Traveling through Europe is fun, educational, and a special experience for a family to share together. It offers fantastic opportunities to hear different languages, experience different cultures, taste different cuisines, and learn about different nations' histories. Here are nine cities to visit when exploring Europe with your family.
Where to Go in Europe: Family Travel Guide
London is such a large and historic city it truly has something for everyone, including younger members of the family. Kids will enjoy the more hands on Science Museum and Museum of London. They’ll also like getting riding on the upper level of London’s famous red double-decker buses and journeying just outside the city for Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter studio tour.
Paris is famous for being the city of love and romance, but it can also be extremely family friendly. Kids will love the carbs — croissants, baguettes, crepes! — and running around the numerous gardens, including the lawn in front of the city’s most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower.
This waterside city is often overlooked for Paris and London, but the capital of Portugal is well-worth a vacation in its own right. The hilly city is covered in bright tiles and is home to a romantic castle the whole family is sure to enjoy. Take a day to take the tram to Belem and enjoy Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower. And, of course, no trip would be complete without a visit to the famous Pasteis de Belem for exquisite custard tarts.
The Dutch capital is particularly picturesque, dotted with canals, bicycles, and bridges. Though certain areas of the city might not be family friendly, especially at night, the rest of it is. Take your kids to the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh museum, and make sure they get to try stroopwafels while they’re in the city.
Ireland is known for its rolling, grassy landscape and its friendly residents. It’s capital city has the latter, and the former can be found by taking a day trip around the countryside, particularly to see the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher. While in Dublin, however, explore Trinity College — perhaps some inspiration for your kids — and walk across the famous Ha’penny pedestrian bridge.
Kids will love the whimsy of many of Barcelona’s famous sites, especially Parc Guell and La Sagrada Familia — two works of artist and architect Antoni Gaudi. Many other parts of the city will also delight parents and children alike. The Barrio Gotico, or Gothic Quarter, with its winding alleys is fun to get lost in for a morning. Las Ramblas, a wide avenue through the center of the city, is perfect for an afternoon stroll. And, when everyone’s tuckered out, the beach and fresh seafood are only a short walk away.
Many European cities are full of history, but perhaps none so much as Rome, where the Colosseum, Vatican City, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps are all within walking distance. Kids will enjoy the pizza, pasta, and gelato galore while learning a thing or two about Western Civilization.
If a fairy tale city were to come to life, it would likely look like Prague. The red roofs, castle, and gorgeous Charles Bridge all add to this fantasy atmosphere. In addition to these landmarks, families can hike up Petrin Hill for a fantastic view of the city and explore the historic Jewish Quarter.
Edinburgh has everything a family traveling to Europe could want: a huge castle, bagpipe players, and medieval city center. Stroll the old town; have tea at The Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book; and hike Arthur’s Seat, which provides panoramic views of the city.
This article was written by Isabella Sayyah.