Get more from family holidays in Europe
When it comes to family holidays in Europe choosing the right destination can make the difference between enjoying a stress-free break where everyone returns home relaxed and talking about how much they enjoyed it and a horrible stressful time away where the kids won’t stop whining and you can’t wait to get on the plane to come home.
Some European destinations are more child friendly than others art galleries and classical ruins may be fascinating for adults but children probably just end up bored and longing to go and have fun.
This is our guide to best destinations that will help you get more from family holidays in Europe.
In any list of great family holidays in EuropeLondon has to get a mention. The city which has been home to so many famous children’s authors and the setting for the books and films of their stories seems familiar almost as soon as you step off the plane.
Children will love the pageantry of the ‘Changing of the Guard‘ ceremony at Buckingham Palace. While you are in the area you can squeeze in a trip to the nearby St James Park. If you time your visit to the park for the early afternoon you can watch the pelicans get fed at 2.30.
The famous Madame Tussauds waxworks shouldn’t be missed off any family trip to London. While the younger members of the party probably won’t be able to identify many of the historical or political models there are more than enough figures from the world of popular and celebrity culture included to keep them happy.
Using the underground and the DLR makes getting around London simple so there is no reason not to include a few trips outside the centre of town. Kids will love the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green and the Cutty Sark a 19th century tea clipper now in dry dock in Greenwich.
Amsterdam may not be the first destination that comes to mind when you want to get more out of family holidays in Europe. The reputation of the red-light district has unfairly overshadowed everything else the city has to offer. The truth is this is one best family friendly cities around. Highlights must include the NEMO science museum which is packed full of hands-on exhibits that will keep children busy for hours. If you visit during the Spring then you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see the tulips blooming in the famous Amsterdam bulb fields.
When most people think of tourist attractions in Paris what spring to mind first is probably art galleries like the Louvre or cathedrals like Notre Dame. Fortunately there is another side to Paris that earns it a place on our list of family friendly cities. For children the highlight of any trip to Paris must be the city parks. The Jardin Luxembourg in particular stands out as a children’s paradise. The garden includes a playground with zip lines and an Eiffel Tower style bungee designed especially for children. They may also want to try out the pedal powered racing cars or for something more relaxing they can have a go at sailing one of the toy boats found in the park. After the kids have had enough fun for one day there may still be time for the adults to take a look at the stunning Palace in the park which dates from 1612 and was constructed by Marie de Medici.
Dublin is a fabulous destination for family holidays. Dublin zoo will be top of the list for any animal lovers in the family or perhaps a visit to the Museum of Ireland – Natural History where a taxidermy tribute to Irish wildlife is a prominent exhibit. From your base in Dublin you are conveniently placed for day trips to many nearby locations including Bray with it’s seafront and popular aquarium. If hiking is more to your taste then visit the Wicklow mountains which occupy the whole centre of nearby County Wicklow and offer hours of family fun.
These are our top destinations for getting more out of family holidays in Europe. Which cities would you add to the list?