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

Stay at the Hotel Vergos in Vourvourou. Family-friendly features include a kiddie pool and rooms equipped with a mini-fridge.

WHERE TO EAT

Fresh fish and local wines are the way to go in Greece. Try Paris in Vourvourou, an open restaurant overlooking the ocean that serves local fare or Aristos in Ornos Panagias, where wooden tables and chairs dot the beach and you can dine by the light of the moon.

FLORENCE

Sunflowers, fresh honey and chianti await in a city that offers fine dining and fine art that are equally accessible to travelers of all ages.

WHAT TO DO

Even the little ones will realize what a treasure trove the Uffizi Gallery Museum is when you turn your tour into a treasure hunt for the masters: Raphael, Rubens, Caravaggio, and Michelangelo. Il Duomo di Firenze, more formally known as the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, is worth the visit for many reasons, not the least of which is the incredible view from the top of this orange-tiled cathedral.

At Palazzo Vecchio,  the kids can live like a Medici for a day; sign them up for a guided tour and some fresco painting while you take a tour of your own through the palace's secret passages.

After souvenir shopping on the Ponte Vecchio, stroll over to Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens that rise up behind it. The Giardino di Boboli are famous for the fountains and grottos designed by the Medici family; one of the earliest Italian gardens, it's also a great place to enjoy a picnic from Ino you can pick up on the way.

It you want to get a taste of Tuscany and its rolling hills, take the No. 7 bus up to Fiesole. Just 20 minutes north of the city, you'll have an awe-inspiring view of Florence on one side and a stunning set of Etruscan and Roman ruins on the other.

WHERE TO STAY  

Villa Tolomei, about 10 minutes outside the city, offers adjoining rooms for families in addition to a beautiful pool and gardens.

WHERE TO EAT  

Families are welcome everywhere, but two of our faves that come with a local's stamp of approval include Trattoria La Casalinga and Cinghiale Bianco; be sure to wash down your homemade pasta with truffles with some vin santo and biscotti while the kids enjoy an extra scoop of gelato.

VIENNA

Where to begin? There's the opera, the architecture, and the food—from schnitzel and ratatouille to the famous Sacher torte, you'll be waltzing your way through Vienna from morning 'til night.

WHAT TO DO

Channel your inner Mozart or virtually conduct your own Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at Haus der Musik. If you haven't had your fill of the classics, the Vienna State Opera offers hour-long children's operas all year with the exception of July and August; these popular programs sell out months in advance, so be sure to book your tickets when you book your flights.

Schonbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the imperial Habsburg family, is a palace, children's museum and world's oldest zoo all in one.

Belvedere consists of two Baroque palaces, the Oranger and Palace Stables; at Upper Belvedere budding detectives find sport in spotting the mistakes in the paintings.

When you've had your fill of palaces and fine art, visit the Zoom Children's Museum and then go to the Dschungel for an afternoon snack; there's a play corner for the kids and comfy couches for you.

Finally, take the elevator to the top of the North Tower of St. Stephen's Cathedral for a view of the city you'll remember forever.

WHERE TO STAY

Pertschy, a B&B in an 18th century palace, offers a full Viennese breakfast buffet and kid-loving staff. Best of all, it's walking distance to the Opera, cathedral and more.

WHERE TO EAT

Naschmarkt has been a meeting place since the 16th century and today offers over 120 stands and restaurants featuring both Viennese specialties and international delicacies; grab some takeaway and have a picnic in Rathauspark.

SEE THE CITIES!

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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.
 

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