For a short break with the family in Europe, you want a location where you will find the greatest concentration and variety of attractions. All the great cities of Europe have plenty to offer in the way of history and museums, but for a family trip you need a combination of fun and culture.
Don’t Pack in too Much
The temptation is to fill every moment with activity. That can lead to exhaustion, annoyance and disappointment. You need to build into your plan plenty of slack time, to avoid frustration occurring.
Frustration can begin at the airport if there are delays. Bott & Co Solicitors have carried out a care and assistance survey of how airlines handle their passengers during delays, and the airlines do not come well out of it.
Close to Home
London needs no introduction. It scores highly on most counts as a family-friendly place, with its excellent (and mostly free) museums, and its parks, rides and entertainment.
Dublin is not far to travel. It is a lovely welcoming city, and of course they speak English. There are some great play parks, the zoo is a delight, there is an unusual museum at Kilmainham Gaol, and there is easy access to mountains and sea.
Scandinavia is expensive, but if your budget stretches to it, there are some great places to go.
Stockholm can be a surprise hit with children. The Pippi Longstocking park will be a must for those who love the books. You can spend the day island hopping through the bridges and ferries of the island districts, fortified by the local pastries and buns.
For natural wonders, Reykjavik has it all: hot springs, whale watching, horses, and if you are lucky the Northern Lights. It is also one of the most relaxed capitals in the world.
Amsterdam rates high among the most family-friendly cities. All ages can enjoy exploring the city by boat and bicycle. Even quite young children can be impressed by the Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank House will be an unforgettable experience for those who have studied the Second World War at school.
Any children who have studied world history will be excited by a visit to Rome. The monuments stir the imagination of the most jaded. Not many children will tolerate the crowds in the Vatican, but you can compensate with some of the best pasta and ice cream in the world.
Paris, like Rome, can be hot in the summer, but for a spring or autumn break it has plenty for the children. Apart from Disneyland and Parc Asterix, it has fabulous parks with boating and amusements, and of course the challenge of the Eiffel Tower. The cafes and restaurants are in a class of their own.
Something for Everyone
With so many wonderful cities to choose from, you should be able to find something that appeals to your family’s particular interests. For food, fun, festivals, and fantastic experiences, the cities of Europe have it all.
Nathan Price is a family man who gets a thrill out of taking the family on an epic summer vacation that they will always remember. A keen backpacker in his youth, Nathan now focuses on writing travel articles aimed at parents.