We all know that taking a road trip with children brings its own kind of fun and challenges, but there’s another type of trip that every parent needs a bit of time to plan: the Euro trip.
There are obviously hundreds of fantastic cities to visit when you’re young and traveling solo, but when you are traveling with kids, you’ve got to think differently and focus less on bars and clubs and more on attractions and restaurants!
Luckily, Europe is the perfect vacation destination and is loaded with tons of cool and exciting cities that are easy to reach via bus or train travel and fantastic for amusing the little ones – you’ll even give yourself some relaxation and enjoyment at the same time!
Kids might already love London because of the recent Paddington movies, but you’ll soon discover that there’s far more to England’s capital city than the pretty architecture, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. London is home to some of the world’s best museums, and the best thing is that they’re free and very diverse! There are Egyptian mummies at the British Museum, dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, planes and weapons at the Imperial War Museum, and even modern and older trains and double-decker buses at the London Transport Museum – it’s hard to be bored in London!
Plus, you’ve got the magical Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studios Tour (not forgetting platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross station) or the enormous London Zoo if you want something else to do when you are traveling with kids. There are tasty food establishments, great views from the London Eye, bustling markets, lush, green parks, and enticing shops at every turn, so there’s really something for everyone in London.
A lot of families love visiting Barcelona, and Spain in general, primarily because of the beautiful weather and laid back lifestyle. Barcelona is undoubtedly a favorite spot because of the sheer amount of what’s on offer here. Jaw-dropping Gaudi architecture is dotted around the city, and kids will adore the colorful and unique works at the Park Güell, Casa Batlló, and La Sagrada Familia. But let’s be honest, a relaxing day at the beach is what many tourists keep coming back to Barcelona for, as you can get a tan while the kids play in the water or build sandcastles. Food is delicious in the form of tapas, and there’s always some sort of street entertainment happening along Las Ramblas.
For something indoors if the weather isn’t too good (or even too hot), check out The Chocolate Museum, a science museum called CosmoCaixa, and a bit of fun and experimentation at the Museum of Ideas and Inventions. Don’t forget to see the Fountain of Montjuic at night for a truly magical water and light display that is perfect when you are traveling with kids.
Paris understandably gets a lot of attention, but for a smaller yet no less enjoyable city in France, it’s hard to beat Nantes. The weather is usually good in summer and there’s the awesome medieval castle, Château des Ducs de Bretagne, that will make the kids feel like they’ve gone back in time. As well, there’s the Jardin des Plantes, which is full of fun animal sculptures made from natural materials.
However, any trip to Nantes can’t be without a visit to the incredible mechanical elephant that you can hitch a ride on and makes you feel like you’re taking a magical adventure. The Grand Éléphant is 12 meters tall and can carry 52 passengers on its back for a short but exhilarating walk (just be sure to book ahead). For more steampunk animal mayhem, there’s also the Carrousel des Mondes Marins and the Galerie des Machines to cap it all off. Both are perfect activities when you’re traveling with kids.