It’s so easy to put aside any thought of travelling internationally when you’ve got a toddler or two on your hands. The thought of staying home is just so much more appealing than dragging a wailing two-year-old around Paris – probably wet from peeing himself or something, too! And why not wait till the kids are old enough to enjoy it, anyway?
But what about you and your spouse? Why does having kids have to mean putting your life on hold – no fun and no culture for you? If you keep putting things like this off, most often, they never happen, and the good news is, travelling with a toddler is totally doable. You just have to go to the right places and be smart about it! Here’s a list of the seven best cities to visit in Europe with toddlers and some ideas of what to do in each of them. First of though, make sure know all you need to know to make your trip pleasant.
London is probably one of the best places to go with young ones because of the huge variety of sights and activities that are enjoyable to both kids and adults alike! Check out the interactive museum The Museum of London Docklands or the London Zoo. Take a ride on the HMS Belfast. Playgrounds and parks are strewn all about the city, and there are numerous more museums that pander to little kids. What’s more, kids under five ride public transport for free, and many sights also let children under three in for free! And if you prefer more unique things in London, try out some of these activities.
Prague is one of my personal favorites – the Paris of eastern Europe, many say. One characteristic that makes it manageable for children is how small of a city it is compared to other European cities and how concentrated the sights are. Your child will be thrilled to ride a funicular up to Petrin Tower and enjoy exploring or taking a break in Petřín, an outdoor play area in centre city. Prague is big on puppet shows and kid-friendly plays, as well! And, Prague is on our list of the safest country to visit this year. And if you want more things to do in Prague, here is our comprehensive how to visit Prague with your little ones.
Florence is another city that’s ideal because of its comparatively small size. The sights of Florence are easily conquered without having to travel too far. They’re famous for their gelato, so don’t forget to get some for you and your toddler; take a bus up the mountain or take a walk down Piazza T. Tasso where you’ll get a beautiful view and playgrounds! Enjoy any of the many museums with your toddler, too. There is really never a bad day to visit Florence, or Italy so make the most of your vacation by visiting other nearby cities.
Dublin isn’t just a place to drink a lot of beer, but you should know that taking a Guinness tour is surprisingly pretty child-friendly and an absolute must for a visit to Dublin. Just walking through the city is fascinating, and getting out to the countryside for a small hike is exhilarating. Maybe check out Imaginosity, a favorite museum for kids, or Ardgillan Castle, a beautiful playground by the sea. So, make Dublin a big part of your Ireland vacation.
With multiple museums to pick from, such as The Museum of Childhood, Museum on the Mound, and National Museum of Scotland, as well as breath-taking landscape, the city of Edinburgh and its surrounding countryside are guaranteed to be a favorite with the whole family. There are petting zoos, parks, hikes, and more if you’re yearning for a breath of fresh, Scottish air. And if you happen to be in Scotland during the Summer Solstice and you can make your way to Bonnie, you’re in for a treat.
Amsterdam is famous for its biking and canals, so rent a bike, pop your toddler in the backseat, and go! It’s also famous for their large, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes – I know very few (if any) toddlers who wouldn’t love that. The small city is an amazing city to walk and explore and is full of art museums as well as parks. Amsterdam is one of the world’s top 20 cities to visit with family, is a great spot in the winter, and is certainly ranked high on our list of top safest cities this year.
Whether we’re talking summer or winter, Vienna is perfect for a family vacation. Spend a whole day at Schonbrunn Palace where you’ll find the oldest zoo in the world! Stop by the Spanish Riding School for a show, or spend a morning at Vienna’s beloved amusement park, Vienna Prater. You’ll also find numerous kids museums as well as museums enjoyable for both kids and adults. Wondering what else to do in Vienna, Austria? We have a longer what-to and how-to visit and enjoy Vienna with kids.