Unique European destinations with little ones
I get lots of questions about traveling in Europe with little ones. Although it’s a far journey from the U.S., it can be so worth it once you’re there! Here are some short stay holidays that are unique and good for little ones.
The options can be overwhelming when choosing a European itinerary. But with kids, I’d say to keep it simple. Focus on the shortest travel time, good accommodation, and activities kids will love! If you’re looking for a trip that’s geared up for children, here are a few places to consider…
The Canary Islands should be top of your list of places to consider if you’re wanting a shorter getaway. It’s a reasonably short flight to take with little ones, and promises good weather. Gran Canaria is the largest of the Canary Islands, and as a result there are plenty of options for families. Of course, you can lay out on Gran Canaria’s gorgeous beaches (the sand dunes at Maspalomas are great fun to run up and down, and will definitely tire out little legs!), but there’s also lots to do if you want to have a few specific activities planned.
– Palmitos Park: such a fantastic day out for children and adults alike, with lots of birds, monkeys, dolphins and more. The dolphin shows are a highlight!
– Aqualand: Fun water park that kids will love!
– Maspalomas: You can take a camel ride on the sand dunes here!
Don’t shy away from big cities with kids! Sometimes booking a city break is the perfect thing to do with little ones, and as long as you plan ahead and have the right equipment (like a good stroller and walking shoes to keep little feet happy), you’ll have a great time. One fun city destination for families is Barcelona. This sunny Catalan capital is filled with plenty of attractions to fill up a few days, like museums, art galleries, parks and more. For example, the biggest science museum in Europe is right here to enjoy: CosmoCaixa has six floors of learning for children, with installations such as the Planetarium and Flash.
Run off little legs at the Parc Turó de la Peira – this scenic park in Barcelona is filled with climbing frames, picnic areas and table tennis areas, and it’s covered with pretty trees. And of course, there’s nowhere more exciting than Las Ramblas – the popular boulevard lined with shops, restaurants and cafes, and it’s filled with street entertainers and music. It’s busy in the summer, and you’ll have more fun if you have a little loose change to have your little ones give performers. Continue until you get to the marina – the Mercat de la Boqueria is full of fruits, chocolates and other yummy foods, and lots of fun color and scents for kids to take in.
Although we didn’t love Barcelona as much our first time, it is a good base with kiddos to travel the Spanish coast from. Enjoy the shoreline and head into the smaller towns of Southern Spain from there!
For a different region in France : A short ride on the ferry to northern France will see in you Brittany – a region that’s perfect for short holidays with children. You’ll find some of the best sandy beaches in France here, and for older children, the surfing opportunities are good if you want to put them in lessons.
There are plenty of woodland areas in Brittany too (ideal for shady walks in the late afternoon), and Château de Fougères is well worth a visit if you have budding historians ).It’s one of the largest surviving fortresses in Europe, and its turreted towers are fun to see. Small scientists will have a great time at Planétarium de Bretagne (one of the largest planetariums in Europe) – just call ahead to find out which days the complex is offering English commentaries.
Those are just three ideas for short stay holidays that are perfect if you’re traveling with
children. Of course, these are all great destinations that can be enjoyed for a week or
two, but even just a few days in any of these locations will give you plenty of happy
memories and a much-needed break from routine.