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5 child-friendly destinations in Europe

File picture: A view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, at night. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

File picture: A view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, at night. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Published Jun 9, 2022

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For new parents who love to travel, planning an international trip may seem a little daunting.

There are so many more aspects to consider when planning a trip with little ones, however, travelling with children needn’t be something chaotic.

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There is a study based on why travel for young children place a role in the tourism sector.

‘’Young children are an important consumer group in the tourism industry. Tourism has become one of the essential consumption elements for families with young children, and parents are spending more and more money and energy on travel with their children,’’ said Shuxia W, in children tourism investigation and analysis in Zhejiang Province, China, study.

Furthermore, the importance of how children have an influence on tourism decision-making in the family is also explained.

‘’The satisfaction of children affects the satisfaction and behaviour intention of parents. In particular, younger children have a greater influence on tourism decision-making’’ explains Riccardo Curtle in Analysing children’s impact on parents’ tourist choices

Picking the right destination is vital to make a family vacation a success and Air France shares five European destinations that are bound to be satisfactory to both parents and children.

Paris, France

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The versatile city of Paris truly has something for everyone and it can be the perfect destinations for families to explore, if done right.

Paris’ popular attractions are easily accessible and offer a variety of entertainment. The city’s most well-known landmark, the Eiffel Tower, intrigues children just as much as it does adults.

Family tickets for a specific date and time slot can be booked on the La Tour Eiffel website ensuring no time is wasted. Once you’ve seen the view from the tower, spend some time at the Jardins du Trocadéro (Gardens of the Trocadero), the park right under the tower where you can take the family photos to remember.

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The popular area of Montmartre is bustling with so much to see, experience and eat. The area is home to the Sacre Coer basilica. Here, you can challenge the kids to climb the steps to the entrance while taking in even more beautiful views of the city. With many more iconic destinations to visit, a trip to Paris will be both educational and relaxing for families visiting.

Lisbon, Portugal

The seaside city of Lisbon has plenty to offer for families visiting. While the city’s cobbled streets make it a little difficult to explore the city with toddlers, there is so much to see and do with older children in this eclectic city.

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Portugal is known for its food and taking a food tour with your children is a particularly great way to explore the Portuguese culture.

Having a guide impart their knowledge while indulging in the city’s famous pasteis de nata, bifana sandwiches and alheira sausages is a way for you to bond and educate your children on the various adventures.

Make sure to visit the Oceanario Lisboa – one of the most impressive and largest aquariums in Europe. It is also a must. With so many activities for toddlers and children alike, the aquarium showcases some incredible sea life in four marine habitats filled with a whopping five million litres of seawater all set round a huge central tank.

The city is also host to a number of incredible beaches and the Castelo Sao Jorge which offers some spectacular views of the city.

Barcelona, Spain

This city is designed for families. Barcelona is a flat city which means that exploring it with baby prams is a breeze. The majority of children enjoy beaches and being out and about. The city’s vibrant beaches will ensure the kids will be entertained for hours on end building sandcastles and enjoying ice cream or playing paddle ball on the sand.

The city has a number of family-friendly attractions that will make any family vacation to Barcelona one to remember. A visit to the Tibidabo Amusement Park, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, and the Cosmocaixa Science Museum are must-visits.

If you want to go on a culinary adventure, a visit to the Museu de Xocolata (Chocolate Museum) will be unforgettable. Sagrada Familia, with its quirky architecture and fabulous colours, is another attraction that will appeal to kids as well as adults.

Rome, Italy

Rome’s fascinating ancient history is enough to stir any child's imagination, making the city a perfect destination for families.

Kids, both young and old, will marvel at the beauty of the Colosseum and will learn a lot about ancient civilisation through a guided tour of the landmark, the ancient Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Get the kids to make a wish by tossing a coin into the famous Trevi fountain and enjoy some delicious pizza and ice cream in the city’s beautiful cobbles streets or at the nearby Spanish Steps.

For a break from all the sightseeing, the kids will love a visit to the Explora children museum. With soft play areas for toddlers, several imaginative play areas for older kids and lots of interesting workshops, the museum will have the kids entertained for hours.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

While Amsterdam may be known for its thriving night life, the city has become increasingly popular with families – and for good reason.

A great way to take in some of the city’s historic sites is to hire a paddle boat along the famous Amsterdam canals as a family. For those not wanting to get into the water, hiring bikes is incredibly easy and is a great way to get around thanks to the many bike paths around the city.

A visit to the interactive NEMO Science Museum, which includes hands on chemistry experiments, is a great way to entertain inquisitive minds.

The city is also known for its delicious food. Visit a local bakery as a family and indulge in desserts like Poffertjes, warm pancakes topped with powdered sugar, and Stroopwafels, two thin waffles filled with a caramel flavoured syrup.

If you haven’t planned your next vacation with your family as yet, this could be the day you decide to take on Europe and make your children a part of decision-making.

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