Best European Cities for Kids

The top 10 Cities in Europe for family breaks...

Vienna

Vienna with kids

Vienna has gone above and beyond to make itself child friendly. It offers excellent accommodation, a top class transportation system and some fantastic  family friendly restaurants. Schonbrunn Palace is wonderful for younger kids. It offers gardens, the world’s oldest zoo, a palace tour and the children’s museum. You will find yourself spending an entire day here. The Belvedere is a museum must on this trip and you can easily keep  older children entertained by picking up a special art detective book that allows them to embark on a scavenger hunt of sorts throughout the museum. Another ‘must do’ is the Prater Theme Park, the oldest amusement park in the world. Bogi Playground is the largest indoor playground in the world and if you are visiting in winter, it offers a break from being out in the cold. Chocolate lovers will adore the cuisine which includes schnitzel and ratatouille and of course the famous Sacher torte.  The Meridien Hotel is ideal for families set in a convenient location and it has a pool!

Lisbon

Lisbon with kids

Lisbon is super child friendly. Many restaurants offer a children’s only zone with games and amusements so that you can enjoy a meal and a bottle of wine. There is also a host of other family friendly activities. There are loads of beaches around Lisbon including Tamirez and Cascais and the surrounding coastline offers numerous family friendly resorts. You can also take the tramcar tour to explore the city. The largest castle in the land encourages kids to dive deep into the world of dungeons, dragons, kings and queens. The Lisbon Oceanarium has a host of underwater life and will enthral toddlers. The zoo is another great option for little ones. It can get very hot in Lisbon during the summer months. temperatures over 35 degrees would not be unheard of so do be sure to bring sun protection.  The Martinhal Lisbon Chiado Family Suites is pricey but offers family rooms, a kids club and a baby concierge where you can arrange to have your room stocked with all of your baby and toddler essentials such as potties, high chairs, sterilisers and more. 

Salzburg

Salzburg with kids

Visiting Salzburg with kids is ideal because it is a compact city and easily walkable. Most parents will recall the Sound of Music from childhood and this is the place to go if you love that movie. Oh and the kids will love Salzburg too! You can take a horse-drawn ride, singing Do Re Mi through the centre of the Old Town on a 25-minute tour from  Residenzplatz (although this might be embarrassing). If you really want to spoil the children, hop on a bus to the outskirts of Salzburg and visit Hellbrunn Palace, a 17th-century villa with fabulous gardens designed by Markus Sittikus von Honenems, Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. A tour of the water game-filled estate reveals this eccentric man to have been a practical joker determined to soak his guests. You will get wet but its great fun and kids will love it! Salzburg zoo is another great option for families. If you are travelling to Salzburg in the winter, the Christmas markets here are some of the best in the world. There is loads of family friendly accommodation in Salzburg. The Kinder Hotels located in the Countryside and just outside the city are great options for families offering kids clubs, creches, toys and baby food. 

Copenhagen

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Copenhagen is a family friendly city that will have you wanting to stay forever. The Blue Planet; Denmark’s national aquarium is the largest in Northern Europe and is sure to thrill kids and parents alike with their walls of water and over 20,000 animals. Copenhagen also has castles, a science centre, zoo, children’s museum and one of the world’s largest open air museums. There are also loads of parks where kids can stretch their legs and run free. Tivoli, Copenhagen’s amusement park, open since the days of Hans Christian Andersen, has flower gardens, funfair booths, a lake and a number of top class restaurants. The fascinating fairy tales that have found their inspiration in Copenhagen make the city one of the most intriguing cities for children. The bohemian/ eco style Manon Les Suites is a great option for families with younger kids. The suites have kitchenettes and are based in a superb location, only a few minutes’ walk away from the lakes, Tivoli gardens. 

Barcelona

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Barcelona is one of the most colourful and fun family friendly destinations in Europe. La Rambla, the most famous street in Barcelona is filled with street performers who swallow fire, juggle swords and delight little ones. The Magic Fountain has colourful water displays in the evenings. There are plenty of parks, castles and sites which younger kids will love in the city. You can take a cable car to the Montjuic Castle on top of a hill overlooking the city, visit the aquarium in the port and take a trip to Tibidado, the amusement park which boasts an old fashioned Ferris wheel, a pirate ship and plenty of smaller rides for toddlers and younger kids. There are also loads of parks where kids can stretch their legs and of course Barcelonaeta Beach in the city is ideal for kids and has plenty of cafes and snacks. An apartment in the city is the ideal option for families and both the gothic quarter and born area are central with loads of restaurants and supermarkets for the essentials. Citadines Barcelona Ramblas is a good option for families in the Gothic Quarter.

London

London with babies and kids

London offers so much to see for kids of all ages although it can be exhausting. Careful planning is a must to ensure that you make the most of it! London is the home to Harry Potter, Paddington Bear and Harry Potter and it also has an abundance of castles and museums including the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and National Gallery. The city also offers an array of parks, including the famous Hyde Park and Victoria Park and there is a fantastic aquarium in South Bank which toddlers will adore. Windsor is close to the city and has the fantastic Lego Land which kids with a passion for blocks will be in their element. London also has a number of baby and toddler friendly restaurants and hotels. The Athenaeum Hotel in Piccadilly is an ideal spot for families with babies and toddlers. The hotel offers kids movies, toys, cookies and milk at bedtime and there’s even a kids concierge to ensure that younger guests enjoy their stay as much as grown ups.



Reykjavik

Reykjavik

Reykjavik is a safe, compact city that welcomes kids of all ages and offers a host of family friendly activities including parks, museums, indoor play areas and thermal pools.R eykjavík’s thermal pools are mostly outdoor and water temperature ranges from 27 to 42 degrees Celsius to keep you warm even on the coldest days. Kids floaties and pool toys are provided for those learning to swim and there are also kids pools and slides. Nature lovers can take a whale watching tour or visit the Laugadalur Valley Family Park and Zoo which houses specimens of most of Iceland’s animals, such as sheep, cows, horses, reindeer and seals. There are several rides open in the summer and play areas are open year-round.  Beyond the city limits you can enjoy spectacular experiences such as the thermal hot springs (many with special children’s sections) and Northern Lights.  If you are visiting in Winter, visit the Hafnarfjörður Christmas Village or go ice-skating on Tjörnin Lake. Reykjavik Residence Apartment Hotel are fantastic for families. Located close to shops and restaurants, these apartment-style suites that have full kitchens, Wi-Fi, and washer & dryer. 

Munich

Munich

Munich is a fairy-tale city, made famous by the Oktoberfest beer festival – but there is much more to the city than beer. Munich is a very family friendly city and is also walkable and has plenty of parks. The restaurants beer halls and beer gardens also tend to be very welcoming to kids, offering children’s menus and high chairs. The Toy Museum is fantastic for kids as is the Deutsches Museum, one of the largest and oldest science museums in the world, where you will find the Kids Kingdom with over 1,000 child friendly activities. Disney fans will want to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty. Munich’s biggest toy store, Obletter Spielwarne is located in Karlsplatz square and is also worth a visit. If you are visiting in December, Munich’s Christmas markets are among the best in the world for children. The Aloft Hotel is centrally located and offers family rooms. 

Stockholm


Stockholm

Stockholm, Sweden’s capital city is bursting at the seams with fun kids activities. The World of Pippi Longstocking amusement park will be very popular with younger kids. There is also an aquarium and loads of museums with kid friendly exhibits. One of the best museums for kids is Junibacken or “fairytale house”. It was created by the famous Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren, who wanted a museum for children where they could touch and play instead of just looking. The Science Museum is also fantastic with kids. You can also spend a day island hopping and the whole family will be charmed by the irresistible allure of Stockholm’s island districts, which are joined by bridges and ferries. Other highlights include a stroll around the old town – Galma Stan and sampling the local cinnamon and cardamom buns. The Queen’s Hotel Stockholm is an affordable, centrally located hotel offering quadruple rooms for families. 

Edinburgh


Edinburgh with a baby

Edinburgh is a cultural gem. Its medieval buildings take you back in time and there are loads of fun activities for kids of all ages to partake in. Its even the home of the school which inspired Rowling’s Harry Potter which older kids will absolutely love. You can visit Edinburgh Castle and stroll around underground preserved medieval streets or visit the Museum of Childhood with exhibits reflecting the wonders of being a child through the ages. The dungeons are a must for older kids although toddler may find them a wee bit scary. Camera Obscura, located in the old town is an optical illusion museum and which kids will love. Another great option is the Edinburgh Zoo or the Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World. Toddlers will also love the Georgie City Farm. The Radisson Blu Hotel located near the royal mile is a good option for families. Kids get a Global Explorers Activity Pack on arrival with colours, crayons and sweets and the hotel is in walking distance of some of Edinburgh’s best known sites.

See also…

Best beaches in Europe with Babies and Toddlers



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  1. Gillian says:

    We visited Bath last year with our kids. There are loads of parks so the kids loved it. If you can get time away from the family the thermal baths are a must.

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