London Day Trips for Families with Autism

 

London Day Trips for Families with Autism pin

Although London itself is packed with plenty of things to do, sometimes the bustle of the big city is overwhelming, and travelers often find themselves in need of a change of pace. So, without further ado, here are some of our favorite day trips from that particular city.

Stonehenge

Perhaps the best known day trip from London, this ancient stone circle attracts attention from scientists, historians, neo-pagans, and the merely curious. Located just outside the town of Wiltshire, England, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated on a twenty thousand acre plot of land that is considered to be the most archaeologically rich area in all of Europe. Admission to the site is currently at £14.90 ($22.98 USD) for adults and £8.70 ($13.42 USD) for children between the ages of five and fifteen.

Complimentary admission may be available during the summer and winter solstice. At such times, guests are also allowed the privilege of walking through the stone circle. Seeing all of Stonehenge usually takes about an hour. However, visiting the site requires careful planning, especially if for those using public transportation as a means of getting there.

London Day Trips for Families with Autism stones

 

 Autism Travel Tips:

  • During the winter, the Stonehenge winds are harsh and may not be suitable for temperature sensitive kids.
  • The toilet is a mile and a half away from the site so kids should use the facilities before visiting.Families can take a shuttle bus from the  English Heritage visitor center to the site.
  • The ground is uneven. Parents should make sure everyone is wearing comfortable, closed toe shoes.
  • It is important to know that visitors are not allowed to vandalize the stones in any way.
    London Day Trips for Families with Autism spa

Bath

This historic spa town has been particularly popular during the Georgian era, and many sights remain from that period. The main attraction here is the Roman Baths, a spot that dates back over two thousand years. Those who want to test the health properties of the water for themselves can even sample it at the Pump Rooms for 50 pence (77 cents). Also, one can sip on luxurious Afternoon Tea at the Pump Room Restaurant.

London Day Trips for Families with Autism clock

 

Travelers that are interested in soak in the waters might want to head across the street to the Thermae Bath Spa. Other attractions found in Bath include the Abbey with its’ gothic architecture, the shop-lined Pulteney Bridge, and the famous Sally Lunn Bakery.

 

The town is easily reached by train from London in about an hour and a half. Travelers should make sure to disembark at the Bath Spa station if they are headed to the town center. Admission to the site is £13.50 ($20.82 USD) for adults, except during the months of August and July when the cost climbs to £14 ($21.59 USD) per visitor.

London Day Trips for Families with Autism water

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Children’s audio guides are available.
  • The bath water is smelly, and the taste is harsh. Some kids with sensitivities might not enjoy it.
  • Wandering kids might not be safe. Parents should supervise their children at all times.London Day Trips for Families with Autism ladies

Warwick

This particular town set on the banks of the River Avon is located about two hours north of London by car. However, trains also stop at locally at Warwick Station. The area is primarily known for its magnificent castle which dates back to the Middle Ages. Younger kids can enjoy the swordsmanship workshops or falconry displays all included in the price. They can also enjoy guided tours geared towards four to eight-year-olds where the kids see a real secret passage.

Another interesting spot in Warwick village is St. Mary’s Church, known for its medieval style architecture. The church was one of the few buildings to have survived the fire of 1694.

London Day Trips for Families with Autism swords

 

Castle admission costs vary seasonally but adult admission is generally around £14.95 ($23.05 USD) and entry for youngster typically runs about £8.45 ($13.03 USD). The building is open from ten am to five pm year round, but stays open an additional hour between the months of April and September.

London Day Trips for Families with Autism henry

Autism Travel Tips:

  • The dungeon experience and tour of the towers are not included in the admission costs.
  • Parents should buy tickets in advance, as the queue to buy tickets can take up to an hour.
  • Those waiting on tickets can enjoy the nearby cafe.
  • The castle has lots of steps and can be exhausting for some kids.
  • Some towers, like the princess tower, are only available for timed shows. Parents should pick up tickets for these shows as soon as they arrive, as they fill up quickly.
  • The castle has a nice playground for kids.
  • The exit is through the gift shop, so there is no way to avoid it.
    London Day Trips for Families with Autism castle

Stratford-upon-Avon

Although the famous English playwright Shakespeare spent most of his life in London, his birthplace has certainly capitalized on their most famous resident. Some the town’s buildings survive from the Tudor period, lending the village a medieval air. Of course, travelers won’t want to miss seeing Shakespeare’s birthplace, the Anne Hathaway home where his wife grew up, and the local church serving as the great man’s burial grounds. The guides liven up the experience by telling compelling stories. Families can enjoy the film which introduces Shakespeare’s plays to those watching. They can then travel a one-way route through all the open rooms of the house, observing the impressive displays.

London Day Trips for Families with Autism bard

 

Other places of interest include the Tudor World museum which offers insights into that particular period and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre where that prestigious acting troop makes their home. Stratford-upon-Avon is a two-hour drive from London, but the town can also be reached using the local train system.

Nearby, families can also experience Mary Arden’s Farm, the farm of Shakespeare’s mother. Volunteers dress up as different farm characters and do chores. Kids will love the falconry show here, and it can be relaxing to walk through the gardens for an hour.
London Day Trips for Families with Autism jester

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Shakespeare fans can enjoy the exhibition in the Visitor Centre for some extra details.
  • This location can get crowded in the summer.
  • We suggest booking online to avoid queues.
  • Parents can get a multi ticket that includes other properties.
  • Travelers have to take the train, bus, or a car to this location.

London Day Trips for Families with Autism view

Oxford

Located approximately 50 miles away from London, this historic college town has been occupied since the Saxon period. It was here that the University of Oxford was founded during the twelfth century. This event began the city’s standing as a premier place for academics, a reputation which has continued to this very day.

However, travelers should note that the various college campuses are spread throughout the city and are open at different times. Christ Church College, in particular, is home to several of the locations seen in the popular Harry Potter films.Christ Church Cathedral offers a family friendly “Head Hunt” trail where travelers can look closely at the details of the church. Exploring guests should seek out the stained glass windows near the St. Frideswade memorial to see the only image of a toilet in stained glass in any UK church.

Other interesting spots in this town include the Bodleian Library, which is among the oldest of its’ kind in Europe, and the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, built during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Also, Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, actually studied at Oxford, and the real life Alice was the daughter of the college dean. Watchful visitors can see Lewis’s many inspirations for his Alice series in the decor through Oxford.
London Day Trips for Families with Autism dining hall

 

Autism Travel Tips:

  • This location is a working college, so parents should plan when they go. The Great Hall will not be open to nonstudents during regular mealtimes.

 

Story Museum

This museum, based at Rochester house on Pembroke Street in Oxford, promotes the art of storytelling. The museum features several rooms based on different stories by British authors. Kids can enjoy playing in the themed rooms, such as walking through a wardrobe into snowy Narnia or the Bedtime with the oversized bed.Families can attend special events showcasing authors as well as workshops.

London Day Trips for Families with Autism complex

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Flighty kids can run around in the courtyard outside.
  • There is a cafe onsite for families to enjoy.

 

 

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal pin

Lisbon is Portugal’s capital, and an excellent city itself. Here, travelers can practically step into a fairy tale with its castles, rolling hills, and beautiful coastlines. The following are some of the best spots in Lisbon to take kids, particularly with autism.

 

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Oceanario Oceanarium

The Oceanario Oceanarium is the largest indoor aquarium in all of Europe.
Designed by Peter Chernayeff, the aquarium is known for its distinctive building that resembles an aircraft carrier is built into the pier. The venue holds a vast collection of marine species ranging from penguins to jellyfish as well as many aquatic and terrestrial plants.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal arch

The main exhibit; a 1,000-meter tank boasts four large acrylic windows on its sides and smaller focus windows strategically placed to ensure that it is a constant component throughout the exhibit. Visitors can watch sharks and rays swim by or get a good view of unique sunfish and sea dragons.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal street

Belem Tower

Next stop would be the Belem Tower also known as the Tower of St. Vincent.
This historic landmark is known as one of the seven wonders of Portugal. It is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of St. Maria de Belem. The tower played a significant role in Portuguese maritime discoveries of the time. Commissioned by King John II, the tower was to be a part of the defense system located in the mouth of the Tagus River and act as a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. Inside, visitors can see the tower’s gargoyles, dungeons, and cannons as well as the former royal bedrooms. Kids will delight in the story of the rhino’s carved image in one of the ramparts.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal floor

Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos

This impressive UNESCO World Heritage site in Belem was built in 1502. The construction was commissioned by King Manuel the first. Families can see  Vasco da Gama’s tomb or stop by the museum detailing the building’s history.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal sky

Gulbenkian Museum

The Gulbenkian Museum is mainly oriented towards ancient art, but it does house some modern pieces as well. The permanent exhibition galleries are distributed in chronological and geographical order to create two individual circuits in the overall tour.
Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal alley

The first course highlights Greco-Roman art from classical antiquity and art from ancient eastern lands including Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Persian, and Armenian.
The second covers European art with particular sections dedicated to sculpture, painting and decorative arts, particularly the eighteenth century and works of Lalique. This circuit holds a vast range of pieces that reflect various European artistic trends from the eleventh century to the twentieth century.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal tree

Electrico 28

Lisbon is famous for its construction on seven hills. While visitors can enjoy the beautiful views here, travelers can tire while exploring the city on foot. The Electrico 28 tram is the perfect solution for families, looping through many of the city’s famous locations. Kids with autism can enjoy the sights and the ride with its many ups and downs.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal tram

What is unique about this tram is that it is a Remodelado tram, originally commissioned in the 1930’s and technically museum worthy. People still ride this tram because the unique design is the only one that can handle the steep inclines of the tracks. Therefore, this tram serves as an integral part of Lisbon public transportation network as well as a tourist gem.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal piazza

Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is considered to be Lisbon’s cultural and bohemian heart and a shopping mecca. Originally Bairro Alto was the place for artists and writers to come and live while working on their craft, but gradually it became culturally diverse and a vibrant place to party for locals and visitors.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal statue

Families should visit at least one Fado Houses and listen to the traditional styles of Fado music. Fado music is a genre dating back to the 1820’s and is characterized by its mournful tunes and often sad lyrics.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal street

Elevado de Santa Justa

The neo-gothic Elevado de Santa Justa in downtown Lisbon is one of the most notable landmarks in the Portuguese capital and is famous for looking like the Eiffel Tower. The resemblance lies in the fact that its designer, Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, was Gustave Eiffel ‘s apprentice and was quite influenced by his work.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal art

The elevator was originally designed to connect the Baixa with the Largo do Carmo in Bairro Alto. Today it is more of a tourist spot than anything else where tourist can take the elevator to the top and either cross the bridge into Bairro Alto or climb to the terrace for a fantastic view.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal building

Castelo de Sao Jorge

This castle sits atop a hill near Alfama overlooking the Portuguese Capital. One can visit the battlements and also the museum. However, what this castle is known for is the observation terrace. Up here, visitors get a panorama view of the entire city. Kids can run through the ramparts or sit on a giant cannon in a picture-perfect, fairytale castle. Visitors can also see the ruins of the former royal Alcáçova palace here.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal elevator

 

Lisbon Daytrips

Those looking for lovely day trips near Lisbon should visit Sintra and the beach towns of  Cascais and Estoril.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal sintra

 

Sintra

This quaint UNESCO World Heritage town is only half an hour from Lisbon by train. Here, travelers can visit palaces and castles at the foot of the Sintra mountains. This prime location housed Roman, Portuguese, and Moorish royalty in the past. Families can enjoy the town’s many ice cream shops and restaurants. One can also see the city’s two palaces, Palacio de Pena and Palacio Nacional, both steeped in history and open to the public.

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal cones

 

Cascais and Estoril

These resort towns are also just a short train ride from Lisbon. Estoril features a famous casino said to have inspired the James Bond novels. Cascais is a lovely town with plenty of natural coves and fascinating medieval inspired architecture. Both places have plenty of restaurants and fishing shops for travelers to enjoy.

 

Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal sea

 

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Drinks and snacks inside and around the Castelo de Sao Jorge are rather pricey.
  • Parents visiting the Castelo de Sao Jorge should take the family to the Tower of Ulysses to see a 360-degree view of the city.
  • The Tram 28 a favorite place for pickpocketing. Parents should keep their belongings in safe places where they can see them.
  • Near the Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos is the Pastéis de Belém pastry shop, where families can enjoy pasteis de nata, or custard tarts.
  • The Belem Tower has lots of narrow, steep steps. This fact can prove challenging for some kids.
  • The lines at the Oceanario Oceanarium can be long during successful seasons. Parents should save time by booking online.
  • Families can book sleepovers among the sharks at the aquarium.
  • Taking Kids with Autism to Lisbon Portugal up

 

Taking the Family to Stockholm’s Vasa Museum

 

 

Taking the Family to Stockholm's Vasa Museum pin
Lots of people have heard the story of the Titanic. But stories of massive ships sinking tragically on their maiden voyage have happened throughout history. The Vasa Museum in Stockholm Sweden displays the sixty-four gun warship Vasa, a well-preserved ship that sank in 1628 on its first journey. Today, this is Scandinavia’s most visited museum. Families who love maritime history will enjoy this museum.

Taking the Family to Stockholm's Vasa Museum art

History

The Vasa was built during a war between Sweden and Poland-Lithuania. In August of 1628, the ship set sail from Älvsnabben on a calm day. The ship passed under the bluffs of modern day Södermalm and was taken by a sudden gust of wind. These blasts continued as the ship traveled and pushed the gun ports under the sea’s surface, causing water to fill the lower deck. The water kept pouring in until the ship sank. Despite the efforts of rescue boats, thirty people died in the accident. Hundreds of Stockholm residents who had come to see the ship sail witnessed the Vasa as it sank.

Taking the Family to Stockholm's Vasa Museum people

After archeologists unearthed it, Vasa was stored in Wasavarvet (“The Vasa Shipyard”) from 1961 to 1988. Here, conservationists treated the ship with polyethylene glycol. In 1981, the Swedish Government held a competition to design the museum building for the ship. 384 architects sent in ideas, and Marianne Dahlbäck and Göran Månsson won the contest. The museum officially opened June fifteenth in 1990. Today, four other ships in the nearby harbor have transformed into museums – the icebreaker Sankt Erik, the light vessel Finngrundet, the torpedo boat Spica, and the rescue boat Bernhard Ingelsson.

Over three hundred and fifty ideas were submitted, and Marianne Dahlbäck and Göran Månsson won the contest. The museum officially opened June fifteenth in 1990. Today, four other ships in the nearby harbor have transformed into museums – the icebreaker Sankt Erik, the light vessel Finngrundet, the torpedo boat Spica, and the rescue boat Bernhard Ingelsson.

Taking the Family to Stockholm's Vasa Museum detail

What You Will See  

Visitors can take a twenty-five minute guided tour around the ship to learn about its history from the construction and maiden voyage to the salvage and preservation. Guided tours are included in the price of the admission.

All in all, the museum features fourteen exhibits for visitors to explore and learn about the ship and the period. Through paintings, photos, films and the artifacts themselves, visitors learn about the hard work put into restoring and preserving this ship and the memory of those that were aboard.

Taking the Family to Stockholm's Vasa Museum bones

The museum also includes over 40,000 items discovered on the ship. Everything from weapons to utensils to chests from aboard the ship is on display. Even after 50 years of going through the items and learning about the ship, discoveries are still being made!

Parents and kids can also enjoy the “Family Trail” tour designed for children six years and older. Kids will also enjoy the Sailing Ship exhibit on the sixth floor. This exhibit is interactive and visitors can equip and sail their own Vasa, attempting to keep it from capsizing.

Also in this exhibit is a replica of the platform on the Vasa that was 17 meters (about 55 feet) above the deck for visitors to get a feel for what it would have been like to stand up there above the ship!

Taking the Family to Stockholm's Vasa Museum shoes

Families should not miss the Vasa Museum Garden, filled with flowers, vegetables, and medicinal herbs that the crew of the Vasa might have taken with them, or that one might have found in the farms and towns at that time.

Location, Hours, Admission 

The Vasa Museum is located on Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden. It is open daily from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM. Admission is 130 SEK ($13.81) for adults and 100 SEK ($10.62) for students. Children younger than eighteen get in for free.

Taking the Family to Stockholm's Vasa Museum ship

Autism Travel Tips:

  • This location is a very popular museum, so families should try to get there early because it will likely be quite busy. It can take anywhere from half an hour to two hours to go through.
  • Luggage is not permitted in the museum, and there is limited luggage storage space, but there is a coat check.
  • There are toilets at the entrance and on the third floor, and there is space for baby care at the bathroom at the entrance.
  • People who may need assistance in reading the exhibit text may bring an additional person for no extra fee. There is also a model of the ship for those who might be visually impaired.
  • Braille information is available in English and Swedish.
  • The museum is wheelchair accessible, and there are elevators on all floors.
  • There is a café on-site that can accommodate those with gluten or lactose-free diets.

Taking the Family to Stockholm's Vasa Museum words

 

Exploring the Hergé Museum with Family

Exploring the Hergé Museum with Family pin

The Hergé Museum (Musee Herge) is an ode to the life of one of the most prolific illustrators of the twentieth century. Displaying hundreds of hand drawings, plates, photographs, and documents, the museum aims to shed light on the genius and humor of Belgian artist Georges Prosper Remi, who wrote under the pen name Herge.

Exploring the Hergé Museum with Family sign

How to Get There

The venue is located in the village of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, about 20 miles away from the country’s capital. Visitors can reach the building at 26 Rue Labrador by either taking the train, driving, or taking the museum’s complimentary shuttle from the city of Brussels.

Exploring the Hergé Museum with Family cartoon

What You Will See

The Herge Museum was created to house the works of Belgium native Georges Remi, a cartoonist and satirist best known for his popular character Tintin. This museum also showed how Remi developed his artwork as the years progressed. Samples of his cartoons and other illustrations filled the whimsical building. The downstairs area featured items from the author’s personal collections including his books, his paintings, numerous records, and various other memorabilia such as souvenirs from his trip to China.

Exploring the Hergé Museum with Family desk

The museum exhibits started with Remi as a young artist and how he chose his career as a comic strip illustrator. Though mainly known outside his native country as the creator of Tin Tin, the section touched on how diverse Remi was. Our son was fascinated by the sections dedicated to his Tintin stories, explaining the conception of these unique characters and how Herge incorporated current events in the scripts for his movies. TinTin fans will love the Illustrator’s Lab – a recreation of a large room of Professor Calculus‘ laboratory – which focused on science in the Tintin books. This section was fascinating since many of Herge’s storylines included elements of science fiction along with fantasy travel.

Exploring the Hergé Museum with Family wall

We found the exhibits interesting as we compared the great Herge to another iconic contemporary of his – Disney. Both started as comic strip artists and proceeded to entertain their readers with their original tales and quirky characters. However unlike Disney, who was a marketing wiz, Herge’s success was much more modest.

Exploring the Hergé Museum with Family shark

Amenities

Travelers that get hungry while wandering through the museum can enjoy the onsite restaurant. The museum also contains a well-stocked gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs. Bathroom facilities are likewise provided for guests at this site.

Exploring the Hergé Museum with Family sky

Given that the museum is solely an indoor venue, it shouldn’t matter too much what time of the year one chooses to visit. Those arriving by car should know that there is a parking garage under the nearby shopping center where they can leave their vehicles.

Exploring the Hergé Museum with Family hat

Travelers should also note that the venue does not allow photography in some portions of the museum. We found the available audio guides informative and helpful in bringing the museum to life for our son with autism.

Exploring the Hergé Museum with Family toys

Tickets and Hours of Operation

Adult admission at this museum costs 9.5 euros. However, entry is only five euros for kids between the ages of seven and fourteen. Discounts are available for groups, seniors, and large families traveling together.

This establishment is open between the hours of 10:30 am and 5:30 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the museum opens and closes a half hour earlier than it does the rest of the week. The Herge Museum is open every day of the week except Monday. It is also closed on New Year’s Day and Boxing Day.

Exploring the Hergé Museum with Family photo

Autism Travel Tips:

  • The upstairs area had many dark spaces with brightly lit pictures and information that stand out against the blackness. The recessed lighting elements near the floor helped us see our feet enough to walk. Those with issues with dark spaces may want to bring a flashlight.
  • The museum wasn’t that crowded when we visited. Family members who dislike crowds can breathe easy in this location.
  • The building had an elevator, so those with mobility issues can safely go down to the lower areas.
  • The museum had a coatroom where people can store belongings. This way, parents don’t have to carry essentials with them all over the building.
  • The museum was mostly non-interactive. Parents should make sure children know what they are allowed to touch.
  • The museum was mostly educational and best for older kids familiar with Remi’s work. We did see an area downstairs with antique toys and a mini theater playing cartoons based on Remi’s characters. Both of these places might be good spots for younger kids to hang out while their older siblings get a better look at the exhibits.

 

Taking the Family to Munich Germany

Munich, on the banks of the Isar river and just north of the majestic Alps, is the capital of Bavaria. The city is home to centuries-old buildings and numerous museums. Known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration , it is not only a fascinating destination in itself but can provide as a base for travelers wishing to explore Germany’s romantic road routes. For families that have not yet discovered the Bavarian gem, here are our top five spots to explore with kids.Taking the Family through Munich Germany above

 

The Olympiapark München and BMW Museum

The Olympiapark München was constructed for the 1972 summer Olympics. The park is now a venue for cultural, social and religious events, and visitors are always welcome. While at the park travelers can scurry over to the Olympic Tower and take the 190-meter climb to the observation deck. Then, they can enjoy lunch in the revolving restaurant.

Taking the Family through Munich Germany tree

The BMW Museum right next to the park is a car fanatic’s paradise. Visitors can get their kicks by gawking at the packed showrooms or by  joining the eighty minutes long guided tour. Kids can also design their own vehicle in the junior campus workshop as well as watch some Hollywood style motorbike stunts on selected dates.

 

The Englischer Garten, or English Garden, is one of the largest urban public parks in all of Europe. The garden stretches from center city to the North Eastern city limits. Apart from its comfortable bikeways and lake, the area boasts several “beer gardens.”

Taking the Family through Munich Germany bush

Travelers wishing to explore beyond the lake will find the Japanese Tea House. The teahouse was a gift presented to Bavaria from Soshitsu Sen during the 1972 summer Olympics. They will also find Monopteros, a small Greek-style temple. Finally, visitors can view the city skyline from the Chinese Tower, modeled after the Great Pagoda of the Royal Botanical Gardens in London.

Marienplatz (Mary’s Square)

Marienplatz is Munich’s main square and has been so since 1158. Initially, the Marienplatz held markets and tournaments for locals to come shop or  enjoy. The landmarks to see are Mary’s column and the Rathaus-Glockenspiel clock.

Taking the Family through Munich Germany carriage

The Mariensaule, or Mary’s Column, was erected in 1638 in celebration of the end of the Swedish occupation during the thirty-year war. A golden statue of the Virgin Mary standing on a crescent moon tops the column, representing the queen of heaven. At each corner of the Mariensaule,stands a statue of a Putto or cherub as well as a statue of different beasts fighting, symbolizing  the overcoming adversities such as war, pestilence, hunger, and heresy.

The Rathaus-Glockenspiel is a clock made up of two towers. Every day at 11 am it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the sixteenth century. The top half presents the story of Duke Wilhelm the fifth’s marriage to Renata of Lorraine, the second half tells the story of the Schafflertanz (the Coopers dance). The Schafflertanz myth says that in 1517 (year of the plague) coopers danced in the streets to bring fresh and new vitality to the nervous locals. The Coopers’ dance came to symbolize perseverance and loyalty to authority through difficult times. The dance is now a tradition performed once every seven years; the next performance is to be held in 2019.

Taking the Family through Munich Germany plane

The Deutsches Museum

The Deutsches Museum is the world’s largest museum of science and technology. Oskar Von Miller founded the museum in 1903, designing it on an island. The name may suggest that the museum showcased German advances. However, in truth, the name expressed the importance of science and technology to the German people.

Once in the museum, travelers will discover wonders from all around the globe. The venue offers a plethora of interactive displays, live demonstrations, and experiments. The building is vast and has many different levels and fields to explore.

Taking the Family through Munich Germany building

Children will enjoy the Kids Kingdom Exhibition designed specifically for children ages three to eight. There are over 1,000 exhibits for the kids to touch, play, and learn from such as a power machine, wave-bouncing weir, building blocks, and even a giant guitar.

Nymphenburg Palace

Ferdinand Maria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, a prince-electoral couple, commissioned Nymphenburg Palace in 1664. It is a Baroque palace and the former summer home of the old rulers of Bavaria.

Taking the Family through Munich Germany top

This castle consists of a large villa with two wings of packed royal rooms decorated in the baroque style. Along with the Queen’s bedroom and King’s chamber, there is a unique gallery of portraits of girls commissioned by Bavaria’s King.

Kids and adults will love the Marstallmuseum Hall with royal coaches, which includes Ludwig II’s fairytale-like carriage fitted with oil lanterns. The manicured park behind the palace is perfect for antsy kids to run around, feed the swans, or picnic on the grass by the large lake.
Taking the Family through Munich Germany white

Dachau Concentration Camp

Established in 1933, this camp was Nazi Germany’s first concentration camp. Created to hold political prisoners, the camp later became a model for later concentration camps as a “school of violence” for the SS men. 200,000 people from all over Europe passed through its doors, and over 40,000 of them died there.

Taking the Family to Munich Germany gate

After its liberation, the government turned the camp into a memorial in 1965. The main exhibit holds the “path of prisoners” where visitors walk the victim’s path from coming to camp, their life in the camp, and their journey to either death or liberation.

Taking the Family to Munich Germany field

Autism Travel Tips:

  • The Deutsches Museum can get overwhelming, so it is best for parents to prioritize what they want to see.Parents need to be aware most signage is in German making it challenging for English speakers.
  • The Dachau Concentration Camp features intense content. It is also a place to pay respects. Parents should prepare children by informing them what this site means and how they should behave.
  • The Englischer Garden is the best place to take active kids.
  • Many of these attractions, such as the Olympiapark and Nymphenburg Palace, require a lot of walking. Parents should pack comfortable, closed toe shoes for the family.

Experiencing Venice Italy with Kids

Experiencing Venice Italy with Kids pin

Visiting the city of Venice, Italy is a sensory experience, with the sharp taste of salt packed in the air, the constant wind, the cobblestone underneath one’s feet, and candy for the eyes everywhere. Though pegged as a city for lovers, many families, including families with autism, can find many things to do. Here are our favorite places to visit in Venice.

Experiencing Venice Italy with Kids

Tour St. Marks Basilica

St. Marks Basilica is a definite must see. Located in Venice’s major square, the Cathedral is hard to miss with its blue and gold decorations and the crowd of tourist snapping photos. The structure is a cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice and to this day is one of the most famous churches in the city.

Construction originally started in 828 after Venetian merchants stole the supposed relics of Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria and were completed in 832. The church survived a couple of fires and experienced many renovations.The facade of the cathedral is an original blend of styles, making St. Marks Basilica a prime example of Italian-Byzantine architecture. The gleaming golden mosaics greet guests as they peer up to the ceiling, striking a sense of awe into travelers. 
Experiencing Venice Italy with Kids church

Traverse the Grand Canal

Whether they ride in a hand carved gondola or a more budget friendly Vaporetto taking a boat ride along the canals is a ‘must do’ activity that all visitors should scratch off their bucket list. Crossing the Grand Canal is a fun and romantic way to see the city highlights, traveling the way locals have for hundreds of years.

Experiencing Venice Italy with Kids canal

Walk Across the Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is one of four bridges in Venice and by far the oldest. At the time the Rialto was the only connection between the districts of San Marco and San Polo, allowing merchants and travelers to walk from one area to the other.

Experiencing Venice Italy with Kids bridge

Originally constructed from wood, the bridge collapsed twice, and was later redesigned in stone. Antonio da Ponte designed the current bridge paying tribute to the original wooden design. The engineering of the bridge, completed in 1591, was considered so audacious that architect Vincenzo Scamozzi predicted the bridge to fail in later years. Still, the bridge stands as one of the architectural icons of Venice.

Explore the Teatro La Fenice

The Teatro La Fenice or Phoenix Opera House is one of the most renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theater. In the nineteenth century, it became the location of many premieres of masterpieces by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi. After suffering from two fire incidences, the opera house was rebuilt and named Teatro La Fenice as a  reference of how the establishment rose from the ashes.

Experiencing Venice Italy with Kids sky

Experience Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

Near the Basilica, travelers can find the brilliant white and pink Doge’s Palace. This place, which was once the seat of Venetian government, is dazzling with real gold embellishments around the frescoes. The palace still has many of its rooms intact, such as the armory with old weapons and battle paintings. Brave kids can check out the dungeons after crossing the Bridge of Sighs.

Experiencing Venice Italy with Kids inside

Enjoy a Refreshing Gelato

Parents and kids alike who love ice cream should try a refreshing gelato from one of the cities many gelaterias. For the best gelato and a lovely view of the Giudecca Canal, travelers should visit Gelateria Nico. The staff always have a smile for the kids, and the cold stuff is delicious.

Look for the Hidden Lions

When people travel to Disneyland, they search for hidden Mickeys. In Venice, travelers can find hidden lions. The winged Lions of Venice dot the city’s landscape, all along statues, door handles, gates, sculptures, and even in the gondolas. These lions represent St. Mark, the principal patron saint of Venice, whose body was buried in the Basilica of San Marco.

Go Shopping for a Souvenir

What trip is complete without shopping? Venice has a lot of fun shopping areas. Travelers can get gondola and boat models in plastic or wood. Many of the shops carry masks and gondolier hats. Moreover, Venice along with its neighbor Murano is known for its glass work, so families interested should look for little animals, vases, earrings, and rings all made out of glass.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • The Cathedral is frequently crowded with tourists. Families should try to visit the Cathedral during less busy times, typically early or late in the day.
  • It is customary to lower one’s voice or stay quiet inside the Cathedral out of respect. Parents should make sure their child knows to be respectful and use their “indoor voice” while here.
  • Venice is famous for its glass work. However, these glass souvenirs are breakable, which can present a danger to younger kids.
  • Audio guided tours are available for those visiting the opera house.
  • The opera house can get rather crowded. Families who might have an issue with this should plan a day and time when the opera house will be less busy.
  • Gondola rides are expensive. While not as romantic as a gondola ride, families can also take a water bus ( Vaporetto)  to travel the city on a budget.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary

 

Taking Kids With Autism

 

When visiting other countries, it is a good idea to visit that country’s capital. Budapest is Hungary’s capital and one of the largest cities in the European Union. With its stunning architecture  many museums  and excellent restaurants ,the city is bound to delight all families including those traveling with autism. After several trips to the scenic city here is our list of top attractions for families to explore.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary window

Discover Hungarian History at Buda Castle and Matthias Fountain

A truly breathtaking structure, Buda Castle overlooks the city with an impressive 300-meter long stretch facing the water. Rebuilt over thirty times since the Middle Ages, this Castle has seen many transformations and reconstruction efforts. Tours of the inside are available. However, travelers can have a pleasant time exploring the grounds surrounding the castle.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary river
Nicknamed the Trevi fountain of eastern Europe, Alajos Stróbl’s Neo-Baroque masterpiece is one of the most popular sites in the Hungarian capital. Originally commissioned by the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, the Matthias Fountain depicts the tragic love story between the King and Helen the Fair, a peasant girl and the heroine of a folkloric ballad written in the nineteenth century. According to the story, the girl and royal met while he was hunting and fell in love. However, Helen discovered her lover’s true identity and, assuming the romance wasn’t meant to be, died of a broken heart. The fountain shows The King in the center standing in hunting attire, Helen on the side protecting her fawn, and the hunting party and hounds below.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary statue

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Parents need to be aware that there’s quite a bit of walking involved, especially if they book a guided tour.
  • For those looking for a shorter trip, we recommend exploring the grounds.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary bridge

 

Learn about WWII at Shoes on the Danube memorial

This Memorial was created to remember the Jews killed by the fascist militiamen in the city during World War II. Their orders to the victims were simple: take off your shoes. After that, they shot them and threw their bodies in the Danube river between the cities of Buda and Pest. Mainly geared to older kids, this site provides a good way to make history come alive for children.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary museum

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Parents should introduce WWII to their children through books and movies. For middle school kids, we recommend Number of the Stars or The Diary of Anne Frank.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary dome

Enjoy Organ Music at St. Stephens

This Roman Catholic Basilica honors the first king of Hungary, Stephen the First. It is the third largest church in Hungary and, with its paintings and glass dome, is beautiful. Built in a neoclassical style architectural style, it has two large bells in its facade. Adventurous travelers wishing to get exceptional city views can climb 365 steps or take the elevators to the top of the dome. For a special treat, tourists can book tickets for a Sunday organ concert with well-renowned musicians

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary ceiling

 

Autism Travel Tips:

  • The organ sound is quite loud, so this activity isn’t recommended for noise sensitive kids.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary fresco

Relax at Gellert Spa

Gellért Spa is famous for its main hall with gallery and glass roof, built in Art-Nouveau style. This attraction is over 100 hundred years old and has only been closed once for repair during all of that time. The Baths complex, decorated with exquisite mosaic tiles, boasts thermal baths containing minerals like calcium and magnesium that are recommended for various conditions. The complex includes saunas, an open-air swimming pool with artificial waves, and a calmer swimming pool that kids with autism might find highly relaxing.
Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary statues

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Though most kids with autism will enjoy the pools, parents to children with smell sensitivities might wish to skip this activity.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary building

Marvel at Margret Island Musical Fountains

This attraction is a child’s dream. Away from the bustling city of Budapest, in the middle of the Danube, Margret Island is a popular tourist destination. The island’s family attractions include Medieval ruins, a rose garden, a historic water tower, swimming pools, and an open air theater and cinema. Younger Kids will marvel at the water park, the small zoo, and the musical fountains that play popular melodies.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary stairs

Autism Travel Tips:

  • This area is a great place to take kids with autism for a day trip.
  • Make sure to bring insect repellent and sunscreen.
    Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary front

Sample Delicacies at Central Market Hall

This massive three-floor building, which opened in 1896,  is one of the gems of the city. With over three stories of produce, meats, and fish markets the Central Market is a symphony for the senses. The marketplace is an excellent spot to introduce kids to the Hungarian fare while walking around the different food stalls.
Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary wheel

Autism Travel Tips:

  • If your child with autism loves chocolate, then they should try the Dobos torte.
    Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary music

 

Enjoy an Authentic Meal at Matyas Pince Restaurant

A few feet from Budapest`s Erzsebet Hid is Hungary’s most famous restaurants, Matyas Pince. Initially launched by the Dreher Breweries, the restaurant offers traditional delicacies in a bygone ambiance. Decorated in the original wood furniture, the Beer House features an authentic Romani band in the evenings. Kids will love the colors of the stained glass windows and the lively music.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary seat

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Hungarian dishes are quite spicy. Parents with children who don’t enjoy spicy foods should mention this to the server when ordering.
  • Parents to noise sensitive kids should ask for a table away from the band.
    Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary clothes

 

Shop on Vaci Utca Street

This location is Budapest’s pedestrian thoroughfare where locals and tourists go shopping and bar hopping. The main street, as well as the small streets intersecting it, have a plethora of Mom and Pop-type eateries that offer some of the local cuisines. The road starts at Vörösmarty Square and ends opposite the Central Market Hall at the Pest end of Liberty Bridge. Many of the shops are posh boutiques, though many souvenir stores specialize in arts and crafts from local artists. Like its European counterparts, the area is filled with performers and peddlers during the weekends.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary street

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Parents should warn their kids about pickpockets and scammers that will offer fake copies of electronic devices and designer clothing.

 

Top Seven Attractions for Families in Pisa Italy

Top Seven Attractions for Families in Pisa Italy pin

Pisa is an Italian city most famous for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, there is so much more to the city than this one architectural oddity. Here are some of our favorite places to visit in this beautiful city.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

As mentioned, the city is famous for its Leaning Tower, which is a must visit location. The Tower is a campanile or freestanding bell tower of the city’s cathedral. It is the third oldest structure in Pisa’s Cathedral Square and is famously known for its exaggerated tilt. The tilt began during construction caused by an inadequate foundation, which was too soft on one side to properly support the structure. Efforts in the late twentieth century stabilized the slope and partially corrected the tilt.

Top Seven Attractions for Families in Pisa Italy tower

 Baptistery of St John

Travelers can also visit the largest baptistery in all of Italy, the Baptistery of St. John. As the name suggests, this minor basilica is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The building is considered the oldest in the city, existing since the eleventh century. The architect Doitisalvi designed the Baptistery in the Florentine Romanesque style.Top Seven Attractions for Families in Pisa Italy building

The Baptistery is mainly known for its three sets of bronze doors with sculptures, created by architects Pisano and Ghiberti. In fact, Michelangelo named these doors the Gates of Paradise. The location also saw the baptism of many famous Renaissance artists, such as Dante.

Knights Square

Knights Square was the political center of medieval Pisa. The site obtained its name after the sixteenth century when it became the headquarters of the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen. Now the Square is a center of education in the city. It is home to the main house of Scuola Normale di Pisa, a higher learning institution part of the University.

Museo Delle Sinopie

The Museo Delle Sinopie is home to the preparatory drawings and the frescoes of the Monumental Cemetery, the graveyard of Pisa. The frescoes were the works of several artists including Buffalmacco,  Bonaiuti,  Veneziano,  Aretino,  Gaddi, Puccio, and Gozzoli. The artistic works once covered the walls of the cemetery. However, the fire of a 1944 bombing damaged and destroyed many of these frescoes. Workers removed the art for urgent restoration and found the preparatory drawings beneath the frescoes remarkably preserved.

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Museo Nazionale di San Matteo

The Museo Nazionale di San Matteo displays artistic works for historic buildings dating back to the early medieval period in the city and province of Pisa. The collection includes sculptural masterworks by Nicola Pisano and Donatello. There is also a display of a rich collection of antique paintings including works by Volterrano, Martini, Traini, Angelico, and Ghirlandaio among others. Other collections on display include the medieval illuminated manuscripts, wooden religious sculptures from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century, and antique ceramics.

Top Seven Attractions for Families in Pisa Italy dome

Arno Promenade

The Arno Promenade that, as the name suggest, straddles the Arno River. All of the streets that go along the Arno tend to be youth hotspots and interesting points of reference for the tourists. One can find fantastic buildings dating back to the Middle Ages. Towers, bridges, and buildings, in spite of their actual Renaissance appearance, feature medieval aesthetics which an observant tourist can see.

Top Seven Attractions for Families in Pisa Italy fortress

Museum of Ancient Ships

In 1998 there was an astounding discovery of the remains of an urban harbor. Excavations so far uncovered sixteen ships, restoring nine of these that are now on display at this museum. No other examples of such well-preserved ancient ships from the first century BC exist. The excavation also uncovered the cargo of the ships, including its perishable goods like ropes, rigging, fishing equipment, anchors, baskets, and fishing pots. Typically these types of items do not usually survive centuries of burial, but the conditions of the ground in this location, mixed with the absence of oxygen, managed to preserve even the most fragile objects.

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Italy is a fantastical country that offers so many amazing cities to explore. Be sure that if you ever have the chance to visit that you will take the time to appreciate the city of Pisa and all of its wonder.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Many places in Pisa are popular and can get crowded. Parents should check ahead of time to any location they wish to visit for times that are less crowded.
  • Pisa is a place full of history. Parents should look for guided tours that go in-depth into the history of these locations, especially if anyone in the family is a history buff.
  • Kids should be quiet and respectful in religious areas
  • Due to strict regulations, visitors cannot bring in bags when entering the famous tower. All personal items except cameras and wallets need to be left in locked lockers.
  • Parents should be advised the tower is seven stories high and there is no real spot to stop and rest once you start climbing .

 

Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany

 

 

 

Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany pin

 

Germany’s capital, Berlin has a rich history and a checkered past. It is not only one of the most hauntingly beautiful cities in Europe but has become a modern travel hub and popular tourist destination. For families planning to visit; here are our favorite family-friendly spots in the city Berlin. Some are culture rich; others are great places to shop or relax.
Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany wall

Berlin Wall

The infamous Berlin Wall is a must-see historical site for anyone traveling to the city. The complete destruction of the wall in 1990 marked the official dawn of a new era;  the reunification of Germany. Nowadays, tourists can still see the last bits of the wall in the city’s Center which serve as reminders of German dark times.

Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany ground

Holocaust Memorial

Fashioned by Peter Eisenman of international fame, the Fields of Stelae represent the thousands of Jews slaughtered during the Holocaust. The solid black marble rectangles create a wave when viewed from within and provide visitors with a moving experience. Travelers should be advised the site can get muddy and slippery during the rainy season since it is all outdoors.

Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany building

Brandenburg Gate

This area is an old city gate on the west side of the city that led to a former Prussian palace. It is impressive and has become one of the most recognized landmarks in the city. The gate is the entry point to Unter De Linden; the boulevard of Linden trees. It is beautiful and spectacular, a real gem especially in the springtime.

Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany window

Checkpoint Charlie

This location, also known as Checkpoint C, was one of the main entry gates connecting West Berlin and East Berlin for over five decades. This point received its name from the Western Allies and became a symbol of the separation of Berlin during the Cold War. Today, it is a tourist attraction featured in the Allied Museum in the Dahlem neighborhood.

 

Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany charlie

Stasi Museum 

Part memorial and part research center, the Stasi aims to preserve and understand what East Germany stood for. Known by the locals as the secret police headquarters during the Cold War; the otherwise plain looking building opens a window into a fascinating world of spies. While visiting the venue, families can learn about the communist  German regime’s tactics to control its citizens through constant fear and terror.

Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany pillar

Berlin Tunnels

The three tunnels underground were part of a plan to build what the locals know as Germania during Hitler’s regime. During the Cold War, a few people did manage to use them to escape from the Eastern side to the democratic West successfully. Though the tunnels are closed to the public, private tours are available.
For travelers who are sensitive to smells or feel claustrophobic; the Bunker Museum is a  better way to experience the history of the tunnels without actually walking underground.

Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany light

Berlin Zoo

The oldest zoo in Germany and the most visited zoo in Europe, the Berlin Zoo is a wonder in itself. Featuring an aquarium on site and its scheduled animal feedings, the zoo is an educational and entertaining experience that has been wowing crowds for decades. On-site, cafes are available for light snacking or meals.

Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany red

Adlon Hotel

The epitome of luxury the impressive Adlon Hotel houses three fantastic restaurants, a lobby lounge, and luxury spa. Rumored to be Hitler’s home away from home the property’s well-appointed and luxurious accommodations do not disappoint.Families traveling during the holidays should check out the hotel’s Christmas elaborate decorations; particularly the lit up gingerbread house in the center of the lobby.

Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany arch

Christmas Market

As a shopper’s dream, the Christmas markets of Berlin will delight all members of the family. Travelers can find authentic old world wooden Christmas toys;  handblown glass ornaments and many other trinkets sold at the different stalls. Not to be missed are the special holiday foods to be sampled at the markets like mulled cider, sausages, and other tasty treats.

Family Friendly Activities in Berlin Germany christmas

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Many of these places offer guided tours which may be helpful since many signs are not in English.
  • The Holocaust Memorial is a site to pay respect. Parents should make sure children are respectful in this area.
  • The Christmas Market is an excellent place not only to stock up on souvenirs but a good opportunity to introduce kids to new delicacies.
  • Children who are claustrophobic or afraid of dark areas should probably not tour the Berlin Tunnels.

Top Four Destinations in St. Petersburg, Russia

Located on the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg is known as the second largest city in all of Russia. Peter the Great founded the city in 1703, and it was the imperial capital for nearly two centuries. Today St. Petersburg is known as Russia’s cultural center with offerings like the ballet, theater, and the Russian Museum, which houses Russian art. St. Petersburg is filled with rich history and architectural gems that one can’t pass up if you’re thinking of traveling to the city.

Depending on what part of the year you’d like to visit, St. Petersburg is a beautiful place to visit. There are times during the year when you can make the most of your trip. For example, there’s the White Nights, a time when the sun doesn’t set until midnight. These nights happen June of every year and are the perfect time to take in the nightlife.

Top Four Destinations in St. Petersburg, Russia outside

As the second largest city in Russia, covering every inch of ground within the city is next to impossible if you’re only visiting for a day. The key to taking in all the sights and smells of St. Petersburg is to research ahead of time and find the places you’d like most to see and narrow them down to a handful of your favorite, must-see locations. Some of the best places in St. Petersburg include, but aren’t limited to:

Church on Spilled Blood

Located on the assassination location of where Emperor Alexander II in March of 1881, the Church was built between 1883 and 1907. Officially, the Church is named The Church of Our Savior On Spilled Blood and the funding for the church was provided almost entirely by the imperial family and private donators. Both the exterior and the interior of the church are home to beautifully detailed mosaics that were designed by prominent Russian artists. The church closed its doors for some 30 years after the Bolsheviks began destroying churches across the country. Church on Spilled Blood wouldn’t open its doors again until 1997.

You can’t miss the Church on Spilled Blood from the outside. It’s simply massive. Although you can take in its magnificence from the outside, free of charge, you have to pay for a ticket to view the thousands of mosaics inside of the church.

Top Four Destinations in St. Petersburg, Russia painting

The Church itself is small, so you can expect to spend no more than an hour inside seeing the mosaics. You can visit the Church on Spilled Blood via the Nevsky Prospekt metro station. The Church is open from 11 am to 7 pm. From Thursday to Tuesday the ticket office closes at 6 pm.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Take into consideration that the tour is somewhat long. The guides expect participants to keep quiet. If your kid is not an avid art, architecture or history buff, you might want to skip this tour.

Hermitage Museum

Considered one of St. Petersburg’s most popular visitor attraction, the Hermitage is one of the world’s largest museums. It houses over 3 million items, so you won’t be able to take them all in during your trip to St. Petersburg, but you’ll leave with a craving to return to see everything you missed. Take a guided tour to catch all of the highlights.Top Four Destinations in St. Petersburg, Russia white

Admission to the Hermitage includes entry to the main museum complex as well as the different branches. You can also visit each section individually, such as the Winter Palace of Peter the Great or Menshikov Palace. Admission is free to preschool aged children, school children, and students. To avoid long lines at the museum, you can purchase tickets online. The address of the Hermitage is 2 Dvortsovaya Ploschad or Palace Square.

For travelers and residents alike, the Hermitage Museum is accessible to those with disabilities. The museum has multi-level floors, and each has electric lifts. They also feature elevators for greater maneuverability.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • There is no AC, and the place can become very stuffy.
  • It is frequently crowded with people.
  • The best times to go are either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the tour groups are gone.

St. Issac’s Cathedral

St Issac’s Cathedral was originally the main church in St. Petersburg. It was also the largest cathedral in Russia, built between 1818 and 1858. The intention behind St. Issac’s was to be one of the most impressive landmarks in the Imperial capital. Now, 180 years later, St. Issac’s still sports the impressive exterior and interior that residents of the capital have admired for years.

Top Four Destinations in St. Petersburg, Russia red

Not to be missed are the bullet holes on the side of the building. These were never fixed since the locals wanted, and still want, to remember the Nazi invasion back in WWII.

The Cathedral is closed on Wednesdays but is open to the public daily from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm. Evening openings in the summer are available May 1st through September 30th from 6 pm to 10:30 pm. White night openings start from June 1st to August 20th from 10:30 pm to 4:30 am.

Admissions for the Cathedral is 250 Rubles for adults, 50 for children. Audio Guide is available in Russian, English, German, French, Italian or Spanish and can be purchased for 100 rubles.

The address for St. Issac’s is 4, Isaakievskaya and is accessible via the metro.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Bear in mind that this is a church and inside voices are heavily encouraged. Remind your child at all times to whisper.
  • Take a guided tour so that you can benefit from the stories and history involved.

Peterhof Palace

Peterhof Palace is one of St. Petersburg’s most well known and popular attractions. Also known as Petrodvorets, Peterhof Palace has often been referred to as the Russian Versailles due to its grandeur and elegance. In fact, Versailles was the inspiration behind the construction of Peterhof Palace. During the 2nd world war, Peterhof was overtaken by German troops.

The best time to visit Peterhof Palace is during the summer season. In the summer, all of the buildings are open to visitors and the famous fountains housed within the grounds are in full operation. However, summer is also the most crowded time and ticket waits can get lengthy.

Top Four Destinations in St. Petersburg, Russia blue

When traveling to Peterhof Palace, there are several different modes of travel available. Electric trains are running from Baltiskiy Station to Noviy Peterhof and take about 45 minutes. The station itself is about a 20-minute walk from the gates to the Upper Garden. There are also several buses that can get you where you need to go during your visit. The metro is also available and takes a little over an hour to get to your destination.

There are separate sections for admissions to the different buildings at Peterhof Palace. Each of these sections has different prices, and there are discounts for children and students.

The Lower Park is wheelchair accessible. Admission is free to The Upper Garden, said to have been a formal garden dating back from the reign of Empress Elizabeth. The Grand Palace sits at the very center of the Peterhof estate. There are many other wings of Peterhof to visit during your trip.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • When traveling with younger kids, have them watch Anastasia, an animated version of the story of the last Russian princess before the revolution.
  • When we visited, they made us put on shoe covers to preserve the old wood floors. Prepare your child accordingly for this.

Top Four Destinations in St. Petersburg, Russia pin

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