When booking a vacation, setting your priorities straight, and creating an itinerary with the things you are actually interested in is half the job and a recipe for an enjoyable holiday for some.
Some prefer to wing it, and that is entirely alright. However, if you’re traveling with kids, checking out the city you are visiting beforehand in more depth is a must and not a maybe. Winging a family trip is more or less impossible, and forcing the kids to enjoy the things they find “boring” will turn your vacation into a nightmare in no time.
What you should be looking for in your destination is enough available content and activities to keep them occupied in an attempt to avoid boredom-caused tantrums. Europe, luckily, is filled with cities that are quite children friendly so that both parents and the younglings can enjoy the trip.
Beach side resorts may spring in your mind first, as they are generally the most popular among friends. Still, plenty of other cities will provide you with excellent bonding time with your kids. With vast hotel opportunities, numerous rental options, and quite friendly hosts, other cities could effortlessly supersede your expectations of a “good holiday.”
Here is a list of 6 cities you could visit in Europe that will have your whole family pleased.
1. Dublin – The starter city
Probably not your first pick, but Dublin, and pretty much all of Ireland, are perfect spots if you are taking your young ones on a trip for the first time.
What makes Dublin the great starter city is that overall vibe of friendliness. Irish people will greet you and your kids with a smile everywhere you go, and the fact that the language is the same will put you on ease if anything goes wrong.
As to the entertaining your kids with quality content, pack your lunch bag, and head on to grab a picnic on St Stephen’s Green. This park is a full day of entertainment in itself, as you can let your kids feed the ducks, run around uninterrupted, or head on to the newly renovated playground which will occupy them for days on end.
In Phoenix Park, you could visit the Dublin zoo, or take a short ride South, to Bray. There, you can visit the aquarium, or take a relaxing stroll by the water. Dublin doesn’t lack in attractions, especially castles, Viking tours, and museums, either. All in all, each family member will have something to remember if you pick Dublin for your European visit.
2. Vienna – Get Classy
One of the cities in Europe with the most gorgeous architecture will provide you with memorable experiences for a lifetime. Beautiful and picturesque buildings, statues, cathedrals, and palaces will have you happy just with sightseeing.
Your kids will, at some point, start crying about their legs hurting, or about being hungry, which leads to the first attraction: horse-drawn carriages that make for the most comfortable sightseeing experience. Some of these include local food and drinks, turning this sightseeing trip one of the most royal-ish experience you could imagine. Head on to the Schonbrunn Palace, which has an impressive park and palace, a children museum, and, of course, the world’s oldest zoo.
If your kids are a bit older and up for some excitement, try the Prater. It includes over 250 stands for your kids to enjoy. Hop on a giant Ferris wheel for a private view of Vienna, or take the thrill of ejection seat that will launch you up to 90m into the sky. Finish the day in one of the nearby restaurants, offering local cuisine, for the perfect end of the exciting day.
3. Munich – Toys and Beer
Munich is another German-speaking city that both children and parents will be able to enjoy equally. One of the frequent tourist stops, and with numerous attractions, being bored in Munich is entirely not an option.
As for your kids, you can choose quite a few attractions for them, as Munich is one of the most children-friendly cities you could visit in Europe. Head on to the Kids Kingdom in Deutsches Museum, which is the biggest and oldest science and technology museum in Europe to spark their creativity and interest. With over a thousand hands-on activities designed for kids, they will have their hands full for the whole day in a single place.
If your kids are animal lovers, take them to the Munich zoo. In the warm months, they will be able to enjoy pony and camel rides, and in winter, you will be able to see a penguin parade, which is a treat for any age. Lastly, for princes and princesses, take one of the “fairy tale routes”, and see majestic castles which inspired Walt Disney for some of the classic cartoons.
4. Prague – The play land
Famous for its historical beauty and beer-fueled parties, you may think that a visit to Prague should have happened in your pre-kid days. Luckily, it is also a city filled with children’s attractions, so you can still plan a perfect holiday that includes spending time with your special someone as well as having your kids entertained.
The thing to do in Prague is sightseeing. From the Prague Castle, and Charle’s bridge, to the dancing house, there is so much to see here. Still, it doesn’t have to be tiresome or troubling – there is a shortcut. Take a tour on a Nostalgic Tram, for a comfortable ride that will showcase all the impressive buildings of the city.
Head on to the Children’s Island, especially if the weather is warm and your kids are small. There is a full range of swings, nets, slides, and open space for your kids to enjoy. You can go to the Art Gallery for Children, which will spark their creativity with its hands-on approach. Visit numerous kid-friendly museums, such as the Lego museum. A night to remember is one spent watching Theater and Puppet shows, too!
5. Corfu Island – Water fun
While not a city per se, this island is just the one to pick if you are looking to catch some sun, spend some time by the water, and get several once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Corfu Island has some of the most beautiful beaches that you could find in Europe. Spending your whole day on the beach will not get your kids bored, but there are other things to do and attractions to see. For example, if you are looking for more water-related fun, you can head on to Aqualand Water Park for a rather unique experience. In the evening, it might be a good idea to visit Corfu’s capital and its old city for some gorgeous time and dining. During the day, the ancient town has quite a sight to offer to the visitors.
You could also dedicate a day to go horse trekking, which is fun for the whole family. Another excellent day trip could be in one of the glass-bottomed boat tours. Being able to see and admire the marine life and under-the-sea world is much more enjoyable if you pick the boat that includes a barbecue in its offer!
6. Madrid – Authentically Spanish
Instead of Barcelona, go to Madrid with your young ones. It hosts a variety of attractions for adults and children alike, and will not make a massive dent in your budget.
With quite a vast specter of activities, there are a couple that will have each family member entertained. Retiro Park is the perfect spot for a gorgeous day out in nature, with 300 some acres to explore. Street performers that gather on the Plaza Major will effortlessly top ones in any other city in Europe, and if your kids are fans of “Space Jam,” take them to the Warner Park to meet the Bugs Bunny and his friends.
Another place perfect for you and your kids is the city’s amusement park, which hosts over 30 different attractions. Don’t miss the opportunity to hitch a ride in a zeppelin for the aerial view of the park. In its walking distance is also a zoo, and an aquarium, in which you can witness amazing shows with sea lions and dolphins!