7 of the best European cities to visit with young kids

Raluca Loteanu October 2, 2017
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best european cities for kids

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I am that kind of mom who returns from all the family trips feeling tired and thinking that will not do this again soon… and then a few days later is looking for another trip to plan! ūüôā

Because I truly love traveling with my son, even though he is still young and sometimes makes things a little bit difficult. We have so many amazing memories from our trips that I am always glad to encourage other parents to travel with their kids from early ages!

Since we moved from Europe to California almost every discussion I have about traveling with kids includes at least one question about European destinations. And I’m happy to share information about the places that we visited and enjoyed.

This is why I decided to make our list of the best European cities for families with young kids.

If you are looking for a nice city that both you and your kids will love, I hope that you’ll find inspiration on this list! For each of the destinations, I included some awesome places to visit with kids to help you decide which one is a better fit for your family.photo credit:¬†FamVeld / shutterstock.com

At the end of the post, you can also download our printable activity to keep kids busy and happy at the airport and during the flight.

1. Barcelona, Spain

Top places to visit with young kids:

Poble Espanyol

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Park G√ľell

Casa Mila

Barceloneta

Barcelona Zoo and Aquarium

You’ll find details about all these places here:¬†8 wonderful things to do in Barcelona with young kids

What I like most about the city: Barcelona offers the perfect opportunity to combine a vacation at the beach with awesome activities in a big city.

What I don’t really like about the city: The Spanish food wasn’t to my taste (or my son’s taste). But we found a lot of restaurants that served international dishes.

Hotel recommendation: The Corner Hotel (a great hotel in a top-rated location)Things to do in Barcelona with young kids

2. M√ľnchen, Germany

Top places to visit with young kids:

Deutsches Museum – one of the largest technical museums in Europe, that also includes a Kid’s Kingdom with hands-on activities

Tierpark Hellabrun – the zoo is a great place to spend a fun and relaxing day

Other attractions:¬†Sea Life M√ľnchen Museum,¬†Obletter Spielwaren (the most famous toy store in the city), Marienplatz, BMW Welt (a car museum designed by BMW)

What I like most about the city: Munich is full of amazing attractions and many places to have fun with the whole family. The public transportation works great and the city is also bike-friendly.

What I don’t really like about the city:¬†The weather can be very cold in winters so I enjoyed the city more during the summer. Still, if you are a fan of winter sports, there are a lot of ski resorts in Bavaria, so you’ll certainly like a winter vacation there.

Hotel recommendation: Hotel Exquisit (close to the historic Marienplatz Square, this hotel is a very good choice if you want to stay in a central location)

3. Madrid, Spain

Top places to visit with young kids:

Madrid Zoo Aquarium – this place combines a zoo with an aquarium and has plenty of things to see and do for young kids

Museo del Ferrocarril Рa railroad museum that can also offer different events for children

Faunia – a special zoo with many exhibits and shows for kids

Other attractions: Museo de America, Retiro Park, Real Jardín Botanico de Madrid, Natural Science Museum

What I like most about the city: Madrid is a city with a wonderful architecture, so I enjoyed every walk through the city. Also, it has some amazing green areas in the middle of the town and my son was very happy to explore the parks.

What I don’t really like about the city:¬†Besides the Spanish food that I mentioned earlier, there was nothing¬†to bother me.

Hotel recommendation: Ibis Styles Madrid Prado (a nice hotel near some of the most important attractions of the city)

4. Vienna, Austria

Top places to visit with young kids:

Schönbrunn Palace Рthe palace tour can be a little boring for young kids, but they will certainly love the gardens and the world’s oldest zoo that is located right outside the palace

ZOOM Children‚Äôs Museum¬†– this museum is specially designed for young kids, so it’s a perfect choice when you visit Vienna

Schmetterling Haus – a wonderful exhibition with colorful butterflies

Other attractions: Natural History Museum, Prater amusement park (although the park is more fun for older kids, you can find there some nice things to do with young kids too)

What I like most about the city: Vienna is a beautiful imperial city, with many stunning palaces to discover. I also liked the public transportation that was quick and efficient.

What I don’t really like about the city: Personally I have no complaints but some of my friends complained that in many touristic places people only spoke German. I haven’t noticed this because I speak German so this wasn’t an issue for us.

Hotel recommendation: Mercure Vienna First (the central location will allow you to enjoy walks through some of the most beautiful parts of the city)photo credit: NadyaEugene / shutterstock.com

5. London, England

Top places to visit with young kids:

Natural History Museum Рa place where children can learn many things and have plenty of fun

London Transport Museum – the museum has a great collection of buses, trains, and subway cars and a lot of hands-on activities for kids

Science Museum Рanother museum that is great for young kids that like to explore more about science

Legoland Windsor – the park has rides for children of all ages, including toddlers

Royal Air Force Museum Рif your kids like planes, this is the best place to visit

Other attractions: London Eye (with amazing views), Tower Bridge, British Museum, London Sea Life Aquarium, London Zoo

What I like most about the city: London is a place where you cannot get bored! There are so many things to do and so many places to visit!

What I don’t really like about the city: London is one of the most expensive cities in Europe so a vacation there can mean a lot of costs. The attractions can get very crowded at peak hours¬†and to wait in long lines with a young child can be challenging.

Hotel recommendation: citizenM Tower of London (an amazing hotel with great views)

6. Lisbon, Portugal

Top places to visit with young kids:

Lisbon Oceanarium –¬†one of the best aquariums in Europe

Route 28 Tram – a unique ride around the city

Parque das Na√ß√Ķes – a big park where you can rent bikes, play, or enjoy a cable car ride

Other attractions: Lisbon Zoo, Belem, Electricity Museum

What I like most about the city: Lisbon is a city with a lot of child-friendly restaurants and cafes. So it’s totally possible to enjoy a nice meal even with a young child. The whole city atmosphere is very family-friendly and I liked this a lot!

What I don’t really like about the city: The public transportation in Lisbon was a little bit chaotic but we used the hop on hop off bus to travel between attractions.

Hotel recommendation: Hotel Convento do Salvador (a good hotel with a perfect location, in the center of the city)

I’ve also heard some amazing feedback about the¬†Martinhal Lisbon Chiado Family Suites¬†and it looks really great!photo credit:¬†FamVeld / shutterstock.com

7. Stockholm, Sweden

Top places to visit with young kids:

Junibacken – this is a family-friendly museum that was created inspire kids to love reading

National Museum of Science and Technology¬†– the museum includes a special section (called MegaMind) that includes original and innovative exhibits meant to challenge children’s brain.

Skansen Рthis place is the world’s first open-air museum and it includes more than 150 farms and houses to explore.

Other attractions: Swedish History Museum, the Royal Armoury, Nordic Museum

I cheated a little with this last city on my list because we haven’t visited Stockholm. But I really wanted to include it here because all the friends who visited the city loved it!

So the city is on our wish list and I hope to get the chance to visit it in the future.

What my friends liked most about the city: Stockholm has plenty of child-friendly attractions. The distances between attractions are short and the city has a great public transportation.

What my friends didn’t really like about the city: The weather isn’t so friendly especially if you are not used to a lot of rain. So it’s better to plan your vacation in August to avoid bad weather.

Hotel recommendation: I don’t have any recommendations, so if you know a good hotel in Stockholm I would be glad to find out about it!best european cities for kidsphoto credit:¬†FamVeld / shutterstock.com


I hope that you enjoyed the list and found some good travel inspiration! If you have any questions about the cities that we visited I am glad to answer!

At the end, I want to share with you a printable activity that is great for airplane trips! We used it many times and my son enjoyed it!

Download the printable scavenger hunt

You can find out all the details about how to use the printable file here: Keeping kids busy during flights: Airplane scavenger hunt for young kids.

To download the printable you just need to fill in the below form.

I wish you a happy vacation and many wonderful moments with your kids!

‚áí Save these ideas to your favorite Pinterest board

If you are looking for the best European cities for kids, here are some nice ideas to inspire your next family vacation and a list of awesome attractions to visit! | Family travel in Europe | Tips for traveling with kids in Europe | Best places to visit with kids in Europe | Barcelona | London | Madrid

If you are looking for the best European cities for kids, here are some nice ideas to inspire your next family vacation and a list of awesome attractions to visit! | Family travel in Europe | Tips for traveling with kids in Europe | Best places to visit with kids in Europe | Barcelona | London | Madrid

photo credit preview photo: Yuganov Konstantin / shutterstock.com

Category: Destinations
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Raluca Loteanu

If you find yourself on this blog I invite you to discover us as the happy family we are, who look with optimism and joy at life. If you want to contact me, you can find me on email, I gladly respond to each message.

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