From peer-free parks to museums and refreshingly affordable food, all major Europe’s top destinations say “welcome!” families with children. And here are the best European destinations you can visit with your family:
It’s not just Irish eyes that smile when you touch down in Dublin; The hosts who will welcome everyone will laugh from above “until the morning” until the moon rises. With relatively short direct flights and no language barrier, Dublin is the perfect starting city for a family of aspiring adventurers.
What should I do?
Admire the “gates of Dublin” as you walk towards the green of St. Stephen’s. Pack a picnic lunch, run around the playground and feed the ducks before you go to see ducks of a different species at the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History. A taxidermy tribute to the wild animals of Ireland is artistically displayed on two arable floors. Assuming you have some animal lovers in your midst, they’ll be glad to know they can see the real thing at the enchanting Dublin Zoo in Phoenix Park. For a bit of (dark) Irish history, plan a visit to Kilmainham; Gaol is a Gaelic prison, and it housed almost all prominent Irish rebels.
If day trips are your thing, consider driving south to Brai to visit the aquarium, take a walk by the sea or hike to Braehead; you may also choose some blueberries along the way, depending on the season. If the mountains are more your style, head to Wicklow County where you will be dazzled by the garden in Powerscourt and admire the landscape and history in Glendalough.
Gladiators meet gelato in this city of ancient history and modern cuisine. The locals love kids, and they love food. Need we say more?
What to do?
No family trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Colosseum and the pious will want to pop in on the Pope and visit the Vatican. Keep your shoulders covered and hold onto your hat as you look up at Michelangelo’s masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Splash in the Trevi Fountain, climb the Spanish Steps and enjoy a gelato in one of the city’s many central piazzas.
Pizza is plentiful but if you want an insider’s look at the Rome’s food scene, take one of Elizabeth Minchilli’s food tours. In case one gelato just isn’t enough, she offers a two-hour all-gelato tour that’s a favourite with the junior set.
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a day trip to Ostia Antica. Once Rome’s harbour city, it’s now a maze of ruins that evokes Pompeii, providing ample wandering of ancient alleys and passageways. Spend an afternoon exploring the remnant rooftops, storefronts and latrines – which kids of all ages always get a kick out of.
There is more – much more – for Amsterdam than the fourth for the red light. In fact, with rowing boats and bike paths galore, you can – and should – give it the green light for your next family adventure. The food is simple, and cameras abound in this city that can be driven and driven. Pat met (french fries with mayonnaise) will quench your hunger as you tour the sights, probably stopping you from smiling in an oversized Dutch meal – or perhaps with the steam you plan to bring home.
What should I do?
It’s all more fun when you get on a boat or a bike, and in Amsterdam, it’s a trip. Be sure to swing the NEMO Science Museum with practical exhibits that include a chemistry lab with experiments for young scientists and a bubble display for those who can’t resist wetting their hands. Older children will appreciate the history of the Anne Frank Museum, while children of all ages will find something interesting in the Van Gogh Museum; just be sure to buy tickets in advance to avoid long lines. If you visit in the spring, a day trip to Keukenhof to see tulips in bloom – hundreds of thousands of them – should be at the top of your list. Consider Holland Pass to save time and entry to the main attraction is free.
With Gaudi’s works around every corner, you will be in a state of architectural bliss, while the children will think that they have landed in the land of Seus. If that’s not enough, you can climb Las Ramblas or take a walk through the sea in the city that gave the world tapas. Bueno!
What should I do?
Barcelona Boqueria is a market like no other with flowers, fruit and a local offer to dazzle all five senses. Take some goods and drive to Gaudi near the famous Sagrada Familia. From there, climb uphill to Parc Guell, where you will be greeted by “el drac”, a colourful mosaic of salamanders perfect for photos.
For a sweet treat, visit the Chocolate Museum, which contains replicas of chocolate monuments and delicious souvenirs. CosmoCaika is an interactive science museum with a mini rainforest and a pleasant planetarium. If you have a few inventors, don’t miss the Museum of Ideas and Inventions that will enchant your imagination and yours.
If you feel adventurous, go scuba diving in the aquarium near the marina in Port Vellore. You will make your bcn travel more interesting and it will be easier to visit everything you have imagined with the help of the many offers available to you. Afterwards, enjoy the view of the Mediterranean while nibbling on shrimp and Jamon at the Martini Brasserie & Cocteleria. As the sun sets, approach the Montjuic fountain to get an unforgettable view of the illuminated dancing “magic” fountains. And for even more useful things you can do in Barcelona, visit https://avidvoyagers.com/things-to-do-in-barcelona/.
So, there you have it, family travel, Europe’s got the cities to do it. From Dublin to Barcelona and everything in between, you’re sure to have a vacation packed with great times and fantastic memories.
Europe’s Top Destinations is a feature post