Pink flamingos and white birds in shallow lagoon with willow tree branches draping down and almost touching the water.
Your toddler will love visiting the oldest zoo in Holland or one of the many petting zoos located around the city.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / burcintuncer

5 Fun European City Trips That Are Perfect for Kids

Exploring New Locales as a Family

Are your city tripping days over when you have kids? No way!

City trips with kids can be a lot of fun. Of course hours of endlessly wandering around are a thing from the past, but you can still enjoy discovering a city with your mini-me’s.

When it comes to traveling with kids, the trick is to be prepared. Tips from other traveling families are invaluable, so we’re sharing our tips for things to do with kids in our five favorite European cities: Amsterdam, Milan, Berlin, Vienna and Prague.

Some other family travel bloggers say you shouldn’t select capitals or major cities when planning a family vacation, but we don’t agree. A trip should be fun for both you and your kids.

Plus, big cities have a lot to offer for the whole family. One very important tip for families with young kids: bring a carrier or stroller! Those little legs tire easily. Here are the best European cities for toddlers.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

There are a lot of nice villages and cities to visit in the Netherlands, such as The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht. Our hometown, Haarlem, is great for a family visit. But Holland’s capital Amsterdam is an attraction in itself. It has that fun international vibe.

Holland is known for its windmills, cheese, tulips and wooden shoes. But Amsterdam has a lot more to offer, and plenty of things that make it a great place to travel to in Europe with toddlers.

The great thing about visiting Amsterdam with kids is that the city is quite compact, so it’s easy to see a lot in a short time. Amsterdam has a lot of exciting, crazy, special and fun things for kids of all ages.

Things to Do in Amsterdam with Kids

Discover the Amsterdam Dungeon, take a boat trip on the world famous Dutch canals or visit Holland’s oldest zoo, Artis. Discover cultures from around the world in the Tropenmuseum, visit one of the many petting zoos in the city, or the goat farm Ridammerhoeve in the Amsterdamse Bos.

In the summer, follow the locals’ lead and go for a picnic in the Vondelpark or rent a boat to discover the canals from the water. Of course Holland is a bike country and it’s good fun to ride your bike around the city.

Most bike rental places will rent child’s bike seats.

Concrete building with steps leading up to front and people milling about outside.The Museum of Natural History is one of the great attractions you'll love exploring while in Milan.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / anouchka

Milan, Italy

When you think of a city trip to Italy, you think of historic Rome, romantic Venice or Florence, the center of the Renaissance. While Milan isn’t the most obvious choice, this fashion city is definitely worth a visit.

A big plus is that it’s much cheaper to fly to Milan from a lot of European destinations, such as Amsterdam. Prices for accommodation are also much more reasonable.

Like all of Italy, Milan offers great Italian food and lovely Italian gelato (ice cream).

Good to know: the more famous Italian cities are within easy reach. It only takes about three hours by train to get from Milan to Rome.

Things to do in Milan with kids

Spend a day at the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci. It has an awesome collection of cars, trains, planes, boats and even a real submarine and scale models inspired by Da Vinci’s drawings.

Go see the dinosaur skeletons at the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano. The historic city park Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli in the Porta Venezia district has numerous small playgrounds and lots of space to run and play.

Pretend you’re a knight at Castello Sforzesco or ride the old trams for a hop-on hop-off city tour. For football fans, the ‘Temple of Soccer’, San Siro Stadium, should be on the to do list, and race fans can visit Autodroma Nazionale Monza.

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Wooden climbing structure with rope ladder leading up and a metal slide on the side.Climbing structure at Park Am Gleisdreieck.Photo Credit: FlipFlop Globetrotters

Berlin, Germany

You can easily see why expat families love living in Berlin — it’s a great family travel destination. We visited Berlin with our 2-year-old and had a blast.

Public transport is quick and cheap (children under six travel for free) and the Berliners are very child-friendly. Of course Berlin has quite a brutal past and reminders are everywhere.

If your kids are a bit older you can expect some questions about what went on. It makes for an interesting history lesson!

The Wall Museum and the East Side Gallery are definitely worth a visit. Good to know: a lot of museums offer free entrance for kids up to 18 (do check, sometimes the cut-off is 10, 12 or 14).

Things to Do in Berlin with Kids

There are a lot of great playgrounds and lovely green parks in Berlin, as well as a good number of child friendly museums. We recommend the Park Am Gleisdreieck for all ages; it has numerous great playgrounds and other play areas.

Cafe Eule is a lovely little cafe inside the park. The Zeppelinplatz playground also comes highly recommended. It includes a nice area for water play.

Meet giant dinosaurs in the Museum für Naturkunde (natural history museum), visit the Science Center Spectrum or go to the Berlin Zoo & Aquarium. The Mauerpark Flohmarkt, held every Sunday, is one of many awesome flea markets in Berlin.

It’s the perfect place to score some vintage toys and try some German fast food.

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