The 13 Most Family-friendly Cities in Europe

By Gwen Shearman, Staff WriterMay 12, 2015
By Gwen Shearman, Staff WriterMay 12, 2015, at 2:28 p.m.
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Seville, Spain
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12. Seville

Seville delivers plenty of colorful places for families to discover the city's rich cultural heritage. A tour of the Real Alcázar palace will probably make you and your clan feel like royalty, while the centuries-old Barrio Santa Cruz neighborhood will transport you back in time as you meander past plazas lined with orange trees. The city is also known for its tapas, which are cheap, shareable plates that are the perfect portions for kids. What's more, you and your group can unwind as the Spaniards do with an afternoon siesta.
Find out more about:
The Best Things to Do in Seville 
The Best Family Vacations in Europe
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When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation
Panoramic view of Berlin at sunset.
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(Getty Images)

11. Berlin

Berlin lures families with its kid-friendly activities, dining spots and inviting outdoor spaces like Tiergarten and the hip Viktoriapark. Families can also get their fill of history and culture on Museumsinsel (Museum Island) and pay their respects at Berlin's Holocaust Memorial. Check out top museums on Thursday evenings, when state-owned institutions offer extended hours and free admission. And a unique emerging trend in Berlin is the rise of kindercafes: These stylish eateries not only provide kid-friendly menus, they incorporate play areas with toys, games and art to entertain younger visitors. 
Find out more about: 
The Best Things to Do in Berlin
The Best Family Vacations in Europe 
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When to Splurge and When to Save on Family a Vacation
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Lipari, Italy
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(Getty Images)

13. Sicily

With picturesque beaches, vibrant markets and striking ruins, this Italian island offers plenty to captivate family members of all ages. From playing on the sand to hiking Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano, Sicily won't leave little ones bored. For a dose of history, discover the ancient ruins at the Valley of the Temples, where seven temples dedicated to Greek gods date back to the fifth century B.C. And don't forget to sample an authentic cannoli (or two). 
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The Best Things to Do in Sicily 
The Best Family Vacations in Europe
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When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation
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By now you've probably heard that the euro and U.S. dollar are nearly equivalent, making travel to Europe more affordable than it's been in more than 10 years. Since it's unclear how long this will last, now is an ideal time to pack up the family and hop across the pond. To help families figure out which European spot will make for the perfect trip, U.S. News weighed factors like family-friendly attractions and affordable lodging and dining options, along with reader votes, to pinpoint the Best Family Vacations in Europe for 2015.
Find out more about:
The Best Family Vacations in Europe
Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

13. Sicily

With picturesque beaches, vibrant markets and striking ruins, this Italian island offers plenty to captivate family members of all ages. From playing on the sand to hiking Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano, Sicily won't leave little ones bored. For a dose of history, discover the ancient ruins at the Valley of the Temples, where seven temples dedicated to Greek gods date back to the fifth century B.C. And don't forget to sample an authentic cannoli (or two). 
Find out more about: 
The Best Things to Do in Sicily 
The Best Family Vacations in Europe
Read More: 
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

12. Seville

Seville delivers plenty of colorful places for families to discover the city's rich cultural heritage. A tour of the Real Alcázar palace will probably make you and your clan feel like royalty, while the centuries-old Barrio Santa Cruz neighborhood will transport you back in time as you meander past plazas lined with orange trees. The city is also known for its tapas, which are cheap, shareable plates that are the perfect portions for kids. What's more, you and your group can unwind as the Spaniards do with an afternoon siesta.
Find out more about:
The Best Things to Do in Seville 
The Best Family Vacations in Europe
Read More: 
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

11. Berlin

Berlin lures families with its kid-friendly activities, dining spots and inviting outdoor spaces like Tiergarten and the hip Viktoriapark. Families can also get their fill of history and culture on Museumsinsel (Museum Island) and pay their respects at Berlin's Holocaust Memorial. Check out top museums on Thursday evenings, when state-owned institutions offer extended hours and free admission. And a unique emerging trend in Berlin is the rise of kindercafes: These stylish eateries not only provide kid-friendly menus, they incorporate play areas with toys, games and art to entertain younger visitors. 
Find out more about: 
The Best Things to Do in Berlin
The Best Family Vacations in Europe 
Read More: 
When to Splurge and When to Save on Family a Vacation

10. Stockholm

Set on 14 connected islands, Stockholm is home to plenty of distinctive architectural and cultural sites. Like most European cities on the list, Stockholm provides families a look into the past. Brush up on medieval history by walking the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan (Old Town) or take in the traditional rural culture with a visit to the countryside at Skansen, the world's oldest open-air museum. And if you're traveling on a tight budget, save some cash by purchasing the Stockholm Card for a one-time fee, which grants you admission to more than 75 attractions and museums, plus unlimited use of public transportation.
Find out more about:
The Best Things to Do in Stockholm
The Best Family Vacations in Europe 
Read More: 
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

9. Madrid

Madrid is ideal for families looking to visit a culturally stimulating and vibrant locale that won't break the bank. Pick up a Madrid Card to slash costs while you and your clan explore Spain's largest city: the pass offers access to more than 50 museums (and priority admission to some, so you won't have to wait in line). Don't miss admiring the striking architecture and famous works of art from Velazquez and Goya at the Museo del Prado. Afterward, venture to Madrid's open-air cafes near Plaza Mayor or Casa de Campo, home to a zoo and amusement park. And when the kiddos need a chance to rest their legs, take a break at the tranquil Parque del Retiro.  
Find out more about:
The Best Things to Do in Madrid 
The Best Family Vacations in Europe 
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When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

8. Prague

Kids are sure to love Prague's fairy tale setting and parents will appreciate the city's affordability. Carve out some time to explore Prague Castle, stroll along the Czech capital's statue-filled bridges and admire the Prague Astronomical Clock in the Old Town. If you're traveling with budding art connoisseurs, check out the fanciful Dancing House or catch a show or ballet at the Národní divadlo (National Theater). A trip to the top of the Petrin Lookout Tower for a bird's eye view of the city is an ideal bookend to your visit.
Find out more about:
The Best Things to Do in Prague
The Best Family Vacations in Europe 
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When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation 

7. Edinburgh

The capital of Scotland draws in families with reasonable prices and some of the most staggering landscapes in Europe. Kids and parents alike will love the views of the city from Calton Hill and Arthur's Seat. Plus, families can channel their inner medieval knights with a trip to Edinburg Castle. If you book early, you can plan your summer trip around popular events like the Edinburgh International Festival, Military Tattoo and Hogmanay. Just be sure to pack layers: temperatures throughout the year rarely reach 70 degrees.
Find out more about: 
The Best Things to Do in Edinburgh
The Best Family Vacations in Europe 
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When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation 

6. Lisbon

A rising tourist destination, Lisbon features impressive architecture, storied castles and other highlights that help differentiate it from the various vibrant European destinations on this list. Manueline architecture, as seen in attractions like the Monastery of St Jerome, is a must-see here. The kids will especially enjoy the seaside community of Belem, where many of the city's attractions (and the Portuguese tart institution, Pasteis de Belém) are located. After exploring Belém, take Tram 28 to the Alfama neighborhood, where winding streets, shops and restaurants await.
Find out more about:
The Best Things to Do in Lisbon 
The Best Family Vacations in Europe
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When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation 

5. Florence

This Italian city in the Tuscan hills is home to some of the greatest architecture and art in the world. Families can admire works from Michelangelo and other famous artists at the Galleria dell'Accademia and marvel at the Duomo's iconic red-tiled cupola dome. If the little ones get restless hopping in and out of museums, grab some gelato, meander along the Ponte Vecchio or head to the Boboli Gardens.
Find out more about: 
The Best Things to Do in Florence
The Best Family Vacations in Europe 
Read More: 
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation 

4. Paris

With world-class landmarks and museums, cozy cafes and gourmet pastries, there are many reasons to love the City of Light. Younger visitors will appreciate soaking up must-see attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre-Dame. And when you need some down time, stroll along Champs-Élysées or relax in the Luxembourg Gardens, where kids can take a spin on the merry-go-round or watch puppet shows. Young kids may also enjoy the colorful, modern art at Centre Pompidou.
Find out more about: 
The Best Things to Do in Paris
The Best Family Vacations in Europe 
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When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation 

3. Barcelona

Barcelona may be famous for its vibrant nightlife, but its bustling markets, lively beach, museums, parks and architectural gems make it an ideal vacation spot for families. From funky Gaudí wonders like Parc Güell and Casa Batlló to masterpieces at the Picasso Museum, families will always have something to do. And best of all, like other Spanish cities on this list, afternoon siestas will give the whole family a chance to recharge.
Find out more about: 
The Best Things to Do in Barcelona
The Best Family Vacations in Europe 
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When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation 

2. Rome

For a fun and enriching European vacation, take the kids to Italy's capital. Sights like the Colosseum, the Pantheon and St. Peter's Basilica are convincing enough to take the gang to Rome, but other places in the city shouldn't be overlooked. Experience Rome like a local by visiting the Trastevere neighborhood and shopping at the Porta Portese market on Sunday mornings to purchase authentic souvenirs.
Find out more about:
The Best Things to Do in Rome
The Best Family Vacations in Europe 
Read More: 
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation 

1. London

Making its debut as the No. 1 Best Family Vacation in Europe, London offers world-class attractions that the whole gang will enjoy. Though London comes with a heftier price tag than other destinations on the list, the city features fascinating (and free) attractions that appeal to parents and kids alike, such as the National Gallery and Portobello Road Market. Take a spin on the London Eye, stretch out on the green space in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and don't forget to visit Buckingham Palace.
Find out more about:
The Best Things to Do in London
The Best Family Vacations in Europe 
Read More: 
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation 
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