When we think of holidays with the kids, the first things that spring to mind are beach breaks, camping trips and resort stays. That’s all well and good, but it’s a great shame that we can sometimes overlook some of Europe’s wonderful city destinations when booking our family holidays. City breaks can be tremendously fun and enriching for young and old alike and crucially, they’re much more likely to teach your kids something meaningful about another culture than a stay in an entirely tourist-oriented resort. Of course it’s always vital to ensure that your chosen destination is safe enough for a child to visit; the foreign travel advice from the Home Office can help you select the most suitable destination.
Here are a few city breaks that get a big, fat seal of approval from us:
Berlin – Head for the German capital Berlin and you’ll be yelling “Ich bin ein Berliner!” in no time at all. Berlin has a grown up reputation thanks to its world leading nightlife and hard hitting museums such as the former Stasi HQ, but there are also lots of great green spaces such as Treptower Park where the kids can play and grown ups can relax. Take the youngsters to Dunkin Donuts for a selection box and they’ll never want to go home!
Dubrovnik – Dubrovnik really is a city break that offers the best of both worlds. Sure it’s small, but it’s jam packed with history, from the Old Town with its magnificent Stradun to the imposing Srd Hill, which features a museum dedicated to the Croatian battle for independence in the late 20th Century and is accessible by cable car – great fun for the kids. There’s also the added bonus of miles of beautiful coastline stretching far to the north and south of the city.
Rome – The former so-called ‘capital of the world’ is a truly magnificent city with so much to do and see for all the family. A trip to the Vatican is simply unmissable – whilst some of the historical/spiritual appeal may be lost on the very young, the sheer scale of St Peter’s Basilica definitely won’t be. Then there are the famous gelaterias to consider… we recommend the pistachio flavour.
Edinburgh – There are few places in the whole wide world that have the same magical quality that characterises Edinburgh, where streets wind beneath streets, great granite edifices rise out of craggy rock and pipes blare away over the chatter of tourists and gulls. The appeal of this city to adults speaks for itself, but it’s also a great draw for kids – the whole place feels like something out of Harry Potter (perhaps unsurprising given the fact that the series was created here) and there are plenty of family friendly attractions to visit, including the celebrated Camera Obscura.