Are you ready to unlock the wonders of Europe with your little explorers? Traveling to Europe with kids can be an incredibly rewarding experience, filled with unforgettable memories and valuable learning opportunities. There are plenty of common misconceptions about international travel with kids– they won’t remember it, it’s too complicated, it’s not kid-friendly. If you’re asking our opinion? There’s no better education than travel.
With so many destinations, activities, and logistics to consider, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Our Founder, Alia, took the whole family to Ireland last year and learned some great lessons. This guide is packed with tips, activities, and must-see destinations to make your family’s European adventure both memorable and stress-free.
Choosing Family-Friendly Destinations in Europe
When planning a trip to Europe with kids, it’s important to choose destinations that cater to families and offer a variety of activities and attractions suitable for all ages. You’ll also want to consider what type of transportation options there are. Europe public transportation can get you a lot further than it does in the United States. You’ll likely have trams, trains, ferries, and of course, rideshare apps like Uber.
Family-friendly destinations we recommend:
- Paris, France, for its attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Disneyland Paris.
- Barcelona, Spain, for its family-friendly beaches and the famous Park Guell.
- London, United Kingdom, for its museums, parks, and the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
- Amsterdam, Netherlands, for its bike-friendly streets and the kid-friendly NEMO Science Museum.
- Copenhagen, Denmark, for its Tivoli Gardens amusement park and the colorful Nyhavn harbor.
- Rome, Italy, for its ancient ruins and delicious food options (pizza, gelato, pasta, oh my!)
Once you’ve decided on the destination, we recommend getting the kids involved in the planning process so they feel like it’s their vacation, too. Pull out the world map and show them just how far they’re going!
Best Family Activities and Attractions in Europe
Europe offers a ton of family-friendly activities and attractions that cater to every interest and age group.
We recommend looking for:
- Iconic theme parks like Disneyland Paris (Paris) and LEGOLAND (Denmark)
- Museums with interactive exhibits designed to captivate young minds like the NEMO Science Museum (Amsterdam) and the Natural History Museum (London), this one will wow your young dinosaur lovers!
- Outdoor adventures like the Cliffs of Moher (Ireland) or go hiking and skiing in the Swiss Alps (Switzerland)
- Kid-friendly classes like gelato and pizza making (Italy), how could they resist?!
- National parks like Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia) and Cinque Terre National Park (Italy)
Essential Tips for Traveling with Kids in Europe
Tip #1: Research before you pack.
Research the local weather and more about what activities you’ll be doing. We always recommend keeping a light change of clothes for everyone in a carry-on just in case your checked luggage gets delayed. Other essentials to pack in your carry-on: travel documents, valuables (jewelry and small electronics), first aid kit (headache, stomach, allergy meds), comfort items (neck pillow, ear plugs, earphones), and don’t forget the snacks!
Tip #2: Prepare for jet lag.
We recommend gradually adjusting your family’s sleep schedule a few days before the trip to make falling asleep on the flight over easier. (Most flights from the U.S. to Europe operate overnight.) We also encourage daylight exposure once you get there to help ease the transition.
Tip #3: Keep safety and health top of mind while traveling.
Remember to pack essential documents like passports, travel insurance information, and any required health records, and ensure you have comprehensive health insurance coverage.
Embarking on a family trip to Europe is not just a vacation but an opportunity for adventure, bonding, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. It’s also a great way to teach them about the world and to build their confidence in interacting with people from other cultures and backgrounds. The planning process can be tedious (unless you’re working with us) but the moments watching their eyes light up in front of iconic attractions, shhh-ing their laughter in local cafes, and hearing the grateful “yums” when trying to new treats make it all worth it.