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12 Best Family Destinations in Europe – Where to Go with Kids

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Home > Europe with Kids
Updated: September 1, 2020

Hotels in Europe for Families

The best things to do in Europe with children.The best things to do in Europe with children.

My boys doing a cooking class in Florence, Italy.

The Best Kid-Friendly Destinations in Europe

  • Best for History and Culture: Italy
  • Best for First Timers: UK & Ireland
  • Best for Beach Vacation: Greece
  • Best Value: Portugal
  • Best for Outdoor Activities: Switzerland & Germany
  • Best for Train Trips: France
  • Best for River and Canal Cruises: Germany & France
  • Best for Fun and Relaxation: Greece
  • Best for Idyllic Evening Dinners: Spain & Greece
  • Best for Kid-Friendly Bike Tours: Netherlands
  • Best City for Kid-Friendly Attractions: London

London With Kids

London Eye ferris wheel with kids

London Eye ferris wheel with kids

London Highlights

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Further Reading on London

Edinburgh With Kids

Castle in Edinburgh.

Castle in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Highlights

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Further Reading

Dublin With Kids

Light Rail in Dublin.

Light Rail in Dublin.

Dublin Highlights

  • Dublin Zoo: One of Europe’s best zoos. Easy access with the hop-on hop-off bus.
  • Kilmainham Gaol Historical Museum: A great introduction to Ireland’s history. Located out of town but on the hop-on, hop-off bus route.
  • The National Museum — Archeology: Features items pulled from the bogs (including mummified bodies) and a viking exhibit that are very popular with kids.
  • The Natural History Museum (a.k.a. the Dead Zoo): An amazing collection of animals that kids love.
  • Viking Splash: Tour Dublin and get a (small) spattering of history aboard an amphibious WW II vehicle.
  • Take the DART train to Howth (north) or Bray (south): Get to the coast, go for a walk, play on the beach, and take a break from the city.

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Further Reading

Amsterdam With Kids

Canal in Amsterdam

Canal in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Highlights

  • Boat tour: Hop on board a canal tour or rent your own pedal boat (from the same shop) to see Amsterdam’s famous canals. There are 3 lines for the canal tours and 14 stops. Day passes are available and most of Amsterdam’s major sites are easily accessible from the
  • Bike tour: Amsterdam is famous for it’s bike friendly culture and visitors will feel quite comfortable getting around it’s compact center on 2 wheels. Numerous shops rent bikes and little ones can hop into a bakfiets — the local version of a bike trailer.
  • Science Center NEMO: Lots of hands-on fun at the Netherlands largest science museum for children aged 6 to 16.
  • Visit one of Amserdam’s beautiful parks: Both Amsterdamse Bos (cheese farms, watersports, and horse riding) and Vondelpark (walking, biking, an open air theatre,  playground, and near to RijksmuseumStedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum) are great parks that could keep the kids busy for hours.

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Further Reading

Paris With Kids

Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Paris Highlights

  • The Eiffel Tower (of course): Great views are often dismissed by kids as boring, but not from the Tour Eiffel. The city looks small far below but never feels distant. If your kids are old enough walk the stairs instead of wait in line for the elevator.
  • The Catacombs: Run this by your kids first — you’ll descend 20 metres below street level where you’ll be able to explore 1.7km of corridors walled with the remains of long dead Parisians. They’ll either be thrilled or terrified and you can make your plans from there.
  • Musée de Louvre: It’s a huge intimidating museum that can make for a long visit for kids or an enthralling cultural journey depending on how you approach it. Read and discuss some of the paintings and sculptures before you arrive. Buy postcards of famous paintings and hunt for them during your visit. The Skip the Line Guided Tour is worth the expense.
  • Musée d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris: France’s best science museum could fill a whole day. The highlight for kids is usually the Galerie de l’Evolution.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral: Climb the 422 steps to the cathedral’s towers and you’ll be face to face with some fierce Gargoyles and an incredible view of Paris. Kids will recognize the scenes from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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Further Reading

Prague With Kids

Prague with Kids – Things To Do and Best Prague Tours for Families

Prague with Kids – Things To Do and Best Prague Tours for Families

Prague Highlights

  • Petřín Hill has a funicular that goes up to the top you’ll have great views, a mirror maze for kids, pony rides on the weekends, and a sizeable rose garden. For an even better view, climb up to the top of Lookout Tower or visit the observatory to take in the stars through their collection of telescopes.
  • Nostalgic Tram No. 91 is a unique way to see the city. Vintage tram cars from the early 1900s travel along a special route that runs throughout Prague and past many of the city’s best sights. Not well known among tourists and for an affordable $1.50, it’s popular with both young and old.
  • Theater and Puppet Shows – There are several kid friendly theater options unique to Prague including the Black Light Theater which combines elements of dance, animation, mimes and illusions. Puppet shows also have a strong tradition in the Czech Republic and the National Marionette Theater does puppet versions of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and the Magic Flute.
  • Kid-Friendly Museums – At the Art Gallery for Children (Galerie umění pro děti) children are encouraged to interact in this multimedia space by touching, creating or even altering the art installations. Workshops are available for kids 5-12 and it’s a great way to introduce them to art. Or visit the Lego Museum – the largest in Europe. You’ll get to see lego versions of classic Prague landmarks like the 5 meter tall Charles Bridge.
  • Children’s Island – Though there are numerous outdoor playgrounds around Prague, this one is devoted entirely to kids. It features a full range of swings, slides, climbing nets, sandpits, open space to run around. Most importantly it offers a great place for parents to sit and relax on the bank of the Vltava River with a nearby café for coffee and refreshments.

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Further Reading

Barcelona With Kids

Church in Barcelona.

Church in Barcelona.

Barcelona Highlights

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Further Reading

Rome With Kids

Trevi Fountain in Rome.

Trevi Fountain in Rome.

Rome Highlights

  • Colosseum and Roman Forum: the highlight of a trip to Rome (likely for the whole family). Visit early to avoid the heat and crowds.
  • Villa Borghese Gardens: rent row boats and bikes, have a picnic, hop on the #3 tram for a tour of Rome, and visit the Cinema dei Piccoli for afternoon and evening children’s movies. This large park can easily form the basis of an entire day’s activities.
  • Explora: Rome’s top notch kids’ museum has lots of hands-on fun, an outdoor play area, and an ice cream shop. Visits are limited to 90 minutes.
  • Tivoli’s temples and gardens make a great day trip out of the city. The nearby Aquapiper water park makes it worthwhile for the kids as well. (Hydromania is another water park closer to Rome.)
  • Visiting the Vatican and the Vatican Museum probably won’t be at the top of your children’s to do list. If you decide to go anyway, a private tour will allow you to skip the long entrance lines and pick out the highlights of the museum’s extensive works.

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Further Reading

Cornwall & Devon Counties With Kids

Long Beach in Cornwall.

Long Beach in Cornwall.

Cornwall & Devon Highlights

  • The fantastic beaches of Southwest England: Kid friendly beaches can be found up and down the coasts’ of both counties.
  • St Michael’s Mount, Marazion: Walk during low tide (or ferry during high tide) to Cornwall’s most important historical landmark.
  • National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth: The huge maritime collection of boats and artifacts is perfect for slightly older kids.
  • Rent a cottage: Stay in a self-contained cabin — on a farm, near the sea, or in a small Cornish village.
  • Dartmoor National Park: Camp, hike, and explore this beautiful park.
  • The Eden Project: An amazing all-weather destination focused on nature, the environment, the arts, and having fun.

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Further Reading on Cornwall & Devon

Provence & the Cote d’Azur With Kids

Avignon in the south of France.

Avignon in the south of France.

Provence & the Cote d’Azur Highlights

  • The cities of Arles, Avignon, and Aix-en-Provence — Three cultural giants that are beautiful, walkable, and packed with cool attractions. Each is overflowing with art and architecture and all are within an hour’s drive of each other.
  • Beaches: The southern coast of France is known for it’s fantastic beaches with the best found between St Tropez and St Raphael.
  • Monaco: A small city state whose narrow winding streets are fun to explore. Highlights for the kids will undoubtedly be the fantastic Oceanographic Museum, the Prince’s collection of antique cars, and the parks and gardens that fill the city.
  • Le Pont du Gard: This Unesco World Heritage Site is a wonder of Roman planning and architecture. The kids program for 5-12 year olds is enriching, well designed, and describes in detail how the aqueduct was built and used.
  • Carcassonne: A remarkably well preserved medieval city. Le Cite can be painfully busy during July and August but as it’s one of Europe’s largest city fortifications it’s probably worth enduring the crowds.

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Further Reading

Agriturismo With Kids

Tuscany and Umbria Agriturismo with swimming pool for Family

Tuscany and Umbria Agriturismo with swimming pool for Family

This is so much fun for families. Stay at one of the Best Agriturismo in Tuscany or Best Agriturismo in Umbria. These are working farms typically with a beautiful setting and a rustic atmosphere (though accommodations can range from spartan to luxurious). Getting a villa that has a swimming pool is a good idea when traveling with kids. Meals are often included (and delicious). Getting a rental car is close to mandatory as agriturismos are off the usual bus and train routes.

Best Agriturismo for Families in Italy

  • Salvadonica – Family rooms sleep family of five. Nice swimming pool.
  • Castello Vicchiomaggio – Two-bedroom apartments and family junior suites sleep families of four and five. Nice swimming pool.

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Further Reading

The Greek Islands with Kids

Cruise ship docked off Santorini.

Cruise ship docked off Santorini.
Taking ferries between the Greek Islands is fun and easy (though if you’re on a tight schedule booking tickets in advance can be frustrating). If island hopping is what you want then the Cyclades (Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, Milos, Ios) are the best islands to visit as they’re close to each other and have lots of ferry connections between them.

Greece Highlights

  • Santorini – Incredible views and scenery. Take a boat tour of the caldera which was formed by a volcanic explosion and forms a huge cliff that runs the length of the entire island. The beaches are not Greece’s best but there is a water park with slides.
  • Crete – The largest island in Greece. Lots to do and see. Great beaches, historical sites, small traditional villages, thriving cities, and some wonderful hikes. Crete offers a little bit of everything – or rather, a lot of everything.
  • Rhodes – A great island if you’re looking to visit Turkey – whether it be a day trip or a more involved trip up to Istanbul. Rhodes has great beaches and an incredible Old Town.
  • Naxos – The best island for families in all of Greece. Wonderful kid-friendly beaches, with a gentle slope, and calm shallow water. The main village is packed with fun restaurants and shops. The island’s interior offers interesting traditional villages and great walks.
  • Paros – A hipper version of Naxos with a bit more partying and shopping and perhaps beaches that aren’t quite so kid-friendly – though still wonderful. Nearby Antiparos is a great day trip for its laid-back charm and quiet beaches.
  • Corfu – One of Greece’s most beautiful islands. Corfu Town is a beautiful old city and makes a great base for exploring the island. Lots of kid-friendly activities on the island (including a water park) and some great beaches.

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