I hope you enjoyed reading my last blog about our family holiday to the Bavarian Forest in the summer of 2014. The eastern part of Bavaria, close to the Czech Republic, is a stunning region, and you’ll find plenty of things to do with children. I’d like to share more from our 10-day holiday, and talk a bit more about the things we did, and suggest some interesting places to go. Get ready for the scary dragon and a walk above the tree tops…
A holiday in Bavaria means a lot of outdoor fun
For those of you who have children that love horses, the Ulrichshof hotel might be an interesting place to stay, as it has its own stables and riding school. Guests can also bring their own horses if they wish, and there are various courses for beginners and more advanced riders. They’ve even got a riding camp for children who just love being around horses. For smaller children, the hotel offers pony rides. We joined a group one day, and had a walk through the forest. It was great fun for the children.
Playground, trampolines and a forest on the doorstep
Whenever we’re on holiday, where we are surrounded by beautiful landscape, we always take the opportunity to walk or cycle. The Bavarian Forest is one of the oldest National Parks in Germany, and perfect for being active outdoors. One day, we walked through forest-> is a ‘the’ missing to the next village, where we had a little pit stop – something we usually like doing on a walking or cycling trip. If our son became tired during our walks, he was able to rest for a while in our favourite companion – an Ulfbo handcart!
Up in the sky – the Waldwipfelweg tree top walk
We’d been reading about the tree top walk and the upside down house between Maibrunn and Sankt Englmar, and thought we’d have a look for ourselves, as it was only a 40-minute drive from the hotel. If you don’t have a problem with heights, you’ll get to enjoy some amazing views across the Bavarian Forest and the Danube Valley – all from 30m above the trees. It’s also a great opportunity to learn about the different trees and birds native to this area. The tree top walk is accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Another attraction is the upside down house. Every room literally has all its furniture hanging from the ceiling! It was quite surreal
The Drachenstich dragon festival in Furth im Wang
All children love dragons, don’t they? We thought it would be a great idea to visit the Drachenstich dragon festival, which happened to be on at the time. This annual medieval festival is held in August, and includes a traditional theatre performance that goes back more than 500 years. We didn’t see the theatre performance, but we went to the impressive medieval festival, where we learned about what it was like to live in medieval times.
There was also a dragon’s cave (Drachenhöhle), which was situated close to the festival grounds. Visitors can see a 4.5m × 15.5m × 3.8m animated dragon, which actually made it to the Guinness Book of Records. We had a lovely day, and I can highly recommend going if you happen to be in the area when the festival is on. The next Drachenstich dragon festival is on 2nd August until 18th August 2019.
Up on the Großer Arber mountain
Taking the mountain railway is something we don’t just enjoy when we go skiing. It’s also a wonderful thing to do in the summer. On a lovely sunny day, we decided to take the mountain railway to the top of the Großer Arber mountain. At a height of 1,456m, it’s the highest mountain in the Bavarian Forest region. If you’re really lucky, you can even see the Alps from the summit. A large cabin makes it accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
After taking in the amazing views, we decided to walk down, and this included a little pit stop at one of the lodges on the way down. We always love the classic Bavarian meat loaf (Leberkäse) or the roast pork (Schweinebraten) at the Berghaus Sonnenfels hut! Delicious!
Do you want a challenge?
For those of you who enjoy mountain biking, you might like the MTB Geißkopf mountain bike park in Bischofsmais. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner, an advanced hobby biker or a pro – you just choose your trail level (freeride, downhill, biker x, dual-slalom, cross-country or biker trail). There are also trails suitable for children. A one-hour ticket, which includes the cost of the lift, and use of the trail, costs 12€ per adult (price as of 2019). Bikes and equipment can be hired, and training courses are also available. The park is open between Easter and November.
The Großer Arbersee lake and fairy tale park
The first thing we did was to walk around the lake on the family-friendly path – perfect for pushchairs, and as it’s only 1.5km long, it’s manageable for little legs. The Arberseehaus is located right by the lake. It offers good food, and you can also hire paddle boats. The cost is 10€ for 30 minutes (2019). Here you can read some TripAdvisor reviews about the area.
Isn’t it every four-year-old’s dream to do a fairy-tale walk in an enchanted forest? The fairy tale park, situated on the Großer Arbersee lake, was perfect for our son. Although the park looked a bit ‘tired’ in places, our son enjoyed spotting the traditional fairy tale scenes from Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood. Children don’t always notice when things aren’t ‘perfect’. They’re happy doing simple things, and so our little excursion into the fairy tale world by Großer Arbersee lake was definitely a success.
Let me know if you’ve been to this fairy tale park recently, and whether it has now been refurbished.
Time to enjoy some Nuremberg Rostbratwurst! 😊
After ten days, we said goodbye to the Ulrichshof hotel, and headed back to Düsseldorf. On the way, we decided to stop off in Nuremberg for two nights. We stayed in a hotel in Nuremberg’s city centre, and being a lover of the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst, we just had to find a place to enjoy this traditional sausage. We decided on the Bratwurst Röslein restaurant, and enjoyed some Bratwurst and Schweinebraten (roast pork).
Are you ready for some giant Playmobil knights?
The next morning, we were treated to a beautiful, sunny day – perfect for our next adventure. We had decided to surprise our son with a visit to the Playmobil FunPark, which is located in Zirndorf (a 30-minute-drive from Nuremberg). The giant knight’s castle at the entrance brought a huge smile to his face.
The park is well-maintained, and has a lot of fun things to do. Our son loved the splash area, where the children were able to play with the pirate boats in the water. Rides, well-equipped playgrounds and an indoor soft play area are all part of the fun. The giant Playmobil figures all across the park were always a great Instagram picture! Here you can read some TripAdvisor reviews about Playmobil FunPark.
The historical city of Nuremberg
Nuremberg’s picturesque old town, with its half-timbered houses and beautiful squares, is worth visiting whatever the season. The Kaiserburg Imperial Castle is one of the most important castles in Germany. Tickets cost 7€ to visit the castle.
St Lawrence and St Sebald churches are also worth having a mooch around. Nuremberg has a great choice of museums. Examples include: the DB Railway museum; the Nazi Party documentation centre; the State museum for Art and Design; the Memorial for the Nuremberg trials; the Science and Technology museum. On our trip, we visited the Toy museum, which was really interesting.
Some years back, I visited the house where the Renaissance painter, Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528), used to live and work. He was born in Nuremberg, and when you visit his four-storey house, you can just picture him working in his workshop.
So, here it is – our Bavarian Forest holiday. I can highly recommend copying our itinerary, and I can also offer more tips and advice on what to do in the area. I’m a fan of doing trips that involve several stopovers, and the eastern side of Bavaria is ideal for that. Let me know if you’d like any help with planning a trip, or if you’d like to know more about the Ulrichshof hotel.