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!
PALMA, SPAIN, BY WANDERMUST FAMILY
Here’s what Wandermust Mummy has to say about visiting Palma with a six month old:
I don’t know why but when I thought of visiting Palma I assumed it would be all inclusives, tacky shops and tourist trap restaurants. What I found was something quite different!
Palma is in fact a beautiful and historic city with way more to offer than just beaches. In fact it is a history lovers dream! The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, also known as La Seu is a beautiful Gothic Church that is beautiful to wander around by day or night! It is a great place to walk around with a baby, inside and out, as it offers respite from the sun with alcoves and terraces to sit and take stock. You can really feel the Moorish influences here with a maze of streets and hints of Islamic architecture that make it a beautiful city to talk around. There are also ancient mills and a royal palace for those who want to explore more history.
What surprised me most about Palma is how easy it was to get round with a baby in a stroller and we enjoyed a spot of shopping in the old town and then a delicious Spanish lunch.
Palma is really a great place for families as there are shops and history galore … and a beach! Something for everyone! My top travel tips for families is to consider what time of year you want to go. My baby is use to hot weather as we live in the Middle East but others may want to consider going in slightly milder weather. We went in October and it was perfect for sightseeing and trips to the beach! If you go during the Summer plan what you are going to do during the hottest part of the day!
PARIS, FRANCE BY LOVEARTSBERLIN
LoveArtsBerlin took their 11.5 month old to Paris and here is what they have to say:We chose Paris with our almost one year old as we love exploring this city. My favourite thing about it is wandering the streets, stopping to explore the beautiful buildings and sights. This suited our little boy perfectly as he wasn’t yet walking. We went to Notre Dame & the Pompidou centre. We briefly enjoyed the Paris Pride parade! We visited the Parc du Luxembourg, went up Eiffel Tower & ventured to a beautiful old cemetery. Paris is baby friendly if you plan and go prepared. My tips for making travel easy with a baby in Paris are go when the weather is mild (May, June, July) to definitely bring a very light stroller, a good sling, a travel high chair and a top changing mat. Stay somewhere central where you can walk to the sights & you will have a lovely time.
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC BY CINDY AT PICCOLO EXPLORERPrague ticked all the boxes for what we were looking for in a city break: a short flight from London, easy to get around and a culture-rich city with plenty to see and do.
Prague is a pleasure for sightseeing and exploring. I loved the beautiful architecture and charming buildings of Old Town. The restaurants and attractions are accommodating to families and some areas are pedestrian only, great for little ones to move about safely.
My main tip for visiting Prague with a baby is to choose a few places to visit at a leisurely pace and plan a walking tour since most are best visited on foot. During our long weekend trip, we visited Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. Also because there can be a lot of walking involved, I’d recommend bringing a stroller if you’re not using a baby carrier.
ROME, ITALY BY WANDERMUST FAMILY
Here’s what Wandermust Mummy has to say about visiting Rome with a six month old:As a couple Rome was our favourite city in the world so knew we wanted to take our baby as soon as possible. She was six months on our first trip and we loved every second of our time there, despite the earthquakes and biblical rain!
I know it’s a cliche but it is so true that Italians love children which makes it so much easier to visit as you are welcomed literally everywhere!
Before we went we heard that Rome was difficult as you couldn’t use a stroller and there were few places to change baby so when we saw the rain and knew we had to use the stroller we were worried. We shouldn’t have been! We walked all over there city seeing all the main landmarks without problem. People were right about lack of baby change facilities so we have compiled this guide to make life easier for parents wanting to visit Rome! It is a lot easier if you know where to look for things! Another great thing about Rome is that the food is amazing – I mean who doesn’t love pizza, pasta and gelato! Probably the most family friendly foodie destination I have been too!
My top tip visiting Rome would be to walk as much as possible – and who wouldn’t want to walk a city such as Rome. We managed to take in all the sites from the Colosseum and Forum to the Vatican and Pantheon in one day! Also, we used the stroller and found it really easy but if you are going to go inside the forum or the museums be aware that you will need a carrier!
One of the best places to visit for families of any age are Borghese Gardens! I think great cities have great parks and this is definitely Rome’s. It offers peace and tranquility away from all the hustle and bustle of the city!
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA BY TRAVELLING WITH OUR KIDS
Sam at Travelling With Our Kids took her baby at a tiny 16 weeks old to Salzburg. Here’s what she has to say! PS Congratulations to Sam on taking the earliest city break with a baby so far in this series!We chose this city as part of our multi stop holiday. It is somewhere we had always wanted to visit, so we made sure we planned it into our trip. Our favourite thing about Salzburg was the buildings as they are beautiful and it is such a lovely city to just walk around and explore. We never encountered any problems with Salzburg not being baby friendly. Everywhere we went had changing facilities and were very helpful when we had the pram. We explored the city on foot and then made our way to up Hohensalzburg Castle. Part of the castle we found no prams were allowed but we had our carrier with us, which wasn’t a problem. TOP TIPS: Explore on foot as much as you can. If staying longer than a few hours then the Salzburg card may be a good option as you can use public transport for free. You can also get into many of the attractions for free too.Oh and remember your baby carrier if visiting the castle or if you don’t have a pram.
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN BY WANDERMUST FAMILY
Here’s what Wandermust Mummy has to say about visiting Stockholm with an eight month old:We went to Stockholm before Christmas to get in the festive spirit and it was magical. We have also visited during the summer and had an equally albeit busier time. It is great to visit in winter as you are away from the crowds but you just have to prepare for the cold and deal with a baby who refuses to keep her mittens on!
We loved walking around gamla stan and eating meatballs at Tradition – our favourite restaurant in Stockholm! You won’t be able to eat Ikea meatballs again after tasting their yummy version! It is also one of the few restaurants we found that had highchairs available so this should be on any families radar for Stockholm!
Our favourite thing about Stockholm is all the green spaces. We loved the botanic gardens but our top thing to do in Stockholm is visit Skansen the living history museum! It is fab and a great day our for families of any age. We also really enjoyed the Vasa Museum!
Our top tip for Stockholm would be to prepare for the weather and know where you want to eat as finding baby friendly restaurants was the most difficult thing we found there.
VALENCIA, SPAIN BY WANDERMUST FAMILY
Here’s what Wandermust Mummy has to say about visiting Valencia with a six month old:
VENICE, ITALY BY HAYLEY’S LITTLE THINGS
Hayleytook her 18 month old daughter to Venice. Here’s what Hayley has to sayVenice was somewhere we had always wanted to go and thought if we didn’t go whilst Daisy was small enough to be moved about easily (baby carriers) then we could be waiting a while until we could go again as I was pregnant with our little boy too! We definitely needed a carrier, Venice with a pushchair wouldn’t be easy and you would be limited on areas due to the steps etc. My favourite thing was how accommodating the Italians are of children, everyone goes out of their way to make them happy and make a fuss, making your break much easier and pleasurable. The food is always a winner for families, you can’t go wrong with pizza or pasta! We saw all of the sites, went on water taxis, drank lots of coffee and had had plenty of gelato!
VIENNA, AUSTRIA BY PARENTHOOD AND PASSPORTS
Here’s what Melissa at Parenthood and Passport has to say about her travels to ViennaVienna is the perfect European city for families traveling with small children. It’s safe, full of culture, and fun. From the popular Prater amusement park with its giant Ferris wheel to beautiful gardens that are perfect for a picnic, Vienna has something for all ages.
Volksgarten is a great place to stop during a day of sightseeing. It gives little ones plenty of green space to run and explore. Parents will enjoy the beauty of the city’s first public park, as well.
The palaces in Vienna also offer plenty of wide open spaces for children. Schloss Schonbrunn Palace includes a maze and labyrinth playground that is stimulating even for the littlest of children.
When it comes to dining with a baby or toddler, we tend to avoid nice restaurants. Instead, we opt for something casual and child-friendly. Street vendors in Rathuesplatz are great for a quick and fuss-free lunch, and Naschmarkt is the ideal place to find all types of fresh food cooked to order.
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND BY BABY LOVES TRAVEL
Here’s what Baby Loves Travel has to say about visiting Zurich with a sixteen month old:
Zurich has an attractive setting at the meeting of river and lake, surrounded by mountains. It is best known as an expensive financial centre and not an obvious tourist destination. But there are activities for your toddler tourist if you do some research. And the old town has pretty lanes and churches to wander around.
I used a carrier on our visit as it was winter, so we were hopping on and off trams rather than doing lots of walking. However, it would have been easy enough navigating the trams and trains with a buggy.
Our favourite thing to do in the winter was a visit to the Zoological Museum at the University of Zurich. It was a great indoor space for a toddler to explore. My toddler particularly liked the area that recreated a woodland. And the stairs. She loves a good set of stairs to climb up and down. Best of all, for an expensive city, it was free to enter. Outside, there are also excellent views over the city from this hilltop spot.
My top travel tip for families, especially if you are on a budget, would be to visit in summer. This would mean you could spend summer days by the lake, playing and picnicking in the parks and playgrounds.
Have you travelled to a European City with a baby? What are your top tips? If you feel we have missed a city from our list please do get in touch and we would be happy to add you to our guide!
Check back soon for more baby friendly city break information in Asia, UK, USA and Australia! But for now why not check out the first part of European City Breaks with Babies!