Europe is one of those destinations where families can experience a multitude of cultures, food, and world class attractions in a fairly compact area. Over the years our family has found some of the best European cities to visit, and explored the countryside as well. We know we can’t cover everything, so we asked other family travel writers to share their favorite places in Europe to visit with kids.
*When reading this article, note that the name of the city (in bold) has a link to a relevant article about that destination.
Table of Contents
- 1 Austria with Kids
- 2 Belgium with kids
- 3 Bulgaria with kids
- 4 Crete with Kids
- 5 Croatia with Kids
- 6 Czech Republic with kids
- 7 Denmark with kids
- 8 England with kids
- 9 France with Kids
- 10 Germany with kids
- 11 Hungary with kids
- 12 Iceland with kids
- 13 Ireland with kids
- 14 Italy with kids
- 15 Luxembourg with kids
- 16 Poland with kids
- 17 Portugal with kids
- 18 Sardinia with kids
- 19 Scotland with kids
- 20 Sicily with kids
- 21 Slovenia with kids
- 22 Spain with kids
- 23 Switzerland with kids
- 24 Wales with kids
Austria with Kids
I am not exaggerating when I say Vienna is one of the best places to go in Europe with kids! There are so many things you can do here that will truly enchant them. There are wonderful parks, great museums – the Technical Museum is one of my favorite places in Vienna as it has interactive panels and children can learn a lot from here – and a lot of fun activities available. From pools to various events and the magical Christmas markets (that include an ice rink), all seasons are covered.
And let’s not forget about Prater, the famous amusement park in Austria’s capital. You can spend days here trying all the different rides and games or races – yes, there is even a go kart rink here and it’s a lot of fun, I can tell you! And make sure you don’t miss the famous Prater Ferris wheel. The cabins are great – and red – and the view over the city is quite beautiful as well. I could go on and on about all the fun things to do with kids in Vienna, but I want to let you discover a few on your own as well! One thing is clear: Vienna is great for traveling with kids! Loredana from Earth’s Attractions
Belgium with kids
Brussels, home to the European Parliament, is not the most obvious choice for a European holiday with kids, but this gorgeous city is full of family friendly activities. It’s easy to reach via the Eurostar London train and is home to beautiful parks, family friendly restaurants and welcoming locals.
Start your visit with a trip to the Grand Place, possibly Europe’s most opulent square and then try out some authentic Belgian chocolate at the Choco Story Museum. Another unique attraction in the city centre is the Comic Strip museum, home to all your favorite characters such as TinTin and the Smurfs. Kids can learn all about the history of comics and their importance in shaping language and culture.
A twenty minute train ride outside of the city will take you to the amazing Atomium, built in the 1950s for the world trade fair. The structure is essentially an atom magnified 165 million times, and kids will love exploring inside the giant silver balls and the views back to the city.
Located next to the Atomium is Mini Europe, the best model village I’ve ever seen! It is home to 350 models representing famous landmarks from the whole of Europe. Parts of it are interactive, making it super kid friendly. Karen from Are We There Yet Kids
Bulgaria with kids
Bansko is a glorious mountain town about two hours from Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia. This is a very cost-effective place to vacation as public transportation is easy, and renting cars is safe, easy and relatively cheap too. It’s a safe environment, where the kids can play in a quiet street or roam around the restaurants without fear.
There is a ton to do here, especially during the summer in Bansko – when the ski gondola opens to get people up to the mountain where a playground for kids of all ages opens. In Bansko there is swimming (in both outdoor and thermal pools), mountain biking, horse riding and paint balling. The narrow gauge railway will also take visitors out on a day trip through the mountains for mere pennies. And at the end of the day, there’s great fresh food from mountain restaurants, cozy mehanas with seriously good local wine and beer for the adults too. Sarah of A Social Nomad
Crete with Kids
Crete is a wonderful place for a European family vacation. The island is large enough that it was once its own country! It offers a huge diversity of activities without the need to unpack and repack in multiple places. You can explore the Italian-influenced cities of Heraklion and Chania, visit the ancient Minoan palace at Knossos, hop between a huge variety of lovely beaches and, of course, be warmly welcomed as you enjoy delicious Cretan cuisine in restaurants that are (mostly) open year-round. Melissa at The Family Voyage
Croatia with Kids
Croatia is a remarkable destination for families. Stretching across the Adriatic Sea, the entire coast of Croatia has plenty of family friendly activities as the country has two beautiful national parks that are perfect for visiting during the warmer months. Our family trip to Croatia was an amazing experience with our children.
Dubrovnik in the south has a beautiful coastline and a rich history where you can stroll the Old Town walls. The city has amazing food and a vibrant old town for visitors.
Further north is Split, where the remains of Diocletian’s Palace are intertwined with the city and boats leave the harbor for various islands including Hvar. There are several sail Croatia boat tours that offer a good introduction to the beauty of this country.
Krka National Park is close to Split and has a raised boardwalk and streams that run underneath the walkway. Several waterfalls are also at the park, and the park allows for swimmers when the temperature and currents are right.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is more crowded but it’s a larger park that has several hiking routes for families. Family friendly trails include boat tours and shorter walks, which are outlined at the visitor’s center.
Zadar and Pula are quieter cities located further up north, with smaller hotels and a more personal and quiet Croatian feel.
Croatia is easily reachable by air or sea from Italy. If flying, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik are among the more popular options for airlines. Diana of The Elusive Family
Czech Republic with kids
Prague is a great destination for families. The Czech capital is a lovely historical city but also has plenty of things to do in Prague to keep kids entertained. Visit the Prague Zoo, take the funicular to Petrin Park with its mirror maze or visit the Lego Exhibitions in Hamleys, a toy store so huge there’s even a slide and carousel inside.
Small but fun museums in Prague for kids are the Museum of Senses and the Karel Zeman Museum. Both have several interactive exhibits and are great spots to take funny pictures.
For dinner you should try the Výtopna Railway Restaurant where drinks are brought to the table by a miniature train.
Prague is still an affordable destination with prices for accommodation and food about 30-50% lower than in similar big northern European cities. The Prague card is also a good way to save money. If you can, try to visit outside summer as it is very busy especially in July and August. Tikva of Gezin Op Reis
Denmark with kids
If you are looking for things to do in Denmark with kids, without going to a big city, a trip to Billund is just what you need. In Billund, you will find the original LEGOLAND that is sure to please visitors of all ages with its exciting rides, entertaining live shows and fantastic events.
Within walking distance to LEGOLAND, families can also spend time at Lalandia, Denmark’s largest indoor waterpark, where you can float down a lazy river or brave one of the many slides in the Aquadome. After having fun in the water, you can play mini golf, go bowling or even grab dinner all under one roof.
If you want to venture out of Billund, take a short drive to Jelling to see some of the most famous Viking rune stones in all of Denmark. The Givskud Zoo is also nearby and offers a unique experiences with its drive-thru safari and fun playgrounds. One last, exciting addition is Wow Park, the amazing tree house park that lets you experience fun at new heights. Kelly at My New Danish Life
Copenhagen, Denmark is one of the most family friendly cities in Europe we’ve ever visited. It is home to one of the oldest and best theme parks in the world, Tivoli Gardens. The amusement park is a must visit for any family, whether you enjoy roller coasters and theme park rides or simply want to take in the parades, shows, playgrounds, and beautiful gardens. There is so much to do at Tivoli Gardens even with young children.
The city’s family-friendly vibe extends beyond the theme park. Copenhagen also has a world-class aquarium and numerous museums that cater specifically to children. Even near the famous Nyhavn canal, you’ll find sidewalks with built-in trampolines and plenty of green space for kids to run around.
If visiting Copenhagen with kids, you’ll also feel quite safe since Denmark, and the Scandinavian region in general, as it is one of the safest areas of Europe. Getting around Copenhagen is easy, even without a car. Families can walk or take a free shuttle to see many of the attractions. Many people also opt to rent bicycles with built in child seats or use public transportation. Being able to navigate the city without the stress of renting a car makes any trip with children much easier. Melissa of Parenthood and Passports
England with kids
London is one of those cities that is an easy destination for families on their first trip to Europe. There are dozens of free museums in London, including the British Museum and Natural History Museum. Kids will love walking the streets, riding the tube, or trying the hop-on-hop-off bus, as well as exploring London’s royal parks, such as Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens. London’s food scene is perfect for children of all ages as there is a large variety of fast food options, mixed with casual sit down restaurants with cuisine from around the world. On top of all this, London makes the perfect home base for a day trip to Bath, Windsor Castle, or the Cotswolds. Kirsten
Maybe I’m a little biased because I live so close to the city, but Oxford is a must see for any family traveling around Europe. First and foremost, Oxford is steeped in history and has some of the best museums in the UK. Our favorites include the Natural History Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum which features some of the best archaeological and anthropological collections in the world. It also is home to the talking shrunken heads from the Knight Bus featured in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”.
Speaking of Harry Potter, the world famous Oxford University has been the back drop of many Harry Potter films, so why not book a tour and see if you can find the Hogwarts library or even the grand stone staircase? The architecture of the university alone is impressive enough that even the kids will take note.
Another fun idea in Oxford with kids is to hire a boat and go punting down the river Thames after a spot of lunch in one of the city’s quirky cafes or restaurants. Lisa of The Family Ticket
France with Kids
This beautiful corner of rural South West France has a great deal to offer children of all ages. It’s a safe and tranquil place (especially out of peak season), which is brilliant for young ones who enjoy everything nature has to offer.
Keeping active in the Dordogne is easy – there are miles of mountain bike trails, some excellent forest and river walks and of course canoeing is everywhere. Detailed hiking & biking maps can be picked up from local tourist offices while canoe rental is a highly organized affair. It normally involves you being bussed up the river so that you can paddle downstream to pick up your car.
Equipment, including lifejackets, are always included in the hire price and the scenery is breathtaking. We often take a picnic, stop half way on one of the many river beaches and enjoy a some wild swimming. If your little ones are too small for a canoe then you can still take to the water on a Gabarre (a traditional barge) which operates from Beynac and La Roque-Gageac.
Immerse the kids in history by visiting one of numerous historical sites. This could be in the form of a medieval fort or castle such as the Château de Beynac or learn about Stone Age man in the quaint village of Les Eyzies, known as the cradle of civilization. There are some impressive 20,000 year old cave paintings to discover too – visit the famous Lascaux IV visitor centre which brings the art and its artists to life for children. Gillian of Bucket List France
The Landes department of Southwest France is a nature-loving families paradise! Teaming with lakes and bordered by a long sandy coastline, it’s the perfect place to take the kids in summer.
The main lakes, Lac de Cazaux and Lac de Biscarrosse et de Parentis, offer playgrounds, inflatable obstacle courses, paddle boats and ice cream shops to keep the little ones entertained, while the beaches at Mimizan and Biscarrosse offer unlimited sandcastle building opportunities and surfing lessons for the bigger kids!
For a break from water sports, grab your bikes and set off on a trail through the pine forests. The Landes region is very flat, so it makes cycling a breeze, even for little legs! The beachside towns are easy to navigate and set up for families, and many host markets and events during the summer months that are family-friendly. Head to one of the many campgrounds in the area for a budget-friendly break. Nadine of Le Long Weekend
Paris is known to be a fantastic destination for honeymoons and weekend getaways, but there is also plenty of things to see in Paris with kids. The most obvious activity for families is visiting Disneyland Paris. While this is indeed fun for everyone, there is so much more in Paris to keep kids entertained.
A tour of the top Paris sights is very family friendly. The Eiffel Tower offers a spectacular view over the city and the structure itself is fascinating for most kids. A visit to the Louvre becomes an engaging excursion with a Nintendo 3DS audioguide and which kid wouldn’t love a boat trip on the Seine?
Paris with kids is never boring with all of the museums to visit. For example the the science Museum Cité des science et l’industrie in Parc la Villette (with tons of hands-on exhibits) or the Palais de la Découverte (an educational science museum) close to the Champs-Élysees. There are also a few zoos and aquariums – the nicest one being in Trocadero, just across the Eiffel Tower. Lena of Salut from Paris
Germany with kids
We just loved Berlin with its child friendly museums, family friendly attractions and great places to eat. In fact there are so many things to do in Berlin with families that you’ll need a few weeks to do it all!
For families who love history there are plenty of great sights to visit such as the Reichstag Building, Checkpoint Charlie, the East Side Gallery at the Berlin Wall and the Brandenburg Gate – all are free to visit. With the Reichstag Building you do need to book in advance, but entry is free as is the audio guide provided.
Be sure to visit the German Spy Museum where kids can dress up as spies, debug a room and even make their way through a laser alarmed room. One of my favorite places to visit with the kids is the DDR Museum. Here you can learn about life under the German Democratic Republic. It’s super interactive and unlike most museums, kids are encouraged to touch and play with everything!
Other great attractions for the kids in Berlin include LEGOLAND, Little Big City, the Berlin Zoo and Sea Life.
Berlin is super easy to get around too with a great public transport system. The city is fairly well spread out, but using the transportation system in Berlin is easy. Melissa at Thrifty Family Travels
If you are looking for a European destination to explore with kids, look no further than Stuttgart, Germany! Stuttgart is located in Southern Germany, making it the perfect jumping off point to explore the Black Forest, Lake Constance, Neuschwanstein Castle and romantic cities such as Tübingen and Ulm.
Stuttgart itself is packed with top attractions and family friendly fun. Spend your time in Stuttgart visiting Killesburg Park where you can relax in the gardens, stroll along the beautiful flowers, and play at the expansive playground after a train ride around the park. Afterwards, head into the city to eat at Carls Brauhaus before exploring the city center on foot or aboard a bus tour. If you love flashy cars, be sure to check out either the Mercedez Benz or Porsche museums (there are fun elements for kids).
Ready for some sweets? Make your way down to Waldenbuch to the Ritter Sport chocolate factory. Arrive hungry and sit down at the café for hot chocolate and breakfast options and then go explore the free Ritter sport museum. The kids will love the free chocolate samples delivered with the push of a button! If that’s not enough, start exploring the nearby area with it’s treetop walks, rodelbahns (alpine coasters), and more! Chelsea of Pack More into Life
Hungary with kids
We loved our family trip to Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. The atmosphere is warm, inviting and friendly and there is a huge range of activities and places to visit in the city no matter the weather, from historic sites to thermal springs.
Even though it is a big city with many historic buildings and museums, we also found plenty of parks and outdoor areas with playground and a child friendly environment that is perfect for families.
The food is delicious and affordable and the majority of the restaurants and cafés we visited had special child friendly option for the smaller guests. If you are visiting you should definitely try the authentic Hungarian goulash which is a home-cooked stew dish that most kids will eat without a fight.
In the city you will find several cultural and historical sites and museums to visit which means plenty of opportunities for learning for the kids.
The public transport is also very easy to use and understand, which makes Budapest with kids one of our favorite spots in Europe. Thassia of Family Off Duty
Iceland with kids
Our first family adventure to Europe brought us to Iceland. The powerful nature of Iceland immediately draws parents and children alike making the nation a natural pair for families.
The world’s northernmost capital city, Reykjavik, holds plenty of experiences for children including climbing Hallgrímskirkja to see the city below, exploring the Settlement Museum to view early foundations of the city, relaxing while watching birds at Tjörnin pond, visiting Perlan with another spectacular view and nature exhibitions and more.
Families should explore beyond the city enjoying waterfalls, rift valleys, glaciers, lava formations, black sand beaches and other geologic wonders. Travel in Iceland is easy to navigate whether you rent a car or take tours. So, you can flex to the needs of your family. Iceland is packed full of nature highlights but definitely visit Þingvellir which is of cultural and geologic significance. Þingvellir rests at the crest valley of the Mid-Atlantic ridge and marks the spot where Iceland‘s first parliament met in 930 AD.
Icelandic horses are unique to Iceland, so do not miss an opportunity to ride one. Our family enjoyed several riding experiences and found the beautiful horses to be gentle and easy to ride. Riding an Icelandic horse through stunning landscape is a breathtaking experience! Melissa of A Little Time and a Keyboard
Ireland with kids
Dublin is a great European city for families as it has so much to offer children of all age ranges. Younger children will enjoy activities such as visiting Dublin Zoo, the Airfield Farm and also the Natural History Museum, known locally as the Dead Zoo. One of the best places to take younger kids is Imaginosity, the Dublin Children’s Museum. Just make sure to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
For older kids, a ride on the sightseeing bus can give you a tour of the city and the opportunity to visit places like Dublinia, an interactive museum which brings you through the journey of Dublin as a city from the time of the Vikings, through Medieval years, into present day Dublin. Visit Christ Church, Guinness Brewery and Epic, the Irish Emigration Museum, all interesting places to visit in Dublin with kids.
Dublin is very accessible, has good public transport and a huge range of cafes and restaurants to suit all taste buds. There is no shortage of accommodation options to suit every budget and many of the best attractions are within walking distance to each other or along one of the sightseeing bus routes. Cath of Passports and Adventures
On the west coast of Ireland is some of the country’s most stunning scenery. It is home to Killarney National Park and the perfect starting point for exploring the famous Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula. Families can explore Ross Castle, or take a boat ride on Lough Leane, one of the famous lakes of Killarney National Park. Another option is to take a jaunting cart ride through the Gap of Dunloe, or explore Muckross House and Gardens. Irish hospitality is at its finest in the town of Killarney with plenty of family friendly restaurants and shops. Kirsten
Italy with kids
Lake Como is one of our very favorite European destinations to visit as a family. With it’s breathtaking scenery, incredible food, an abundant history, architecture, outdoor activities, and culture, it’s a perfect place to bring kids. We love Lake Como for its access to all of these things without being too crowded or difficult to get around.
There are plenty of activities to choose from such as hiking, historical tours, cooking classes, wandering the ancient streets of Bellagio, and more, but our favorite thing to do on Lake Como is to rent a boat and explore the villas of the rich and famous. You’ll find hundreds of opulent mansions along the shores of Lake Como and the best way to see them is by boat. You can also enjoy a relaxing meal on the lake surrounded by trellises covered in wisteria that smell amazing! Lake Como is the perfect mixture of outdoor fun and Italian elegance, and a great introduction to Italy for families. Vanessa of Wanderlust Crew
While most people choose Venice, Rome or Florence, fashion city Milan is actually a really good choice for families. For starters, it’s much cheaper than the aforementioned three. And especially if you’ve never visited Italy before, Milan offers a great introduction to Italian culture and cuisine. Food is never an issue in Italy. All kids love pizza and pasta right? Other than that there are also plenty of places to get kebab or Chinese food in Milan.
So what are fun things to do in Milan with kids? All kids will love riding the elevator up the Duomo for a rooftop walk of Milan’s famous cathedral. A visit to the science and technology museum, Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, should also be on the agenda. Our son especially enjoyed the transport section with the planes, trains and even a real submarine.
Other options include a visit to 15th-century Castello Sforzesco, a tour of AC Milan’s San Siro Stadium, seeing Da Vinci’s iconic Last Supper as the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie or attending a performance at the famous La Scala theatre. Lisa of Flip Flop Globetrotters
Our family loved visiting Rome because we were wowed by all of the iconic landmarks and gained a new understanding of European history. It felt like we stepped back in time over 2,000 years when we toured the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Roman Forum. We spent a day in Vatican City, which is the center of the Catholic Church, and took a guided tour through the Vatican Museums. Michelangelo’s ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the size and beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica blew us away.. We threw coins into the Trevi Fountain, strolled through the Villa Borghese Gardens, stuck our fingers into the Mouth of Truth, dined in Piazza Navona and climbed the Spanish Steps.
While our time in Rome was filled with bucket list attractions, we also fondly remember filling our water bottles at some of the 2,500 free, public drinking fountains scattered around Rome. We visited at least a half dozen churches and saw most of Rome’s eight obelisks. Each meal was seemingly better than the last, and we enjoyed gelato daily. Rome is one city we definitely hope to return to as a family and sooner rather than later. Catherine of We Go With Kids
Our daughter is 15. Her sensibilities toward travel have changed. Like most individuals her age, they want to experience how the other half lives (their parents). Europe is always a great jumping off point when it comes to exposing them to culture; which is not limited to museums and sites. The culture they desire is the living and breathing what surrounds them. Language, clothing, food for instance.
The best place to bring your kid in Europe is the Region of Umbria in Italy. Yes, there are countless museums and churches, beautiful ancient architecture, music, and what have you. However, it’s the family-run cafes, the local food traditions, the natural beauty (it’s called the Green Heart of Italy) combined with unique activities such as biking through what used to be old railroad tracks that cut through the hills and end up at a vineyard, is what makes this place special.
Unlike the rest of Italy, you won’t get lost in the tourist shuffle; and it will cost you about 1/3rd less than its’ neighbors such as Tuscany and Lazio. Your kid will get the most out of the country and come out of it wishing to go back soon. Andrew of Dish Our Town
Luxembourg with kids
Luxembourg City is one of the best cities for family holidays in Europe. It is a family friendly city, and we always find something new to discover! It is easy to travel to Luxembourg City by train and arrive in the city center. The city is quite compact and the best way to explore is on foot.
Luxembourg City is famed for its ruins of medieval fortifications, particularly the Bock Casemates, which the kids would love to explore. These series of underground tunnels will peak the interest of little ones as their imaginations go wild!
There are also many playgrounds in the city to keep the kids entertained, one in particular is the pirate ship play area, located in the city center. This was our little ones favorite!
Luxembourg City has many kid friendly places to eat. There are quite a few American staples like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut if you have a picky eater. For the the more adventurous there are quite a few restaurant options.
Since Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe, you can easily go on a road trip or train ride to explore castles. There are many opportunities for outdoor adventures here as well, with its perfect location within the Ardennes forest. Skylar at Skylar Arias Adventures
Poland with kids
Gdansk is one of the most beautiful places in Poland. This lovely seaside city offers many attractions for all kinds of tourists, including families with children. Gdansk is well-known for its charming Old Town, perfect for a family stroll. Walking along picturesque cobbled streets of Old Town is simply a must! While exploring Old Town, it is worth it to take a walk to Motlawa river embankments. When little ones get tired, visit one of the restaurants located on the embankments and enjoy the view on the river.
One of the best kids attractions in Gdansk is zoo. In fact, Gdansk Zoo is the biggest zoological park in Poland! Located in Oliwa district, it is home to many different mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. There are over 190 species in Gdansk zoo, so it is not only fun place, but also gives educational value to children.
In the Oliwa district don’t miss the park. It is a beautiful and spacious rural park, famous for its abundant vegetation and exotic flowers. There is also a palm house which children will love.
For a bit of adventure, head to AmberSky, a 50 meter high observation wheel with 36 air-conditioned and heated gondolas. The ride lasts 15 minutes and offers visitors unforgettable views. Joanna of Overhere
Krakow was my favorite city when I was a child in Poland, and now it is one of the favorite European cities of my traveling children.
The old town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is full of places to explore: restaurants, arts and crafts galleries, museums and places to see. Everywhere is family-friendly. Kids always love the street artists from musicians and live statues, to jugglers and bubble blowers in the Market Square. Or they can feed the pigeons, run around, and even climb on an old mail-coach. You and your family can easily spend the whole day in Kraków Market Square and not get bored.
There are so many things to do in Krakow with kids, but probably the most favorite one of all, is seeing the fire breathing Smok Wawelski. This dragon lives in a den under the Wawel Castle. You can see him blowing fire every five minutes when he is hungry.
To escape the crowds take a stroll along the Vistula river bank or visit the Planty – a park which surrounds the old town. Krakow is the perfect place to visit with family. Ania of The Travelling Twins
The city of Wroclaw in Poland is one of the best places to travel in Europe with kids. With the little elves hiding all over the city, children can be entertained with a game of “Eye Spy” or a dwarf hunting activity similar to Pokemon Go where they have to catch them all. This ticks the most important element of a peaceful vacation – entertained kids who are far from complaining of boredom.
Aside from its fascinating historical buildings, there are many things to do in Wroclaw with kids like visiting the Botanical Garden and Japanese Garden. For a bit of fun, head to the Wroclaw Zoo, where its new Afrykarium Centre with its sharks, penguins, and hippos will keep your children entertained for hours.
For family dining, head to the Konspira, a restaurant and historical education center with a hidden room and play area for kids. And, if the kids behave, perhaps they deserve a bit of pudding at the Slodkie Czary Mary sweets shop where they can be transfixed by the process of candy-making. Karolina of Karolina Patryk
Portugal with kids
Lisbon was one of our families all time favorite spring break destination. The city has year round moderate temperatures, delicious food, and awesome places to explore with kids. Consider taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour of the city, or taking a tour by tuk tuk. Head up to the Castelo de Sao Jorge overlooking the city, or take the Santa Justa elevator to see the ruins of Carmo Convent (it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755). Don’t miss a visit to the suburb of Belém where you can sample the famous nata custard tarts, explore the San Jeronimo Monastery, and visit the Tower of Belém and its adjacent park. Don’t miss a meal (or two ) at Time Out Market, a high end food court featuring food from best chefs in the city. It’s extremely family friendly. Kirsten
Madeira is a great destination for a family holiday as the small, tropical Atlantic island is packed with a variety of attractions. There are cathedrals, churches, art and history museums to visit plus several beautiful parks and gardens. Families should not miss the iconic wicker toboggan ride through the streets from the village of Monte to the Madeiran capital Funchal. Kids will love the outdoor lido complexes and aqua park as well as the beaches of Madeira. Many of the islands attractions are free to enter.
Around the island there are caves, wineries and thrilling cable car rides. Family accommodation and eating out is very affordable. In addition, the island has an extensive, cheap and reliable public transport network and car hire is very reasonable. The volcanic island is criss crossed by the world famous levada walks, all of which are free to hike. There are hikes suitable for all ages and abilities which offer incredible views of this stunning lush island. Don’t miss the knee trembling view from the glass skywalk at Cabo Girao, the highest vertical sea cliffs in Europe. Sinead of Map Made Memories
Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, is definitely one of the best places to visit in Europe with kids. Being a coastal city, Porto has plenty of sunny beaches with amazing walkways where you can safely ride a bike. There are also plenty of parks where you can easily organize a quick picnic. Quinta do Covelo is a particularly good one as it was recently renovated to include a large playground.
It is a very safe city, especially if you know the where to stay in Porto. It is very easy to move around using public transports such as the subway, tram and bus, but you can also call an Uber as it works very well here.
Last but not least, and this is very important: Portuguese people just LOVE kids! Maybe because we are one of the fastest aging countries in the world, we truly appreciate the youngest and hence you will feel particularly welcome in Porto with your little ones. Sara at Portoalities
Sardinia has to be one of the best places to visit in Europe with kids. The country has a bit of everything from mountains, to quaint old towns to some of the best beaches you will find anywhere in Europe.
There is definitely something here for everyone and you can have a wonderfully varied holiday here with kids of all ages. There is so many things to do in Sardinia. You can explore caves, go mountain biking, build sandcastles, go kayaking, gaze at the glitterati of the Costa Smerelda, go rock climbing or simply relax by the pool and enjoy the glorious weather.
Of course, as this is Italy, you know that the food will be fantastic and kids’ favorites like pizza and pasta are sure to be a treat. On top of all this you have the famous Italian hospitality which will take your holiday to another level and make it a wonderfully memorable trip abroad. Chris from More Life In Your Days
Scotland with kids
Often overlooked by traveling families, Edinburgh is one of the best European cities to visit. Families will enjoy wandering the cobblestone streets of the Royal Mile, exploring Edinburgh Castle, and spending time at the Edinburgh Zoo. The charming seaside suburb of North Berwick is perfect for a day at the beach or exploring the tide pools. Don’t miss Camera Obscura with its World of Illusions and interactive displays, kids will love the craziness of it all. Transportation is quite simple if you stay on the Royal Mile. Plan to do a bit of walking if you stay on Princes Street or the New Town. Edinburgh offers cuisine from around the world, and kids will always be able to find something they want to eat. Kirsten
Isle of Skye, Scotland
With its breathtaking scenery, ancient castles, lively music, and incredible islands, Scotland is a perfect place for families– especially those who of us can trace their lineage back to the Scottish Highland clans. But the Isle of Skye, part of the Inner Hebrides archipelago and attached to the mainland via a short bridge, is sure to be especially popular with kids because it offers so many different things to do.
Do they love history? Visit Dunvegan Castle (Clan MacLeod) and Armadale Castle (Clan MacDonald), the latter of which offers an excellent geneaological research library. Do they love nature? Take them hiking in the Black Cuillin Hills, the Quirang, or to see the secret Fairy Pools. Do they love animals? Take them on a wildlife boat tour of the Inner Hebrides (where you can see Seals, Dolphins, Puffins, and more), or simply drive down any country road and look for Highland Cattle (a.k.a. Hairy Coos).
No matter what you and your kids are into, there’s no shortage of activities and attractions. But if you plan to visit Skye in summer, you’re better off going early, before the peak tourist season brings big crowds. Brett & Mary of Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide
Sicily with kids
Syracuse is a small coastal city in southeast Sicily. Its historical centre, Ortigia, is small enough for families to explore on foot. It features narrow winding medieval lanes and elegant Baroque architecture. There are lovely car-free piazzas for children to race around and plenty of cafes selling ice creams, pasta and pizza.
The Piazza del Duomo is particularly magnificent: the cathedral acts as a complete history of Sicily: there are Greek, Roman, Arabic, Norman and Baroque elements in its design.
Children will enjoy exploring the castle at Syracuse with its windows overlooking the turquoise sea. There is a puppet theatre which tells ancient tales of monsters and knights, and the front seats of the theatre are reserved for children. If small ones tire of exploring, you can take to the water and watch the city from the comfort of a boat. There’s also an aquarium to visit and important ancient ruins just outside the city centre for any budding historians. Annabel of Smudged Postcard
Slovenia with kids
Slovenia is a great place for families because it is safe, beautiful, and there is such a range of things to do. We spent a month in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capitol, and took several short trips into the country. From adventure trekking in Postojna Cave to ice skating on Lake Bled, we found plenty of opportunities to be active outside. There is even easy access to trails and parks from the city.
In Ljubljana, our kids loved exploring the Museum of Illusions and the House of Experiments. The castle that looks over the city (with a swing out front!), provides hours of imaginary play. The highlight for my youngest son, was drinking hot cocoa at the Cat Caffe, among adorable felines.
Throughout the country, and especially in the cities, we found tons of food options, from traditional fare to pizza, to vegan restaurants, and plenty of desserts. Mel from TravelingMel
Spain with kids
Barcelona is a quintessentially ideal destination for families, and that’s not an exaggeration. The city is walkable, and most of the main attractions are centered in the Ciutat Vella, or “Old City” of Barcelona. Its menu of kid-friendly attractions includes the colorful Park Güell, a Candyland-like park of dragons, a brightly-colored swerving bench, and tilted walkways. Another popular place is Park Ciutadella, Barcelona’s main city park, which has three playgrounds, a huge mammoth sculpture, and even a zoo inside. Kids can also delight in the mysterious Montjuic Castle (complete with defunct cannons), build sandcastles at the beach, or head to the Tibidabo Amusement Park where you get the best views of the city.
What can kids eat in Barcelona? For picky eaters, kids will like the famous rice dish paella, or its cousin, fideuà, which is made with noodles instead of rice. Tortilla de patatas is a potato omelet and always a hit too! To get around, you can count on one of the best public transportation systems in Europe, which is a mix of train, tram, or bus. Justine of Latitude Forty One
Costa Brava, Spain
Although there are many, many places in Europe that have fantastic amenities for children, one place to visit in particular is the Costa Brava. Located just a short train ride away from Barcelona, the Costa Brava consists of cute and modern little towns that are equipped with everything you might need.
The beach in Costa Brava is always just a couple of steps away and easily accessible at all times. There are playgrounds every couple of hundred meters and they are so well maintained that letting your kids play here is a joy in itself. Shops, restaurants and hospitals can all be found in the vicinity.
When you or the kids grow tired of playing at the beach, head to Cadaqués or one of the other charming towns on the Costa Brava, or dive into the bigger cities of Girona and Barcelona. It’s convenient to get around with the R1-train that runs right next to the sea. Babs of Travel Gear for Kids
Salou on Spain’s Costa Daurada coastline is a fantastic family holiday destination. It’s about an hour south of Barcelona, which is well served by budget airlines.
To start with you’ve got the wide, sweeping, sandy beach that seems to run on forever around the bay. There are loads of activities on the beach that should help you entertain the kids when they get bored of sandcastles: from pedalos to more serious water sports there’s something for everyone.
Just inland you’ll find a brilliant selection of days out. There are two water parks and the renowned PortAventure which includes six differently themed lands. There’s also the newly opened Ferrari Land where the rides are, you guessed it, Ferrari themed!
If you prefer your entertainment to be a bit more educational, inland Costa Daurada has loads of beautiful medieval towns. Montblanc is particularly beautiful, a walled town with winding streets up to a stunning church on the top of the hill. The town often holds medieval festivals where everyone dresses up and there are loads of activities – perfect if your kids happen to be studying this period of history!
If you’re looking for a beautiful summer beach destination, definitely check out the Costa Daurada. Clare of Epic Road Rides
One of the best places to visit in Europe with kids and easily one of my most favorite European cities in general is Madrid, the capital of Spain. Since Madrid is often overlooked for Barcelona with its famous Sagrada Familia and beaches, the city is much less touristed and hectic and therefore the perfect opportunity to have an authentic travel experience. I’m also a big fan of Madrid’s diversity, where every family will find the right activities and attractions to make everyone happy.
There are many world-class Madrid museums (such as the Prado Museum and La Reina Sofia), but also beautiful parks (Retiro), churches and historic buildings. For a nice view, head to the famous Debod temple (especially around sunset) and you shouldn’t miss the Royal Palace, which is probably the most famous sight in the city. To take a break from sightseeing, head to the famous Chocolateria San Gines, where you can enjoy the best Churros dipped in chocolate in the whole of Spain – your kids will love it! Patrick of German Backpacker
Mallorca is a beautiful island off the coast of Spain and is the perfect place to visit in Europe with kids. Known for its breathtaking beaches and beautiful blue water, Mallorca is the perfect spot to spend a long weekend or a week with your family.
Mallorca is extremely family friendly, all of the restaurants and beaches we visited were packed with strollers and there were lots of little ones wandering about. We stayed in the beautiful area of Cala Bona in the Hotel Atolon, a modern hotel with a lovely breakfast included.
Beaches are the number one attraction in Mallorca and we enjoyed traveling to a new beach every day. Playa del Puerto de Pollensa was our favorite place to head for a relaxing day at the beach with the kids. The water was really calm here and there were small paddle boats with slides available to rent on the beach.
The restaurants in Mallorca were all super family friendly. We never felt out of place with kids enjoying a meal, and this such a nice relaxing change! We particularly enjoyed a five-star meal at Son Brull hotel and spa. For a bit of adventure, check out Caves of Drach in Porto Cristo. An awesome place to explore for a morning or afternoon. Mallorca is absolutely one of the best places in Europe to visit with kids!
Switzerland with kids
When it comes to family friendly destinations in Europe, the Swiss alpine resort town of Grindelwald ticks all the boxes. Located in central Switzerland, just an hour and a half from both Bern and Lucerne, Grindelwald is easily accessible by both public transport and car.
The town is well-known as a ski resort in winter but, during the warmer months, Grindelwald boasts a huge array of activities that kids of all ages will enjoy. A mini golf course, toboggan rides, zip lines, scooter and mountain cart rides are just some of the activities available to keep the kids (and parents) amused.
There are plenty of options to enjoy hiking or mountain biking on the well marked trails around town, and the world-famous Jungfrau mountain excursion starts in Grindelwald, too.
Grindelwald offers a good range of accommodation (including apartments), shops and restaurants. There is a large supermarket, a bakery and butcher, and numerous cafes and restaurants in town.
For a destination that offers something for the whole family, Grindelwald is definitely one of the best places to visit in Europe with kids. Carolyn at Holidays to Europe
Wales with kids
One of our favorite places to visit in Europe is the country of Wales. This often overlooked country has beautiful beaches, castle ruins everywhere, and stunning national parks (Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons). Don’t miss the Snowdon Mountain Railway, a stunning narrow gauge train ride up the tallest mountain in Wales with breathtaking views of the countryside. Some of our favorite castles include Caerphilly, Caernarfon, and Conwy, all perfect for exploring with kids. Be sure to spend time along the Pembrokeshire coast, with quaint fishing villages, hiking trails, and some of the country’s most gorgeous beaches. Kirsten
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