Kid-friendly European cities for a short break
With Easter coming late this year, quickly followed by the 6 and 27 May, there’s a bank holiday bonanza on the horizon. With these ‘extra’ days off comes the potential to head away and as the kids are off school, you're out of the office, and temperatures across Europe are starting to warm up - all things considered, it's a great time for a city break.
Of course, even the most optimistic of parents would be forced to admit that travelling as a family narrows down the destinations available. Fortunately, some of Europe's cities make it an absolute cinch to visit with kids, thanks to their excellent transport links, pleasant climates and array of child-friendly attractions and amenities.
Read on for the Citybond Team's pick of the best European cities to visit with the family.
Oh, Vienna! The Austrian capital certainly won't mean nothing to you after visiting with the little ones, thanks to its vast range of family-friendly entertainment. Younger kids will love a trip to Schönbrunn Palace, home to the Children's Museum and the world's oldest zoo. You can easily spend a full day at Schönbrunn, but if you've got the time, you should also seek out Prater Theme Park, the oldest amusement park in the world, and the charmingly named Bogi Playground, the world's largest indoor play area. If they've been on their best behaviour, reward them with a Sachertorte, the deliciously decadent chocolate cake invented in Vienna back in 1832.
The weather in Lisbon gets pretty stifling during the summer months, so springtime, which brings average highs of 22C, is perfect for visiting with the kids. Your little nature lovers will adore the city's oceanarium, Europe's largest indoor aquarium, and Lisbon Zoo, home to more than 300 species of animal. Fancy a day at the seaside? The beautiful beaches at Cascais and Tamirez can be reached in less than an hour by public transport or in around 30 minutes by car. Perhaps best of all, many Lisbon restaurants offer child-only zones complete with games and activities, so you can enjoy (a little) peace and quiet with your evening meal.
Reykjavik is routinely recognised as one of the world's safest capitals - don't be surprised to see babies asleep in prams outside the city's shops. But the Icelandic capital isn't just fantastic for your peace of mind; it's also a launchpad for a host of activities that adventurous families will love. Visit the thermal springs, many of which offer special children's sections, to warm the cockles on a chilly day. Early May is close to peak time for whale-watching, so book onto a tour for a chance to see the majestic animals in the flesh. If you're lucky, you might even get to see the Northern Lights. Improve your chances by paying attention to updates from the country's Meteorological Office.
Think Munich is all about boozy beer festivals? Think again, as the city is actually a haven for child-centric activities. Be sure to check out the Deutsches Museum, one of the world's oldest and largest science museums. The Toy Museum is also not to be missed, with its vast collection of dolls, model trains, teddy bears and more from across Europe and the US. If your little ones love Disney, you'll want to take them to Neuschwanstein Castle, which inspired the palace from Sleeping Beauty. And don't worry if you fancy a well-earned pint after all that sightseeing, as the city's many beer halls are child-friendly too.
Florence isn't just perfect for romancing your loved one - it's a veritable treasure trove for kids. Provided your children are over the age of four, you can sign them up for one of the Palazzo Vecchio museum's English-language activity sessions, or rent one of the kits for families if you fancy self-guiding your way around. At the Leonardo da Vinci Museum, the little ones will love the interactive reproductions of some of the inventor's greatest creations. And the stunning panoramic views from the top of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore - also known as Il Duomo di Firenze - are a surefire hit with visitors of all ages.
Wherever you plan on heading to this year it’s good to know that Citybond Suretravel is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.
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