01 | Located 10km from Cologne in Brühl, Phantasialand is often said to be one of the finest theme parks in the world. Its new themed world Klugheim, which opened in 2016, holds several world records thanks to its Taron and Raik rides, the longest and fastest rollercoasters in their categories. The theme park also provides many attractions suited to younger visitors, and families with small children particularly appreciate the "baby switch" service, which allows each parent to bypass the queues and take turns on the rides while the other watches the children.
02 | The city of Nuremberg is the undisputed toy capital of the world. As well as hosting the International Toy Fair for trade professionals every year, the city is home to the outstanding Toy Museum which recounts the history of toys from antiquity to the present. And just 16km from the city centre you can find the Playmobil Fun Park, a fun and original theme park entirely devoted to the world of Playmobil.
03 | Little princes and princesses will not want to miss Neuschwanstein Castle, situated close to the town of Füssen in Bavaria. Built in the 19th century by Ludwig II of Bavaria, it was the inspiration for Walt Disney when he designed the castle for Sleeping Beauty. Attracting close to 1.4 million visitors every year, Neuschwanstein Castle proves that dreams still have a place in the world of today.
04 | Budding young engineers will be wide-eyed in amazement at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, one of the largest museums of science and technology in the world. It has everything going: machines, turbines, cars and aeroplanes! A must-visit for car enthusiasts is BMW-Welt, an entire centre dedicated to the legendary Bavarian automobile brand, where activities for children are also on offer. A word to sporty youngsters: if Dad suggests a trip to the Allianz Arena lafterwards (the stadium of the prestigious Bayern Munich football team), please make his day by saying "yes"!
05 | For family holidays, our top pick is the Black Forest. Here you can find a multitude of locations awarded the "Family-Friendly Holiday Destination" quality mark. Titisee, with its accessible lakeside position, would make the ideal base for hiking or mountain biking activities, boat trips on the lake, or to travel around the whole region to experience its unparalleled charm. Remember to take home a genuine traditional cuckoo clock as a souvenir!
06 | The German Football Museum, which opened in Dortmund at the end of 2015, reminds us that with its four World Cups and three European Championship victories, Germany is the most decorated European country in the footballing world. There are activities for younger visitors too – if you dare take on your children at football, that is!
07 | Movie Park Germany, situated in Bottrop 400m from Feldhausen station in the Ruhr region, is the first theme park in Europe entirely devoted to cinema. While the children have fun with Dora, Diego and SpongeBob SquarePants, adults can experience stronger emotions on the Star Trek or Bermuda Triangle-themed rides.
08 | Not so long ago, we may not have thought to recommend Hambourg for a family city break. But in the space of a few years, two twin brothers built one of the most popular attractions in Germany from scratch in a former Hamburg warehouse. With its 13km of model railways, Miniatur Wunderland is the largest electric rail network in the world. This impressive collection is located in the Speicherstadt area, a district of historic warehouses built on timber-pile foundations which was designated a Unesco World Heritage site in June 2015. And once the visit is over, a boat trip around Hamburg's old port is a must.