A city holiday with children can be difficult but you shouldn’t avoid it. The best family vacations become the stuff of legend, inspiring the stories you and your relatives repeat and reminisce over for years. Here are ten of the most family-friendly cities in Europe.
1. Paris, France
Paris has absolutely tons of things for kids to do and they love the Eiffel Tower. Your biggest decision will be whether to take the stairs or the elevator. Kids will also be fascinated with the animals at the Museum of Natural History’s Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy Gallery. The museum has a lot to see and can easily fill 3 or 4 hours. The nearby Galeries de Paléontologie et d’Antatomie has a fascinating old fashioned collection of skeletons. And then there’s always Disneyland Paris on the outskirts of the city, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary with a range of discounts.
Where to stay? Paris has hundreds of hotels but the best areas in Paris for families are Saint Germain (central, loads of shops and restaurants), Rue Cler in the 7th Arrondissement (quieter, slower paced, village-like feel, but still close to many attractions and the Eiffel Tower), and the Marais (less touristy, hip and trendy but still family-friendly). The best luxury hotel for families is the Four Seasons George V. See also hotels at Disneyland Paris.
2. Rome , Italy
If there is just one thing that Rome is known for, it is its ancient ruins; Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill are the most famous ones. Rome has numerous stunning center squares or piazzas where you can relax, eat famous gelato, enjoy fountains. Don’t forget to visit Piazza Navona, known for its fountains of four rivers, Piazza di Spagna where the Spanish steps lie and Piazza de Trevi where you can view the Trevi fountain in all its delight.
The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum has more than 200 machines that will fascinate kids; including war machines, helicopters, and gliders.
If you are planning a short stay in Rome, we recommend staying in a hotel where you can walk to tourist attractions as well as interesting restaurants and shops. Staying around the Pantheon, Piazza Navona or alternatively around the Spanish Steps would be great.
East meets West in Istanbul and Istanbul today is a popular destination for Middle Eastern travelers. You need to visit the historic part of the city. Built in 1609, the Sultanahmet Mosque also known as the Blue Mosque because of its blue tiles is a must-visit place. The interior of the mosque is worth to see. Just across the square is another fascinating building: Hagia Sophia. It is one of the few buildings in the world that have been used as a place of worship for both Christians and Muslims.
As you are traveling with kids, you may want to visit the Dolphinarium, Rahmi Koç Museum, Miniatürk, and a tour of the Bosphorus. And if you still have time, you can take a ferry to visit Princes’ Islands. For local crafts, food, and everything else you can imagine, visit Grand Bazaar, Istanbul’s market that boasts 5,000 vendors. Popular among budget travelers, Taksim is a good place to stay. One of the best luxury hotels in Istanbul is Ciragan Palace Kempinski, which was a former Ottoman palace.