The base did offer a laundrette, but I did not see any similar facilities in the town.

Groceries: We certainly made use of the base commissary, but there were also grocery stores and shops in the town.

Review


Pisa was easily a one day trip, but if you like the water, you might want to add a day or two to enjoy the tempid waters of the Med.

Trip Highlights

- Field of Miracles
- A dip in the Med
- Gelattoa

Overall Rating

With all it's world history, Pisa is a 4 star location.

Advice: Lost Children

It is every parents worst nightmare...You are out on a family trip and you suddenly cannot find one or more of your children.  I am having a slight anxiety attack now just writing about it, and remembering an incident we had while travelling in Venice, Italy.

We were merely out and about for the day, exploring the canals and bridges.  I had charge of the stroller and our (then) 5 year old son.  My husband had charge of our (then) 3 year old daughter.  We came to cross one of the famous bridges in Venice (whose name I can't remember at the moment), crammed with tourists and covered in shops.

I headed over with the stroller and my son, not noticing that my husband had stopped to take a photo.  Our daughter, unable to keep up with me through the bustling crowd, and not wanting to stop with Daddy, got separated.  A few minutes later, as we had stopped for a rest, my husband caught up.  It was then that we realized our daughter was missing.  I thought he'd had her, he thought that she had gone off with me.  It had only been a few minutes, but with a bustling crowd of thousands (and deep water on every side), that seemed like an impossible eternity.

Panic time.  My husband stayed with the stroller and our son, and I ran off, back across the bridge, retracing our steps, and yelling my daughter's name.  Thankfully, after a few minutes of frantic searching, I found her, crying.

Problem solved, but proof that it doesn't take much for a child to become lost.  They may get distracted, you may get distracted, little Johnny may decided to play hide-and-seek without telling you.  So what should you do if this happens to you?

Well, here are some tips I've learned, and received from other travel savvy parents.

1.  It helps to "assign" children to a parent (if you have more than one), so that you know sooner if someone is missing.

2.  If you find your child is missing, take a few minutes to look around you or retrace your steps to make sure they haven't fallen behind or simply stopped to look at something.

3.  Whatever you do DON'T panic.  I know impossible to do, but panic can interfere with you ability to think straight.

4.  Don't waste more than a few minutes searching on your own.  If you can't find them in the first five minutes, assume that another 5 minutes or another hour isn't going to help.  Find the professionals fast!

5.  Know how to contact the emergency services or police in the area you are travelling.  Remember not every area uses 911, so learn the appropriate phone numbers.

6.  Carry a current photograph of your child in case the professionals need it.  Having a baby photo of your 8 year old isn't going to help the police, and don't count on your child's passport photo, as they are often outdated.

7.  For older children, and other adults, arrange a meeting place in case you should become separated.  Use your hotel, a famous landmark, or a local police station.  This way if the lost person is found, they can inform the professionals about where they should meet you.

8.  Make sure your children (if they are old enough), know the following information (and to only give it to the police in case of emergency):
     * Their full name
     * Their birthdate
     * Where you are staying, whether it is a hotel or a friend's house.
     * The emergency number for the local area and how to dial a phone.
     * Your contact number (whether it be a mobile number or the home/hotel)

9.  If you feel comfortable, for younger children, create an ID card that they can wear (out of sight) with this same information, which can be shown to the professionals.

10.  Teach your children to seek out safe adults if they become separated.  You have to decided what "safe adult" means for you, but police, firemen, even store workers, are common ones.

Sometimes, as they say, "an ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure", so try to be prepared for the situations you may face.  If you are going to be travelling in large crowds, think of ways to keep physical contact with your children.  The ones in the strollers or Baby Bjorn should be easy, but consider "baby leashes" for ones who are still young but mobile.  They are readily available from most baby stores, and come in a variety of fun shapes and sizes, so as to make them not so demeaning to the kids.  Hold the hands of older ones.

No one wants to have a family trip sullied by the panic of a lost child, but that panic can be lessened with careful planning and preparation.  So plan ahead and safe travels!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Berlin, Germany


Location: Berlin, Germany

Time Frame: June, 3 nights and 4 days....October, 2 nights and 3 days

Lodging

Type. We stayed in a hostel hotel near Postdamer Platz called Apartement Haus am Postdamer Platz on both of these trips.  One stay was in a three bed room the other in a two bed room.  Both trips were kid free.

Cost. The three bedded room cost 77 euro a night and the two bed room cost us 55 euro a night.

Amenities. This hotel has a 1 star rating for a reason.  It is very spartan, but had a bathroom with shower, two/three twin beds, a table and chairs, and small kitchenette with stove top, refrigerator, and kettle.

Other. The hotel did have a small parking lot for guests with a first come/first serve policy.  We paid 5 euro a night for parking (on our trip in October).

Kid Friendly Rating: This hotel is not particularly geared toward families or children, and as we didn't have children on either trip, I can't give an honest rating here.

Transportation

Driving. We drove from our home in central Germany for the second trip in October, and it took us around 6 hours. Driving in the area was normal for a large city, and traffic was fairly heavy.  The hotel did offer parking. For sightseeing around the town, we used walking and public transport.

Public Transportation. There are plenty  of buses and the subway in Berlin (it has very good public transport), and there are a variety of day and multi-day passes you can purchase for access to the transportation network.

Walking. Walking is very easy in Berlin, and can be a great way to explore a lot of the neighborhoods in the area.

Food

We ate breakfast in our hotel, having bought some breakfast foods a local market.  Lunch was usually at some type of fast food place, and dinner was out on the town or made back at the hotel.

Fast Food. Berlin is a very metropolitan city and is home to many of those restaurants which we know and love (McDonalds, Burger King, etc). They also have several that are more cultural. They also have a healthy supply of Kebab stands (yummy), Crepe stands, and other European style fast food options. We didn't have a problem finding places to eat (other than making up our minds).

Sit Down. There were a large variety of sit down restaurants ranging from casual cafes to upper crust fancy places. The one we did go to was quite good (we had the Curry Wurst meal) called Jedermann's (Unter Den Linden 12, 10117 Berlin-Mitte).

Attractions

The Brandenburg Gate

Times: Open daily, year round.  May be closed on the days surrounding October 3, which is the unification anniversary for Germany.

Costs:  Free Admission

Comments: A towering monument that once marked the division of Berlin.  View the towering gates from both the East and West sides of the border, and admire the sculpture, which managed to survive the ravages of war.

Monument to Soviet Soldiers

Times: Open daily, year round.

Costs: Free admisison.

Comments:  While the Soviets were (and are) unpopular in Berlin, this monument is reminder that not only Berliners and Westerners died the struggle for Germany.  You can see the names of the Soviet Soldiers who died, and still see some of the relics (in form of a few tanks) of the Soviet occupation of East Berlin.

Charlottenburg Palace

Times:
Old Palace
April - October
Tuesday - Sunday, 10 am - 6 pm

November - March
Tuesday - Sunday, 10 am - 5 pm
Closed Mondays
Guided tour or audio guide

New Wing
April - October
Wednesday - Monday, 10 am - 6 pm

November - March
Wednesday - Monday, 10 am - 5 pm
Closed Tuesdays
Audio guide tour

Last admission 30 minutes before closing.

Costs: 
Old Palace
10 EUR / reduced rate 7 EUR | incl. guided tour or audio guide

New Wing
6 EUR / reduced rate 5 EUR | incl. audio guide

Photo Permit: 3 EUR
Valid for one day in all the palaces.
Only for private use. Not for publication.
Flash and tripods are not allowed.

Comments: This is a gorgeous palace and huge gardens.  It was severely damaged during the war, but the Old Palace is still mostly the same.  I would recommend skipping the new wing, as it was not reconstructed to it's original standard and is mainly an art exhibition. 
 
Berlin Zoo

Times: 
1. January - 20. March: 9.00 - 17.00 (Last Admission: 16.30 Uhr)
21. March - 3. October: 9.00 - 19.00 (Last Admission: 18.00 Uhr)
4. October - 30. December: 9.00 - 17.00 (Last Admission: 16.30 Uhr)
24. December: 9.00 - 14.00 
31. December: 9.00 - 17.00

Costs:

Day Ticket       Zoo    Zoo & Aquarium
Adult             13,00€    20,00 €
Concessions             10,00 €    15,00 €
Child (5 -15)             6,50 €    10,00 €




Comments: This is home to Knute, the world's most famous polar bear.  Take the kids for a fun break and let them explore the animals.
 
Unter den Linden

Times: Accessible at all times

Costs: No Cost

Comments: This is one of the main boulevards in Berlin.  Once a royal parade route, it is wide and offers a view from the victory column to the Bradenburg Gate.  Take a walk under the Linden trees and enjoy the outdoors.

Holocaust Memorial

Times: 
Field of Stelae open at all times

Information Centre April to September: Tue - Sun 10 - 8 p.m.
(last admission 7:15)
October to March: Tue - Sun 10 - 7 p.m.
(last admission 6:15)
Special opening on October 3rd, 2011

Costs: Admission is free.

Comments: This is definitely a moving tribute to the millions of lives lost during the Holocaust.  While the outside memorial is fine for small children (as long as you feel comfortable answering questions about what it is), I wouldn't recommend the information centre for your small ones.  This period of history is important to remember, but difficult to explain to young children.  Use your best judgement when taking your young ones.

Victory Column

Times:
Monday, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays
09:00 am to 6:00 pm


Costs: Viewing the monument is free, if you would like to climb the steps to the top, it will cost a few euro.

Comments: Since you will likely want to walk down Unter den Linden, why not start at the Victory column.  With it's guilded top, it is hard to miss.

Postdamer Platz

Times: Open daily, year round

Costs: Free Admission

Comments: You can view one of the most fortified areas of divided Berlin.  Now a bustling are of transport and commerce, you can follow the outline of the Berlin wall (marked in the pavement) and see preserved sections of the wall on exhibit in the Platz.  There is also a large metro station below your feet!

Pergamon Museum

Times:
Mon
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Tue
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Wed
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Thu
10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Fri
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Sat
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Sun
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Costs: 10 Euro, discounted admission for 5 Euro

Comments: One place I really wanted to see, as it is home to the gates of Babyon.  Lines are very long, especially when special exhibitions are going one.  Our first trip, the gates of Babylon were not available for viewing, and the second trip was a special exhibition on Babylon and the lines were HOURS long.


Berlin Wall Monument and Documentation Center

Times: 
Hours
April - October
Tuesday - Sunday 9:30am – 7pm
November - March
Tuesday - Sunday 9:30am – 6pm


                     Ghost Stations Exhibition
The exhibition "Border Stations and Ghost Stations in Divided Berlin" can be viewed during the hours of operation of the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station.

The Open-Air Exhibition
The memorial grounds on the former border strip is open all year round.

Costs: Free admission.

Comments:  This is located at the narrowest point of the border, and a place where many made their escape to freedom.  The memorial consists of a section of the Berlin wall still intact and preserved as it was during it's use.  You can view the wall segment from both sides and peek through the cracks at no-man's land.  The documentation center provides a variety of exhibits about the wall and life in divided Berlin.  You can also get a bird's eye view of the wall from the observation deck.
 
Topography of Terror

Times:
Open daily
10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Closed on Dec 24th, 31st, Jan 1st

Costs: Free admission

Comments:  While this exhibit is very moving and informative, it is not a place for young children.  There are many photos that are graphic and disturbing.  You can view what is left of the Gestapo prison, see the bullet holes left in the surrounding buildings from the war, and learn more about the reign of terror that gripped Germany.


Checkpoint Charlie

Times: Always accessible.

Costs: Free admission

Comments: This is one of the best places to see in Berlin.  Perhaps the most famous border crossing in the world, there is still a small shack that marks the crossing.  A large sign still stands on the street corner, one side in English the other in Russian.  You can also view remenants of the Berlin Wall around the intersection and read the posted stories of those who dared to make the crossing to freedom.  Have your photo taken with one of the many period actors who make a quick buck at the crossing.

Mauermuseum-Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie

Times: Open every day of the year from 9:00 until 22:00 




Costs:
Adults
12,50
EUR
School and university students
9,50
EUR
Pupil up to 10 years accompanied by adults
5,50
EUR
Children up to 6 years free
Groups of adults (from 20 persons)
8,50
EUR p.P.
School classes
6,50
EUR p.P.


Comments: If you are interested in seeing the history of one of the most famous border crossings this is the place.  It has a huge exhibition of "escape", ranging from vehicles to disguises.

Potsdam Sanssouci

Times:
April 1 - October 31: Tuesday - Sunday, 9am - 5pm
November 1 - March 31: Tuesday - Sunday, 9am - 4pm

Costs: 8.00 Euro (reduced ticket 5.00 Euro)


Comments: A world heritage site, this amazing palace and gardens has limited access (around 2000 people a day maximum).  It is said to be an all day adventure, so pack a picnic and enjoy.

Tiergarten

Times: Open daily, year round.

Costs: Free

Comments: This large park in central Berlin is home to miles of trails, ponds, and plenty of shade.  Take a picnic, enjoy the trees and birds.

Nikolaiviertel

Times: Open daily, year round.

Costs: free admission to the quarter, but there are plenty of shops to peruse.

Comments: This is the old quarter of Berlin, dating from the 13th century.  You can see the old church, the garlic house, and many old and historic buildings.  You can also take time to peruse the shops and have a bite to eat at one of the cafes.

Reichstag - Bundestag

Times: 
The dome and the roof terrace will be closed all day on 24 December, and from 16.00 hrs on 31 December. In addition, the dome will be closed to visitors from 28 March to 1 April, from 11 to 15 July, from 25 to 29 July and from 10 to 14 October to allow cleaning and maintenance work to be carried out.

Costs: Admission is free, but prebooking is now required.

Comments: This is a must see if you are in Berlin.  Home to Germany's Parliament, the huge glass dome and roof terrace not only allow stunning views of the city, but also provide some interesting history of Germany's government. 
 
Berlin Wall Trail

Times: Open daily, year round.

Costs: Free

Comments: This nearly 160 km trail takes you along the path of the former border between East and West Berlin.  It is mainly for hiking, walking and biking.

Toilettes

When you travel with little ones, bathrooms are an important thing to be able to find. Europeans are generally not big on public restrooms.

Availability: Public restrooms can be found, but are scattered and not always easy to find. Your best bet is to make sure to make use of restrooms offered in the restaurants, museums, and other attractions that you visit. Most of the major attractions have restrooms.

Public/Private: Most available restrooms are actually going to be in some type of business, whether it is a restaurant or attraction.

Cost: Costs for restrooms can run from free to around 1 euro per person. Occassionally bathroom attendants will allow an adult to take a child into the restroom and only charge for one person (I did this with my kids, and even when I took both potty trained children, I usually only had to pay for me).

Nearby Amenities

Laundry: We didn't notice any laundry facilties near our hotel, but scattered around the city we did see some laundry facilities. Ask your hotel where the best facilities are located.

Groceries: There was a small grocery store near our hotel, and many more located near (or in) train stations throughout the city.

Review


This was an amazing trip (both times..first with girlfriends and then with my hubby).  There is so much to see that one trip may not be enough.  There is plenty to do in Berlin, and so much history.  Take time to look for the path of the Berlin wall, marked out on the streets and sidewalks with bricks and metal medallions. 

Trip Highlights

-Reichstag
-Checkpoint Charlie
-Berlin Wall Memorial

Overall Rating

Berlin is definitely a 5 star must see location.

Munich, Germany


Location: Munich, Germany

Time Frame: April, 3 nights and 3 days

Lodging

Type. We stayed at a hostel hotel.  This gave us a room with 6 beds (set up in a bunk bed style).  The hotel was called A&O City Hackerbruecke, and we booked through Expedia.com (which helped to ensure that we got the bed linens and towels included, as otherwise they are at an extra cost).

Cost. Total cost for the room for 3 nights was $400.  This included our bed linens and towels, but not breakfast.

Amenities. The room was pretty spartan (as expected at a hostel), but had 6 bunk beds, a bathroom, closet/lockers, a small table and chairs, and a small balcony.

Other. While the hotel itself was spartan, it was well located to several train/metro stations which allowed us to get to the city centre.  It also had several restaurants and stores nearby.  As it is a budget hotel that caters to large groups and students, there were several brochures in the lobby that helped us to get discounts on several tours in Munich.

Kid Friendly Rating: I would give this hotel one star (*) for kid friendliness.

Transportation

Driving. We drove from our home in Germany, and it took us around 6 hours. Driving in the area was the same as in any large city, and the hotel did not offer parking. But we found parking on the street near the hotel.

Public Transportation. There is a decent bus and train system in Munich.  We used the trains to get around or walked.  We were able to get a family day pass for the trains.

Walking. Munich was fairly pedestrian friendly.  We did several walking tours, and most of the city centre was pedestrianized.

Food

We brought our own breakfast foods and had lunch and dinner in town.  There was also a grocery store near the hotel which allowed us to stock up on essentials.

Fast Food. Munich is home to many of those restaurants which we know and love (McDonalds, Burger King, etc). They also have several that are more cultural. They also have a healthy supply of Kebab stands (yummy),  and other European style fast food options. We didn't have a problem finding places to eat (other than making up our minds).

Sit Down. There were a large variety of sit down restaurants ranging from casual cafes to upper crust fancy places. We had one dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Munich...which is very expensive.

Attractions

Free Walking Tour
Times: Daily, Marienplatz Start Point 10:45 AM & 1:00 PM

Costs: Free.

Comments: This tour helps you hit the main highlights of the city and is a great way to get your bearings if is your first visit.  We used this to help us navigate our way around and get more information about some of the sites.

The Third Reich Tour
Times: Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Marienplatz Start Point 10:45 AM

Costs: 
Adults: 12 Euro
Students: 10 Euro

Comments:  This was a way to see the "darker" side of Munich, once the capital of the Third Reich.  If you are interested in the history of World War II this is a great tour to take.  It wasn't too graphic, so children should be fine, but it is a lot of walking so be prepared.

Hofbraeuhaus
Times: Daily during normal business hours.

Costs:  Entrance is free, but buying a beer or food will cost you.  See the sites menu for costs.

Comments:  This is a very famous Braeuhaus (Brew House) in Munich.  You will see this on most guided walking tours of Munich.  If you have the time, why not sit down after your tour and have a pint and a pretzel?  Since it is a famous landmark, prices are higher, and it is very crowded.  It is not very kid friendly and the crowds can make for an unpleasant dining experience for little ones.

Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady)
Times: Sat-Thurs 7am-7pm; Fri 7am-6pm

Costs: Free

Comments:  You'll see this landmark on most of the walking tours.  The church was nearly completely destroyed during the many bombing raids on Munich during the Second World War.  In the entry way to the church you'll find the "Devil's Footstep" (which your tour guide, if you have one, will explain to you), which surprisingly is a women's size 11.  You can tour the inside of the restored church and marvel at its windows.  Why not stop and light a candle (which is our children's favorite ritual)?

Deutsches Museum
Times: 
The Deutsches Museum and the branch museums Flugwerft Schleissheim and Verkehrszentrum are open daily from 09:00 to 17:00, ticket presale from 9:00 to 16:00.
They are closed on:
01. 01. 2010  New Year
16. 02. 2010  Shrove Tuesday
02. 04. 2010  Good Friday
01. 05. 2010  May 1st holiday
30. 06. 2010  Closed until 11:00
01. 11. 2010  All Saints' Day
08. 12. 2010  Closed at 12:00
24. 12. 2010  Christmas Eve
25. 12. 2010  Christmas Day
31. 12. 2010  New Year's Eve

Costs: 
Day ticket
for visitors aged 16 or over
€ 8.50
Combined ticket Deutsches Museum + Verkehrszentrum + Flugwerft Schleißheim (can be visited on separate days) € 17
Family ticket € 17
Family ticket reduced
for owners of Munich Family Pass
€ 14

Comments:  This was a fun stop for the kids.  There is plenty of stuff for them to see and touch.  They even have a full on Children's museum, which welcomes the little ones to get hands on and have some fun.  We had to drag our children away screaming (not joking literally screaming).  There is also plenty of fascinating science for the grown ups as well. 

English Garden 
Times: Open daily, year round.

Costs: Free

Comments:  This is a nice outside activity to see.  You will likely pass it on your walking tour (if you take one).  There is even a river that runs through, where you can watch people surfing (yes I said surfing) in the rapids.

Marienplatz 

Times: Daily, Year round.

Costs: Free

Comments:  This is one of Munich's most famous places.  An open air square surrounded by Gothic buildings and shops.  See the giant clock in the square and gaze at the old town hall and new town hall.

Toilettes

When you travel with little ones, bathrooms are an important thing to be able to find. Europeans are generally not big on public restrooms.

Availability: Public restrooms can be found, but are scattered and not always easy to find. Your best bet is to make sure to make use of restrooms offered in the restaurants, museums, and other attractions that you visit. Most of the major attractions have restrooms.

Public/Private: Most available restrooms are actually going to be in some type of business, whether it is a restaurant or attraction.

Cost: Costs for restrooms can run from free to around 1 euro per person. Occassionally bathroom attendants will allow an adult to take a child into the restroom and only charge for one person (I did this with my kids, and even when I took both potty trained children, I usually only had to pay for me).

Nearby Amenities

Laundry: We did not see any laundry facilities in the hotel or near the hotel.  There were probably some in the downtown area.  Ask at your hotel or a tourist information point.

Groceries: There were several smaller grocery stores in town, as well as several large markets with produce, meat and other staples.

Review

Munich was a very interesting visit.  There was a lot of walking (partly due to the fact that we went on several guided walking tours), but plenty to see.  There was plenty of food options, and the kids had fun at the museums and outside parks along the way.

Trip Highlights
- walking tour
- Deutsches Musuem

Overall Rating

Munich is definitely a 5 star must see location.

Legoland Windsor - England


Location: Legoland Windsor, England

Time Frame: August, 3 nights and 3 days

Lodging

Type. We had a hotel for this visit.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn - Slough Windsor, which was fairly close to the park (about 15 minutes away).  We had two double rooms, which were thankfully right next to one another (though not adjoining).  We split them between boys and girls (which means I got stuck with 3 kids while my hubby only had 1).

Cost. We cheated a little on this one, as we had built up loyalty points with Holiday Inn.  We use our points for the stay, and so it was free.  Rooms ran for us at 15,000 points a night.  Money wise, they were about 57 GBP per room (about $110), but did not include breakfast.

Amenities. Each room had two queen beds, a table and chairs, a tv, a full bathroom, and tea/coffee service. The Hotel had elevators, parking (which was 5 GBP per night), and a restaurant in the hotel.

Other. This hotel is within reasonable commuting distance to Legoland Windsor. It is in a rather interesting neighborhood, but does have some facilities such as an ASDA store within about 1/2 a mile.

Kid Friendly Rating: I would give this hotel two stars (**) for kid friendliness.

Transportation


Driving. We drove from our home in the northern part of England.  It took about 4 hours to get there.  Driving was a bit chaotic, as many of the roads were under construction and Windsor is quite near London and traffic is heavy.

Public Transportation.  There were some bus routes that ran from the local towns to Legoland.

Walking. It is not possible to walk to Legoland, though walking to some areas of the local towns is possible.

Food

We brought our own breakfast foods (such as muffins, fruit and juice), and then purchased lunch and dinner at the park.

Fast Food. Legoland had plenty of places to eat, ranging from the burger joints, to sit down places.

Sit Down. There were a few sit down places in the park.

Attractions

Legoland...need I say more?

Times: See the parks website for more information as the park is open seasonally.

Costs:

You can usually find good deals by buying holiday packages, or purchasing tickets on-line before you visit.


Tickets &Prices Adult Standard Adult Online
Child/
Senior Standard
Child/
Senior Online
Under 3's
1 Day Tickets 
£39
£35.10

£30
£27.00
Free
2 Day Tickets 
£75
£75

£55
£55
Free
LEGOLAND® FULL Annual Pass Gift Vouchers
£75
£56.25

£57
£42.75
Free
LEGOLAND® BASIC Annual Pass
£55
£49.50

£39
£35.10
Free
Lifetime Pass 
£695
£695

£695
£695
Free






Parking costs 2 GBP per day, unless you have an annual pass.  There is prefferred parking, which is closer to the park entrance, which has the following costs:






Preferred Parking Prices
Preferred Parking Pass £6
Annual Passholder Preferred Parking Pass £4
Preferred Parking Season Pass £14





Comments: We had a lot of fun here.  They had a great pirate show, plenty of fun rides for all ages, and plenty of places to eat.  We bought an annual pass (as it was cheaper than a two day pass which is our normal Legoland fare), and got to spend three days in the park.  We even got to go back in October to see the park's "Wizard Fireworks".







Toilettes
Availability:Public restrooms can be found readily throughout the park.  They have family restrooms as well, just in case Mom or Dad has to help a little one.

Public/Private: All of the restrooms in the park are open to the public.

Cost: Restrooms in the park are free.

Nearby Amenities

Laundry: We did not see any laundry facilities in the hotel or near the hotel.

Groceries: There was an ASDA Superstore about 1/2 mile from the hotel, and other local shops in the area.

Review


This was a really fun trip.  Our kids were excited to see yet another Legoland, and hurriedly decided on which rides to hit.  There was plenty to entertain kids of all ages, though being the high season, lines were a bit longer, unless you go early in the day.  Sadly there were no large roller coasters, like there were at Legoland Billund or Legoland DE.  They are in the process of building a hotel at the site, and some new rides.







Trip Highlights
- umm, Legoland?

Overall Rating

If you love Legos, Legoland Windsor is definitely a 4 star must see location.











Legland Deutschland


Location: Legoland Deutschland

Time Frame: April, 2 nights and 3 days

Lodging

Type. We stayed at a hotel about an 30 minutes from the park, called Park Hotel Schmid.  It was part of a holiday package with Legoland.  Legoland Deutschland also has it's own hotel on site.

Cost. The total for our holiday package (2 night hotel stay plus 2 day passes to the park for each of us) was 289.00 Euros.

Amenities. The hotel had two double beds, and we brought our own baby cot.  There was also a full bathroom.  The hotel offered a daily breakfast.  The hotel was located in a very small town, so there were not too many amenities.

Other. We had a nice walk around the town, and it was in a nice area.

Kid Friendly Rating: I would give this hotel four stars (****) for kid friendliness.


Transportation

Driving. We drove from our home in Germany, and it took us around 4 hours. Driving in the area was pretty easy, and the hotel did offer parking. We did have to drive to the park (about 1 hour each way).

Public Transportation. We did not see any reliable transportation to the park, as it is quite isolated.

Walking. Walking inside the park is no problem, but getting to the park requires vehicular transportation.

Food

Luckily breakfast (which for me is the hardest meal to deal with when traveling) was provided at the hotel We ate heartily, which helped us last until we could find lunch.


We had lunch in the park, and dinner at either a restaurant outside the park (called Quick burger) or one of the german restaurants in the town near our hotel.

Fast Food. There were several fast food restaurants between our hotel and the park.

Sit Down.There were a large variety of sit down restaurants ranging from casual cafes to upper crust fancy places.

Attractions

Leogland...oh yeah!

Times: See the parks website for details on opening times as this park is seasonal.

Costs:

Ticket Reg. price Online price
1-Day Ticket Bambini (3-5 years) 16,50 € 16,50 €
1-Day Ticket Child/Senior (6-11 / 60+) 33 € 24.75 €
1-Day Ticket Adult (12-59) 37 € 27.75 €
2-Day Ticket Adult (12-59) 61 € 51.85 €
2-Day Ticket Child Senior (3-11 / 60+) 61 € 51.85 €

Comments: This park had a much stricter policy for ages and  heights on rides.  They did have plenty of fun rides and movies to see.  This park, surprisingly, is not as child friendly as other Legoland parks, due in part, I imagine to the cultural issues in Germany around children.



Toilettes

Availability:Public restrooms can be found readily throughout the park.  They have family restrooms as well, just in case Mom or Dad has to help a little one.

Public/Private: All of the restrooms in the park are open to the public.

Cost: Restrooms in the park are free.

Nearby Amenities

Laundry: We didn't notice any laundry faciilties near our hotel.  Ask your hotel where the best facilities are located.

Groceries: There were a few small shops in the town.

Review


We had fun at the park, but we made the mistake of going the weekend of a German school holiday, so the lines were long and it was hard to get a lot of time going on rides.

Trip Highlights
-having our first Legoland experience

Overall Rating

If you like Legos, Legoland Deutschland is a 4 star must see location.

Legoland Billund


Location: Legoland Billund, Denmark

Time Frame: May, 3 nights and 3 days

Lodging

Type. We stayed at FDM Camping - Billund, which is a camping village about 500 meters from Legoland.  We had a two bedroom cabin with a parking space.

Cost. We had an entire package which not only included our accommodation, but also 2 day passes to the park.  The total cost was 528 Euros.

Amenities. Our cabin had two bedrooms (one with double bed, one with bunk beds), kitchenette, sitting area and bathroom (shower only).  We also had a television (and like most Scandinavian countries there was plenty of English language shows).  There were several play areas in the camping park, and there was a water recreation area right across the street.  The site also had a small grocery store.

Other. You can't get any closer to Legoland than this!  We were within walking distance of the park.

Kid Friendly Rating: I would give this hotel four stars (****) for kid friendliness.


Transportation

Driving. We drove from our home in Germany, and it took us around 12 hours. Driving in the area was pretty easy, and the hotel did offer parking with our accommodation.  Since we were so close to the park, we just left our car and walked.

Public Transportation.  There were some buses to the park from the town, and Legoland has it's own adjacent airport (Billund airport).

Walking. Leooland is fairly isolated, though we were able to walk from our accomodations.

Food

Since we had a kitchenette, both breakfast and dinner were eaten at "home".  We brought some food with us, but purchased more essentials at the small shop in the camping village.

Fast Food. Legoland had plenty of places to eat, ranging from the burger joints, to sit down places.

Sit Down. There were a few sit down places in the park.

Attractions

Legoland...need I say more?

Times: See the parks website for more information as the park is open seasonally.

Costs:

You can usually find good deals by buying holiday packages, or purchasing tickets on-line before you visit.

Ticket Valid
EURO
Children 0-2 years
Free
Children 3-12 years 27/3 - 31/10
approx 33
Adults 13-64 years 27/3 - 31/10
approx 37
Senior citizens from 65 years 27/3 - 31/10
approx 33
Visit again
on 2 consecutive opening days.
The ticket for the second day can only be purchased at LEGOLAND.
27/3 - 31/10
approx 14
School prices only if booked in advance only according to agreement
approx 14
Group prices per person
(min. 20 persons on the same date)
27/3 - 31/10
approx 32
2011 season pass children (3-12 years) and senior (65+) 2011 season + rest of 2010 season
approx 63
2011 season pass adults 13-64 years 2011 season + rest of 2010 season
approx 69
Western evening - children/adults/seniors * Thursdays in the periode 1/7 - 5/8 from 5.30 pm *
* approx 10
Read more about Handicap

Parking 1 day
approx 7
Christmas in LEGOLAND - children (3-12 years) / seniors (65+) weekends 13/11 - 5/12
approx 17
Christmas in LEGOLAND - adults 13-64 years weekends 13/11 - 5/12
approx 20


Comments: We found this the most fun of the European Legolands.  The smaller children had access to more of the rides, and they were much more family friendly.  They have a great medical staff (our smallest tripped and split her lip open) who even gave our daughter some free duplos for being a trooper.  They also have plenty of baby help, with free diapers, changing facilities, food and bottle warmers, etc.

Toilettes

Availability:Public restrooms can be found readily throughout the park.  They have family restrooms as well, just in case Mom or Dad has to help a little one.

Public/Private: All of the restrooms in the park are open to the public.

Cost: Restrooms in the park are free.

Nearby Amenities

Laundry: The camping village did have a laundry room.

Groceries: There was a small shop at the camping village, as well as larger ones in Billund proper.

Review


This was a really fun trip.  We arrived late in the afternoon, but were please to discover that we could get into the park for free for the last hour (as the rides were all closed).  This allowed us to see Miniland and do some pre-shopping.  Our kids had a great time on the rides, and surprisingly the lines were very short, so they could on the rides repeatedly.  I was slightly bummed to miss the roller coasters, as I was pregnant.  In two days, we were able to hit every ride that was open.  The lunches were a bit pricey (hey welcome to Denmark) but balanced out with the fact that we had "home" meals and brought our own snacks.

Trip Highlights
- umm, Legoland?

Overall Rating

If you love Legos, Legoland Billund is definitely a 5 star must see location.