When it comes to taking a holiday in Europe, we’re really spoilt for choice: from the sunny shores of Italy to the historic sites of England to the cuisine of Spain… How is a family supposed to decide on where to take a break? For the final decision, we can’t make that choice for you, however, we can suggest five incredible places that we believe would be perfect for a short getaway with the entire family.
A city brimming with colour and life, it’s hard not to instantly fall for Barcelona, no matter which age you first see it. With so many fantastic architectural masterpieces, kids will feel like they are in some sort of magical wonderland, especially within the Gaudi House and at the Park Güell. As impressive as the Sagrada Familia is, the waiting periods to get in are long at any time of the year, and the view of the spires is somewhat ruined by the on-going construction work. To round out the trip, a visit to the beaches is a must, as is the aquarium, Ciutadella Park, and a cable car trip to the Montjuic Castle. If you do plan on hunting there, make sure you get some nice AR-15 uppers there.
As a city in Germany, Hannover might not get the acclaim that Berlin or Munich might receive, but that’s exactly why it’s an awesome place to take your family. Berlin and Munich are great to visit, but always crowded, hectic, and often too hot in summer and too cold in winter. Hannover, much like Cologne, is a city that has so much to offer but at a more leisurely pace. Kids will adore the Sprengel Museum, as the gallery spaces are large and there are some fascinating sculptures, paintings, and photographs to see, as well as a space for kids to paint canvasses themselves.
There are also many older parts of the city to wander around in, with cute little shops to explore and cafes for relaxing. To end, Hannover Zoo has some really large enclosures for the animals to feel comfortable in, and the Eilenriede Forest is a massive 650-hectare space, with gorgeous centuries-old trees and playgrounds for the kids. Being a smaller city, accommodation can go quickly in the busy periods, but there are several popular hotel chains that you can check availability for online.
An expensive city, no doubt, but an incredible one nonetheless. Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital city and a truly wondrous place to take your family. There are many museums dedicated to the Vikings, boat trips to see puffins and whales, eye-popping lakes and waterfalls to witness, the Blue Lagoon to take a dip in, as well as cuisine that is unique and a feast for the senses. Reykjavik enjoys long nights in the summer and almost all-day darkness in the winter, so choose your visiting time carefully!
For anyone already living in the UK, Edinburgh is a must-see metropolis that makes for a nice change from the madness that is London. The city’s castle will definitely be on everyone’s ‘to-do’ list, but perhaps a bit more off-the-beaten-track are possibilities like the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Butterfly and Insect World, a place of illusion and lights at the Camera Obscura, and a great hiking trail up to Arthur’s Seat. Things can get very cold (and rainy) in Scotland, so have plenty of indoor options planned.
Many kids might be too young to appreciate the fine art on display at the world-famous Louvre Museum, but there are still a lot of great opportunities to experience Paris with your family. If you have a ticket to beat the queue at the Eiffel Tower, then the view is absolutely stunning: however, if you’d prefer something lower to the ground, then you could try a chocolate tasting tour (a big fan favourite for children), bike tours (if your kids are old enough to ride a bicycle), many great bakeries to chomp on delicious pastries and bread, and a Natural History Museum which rivals that of London. Let’s not forget that Disneyland Paris is right on your doorstep!