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There are plenty of European cities that offer a range of attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Find out the where to take the family next here.
While it can be easier to book a package family holiday to a beach resort, a city break can be just as easy if you plan ahead and it can be green if you travel by train (see seat61).
Most big cities in Europe are accessible by Eurostar from the UK, and offer plenty of attractions to keep the whole family entertained.
If you travel by Eurostar, there’s a free two for one entrance to galleries and museums with your ticket that can help keep the costs down.
Want to discover Europe but not sure where to go? We’ve created a roundup of the best and safest cities in Europe to visit as a family.
Amsterdam offers plenty of free space, with lots of parks for the children to run around and canals to sit and watch the world go by. Cycling is a great way to explore the city and blend in as a local.
Tip: If you’re going to rent bikes, you should make sure that the whole family are confident cyclists, as cycling in Amsterdam can be pretty busy and nerve-wracking if you’re not used to the traffic there. Or else stay and hire outside the city centre where the accommodation is cheaper and there are more parks. If you don’t want to cycle, the tram network is pretty impressive and you can get day passes.
Barcelona is possible by train. It’s a day’s journey either via Paris or the Eurostar to the South of France, but once there it’s a vibrant city to explore as a family and pretty walkable. There are plenty of attractions for both parents and children to enjoy, including Barcelona Zoo, FC Barcelona, Parque Güell, as well as the Barceloneta Beach.
Tip: If you are going to spend a day at the beach, avoid sunburn by applying SPF 15-50 sun cream, and don’t forget to wear appropriate footwear to avoid cuts and sprains or too sore feet. You should also be careful of rip currents if you’re going to go into the sea, and you should never leave children unattended in case they have an accident.
There’s a reason why London was voted the top city in the world in the 2019 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. The city has a variety of attractions to keep the whole family entertained for free. Why not explore the Natural History Museum or the Science Museum? Or take a picnic in Hyde Park and go to the Princess Diana Playground?
Tip: Remember that London is congested so keep small children close to you to stop them from wandering off and getting lost in the crowds.
Another eminently accessible city by train is Paris. The city may be dubbed the city of romance but it is full of parks that are child friendly and has lots of other qualities for the whole family to enjoy. Children will love (some of!) the cheese and (all of!) the chocolate and crepes. There are lots of attractions too. Eiffel Tower is a must – provided that everyone isn’t afraid of heights – but even seeing it at night but not going up is impressive, and there’s the Jardin des Tuileries with its rides too. And, if you can get them to do it, you can take advantage of the discounts with your Eurostar tickets and get to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum.
Tip: If you’re going to go to these tourist attractions, make sure your valuables are safe as pickpockets are rife in these areas.
It may be the heart of all evil according to some who want to get us out of the EU, but as a city it’s easily accessible by Eurostar (and once you’re in Brussels your ticket allows you to travel to other cities like Ghent and Antwerp too at no extra cost) and there’s lots to do and see.
There are plenty of parks for the kids and markets to wander round trying the chips and the chocolate, and when the Parliament isn’t sitting, there are bargains to be had in the hotels that want beds occupied.
Tip: Brussels can look a bit daunting with lots of graffiti but some of it is famous and other bits amusing and there are plenty of walking tours that you can download and do yourself. As with any city you’re unfamiliar with, keep your valuables safe; if you can, the best solution is to keep them in a safe in the hotel.
Whatever city you choose to travel to, we want to make sure everyone is safe. While no one wants to think about having an accident on holiday, it’s important to make sure you take the necessary precautions to avoid getting hurt. Wear sun cream in hot temperatures, be careful when you’re in the sea, and keep each other close by when in busy crowds.
Thompsons Solicitors is an experienced personal injury law firm. As well as successfully running and winning foreign accident claims, we also want to help travellers and holidaymakers avoid common injuries abroad through our Travel Safe campaign.