You can visit Osnabrück with kids just fine during a weekend getaway. The city is just over a two-hour drive from Utrecht, and there is plenty to do in Osnabrück and the surrounding area to have a great time with the family for at least two days! The city is known for its zoo, but there is also plenty to do with your kids in the surrounding area. We list the best activities and sights of Osnabrück with kids for you.
Table of contents
Osnabrück with kids #1: osnabrück zoo
The zoo is located in the south of the city, and by bus it takes just over 15 minutes to get to the zoo from the city center (10 minutes by car). The zoo is divided into different areas such as Angkor Wat, South America and Takamanda. The zoo is spacious and you do find the most famous African animals such as the lion, elephant, giraffe, rhino, ostrich and also several large monkeys.
Of course, the zoo also has a number of playgrounds within the zoo and, of course, most of the playgrounds have a dining facility attached to them. Keep in mind that the zoo does have some hilly terrain. The uneven paths can also cause things to not ride smoothly with a stroller, for example.
At the box office, you can get a Dutch-language map showing the feeding times of the various animals at this zoo. You can easily entertain yourself for half a day at this zoo. For more information on opening hours, admission prices and different animals, visit the zoo’s website.
Osnabrück with kids #2: exploring the city center
If you’re visiting Osnabrück with kids, it’s fun to visit the city center for a while. You have the Altstadt, where you have Osnabrück Cathedral and the old Town Hall. In this section you will find plenty of nice restaurants and cafes to have some food and drinks. Also fun to visit in the old part is St. Mary’s Church (Marienkirche) where you can climb the 191 steps in the narrow tower and get a nice view of the city of Osnabrück and the mountains. Especially with the Christmas market, it is very crowded here, because then you also have a nice view of the market with all its lights.
Walking from the old part of town to the new part with all the famous modern stores, you will come across a nice playground (Spielplatz am Adolf-Reichwein-Platz) along the way. This playground has fine play sand in addition to various climbing equipment and houses, where kids play with shovels and buckets that are often found in this playground.
From the Altstadt, you can also walk to the city’s Botanical Gardens in half an hour. These gardens are free to enter and are located near the city’s university. You have flowers and plants from all over the world to admire here.
If you have little time to explore the city, the hop on hop off bus that runs through the city in the summer is a great option. In a sixty-minute round trip, the bus makes a tour of the city past all of the city’s attractions.
Osnabrück with kids #3: hiking on the piesberg
The city of Osnabrück has a volcano, and aside from never having had an eruption, this volcano has shaped the landscape around the city. In fact, the volcano created Mount Piesberg (the name will cause hilarity in many kids). The Piesberg is part of the Natur und Geopark Terra.vita.
On this mountain you can walk a beautiful and very varied hike of about 8 kilometers. This walk starts at the museum Industriekultur (museum about the mining industry) and this is just over ten minutes away from the center by car. You will walk through the woods on this hike, as well as sections on the old railroad line, and along the way you will have several viewpoints with stunning views of the area. You will also encounter several huge redwood trees on the route.
You walk the route in a circle and through that you eventually get back to the car. You can park your car for free at the museum. If you walk the route clockwise you will have to climb a little less. Of course, this hike is not for too young kids, as the hike would be too strenuous.
Osnabrück with kids #4: the surroundings of osnabrück
The city of Osnabrück is located in green surroundings and you can make excellent excursions in the region. For example, just under half an hour’s drive from the center of Osnabrück is Lake Alfsee. Especially in summer, it is fun to visit this large lake.
So you can swim by the lake and sunbathe on the small beach by the lake. You can water ski on the lake, you have a traffic garden where you can drive all kinds of cars, a go-kart track and a large indoor playground (at Alfsee Ferien und Erlebnis Park at the lake). You can easily spend a day here in the summer.
In the vicinity of Osnabrück there is also a route along which several dolmens can be found. The route runs from Osnabrück to Oldenburg.
Osnabrück with kids: other activities
If you are in Osnabrück with kids for a little longer, there are plenty of other things to do in the city. We mention a few more.
#5 Museum am Scholberg: this natural history museum is located next to the city’s zoo and you will find all kinds of things about nature. There are also a fair number of interactive elements for kids, and there is also a planetarium at the museum. In addition, there is an underground tunnel system at the museum with some animals to admire.
#6 Varusschlacht museum: this museum is located slightly outside the city to the north and can be reached by car in just over 15 minutes. The museum is dedicated to a battle with the Romans that was fought here, and the museum tries to convey the story of this battle to kids through illustrations, viewing drawers, surprise effects and new media. These kinds of museums obviously have to suit you and your kids, otherwise you can skip these kinds of museums just fine.
#7 Nettebad swimming paradise: if you want to spend a day swimming in Osnabrück with kids, this pool is a good option. The pool has both indoor and outdoor pools and several slides and diving boards. In summer, you can enjoy sunbathing here on the lawns surrounding the pools. You have some spectacular slides here and the pool area also includes a spa area. By car, you can get to this pool from downtown in seven minutes.
#8 Moscow pool: this is another large pool in the city with several slides and several outdoor pools. Also located at this pool is a large playground for the kids. By car you can reach this pool in ten minutes from downtown.
Where to sleep in Osnabrück with kids
Budget hotel: Hotel am Nikolaiort (former Hotel Nikolai)
Mid-range hotel: Adelhoff
Mid-range hotel: Hotel Westerkamp
To search for other hotels in Osnabrück with kids click here for the complete list of hotels.
Further information Osnabrück with kids
Osnabrück Citycard: the city of Osnabrück also has a card for tourists that you can purchase that allows unlimited bus travel in the city and discounts on various products and activities. Check in advance what all you want to do in Osnabrück with kids and whether this card will benefit your family.
Christmas Market Osnabrück: at Christmas, the entire inner city of Osnabrück is in Christmas atmosphere. More than 100 stalls can be found in the downtown area, and the 500 downtown stores will also be decorated in Christmas spirit. The Christmas market also features a life-size music box with figures of the Holy Family and a beautiful carousel in front of the city’s town hall.
If you visit the city of Osnabrück by car, you will need an environmental sticker. These can be ordered from the ANWB website and will be sent to you within 5 days. To do this, you need to enter the car’s registration number and report code (found on the registration certificate) and then the correct color will be selected.