I’ve always wanted to be within spitting distance from South East Asia – and I’m often a little jealous when I see bloggers from say, Dubai, who can reach countries such as Thailand in little under seven hours. But then, I was once reminded by my brother-in-law, who resides in Australia, that we are so lucky to be able to get away to all the amazing cities in Europe, most of which are right on our doorstep. He’s absolutely right. Sometimes it’s easy to forget we are ‘The Gateway To Europe’ – with low cost airlines and only a few hours flight time, Europe has so much to offer intrepid explorers.
There are hundreds of European cities, and all of them have something to offer families who are looking for a break. That’s the amazing thing about the diversity of Europe and how each of its 50 countries are so unique, in terms of culture, landscape and history.
I’ve been lucky enough over the years to go to over 30 European cities and what has always struck me is the eclectic mix of friendly Europeans who are particularly attuned to the needs of families. Europe is very child-friendly, from hotels, restaurants and attractions.
It’s hard to say which my favourite city has been but in recent years we, as a family, have had some amazing adventures in Europe all of them so wonderful in their own different ways. Some of our most memorable have been:
Whale watching and seeing geysers in Reykyavîk…
Running on the beach and enjoying plenty of pintxos in San Sebastian
Catching the trams and sightseeing in Lisbon
Eating gelato in Siena, Tuscany
Meanwhile, my hometown of London is a huge playground for children of all ages, and even though I’ve spent all my life here, I am still yet to see even a quarter of what our capital has to offer!
What with details of Brexit still under negotiations, those of which are likely to take place for several more years, it would be the sensible thing to try and explore more European Cities before the UK withdraws – any excuse, I know… Rather depressingly, though, it may not be as easy in the future to jump on a low-cost airline and fly off to visit new European territories.
If you’re still stuck for some inspiration on where to take the family on your next European city break, I’ve teamed up with a whole host of family travel bloggers to bring you some more fabulous suggestions on the Best European Cities for toddlers and kids:
Penny from Parentshaped shares a treasure hunt in Amsterdam, a city packed with invitations to play and new things to discover and learn as a family.
Samantha from North East Family Fun has visited Barcelona on numerous occasions with her three children and highly recommends the Catalonian capital as a fantastic city to visit with the kids. Did you know that Barcelona is one of the few cities in the world with its very own beach? Find out why Samantha rates Barcelona so highly and recommends as the perfect option for a family city break here.
Pop over to Mums do travel to find out why Gretta Schifano and her teenage daughter think that Belfast is a great place for a family city break.
With three hundred days of sunshine, six theme parks and miles and miles of golden sandy beaches, Jane Batt from Taking 5 says you should definitely consider Benidorm when planning your next family holiday. Pop over to Taking 5 and have a look at Jane’s recommendations for what to do and where to stay in Benidorm as well as her family’s top ten Benidorm activities.
Check out POD Travels if you’re looking to visit Berlin in the near future. Charly shares the top 30 places to visit with kids and where you can explore without them. With posts on the Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery and Wall Museum, a round-up of the top Christmas markets in the city and a look at the Berlin street art scene, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied.
Over on Space in Your Case Penny visits Bologna, few people realise is it is the foodie capital of Italy. Bologna also has lots to keep children entertained, as Penny discovered on a weekend break courtesy of Bolgona Welcome.
Joanne from Kids Days Out and the eldest take you on a tour of Brussels, Belgium and show you the essential stuff to do, what to eat, and where to stay.
Daisy over at Dais Like These Family Travel Blog shares a few ideas on how to keep kids entertained during 24 hours in Bruges, Belgium.
Lisa from Travel Loving Family shares her five must-see sights in the capital of Madeira, Funchal. Her recommendations include a scenic cable car ride to a viewpoint at an incredible 1,800 feet overlooking the whole island, a thrilling toboggan ride in a wicker basket and a visit to Blandy’s Wine Lodge to taste the famous Madeira wine.
Emma from A Bavarian Sojourn is well qualified to recommend a family trip to Munich having lived there up until recently for the past five years. This city is surprisingly child-friendly, and really does have something for everyone. Explore Munich’s green spaces (look out for the surfers in the Englischer Gartens!), visit a local museum, swim in a nearby crystal clear lake, or explore the biggest science museum in the world. Emma’s list of things to do and see here goes on (and on)…
Karen from Mini Travellers tells us all about why she loved travelling to Lisbon with Children and why she is seriously considering a return trip later this year:
If you are planning to visit the UK during your European break, Zena from Zena’s Suitcase talks about why her family loved their visit to Liverpool and why it’s worth visiting if you’re looking for a vibrant and cultural city outside of London.
If you have visited all of the bigger London icons and are looking for Alternative things to do, hop over to Like Love Do. Donna share’s 10 hidden gems in Londons big city.
Nell Heshram will revisit Oslo, one of her favourite cities, this summer. On her blog the Pigeon Pair and Me she’s put together a round-up of the top family-friendly museums in the Norwegian capital.
Laura from Have Kids, Can Travel had just one day in Pompeii with her family on their Italy Road Trip – here she talks about the strange feeling of walking back in time through someone else’s home from 2,000 years ago and her top tips on making the most of an even just a short visit to the ruined city.
The Wandermust Family LOVE Rome and think it is the perfect European City Break for families. Over on their blog find out their top six reasons why!