This post is part of my Traveling Tuesday Series. Also see my tips for traveling to Munich with kids.
Our first winter living in Dublin, we took a 10 day trip through Germany with my parents to see the Christmas Markets when our daughters, Honeybun and Sugarplum, were 2 1/2 years and 5 months. It was the only trip we took in Europe where we rented a car. We started in Munich, drove up to Berlin and left from Hamburg. Along the way, we were able to stop and spend some time in some of the less popular cities that would have missed had we not done the driving tour.
Here are the basics of traveling to Nuremberg, Leipzig and Wittenberg, Germany with kids:
Even though we had the car to get between cities, we walked as much as possible within the cities while we were there. In both Nuremberg and Leipzig, we stayed a night in the middle of the city which made it easy to walk to the attractions we wanted to see. In Wittenberg, we just had lunch and visited Lutherhaus so ease of getting around wasn’t a concern.
Even in the snow, we found all three cities, while small, easy to get around with the kids, both of whom were both riding in buggies/strollers most of the time. We did choose to leave the buggies behind when visiting some museums and sites, instead carrying Sugarplum and having Honeybun walk.
Eating in Nuremberg, Leipzig and Wittenberg, Germany with kids
One of our favorite things about visiting these smaller cities was how everything was small and personable. We spent some meals simply eating our way through the Christmas Markets and our breakfasts were usually included with our hotel stay. But the restaurants we did got to were family owned and everything was freshly prepared. It allowed us to comfortably try new and local treats.
Preparing for a trip to Nuremberg, Leipzig and Wittenberg, Germany with Kids:
I’m big on planning our trips ahead of time because traveling with kids makes things just a little bit more complicated as they aren’t always very patient when you don’t have a plan so I always did a lot of research and planning before our trips. Check out my tips and advice for:
- Finding the perfect hotel
- Pre-Planning as much as possible and finding the best Sights to See
- Packing for the kids
What to see and do in Nuremberg, Leipzig and Wittenberg, Germany with Kids:
We spent basically one day in each city and went to the following places:
What we did in Nuremberg:
Situated just outside the city, the large complex that Hitler had designed to be the Nazi party’s rally grounds remain unfinished but the incomplete Congress Hall now houses a nice museum which is the Documentation Center for the Nazi Party Rally Grounds which examines the history of the rallies and their use in by the socialist regime in the 1930s. Audio guides are available and there are also placards placed around the enormous grounds documenting the history of the site and former buildings.
The 11th century castle, which was a royal palace of the Holy Roman Empire until the 1800s, sits high above the city of Nuremberg, consisting of three separate entities. While it is hard to miss, gazing down upon the city, the hike up the hill to the castle is not for the faint of heart (especially in snowy winter weather and while carrying an infant!) The castle now houses a museum and a visit includes stops at the deep well, chapels and some of the towers. The gardens are also accessible for visiting.
Other things to do in Nuremberg, Germany with kids:
- Nuremberg Toy Museum
- Nuremberg Transport Museum
- Germanisches Nationalmuseum
- Nuremberg Zoo
What we did in Leipzig:
We arrived in Leipzig in the evening. We checked into our hotel and headed to the Christmas Market where we had some mulled wine and nibbles. But it was a bitterly cold night and the market was small so we spent the rest of the evening at the nearby Promenaden shopping center which is also the city’s main train station. We were able to get in some Christmas shopping as well as check out the miniature train display.
Runde Ecke museum
Originally, I planned a stop in Leipzig to visit the Christmas market and because hotels were much cheaper than other cities and it was a nice driving distance for my baby who at the time hated being in the car. But I also scheduled it into our visit to take my mommy, a music lover, to the Bach Museum. As it turned out, though, she wasn’t all the interested so we ended up visiting the Runde Ecke museum instead.
The building where the Runde Ecke museum is now housed is the former Stasi headquarters for the region. The museum, which has rooms largely unchanged since the late 1980s when the last Stasi employees worked there. The museum shares information on the history and function of the Stasi (state police agency of Eastern Germany after World War II) and was fascinating to all of us, including Honeybun.
Other things to do in Leipzig, Germany with kids:
- Bach Museum
- Leipzig Zoological Garden
- Leipzig Botanical Garden
- Grassi Museum
- Museum of Fine Arts
- Leipzig University which houses the: Egyptian Museum, Museum for Musical Instruments, museum of Antiquities
What we did in Wittenberg:
Next, we drove from Leipzig to Berlin which was one of our longer drives of the trip. Knowing we’d need to make a stop for lunch, we decided Wittenberg would be the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and spend some time outside of the car. It was a snowy day and Wittenberg is small but we were able to find a nice restaurant across the street from the Lutherhaus museum.
The museum, which is the former home of protestant reformer Martin Luther, is now the largest reformation museum in the world and houses many artifacts from Luther’s life. The museum not only houses the history of his part in the reformation, but a visit also takes you into the rooms where he and his family lived. Perhaps the highlight of the visit for us, though, was the excavated underground areas which previously housed Luther’s office as well as the kitchen and toilets.
Our few days driving through Western Germany with kids were jam-packed with history, experiences and lessons from the past which we won’t soon forget!