A city break may not immediately spring to mind when you think of a family holiday, however they are definitely worth taking into consideration as cities offer family attractions and cultural sites that you don’t often find at a typical beach resort. The thought of visiting a city may be a daunting prospect but it needn’t be. I’ve teamed up with some top UK family travel bloggers to share some family city break ideas in Europe. All of these destinations have been tried and tested by real families and have been selected as they offer child friendly attractions, family friendly accommodation and good public transportation.
Our favourite family city breaks in Europe
London is on our doorstep and offers so much for families including free museums to explore, parks to burn off energy and boat trips along the River Thames. We particularly enjoy visiting the capital around Christmas time to soak up the festive atmosphere at the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. (The only downside of visiting London with kids is that the subway can be a nightmare with a push chair as not every station has a lift).
Copenhagen, the Danish capital is more compact, and therefore walkable, than most other European cities and is also very child friendly with many family attractions. Several low-cost carriers fly direct from the UK to Copenhagen and as the flight time is only 1 hour 30 minutes it is feasible with even the most active of toddlers! We thoroughly recommend a visit to the famous Tivoli Gardens (you can read our tips for visiting here), the flagship LEGO store and a boat ride to meet the Little Mermaid and view the city from the water.
Funchal, the capital of Madeira is absolutely stunning and offers so much for families including a museum dedicated to the life of Cristiano Ronaldo (perfect for football fans), a scenic cable car ride and the chance to ride a toboggan down a hillside! This article shares our five must see sights in Funchal, Madeira.
Family city break ideas in Europe by other family travel bloggers
Oslo – Nell 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.
Barcelona – 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. Find out why Samantha rates Barcelona so highly and recommends as the perfect option for a family city break.
Susanna from A Modern Mother recommends combining a visit to the bustling city of Barcelona with a road trip to the surrounding area known as Costa Barcelona. Her post suggests 12 reasons that families should visit Costa Barcelona including a visit to a family friendly vineyard, water sports centers and national parks.
Munich – 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. Munich is surprisingly child friendly, and really does seem to have something for everyone. Emma recommends exploring Munich’s green spaces (look out for the surfers in the Englischer Gartens!), swimming in crystal clear lakes and visiting the biggest science museum in the world. Check out more recommendations here Ex insiders guide to Munich with kids.
Lisbon – 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.
Bruges – Daisy over at Dais Like These shares a few ideas on a how to keep kids entertained during 24 hours in Bruges, Belgium including visits to chocolate shops to experience chocolate being made, a scenic boat tour and running up and down the windmill hills!
Amsterdam – Penny from Parentshaped shares her favourite pastimes in Amsterdam with kids including visiting the city parks, a treasure hunt and a scenic boat ride along the canal. Check out her guide – Best family attractions in Amsterdam.
Bologna – Few people realise that Bologna is the foodie capital of Italy and has lots to keep children entertained including open top bus rides, a miniature train and incredible ice cream! This guide by Space in Your Case shares – Top 5 things to do in Bologna with kids.
Brussels – Joanne from Kids Days Out Reviews recommends a city break in Brussels, Belgium. Her article features a tour of Brussels, the must see sights including the Parlamentarium, ideas of where to stay and the best places to eat. Brussels – a great European city for a family city break.
Benidorm – With three hundred days of sunshine, six theme parks and miles of golden sandy beaches, Jane from Taking 5 says you should definitely consider the former fishing village, and now city of Benidorm, when planning your next family holiday. Tips for a family city holiday in Benidorm.
Rome – The Wandermust Family love Rome and think it is the perfect European city break for families. Over on their blog they share their 6 reasons to visit Rome including child friendly food, accommodation and the ease of getting around the eternal city.
Reykyavik – Ting from My Travel Monkey spent a week exploring snow covered Iceland last year and discovered there was much to see and do in Reykyavik the capital. She shares her 17 things to do in Reykyavik with kids including learning about Vikings at the vikings museum and bird spotting.
London – Another fan of visiting the capital with kids is Donna over at Like Love Do. If you have already visited all of London’s iconic attractions and are looking for alternative things to do you will find her guide very handy – 10 hidden gems in London.
Berlin – Charly at POD Travels shares her top 30 places to visit with kids in Berlin including the Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery and a round up of the top Christmas markets in the city.
Liverpool – Zena from Zena’s Suitcase recommends the vibrant and cultural city of Liverpool for an alternative to a city break in London. Her post – Interesting places to visit in Liverpool with kids suggests the World Museum and the Walker Art Gallery which have many interactive displays for kids.
Belfast – Gretta from Mum’s Do Travel thoroughly recommends a trip over to Belfast, particularly for teenage kids – Why Belfast is great for a family trip with teenagers. Her must see sights include the Titanic Experience, a tour around the city on an open top bus and a visit to the Cathedral Quarter.
Can you recommend any other destinations for family city breaks in Europe? Pop your suggestions below!
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