Looking for the best family destinations in Europe? So are we! We are currently planning our upcoming family vacation in Europe and there are so many choices for the top family destinations in Europe that it can be very difficult to decide. Europe is jam packed of fabulous places and attractions and choosing which is best can be mission impossible.
Our first stop in Europe was in Stockholm and we were blown away by how family friendly it is. It is by far the most kid friendly destination I have visited.
There are many kids’ attractions, it’s very stroller friendly and kids are catered to seemingly everywhere. My favourite part was that even the more adult focused museums we visited, still had kids areas and activities meaning that the whole family was happy.
It’s also a very beautiful country with great people who speak English well, meaning that everything is very easy.
Travel Tip: Head to Djurgarden Island in Stockholm for lots of fun family-focused attractions.
As a mother of a two-year-old living in, and traveling around Croatia every few weeks, I can tell you now that there is no question that Croatia is a family friendly destination. With a strong family culture, Croatia’s welcoming and open to families.
While you won’t find baby change tables in many places, you also won’t find any eye-rolling from staff at restaurants, hotels, and attractions. Instead, they are helpful and attentive. Best of all, Croatia has a stack of fun activities suitable for the whole family, ranging from sandy beaches to water parks and swimming under waterfalls.
Travel Tip: Just remember that Croatia is hot and crowded in July and August, making June and September more kid-friendly.
I never knew what a great country the Netherlands is to visit with kids until we moved here almost three years ago. A source of pride in the Netherlands is how children are welcome (and catered to) everywhere you want to go! It doesn’t hurt that most of the country can speak English and the Dutch are more than eager to help you should you need some direction.
Traveling with our three boys at ages 4, 4 & 6 would normally be rather intimating, but the Netherlands has given us confidence and so much to choose from – I think we’re rather spoiled and never without something to do. With public transportation so convenient and easy to navigate, you can tour the entire country if you so desired.
Be it the history of Amsterdam or Rotterdam’s modern edge in the north, Maastricht in the south and so many villages with little gems in between. You can choose from canal tours, zoos, pancake houses, outdoor play places, windmills, luscious gardens like Keukenhof and even castles. Additionally, in the middle of the country there is a magical theme park – one of the oldest in the world- in The Efteling which, simply put, rivals any other theme park and is fantastic for all ages. We have yet to visit a country that offers so much for traveling families in Europe.
Travel Tip: Get a Museumkaart. It is a card you buy that offers admission to all kinds of museums, castles and more. Many times you can skip the line as well if you have it. Keep it with you. It could result in a discount or some other freebie for the card holding family. With so many places to visit in one relatively small country, coming to the Netherlands with kids should be on any travelling family’s list.
Spain was the first European country we visited with our eight year old daughter, so it will always hold a special place in our hearts, but Spain is a great choice for so many reasons.
Spain’s rich history brings us such architectural treasures as the Alhambra in Grenada, Isabella’s Alcazar in Segovia, one of the world’s largest cathedral’s in Seville, and Gaudi’s magnificent Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Even small children enjoy exploring castles filled with knights in shining armor, ancient fortresses with beautiful hidden gardens, and climbing the steps of the bell towers for sprawling views of the cities below.
When they need a break, there are so many beautiful parks and plazas to enjoy and beautiful beaches not far away. Kids can also learn to appreciate the country’s diverse culture by enjoying a flamenco show, visiting a bullfighting museum, or taking in a futbol game.
Today, many elementary school children (in the United States at least) are studying Spanish, so visiting Spain will provide them an opportunity to hear and practice the language. And, while the Spanish do eat dinner late, you can always stop in at a tapas bar and snack on cheese, bread, sausages, tortilla, patatas bravas and other kid-friendly small plates. There is plenty to do and explore, and the good news is that Spain is not as expensive as many other Western European countries.
Travel tip: Take advantage of Spain’s excellent high speed trains to use a big city as a home base and take day trips to smaller cities and towns. From Madrid, Segovia and Toledo are both only 30 minutes away by high speed train. Inside cities, the public transportation systems, including subways and busses, are convenient and easy to navigate.