Everyone has a fantasy to visit Europe once in a lifetime. Europe has everything for a traveler i.e. History, modernity, culture, entertainment and natural landmarks to name a few. Hundred years’ old Castles, The Eiffel Tower-Paris, The London Eye, The Colosseum at Rome, Aquariums with Whales and Dolphins, wine-yards, Zoos with exotic animals and birds and museums are some of the landmarks that a tourist always wishes to view and explore with kids and family.
No tourist will suffer from the issue of transportation in Europe. Buses, Trams, Trains, etc. are available in plenty with path support. It will be an incredible and amazing experience for every tourist.
These are the 35 best cities in Europe that you must visit for a great family vacation.
London - A spectacular destination to commence your holidays with family! Reach early at the Buckingham Palace to cherish the famed Changing of the Guard ceremony at 11:00 AM on selected dates. Go back to the History at the British Museum or have a Panoramic bird’s eye view of London from the famed 443 Ft. Coca-Cola London Eye. The London holiday is incomplete without a cruise on the Thames River and the Chocolate Walking Tour - a favorite amidst journeying families.
Why not enthrall the kids at the London Sea Life Aquarium to view Sharks and aquatic life including the Gentoo Penguins in their natural habitat? A short tour of London can also be undertaken on a double-decker bus.
One word for a fulfilling family holiday to Amsterdam - Unforgettable! Begin your tranquil retreat by booking a stay on a houseboat - A canal boat - an accepted norm of viewing almost all of Amsterdam is the chief attraction to move around the city’s landmarks. Let your canal boat take you to the entrance of the NEMO Science center - an exhilarating and wondrous destination for all age groups to discover and learn about theatre, science demonstrations, exhibitions and films with interactive and touch and sound mediums.
Spend a quiet afternoon at the Vondelpark playing with the kids at its playground and relaxing thereafter or hire a bicycle and explore Amsterdam’s quiet lanes and shop for an item or two. A perfect Staycation!
Have you ever wished for an awe-inspiring vacation with family in Europe? Barcelona is the word for you! Let your kids be astonished at fire swallowers, sword jugglers and jokers entertaining at a street show. Walk, talk and savor chocolates and cakes at the Museum of Chocolate practically!
Spend a lazy afternoon at one of the city’s beaches or be amidst the sharks and other aquatic life at the L’Aquarium. Alternatively, let curiosity take over your kids at the Park Güell learning about the past era of Gaudi in the form of a 4D Show known as the Gaudi Experience. It would be unfair for your family to miss the Barcelona Zoo, housing 400 species of animals and birds. Watch how dolphins are trained to perform in public.
It would be an energizing beginning of your holidays in Prague with family on a river cruise that takes you around the city’s landmarks while having a meal. Of course, you can sit indoors if you prefer to! Spend an evening at the Prague Theatre and enjoy the masterful and talented ballet dance, puppet show and other visuals. Explore the ravishing Prague countryside by hiring cars and hit the road with your family.
The Toy Museum in the Prague Castle from the 9th century is a must-visit for children who love history. It houses antique toys, hundreds of Barbie dolls, robots and teddy bears including steam engines. Go back to your childhood at the Mirror Maze in Petrin Hill! It is where one can indulge in making funny faces and expressions with kids at the distorting mirrors.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do on Holidays - Travel and Relax! Be sure to check out the St. Peter’s Square for its grand architectural cathedrals, space and the 500 year old Egyptian Obelisk. Pay your respects to St. Peter and watch an original masterpiece of Michelangelo’s art-the Pietà in the St. Peter’s Basilica.
The other best way to spend a late afternoon is at Piazza Navona - Large Squares. You can indulge in shopping, walking around and drinking coffee with family. Let your kids be awe-inspired at the Colosseum- a historical engineering marvel and vastness.
Have some fun and scare your kids a little at the Bocca Della Verita, also known as the Mouth of Truth at the Santa Maria Church in Cosmedin. Tell them the legend of hands being bitten off by the sculpture if anyone speaks a lie.
Of course, you can’t leave Rome without the traditional Pizza, can you?
Zurich is a preferable holiday destination for families! One can consider exploring the famed Zurich countryside or the ancient Sihl Forest by pedaling along a rented bicycle and breathe fresh air in the bargain. If your child loves ancient stories of castles, weapons, warfare and knights in armor, then the Swiss National Museum is the perfect getaway.
Explore how the mouth watering Lindt Chocolate is manufactured at the Lindt Chocolate factory on the outskirts of Zurich in Kilchberg. The kids will have some great memories of the place! Wander around the city and photograph the city lights from the Fondue Tram that runs until March from November every year
Europe has a spectacular historical past. Salzburg is no different! The city is home to the 10th century Hohensalzburg fortress positioned over a mountain that overlooks the town. Not only will the children love the panoramic views of the countryside, they will also be excited to click pictures as well.
Salzburg is very close to the town of Berchtesgaden in Germany and so one can expect to find numerous serene lakes and mountains nearby. It would be unfair to leave the city without paying a visit to the birthplace of the great music legend Mozart. A brief visit to his childhood home may inspire your young one to take up music seriously.
The city of Valencia is a mix of history and modern life. Start your journey with the historical Torres de Serrano or the Torres de Quart, both 14th century Gothic gates to the city. Nothing is more fascinating than paying a visit to the Toy Soldier Museum, a home to more than 75,000 toy soldiers on display. These toy soldiers are categorized into different battalions equipped with weapons and clothing of their era.
Certain re-enactments or scenes from the times of the Aztec Empire, Rome and Egypt along with the current era personalities are definitely going to mesmerize you and your family. Another surprise in store for the children would be a visit to the Gulliver Park. The El Saler beach can be a choice to spend an early morning or late afternoon with family.
Do you love historical landmarks? Bucharest is renowned for its grand Iconic monuments. Visit the controversial, but still a popular building - The Palace of Parliament, the largest administrative and heaviest building in the world with secret tunnels inside. Pay a visit to the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum situated on the banks of the Herastrau Lake and known for its open - air style ambience. It displays the traditional Romanian life before the visitor.
Apart from the architectural styled buildings, Bucharest is also a home to the 19th century Cismigiu Garden, admired for its 30,000+ trees and flowers. People often stop to smell the beautiful flowers with their young kids.
A holiday to Dublin would be a joyous outing for your kids if they prefer nature and outdoor explorations. Begin with the hundreds of acre Phoenix Park’s Dublin Zoo, which has numerous wildlife and endangered species that would allure the little ones before they run off to the playground nearby. A half day can be spent at Imaginosity - a children’s museum for kids under nine years showcasing puppet rooms and children’s theatre to name a few.
Find yourself at Grafton Street, a busy and happing marketplace! One can find local musicians and popular music bands often giving live performance. If time permits, take a tour of the residence of the President of Ireland-‘Aras an Uachtarain’ in the Phoenix Park that resembles the White House of the U.S.A.
Budapest is a vacationer pleasant destination that does not disappoint its guests. Take a short tour of the metropolis through the Big Bus Tours that takes you around the Parliament Building, the Heroes Square, The Royal Palace and so forth offering an audio guide on each of the landmarks you pass by. Enter into the world of Liliput at the Miniversum - a wonderfully decorated and planned to detail exhibition where miniature models play live.
The kids will love to gaze at mini models of the landmarks of Europe, have fun with the moving trains and lively cartoons joyously. Ever travelled in a train run by children? Budapest is home to the Children’s Railway - a train ride of 100 Km. in the surrounding countryside. Don’t get shocked if you watch children, partly running the train.
Welcome to one of the utmost supporter of Street Art i.e. Lisbon. You will be amazed at how excellent a street art can be when you roam around the city with your Kids. Talent at its best! Let your children be enchanted at one of the best aquariums of Europe i.e. Lisbon Oceanarium. It is known for its wide variety of marine life and four huge tanks that represent the four oceanic regions of the world.
Spend your late afternoon at the Alvito Playground - a large 3 level playground in the Monsanto National Park with everything that your kids can ask for to play. Ever been to a museum of tiles? The National Tile Museum awaits you to display its exclusive collection of decorative tiles with examples from the 15th century creative tiles in diverse colors and patterns.
Dubrovnik is surrounded by small islands and it is a perfect place for the tourists to start their holidays in the city. Roam around in the small harbors, churches and the pine wood forests. Take a cable car to the Mt. Srd to have a marvelous view of the old town. Consider a guided tour of the Durovic Cave near the city airport. The cave is from the time of the Bronze Age and one can view live stalagmites and stalactites from a distance.
Grab a DSLR camera and zoom off to the Buza bars - A small bar at the brink of the cliff at the old city wall side. Watch the calm water while sitting and having a drink. Explore the Elaphite Islands and surrounding areas of the Southern Adriatic Coast by undertaking a boat trip if time permits you.
Reykjavik is a city in Iceland, renowned for a laid back holiday season. One can start with learning about the city’s culture at the Reykjavik City Museum or take a horse riding session with children through one of the rural valleys. Eager to watch whales taking a dive out of the water? Book a boat tour to watch them in the sea coast from a respectable distance.
An exciting activity to catch up on is visiting a 2000 year old latent volcanic cave to stare at extraordinary stone formations. Another natural beauty to tick off your bucket list of travel is the Strokkur Geyser near the Hvita River. It is a famed and active fountain geyser throughout the world. Watch the live action of an exploding geyser that rises 30 Mt. into the air.
Athens in Greece is a favorite destination for anyone visiting Europe. Jump onto the red Athens Happy Train from Syntagma Square for a one hour sightseeing tour of Athens and its historical monuments. Major landmarks such as the Temple of Zeus, the ancient Roman market, Theater of Herodes Atticus, etc will be included in this fun train trip.
A visit to the Children’s Museum in Plaka will be an educating and innovative learning experience for your young ones. At the Greek Reptile Center, the home of snakes and reptiles, be up-close with pythons, lizards and boas. You can even hold one if you prefer to. Feel the tickling of your feet at the Fish spa in Athens, where the Garra Rufa Fish nibble at your soaked feet.
Someone said, “The best way to travel is to move around like a local”. This suits best for anyone who travels to Oslo, Norway. A family with kids can start with the Oslo Opera House, where even the small ones can enjoy the ‘Mini’ program of songs and role-play of their beloved characters. The Norweigian Science and Technology Museum near Lake Maridal has numerous interactive displays that will keep your children occupied. A separate section of dinosaurs is at all times open for the kids.
Witness the changing of the guard ceremony at the Royal Palace every afternoon. Walk through the Viking Ship Museum in the Bygdoy Peninsula to observe the 3 ships from the times of the 9th century, preserved exceptionally well till date.
Milan, the fashion city! The metropolis is also recognized for its architectural historical buildings, food and culture! Begin by a stroll at the Giardini Publici Indro Montanelli- a park that was built in the early 1780’s. The park’s playgrounds have enough resources to keep your kids busy! The old trams of Milan are popular amongst the tourists for sightseeing around the city.
Plan a day at a 15th century Castle-The Castello Sforzesco and study the antique armor and musical instruments. An Egyptian room of mummies and stone caskets in the castle will have your kids excited. After your supper, do a stopover to the Duomo-a huge cathedral, which took 500 years to complete. Couples can indulge in a tango dance at one of the street dances at Piazza Affari. An incredible fun indeed!
Your journey in Berlin can commence with a visit to the Museum Island, a part of the old city that has several museums such as the ‘Old Museum’ and the ‘New Museum’ from the times of 1830 to 1850’s. They house numerous antiques that are of significance for the art buffs. Jaunt the Zoologischer Garden Berlin, a zoo established in the year 1844. The zoo and its aquarium cater to a variety of marine species such as the jellyfishes, tiger sharks and reptiles. The aquarium has 250 tanks to house these marine lives.
Spend some time flying a kite at the Tempelhofer Park or discover how the world’s largest mounted dinosaur’s skeleton looks like at the Natural History Museum. Meet your favorite stars at Madame Tussauds, a masterful and incredible creations made out of wax.
Vacationers in Vienna have a ton to explore. Initiate with the House of Music that has an awe-inspiring and breathtaking 5 floors of musical instruments, knowledge of music and sound generation and interactive music features for children. Families can stroll around or pick a ride at the Prater-Theme Park or the Wiener Prater-the oldest amusement park in the world from the times of 1162 AD. Walk your kids through the Vienna Zoo on the grounds of the Schonbrunn Palace. The zoo is an abode to over 700 animal species and endangered animals and marine life like the koala, giant pandas, polar bear, penguins and sea lions.
Vienna is also known for its different flavors of coffee. Let the finest of these beverages rejuvenate you completely. Savor each sip of an Espresso, Melange or Caffe Latte flavor. You will enjoy it to the last drop.
Munich is Picturesque in every way. Ideal for the visiting tourists to take a stroll through the city, one can begin their holiday from the Viktualienmarkt market that sells dairy products, honey, meat and other local goods. It would take more than a day to cover the enormous Deutsches Museum, the biggest science and technology museum worldwide. From nanotechnology, scientific items, life-size airplanes and papermaking, you name it and you see it here! The museum has even a separate floor dedicated to young children.
Pay your respects to Saint Munditia at St. Peter’s Church. One can see a glass coffin with the skeleton of the saint covered with gold and jewels. Reach early at the Olympic Park, a venue of the 1972 Summer Olympics and now an active recreational center for family activities.
Have a creative learning session at the BMW Museum and learn how the cars are built and their life cycle including the history of the company.
Madrid, the football crazy city! It is also a tourist friendly destination for families who want to have a laid-back sojourn in Europe. Schedule your time to visit the Royal Palace of Madrid, (1738-1755) built of stone and brick to avoid a recurring fire. Stop over at one of the Madrid Museums to be acquainted about the art and culture of the metropolis including some wonderful art works.
Allow your children create memories at the Parque Warner theme park. Their favorite toon characters are all ready to click pictures and have fun. The water rides and roller coasters test the fun limits of your kids at the park. Indulge in some bird watching at the Faunia Zoo, where the Penguins and fearsome Komodo Dragons gaze back at you.
Truman Capote one said,” Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go”. One can’t get enough of Venice! Book your tickets beforehand the Venice Film Festival, the oldest film festivals in the world. The city will instantly captivate the travel bug in the kids as they tour the Grand Canal on the Vaporetto waterbus from the Piazza Roma to Piazza San Marco covering crucial tourist landmarks.
A stroll at the Alberoni Beach can recharge your body while your kids play in the white sands or build sandcastles. Witness the spellbinding art of Murano Glass made from generations old techniques. The famed Murano glass chandeliers and art glass are examples of this, not to forget the minutely prepared Murano Glass Jewelry. Of course, you can buy some necklaces and earrings made out of it.
Gothenburg is a less known tourist destination, but gradually gaining recognition worldwide. Arrive at Universeum, popularly known as the best child museum in Sweden. A large dinosaur (Diplodocus) greets you as you walk through the museum door. Watch huge aquariums and life sized dinosaurs, space travel section and an indoor rainforest with birds and butterflies, reptiles and animals awaiting your curiosity. Look out for a large sand tiger shark at the aquarium zooming above.
Pick some seats at the jam-packed Scandinavium indoor stadium and catch a live Ice Hockey match of the local team ‘The Frolunda Indians’. A late afternoon ride on a boat to catch the Gothenburg from diverse corners and its historic landmarks is definitely worth a plan to catch up on.
Leipzig is a vital center of culture, art and knowledge, an example of it being a major hub city of publishing houses and libraries. The book-reading fanatic tourists should definitely visit its international book fair to gratify their knowledge and reading cravings. One must stopover at the spectacular Battle of the Nations Monument that was completed in the year 1913 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat in Leipzig in the year 1813 at the Battle of the Nations.
The city is also home to a grand museum, The Grassi Museum, established in the year 1895. It proudly displays its collection of the city’s ethnography and art, including its extensive collection of musical instruments. The city is an epic-center of music as regular music festivals are held here. Leipzig was also a home to the famous organist musician Johann Sebastian Bach.
“Every hundred feet the world changes”, Roberto Bolano one said this. Helsinki is a model example of this. Begin your journey in Helsinki at one of its gentle beaches and islands. Book a ferry to the 18th century Suomenlinna, a fort amongst a number of islands and connected by bridges. The fort also has a military museum ‘Sotamuseo Maneesi’ with an underground bunker.
Children will love the landscape that overlooks the sea from the fort and number of cannons to climb and play over them. In the Helsinki City, the Natural History Museum has an enigmatic dinosaur skeleton and a large stuffed African elephant, surely to mesmerize your children. Next in line to invest time with your kids is the underground Helsinki Playground that has a glittering light in the dark cave.
They say that the best way to know a city is take a walk around. Literature lovers can jaunt the Jule Verne Museum and view items used by the author-poet. If your spouse loves flowers and gardens, then Jardin des Plantes de Nantes is the perfect landmark to visit together. It has some rare flowers and 200 year old trees maintained exceptionally well.
What would be the highlight of your visit to Nantes is the Les Machines de L’lle where interactive large machines actually walk. The 12 Mt. tall Grand Elephant is an ideal example of it as it takes you on a walk along with 50 other people. Visit another fascinating scene in Nantes-the Bouffay district, where partially-made houses from the years of 1400’s coexist alongside modern structures. Your children will absolutely be amazed!
Verona- also known as the City of Love is a getaway for history hungry tourists. Anyone who has ever read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and the famous balcony, can actually go and stand on it to have a photographic moment. Children will find it amusing at the museum dedicated to the two lovers, where they can send love letters to Juliet. How? Surprise!
What is remarkable is that Verona has an ancient Roman Amphitheatre in Piazza Bra, which is believed to be older than the Rome’s Colosseum. The famed Area Opera Festival featuring notable artists is held every year here between months June to September. A peaceful retreat at the Giardino Giusti gardens can be considered to shake off your exhaustion. Even Mozart used to visit here time and again!
“It doesn’t matter where you are going; it’s who you have beside you”, said someone unknown. This holds true for a tourist family in Bordeaux. The European city has some unspoiled beaches to spend a quiet retreat with family. The highest sand dunes in Europe-The Dune du Pilat near the city can be considered if you have grown-up children willing to climb the sand dunes at 110 Mt. above the sea level.
An iconic trip in Bordeaux to the Miroir d’eau or the water mirror will be just an unforgettable trip for your family. The water mirror is the world’s largest reflecting pool covering 3,450 sq Mt. made of granite slabs with 2 cm. deep water, creating a fog effect every few minutes during the summer. Photo enthusiasts will have a gala time clicking pictures of reflections in the water.
“Let your memory be your travel bag”, said an anonymous traveler. A journey to Stuttgart will leave you with memories to cherish! The highlight of your journey in Stuttgart would be the visits to the Mercedes Benz Museum and the Porsche Museum. It will take at-least a day to cover these two. The Mercedes Benz Museum opened in 1936 with 9 floors and consists of 150 collections of cars from the earliest Mercedes models to the sleek and stylish cars today.
The Porsche Museum will have your kids thrilled as they can sit in a Porsche, designed especially for them. The museum is a stunning example of how Porsche cars from the early 20th century to the most recent ones looked. Time for some selfies with the Porsche cars! Couples can consider a romantic date to the Staatsoper Stuttgart to relish the Ballet and Opera performance –the best in Europe.
Paris-the epicenter of fashion, history and tourist hub! The metropolis is well-known for its Eiffel Tower and vice versa. You can take the lift in the Eiffel Tower to reach the top if you have the kids along. The 360 degree panoramic view of Paris from the peak is just incredible. Teenagers can be convinced to have a short stopover at the Paris Catacombs- an underground cemetery of millions of skulls and skeletons of 6 million people, who passed away from a disease in the 18th century.
Paris is also a focus of Museums such as the Museum of Inventions from the year 1794, where crucial inventions from history, such as the Foucault’s Pendulum swing and the first calculator made in the year 1642, are displayed amongst others. Watch Mona Lisa and her famed eyes at the Louvre Museum. Try out if her eyes follow you back!
Copenhagen is Denmark’s capital and an eminent family getaway destination. Begin your family holidays at the Tivoli Gardens as the kids catch a ride on the century old yet safe roller coaster. Next, surprise them with a trip to the Legoland Park. Lego –the toy company, prominent in Europe for its toy characters is set to welcome the kids and let them chill at the varied rides and attraction of the park. Do you wish to view the Piranha Fishes? The large Blue Planet aquarium invites you to get acquainted with not only the ferocious Piranhas, but also the hammerhead sharks and rays.
Couples can explore the city together by leasing a bicycle or hop on a canal boat to have a short tour of the Copenhagen’s old city areas. Music lovers can attend a free classical music concert at the 17th century church- Trinittis Kirke.
“Collect moments, not things”, said someone. Bruges, the capital of West Flanders in Northwest Belgium gives moments to remember for its guests for sure! The city is in a UNESCO World Heritage Site list for its medieval monuments and culture. Begin with a canal boat tour to witness an amazing sight of the medieval old buildings and the adorable swans in the river.
The art buffs can visit the Groeninge and the Memling Museums for the medieval artistic work. Make your Bruges journey fruitful by treating your family to the famed Belgian Chocolate and the Belgian waffles with whipped cream. Intense flavors and alluring aromas! Let the highlight of your Bruges visit be the Basilica of the Holy Blood, a Chapel from the 12th century with exemplary architecture and where Jesus Christ’s blood is preserved and kept for public viewing.
Hamburg is a key port city in Northern Germany with key landmarks to explore for a travelling family. The city has the world’s largest model railway called as ‘Miniatur Wunderland. It has 15,000 meters of track and 1300 trains, with mini working replica planes, trains and vehicles. It has a layout of cities from countries like Germany, USA and the Hamburg Airport and Italy. Words would not suffice to describe the toy train layout.
Explore the Hamburg’s inner regions at the pleasant-to-look city squares and historical landmarks around. Two artificial lakes-Inner Alster and Outer Alster have gardens to sit around and have some espresso with family. Children have more than 500 playgrounds to choose from in Hamburg, but the one to explore specifically is the Planten un Blomen Park for its thrilling rides. Hamburg is an idyllic child-friendly city.
The simplest way to explore Warsaw is on foot. The city’s old town is devoid of the regular noise of the daylight hours. One can’t believe that Warsaw saw a devastating WWII period with much of it destroyed, as the city is now rebuilt and looks sturdy. Don’t be surprised if you find an open-street Tibetan Gallery while exploring Warsaw showing Tibetan history and its culture.
Let your kids come close and safely explore the military canons, weapons and tanks at the Polish Army Museum situated nearby the National Museum. The most astonishing sight your family can see is the Keret House, known as the world’s most narrow home between two buildings. It stretches 30 Ft. tall and is only 28 inches wide. You have to see this to believe it!
Ljubljana. How to pronounce it? Try ‘Lu bla na’ or ‘Lyoo Blyah nah’. The city is Slovenia’s capital and is recognized for its green cover, and economic, educational and cultural significance. Let your children be awestruck at the giant mammoth’s skeleton at the Slovenian Museum of Natural History amongst the city’s history information. A 50,000+ year Neanderthal flute and an Egyptian Mummy will awake your curiosity as well at the museum.
Another remarkable feature of the city is the statues of Dragons found at major crossroads, as it is the city’s symbol. The City is also popular for its love of Jazz music. Regular music festivals are held in Ljubljana in Jazz throughout the year. Attend a ballet performance and concerts at the Slovene National Opera and Ballet Theatre for a great holiday time.
So, book your tickets, pack your bags and have a great trip to Europe with Family and kids.
Image Resource - Pixabay