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The 20 Best European Destinations To Visit In 2020 Revealed

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Colmar, France: New European Best Destination 2020

European Best Destinations

The city of Colmar, in France’s northern region of Alsace, has been voted the #1 European destination for 2020, chosen from 20 ‘must-see’  locations that made the finalists’ list of contenders for the coveted title organized by European Best Destinations (EBD).

For its 11th edition, the competition collected a record of more than 600,000 votes for the trendiest destinations in Europe, a list that will be promoted throughout the year to millions of travelers — and will be authorized to display the title “European Best Destination” in their marketing.

Colmar got the highest number of votes since the creation of the competition in 2009. (179,723 votes). The previous record was Porto in 2017 with 138,116 votes.

“Whether you look forward to a city break, a romantic getaway, a family or beach holiday, a cultural or gastronomic trip, alone or with friends, you will be spoilt for choice,” the organization promises.

Since 2009, European Best Destinations (EBD), has been promoting culture and tourism in Europe to millions of travelers, tourism professionals and the media. Working with the European Commission to promote sustainable tourism, EBD organizes some of the main tourism competitions in Europe, including Best European Christmas Markets, Best European Beaches, Most Romantic destinations and Best European Ski Resorts.

In partnership with over 300 tourism offices in Europe and the EDEN Network created by the European Commission, the European Best Destinations is, for the eighth year in a row, the most visited website dedicated to travel in Europe.

As a result of their selection, the various destinations get a significant boom of tourists — +17% in growth for Porto after its selection in 2017, + 13% for Bordeaux in 2015, + 25% for Zadar in 2016 — as well as extensive media coverage.

This is the list of the 20 trendiest European Best Destinations to visit in 2020: Athens (Greece), Berlin (Germany), Bydgoszcz (Poland), Cascais (Portugal), Colmar (France), Cork (Ireland), Héviz (Hungary), Madrid (Spain), Menorca (Spain), Namur (Belgium), Paris (France), Prague (Czech Republic), Rome (Italy), Reykjavik (Iceland), Rijeka (Croatia), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Rochefort Océan (France), Sibiu (Romania), Tbilisi (Georgia) and Vienna (Austria).

Here you can find the complete guide to plan your next vacation.

Colorful facades of timber-framed houses in Colmar, known as Petite Venise, in Alsace, France.

Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Colmar, France

First on the podium of best European destinations: a well-deserved award for Colmar, a destination known worldwide, that has it all: It’s the capital of Alsace wines and a leading wine-tourism destination. It’s also a perfect destination for romance, history buffs, foodies, music and culture lovers.

Colmar is known as the sunniest city in France, enjoying 300 sunny days a year. It is particularly magical at Christmas time. Around Colmar are the picturesque villages of Eguisheim, Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé. You can drive along the wine route and visit wineries or simply stroll among the vineyards.

Trendier than ever, Athens is a city in constant evolution

Best European Destinations

Athens, Greece

Trendier than ever, Athens is a city in constant evolution. Tradition meets modernity in museums and shops, restaurants and bars. Together with Rome, Athens is the cradle of our civilizations, an incredibly dynamic, lively, sparkling open-air museum.

With equal measures of grunge and grace, Athens effortlessly merges the past with the present. A city of paradoxes and great contrasts, in the country that first invented courtesy and generosity towards people who are far from their home, hospitality (xenia) reigns supreme.

An intellectual beacon of the ancient world with spectacular Mediterranean landscapes bathed in the famous light, Athens is a sophisticated cosmopolitan hub with many gastronomic offers, livelynightlife and a booming art scene.

An aerial picture shows the buildings of Old Tbilisi.

AFP via Getty Images

Tbilisi, Georgia

The Capital of Georgia is the ideal destination for culture, gastronomy, diversity and architecture lovers. 

Magnificent Haussmannian buildings mingle with structures dating from the Middle Ages. You can enjoy neo-classical, Soviet and extremely modern buildings — at the same time. “Be sure to climb to the top of Tbilisi and admire the Kartlis Deda statue, the protector of the city. This site offers an exceptional panorama of the Georgian capital, the Peace Bridge, the Metekhi Church, the thermal baths, the new theatre and the Mtatsminda Amusement Park for young and old,” EBD recommends.

Austria, Vienna, Graben, Street Scene.

LightRocket via Getty Images

Vienna, Austria

Along with ParisRomeBruges and Prague, it’s one of the European capitals of love. As one of the safest destinations in Europe, Vienna is also an ideal destination for families.

Vienna offers history with a capital H, gastronomy, wine, organic and local markets — as well as incredible architecture.

“Climb aboard one of the most beautiful big wheels in Europe and whistle Strauss’ Blue Danube,” advises EDB. “You can also make your marriage proposal or treat yourself to a guided tour of the Schönbrunn Palace and learn how to cook the famous ‘Strudel’.”

Cascais, Portugal.

Corbis via Getty Images

Cascais, Portugal

Cascais is one of the most beautiful and prestigious coastal destinations in Europe.

Located on the Lisbon Coast, Cascais is perfectly situated just two steps away from the capital city and other must-see locations such as Sintra (UNESCO Heritage Site), Ericeira (World Surfing Reserve) and Mafra (the Portuguese Versailles).

With its year-round mild climate, Cascais is known as the ‘Portuguese Riviera.’ “From pure leisure to business, golf, sun, sea and water sports, it simply has it all and offers a new definition of the concepts of eco- and activity based tourism,” according to EBD.

A street in Sibiu, Romania

European Best Destinations 2020

Sibiu (Transylvania), Romania

Which other destination can offer Bruges or Parisian-level culture and gastronomy, be as instagrammable as Prague or Santorini, as romantic as Rome or Venice? Look no further than Sibiu (in Transylvania).

There’s poetry and beauty on every street corner and eyes on every roof. This rich city, one of the most visited in Romania, represents 800 years of history in an unspoilt setting yet remains one of the most modern and dynamic cities in Europe.

A gastronomic tourism destination – the only city in Romania to be awarded three Michelin stars — Sibiu is a destination for history buffs, outdoor activities fans, photographers and hikers. 

A street in Namur.

European Best Destinations

Namur, Belgium

For foodies, instagrammers and those who love shopping, cocooning, culture, nature walks, evenings with friends or romantic city breaks, Namur is a must-visit.

A charming city with the Belgian surrealism of Brussels and the romanticism of Budapest or Bruges.

Among the most interesting destinations in Belgium, Namur is not just about relaxation and pampering. It also offers outdoor sports, paddling, hiking and other activities for young and old. “During your stay, do not forget to climb to the top of the Citadel and treat yourself to a romantic cruise on the Meuse,” recommends EBD. If you have some time left, don’t miss neighboring Dinant, where the river Meuse also flows. Both towns share the moniker “daughters of the Meuse.”

Rijeka, Croatia

European Best Destinations 2020

Rijeka, Croatia

One of the most fashionable cities in Europe, it’s at the top of the wish-list of travelers who have already toured major cities and are looking for something different.

Croatia’s third-largest city, it also was declared ‘European Capital of Culture’ in 2020. Rijeka is a destination for discerning travelers who don’t want to choose between beach and city, culture and nature, tradition and modernity. It has it all.

“Do not miss the Rijeka Carnival, one of the most beautiful in Europe,” EBD insists. Art lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Hévíz, Hungary

European Best Destinations

 Hévíz, Hungary

Relaxation and wellbeing are key words for travelers to Hévíz, a name that means “hot water” in Hungarian. The city has the world’s largest natural thermal lake surrounded by lush forests.

Located near Budapest and Vienna, Hévíz has been welcoming spa visitors since the 18th century. It’s probably the only spa destination where you can swim among white, pink and purple lilies, relax with thermal mud massages on a floating pavilion on the lake, row a canoe in the steamy warm water of the stream or have a winter swim in the 24°C thermal lake while large snowflakes fall around you.

This destination is ideal for families and lovers of outdoor sports (kayaking, golf, cycling, hiking) as well as gourmets.

Bydgoszcz, Poland

European Best Destinations

Bydgoszcz, Poland

One of the trendiest destinations in 2020 for those who like to think outside the box and want an unforgettable urban break.

The city has an incredible cathedral, considered one of the most beautiful Gothic churches in Europe with its unexpected explosion of colors inside. EBD recommends that you take “a walk along the photogenic Brda River or relax on the Mill Island or go paddling.”

Looking for another place to blow up your Instagram account? Visit the Museum of Soap and History of Dirt, which attracts visitors from all over the world.

Bydgoszcz offers trendy and traditional bars and restaurant as well as affordable hotels.

Cork, Ireland

European Best Destinations 2020

Cork, Ireland

A colorful, jazzy, sporty, culinarily innovative and traditional destination. In one word, Cork is very…Irish. 

More than merely a common city break, this is a holiday by the sea, hiking or biking with the children, great restaurants, wellness retreats, kayaking, windsurfing. The point: Cork has it all, from dramatic natural landscapes and mountains to river valleys and coastlines.

Cork city and county offer visitors history, heritage and landmarks, artisan food and drink and a strong cultural, musical and artistic vibe.

Rochefort Océan, France

European Best Destinations 2020

Rochefort Océan, France

The most family-friendly of the 2020 selections, Rochefort Océan, located in Charente-Maritim, is a favorite sustainable-tourism destination in Europe and has been selected and rewarded by the European Commission for its commitment to the environment.

On the French west coast, Rochefort Ocean combines history and heritage, nature and scenery. “Go bird watching, have a cruise around Fort Boyard, visit the former naval rope-making unit, enjoy the thermal baths,” invites EBD. “Or what about lazing or sunbathing in the typical and historical French seaside resort of Fouras? Or fishing or sailing or windsurfing in Port des Barques?”

With a 25 kilometer-long coastline and five beaches, Rochefort Océan is a dream destination for seaside holidays. On the other side of the estuary, the oyster farming Port-des-Barques is ideal for a walk to Ile Madame, the smallest of the four Charente Maritime islands.

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12 Of the Absolute Best Places to Travel in Europe With Kids

Austria

Wondering where to go in Europe with kids? When looking to travel to Europe with your family you have a whole host of stunning options.

How do you know which destinations will be best suited for your children and allow you to have a great time together? Unfortunately, not all destinations are very kid-friendly.

BelgiumBen

So in order to compile a helpful list of best places to travel in Europe with kids, we called on the help of well-travelled families to share their expertise of travelling with their kids around this beautiful continent.

Asking them for their opinions and collating the results to bring you the 12 best destinations to travel Europe with kids!

Here are the best places to travel in Europe with kids.

best family vacations in Europe

best family vacations in Europe

Europe is a wonderland of green fields, lush mountains, blue seas and so much more. It’s also a very family friendly destination with many of the best cities to travel in Europe with kids! The transport is easy and generally language is communicable. You can also visit Europe all year round – here is a great post about when to visit Europe.

We find that the absolute best family holidays in europe are always the ones that we found to be a joy to travel around with the children!

These places and cities offered so many fun and exciting activities and outings to do as a family that you may want to consider on your next European family vacation!

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1. Sweden with Kids

Stockholm: Best Family Vacations In Europe

Stockholm: Best Family Vacations In Europe

Sweden and especially Stockholm was voted as one of the best places in Europe for kids! It’s popular among families for good reason.

There are many different attractions, scenic gardens and parks to visit and it’s a stroller friendly destination and one of the best european family vacations!

Where to Go with Kids in Sweden:

There are loads of museums and galleries for some great educational visits and many zoos and amusement parks to keep the kids entertained across various cities in Sweden, however Stockholm is one of our favorites!

Here are some of our favorite things to do in Stockholm with kids:

Stockholm Kids Attractions:

It’s also an English speaking country so you’ll have no problem communicating your needs and getting them met on this European vacation with kids!

If you are looking for the best way to move around town, you can book your Stockholm taxi here!

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2. Austria with Kids

Austria: where to go in Europe with kids

Austria: where to go in Europe with kids

If you are looking for a great country to visit with kids, it’s hard to beat Austria. It has the oldest amusement park in the world, salt mines that are walkable, the world’s biggest ice caves as well as dinosaur parks.

Where to Go with Kids in Austria:

Austria has a plethora of interesting things to do and fun places to visit that will excite the whole family! A country characterized by mountain villages, baroque architecture and fascinating history and rugged alpine terrain.

From the world’s oldest amusement park to the world’s largest ice cave, here are the best things to do in Austria in Europe with kids:

Vienna Kids Attractions
Salzburg Kids Attractions

This means that there are a variety of different ways to keep your children entertained no matter how old they are. No wonder this country is a hot favourite as one of the best places to travel in Europe with kids!

The best time to visit Austria is in April and May or September and October. The weather tends to be mild, it’s not as crowded as the busy summer months and hotel rates are generally cheaper during this time.

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3. Croatia with Kids

BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL IN EUROPE WITH KIDS

BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL IN EUROPE WITH KIDS

Not many people realize just how family friendly Croatia is. The best time to visit this country is in June or September when it’s not as crowded or hot.

Croatia is one of the best places in Europe with kids because throughout Croatia, you will find that there are strong family values which makes it a very welcoming country for those that are travelling with children.

Where to Go with Kids in Croatia:

Croatia has many safe beaches and hiking trails that suit all abilities, as well as a handful of interactive museums and ancient towns and fortresses that will make the kids feel like they’re in a fairytale!

Some of our favorite destinations in Croatia include both Dubrovnik and Split. Here are some ideas of what to do in both of these:

Dubrovnik Kids Attractions
  • See the scenery marine life, and discover amazing caves from a sea kayak! Book your 3-hour tour here.
  • Explore the Old Town walls and castles in the historic center!
Split Kids Attractions

Many individuals will go above and beyond to make sure that the needs of you and your children are met throughout your time here. Our kids really loved their trip through Austria and without a doubt I can confidenty say that is is one of the best places for kids in Europe.

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4. The Netherlands with Kids

Netherlands: best places in Europe for kids

Netherlands: best places in Europe for kids

Holland is one of the best places in Europe to visit with kids and has numerous attractions that will make your family vacation fun and unforgettable! From zoos to historical squares and lively markets!

We love how children are often catered to and you can easily find someone who speaks English if you are in need of assistance.

Where to Go with Kids in Netherlands

Public transportation is incredibly efficient, so you can easily explore the country and see a lot of the attractions.

But of course we know that most of you would be keen to explore Amsterdam, so here are some of our favorite kids attractions in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Kids Attractions:

It’s a good idea to purchase a Museumkaart because it will allow you to access a lot of different attractions, and many times, skip the lines.

We really believe that the Netherlands is one of the best places to travel europe with kids, whether they are young or older! You can find more info on what to do with kids in Amsterdam here.

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5. England with Kids

London, UK: best places in Europe with kids

London, UK: best places in Europe with kids

Another one of the top favourite countries that proudly takes up its place on the best places to visit in Europe with kids list. The locals speak English, there are efficient public transportation systems in place and the locals are very friendly.

All our favorite features to tick the boxes as one of the best places to visit with kids in Europe.

Where to Go with Kids in England:

We love visiting London with our kids. There’s also so much for kids to do, including going on a Harry Potter Tour, riding the tube to a local market, visiting Legoland or taking a trek to see Big Ben. Here is a list of our favorite kids attractions:

London Kids Attractions:

In fact, because there’s just so many attractions and sights to see throughout the country, you may find yourself having to save some of the sights you wanted to see for your next trip as there just won’t be enough time to do it all.

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6. Italy with Kids

best towns in Tuscany Italy

best towns in Tuscany Italy

Italy was a favourite of ours when traveling around Europe with kids. With a beautiful Mediterranean coastline and ancient ruins and famous art and historic influences, there is so much to be discovered for the whole family!

Don’t forget to enjoy some gelato or a good slice of pizza while you are in Italy.

Where to Go with Kids in Italy:

Italy is a large country that can take up to 12 hours to travel from one side to the other, so you may want to choose a particular part of Italy to visit with your family in Europe.

We spent 3 months traveling around Italy with our kids and there are so many wonderful places to visit. I know that Rome and Florence are two popular destinations, so here are some ideas of what to do in each:

Rome Kids Attractions:

The Colosseum is enjoyed by a lot of travellers as it’s very unique. Make sure you also take your children to the Spanish Steps as long as they are up for a bit of a climb.

Florence Kids Attractions:

Many families make Italy their top choice for travel each year. There’s a lot to do here, no matter how old your children are. It might just be my pick as the best place in Europe for kids – but don’t just take my word for it, book your trip and try it out for yourself!

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7. Belgium with Kids

Brussels Belgium: best places in Europe to visit with kids

Brussels Belgium: best places in Europe to visit with kids

Known for its waffles, how could families not love Belgium? This country is smaller compared to other countries in Europe, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in culture and food.

Where to Go with Kids in Belgium:

Belguim is a great country to explore with kids as you can easily move around by train. We absolutely adore Brussels and Bruges. Here are some suggestions of kids attractions in both of these beautiful cities:

Brussels Kids Attractions:
Bruges Kids Attractions:

Traveling Tip: Best way to get around Brussels is by taxi. You can book your Brussels taxi here

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8. Spain with Kids

Gran Canaria, Spain: best places in Europe for kids

Gran Canaria, Spain: best places in Europe for kids

This country isn’t just for adults. Children can have a great time here too. It has a rich history and plenty of places to explore.

Where to Go with Kids in Spain:

Spain is a beautiful country with so much to offer any type of traveler. Thanks to the country’s high-speed trains, you can access a lot of destinations in a short period of time, but Barcelona were one of our favorites for the kids!

Barcelona Kids Attractions:

Families can also enjoy a lot of historic treasures including Isabella’s Alcazar and Sagrada Familia.

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9. Germany with Kids

Germany with Kids

Germany with Kids

One of the main reasons why Germany is a great destination to travel to with children is that it has affordable public transportation. This means that you can save money by not having to rent a car and can splurge on some of the many activities here.

A lot of individuals do speak English in this country and are more than happy to help tourists with whatever they need.

The winter months are the best time to visit Germany with children as travelers can visit the memorable Berlin Christmas markets.

Where to Go with Kids in Germany:

Families will love the interactive museums and informative outings to keep the kids entertained while exploring the best places in Germany to travel with kids!

You can start out by planning your trip around popular destinations such as Berlin and Munich.

Berlin Kids Attractions:
  • Explore the many sights and landmarks in Berlin on a Hop-On-Hop-Off tour.
  • Take the kids to the Legoland Discovery Center!
  • Visit the Berlin Zoo and Tierpark
Munich Kids Attractions:
  • Kids will love the amazing fairytale-like castles from Munich! Book your day trip here.
  • Explore the beautiful parks and incredible architecture of the churches and cathedrals.

Germany is definitely one of the best places in Europe for kids, with its other worldly charm with castles and medieval towns and all the mythical parks and safe outdoor areas to explore.

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10. Denmark with Kids

Denmark: European Family Vacation

Denmark: European Family Vacation

Wondering where to go with kids in Europe that is a little under-the-radar? 

Denmark is often forgotten about when planning family travel to Europe. It’s a shame as it’s very family-friendly. The public transportation system is extremely efficient which makes it easy to see a lot of the sights while you are here.

Many businesses will go out of their way to accommodate families, and children in Denmark are rarely made to feel unwelcome by the locals!

Where to go with Kids in Denmark:

Copenhagen is a great city to visit with little ones as there’s a lot to do. The Tivoli Gardens was one of our favorites and has theatres, gardens and plenty of rides to keep children entertained. We can also recommend Odense.

Here are some ideas of what to do in each of these destinations.

Copenhagen Kids Attractions:
Odense Kids Attractions:
  • Navigate the charming streets and lovely green parks all around
  • Take the kids to Odense Zoo to see all the animals and shows
  • Enjoy the museums

Denmark is filled with theme parks, amusement parks, zoos and child-friendly beaches that make it one of the best places to travel in Europe with kids.

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11. France with Kids

France with Kids

France with Kids

Being one of the most popular countries to visit for all travelers, it should come as no surprise that France is a great place for families to visit in Europe!

Hower as a word of caution, whilst we list France as one of the best places to take kids in Europe, I didn’t find their culture as welcoming to babies and toddlers. Perfect for older kids though!

Where to Visit in France with Kids:

France has many alpine villages and breathtaking architecture to explore and has many gardens and outdoor activities that make it a great place for a European family vacation!

Of course you can’t go to France and not visit Paris, but we also really love places such as Nice and Colmar for family trips too.

Paris Kids Attractions:

Kids will create memories they cherish forever as they find themselves in awe looking at the Eiffel Tower, enjoy the exhibits at The Natural History Museum and be amazed at the Paris Catacombs.

It is also great to rent a car and go on a road trip to see cities such as Nice and Colmar!

Tip: Despite having a decent public transportation system, you may find yourself doing a lot of walking. Make sure you plan for plenty of breaks and wear comfortable shoes.

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12. Czech with Kids

Prague: best European countries to visit with kids

Prague: best European countries to visit with kids

Czech is one of the most fascinating countries to visit with kids in Europe. It’s full of historical sights and amazing castles with intricate infrastructure, and has many medieval museums to explore!

After the endless stream of exhibitions and walking gets to the kids, it’s also a great place to find some fun child-specific attractions!

Where to go in Czech with Kids:

Czech is a country of many wonders, but one of the best European cities for Kids has to be its capital, Prague. Children often travel free or for a discounted price and have cheaper admission fees to many of the attractions!

Prague Kids Attractions:
  • Visit the Prague Castle and explore its fairytale-like wonder! Grab your small group tour here.
  • Visit Mořský Svět, the country’s largest water tank that is filled with lots of fish!
  • Enjoy the rides at Prague’s Aquapalace waterworld! Grab your tickets online here.
  • Check out the National Technical Museum, which is an oversized room stuffed with huge locomotives and old-fashioned cars.
  • The kids will love the Prague Zoo. It’s a well-tended zoo with an extensive collection of exotic animals.

Typically completely forgotten about, Czech definately deserves a spot on the best places to go in Europe with kids listicle.

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Summary of the Best Family Holiday Destinations in Europe

I know that was probably a bit of a mouth full and I thought it might be a good idea to quickly give you an easy to scan list of best European countries to visit with kids which were mentioned above:

  1. Sweden
  2. Austria
  3. Croatia
  4. Netherlands
  5. England
  6. Italy
  7. Belgium
  8. Spain
  9. Germany
  10. Denmark
  11. France
  12. Czech

Hopefully one of those kid-friendly countries in Europe made your heart fill with excitement.

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Final Thoughts on Your Next European Family Vacation

Europe is a continent that is full of magic and awe-inspiring places that you don’t need to be an adult to appreciate! These were some of the best European vacations with kids.

From the magnificent castles to the cultural ebbs and flows of each incredibly unique place, there is just so much hidden in the mountains and valleys of this vast continent.

These amazing cities were easy to explore with children, and offered safe environments and efficient transport systems that made them some of the best places for family vacations in Europe!

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Best Places to Travel in Europe with Kids

Best Places to Travel in Europe with Kids

Leave us a Comment:

  • Have you been to any of these destinations with your kids? Did you have a fabulous time there?
  • Do you have any recommendations on the best family vacations in Europe that you can add to our list?

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