Sure, when we first welcome that 8-pound wonder into our household, it might seem like we’ll never, ever “hop the pond” (or sleep for that matter) again. But as our kiddos collect birthday candles and we get the hang of the whole parenting gig, jet setting with little ones in tow seems just a bit more doable. Since parents these days don’t exactly travel light—hello stroller, three changes of clothes and endless toys—it’s important to pick destinations that cater to small children. Thankfully, plenty of cities in Europe offer kid-friendly amenities and attractions that make getting around town, taming hanger tantrums and warding away boredom much easier. Here are the best spots across the Atlantic to consider for your next—or first—trip with your babes:


European family cities

Everyone loves London! (Even tiny travelers.)

While pricey for sure, the accessibility and endless entertainment options in London make it an ideal destination for families—plus there are no language barriers! Apply online for a Zip Oyster photocard which handily allows children under 11 to ride for free on the London Underground (aka “the Tube”), the DLR (a light rail service) and the London Overground, the city’s suburban rail network. The London Pass, a sightseeing card, offers “skip the line” privileges—a godsend when traveling with kids; plus, admission is free to all national museums across the UK.

What to Do: A hop-on, hop-off bus is a solid option, especially if you’re carrying an infant around via stroller or carrier. A fun ride for kids might also be the London Eye, the 443-foot observation wheel offering 360-degree views of the city (children under two ride for free). Your kids will likely want to visit with the famous childhood characters that call London home. Take the Tube to Paddington Station and snap a pic of your kids in front of the bronze Paddington statue that sits out front. The station is also home to the world’s only gift shop devoted exclusively to the famous bear. For older kids, consider the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studios Tour; younger kids will adore the Peter Pan-themed Princess Diana Memorial Playground featuring a replica of the famous pirate ship! Other kid-friendly attractions around town include a collection of teddy bears and dollhouses on display at the V&A Museum of Childhood; up-close animal encounters at Mudchute Park and Farm (a working farm within city limits); and of course, street performers in Covent Garden.


European family cities

Munich is a perfect choice for kids of all ages.

When you think of Germany—especially its Bavarian capital—it likely makes you thirsty for a cold one. While beer is definitely a tourist attraction for adults, kids will enjoy the endless handcrafted toys in many a shop window. There’s plenty to keep short attention spans busy—from sampling sweets and watching street performers in Munich’s Old Town to stopping by the city’s many museums fit for nearly every age group. Children under 6 ride free on the Munich U-Bahn, while the Children’s Day Ticket allows kids ages 6–14 unlimited rides for 3.2 Euros. Best of all, most breweries and pubs in town will let you bring your tykes, and even offer ‘em a cider, too.

What to Do: While you’re visiting, grab your credit card and stop by Obletter Spielwaren, one of the world’s largest toy stores, to watch your child’s eyes grow wide. Next, head to the Kids Kingdom at Deutsches Museum, offering more than 1,000 kid-friendly activities. A no-brainer during warm weather is the Munich Zoo, where kids can learn about hundreds of species and even take a pony or camel ride. (If you’re visiting in winter, don’t miss out on the penguin parade!) Of course, Germany gave birth to classic fairy tales like Snow White, Hänsel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood, which can be explored at the Freizeitpark Märchenwald (Fairytale Forest), an amusement park that brings these characters vividly to life.


European family cities

Amsterdam is more kid-friendly than you’d expect.

Even though your backpacking days meant hostel-hopping and some, um, extra-curricular sampling, Amsterdam makes for a kid-approved spot, especially if they’re school-aged. Sans stroller, the whole crew can pedal around on the city’s endless bike paths. Going on a boat tour is also fun for kids, whether you have a skipper or use your own two feet to chug along. A GVB Day Ticket allows children ages 4–11 (children under 4 ride free) unlimited rides within a 24-hour period on public transportation for 3.75 Euros.

What to Do: A visit to the Netherland’s largest science museum for children, Science Center NEMO, is a family favorite (kids don lab coats!). And if you’d like a mix of horseback riding, water sports and cheese farms (yep, you read that right), consider spending a day at Amsterdamse Bos. Meanwhile, De Poezenboot (literally meaning cat boat) is the world’s only floating animal shelter and a great opportunity for kids to get out on the water while hanging out with dozens of adoptable kitties. The Family Lab at the modern art Stedeljik Museum allows youngsters to become the next Van Gogh. While a more somber experience, the Anne Frank Museum is moving for kids old enough to understand its importance.


European family cities

Don’t miss the view from Petrin Hill.

Sure, beer is cheaper than water in the Czech capital, but in the City of a Hundred Spires, there is plenty of space to keep kids engaged. Parents of toddlers will enjoy the larger sidewalks, huge parks and the low prices of nearly everything from food to accommodations. As you’ll see from wandering the streets, playgrounds are nearly everywhere—as are well-behaved dogs for petting. Prague’s location in Eastern Europe also makes it easy to navigate via train or plane to other nearby cities—from Vienna to Budapest—for those who want a longer vacation.

What to Do: Kids will love the Petrin Funicular, a cable car that moves passengers to the top of Petrin Hill, where Insta-worthy photos await. The funicular is part of Prague Metro, where children under 6 ride free and children ages 6–15 ride for about 75 cents. Children can also run through a mirror maze, take a pony ride or play in the garden area. Another fun option for kids is a ride on Tram No. 91. This vintage experience runs through Prague, and loops in many famous spots … and only costs $1.50! For a more zen experience, consider going to the many kid-friendly theaters, including Black Light Theater or the National Marionette Theater.


European family cities

Tivoli Gardens | Trover photo by Supreet Kaur

As one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world, families will feel at ease in the Danish capital. Everyone has a bicycle and the metro system (children under 16 ride for free if accompanied by an adult) connects to every part of town, making it easy-peasy to commute, even with a stroller. While it is a tad more expensive than other parts of Europe, you’ll also find the people incredibly kind, making for plenty of helping hands with doors and the like. It also connects to the Swedish city of Malmö via the iconic Oresund Bridge, so you might be able to fit in two countries in one trip if you have time on your hands for a day trip.

What to Do: For Disney fans, stopping by the famous Little Mermaid statue created in honor of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen is a must. Speaking of Disney, during summer, your kiddos will squeal with glee at amusement park Tivoli Gardens, which provided inspiration for Walt Disney and which also happens to be smack in the middle of the city. Let your kids pillage and plunder like the Vikings did at the Children’s Museum at the National Museum and afterward commandeer your own family-sized solar-powered boat (no license necessary) and take to the city’s canals and harbor with GoBoat. Nearby castles like Christiansborg Palace and Amalienborg allow little ones to imagine themselves as prince and princesses.

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