Are you looking for the best European Countries to visit with toddlers? We have been very fortunate to be able to travel around Europe with both of our toddlers and in this guide will share our favourite countries to visit with toddlers, the reasons why we love them and of course our traveling Europe with toddlers tips and tricks to help you have a successful trip.
Things to Consider Before Traveling to Europe with Toddlers
Now before we get into the details of our favorite European countries to visit with toddlers we thought it would be good to point out a few key considerations when planning your European itinerary with toddlers.
Weather varies greatly across countries
No matter what season you are visiting Europe it is worth remembering that the weather changes dramatically from country to country.
If you have a particular season you want to travel in with your toddler in Europe you should check the weather at the location you chose before booking your travel.
However no matter what season or month you are visiting Europe with toddlers there will be a destination for you i.e. Amsterdam in April is perfect for Spring, the Copenhagen in summer offers a great mix off outdoor activities and natural experiences while Lapland in Winter can offer toddlers a truly a magical experience.
Book Off peak
One of the biggest benefits of traveling with toddlers is that you can travel off peak when the crowds are lower and the prices much cheaper.
Be sure to check American and European school holidays in your destination of choice as these may be different and will affect the peak times for travel.
Don’t Overschedule your toddler
Now it can be tempting when visiting Europe to try and cram as many countries into your European itinerary as possible. I think part of the reason is because it is so easy to travel between countries in Europe and they are so close. However you don’t want to over schedule your toddler as this will make the cranky and tired.
My recommendation is that if you are visiting Europe for 2 weeks to only visit a maximum of two countries and pick your favorite couple of cities to base yourself from and do some day trips.
This way you will still get to see a lot of Europe while not constantly moving and tiring your family out.
European Accommodation for Toddlers
One of the things to remember when choosing your accommodation in Europe is that hotel rooms tend to be much smaller than in their American counterparts. Therefore it is important to pack carefully and consider how you are going to squeeze in your luggage, stroller, car seat and a pack and play or cot alongside it.
For tips on picking toddler and baby friendly hotel rooms check out this post.
Or alternatively you can look into Airbnbs and VRBO options if you would like access to a kitchenette or separate living and sleeping spaces.
Using a Stroller in Europe
“Should you bring a stroller to Europe?” is one of the questions we are more frequently asked by our American readers. And the truth is using a stroller in Europe can go from very easy to very challenging depending on exactly where you are traveling.
I would also advise bringing a stroller with you to Europe as toddlers with jet lag may struggle with the walking required in a European vacation and may also want it to nap in.
However for full information on using a stroller in Europe, keep reading as in our guide to the best European Countries to visit with toddlers we will look at how stroller friendly they are.
For more information check out our country and city stroller guides:
Best European Countries to Visit with Toddlers
Below are listed out favorite European countries to visit with toddlers generally. Meaning they are toddler friendly, have attractions for the whole family and have at least some stroller friendliness. However for a more in-depth look at cities in these countries please check out our dedicated guides and our best European City breaks with toddlers post.
Italy with Toddlers
Italy with a toddler is never a bad idea in my opinion. We have traveled Italy extensively with babies and toddlers and have never had a bad time.
The age old stereotype of Italians loving children holds true and we have never been anywhere in Italy where we haven’t felt welcomed with toddlers.
An added bonus is that Italy has some of the most friendly toddler friendly in the world and I have never met a toddler who doesn’t love indulging in pizza, pasta and gelato galore.
Another thing we love about Italy is that you can combine a trip visiting cultural sites of
The only downside to visiting Italy with toddlers is that some of the cities. i.e. I am looking at you Venice and Positano, aren’t particularly stroller friendly. However you will find that visiting Rome with a toddler for instance, or traveling to the heel of Italy to Puglia will be easier to navigate with a stroller.
Greece with Toddlers
I always think that if you can find what you are looking for in a vacation with toddlers then you won’t be able to find it anywhere. Greece offers a great combination of both ancient and cultural sites and beautiful beaches and some of the best food in Europe.
If you have two weeks it would be easy to spend it all in Greece without visiting other European countries and in fact I would recommend this. You can visit cities such as Athens where you can see some of the most stunning ancient sites such as the Parthenon while being able to use ferries to island hop.
One think I love about the Greek islands is that each one has a different flavor and aesthetic offering a completely different experience. Some of our favourite islands to visit include:
- Crete and
- Santorini for the amazing sunsets, beautiful caldera views ands traditional Greek architecture.
For more information on visiting Greece with toddlers check out this post.
UK with Toddlers
The UK is a great place to visit with toddlers, even if I am biased being my home country. One of my favorite things about visiting the UK is that there are great public transport options to use with toddlers which mean you can get round the cities. i.e. York and London easily while also being able to get out to the beaches and countryside. It makes it very easy to do some fantastic day trips from London with toddlers. Here is a link to our favorite day trips to take from London with kids.
Also if you are worried about taking your first international trip with toddlers the UK could be a great option as being English speaking it can take some of the stress out of travel and has good healthcare options.
Netherlands with Toddlers
In my opinion the Netherlands is one of the most underrated countries to visit in Europe with toddlers, and I should know as we lived there when my daughter was a toddler.
Despite being full of canals and bikes, the Netherlands is very easy to get around with either with a stroller, on public transport or if you decide to rent a bike in Amsterdam or one of the other cities.
Some of our favourite things to do in the Netherlands with toddlers include:
- visiting the best museums in Amsterdam such as the Nemo Science Center which is perfect for toddlers
- visit one of the many parks and farms that are in the cities
- hit one of the beautiful Dutch beaches or
- hit the toddler friendly DeEfteling theme park which is an easy day trip from Amsterdam.
On top of that we love the toddler friendly accommodation options such as centre parks and also the luxurious and relaxing Hof van Saksen.
Our favorite time to visit Netherlands is April due to the beautiful blooms and tulip fields but really there is no bad time to visit the Netherlands.
Iceland with Toddlers
Iceland happens to be one of my all time favorite places we have visited with a toddler. One of the things we adored about visiting Iceland with a toddler is this was a trip that wasn’t just about visiting a European city with a toddler. We loved the fact that you could get out into nature and see some stunning natural sites such as Waterfalls and Beaches.
Some of our favorite places and things to see in Iceland with toddlers are:
- Stokkur Geyser
- famous Iceland Waterfalls
- the black sand beaches in Iceland
- meeting Icelandic horses and
- whale watching to name but a few things.
Spain with Toddlers
Spain with toddlers is another great choice. One of our favorite places to visit in Spain is Barcelona. Barcelona has so much on offer for families traveling with toddlers.
It has almost year round great weather, great parks and architectures and is one of the few great cities in Europe that also some great beaches.
The only downside to visiting Spain with toddlers is that eating dinner can run a little late due to the Spanish siestas and pace of life. However if you are traveling with a toddler who naps this might work in your favour.
Some of our favorite things to do in Barcelona with toddlers and babies include:
- Barcelona Aquarium
- Parc Guell
- Barcelona Beaches and
- Barcelona zoo
to name but a few.
However don’t feel like you have to restrict your Spain itinerary with toddlers to just Barcelona. Many of the other cities have a lot on offer. We have also enjoyed spending time in Madrid, Seville, Valencia and Toledo which also have plenty of toddler activities.
Also the Spanish islands such as Majorca and Tenerife offer families beautiful beaches, natural wonders as well as cultural sites and amazing food.
You really can not go wrong in visiting Spain with toddlers.
Ireland with Toddlers
Ireland with a toddler is a great options but I would recommend renting a car for traveling around Ireland. While Dublin with a toddler is great and has lots of toddler friendly activities but my favorite thing about visiting Ireland is getting out into the countryside and visiting some of the castles and rural sites such as the cliffs of Moher and the Dingle Peninsula.
While all of the cities in Ireland will be largely stroller accessible we would definitely advise packing a toddler carrier with you for Ireland for visiting some of the natural sites.
France with Toddlers
We love visiting France with toddlers. Paris with toddlers is always a good idea but it is worth heading out of the cities and hitting the beaches and lavender fields in the South too.
We love visiting some museums and parks in Paris such as the Jardin du Luxembourg as well as taking a ride of the carousel in front of the Eiffel Tower.
However my toddlers favourite thing to do in Paris is to take a day trip to Disneyland Paris. Disneyland Paris with a toddler is sure to be a highlight of the trip. Disneyland Paris vs Disney World and even Disneyland is much smaller but it is so toddler friendly and filled with rides that are great for toddlers.
And once out of Paris we love heading to Cannes. The beaches there are fantastic and my toddler loves to ride the little road train round the town to see some of Cannes’ most famous sights.
You will find most of France to be stroller friendly however in some of the more ancient cities and towns you will find cobbled streets which require a more robust stroller. Alternatively we recommend packing a carrier alongside your stroller for some of the more challenging tourist hot spots such as Mont St Michel for instance.
Denmark with Toddlers
Demark has lots to offer for families looking for a great country to visit in Europe in toddlers. However our favorite place to base ourselves out of in Denmark is of course Copenhagen the capital city.
Copenhagen with a toddler has lots on offer including but not limited to:
- Tivoli Gardens – a Danish amusement park that toddlers will love visiting
- Copenhagen Zoo – one of our favorite zoos in all of Europe and
- Copenhagen Aquarium
But there are also lots of amazing day trips you can do from Copenhagen such as Helsinore, where you can see the beautiful Hamlet’s Castle from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
You will find visiting in late Spring early summer will have the best weather and lower crowds compared to peak season but in my opinion as long as you pack correctly for Denmark you will have a great time whenever you go.
Lapland with Toddlers
Lapland has to be top of most people’s family bucket list and toddlers may be the best age to go to Lapland. Lapland is a magical place and meeting Santa in his workshop has to be a highlight. Going when your child is a toddler you get the most magic from the experience while they still believe in the big man.
On top of meeting Santa some of the magical experiences you can join in Lapland include:
- husky sledding
- reindeer sleigh rides
- Elf School
- snowmobiling and
- tobogganing to name but a few.
Just be sure to pack correctly as if you visit Lapland during Winter (which has to be the optimum time to visit to have the most Christmassy experience), you will find the weather to be very very cold.
Click here for more information on how to plan a trip to Lapland with toddlers.
What is your favorite country to travel with toddlers in Europe? We would love to find out in the comments below where you have been and what you have loved most about it.