5 ‘best-of-the-best’ European destinations for families with kids & toddlers

New parents with itchy feet know all too well the often daunting task of planning a family vacation abroad. Whether it's wandering through the wonders of Oceanario Lisboa or simply getting lost in Barcelona's dazzling golden sands and Eiffel Tower's guided interactive tour, Air France shares their pick of 5 'best-of-the-best' European travel destinations, all guaranteed to blow both parents and children away.

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Whether it’s wandering through the wonders of Oceanario Lisboa with more than one million gallons of seawater, or simply getting lost in Barcelona’s beautiful golden sands and paradise of turquoise waters or better still, jumping into a paddle boat with your crew to take in some historic sites Amsterdam canals are known for, there’s a lot to consider beyond just what’s there to discover when planning a trip with your little ones, however finding the best things and places to travel to with kids needn’t be something chaotic for parents looking to embark on post-Covid travel.

Picking the right destination is vital to make a family vacation an all-round success, which is why Air France is making things easy by picking five European destinations for you that remains popular among travelers, and understandably so.

Paris, France

The versatile city of Paris truly has something for everyone, making it a  perfect destination for families to explore some of the city’s popular landmarks. Paris’ main attraction, the Eiffel Tower is one such, with as many intriguing discoveries for parents and their young ones. Family tickets for a specific date and time slot can be booked the La Tour Eiffel website ensuring no time is wasted.
Once you’ve seen the captivating view from the tower, they can choose to spend some time at the Jardins du Trocadéro (Gardens of the Trocadero), the park right under the tower where they can take the best family photos to create lasting memories. The ever popular Montmartre is bustling with so much to see, experience and eat. The area is home to the Sacre Coer basilica. Here, you can challenge the kids to climb the steps to the entrance while taking in even more beautiful views of the city. With many more iconic destinations to visit, a trip to Paris will be both educational and relaxing for families visiting.

Kids paradise: Kids aged 4 and under go free at the Eiffel Tower. A free ticket is available when buying tickets online or at the Tower!

Lisbon, Portugal

The seaside city of Lisbon has plenty to offer for families, while the city’s cobbled streets makes it a little difficult to explore the city with toddlers. However, there’s a lot more fun things to do with older children in this eclectic city. Portugal is known for its food and taking a food tour with your children is a great (and yummy) way to explore the Portuguese culture. Having a guide impart their knowledge while indulging on the city’s famous pasteis de nata, bifana sandwiches and alheira sausages is a great way to bond with and educate your children. A visit to the Oceanario Lisboa – one of the most impressive and largest aquariums in Europe – is also a must. With so many activities for toddlers and children to choose from, the aquarium showcases some incredible sea life in four marine habitats filled with a whopping five million litres of seawater all set round a huge central tank. The city is also host to a number of incredible beaches and the Castelo Sao Jorge which offers some spectacular views of the city.

Barcelona, Spain

Many past visitors would agree that the one thing that makes Barcelona the perfect city to explore with kids is its miles of golden sand, and how user-friendly the city is designed for families. Barcelona is a flat city which means that exploring it with baby prams is a breeze. The city’s vibrant beaches will ensure the kids will be entertained for hours on end building sandcastles and enjoying ice cream or playing paddle ball on the sand. On top of its stunning beaches, the city has a number of family-friendly attractions that will make any family vacation to Barcelona one to remember. A visit to the Tibidabo Amusement Park, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, and the Cosmocaixa Science Museum are must-visits and, if you want to go on a culinary adventure, a visit to the Museu de Xocolata (Chocolate Museum) will be unforgettable. Sagrada Familia, with its quirky architecture and fabulous colours, is another attraction that will appeal to kids as well as adults.

Sagrada Familia should be on your ‘must visit with kids’ list.

Rome, Italy

Rome’s fascinating ancient history is enough to stir any child’s imagination, making it just as perfect for visitors of all ages visiting. Kids, both young and old, will marvel at the beauty of the Colosseum and get to learn in the process, a captivating history behind this fascinating ancient civilisation through a guided tour of the landmark, the ancient Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. A visit to these incredible locations can all be done on one day. Get the kids to make a wish by tossing a coin into the famous Trevi fountain and enjoy some delicious pizza and ice cream in the city’s beautiful cobbles streets or at the nearby Spanish Steps. For a break from all the sightseeing, the kids will love a visit to the Explora children museum. With soft play areas for toddlers, several imaginative play areas for older kids and lots of interesting workshops, the museum will have the kids entertained for hours.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

While Amsterdam may be known for its thriving night life, the city has become increasingly popular over the years for family vacations and its easy to see why. The city has so much to offer families while on vacation and is designed in a way that makes travelling with kids simple and, most importantly, easy. A great way to take in some of the city’s historic sites is to hire a paddle boat along the famous Amsterdam canals as a family. For those not wanting to get into the water, hiring bikes is incredibly easy and is a great way to get around thanks to the many bike paths around the city.

A visit to the interactive NEMO Science Museum, which includes hands on chemistry experiments, is a great way to entertain inquisitive minds.
The city is also known for its delicious food, from mouth-watering desserts like Poffertjes or those warm pancakes topped with powdered sugar, and Stroopwafels, you name it.