Best Cities To Visit In Europe

Bergen

Discover 20 of the Best Cities To Visit In Europe and the most popular attractions in each of those cities. From sunset kayak sessions in Dubrovnik to UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bergen, natural hot springs in Budapest and so much more… In this article, Europe’s your oyster, so let’s go exploring!

What makes European Cities so magical?

Europe is a treasure trove of captivating cities that offer something for every member of the family. From fairy tale castles to vibrant markets and delicious cuisines, there’s no shortage of amazing experiences waiting to be had. Whether you’re travelling with young children or teenagers, these family-friendly cities will make your European adventure a memorable one. So without further ado, let’s get into the most popular destinations in Europe!

Paris, France: The City of Lights and Magic

eiffel tower by river
Known for its romantic ambience, Paris is also a fantastic destination for families. Start your journey at the iconic Eiffel Tower, where both parents and kids can marvel at the breathtaking views of the city. The Louvre Museum is a must-visit, showcasing an incredible collection of art that includes the famous Mona Lisa. Take a leisurely boat ride along the Seine River and enjoy the charming cafés and bakeries that line the streets.

Barcelona, Spain: Sun, Sea, and Sangria

Barcelona
Barcelona offers a mix of stunning architecture, sunny beaches, and a rich culture that families will adore. Gaudi’s whimsical creations, such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, will leave both adults and kids in awe. Stroll along the bustling Las Ramblas, where street performers and markets create a lively atmosphere. Don’t forget to savour some authentic Spanish tapas and paella!

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Canals, Windmills, and Tulips

colourful houses in amsterdam
Amsterdam’s charming canals, vibrant neighbourhoods, and intriguing museums make it a fantastic choice for families. Take a leisurely boat cruise along the canals to admire the picturesque cityscape. The Anne Frank House provides an educational and poignant experience for older children, shedding light on the history of World War II. And of course, a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens during tulip season is a colourful and memorable outing.

Prague, Czech Republic: A Fairytale Come to Life

Prague
Prague’s storybook architecture and friendly atmosphere create a perfect setting for a family vacation. The Prague Castle complex is a must-see, where kids can imagine themselves in a medieval fairy tale. Wander through the charming Old Town Square and marvel at the astronomical clock’s hourly show. Don’t miss a peaceful boat ride on the Vltava River, offering a unique perspective of the city.

Edinburgh, Scotland: History, Mystery, and Highland Charm

Edinburgh streets
With its historic castles, cobblestone streets, and lush landscapes, Edinburgh is a captivating city for families to explore. Climb up to Edinburgh Castle, which sits atop an extinct volcano and offers panoramic views. The interactive exhibits at the Dynamic Earth Museum are both entertaining and educational for young minds. For a bit of magic, follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter and explore the cobbled streets that inspired J.K. Rowling’s world-famous series.

Copenhagen, Denmark: Where Fairy Tales Meet Modernity

Copenhagen
Copenhagen effortlessly combines its fairytale charm with modern design and innovation, making it an ideal destination for families. Visit the iconic Little Mermaid statue and explore the magical Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park that caters to all ages. The Experimentarium offers hands-on science exhibits that will captivate curious young minds. Plus, biking around the city is a fun and safe way to explore its many attractions.

Dublin, Ireland: A land of folklore that’s famous for its craic!

Crowds of people stood outside famous red pub in dublin
Dublin’s warmth and charm make it an excellent family-friendly destination. Enjoy a leisurely walk through Phoenix Park, where kids can spot deer and play in the spacious greenery. Discover Ireland’s rich history through interactive exhibits at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and delve into myths and legends at the National Leprechaun Museum.

Munich, Germany: The lifestyle capital of Germany

Munich
Munich’s blend of history, culture, and outdoor spaces makes it an enticing option for families. The Englischer Garten offers vast lawns and a boating lake, perfect for picnics and relaxation. Explore the family-friendly Deutsches Museum for hands-on science and technology exhibits, and savour pretzels and sausages at bustling outdoor markets.

Rome, Italy: Travel into the past…

Rome
Embark on a journey through time in Rome, where history comes to life at every corner. The Colosseum and Roman Forum provide a glimpse into ancient times, while gelato stops and playful visits to the Trevi Fountain add a touch of delight. Vatican City’s awe-inspiring St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums are a must-see for all ages.

Lisbon, Portugal: Indulge in amazing food and explore history!

Lisbon overlooking the sea
Lisbon is one of those places you need to visit in your lifetime – even if it’s just for a long weekend! There are many reasons why it’s one of the most popular cities in Europe. Lisbon has a vibrant food scene, a collection of beautiful architecture (make sure to check out Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos), and it’s by lots of beaches. This is great news for surfers and avid sunbathers!

Budapest, Hungary: Turkish thermal baths and Nouveau-style architecture

Budapest hot spring baths
Budapest is a fascinating European city that is instantly recognised for the Szechenyi Baths. These natural hot springs are a popular place for city natives and tourists to bathe in. However, there are so many other wonderful things to check out like Bunda Castle, Children’s Railway (it’s actually run by children), Central Market Hall, and Szimpla Kert (famous ruin bar). It’s a history buff’s dream!

Bergen, Norway: One of the most breathtaking cities on the planet!

Bergen
With its charming blend of history, nature, and culture, Bergen stands as a fantastic destination for families seeking an enriching and enjoyable vacation. Number 1 on your to-do list in Bergen should be visiting charming wooden houses. This popular attraction is part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and was rebuilt in 1702 after a fire plagued the original houses.

Take leisurely strolls around Nordnes Park or delve deeper into the Norwegian culture and visit the Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene. Captivate your hearts and minds in The VilVite Science Center. Offering up plenty of interactive exhibits like The Bergen Science Trail, the city combines learning and exploration – perfect for your kids!

Athens, Greece: One of the oldest cities in the world and the birthplace of democracy

Athens
Athens is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe with its ancient architecture like the Acropolis and kid-friendly attractions. Dip your toes into Greek mythology as you retrace the steps of Athena on Mount Lycabettus. Once you reach the top you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Greece’s capital city and the Aegean sea. We recommend visiting in the late afternoon so that you can watch the sunset.

It’s not all ancient buildings and mountains though, if you want to experience something a little more modern make sure you hop aboard the Happy Train from Ermou Street. This toy-like train will take you on a 40-minute journey around the key landmarks in the charming city. The tickets to this train last for 10 hours so it’s pretty flexible if you want to hop off and explore!

Warsaw, Poland: Explore grand palaces and post-war architecture

Warsaw city
Warsaw is a haven for family attractions with plenty of interactive museums, treetop adventures, trampoline parks, botanical gardens, sweet factories, escape rooms, ski slopes and more to try out. If you are visiting in the Summer months make sure to check out the Vistula Boulevards – it’s a beach by the side of the river! This beach is equipped with play areas, tower climbs, fountains and even a mermaid…

Sink your teeth into some culture in the Museum of Evolution or the Polish Army Museum. Get some animal-loving pencilled into your trip at Bródno Farm. And if you are visiting in the Winter head over to the Royal Garden of Light for a spectacular celebration in the public holidays at the court of King Jan III Sobieski.

Vienna, Austria: Home to some of the greatest minds in history!

Yellow tram in vienna town square
Vienna, for a lot of people, is the ultimate European destination. Not only is it the home of some of the greatest minds in history like Mozart, Beethoven, and Sigmund Freud but it is also known for its imperial palaces like Schönbrunn. Vienna is often referred to as the ‘City of Music’ or the ‘City of Dreams’. As far as kids are concerned, there are heaps of cool places to explore! Pick from amusement parks, kids’ museums, and great Viennese landmarks.

Stockholm, Sweden: Breathtaking views, colourful buildings and Fika!

stockholm
This unique city encompasses 14 islands and more than 50 bridges in the Baltic Sea archipelago. There are so many wonderful things to experience in the heart of Sweeden from ghost houses to colourful buildings, new delicacies and so much more!

Promenade around Stockholm’s medieval town centre, Gamla Stan and discover places where merchants and monarchs used to spend their time. Visit the 13th-century Storkyrkan Cathedral and the Nobel Museum. Rest your legs in a quaint cafe located in Stortgoget Square and drink some Fika! Get clued up in the Skansen Open-Air Museum or scream for more thrills at Gröna Lund (vintage theme park).

Locarno, Switzerland: Palm trees, Lake Maggiore and Italian restaurants

Locarno
Looking for somewhere with good weather and mesmerising views? Head over to the Italian-speaking resort city in Switzerland, Locarno! Built around the picturesque Lake Maggiore (in the Alps), you can enjoy plenty of family activities from tandem paragliding to boat trips and strolls around Parco Civico. Dine out in Italian restaurants and cafes while overlooking the turquoise blue water. Learn about the area in city tours or on a trip to the archaeological museum – you’ll discover objects from the Bronze Age until the Middle Ages.

Dubrovnik, Croatia: The jewel of the Adriatic Sea

People kayaking in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is instantly recognisable from its limestone streets and terracotta rooftops. This stunning medieval city is a jewel in the azure Adriatic Sea. Although the town is pretty small in comparison to the others on our list, this ancient gem has a lot to offer from historical buildings to modern attractions.

Climb aboard a cable car to see the city from up high! Soak up sun rays on Banje Beach and dine out in its popular restaurant. Take a 10-minute water taxi to Lokrum Island and surrender to utter tranquillity. You’ll be surrounded by pine, olive, and cypress trees. Walk in the footsteps of monks at the Dominican Monastery or check out some of the most famous Games of Thrones filming locations like ‘King’s Landing’/Minčeta Tower. Once you are done touring the land head out to sea and go sunset kayaking!

Whether it’s a romantic getaway for two or a family holiday, there are plenty of things to do in Dubrovnik.

Berlin, Germany: Epicentre of culture and the arts

Berlin
Popular with young people, Berlin is an epicentre of culture and the arts. This striking city has grande historical buildings next to uber-modern architecture. Berlin is full of many intriguing and educational places like the holocaust memorial and the remains of the Berlin Wall. You can dine out in a flurry of cool cafes and bars like Cafe Pförtner and Katie’s Blue Cat. Berlin is also famous for its rave scene, attracting dance music lovers from all across the globe. The most famous rave clubs are Tresor and Berghain.

London, England: A plethora of palaces and unique dining experiences

colourful buildings in neal's yard london
You’ll never be short of things to do on a mini break in London. There are 607 square miles of London in total and the city’s centre is overflowing with top family attractions, quirky kids’ afternoon tea experiences, world-famous landmarks, free museums and of course, London Theatre. Visit royal palaces, sunbathe in parks, take a hot tub skuna boat ride down the Thames and let your hair down in the Best Restaurants in Covent Garden. There really is something marvellous around every corner in the UK’s capital city.

Europe’s family-friendly cities are brimming with opportunities for shared adventures and lasting memories. From historic landmarks to colourful buildings, city islands or medieval castles, each destination offers a unique blend of experiences that cater to all ages. So pack your bags, gather the family, and embark on a journey to explore the enchanting cities that make Europe a dreamy destination for families.

We’ve covered some of the prettiest cities in Europe, each with its own fascinating history but if you are still on the hunt for travel inspiration we’ve got plenty more popular tourist destinations to share with you.

On the hunt for your dream destination? Go and read our Lastminute.com articles! Read 15 Best All Inclusive Resorts for Families, 15 Best Holiday Destinations for Kids, Top 20 Family Friendly All Inclusive Hotels in Europe and Top 10 Family Holiday Destinations in 2023.

If it’s the New Year and you are looking for some new experiences, find bucket list ideas for dream trips in our article Family Bucket List Ideas.

Holidays abroad are unforgettable but there are so many wonderful places in the UK to explore too! Find out about popular tourist attractions all over the country in Places Of Interest Near Me. Discover historic sites around the UK in National Trust Near Me.

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