Best Family Destinations
Family vacations require good preparation and planning and knowing the best family destinations helps a lot. Theme Parks, museums, treasure hunts will all educate the children, keep them busy, create great memories and most of all put a smile to their faces. And when children are happy, parents are happy too!
London, United Kingdom
From the London Zoo to the London Dungeon and Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station, to the fire-eaters of Covent Garden, London captivates its tween visitors. Your young ones will love posing with One Direction at Madame Tussauds. To get your fill of history, visit the Museum of London and time travel from the days when lions roamed Trafalgar Square, to today’s thriving city centre. Last but not least, if J.K. Rowlings is a family extravaganza, you won’t want to miss the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour. And if the sun is shinning, plan a day at St. James Park for some outdoor activities. Watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and then stroll down Horse Guards Parade and Mall to the lake; watch the pelicans get fed daily at 2:30 or settle into a deckchair while the kids frolic on the playground. London is one of best family vacation destination.
In Rome, you and your kids can form lifelong memories as you brush up on ancient history at the Colosseum and the Pantheon. If you’re looking for a memorable kid-friendly activity, Gladiator School is an event your children will never forget. Before your children refuse to see another church, take them to San Clemente near the Colosseum, and descend through layers of excavated history, through a dark age basilica, rooms of an ancient Roman townhouse, across an eerie 1,900-year-old alleyway, and to the temple of Mithras. And with plenty of piazzas for kids to roam, kid-friendly museums to tour and gelato to sample, Rome is an educational and crowd-pleasing city to explore at any age, one the best family city destinations in Europe.
With iconic landmarks and kid-friendly attractions, the City of Light offers a fun and enriching family vacation experience. When travelling en famille, take in Paris’ plentiful parks. You could spend the whole day at Jardin du Luxembourg, which in addition to a stunning Palace built in 1612 by Marie de Medici, boasts modern-day delights including peddle cars for racing and toy boats for sailing, not to mention a playground with zip lines and an Eiffel Tower bungee for your pint, size thrill seekers. If the weather drives you indoors visit the Musee Cluny and go for a treasure hunt among the tapestries. Paris is one of the most spectacular family city destinations in the world.
Madrid is surprisingly one of the most kid-friendly attractions in Europe. Just few days in the city provides families with opportunities to learn about art and participate in both artistic and athletic activities together. One of Madrid’s most popular destinations for outdoor fun is Retiro Park. The park features a lake with rowing boats for hire, and along its shores, plenty of street entertainers will captivate your child’s attention. Take your little ones to the Casa de Campo, where families can take advantage of the Madrid Zoo and the Madrid Amusement Park. Plan on a soccer match at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, or if you prefer some more “elite-style” sightings, plan a Tour of the Royal Palace. With more than 30 attractions for children and adults, Madrid is one of the best family city destinations in Europe.
Forever-evolving Berlin is becoming increasingly attractive to families. One of the most fascinating developments is the growth of “Kindercafés,” trendy eateries that cater to children. Kollwitz Platz, in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg, is Berlin’s mecca for families; you’ll find one of the biggest and best playgrounds here, with wonderful wooden play toys shaped like giant vegetables, a leafy park, and ping pong tables. A visit to the Berlin Zoo is a fun activity for the whole family; it is the oldest zoo in Germany and proud to present the world’s largest number of species. For some high-tech indoor adventure, visit the German Museum of Technology, where our kids will be enthralled by 14 different exhibition departments, featuring locomotives, airplanes, engines, ships and much more. Berlin is one of the best European cities for family travellers.
Everything is more fun when you arrive on a boat or a bike and in Amsterdam that’s the way to go. Be sure to swing by the NEMO Science Museum for hands-on exhibits that include a chemistry lab with experiments for young scientists and a bubble display for those that can’t resist getting their hands wet. Older kids will appreciate the history of the Anne Frank Museum while kids of all ages will find something of interest at the Van Gogh Museum; just be sure to buy your tickets in advance to avoid the long lines. If you visit in the spring, a day trip to Keukenhof to see the tulips in bloom—hundreds of thousands of them—should top your list. Consider a Holland Pass (€40.00) to save time and entry frees to major attractions. With fun, exciting and fascinating attractions, Amsterdam is a top destination for families.
With the works of Gaudí around every corner, you’ll be in a state of architectural bliss while the kids will think they’ve landed in the land of Seuss. If that’s not enough, you can amble along Las Ramblas or stroll by the sea in the city that gave the world tapas. Barcelona’s Boqueria is a market like no other with flowers, fruit, and local fare to dazzle all five senses. Grab some goods to go and then get your Gaudí on at the famous Sagrada Familla. From there, hike uphill to Parc Güell where you’ll be greeted by “el drac”, a multicolored mosaic salamander perfect for photo ops. For a sweet treat, visit The Chocolate Museum, featuring chocolate monument replicas and tasty souvenirs. CosmoCaixa Museum is an interactive science museum with a mini rain forest and crowd-pleasing planetarium. If you have a little inventor along for the ride, don’t miss the Museum of Ideas and Inventions, which will spark their imagination and yours too. If you’re feeling adventurous, go shark cave diving in the Oceanarium at the aquarium near the Marina in Port Vell. Afterward, enjoy the view of the Mediterranean while nibbling on prawns and jamon at Martina’s Brasserie & Cocteleria. As the sun sets, stroll over to the Fountain of Montjuic for an unforgettable display of illuminated dancing “magic” fountains. Barcelona is a year-round family holiday destination.