Paddling in Turkey with Explore Worldwide.
© Explore Worldwide
Paddling in Turkey with Explore Worldwide.


For British families, Europe is a no-brainer for family holidays and breaks. You can either stay in the UK with its dynamic cities and towns, lovely and varied landscapes, and characterful seaside resorts, or make the short, pain-free and usually relatively cheap journey to a large choice of other family-friendly destinations.

Things to do with kids in Europe

Western Europe 

This is prime family holiday territory. France is the perennial favourite, especially among parents with younger children, for whom its many self-catering gites, holiday parks and campsites are perfect. Despite rising costs after Brexit, the short travelling time and the possibility of paying certain accommodation providers in sterling means it remains an affordable favourite. Also popular for family holidays are lovely, leisurely Ireland, the NetherlandsBelgiumGermanySwitzerland, Austria and Andorra.


If it’s beaches you’re after, western and southern France have them in spades, but classic child-friendly destinations offering Mediterranean fun and lots more besides also include GreeceCyprusNorth CyprusTurkey (still outside the Eurozone), ItalyMaltaSpain including the Canaries, and Portugal.


There are some great beaches in Scandinavia, too, as well as a whole range of exciting activities for lovers of the great outdoors. However, you’re more likely to head to DenmarkSwedenFinlandLapland and Iceland in the winter months, for skiing and other frosty frolics, from husky sledding to meeting Santa and his elves.

Eastern Europe

Much of Eastern Europe remains outside the Eurozone and so remains great value, whether you opt for a family holiday on the beaches of Lake Balaton in Hungary, a city break in Czech Republic's capital Prague, or budget-conscious skiing in Bulgaria.  Other destinations worth considering are Croatia and Romania with their good-value beach resorts or outdoorsy Slovenia, Poland and Estonia.

Smiles all round.© Visita Santander.

Smiles all round.


France and Italy are particularly famous for their child-friendly food, closely followed by Turkey and Greece, but in most destinations around Europe it's easy to find something suitable for all the family, whether you and the kids like to sample local dishes or stick to tried-and-tested international favourites. Eastern Europe can be a challenge for the unadventurous, but in major cities you'll generally be able to get by without too many tears and tantrums.

Meeting a husky in Finland.© Visit Algarve.

Meeting a husky in Finland.

Meeting goats in Santander, northern Spain.© Visit Finland

Meeting goats in Santander, northern Spain.

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