If you fancy heading to Paris but the thought of taking the kids doesn’t appeal, check out what we got up while we were there as a family. We always find the key to success is in the planning so we have a good combination of activities that keep everyone occupied. We like to do things on the spur of the moment though too. We had such an amazing time in Paris as a family, we were kicking ourselves for not heading back to this wonderful city earlier.
We’ve always believed we can travel to most cities with six year old POD providing we’ve researched what we’re doing and there’s enough to keep the three of us occupied. When we booked a long weekend in Paris with Eurostar, we did consider spending part of it at Disneyland but opted to explore the historical city instead. Although we’ve visited Paris many times before as a couple, the city has a lot on offer for kids too. We had a feeling POD would love the French capital just as much as we did. These are just a few of our top tips when thinking about a city break and how you can make the most of your time away.
Meliá Hotels International is one of the largest hotel groups in the world with 370 hotels in 43 countries offering everything from exclusive luxury through to family holidays. The Meliá Hotels & Resorts brand operates in cities and popular holiday destinations across the globe. In Paris alone we had our pick from of the Champs-Elysées, Notre-Dame, Tour Eiffel, Place Vendome and the Paris Opéra. We opted for the 4* Meliá París La Défense as it’s a bit different. Uniquely designed in the shape of a ship’s hull, it offers panoramic views across the city as well as being family friendly.
Designed and built in the 19th century by Gustave Eiffel’s company, the Eiffel Tower was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Standing 324m tall, it’s recognised today as one of the most iconic monuments in the world, much like the Empire State Building in New York, The View From The Shard in London and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which is the world’s tallest building.
Such a brilliant weekend was had by all in Germany’s capital city. We saw numerous sights and attractions including the historic Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery and Wall Museum. There are over 400 galleries in Berlin but there’s an abundance of public art to be found too. Not just at the 1.3km long East Side Gallery (where you’ll find the renowned “fraternal kiss” either. Much like London, street art can be found all over Berlin. Work by International artists such as ROA, Victor Ash, Os Gemeos, Romero and Flix can be found here along with local talent like Bimer, Bonk and El Bocho. When looking for the best places to find street art in London, I knew exactly what to look for and where. We didn’t have the time to do a full street art tour in Berlin but that’s not to say we could seek out a few of those well-known murals.
If you’ve not visited Germany’s capital before you might presume it’s not geared up for kids. In actual fact there are an enormous number of sights, attractions and parks to discover as a family. Not only that our recent Jet2CityBreak saw us take advantage of the Berlin Welcome Card which gives you free train and bus travel plus up to 50% off the top 200 attractions.
Having enjoyed a great night’s sleep and superb breakfast at the NH Collection Hotel on Friedrichstrasse, our first port of call during our city break in Berlin was to visit the Berlin Wall. There’s no shortage of things to do in Germany’s capital, whether visiting as a group or a family, but the wall is an absolute must.
There have been some superb trips to Germany in the past, living south of Frankfurt in Heidelberg for a month probably the most memorable. Berlin is not somewhere I’d visited until recently and there is so much to see in Germany’s capital city. From the Fernsehturm, with its magnificent views, to the iconic Brandenburg Gate and of course the Berlin Wall with it’s open air gallery. Plus there’s an abundance of family attractions such as the planetarium, zoo and aquarium to be discovered too.
Germany is widely recognised for its historic Christmas markets and festive fairs with Berlin, Cologne and Munich among the largest. Although we’re a little biased (my father-in-law was stationed in Germany and I also lived there), their markets are like no other. They have that traditionally festive feel, an abundance of charm and truly captivate the magic of Christmas. You can expect to see hand-made gifts aplenty coupled with smells like deliciously warming Glühwein and mouth watering bratwurst.
It’s that time of year when we can’t help but think about Glühwein, bratwurst in crusty rolls and the smell of cinnamon. I don’t know about you but we love Christmas markets. In London there’s the Southbank Christmas market with Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland also a favourite. Outside the capital, Christmas markets can be found in the likes of Bath, Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Lincoln, Manchester, York and Winchester among other places. While each are wonderful in their own right, we have a penchant for Europe. There are some incredible Christmas markets to visit if you fancy a weekend away.