What is there to do in Hameln with kids? And is it worth taking a city trip to Hameln with kids? The city known for the fairy tale the Pied Piper of Hameln is great to visit in a day. An ideal stopover during a trip to the Scandinavian countries from the Netherlands or while touring Germany. The town is also part of the fairy tale route you can visit in Germany. From Utrecht, you can drive to the city in just over three hours. We list the best activities and attractions for you in Hameln with kids.
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Hameln with kids: the fairy tale
The city is famous for the fairy tale the Pied Piper of Hameln, and you can see this throughout the city. The fairy tale made famous by the Brothers Grimm is about a rat catcher who came to town to fight a rat infestation. The mayor of the village had promised him a hefty reward, and the rat-catcher lured all the rats out of town with his whistle and drowned them in the river Weser. After this, when the mayor refused to pay the Pied Piper, in revenge he lured all the kids out of town with his flute and made them disappear.
There are all sorts of theories about exactly where the story came from. For example, there are theories that kids were expelled from the city in the 19th century because the population was afraid of the plague disease, as well as stories that young people from the city of Hameln were enticed to work in eastern Germany, leaving the city en masse. What ultimately is the origin of the fairy tale we don’t know, but the town of Hameln is still completely dedicated to the fairy tale.
Hameln with kids #1: explore downtown
The center of Hameln is cozy and you can still find the beautiful old half-timbered houses in the downtown area. It is fun to walk around town and have a bite to eat and drink at one of the downtown terraces. Downtown, you’ll already find plenty of symbols referring to the fairy tale.
For example, in the streets you will find thousands of tiles with a bronze rat on them. For kids, of course, a fun game of looking for them through the city, while you can see the historic downtown at your leisure. There are also plenty of images about the fairy tale to be found downtown from the Pied Piper, for example.
One of the most famous sights in the downtown area is the Hochzeitshaus with its 37 bells. Each day the carillon plays the Pied Piper song “Wandern ach wandern durch Berg und Tal” at 9:35 a.m. and the Weser song “Hier hab ich so manches liebe Mal mit meiner Laute gesessen.” at 11:35 a.m. At 1:05 p.m., 3:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m., the building’s bronze doors will open and you can see a puppetry of the fairy tale. Especially for kids, this is kind of fun to check out.
Performances also take place during the summer months, telling the fairy tale. In the summer, there is a performance of the fairy tale every Sunday at noon on the square near the Hochzeitshaus and St. Mary’s Church. St. Nicholas Church. There is also a musical about the fairy tale. It is performed at the same location on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. during the summer months. Both are free to visit and usually quite crowded with tourists.
Hameln with kids #2 the churches of St. John’s. Nicolai and St. Boniface
In the center of Hameln, you have two churches located that are worth visiting, with both churches offering a nice view of the town of Hameln. Marktkirche Sankt Nicolai is the church located right in the center and open to the public during the day. You can climb the church tower here past the clockwork and large bells. You have to climb up many stairs, but then you also have a beautiful view of the city.
The cost for the whole family is only a few euros in total. At the top of the tower, though, it’s cramped and you can only enjoy the view with six people at a time. In this church, the fairy tale also returns. The stained glass of the church depicts the Pied Piper of Hameln.
If you want another great view of the town of Hameln, a climb up the Munsterkerk St. Bonifatius is also a nice idea. The church is located in downtown Hameln near the Weser River, and you have a great view of the river and the city from the tower. The climb itself of the tower is fine to do with kids. The inside itself of the church is quite austere and not really spectacular to visit.
Hameln with kids #3: Museum of Hameln
Of course, there is also a museum related to the town and the fairy tale. This museum of Hameln in the city center is not super interactive and the most fun activity in the museum is that here you can dress up in clothes that are obviously related to the fairy tale. Especially as a memento of the town and the fairy tale, it is fun to dress up with the whole family and then have your picture taken.
In the museum you also have a room, in which the fairy tale is told through a kind of robots (mechanical rat catcher show). This performance lasts about 15 minutes. With the Hameln discovery card (which we’ll come back to below), you can visit this museum for free. For a family ticket for the whole family, you pay a little more than ten euros admission to the museum. If you don’t have super much time in the city, you can also skip this museum just fine.
Hameln with kids #4: city guide + tour + glassblower
We were just talking at the Museum of Hameln about the Hameln discovery map that the city issues. The Hameln Entdecker Card gives you entrance to Hameln’s museum, as well as to the town’s glassworks, a one-hour guided tour of the town and a one-hour boat cruise on the Weser River.
So if you want to see a bit more of the city and are there for a weekend, for example, it may be an option to purchase the card for the family. Check in advance what all you want to do when visiting Hameln with kids and then see if the card offers benefits for your family.
Hameln with kids #5: Beach club The Heach
If you want to have a drink in a special way in the summer, then visiting this Beachclub is a fun option during your stay in Hameln with kids. The Beach Club is not on the water, but it really tries to put away a beach atmosphere. So there are nice beach chairs, there is beach sand all over the terrace and you can drink cocktails.
You walk there from the St. Bonefatius Church in just over five minutes to get there. You can order some simple dishes like a pizza, fries or some nachos from the oven with cheese at the beach club. On summer weekends, this place can be very busy with families with kids.
Where to sleep in Hameln with kids
Budget hotel: Hotel Altstadtwiege
Mid-range hotel: Historik Hotel Garni Christinenhof
Luxury hotel: Hotel La Principessa
To search for other hotels in Hameln with kids click here for the whole list of hotels.
Hameln with kids: Christmas market
Christmas Market Hameln: Of course, like most cities in Germany, Hameln has a Christmas market in the pre-Christmas period. Since this city has only 60,000 inhabitants, the Christmas market is also naturally a lot smaller (but also more convivial) than the big cities. You will find about 70 market stalls in the downtown area during this time, and there is also a carousel and an ice rink for the kids in the downtown area.