Europe – it’s a destination synonymous with backpacking, with luxury chalets, ski trips for couples, and more. However, European family vacations can also be incredibly fun. With that being said, you do need to know a few things before planning a family trip to Europe. For instance, you will want to find large vacation rentals, and you will also want to know more about traveling to Europe with kids. In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of the best places to visit in Europe with kids and what you should know about them.
The city of London has something to offer just about everyone, which makes it one of our first choices for the best European vacations for families. You’ll find accommodations to suit just about any budget or family size, and there are tons of things to see and do while you’re in the UK capital. For instance, the National History Museum is a great place to take the kids and offers quite a few kid-focused exhibits, including dinosaurs and blue whales that are sure to be big hits. You should also check out the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, both of which have a rather grisly history, including torture chambers. The London Eye is great for a view of the city and an adrenaline rush, and the Victoria and Albert Museum offers kid-friendly exhibits and tours, too.
Moving north from London, we find Edinburgh, which certainly ranks as one of the best European cities to visit with kids. European family vacations to Edinburgh can help kids connect with the past, as well as a lot more. Edinburgh Castle makes a great day tour and there’s something on offer for everyone. You can (and should) also opt to take the Edinburgh bus tour. Dynamic Earth is a great place for curious young minds, and the city’s Museum of Childhood offers multiple floors of games, interactive experiences, and toys.
Turn west from Edinburgh and cross the water and you’ll reach anther of the best European cities for kids – Dublin. The Dublin Zoo is actually one of the best in all of Europe, and well worth the visit. The Natural History Museum, Viking Splash, and the National Museum of Archaeology all have kid-focused programs, as well.
Take a hop from Ireland, across Scotland, and you’ll land in Amsterdam. For those planning European family vacations, this city has a great deal to offer. In fact, a trip here could be one of the best European trips for families possible. Depending on the time of year that you come to Amsterdam, you could experience a wide range of things – the incredible tulip growing operations are iconic attractions, for instance. You’ll also be able to take a canal tour of the city, giving kids a unique way to explore and interact with the town. Or, if your kids are older, a biking tour of the city could be a good option. Amsterdam is also one of the best places in Europe for kids who love science. The Science Center NEMO is an excellent option for kids ages six to 16 and gives them a hands-on experience.
Just a short trip away from Amsterdam, you’ll find Paris, which is, surprisingly, one of the best places to visit in Europe with toddlers, but also works very well for older kids and teens. For toddlers, a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral should be on the books. They’ll be thrilled with the gothic architecture and gargoyles. Toddlers, children, and older kids will all enjoy the Musee d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris, which features the “gallery of evolution” and is usually a big hit. The Paris Catacombs may also be worth a visit, particularly if you have older kids or teens who appreciate a good scare.
When it comes to European family vacations, many people never make it into Eastern Europe, but you should. Particularly to Prague. The city is stunning. It’s fairytale architecture is sure to be a hit with the kids, and the fact that it is incredibly walkable means that it is one of the best European destinations for toddlers. While in the city, make time to visit Petrin Hill, where you’ll find a mirror maze, pony rides (weekends only), a rose garden, and a view that looks out over the entire city. The Art Gallery for Children is a kid-specific venue that’s a lot of fun, and there’s Children’s Island, as well. Plus, the city as a whole is home to several well-produced puppet shows.
Back on the western side of the continent, Barcelona is a good addition to kid-friendly European holiday. Gaudi’s handiwork can be seen in some of the city’s most iconic attractions, for instance, but kids can get up close and personal with his work at Parc Güell, which features a whimsical collection of his work. For getting around town, consider taking a cable car – they’re fun and kids love them. Both the Barcelona Zoo and the city’s aquarium are amazing destinations for kids, as well. Finally, if you’re in the mood for some beach time, the city has some excellent waterfront spots for families.
The Eternal City is another example of where to go in Europe with kids. Some of the attractions that kids will love are the same that you adore – the Colosseum, the Forum, and the like. However, there are other things that your kids will love, too. Take a trip to Villa Borghese Gardens where you can rent a row boat or a bike. Spend some time having a picnic in the gardens, or enjoy the movies that are played in the afternoon and evening. Explora is a kid-focused museum in the city that features interactive exhibits, and even includes an ice cream shop, too.
The Greek Islands
While a visit to mainland Greece is always enjoyable, you can give your kids a truly memorable experience when you stay on one of the many Greek islands. From Santorini to Crete, Naxos to Paros, Corfu to Rhodes, there are many options available, and they all bring something different to the table. Attractions range from some of the best beaches in Europe to kid-focused museums, historic sites, waterparks, and so much more.
Planning European family vacations can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. These are some of the best options in where to travel in Europe with kids, but there are so many others. You may also want to check out Wales and Cornwall, as well as Provence and the Cote d’Azur for additional family-friendly options. Ultimately, there are quite a few destinations that fall into the category of best places to visit in Europe for kids. It just takes a little research to uncover some hidden gems.
Once you’ve wrapped up your European family vacation, it might be time to turn your attention to a destination closer to home – the Caribbean. There are thousands of islands that offer amazing beaches, pristine waters, and quite a few attractions that kids will love, from natural areas to manmade options like waterparks. Explore your options in St Barts villa rentals or luxury Turks and Caicos vacation rental options to see just what’s available.