When we were just a Wandermust Couple, Wandermust Daddy and I loved a city break. I’ve lost count on how many we went on so we were determine to continue when we had children but is it possible to still enjoy a city break with babies?
From our own experience we have found the answer to be undoubtedly yes and as we have looked into it more we have discovered that there are loads of young families out there to inspire you with tales from cities. This round-up features contributes from some of my favourite family travel bloggers telling you about their favourite city breaks they’ve done in Europe with a baby with top tips and advice so you can go to!
ATHENS, GREECE BY NECTARIOS AT CITYKILKS
Athens is an amazing city for families to visit. When my wife and I visited with our 9 month old son we took in as many sites as we could, including the Acropolis, Syntagma Square, Plaka and Monastiraki (shopping). Some other notable places we visited were the Olympic Stadium, Lykabettos (the hill opposite the Acropolis) the Acropolis Museum, and the gardens behind Parliament. All of these places are easy to get to by public transportation, which despite Athens’ street network, is super easy to use. The Metro especially is incredibly easy to ride and can take you pretty much anywhere. If you leave the city center, things can get a little more challenging using a stroller but a well planned excursion can save you the hassle. It’s doable.
The nightlife is also very family friendly in Athens. In fact, I recommend staying out late with your child. People watching is a past time in Greece and kids love it. You’ll see plenty of Greeks and their children out and about as late as 12 am and beyond, enjoying breezy warm evenings and nights in the company of friends in local squares and dining outdoors at taverns. The music is also fantastic and really puts you in the mood.
All in all, Athens is simply unforgettable culture, unforgettable people and lots of fun. You can read more Citykliks travels in Athens (and other travels and topics) here. Also, you can follow on Twitter and Facebook
BARCELONA, SPAIN BY WANDERMUST MUMMY FROM WANDERMUSTFAMILY
We went to Barcelona at the end of a cruise for a long weekend with our six month old baby.
Barcelona is a perfect destination for a city break with a baby with plenty of attractions for parents and child. We loved how green the city was – our favourite places include parc guell and montjuic. The cable car ride to the top of montjuic would delight most!
The pretty much guaranteed nice weather and variety of outdoor activities mean it is a great city for families of any age! We enjoyed walking the parks, visiting art museums and botanic garden. The only place we struggled with was the bocqueria which was difficult with both stroller and carrier. We however found great respite in the Catalan Cultural Centre which offered great peace from the hustle and bustle of Las Ramblas.
Overall Barcelona is a great place to visit with babies.
You can read more about the Wandermust Family adventures in Barcelona here and can follow them on the below social media:
BERLIN BY KATIE FROM SQUIRMY POPPLE
Katie took her 18 month old to Berlin and this is what she has to say:
We chose Berlin because we were looking for somewhere to travel in early December, and what could be more festive than wandering around Christmas markets in Germany? The wonderful Chistmassy atmosphere in December – my daughter was totally entranced by all the lights, Christmas trees and market rides. There was a lot of enthusiastic pointing.
The fantastic public transport system in Berlin makes it really easy to get around with a small person, even one who refuses to use a stroller and insists on being carried everywhere or walking VERY SLOWLY.
* Get the Berlin WelcomeCard, which you can get to cover anything from 48 hours to 6 days. It gives you free travel on all public transport, plus discounts in musuems. The Popple absolutely loved riding on the tram, which she insisted was a choo-choo. The underground was also a choo-choo. Basically, everything is a choo-choo these days.
* Don’t miss the Computerspielemuseum, which covers the history of computer and video games and includes lots of old games you can actually play. Your toddler may need some help to figure them out, but even an 18-month-old can see how great Pac-Man is.
BERN BY GO BEYOND BOUNDS
By Rashmi and Chalukya who took there 18month old to Bern
The historical city can easily be explored on foot. The city has a good frequency of transportation.
There are numerous gardens in Bern. Then there is the bear park along the river. It should definitely be fun for the kids to watch the bears frolicking in the water and around the shores.
We had been in January and it had snowed only last night. The city was beautifully painted in white color. We explored the historical center of Bern and then had fun at the ice rink set up near the parliament. Chhavi had fun playing with the snow in the park behind the gorgeous Bern Cathedral. Few minutes before the clock struck four the figurines in the clock tower Zytglogge twirled and turned which makes for a great show which was enjoyed by Chhavi too.
Irrespective of the forecasted weather we always carry warm clothes with us. We carry an extra pair of clothes, diapers, and her favorite toys. We ensure that her feeding and sleeping time is not disturbed. Take breaks when you could allow your kid to run around and play on their own.
You can read more about the go beyond bounds trip to the city on their website
And follow them on the below Social media
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM from Tapped Out Travellers
What a Christine has to say
We went because we really wanted to see the Carpet of Flowers. We love the city because It’s so open, multicultural, they speak French and English so communication was easy, and everything was close enough that we could walk to it if we didn’t want to bother with Public transit. The trains were a little rough to access with a stroller but the busses took us to the same place so I wasn’t too bothered by it. All the activities we wanted to do had stroller access such as Mini Europe, Natural History Museum, Comic strip museum and Grand Place.
Snacks and toilet breaks are a plenty so I wasn’t too worried about Brussels for that. Most restaurants had a child’s menu but they didn’t have much place for the stroller inside the building so they asked that we fold it up and store it in the main office. All the attractions were very family friendly, stroller access, free under 3 and most importantly, therewas so much to do within walking distance that we didn’t even use public transit the first time we visited.
To read more about the Tapped Out Travellers in Belgium check out her website here
COPENHAGEN BY JOSEFINE AT MY DANGLISH FAMILY
Joesfine took their son to Copenhagen when he was 10 months
Copenhagen is filled with opportunities and beautiful architecture and so much history – so much to see and do and all in walking distance!
Lifts at every public transport hub, plenty of room for buggies on train and buses and generally just an atmosphere that welcomes families with a lot of baby friendly areas, plus lots of playgrounds in and around the city.
We went to the Tivoli Gardens a magical park that takes amusement park to the next level! Lots of atmosphere and also plenty for a child to enjoy, even the babies! Elliot was absolutely mesmerised by the lights in the park!
Research play-brakes and “safe havens” before going! There is so much to see and do, but sometimes with a little one it’s good to know where you can go and catch a breather – free of charge if you’re child isn’t playing ball
FLORENCE BY ERICA FROM A TRAVELING BOND
Erica took her baby daughter to Florence when she was 1.5 years old. Here’s what Erica has to say:
When I booked my trip to Italy, I knew that I couldn’t miss stopping in the Renaissance city of Florence, Italy. The moment my toddler and I stepped out of the train station into the city streets I instantaneously fell in love. The atmosphere in Florence still felt serene even with the hustle and bustle of the city. Florence is beyond child friendly and easy to navigate compared to most larger cities. From the architecture to the art to the food- there is something for everyone! Make sure you visit the Florence Cathedral and Duomo and take a walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo for the best view of the city! And let the little ones have some fun on the famous antique carousel in Piazza della Repubblica!
HAARLEM BY THE FLIPFLOP GLOBETROTTERS
Haarlem is a great city to visit with children of all ages. There are a lot of kid-friendly restaurants, nice petting farms and there are numerous museums that offer kids programs. Haarlem is easy to reach by train from Amsterdam, it has a good public transport network and the city center is compact enough to cover by foot. Combine a visit to the impressive Grote or St. Bavo Church on the Grote Markt, the city’s main square, with lunch at Meneer Paprika (Koningstraat 19-21) or Pippa’s (Stationsplein 64) and then take your kids to playground Het Paradijsje (Witte Herenstraat 36, open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-17:00, entrance fee €1).
Haarlem has won awards for Netherland’s best shopping destination anumber of times. Fun shops for kids stuff are Meneer Paprika(Koningstraat 19-21), Minimarkt (Kruisstraat 11), Krokodil (GedempteOude Gracht 84) and Tante Steef (Zijlstraat 66).
LISBON BY SMUDGED POSTCARD
Annabel at a Smudged Postcard took her son to Lisbon when he was 18months old. Here’s what Annabel has to say:
Aside from being delightfully pretty in a slightly dishevelled way, Lisbon offers great value, delicious food (Portugal’s custard desserts are one of my weaknesses) and a location within daytrip distance of the seaside. Known as the “City of Seven Hills”, families shouldn’t be put off by Lisbon’s undulating terrain; pushing a buggy up to trendy Bairro Alto justifies indulging in a custard tart (pasteis de nata) in one of the many enticing cafes. For our stay with our 18 month old son, we opted for an apartment in Lapa, one of the less hilly districts. If you have a tiny baby, Lisbon lends itself well to idle wandering along its famous crazy-paving avenues and picturesque lanes, and lazy lunches with a bottle of refreshing Vinho Verde. For infants on the move, head to the brilliant, spacious and relatively crowd-free aquarium, located next to a pedestrianised waterfront, ideal for little people to explore.
You can follow Smudged Postcard on Twitter
LUXEMBOURG BY DAISYTHEBUS
Luxembourg is a popular European city break destination. Right in the heart of Europe with easy transport connections to other European capitals, visitors come here to soak up the culture and take in the views over the spectacular gorges and ancient fortifications.
But culture and sights alone will not keep the little ones happy for long…
Fortunately for young families, Luxembourg is also home to the most colourful, imaginative and well-equipped public playgrounds that we have ever seen. Between visits to museums and forts, why not let the children play in a cartoon farmyard or a full-size pirate ship? Let them act as knights and princesses in a whimsical castle, or roar into the sky at their very own airport. And if you want something quieter, take a guided nature trail into the nearby woods. There is surely something in Luxembourg for every family.
MUNICH, GERMANY BY IMPS AND RAMBLERS
Munich is an excellent family destination because of the unique mix between intriguing glimpses of Bavarian culture and compelling modern attractions. Munich in addition to these, also has exceptional green spaces, playgrounds and child friendly attractions. Amongst the attractions we particularly enjoyed the Deutsches Museum. The best thing you can do in Munish is just get out, walk around and explore.
You can read more about the Imps and Ramblers adventures in Munich here
Have you visited any of these cities with babies? What would your tips be?
If you think we missed a city out and would like to share your baby travel experiences send me an email or comment below to take part.
Check out Part Two in our Guide European City Breaks (N-Z) with babies