The best European cities to visit with your family in 2018

There's no denying that exploring a city with children in tow can be tiring but putting this aside, there are some real gems out there though and a city break in Europe will usually provide a family short break or getaway to remember for years to come. European cities usually offer superb museums, city parks, galleries and 9/10 will have decent public transport too. I've teamed up with some other top family travel bloggers to bring you some of our favourite European city breaks to enjoy with the kids. All of these breaks have been tried and tested by real families and have been selected as some of the best that Europe has to offer.

For me, the best city in Europe to take your children has to be Barcelona. I've visited this city with my own children around 3-4 times now. It's super easy to get to from the Spanish Costas as part of a day trip from a package holiday or just as easy to fly to for a short break with low-cost flights available from many UK airports. 

My top three reasons for visiting Barcelona with kids:

Fantastic Public Transport

First of all, there's a fantastic public transport system. I was able to navigate the Metro whilst using crutches with Heidi in a pushchair without too many problems and I'd recommend using the Metro as a cheap and easy way to get about.

A Huge Range of Family-Friendly Activities

There are so many things to see and do from Barcelona's own Aquarium and Zoo to tours around the Nou Camp or a stroll up Las Ramblas where children will be entertained by the famous street theatre. The famous Barcelona fountains are not to be missed and watching this show is a special memory I have from my own childhood. Barcelona even has it's own beaches should you need to escape the hustle and bustle.

Street theatre on Las Ramblas

Family-Friendly Dining

Finally, the main reason I love Barcelona is that it's home to so many fabulous restaurants. Everyone knows that good food is important to us and Barcelona is such a family-friendly city to dine in. Whether you fancy tapas in one of the city's squares, seafood by the harbour or coffee in one of the street cafes, we've always found the staff to be super friendly and accommodating to families.

We visited Barcelona during a private tour we arranged with a tour operator whilst staying in Sanguli in 2014. Sanguli is a beautiful resort for those looking for a relaxed self catering holiday with lots of facilities. We also visited during two separate holidays to Vilanova which I didn't blog about but you can catch a train direct from Barcelona from the town or a taxi will cost around 90 euros each way. Finally, you can catch a bus to Barcelona from Palafrugell which takes around 90 minutes and is super handy if you are staying in our favourite ever Spanish resort of Calella de Palafrugell.

16 European Cities to visit with your family in 2018

1 - Oslo

Nell Heshram recommends Oslo, one of her favourite cities, this summer. On her blog the Pigeon Pair and Me she’s put together a round-up of the top family-friendly museums in the Norwegian capital

2 - Brussels
Joanne from (Kids Days Out Reviewed) and her eldest recommend Brussels, Belgium. This post will show you the essential stuff to do, what to eat, and where to stay.

3 - Funchal Lisa from Travel Loving Family recommends Funchal. Check out this post featuring Lisa's five must see sights in the capital of Madeira, Funchal. Her recommendations include a scenic cable car ride to a view point at an incredible 1,800 feet overlooking the whole island, a thrilling toboggan ride in a wicker basket and a visit to Blandy’s Wine Lodge to taste the famous Madeira wine.

4 - Benidorm With three hundred days of sunshine, six theme parks and miles and miles of golden sandy beaches, Jane Batt from Taking 5 says you should definitely consider Benidorm when planning your next family holiday. Pop over to Taking 5 and have a look at Jane’s recommendations for what to do and where to stay in Benidorm as well as her family’s top ten Benidorm activities.

5 - Bruges Daisy over at Dais Like These Family Travel Blog recommends a family trip to Bruges and shares a few ideas on how to keep kids entertained during 24 hours in the city.

6 - Rome The Wandermust Family LOVE Rome and think it is the perfect European City Break for families. Pop over to their blog and find out their top 6 reasons why!

7 - Reykyavik Ting from My Travel Monkey spent a week exploring snow covered Iceland and discovered there was so much to see and do in Reykyavik - even for young children...

8 - London You don't need to travel abroad to enjoy a city break with kids. If you have visited all of the bigger London icons and are looking for Alternative things to do, hop over to Like Love Do. Donna share’s 10 hidden gems in London's big city.

9 - Liverpool Liverpool is another top UK city to visit with kids. Zena talks about why her family loved their visit to Liverpool and why it’s worth visiting if you're looking for a vibrant and cultural city outside of London.

10 - Barcelona Another vote for Barcelona! A Modern Mother shares 12 reasons to visit the city.

11 - Lisbon Here's why Karen from Mini Travellers highly recommends a trip to Lisbon with little ones. So much so that she's considering re-visiting again this year.

12 - Munich Emma from a Bavarian Sojourn is well qualified to recommend Munich having lived there for the past 5 years. The city is surprisingly child-friendly with lots of green spaces and is home to the biggest science museum in the world. You can even swim in a crystal clear lake in Munich. The list of things to do goes on and on......

13 - Amsterdam Penny from Parentshaped recommends a treasure hunt in Amsterdam, a city packed with invitations to play and new things to discover and learn as a family.

14 - Bologna

Over on Space in Your Case Penny recommends a trip to Bologna, which few people realise is it is the foodie capital of Italy. Bologna also has lots to keep children entertained, as Penny discovered on a weekend break courtesy of Bolgona Welcome.

15 - Pompeii

Laura from Have Kids, Can Travel spent just one day in Pompeii with her family on their Italy Road Trip but still highly recommends visiting the city with kids. Here she talks about the strange feeling of walking back in time through someone else’s home from 2,000 years ago, and her top tips on making the most of a even just a short visit to the ruined city.

16 - Berlin

POD Travels recommends Berlin and there seems to be loads to do for kids. Charly shares the top 30 places to visit with kids and where you can explore without them. With posts on the Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery and Wall Museum, a round up of the top Christmas markets in the city and a look at the Berlin street art scene, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied

Let me know which European city you'd recommend as being particularly child-friendly.



  1. Gorgeous post, Sam. I'm intrigued by the street theatre on the Ramblas. Freaky goat person! Thanks for including my post.

  2. Some fab ideas here Sam. Love the look of amsterdam - only been once and it was literally a two day cruise so didn't get to see a lot!

    Rachael xox


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