Updated: January 22, 2018
Helpful & Recommended
Hotels in Europe for Families
- London – Hotels for Families
- Edinburgh – Hotels for Families
- Dublin – Hotels for Families
- Amsterdam – Hotels for Families
- Berlin – Hotels for Families
- Paris – Hotels for Families
- Lyon – Hotels for Families
- Nice – Hotels for Families
- Barcelona – Hotels for Families
- Madrid – Hotels for Families
- Rome – Hotels for Families
- Florence – Hotels for Families
- Milan – Hotels for Families
- Venice – Hotels for Families
- Siena – Hotels for Families
- Pisa – Hotels for Families
- Berlin – Hotels for Families
- Prague – Hotels for Families
- Athens – Hotels for Families
- Santorini – Hotels for Families
- Mykonos – Hotels for Families
- Istanbul – Hotels for Families
Best Family-Friendly Destinations in Europe
- Best for History and Culture: Italy
- Best for First Timers: UK & Ireland
- Best for Beach Vacation: Greece
- Best Value: Portugal
- Best for Outdoor Activities: Switzerland & Germany
- Best for Train Trips: France
- Best for River and Canal Cruises: Germany & France
- Best for Fun and Relaxation: Greece
- Best for Idyllic Evening Dinners: Spain & Greece
- Best for Kid-Friendly Bike Tours: Netherlands
- Best City for Kid-Friendly Attractions: London
London With Kids
- Natural History Museum: A stunning collection of kid-friendly exhibits, with dinosaurs and a huge blue whale among the favorites.
- The London Transport Museum and The Imperial War Museum: My kids loved these museums and they’re 2 of London’s best attractions for kids.
- Tower of London and Tower Bridge: History and sightseeing; torture chambers and a medieval castle.
- London Eye: Great views of the city from the world’s tallest observation wheel.
- The Science Museum, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum all have kid friendly tours and programs.
Book in Advance
- Tower of London Ticket with Crown Jewels Exhibition
- Harry Potter: Warner Brothers Studio Tour and Transfers
- KidZania – Real Life Role Playing for Kids
- LEGOLAND Windsor Tickets: Full-Day from London
- Afternoon Tea Cruise on the River Thames
Further Reading on London
- London with Kids – The Ultimate Guide
- The Best Hotels in London for Kids
- Book London Tours & Tickets in Advance
- The Best Playgrounds in London
- Tips for Visiting the British Museum
- Tips for Visiting Stonehenge
- A Guide to the Best Markets in London
- The Best Castles to Visit in England with Kids
Edinburgh With Kids
- Edinburgh Bus Tours: It’s a hilly city with lots of up and down (on cobblestoned streets that don’t lend themselves to strollers). This hop-on hop-off bus has 24 stops sprinkled around the city center.
- Edinburgh Castle: Just about everyone’s favorite attraction in Edinburgh. A must.
- Museum of Childhood: 4 floors of games, toys, and action figures. Lots of hands on fun for kids of all ages.
- Dynamic Earth: Fun, educational, and engaging. An interactive museum with films and presentations.
- National Museum of Scotland: Hands on fun for kids. Loads of Scottish history for the adults.
- Edinburgh Fringe Festival: If you’re in Edinburgh in August — and can find accommodation — be sure to take in the festival’s children’s theatre, puppetry, kids comedy, and dance and music workshops. If your visit is in May then the Imaginate Children’s Theatre Festival is a can’t miss event. And for April there’s the wonderful Edinburgh International Science Festival.
Book in Advance
- Edinburgh Castle Full-Day Skip-The-Line Ticket
- Edinburgh Ghosts & Ghouls Old Town Underground Tour
- Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Highlands Small Group Tour
- West Highland Lochs and Castles – Small Group Tour
- Edinburgh’s Best Hotels for Families
- Edinburgh with Kids – Things To Do
- Book Edinburgh Tours & Tickets in Advance
- The Top Sights and Views in Edinburgh
- Edinburgh.org: Information on hotels, festivals, and planning your visit.
- Glasgow.com: Glasgow is only 55 minutes away by train and makes a perfect daytrip if you’re short on time.
Dublin With Kids
- Dublin Zoo: One of Europe’s best zoos. Easy access with the hop-on hop-off bus.
- Kilmainham Gaol Historical Museum: A great introduction to Ireland’s history. Located out of town but on the hop-on, hop-off bus route.
- The National Museum — Archeology: Features items pulled from the bogs (including mummified bodies) and a viking exhibit that are very popular with kids.
- The Natural History Museum (a.k.a. the Dead Zoo): An amazing collection of animals that kids love.
- Viking Splash: Tour Dublin and get a (small) spattering of history aboard an amphibious WW II vehicle.
- Take the DART train to Howth (north) or Bray (south): Get to the coast, go for a walk, play on the beach, and take a break from the city.
Book in Advance
- Cliffs of Moher Full-Day Tour from Dublin
- Full-Day Scenic Tour of Giant’s Causeway
- Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour from Dublin
- Dublin Duck Tour: 75-Minute City Tour by Land and Water
Amsterdam With Kids
- Boat tour: Hop on board a canal tour or rent your own pedal boat (from the same shop) to see Amsterdam’s famous canals. There are 3 lines for the canal tours and 14 stops. Day passes are available and most of Amsterdam’s major sites are easily accessible from the
- Bike tour: Amsterdam is famous for it’s bike friendly culture and visitors will feel quite comfortable getting around it’s compact center on 2 wheels. Numerous shops rent bikes and little ones can hop into a bakfiets — the local version of a bike trailer.
- Science Center NEMO: Lots of hands-on fun at the Netherlands largest science museum for children aged 6 to 16.
- Visit one of Amserdam’s beautiful parks: Both Amsterdamse Bos (cheese farms, watersports, and horse riding) and Vondelpark (walking, biking, an open air theatre, playground, and near to Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum) are great parks that could keep the kids busy for hours.
Book in Advance
- Evening Pizza Cruise of Amsterdam’s Canals
- Amsterdam Private Group Walking Tour
- 4-Hour Food Tasting Tour of Jordaan
- Amsterdam with Kids – The Ultimate Guide
- Recommended Hotels in Amsterdam for Families
- Book Amsterdam Tours & Tickets in Advance
- Amsterdam for Families and Children
Paris With Kids
- The Eiffel Tower (of course): Great views are often dismissed by kids as boring, but not from the Tour Eiffel. The city looks small far below but never feels distant. If your kids are old enough walk the stairs instead of wait in line for the elevator.
- The Catacombs: Run this by your kids first — you’ll descend 20 metres below street level where you’ll be able to explore 1.7km of corridors walled with the remains of long dead Parisians. They’ll either be thrilled or terrified and you can make your plans from there.
- Musée de Louvre: It’s a huge intimidating museum that can make for a long visit for kids or an enthralling cultural journey depending on how you approach it. Read and discuss some of the paintings and sculptures before you arrive. Buy postcards of famous paintings and hunt for them during your visit. The Skip the Line Guided Tour is worth the expense.
- Musée d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris: France’s best science museum could fill a whole day. The highlight for kids is usually the Galerie de l’Evolution.
- Notre Dame Cathedral: Climb the 422 steps to the cathedral’s towers and you’ll be face to face with some fierce Gargoyles and an incredible view of Paris. Kids will recognize the scenes from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Book in Advance
- Eiffel Tower Skip The Line Tickets
- Louvre Skip The Line Tickets
- 3-Hour Chocolate and Pastry Tasting Tour
- Behind the Scenes Bakery Tour
- Two-in-One: Eiffel Tower and Seine Cruise Tickets
- Versailles Guided Bike & Palace Tour
- Paris with Kids — The Ultimate Guide
- The Best Hotels & Apartments in Paris for Families
- Book Paris Tours & Tickets in Advance
- Travel Guide: Paris with Kids
- Paris – The 5 Best Attractions for Kids Under Five
- The Sacre Coeur with Kids
- Tips for Visiting the Louvre
- What You Pay for Everyday Things in Paris
Prague With Kids
- Petřín Hill has a funicular that goes up to the top you’ll have great views, a mirror maze for kids, pony rides on the weekends, and a sizeable rose garden. For an even better view, climb up to the top of Lookout Tower or visit the observatory to take in the stars through their collection of telescopes.
- Nostalgic Tram No. 91 is a unique way to see the city. Vintage tram cars from the early 1900s travel along a special route that runs throughout Prague and past many of the city’s best sights. Not well known among tourists and for an affordable $1.50, it’s popular with both young and old.
- Theater and Puppet Shows – There are several kid friendly theater options unique to Prague including the Black Light Theater which combines elements of dance, animation, mimes and illusions. Puppet shows also have a strong tradition in the Czech Republic and the National Marionette Theater does puppet versions of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and the Magic Flute.
- Kid-Friendly Museums – At the Art Gallery for Children (Galerie umění pro děti) children are encouraged to interact in this multimedia space by touching, creating or even altering the art installations. Workshops are available for kids 5-12 and it’s a great way to introduce them to art. Or visit the Lego Museum – the largest in Europe. You’ll get to see lego versions of classic Prague landmarks like the 5 meter tall Charles Bridge.
- Children’s Island – Though there are numerous outdoor playgrounds around Prague, this one is devoted entirely to kids. It features a full range of swings, slides, climbing nets, sandpits, open space to run around. Most importantly it offers a great place for parents to sit and relax on the bank of the Vltava River with a nearby café for coffee and refreshments.
Book in Advance
- Best of Prague By Foot and Bus, and 1-Hour River Cruise
- Prague City Bike Tour
- Prague Castle 2.5-Hour Tour (and Admission Ticket)
- Eating Prague: Half-Day Food Tour
- Český Krumlov Full-Day Trip from Prague (with Lunch)
- Best Hotels for Families in Prague
- Highlights of Prague
- Prague is a Real Life Fairy Tale
- Best Budget Places to Stay in Prague
- The Spa Towns of the Czech Republic
Barcelona With Kids
- Parc Güell: A fun and wacky collection of Gaudi’s creations. Kids will love the colors, crazy sculptures, and playful nature of the park.
- Ride one of the city’s 2 cable cars: one goes to the beach, the other up to an old castle. Both are great for adventurous kids.
- L’Aquarium Barcelona or the Barcelona Zoo are easy to get to and make a great morning or afternoon visit.
- The great city beaches and the city’s famous and colorful boulevard Las Ramblas are fun ways to enjoy some unstructured family free time.
Book in Advance
- The Best Hotels in Barcelona for Kids & Families
- Barcelona with kids – the best things to do
- Book Barcelona Tours & Tickets in Advance
- 15 Things To Do with Kids in Barcelona
- Colosseum and Roman Forum: the highlight of a trip to Rome (likely for the whole family). Visit early to avoid the heat and crowds.
- Villa Borghese Gardens: rent row boats and bikes, have a picnic, hop on the #3 tram for a tour of Rome, and visit the Cinema dei Piccoli for afternoon and evening children’s movies. This large park can easily form the basis of an entire day’s activities.
- Explora: Rome’s top notch kids’ museum has lots of hands-on fun, an outdoor play area, and an ice cream shop. Visits are limited to 90 minutes.
- Tivoli’s temples and gardens make a great day trip out of the city. The nearby Aquapiper water park makes it worthwhile for the kids as well. (Hydromania is another water park closer to Rome.)
- Visiting the Vatican and the Vatican Museum probably won’t be at the top of your children’s to do list. If you decide to go anyway, a private tour will allow you to skip the long entrance lines and pick out the highlights of the museum’s extensive works.
- Gladiator School
- Walking Tour: Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill
- Skip The Line: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s
- Pizza Making Class in Rome
- Italy Travel Guide
- Great Hotels & Rentals for Families in Rome
- The Best of Rome with kids – the 10 best things to do with kids in Rome
- Book Rome Tours & Tickets in Advance
- 8 Practical Tips for Family Travel in Italy
- 5 Quirky Things To Do In Rome
- The fantastic beaches of Southwest England: Kid friendly beaches can be found up and down the coasts’ of both counties.
- St Michael’s Mount, Marazion: Walk during low tide (or ferry during high tide) to Cornwall’s most important historical landmark.
- National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth: The huge maritime collection of boats and artifacts is perfect for slightly older kids.
- Rent a cottage: Stay in a self-contained cabin — on a farm, near the sea, or in a small Cornish village.
- Dartmoor National Park: Camp, hike, and explore this beautiful park.
- The Eden Project: An amazing all-weather destination focused on nature, the environment, the arts, and having fun.
- Book Cornwall Tours & Tickets in Advance
- 10 of the Best Campsites and Family Day Trips in Cornwall
- Official Guide to Southwest England
- Information on the resorts and towns of South Devon
- The cities of Arles, Avignon, and Aix-en-Provence — Three cultural giants that are beautiful, walkable, and packed with cool attractions. Each is overflowing with art and architecture and all are within an hour’s drive of each other.
- Beaches: The southern coast of France is known for it’s fantastic beaches with the best found between St Tropez and St Raphael.
- Monaco: A small city state whose narrow winding streets are fun to explore. Highlights for the kids will undoubtedly be the fantastic Oceanographic Museum, the Prince’s collection of antique cars, and the parks and gardens that fill the city.
- Le Pont du Gard: This Unesco World Heritage Site is a wonder of Roman planning and architecture. The kids program for 5-12 year olds is enriching, well designed, and describes in detail how the aqueduct was built and used.
- Carcassonne: A remarkably well preserved medieval city. Le Cite can be painfully busy during July and August but as it’s one of Europe’s largest city fortifications it’s probably worth enduring the crowds.
- One Day Tour of Provence from Aix-en-Provence
- One Day Tour of Provence from Nice
- One Day Tour of Provence from Cannes
- Half-Day Tour of Monaco, Monte Carlo, and Eze (from Cannes, Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer, and Monaco)
- Full-Day Tour of French Riviera (from Cannes, Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer, and Monaco)
- Top 10 Things To Do with Kids In South France
- The Best Family Hotels in Nice
- Book Tours for Aix-en-Provence in Advance
- Kid-friendly things to do in Saint-Tropez
- Best of Provence, activities for families
- Villa Poggio Tre Lune, Rignano sull’Arno, Italy – Apartments sleep up to ten with separate bedrooms and full kitchen. Nice swimming pool.
- Salvadonica – Family rooms sleep family of five. Nice swimming pool.
- Castello Vicchiomaggio – Two-bedroom apartments and family junior suites sleep families of four and five. Nice swimming pool.
- Skip the Line: Leaning Tower of Pisa & Cathedral Ticket
- Skip the Line: Florence Duomo and Bell Tower Access
- Florence Walking Tour and Skip-the-Line Uffizi Gallery
- Santorini – Incredible views and scenery. Take a boat tour of the caldera which was formed by a volcanic explosion and forms a huge cliff that runs the length of the entire island. The beaches are not Greece’s best but there is a water park with slides.
- Crete – The largest island in Greece. Lots to do and see. Great beaches, historical sites, small traditional villages, thriving cities, and some wonderful hikes. Crete offers a little bit of everything – or rather, a lot of everything.
- Rhodes – A great island if you’re looking to visit Turkey – whether it be a day trip or a more involved trip up to Istanbul. Rhodes has great beaches and an incredible Old Town.
- Naxos – The best island for families in all of Greece. Wonderful kid-friendly beaches, with a gentle slope, and calm shallow water. The main village is packed with fun restaurants and shops. The island’s interior offers interesting traditional villages and great walks.
- Paros – A hipper version of Naxos with a bit more partying and shopping and perhaps beaches that aren’t quite so kid-friendly – though still wonderful. Nearby Antiparos is a great day trip for its laid-back charm and quiet beaches.
- Corfu – One of Greece’s most beautiful islands. Corfu Town is a beautiful old city and makes a great base for exploring the island. Lots of kid-friendly activities on the island (including a water park) and some great beaches.
- Half-Day Athens Food Tour with Tour Guide
- Athens Highlights Walking Tour
- 5-Hour Catamaran Sunset Cruise on Santorini
- Mykonos to Delos 4-Hour Tour
- Crete: Hiking Tour in Samaria Gorge
- Best Places To Go in Europe
- The Best Time To Visit Europe
- Family Camping In Europe
- The Best Time To Visit Paris
- The Best Time To Visit London
- The Best Time To Visit Rome
- The Best Time To Visit Venice
- The Best Time To Visit Amsterdam
- The Best Time To Visit Madrid
- The Best Time To Visit Barcelona
- The Best Time To Visit Greece
Rome With Kids
Book in Advance
Cornwall & Devon Counties With Kids
Cornwall & Devon Highlights
Book in Advance
Further Reading on Cornwall & Devon
Provence & the Cote d’Azur With Kids
Provence & the Cote d’Azur Highlights
Book in Advance
Agriturismo With Kids
This is so much fun. Stay at an Agriturismo in Tuscany or Umbria. These are working farms typically with a beautiful setting and a rustic atmosphere (though accommodations can range from spartan to luxurious). Getting a villa that has a swimming pool is a good idea when traveling with kids. Meals are often included (and delicious). Getting a rental car is close to mandatory as agriturismos are off the usual bus and train routes.
Best Family Agriturismo in Italy
Book in Advance
The Greek Islands with Kids
Taking ferries between the Greek Islands is fun and easy (though if you’re on a tight schedule booking tickets in advance can be frustrating). If island hopping is what you want then the Cyclades (Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, Milos, Ios) are the best islands to visit as they’re close to each other and have lots of ferry connections between them.