Jul
01

Epic Places to Visit in Europe with Kids

Planning a trip to Europe with kids? Wondering where in Europe should you take your kids too? We’ve got you covered!

Culturally diverse, historically rich, and achingly scenic, Europe is one continent that allows you to tick many countries off your bucket list in a single trip.

We have traveled to about 15 countries in Europe with our daughter and loved each one of them. There’s no way you can ever get enough of this beautiful continent.

We wanted to compile a list of the best places to visit in Europe with kids for so long but couldn’t because we are yet to discover many of the amazing European destinations.

We, thus, asked the seasoned family travel bloggers to recommend their favorite kid-friendly European country or city, to fill in the gaps of places we haven’t visited in Europe yet.

Here we bring you the inspiring list of the best places to visit in Europe to help you plan the best European vacation with family.

Best Places to Visit in Europe with Kids

Our list of the kid-friendly destinations in Europe includes the cities and countries that have been rated the best for a family holiday time and again. These destinations welcome their little guests with loads of love and care.

Tip: To save on sightseeing, always book well in advance and buy the tourist discount cards or passes most European cities offer.

Vienna, Austria

Time and again ranked as one of the best cities to live in the world, Vienna is amazingly family-friendly. Kids are sure to have fun in a city that houses the world’s oldest zoo, Schönbrunn Zoo as well as the world’s oldest amusement park, Prater.

Plus, the museums in Vienna are super kid-friendly. Zoom Children’s Museum, Chocolate Museum, and Museum of Technology are the best of the lot.

Spanish Riding School, Aqua Terra Zoo, Butterfly House, and Time Travel Vienna are a few of the endless fun things to do in Vienna with kids.

We recommend staying in the heart of the city that really gives you time to pause and relax which is really needed while traveling with kids. Hotel Altstadt Vienna is one of the best hotels in Vienna city center.

schönbrunn palace and gardens vienna austria

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen tops our list of favorite European cities to discover with kids. The Danish capital is just so right for families. Effortless.

Fairytale castles packed with 6,000-year-old history, colorful Nyhavn, unique urban spaces, and an overwhelming range of child-friendly museums that gives free entry to children – you’ll never run out of things to do with kids in a city where Hans Christian Anderson’s tales come alive.

Hey! And I saved the best for the last 😉 Your children are going to love you for taking them to Tivoli Gardens, a second-oldest operating amusement park in the world. Let them whoop it up at the tallest carousel in the world, Star Flyer.

citizenM Copenhagen Radhuspladsen located conveniently in the heart of the city is a perfect family-friendly hotel in Copenhagen.

kids having fun on the streets of Copenhagen

Rovaniemi, Finland

Rovaniemi is literally one of the special places in the world to visit with kids. Did you know Rovaniemi is the official hometown of the kids’ favorite – The Santa Claus?

You can’t even imagine how fab it feels when you meet the man in red himself. It’s an exhilarating experience for kids and kids-at-heart.

Other bucket-list worthy experience in Finnish Lapland is crossing the Arctic Circle! You even get a certificate that authenticates your achievement. It makes for a perfect souvenir to take back home.

Lapland is a wonderland no matter what season you visit and how old your kids are. Finnish Lapland in summer offers the warmth of the Midnight Sun while it gives you other-worldly Aurora Borealis (northern lights) in winter.

The capital of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi unfolds the magic in a way that kids refuse to leave it 🙂

Book a Glass Resort if you visit Rovaniemi in winter and Santa Claus Holiday Village if you plan a trip to Rovaniemi in summer.

kids met santa claus in santa claus village in rovaniemi finnish lapland

Turku, Finland

Lying on Finland’s southwest coast is Turku, the oldest city in Finland. Founded in the 13th century, the city was once Finland’s capital although little remains from its founding years; Turku has survived some 30 fires over the course of its history but many of its original buildings were destroyed.

Nevertheless, this is a pretty city and one rich in history. There are lots of things to do in Turku and you can easily fill several days here.

Favorites include Turku Castle, the city’s most famous attractions. This castle is over 700-years-old and is filled with stories of daring escapes, treacherous families and romantic promises – not to mention the ghosts that reportedly prowl the corridors!

Turku Market Hall is another must-see. Dating back to 1896, this market hall is filled with food stalls and restaurants and is a fantastic place to come for lunch or to pick up some fresh produce for dinner. Some of the family-run stalls, such as the butcher, has been here since the market hall first opened.

If you visit during the summer months then you should hire a Låna electric boat and cruise along the Aura River, which runs through the heart of the city. And, of course, when you visit Turku you must say hello to the Moomins.

This Finnish city is the gateway to magical Moominworld, Finland’s most famous residents! Located in the neighboring town of Naantali, Moominworld is a glorious celebration of Tove Jansson’s loveable characters.

Contributed by Katja from Globetotting

turku finland best places to visit in europe with kids
Pic courtesy: Globetotting

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, the cultural capital of Spain is the perfect place in Europe for a family vacation. Think of the gorgeous Prussian blue sea, the delicious Mediterranean food, Gothic architecture, beautiful parks, and a plethora of fun activities.

The funicular ride to Tibidabo amusement park, one of the oldest in the world perched atop the Tibidabo hill is something kids will certainly enjoy. The rides in the park are few but quite unique. The views are spectacular. Next, you can chill out in the Barceloneta beach – the most happening beach I have ever been to.

There’s a huge Columbus welcoming you, talented sand artists, amazing dancers, sea-cruises and much more. Check out the modern art installations in the bustling Rambla del Mar while splurging in the street markets. Barcelona is also a city of great history, that can be experienced especially in the old Barcelona.

The Gothic Quarter, Gaudi’s monuments, Roman walls, Sagrada Familia, and Park Guell are some of the unmissable attractions of Barcelona. You can book the Montjuic cable car experience from Barceloneta and then visit the national art museum at the hill-top. Families will also enjoy the hop-on hop-off bus tour.

It’s also an easy way to get oriented with this great city. If you love football, then I don’t need to mention the famous Barcelona FC stadium Camp Nou. You can book a tour of the stadium as well. If you have more than 3 days in Barcelona, you can include day trips to historic towns like Girona. You can stay at Hotel W for the perfect luxury experience by the sea.

Contributed by Sinjana from Backpack n Explore

mount Tibidabo Amusement park barcelona spain

Seville, Spain

Seville is an amazing location to travel with kids. We visited with our three pre-teens and not only did we enjoy 3 days in Seville, but the city is also a great destination if you want to do day trips to explore more of Spain.

As a family of five, we usually prefer to stay in local apartments rather than hotels. It gives us the space we need along with the option to eat breakfast ‘at home’. In Seville, we had a little bit of both worlds! Sevilla Plaza Suites is an aparthotel located just 10 minutes from the Seville Cathedral. It has space for our family and a washer dryer available. Beyond this, the view of the Cathedral from the rooftop terrace is absolutely stunning!

We‘re huge proponents of hiring local guides when we travel and our visit to Seville wouldn’t have been the same without Not Just a Tourist. We had several guides during our visit and each and everyone was wonderful with the kids. We used their services for a walking tour, a tapas tour (which the kids loved!) and a day trip to Cadiz and Jerez as well as a guided transport from Seville to Granada.

On to the good stuff! What to actually do in Seville! The Royal Alcazar of Seville dates back to Moorish times. The curved, keyhole entryways and beautiful ceramic decoration are so unique and the gardens are spacious and fun to explore.

Nearby is the Seville Cathedral. Kids love being able to see the tomb of Christopher Columbus and climbing the ramp to the top of the Giralda (the tower). Wander closer to the waterfront to visit the Torre de Oro (Seville’s maritime museum) and the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería, Seville’s bullring.

The Torre de Oro has models of each of Columbus’ ships and Seville’s bullring offers tours where kids can visit the grounds of the ring and explore a museum showing the history of bullfighting in Seville.

And if you want to experience the Spanish culture first hand, then do plan to stay at one of the many historic hotels in Spain, called the Paradores.

Contributed by Joanne from Sunsets and Rollercoasters

Torre de Oro Seville Spain best places to visit in the europe with kids

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is a big city, but somehow it’s not as famous as its counterparts in the Netherlands or France. But nevertheless, Brussels has some beautiful gems and mustn’t be missed, plus Brussels is super kid-friendly!

The comic culture of Brussels is something not very well-known to the world. Did you know Belgium is the birthplace of Tintin & Smurfs? Brussels has a dedicated Comic Strip Route (BD-Parcours), which is a map of all the murals in the city.

Honestly, it is so extensive that it cannot be finished in one day! Esp., the ceiling mural of Smurfs close to Brussels Central station is extensive and so gorgeous that my toddler prefers to just stay beneath it for more than 15 mins, adoring & describing each & every part of the mural!!!

Apart from the murals, there are 2 museums dedicated to comics, in Brussels – the Museum of Original Figurines (MoOF) and Comic Strip Centre. Comic Strip Centre is an absolute delight to go with my gal. There are huge blow-ups of comic strips, of course, in the local language, French. There are life-sized play areas, puzzles, games, and photo-spots for kids and it’s just freaking awesome to be there with toddlers!!!

MoOF has limited edition figurines of comic characters over the last century!!! I had fond memories of Nintendos and other ‘naive’ hand-held game consoles of my childhood! There were working models of a few of these games and I guess I loved it more than my kid!

It is easy to reach all of these places by public transport. Brussels is well connected by metro, tram & bus. Just in the outskirts of Brussels is yet another museum dedicated to the life & works Herge, the creator of Tintin.

Contributed by Bhushavali from My Travelogue by Bhushavali

comic strip route brussels belgium
Pic courtesy: My Travelogue by Bhushavali

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

I live in Amsterdam with my two half-British, half-Australian kids and not only do I think it’s a great place to live with young children but it also follows that I think it’s a fantastic holiday destination for families too.

Amsterdam is what I like to call a “big little city”. It’s small (and flat!) enough to get around easily by foot (or bike if you want to join the locals), but if you have walking-adverse children (like my four-year-old) then Amsterdam’s public transport is reliable, safe and affordable too making that part of the adventure for young kids.

In fact, one of my most recommended things to do with kids in Amsterdam is hopping on the free ferries that take you from Centraal Station to Amsterdam Noord, a fun up-coming part of Amsterdam that older kids will like for the street art and younger ones for the boat spotting opportunities.

Many children may possibly be familiar with like the story of Anne Frank and if you plan on visiting Anne Frank House with children (or not!) you definitely need to book your tickets in advance as only 20% are available on the day to buy online (and the rest are released two months in advance).

There are also other fantastic museums for children in Amsterdam like NEMO Science Museum (which also has great views over the city from its rooftop) and the nearby Maritime Museum where kids can explore a real pirate ship.

Amsterdam is also a very outdoorsy city and you will find kids’ playgrounds scattered around neighborhoods and most schools keep their playgrounds open at weekends so other kids can play on them too.

Also, don’t forget to take a self-guided or curated food tour of Amsterdam to sample the local delicacies.

In terms of places to stay with children, Amsterdam’s hotel rooms can be notoriously expensive and small, especially in the center of the city so I always recommend looking at staying outside of the Red Light District and three main ring canals in order to find well-known hotel brands that have family rooms or options like NH Collection, Marriott and Novotel Hotels.

I would also recommend thinking about staying in a self-catering apartment because you’ll likely get (a lot!) more space for your money and you will be located in family-friendly neighborhoods rather than the busy center of Amsterdam.

Try Airbnb to find family-friendly apartments in pretty neighborhoods in Amsterdam.

Contributed by Frankie from As the Bird Flies Blog

Bubbles in Museumplein Amsterdam Netherlands
Pic courtesy: As the Bird Flies Blog

There are many other experiences you can add to your Amsterdam bucket list to explore the best of this beautiful capital city of the Netherlands.

Wassenaar, the Netherlands

Wassenaar is a small photogenic Dutch town, perfect for a family holiday. It is located a handy 30-minute drive from the Hook of Holland Ferry Port, and a cycle ride from the center of The Hague. You enter the town by way of Millionaires’ Row, a leafy avenue lined with impressive mansions, owned by wealthy Hague diplomats.

With its tiny cobbles, traditional Dutch buildings, and pedestrianized walkways, the town is both charming and family-friendly. Colorful pancake shops serve this traditional Dutch fare under pretty awnings. A firm favorite is the ice-cream shop in the center, with its outdoor seating area where you can watch the world go by. To complete the picture, the town comes, of course, with its own windmill.

Whilst in Holland, you may want to hire bikes and take a family cycle ride to the lovely Wassennaar beach, fringed with an array of wooden-decked café bars. Some even come with their own trampoline, perfect for entertaining the children while the adults relax on cushioned sofas on the sand.

Staying at Duinrell holiday park, 500m from the town center is what makes this one of the best family holiday destinations. It has its own woodland funfair and indoor/outdoor water park.  You are twirled around the skies in a Dutch themed windmill ride and roller coasters whisk you between the trees.

There are watersides for tubing and, for the brave, a trap door ride which opens to send you vertically down its chute.  Find out more about staying in the park and our day trip to Amsterdam here.

A traditional Dutch town with fairs, water parks and beaches on hand, Wassenaar literally has it all for a fun-filled family holiday. We loved it so much we are going again next summer, and taking 2 more families with us.

Contributed by Helen from Holidays from Hels

wassenaar netherlands

Rome, Italy

If you are looking for a wonderful city to explore with your kids during your vacation in Europe, then Rome may just be the place.

Famous for incredible history, gorgeous art, and delicious food, Rome may not come to mind as a quintessential child-friendly place, however, after very many family trips there, we can guarantee it has a lot to offer to families with kids of all ages!

The best things to do in Rome with kids are a mix of sightseeing and kids’ attractions. Among Rome’s must-see sites, the Colosseum is always a hit with our children, with its gory story of gladiators and emperors and the Vatican is fun for them too. 

They get a kick when they walk across the State line between Italy and Vatican City and the record-breaking dome and basilica always get a wow.

To make the most of both attractions, I highly recommend you book a family tour: The Pink Umbrella tour of the Colosseum and the Rome4kids tour of the Vatican were our favorite. 

When you need a break from sightseeing, you can join local families in one of Rome’s many parks and playgrounds or visit the lovely Explora, Rome’s children’s museum. 

This is a wonderful place for a rainy afternoon and one our kids adore: there is a soft area for under 3s and lots and lots of installations and games for primary school children and even teenagers. 

To make the most of your family time in Rome, I highly recommend you pick accommodation in the historical center.

The area around the Pantheon, in particular, puts you walking distance from main attractions and within easy reach of restaurants and shops. We love Le Clarisse al Pantheon,  a well-priced place with family rooms and apartments in a perfect location.

Contributed by Marta from Mama Loves Rome

rome with kids best places to visit in europe with kids
Pic courtesy: Mama Loves Rome

Tuscany, Italy

Italy is a favorite destination for families and Tuscany is a region that has a wealth of options for your entire crew. From exploring hilltop villages to countryside activities and beach time, you’ll find something to please everyone in Tuscany.

Do your children love art and culture? Then head to Florence. The Renaissance city is overflowing with masterpieces by famous artists like Michelangelo and Raphael. Visit the galleries or simply wander around the city admiring its many statues and fountains.

Break up your day with a ride on the vintage carousel in Piazza Della Republicca or a run through the Boboli Gardens. Families that prefer outdoor activities should consider Lucca as an alternative base. The walls of this pretty medieval city have been converted into a huge park.

You can rent bikes to explore the walls and the mainly car-free historic center. Pisa is a short train ride or a drive away so you can take some fun family snaps with the famous leaning tower. 

The hills of Tuscany are the perfect base for exploring the countryside. Choose an agriturismo or farm stay like Fattoria San Donato near picturesque San Gimignano and you can spend the morning going horse riding or hiking and your afternoons by the pool relaxing.

If you’re beach lovers, the Tuscan coastline is relatively undiscovered by tourists and is full of treasures too. Here you will find white sand beaches, national parks, and pretty fishing villages. Larger resorts like Viareggio and Forte Dei Marmi are favorites with Italians and you’ll find plenty of fun, games and beach clubs there.

When it is time to eat you’re sure to find some of the best pasta and pizza you’ve ever tasted. And let’s not forget your daily gelato. Maybe two. After all, you’re on vacation.

Contributed By Katy Clark from Untold Italy

tuscany italy best places to visit in europe with kids

Sardinia, Italy

Among the things to do in Sardinia, plenty will easily be your kids’ favorite activities. The Italian island is surrounded by a gorgeous coastline, and while not all beaches are safe to go with children, many are such as Putzu Idu and S’Archittu in Oristano province.

Putzu Idu, in particular, is fantastic as the water remains very low for many meters so kids can play without danger. For as much as the beaches are one of the favorite playgrounds for kids from all over the world, Sardinia has plenty of other things to do.

Such as taking your kids to some archaeological sites like the Nuraghe Losa near Ghilarza, the Roman thermal baths of Fordongianus, the Phoenician Tharros near Cabras or Santa Cristina sacred well near Paulilatino.

If you are traveling to Sardinia during Carnival time, visit towns like Oristano for the Sartiglia, a spectacular acrobatic horse vaulting performed by masked riders, or Mamoiada, where the ancient masks of the Mamuthones enchant adults and kids dancing their ancient ritual along the streets.

For great fun, there are plenty of water parks all over the island, such as Aquadream in the exclusive Costa Smeralda, or Aquafantasy in Sassari province.

If your children enjoy nature, you can explore magical places like the Burgos forest in central Sardinia or the gorgeous Giara plateau where you will see the rare horses native of the island that didn’t evolve and stayed smaller than the horses we know today.

A lovely place to stay with kids in Sardinia would be an agriturismo, which is a traditional house usually with a farm that includes accommodation and a place to eat.

One that we know very nice is Archelao Agriturismo near Oristano. They are immersed in nature and they have animals such as cows, goats, donkeys and sheep, a playground and a delicious restaurant.

Contributed by Angela from Chasing the Unexpected

Giara plateau sardinia italy
Pic courtesy: Chasing the Unexpected

Nervi, Italy

Nervi is a small up-market residential town in Genova, Italy. It boasts of a seaside; not with beaches but rocky cliffs. This saves the sea from unending rows of sun umbrellas, a crowd of sunbathing people and horde of tourists. However, a two-kilometer promenade called Passagiata Anita Garibaldi along its coastal side more than compensates for the beach.

We stayed at Savoia & Savoia apartments which is set in a private park. It has its own swimming pool and overlooks the promenade and sea. The train station, sea, and promenade are just five minutes’ distance from here. You can access the sea from the promenade at many places through stairs. Kids love climbing up and down these stairs.

On a day just after a stormy sea-day, they love going down in cliffs to find the puddles lodged by the sea in rocks. Parchi di Nervi can be easily reached from the promenade. Kids love it for running freely and cycling. It is a big park spread in 22 acres with a lovely lawn, many exotic trees and lovelier it is in spring when thousands of roses bloom in its rose garden.

A railway track underneath divides the park in two and a bridge connects it. Kids run to be on the bridge whenever a train came across to look at the train changing the tracks. A walk on the promenade and playing in the park increases the appetite.

It is best satiated at a few kiosks on the promenade, offering good Italian gelato and Focaccia and Pasta with pesto, a specialty of Genoese Cuisine. You can also take kids to Cinque Terre for a trek. There is a direct train from Nervi to Corniglia which takes only an hour.

Kids can also do the sailing course with the Italian Sailing Federation and the kayaking course. Simply watching kids take kayaking and sailing course is also fun. While kids do not like museums much, they do like the drawing workshop at the Museum of Nervi.

Contributed by Jaishree from Manish Jaishree

parchi di nervi genoa italy

Ireland

Ireland is one of the most family-friendly countries in Europe and no matter where you visit in the
country, you will always find cool and fun things to do in Ireland with kids. From Dublin to Galway and Cork to Limerick, each city has a wealth of family fun things to do.

Ireland is steeped in history too and in every major city, you’ll find castles and historical sites to visit. Some of the best castles are in the Republic, or the South and many of them have interactive displays to keep kids entertained.

Some, like Bunratty Castle, even have extensive grounds with folk parks, fairy gardens and more so if the main attraction isn’t for them, the grounds certainly will be. Many cities within Ireland are also hosting to other interesting things for kids and their families. In Cork, you will find Blackrock Castle. While yes, it is a castle, it is also home to an observatory.

In Dublin, you will find an abundance of things to do with kids such as Dublinia where you can learn about Dublin’s history, there is a Children’s Museum that kids will love, and Explorium, a science museum dedicated to kids. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Head west and you can visit the quaint town of Galway before heading to see the famous Cliffs of
Moher.

Want to see some Game of Thrones filming locations? Head to Northern Ireland, and while you are there explore Belfast, which has lots to keep little ones and their families entertained.

While you could join guided tours, to really explore Ireland, hire a car and go where the wind takes you. It gives you the freedom to stop wherever takes your fancy and you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to picture taking.

Contributed by Cath from Passports and Adventures

cliffs of moher doolin irealnd

Iceland

Iceland was always on our radar but we had put it off for years thinking it would be an expensive holiday. When we found very cheap flights to Reykjavik one day, our curiosity got the better of us. It turns out that whilst Iceland can be expensive, you can also do Iceland on a budget.

Visiting Iceland with the kids has been one of the best family holidays we have had. We spent all day, every day outside exploring and the best part was that almost everything we did was free. The highlights for us were Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and neighboring Diamond Beach in the south near Hofn, the incredible waterfalls of Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Skogafoss and climbing the Gerduberg cliffs on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

If you love the great outdoors, then you will love Iceland. If you ask our kids what their favorite thing was though, they will no doubt say it was the swimming pools. Everyone hears about the hot springs in Iceland, which are definitely worth visiting, but our kids loved the municipal pools.

The pools (both indoor and outdoor) are also heated geothermally but with slides, saunas and jacuzzis. They are really social and a great way to meet locals.  We highly recommend Laugardalslaug in Reykjavik (under 5 free, 5-17 years are £1) and the pool in Hvolsvollur (under 12s free).

We also recommend hiring a car and visiting these places yourself. Not only will it save you money but it will give you much more flexibility which is so important when traveling with kids.

If you’re basing yourself in Reykjavik, we can highly recommend Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura which has great and reasonably priced family rooms and plenty of parking space.

Contributed by Jacquie Hale from Flashpacking Family

Gerduberg Cliffs Iceland Europe with kids

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece is a bustling city with so many wonderful things for families to explore and experience.  The historical sights within this city can easily take up your whole trip.  Do your kids love gaining more knowledge about the Greek Gods and Goddesses?

You will easily find a temple, statue, garden, or museum on all of them.  At Mommy And Me Travels we always recommend starting with the most famous of all the landmarks, Acropolis Of Athens. From almost anywhere in the city, you will see this magnificent site rising above all others. 

If you are like us, once you finish hiking all over Acropolis Hill, you will be looking for something to eat or at least a snack.  Don’t miss finding your favorite restaurant among the many delicious places on Restaurant Row.

You can easily find this massive amount of choices by walking down several flights of stairs or jumping into a cab.  Looking to soak up the sun on a beach day?  Jump on the bus and head just outside of town to Sounion. Here you will be able to play along the beach and also visit the Temple of Poseidon as it towers over the sea.

Athens, Greece is definitely a spot that you and your family should spend some time in when starting your tour around Greece.

Contributed by Tiffany from Mommy and Me Travels

parthenon on the acropolis athenes greece best places to visit in europe with kids

Crete, Greece

The Greek island of Crete is a fantastic family holiday destination thanks to its varied attractions, beaches, hotels, and restaurants. Being the largest of Greece’s islands, Crete offers something for everyone, so whether you’re a family interested in hiking in nature, exploring archaeological sites, chilling on the beach or shopping and eating out in metropolitan towns, Crete will have you covered!

Crete not only has a number of family-specific tourist attractions such as the aquarium in Heraklion, Water-City, and Aqua World, but it also has some interesting historical sites and museums that kids absolutely love. Whether they’re discovering the Knossos ruins, exploring the Venetian fortress or enjoying interactive exhibits at the Natural History Museum, your children are sure to be both learning and having an incredible vacation.

Of course, a family holiday isn’t just about keeping the kids busy, though, but thankfully Crete has a whole host of beautiful beaches that are perfect for both adults and children. Beaches such as Elafonisi, Bali, Vaï, Kato Gouves and Paleohora feature shallow waters and intriguing coves and lagoons that will ensure the whole family is relaxed, happy and entertained.

Most of the beaches also offer sunbeds and parasols, restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy drinks, meals and ice creams and a handful of souvenir shops, so there’s everything you need on hand for a good day out.

Whether you choose to stay in one of the larger towns such as Heraklion or Chania or opt for one of the resort regions such as Elounda, you’ll have plenty to do to ensure you have a great trip. Hiring a car offers you the most flexibility as a family as you’ll be able to move between attractions, towns, and beaches at your leisure.

Contributed by Chrysoula from Travel Passionate

balos lagoon gramvousa island crete greece

Malta

There’s no denying that a visit to this Mediterranean island is almost guaranteed to include awesome experiences, fine food, friendly locals, beautiful landscapes, and a good mix of cultures and languages. There are also a whole lot of things to do in Malta.

Fortunately, it is a destination that is ideally suited for families. As one of the safest countries in the world, it made exploring the country as a family a welcome experience. Malta is a year-round destination even while the rest to Europe experiences less than ideal conditions, particularly during the winter months.

Don’t miss a visit to Valetta, Mdina, Balutta Bay, and the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk. Public transportation is cheap and well suited to get around to most parts on the island. Due to its strategic location in the center of the Mediterranean, the region has a rich past and is ideal for history lovers.

Adventurous families will enjoy exploring the coastal areas, swimming in the cool waters, or partaking in the numerous activities on offer at any time of the year. Expect to find a wide variety of accommodation options, including a sufficient amount of family-focused places.

Famed for its character and points of interest, the island comprises interesting places and is well worth taking the time to get to.

Contributed by Rai from A Rai of Light

Valetta Malta with kids

Krakow, Poland

One of the best family holiday destinations in Europe is Krakow in the south of Poland by the Czech border, which has a lot of attractions that are suited for different types of tourists, especially children.

Krakow has an atmosphere that captures the imagination of children with the winding cobblestone streets of the Old Town and the fairytale appeal of Wawel Castle with its underground limestone caves where a dragon once lived.

Watch their eyes pop open when the spot the bronze dragon sculpture at the cave’s exit. What makes it even cooler is that it breathes fire every few minutes. Take note that this passage can only be accessed from April to October, the ideal time to visit Krakow.

Add to the magic by packing some snacks with you and going on a stroll down the Vistula River from the cave exit, then complete the story by taking your children on a 20-minute carriage ride around the Old Town.

Another fantastic attraction is the Rynek Underground Museum, where touch-screen holographic exhibits and automated puppets will show what Krakow was like 100 years ago. The same museum even has an 11-century cemetery, where vampire prevention burials were once conducted to ensure that the unliving will not rise from their graves.

In Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter of Krakow, are museums that offer both fun and learning to children, like the Ethnographic Museum, where they can walk around a 19th-century Polish classroom and take a look at the colorful folk costumes and instruments on display. Another must-visit in this area is the Museum of Municipal Engineering, where there are many interactive hands-on exhibits.

To have a hassle-free experience in Krakow, the best accommodation for your family should be close to the city center. Just below the castle is the Sheraton Hotel, which will literally put the city at your doorstep. Another well-recommended family hotel is the DoubleTree which is 1.6 kilometers from the Polish Aviation Museum and has a swimming pool, where you and your family can relax after a long day of sightseeing.

Contributed by Karolina Klesta from Lazy Travel Blog

beautiful city of krakow poland

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is one of the best places to visit on a family holiday in Portugal. And that is because there are hundreds of things here that you can do enjoy doing with your kids. I traveled to Lisbon with my 7-year-old and he really enjoyed riding Lisbon’s antique trams, getting on top of the São Jorge Castle, spotting stories on blue tiles and eating delicious Portuguese desserts.

The trams and funiculars of Lisbon are a must-do when you are in the city with your kids. Tram #28 is quite popular with tourists but crowded. If you are looking for some peaceful time with your family, ride Tram #24 instead. Equally rickety and picturesque but much less crowded. You can also walk over an aqueduct in Lisbon.

Now, that is not something you can do everywhere else, can you? The Águas Livres Aqueduct in Armoreira is a lesser-known UNESCO heritage site and offers panoramic views of Lisbon.

If your kids are curious about old vehicles, head to the National Coach Museum in Belem. Gilded horse-drawn carriages, opulent wagons, and tiny bogies for kids of royal families will keep the young minds enthralled.

Lisbon is also surrounded by some of the best beaches in Portugal. Carcavelos and Cascais are close by and easy to get to by public transport.

When in Lisbon with kids, it is always a good idea to stay close to the city center so that you can minimize your travel time. There are lots of family-friendly hotels and apartments in Lisbon. And most of them serve the delicious Pasteis de Nata for breakfast! More reason to visit Lisbon with your family.

Contributed by Soumya from Stories by Soumya

tram on the roads of Lisbon portugal

Porto, Portugal

Porto, nestled on the banks of the Douro River in Portugal, is famous for its port houses. But putting port quaffing aside, it’s also a fantastic place for a family holiday. We enjoyed a great few days exploring the city and its environs.

From the center, catch a vintage tram to the coast – the seaside resort of Foz, with its rocky beaches and palm-fringed promenades, is just a 30-minute ride away.

For kids, Porto is an easy city to explore and one that’s fun to get around. Catch a cable car at the quay or jump in a tuk-tuk for a city tour. For Harry Potter fans, Porto boasts the bookshop that inspired J K Rowling – the Livraria Lello with its wooden staircases curving to the ceiling, reminiscent of Olivander’s Wand Shop.

We joined a food tour with Taste Porto. It took us on tastings around the city, from sardines to chocolate, a unique way to explore Porto and very popular with my children. You can book a food tour with Taste Porto here.

World of Discoveries is an interactive museum, great for younger children, bringing to life the history of Portuguese exploration of the globe.

Kids can try on suits of armor, lie down on bunks and take a boat ride through lands that Portuguese adventurers discovered. For a shot of Porto life, stroll under Dom Luis bridge and along the Cais Ribeira for street entertainers and pavement cafes. For families, Porto has so much to explore and, after a day’s sightseeing, don’t forget to try the port!

Where we stayed: Flores Boutique Hotel and Spa – perfectly positioned in a beautiful house in the old quarter, the hotel has a rooftop garden with great views and a small basement spa pool as well as family rooms. 

Contributed by Josie from Where Jo Goes

sunset in porto portugal

Sintra, Portugal

Just 40 minutes outside of Lisbon by train lies the most magical place in Europe: Sintra, Portugal. A former playground for Portuguese royalty turned Unesco World Heritage Site, Sintra is ideal for families with kids of all ages.

From colorful palaces to medieval fortresses to more modern Alice in Wonderland-style gardens, you can easily have a fairytale day trip or long weekend exploring Sintra. 

Disney princess and prince fans will love Pena National Palace, a pastel palace perched atop a hill, as regal as they come. Kids interested in play battles will love the medieval Castle of the Moors, featuring stairs on the exterior wall, so you can literally storm the castle!

And no trip to Sintra is complete without a visit to the enigmatic Quinta da Regaleira, where families can play hide and seek through a maze of towers and hidden tunnels. A favorite secret tunnel of ours was behind the garden’s waterfall. A map provided on entry shows all of the tunnel and tower locations. 

While there’s a lot of ground to cover, Sintra has great options for getting around. Multiple in-town buses loop to all of the main sites and back through the main town square. Bike taxis are also a fun way to travel between the sites. Anyone who feels ambitious can walk or hike from the palace to the palace.

Contributed by Mari from Mari on the Map

pena national palace sintra portugal

Madeira, Portugal

The tropical Atlantic island of Madeira is underrated as a European family holiday destination. The small island has a lot to offer families who prefer an active holiday.

The pretty capital, Funchal, offers ornate cathedrals, decorated churches, interesting museums and several city parks to visit. Football fans will love CR7, the harbor front museum dedicated to a locally born icon, Cristiano Ronaldo. Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring the colorful plants and winding walkways of Monte Tropical Gardens which can be accessed by a scenic cable car ride from Funchal.

Choose to ride the famous wicker toboggans back to the city center, a short but thrilling ride expertly guided by straw-hatted Carreiros. Madeira has a couple of artificial sandy beaches but what the island lacks in beaches it makes up for in family-friendly seawater pools and lidos, many of which are set against the backdrop of dramatic cliffs such as the pools at Porto Moniz.

Families can visit small, charming villages, explore the caves and volcano exhibition at Sao Vicente and learn about Madeiran culture at Santana Theme Park. Test your family’s head for heights on the glass floor viewing platform at the highest sea cliffs in Europe at Cabo Girao.

Hikers from all over the world flock to Madeira to walk the famous irrigation channels, the Levadas, which criss-cross the island and there are several family-friendly routes to choose from. Our kids loved the views, the tranquility on the hikes, the plunging waterfalls and the chance to trek through pitch-black tunnels over 1 kilometer long!

Contributed by Sinead from Map Made Memories

Ponta de São Lourenço Madeira Portugal

Arosa, Switzerland

Arosa (Switzerland) is the perfect destination for families. It is nota s packed with people as other better-known Swiss resorts, and yet it offers the same incredible alpine scenery and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures.

It is located in the Graubunden canton, not far from St. Moritz. The highlight is certainly the Bear Sanctuary, which opened in 2018, to give a home in appropriate conditions to bears rescued from chains and mistreatments.

From a comfortable viewing platform, we waited under 5 minutes before the first bear was in sight: imposing and mild-looking., He stood there in front of us, oblivious of everyone, eating blueberries as if there was no tomorrow. Nearby you can find a game of bear-themed miniature golf and playground.

The playground is the trailhead of a path leading down to Arosa and allows kids to take part in a scavenger hunt, with a prize to collect from the tourist office in town. Still talking of bears, another big (and fake) one can be found on top of Mount Weisshorn, 2653 meters above sea level, which you can reach by cable car. It’s the Wishing Bear and it’s all covered with blue and yellow ribbons. The 360-degrees panorama from up there is amazing.

Arosa offers many hiking trails, of all levels – and some of them are accessible with strollers. One of them is the Squirrels Trail, which starts behind the train station. You will meet plenty of hungry squirrels along the path, looking for opportunities to be fed from a gentle kid’s hand. An almond did the trick for my son, and he is still raving about it.

Finally, one last recommendation: daredevil kids should not miss the adventure park (Seilpark) behind the Coop supermarket. The minimum age is 4 years old so that even kids shorter under 140 cm can have fun. There are two “rope routes” for them, one particularly challenging. Adrenalin rush guaranteed.

Contributed by Augusta from Mini Me Explorer

Beautiful town of Arosa Switzerland

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most sought after destinations in Central and Eastern Europe and one that’s increasingly popular with families too! Even Prague locals themselves don’t retreat to their homes once they start a family, but often keep doing the same things they’ve enjoyed pre-kids, such as going to cafés.

Café-hopping has thus become children-friendly too and there are many cafés that even feature the kids playing area. For example Café Mistral in the Old Town, Le Caveau in the Vinohrady district or Café Jedna in the Holešovice district (in the same building as the National Gallery).

Special outdoor playing areas (often featuring sandpits) can be found in most residential districts, rather further from the very city center. A big playground is located at Vyšehrad, a hill of the same name and the seat of the first Czech kings with a stunning Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul.

The playground is themed and includes large wooden carved statues. A good area for kids to run around freely is also the Kasárna Karlín, a former barracks in the Karlín district. You can find a large sandpit, plenty of kid-friendly activities, a small exhibition space, and a little café.

Older children will be thrilled at the Karel Zeman Film Museum of Special Effects. Karel Zeman was a pioneer of special film effects in the ’50s to the ’70s. The museum is interactive and is great fun and learning experience in one.

Apartments are the best places to stay for a family since they tend to have more rooms and you can even cook a little something if needed. You can find those on Airbnb and Booking.com. With that being said, most luxury hotels are family-friendly too and even offer a babysitting service – check out e.g. the Hilton Prague Old Town Hotel.

Contributed by Veronika from Travel Geekery

Ducks in a lake prague with kids

Dordogne, France

One of our favorite places to visit in Europe is the Dordogne region of France. This beautiful area is located north of Toulouse and east of Bordeaux and features winding rivers, cliffside villages, and historic attractions. There is an abundance of outdoor activities for families, castles, and more.

There are many things to do in Dordogne with kids, but one of our favorite things to do is canoeing on the Dordogne river. Families can cruise along the river and admire villages and castles along the way. It’s an easy adventure, and buses pick you up at the end and transport you back to your vehicle.

If you have a castle lover in the group, don’t miss Chateau de Beynac and Chateau de Castelnaud. The latter has a fascinating museum of war and life-size trebuchet kids will love. Spend some time strolling the charming towns of Sarlat and La Roque Gages. Head to Lascaux IV to see re-creations of the original Lascaux cave paintings which are over 20,000 years old.

And if kids need somewhere to get out their energy, head to the Gardens of Marqueyssac, with its hedge mazes and interactive exhibits for children. We highly recommend staying in a local gite that allows access to all of the sights. Le Chevrefeuille offers a bed and breakfast as well as self-catering apartments.

The hosts, Ian and Sarah, offer superb hospitality and delicious meals, as well as a spectacular accommodation that is centrally located for all the Dordogne, has to offer.

Contributed by Kirsten from Kids are a Trip

Chateau de Castelnaud dordogne france

Munich, Germany

Apart from being one of the best places to visit in Bavaria, Munich has always been among the most family-friendly destinations in the whole of Europe. Vast open spaces, a vibrant city center, world-class museums, and plenty of tall towers to climb – Munich has a plethora of things for kids of every age.

I would highly recommend starting with a tour of the Marienplatz, the historic city center of Munich. This is a pedestrian zone where you can find lots of fresh pretzels and ice-cream. This is also where you can watch a free show of the Rathaus-Glockenspiel – a huge mechanized clock that comes to life every day with a wedding dance and a jousting match.

Close by is the Viktualenmarkt, an open-air market that sells everything from fresh fruits and cold meat to garden decorations.

If you are looking for somewhere to burn off those extra calories, head to the Englischer Garten with its beautiful pools, open fields, and picturesque walking trails. Also explore the Deutsches Museum, an absolute must-do for families in Munich.

The museum has a Kid’s Kingdom, special guided tours for children and a huge interactive collection that the kids can toy around with for hours.

And if that is not enough for your little ones, you can easily do day trips to Lake Königssee – Germany’s prettiest alpine lake, the Nymphenburg Palace – a Baroque mansion with splendid gardens, and Regensburg – a UNESCO heritage site that also houses the world’s oldest sausage kitchen and a large BMW plant. Yes, you can take do a tour of the car factory too!

Contributed by Soumya from Stories by Soumya

Nymphenburg Palace Munich Germany

Freiburg, Germany

After spending a year living in Freiburg, Germany, I would like to share with you why Freiburg is a perfect family holiday destination in Europe. The city offers so much from beautiful castles to stunning mountains that are easily accessible for a family. The overwhelming range of family-friendly things to do in Freiburg and its outdoorsy character makes for a great destination to visit with kids.

A ride up the funicular to Schlossberg promises beautiful views of the city. Seepark (Lake Park) is a great attraction, especially in the summer. You can take a dip in the lake or have a family picnic.

A short tram ride out of the city takes you to Mundenhof – a free animal park that’s great to have a walk around and is open all year round.

Once the family has had enough of Freiburg’s city center, the black forest is just on the doorstep. It’s fun for the whole family for an entire day. You can ride a cable car up Schauinsland or take a stroll through the woods in the summer or hit the sledding park in the snowy winter. You’d need cash to pay for your sled hire.

The black forest is home to a small water park on the lake Schluchsee that’s worth visiting during the summer. Furthermore, don’t forget to visit the alpine coaster, a fun activity for everyone in the family. The chairlift takes you to the top while the coaster brings you down. Young kids can ride with their parents.

I highly recommend renting a family-friendly apartment like this one. Alternatively, the Novotel Freiburg Am Konzerthaus has a great location if you prefer a hotel. It has breakfast options available too.

Contributed by Hannah from Hannahs Happy Adventures

freiburg germany

We sincerely hope this exhaustive list of the best places to visit in Europe with kids suggested by the experts has inspired you to add some of them to your Europe bucket list!

Get your Europe trip booked! Here are the resources we trust, use, and recommend to plan our own trips:

Booking.com and HotelsCombined – for hotel deals
Airbnb – alternative accommodation. Great for families. If you haven’t booked before, you’ll get a discount by clicking this link.)

Google Flights – for initial flight search.
Skyscanner – for cheap and best flight deals.
GetYourGuide, Viator, Klook, and TourRadar – for booking amazing tours and tickets in advance.
Rentalcars.com – for car rental needs.
TripAdvisor – for reviews
World Nomads – for travel insurance. It’s crucial. Please don’t travel without the one!

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epic places to visit in europe with kids

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