5 Unmissable City Breaks for Families
A city break is a great option for families looking for something different that doesn’t break the bank and keeps little people happy and busy. Whether you want to be beside the sea or dive headfirst into culture, a city break really can have it all.
City breaks for the whole family
Going on a city break as a family is a brilliant option if you are looking for something beyond the typical sun, sea and sand of a package holiday abroad. They can be incredibly good value as in many European cities, main attractions can be free or low cost to visit and street food can be an inexpensive way to eat and introduce your kids to new flavours too.
Hotels are in abundance in cities so you can have lots of choice of room types and facilities (such as indoor swimming pools) and with flights going in and out of major airports, you’re likely to find a flight time to suit your schedule.
We’ve listed five of our favourite cities to visit with kids below that we’ve tried and tested and we’re pretty certain you’ll find one that is a fit for you and your family.
Berlin is a city steeped in culture and history. Did you know that around 80% of the city centre was destroyed during WWII? This means that even if it looks old, it might not be. It’s a brilliant place to take kids, young and old. From the Natural History Museum, to seeing the real Berlin Wall, to taking a boat trip down the river Spree, or visiting one of the many attractions in the city centre such as the TV Tower or 5D cinema or perhaps one of the most iconic buildings in Europe - the Reichstag. Kids will love Bratwurst - the fast food staple, and the doner kebab will keep grown ups happy. Or maybe a bit of Kartoffelpuffer (German potato pancakes) or the famous Berliner Pfannkuche (doughnut) will take your fancy. Either way, there is tons to see and with lots of places to stay with family rooms, you’d have a great time all year round.
Where to stay?
SCANDIC BERLIN POTSDAMER PLATZ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Paris is bursting at the seams with things for all the family to enjoy, and thanks to the Eiffel Tower featuring so readily in films and TV shows, your kids will feel like they know it before they even arrive. And on that note, no visit would be complete without seeing the city from the top of the tower so one to book for sure. Paris has so much to offer and no trip would be complete without a visit to the Louvre (hello Mona Lisa), the Arc de Triomphe, Saint Chapelle or a short trip to the hugely indulgent Palace of Versailles. Or maybe you fancy a boat ride down the Seine, enjoying some croissants, baguette or millefeuille! Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that you can always visit Disneyland easily for the day so that could easily be a selling point! The main difficulty with Paris is that you won’t want to leave.
Where to stay?
APARTHOTEL ADAGIO PARIS CENTRE TOUR EIFFEL ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sun, sea and sand AND a city break? Yep - Barcelona has you covered. Positioned on the Spanish coast, you can get your fix of salty sea air and culture so a bit of a win-win really. Barcelona is incredibly lively and there is heaps for kids to enjoy, from soaking up the fun of Las Ramblas to visiting the world famous La Sagrada Familia - the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world - to Park Guell, Gaudi’s spectacular park with views to die for. And when it comes to food, there is so much on offer, whether you’re keen on street food on the go or something more ‘sit down’. As well as the classics such as paella or tortillas, you can look forward to Crema Catalana (like a crème brulee), empanada which is a deep fried doughy pastry with different fillings and bombas - a round crunchy snack filled with potato and meat. Yum!
Where to stay?
SALLES HOTEL PERE IV ⭐⭐⭐⭐
You won’t have time to fit everything in if you go to Rome as there is just so much to do, and much of it unmissable in our view. This stunning city has so much incredible architecture and history to absorb, even your kids will be impressed. From the Colosseum to the Vatican City and St Peter’s Basilica, not to mention the Roman Forum, the Pantheon and the world famous Catacombs of Rome, there’s so much to see. And whilst you’re there, throw some coins into the Trevi Fountain, eat a slice of margherita pizza on the Spanish Steps and devour some creamy Italian gelato on Capitoline Hill, because delicious food is everywhere here and so much of it is super family friendly with an abundance of pasta, pizza and ice cream. And Rome is positioned near the coast so if you fancy it, a beach isn’t far away on public transport.
Where to stay?
Brussels is fabulous for families and especially those who are into chocolate, as Belgian chocolate really is the cream of the crop. The city of Brussels is not only very beautiful but heaving with activities for kids including the Magritte Museum, Mini-Europe and the Grand Place where you can shop, explore and eat some of the best chips in Europe (Belgian frites taste so good as they are thick cut and double fried - yum). A huge attraction in Brussels is the Atomium - a futuristic structure where you can find stunning panoramic views of Brussels and hosts exhibitions too. And if exploring is your thing, why not visit the romantic city of Bruge or the artistic town of Ghent which are close by and easy to get to. And you’ll want to leave plenty of room in your luggage for chocolate to relive the experience once you're home.
Where to stay?
THE SCOTT HOTEL ⭐⭐⭐
If you’ve been on a family city break, why not tell us all about it over in FAMILY LOWDOWN TIPS & IDEAS. We love hearing about where you’ve been and what you enjoyed.
We’ve partnered with TUI to bring you this list of brilliant places to visit with your family. The links included in the article are affiliate links which simply mean we may earn a commission should you decide to book a holiday with TUI, at no cost to you.