Read about our trip to Berlin in July 2011 here
Berlin’s brand new Brandenburg International Airport is scheduled to open Summer 2012. In the meantime, international flights arrive at either Tegel, the main airport, or Schonefeld, the dank former East Berlin airport that serves mainly budget airlines. Coming from Russia, no surprise that we ended up at the latter.
Schonefeld has few baby facilities. There is no change table in the baggage area washrooms. You will find a baby change room in the arrivals lounge, though the door is kept locked and the key is kept all the way on the other side of the terminal at the information desk. There are no washrooms on the departure level, you’ll need to head down to the arrivals lounge. And when departing, it’s a good idea to take care of any necessary diaper changes before checking in- baggage is screened before check-in, and line-ups are ridiculously long. I didnt see any changing facilities past security either, though we were so late after the line-ups and hunting down the baby room key that there really was no time to look properly.
Schonefeld’s saving grace is its convenient public transportation. The Airport Express train runs from the train station just outside of the airport terminal about every 30 minutes. It’s a quick 20 minute ride into the city, with stops at the city’s train stations and main metro stations.
Berlin’s underground system, the u-bahn and s-bahn, is a bit daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is super-convenient to get virtually anywhere in the city. Most (though not all) stations have elevator access. And trains have a dedicated stroller car with lots of room for strollers.
Berlin is a very walkable city, but watch out for streetcars that seem to come out of nowhere!
While I personally felt fine nursing in public in Berlin, I found it rather strange that I never saw anyone else doing the same. Even at the baby-filled playground.
Parks and Playgrounds:
Being a Western European capital, Berlin naturally has ample green space. Tiergarten, smack in the middle of the city, is a huge expanse of nature perfect for letting little ones run around and let off steam. There are plenty of playgrounds around town too, our favourite was Kollwitz Platz (located in Prenzlauer Berg, near Senfelderplatz u-bahn stop), with its two well-maintained and (more importantly) kid-filled playgrounds, surrounded by cafes perfect for a post-play snack.
Berlin has a good system of clean pay-per-use public toilets. You wont find any change tables, but in a bind they make for a passable place to change a dirty diaper. Most restaurants in the city have highchairs.
Diapers, wipes, food, and any other basic supplies are widely available in Berlin’s supermarkets and drugstores.
Luvaville, a wesbite dedicated to travel and lifestyle for parents, has an amazingly comprehensive travelguide for Berlin where you can find general information on travelling with kids in Berlin, as well as a directory of child-friendly restaurants, stores, hotels, etc.