VACATION IDEAS

10 Most Family-Friendly Cities in Europe

From peerless parks to hands-on-museums and refreshingly affordable food, these major European cities all say "welcome!" to families with children.

WHERE TO STAY

Mespil Hotel, Haddintong Rd. 

WHERE TO EAT

Just a short walk from the hotel you'll find Milano, equally equipped with high chairs and a post-work crowd and just loud enough to drown the din of your overtired tots.

PARIS

Croissants, baguettes and crepes, mon dieu! Paris isn't just for romantics in the spring; it's for everyone, all year long.  Kids will love the boulangeries on every corner; you'll love how easy it is to navigate the Metro and catching a view of the Eiffel Tower from vistas around the city.

WHAT TO DO

Leave the Louvre for your next trip.  When travelling en famille, take in Paris' plentiful parks. You could spend the whole day at Jardin Luxembourg, which in addition to a stunning palace built in 1612 by Marie de Medici boasts modern-day delights including peddle cars for racing and toy boats for sailing—not to mention a playground with zip lines and an Eiffel Tower bungee for your pint-size thrill seekers.

If the weather drives you indoors (the kids may not see the romance in the rain), visit the Musee Cluny and go for a treasure hunt among the tapestries. Should your tots be avid climbers, Paris will not disappoint. If your brood is physically fit, the 1,600+ stairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower will suffice for a workout with a view. For a more gentile ascent, climb the 300 steps to the top of Sacre Coeur for a view of the city that is magnifique.

WHERE TO STAY

Citadine in the Bastille/Marais neighborhood includes a galley kitchen and is walking distance to a great open-air market

WHERE TO EAT

Anywhere and everywhere; it's hard to go wrong in Paris! Pick a local café in the morning and neighborhood bistro at night. If you want an atypical but memorable experience, visit the quirky Le Refuge des Fondue after climbing those steps to Sacre Coeur. 

LONDON

How could you go wrong in the city that gave us Paddington Bear, Peter Rabbit, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Harry Potter? And then there's real life princesses and castles to die for (as more than a few did!).

WHAT TO DO

You have to see the sights memorialized by Chevy Chase in European Vacation ("Look kids, Big Ben! Parliament!) but your tweens will love posing with One Direction at Madame Tussaud's.  And while you have to pay to see the Crown Jewels (and Torture Tower) at the Tower of London, there are some great (free!) museums and lesser-known attractions you won't want to miss.

Ever wonder how they developed the symbol for the pound or how it feels to hold a bar of gold?  Find out at the Bank of England Museum. If your pint-size flyers are also fans of buses and trains, you won't want to miss the interactive London Transport Museum, with more than 80 vehicles including a double decker bus and the world's first Underground train.  To get your fill of history, visit the Museum of London and time travel from the days when lions roamed Trafalgar Square to today's thriving city center. Last but not least, if J.K. Rowlings is a family fave, you won't want to miss the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studios Tour.

When the royal sun is shining, plan a day at St. James Park. Watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and then stroll down Horse Guards Parade and Mall to the lake; watch the pelicans get fed daily at 2:30 or settle into a deckchair while the kids frolic on the playground.

WHERE TO STAY

The Park Plaza offers several locations with spacious rooms to accommodate a family of four and easy access to sights and public transport.

SEE THE CITIES!

Get Inspired with more from BudgetTravel.com


Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

Budget Travel Real Deals


  • From $2,727

See more deals »

Video


Loading Comments...

Our newsletter delivers vacation inspiration straight to your inbox.

Check Prices