Childhood holidays are burned into our brains with a beautiful feeling of nostalgic freedom. Warm, hazy afternoons running along the beach or clambering through tree branches, laughing as you played.
From day trips into the forest to week-long visits to the coast, it’s easy to forget how many great places there are to visit on our doorstep in the age of globalised travel. But now more and more people are looking to make the most of where they live, embracing slow travel principles.
However, when you grew up abroad, how do you know where these special spots are? Well, you ask those in the know! I spoke to some German pals and asked them to share their favourite childhood holiday destinations.
I loved Sächsische Schweiz (and still do!). I’ve always been fascinated by mountains, and felt so free clambering over every rock and investigating under ever stone. Even though we were just a few hours away from home, I just felt so immersed in nature, like the mountains were part of another world. I always enjoyed the fresh air, food, and going on different day trips with my family. Now I realise that a trip to Sächsische Schweiz is a real alternative to hiking trips to further-flung regions, and I really appreciate that there are routes both for families with small children and experienced climbers.
Eva, PhD Student, East Asian Studies
I adore Dangast, a small village on the Northsea. When I shut my eyes and think about it, I get the taste of rhubarb cake on my tongue as there’s this cafe which makes the most delicious version of it. I also love the spa that uses seawater and the cute little store that sells homemade organic cosmetics.
Alena, Management Consultant
Ah! I was always so amazed by Filmpark Babelsberg, close to Berlin. We didn’t stay in Germany for many of our holidays, but I always looked forward to trips here. You get a behind-the-scenes peek at everything related to the film industry. It felt so surreal exploring film sets and marvelling at costumes.
Josha, Founder, Think-it
That’s a tricky question, but the first place that comes to mind is Panoramapark in North Rhine-Westphalia. Through adult eyes, it’s a small, pretty unspectacular amusement park, but it's filled with childhood memories: Getting soaked through on the white-water raft with my parents and getting my first adrenaline hit on that little rollercoaster! I even took a girl I had a crush on in the fourth grade there on a date (accompanied by my parents, of course!): doesn't that say everything about the place!
Jonathan, Urban-planning consultant
We used to go to Kelheim a lot, specifically to the Donaudurchbruch. We’d hop on a boat, and float down the Danube, to a really beautiful old monastery. We’d always sit for some traditional Bavarian food before hiking back to the starting point. Another super gorgeous town is Kallmünz, I only went once, but the hike up the mountain to a castle ruin was really memorable.
Miriam, Consultant, Trainer and Coach