About Arja J
Lives in Berlin, Germany
Since Oct 2012
35-49 year old female
Hello, my name is Arja and I´m a tour guide in Berlin with my own little company Berlin Locals! My greatest passion are the stories in and around Berlin reaching back into the good and the bad old times. With my grandpa and mum being from former Eastern Berlin I feel a strong connection to Berlin even though I grew up in Western Germany. After years of traveling and working as a journalist and tour guide all over Europe there was no doubt for me that I would want to live in Berlin and even after years of living here I am still intruiged by finding out something new about this fascinating city every day – so let me share it with you!
Natural History Museums, Science Museums
Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Which kid does not love dinosaurs? And the place to see them, and many other animal favourites, is the Natural History Museum in Berlin. As soon as you enter, you'll be wowed by the huge prehistoric dinosaur skull (which one, I'm sure the kids will be able to tell you) and the first big hall of this impressive building, filled with huge skeletons. Continue your dinosaur discovery with touch screens showing short animated movies about the animals, their habits, food and interesting facts about how they lived. Then take a peek through the looking glasses to get an idea of what their bodies looked like on the inside. Once you've had your fill of dinosaurs, there are many other animals to explore - it's a great place to spend an entire rainy afternoon with the whole family!
Most of us grew up playing with Lego, and Legoland Berlin is the perfect place to take kids under 12 who are real Lego enthusiasts! The heart of this Discovery Centre is the big build and play area, where thousands of Lego pieces wait to be put together, and successful creators can put the cars or jet skis they've built to the test by sending them down one of the big ramps. If you want to find out how Lego is produced, visit the show factory where they explain the whole process, and then relax with a movie in the 4D cinema or take a spin on the dragon ride. Plus, take photos with life-size Lego celebrities and enjoy miniature Berlin, of course also made out of Lego!
With its own transit station, the Berlin Zoo or "zoological garden" is easy to find. On a nice day, you can easily spend the whole day here among animals from all over the world, from the excited bunch of flamingos to the usual big zoo stars, including tigers, lions, polar bears, penguins, hippos, and more!
Visiting a city like Berlin usually involves a lot of walking - and hustle and bustle. So if you need to let off some city steam, what better way than with a climbing adventure through a climbing forest! In Jungfernheide you will find different courses to climb ranging from 3 to 17 meters in height. There are 3 kids courses and 9 for adults, meaning everyone can find their own personal challenge here. Included in the entrance fee is the climbing gear and an introduction to the courses, so even beginners can get the hang of things easily.
No museum in Berlin offers as many places that kids can explore for themselves as the Museum of Technology does. Here, kids of all ages can touch, press buttons and create. In every section there is a lot to learn and to explore - from experiments with wind to a huge hall with old steam locomotives to an outdoor area where old train tracks can be found. In the ship section, there's the chance to rebuild ships' cabins and even steer a boat yourself, and the plane section features all different types of planes, including a crashed fighter plane from World War II.
The TV Tower is the dominating feature on the Berlin skyline - and the one place you can see from nearly every angle of the city. Built on Alexanderplatz during the time of separation, it remains to this day the tallest building not only in Berlin but in the whole of Germany - on clear days you can see all the way to Poland! A high-speed elevator will take you up to the viewing platform, from which, at 203 metres above sea level, you will have the ultimate panorama across the city.
Berlin is a very spread-out city and too big to walk around completely (especially for little legs), but there is a place where the whole of Berlin fits into one big hall - Miniature World Loxx, on the top floor of the Alexa Shopping Centre. Here you can find all the famous sights and popular places on a small scale - in just one step, you can travel from the Reichstag past the Brandenburg Gate to the red Town Hall. The attention to detail is what makes this miniature world worth the money, and it's fun for kids to see the small sizes before or after visits to the full-scale models.
History is an important part of any Berlin experience, but not all museums capture it in a way that appeals to kids and teenagers. The Story of Berlin is different. Here, kids (and everyone visiting) can't help but be immediately drawn into the exciting 800-year history of the city, through its colourful presentation. Find Prussian uniforms next to rebuilt Berlin backyards and piles of books before they were burned by the Nazis - you can even sit down in a typical East Berlin apartment. Multimedia, music and lots of photos brings everything to life.
One of the facts you hear tour guides tell quite often is that Berlin has more bridges than Venice. This is not only due to the fact that Berlin has a lot of water to cover, but also because the city is of course way bigger than the little islands of Venice. The watery soul of the city is the river Spree, which, via the Elbe, connected the first little settlement of Berlin with the Northern Sea and all trading opportunities came with it. Nowadays you can get on a boat and cruise up and down this important waterway to enjoy all the major city sights from a new perspective - a nice break on a sunny day in Berlin.
Do you still remember the days when the only computers had names like Atari? When screens had one color and games were made of 5 pixels (or so it felt)? Although your kids may not know it, Pacman was once one of the greatest, most innovative games you could possibly play, and Game Boys the newest technological toy everyone wanted to have. In the Computer Game Museum you can not only learn a lot about the good old times, you can also relive them! Parents will rediscover their youth, kids will have a good laugh about it, and grandparents will shake their heads at all this modern nonsense. Of course, you can also find newer games and modern characters, so kids can educate their parents too.