Best European Vacation Spots for Families in 2024

Stick around for everything you need to know about the 5 best European family vacation destinations to consider for your next trip.

From enticing city breaks in Paris and Barcelona to sun-soaked beach holidays in Nice and Menorca, the European family vacations listed below have been hand-selected for their activities available for children, general approach to safety and historical and cultural charm.  

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Tips For Planning Your European Family Vacation

1. Pack The Essentials. While there’s no need to pack up the entire house ahead of a European family vacation (as tempting as it may be), ensure you’ve got the essentials covered. Items such as sunscreen and bug spray can be a bit more expensive in popular destinations, so it’s best to pack these ahead of time for a stress-free adventure. 

2. Relinquish Control. We get it, you want your European holiday to be picture-perfect. But travelling with kids means that inevitable speed bumps may pop up along the way. Try to seek out flexible bookings with activities so you can gauge how your children are feeling when you arrive. 

3. Take It Easy. The majority of the European destinations are all about a slower and more relaxed pace of life. While you’re bound to have an incredible time abroad, remember that many of the locals you will come across work to live, not live to work. This relaxed way of life is often reflected in the amenities available. 

4. Plan Ahead. The key to a stress-free family holiday boils down to preparation. While you once may have winged your travel plans pre-kiddos, that only leads to stressful situations when you’ve got tired kids in tow. Plan ahead and ensure you’ve got your bases covered well ahead of time such as transport, activities, etc. 

5. Learn The Language. Do your best to learn helpful phrases and words in the local language. This not only shows respect to the country you’re visiting but can also help you with tricky situations such as allergies, food intolerances, etc. 

So, let’s take a look at the top family holiday destinations in Europe

1. Lapland, Finland

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Lapland has a wide range of fantastic, family-friendly places to stay, which make great bases for exploring the area. These range from luxury lodges, such as Northern Lights Ranch, to superb private chalets. We would particularly recommend the latter, since they are real homes from home.

Here children’s dreams come alive amidst vast expanses of pristine snow. Imagine husky sledging through enchanted forests, the crisp air echoing with laughter and excitement. In Lapland, families can visit Santa’s secret workshop, where elves craft toys and festive cheer fills the air. The thrill of reindeer safaris across snow-laden landscapes and cosy nights in traditional log cabins create an enchanting experience like no other. With its blend of Arctic wonders and festive charm, Lapland promises an unforgettable journey for families seeking the magic of winter in Europe.  

Best For: luxury lodges, such as Northern Lights Ranch, to superb private chalets

Where to Stay: Two of our favourite private houses are the charming Villa Naavanneito in Levi and and spacious Kaarnikka in Saariselkä. The former, a massive, stylish log cabin, sleeps up to 10 guests and has beautiful views of the magnificent surrounding Arctic hills. It boasts all the mod cons and its own sauna.

2. Paris

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Packed with family-friendly attractions such as Jardin des Tuileries, the Eiffel Tower and more, there’s a reason why Paris holds such a special place in the hearts of many. From its delectable cuisine to its charming way of life, this magical city is a great place to stay with kids, guaranteed to leave a lasting impact on both parents and kiddos. 

Best For: Inquisitive families with a deep appreciation for museums and monuments. 

Where to Stay: With space for up to 7 guests and views of the Eiffel Tower, The Docteur Blanche Residence is the quintessential Parisian duplex for families looking for a culturally enriching city break

3. South Of France

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Boasting miles of sparkling coastline, picturesque villages and impressive history, the South of France is a dream when it comes to climate, culture and safety. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly beach with calm waters such as Plage de la Salis or a hide-out in the countryside of Provence, the South of France has countless attractions for children of all ages. 

Best For: Active families looking for a fun and immersive beach or country break.  

Where to Stay: Ideal for families looking for an invigorating blend of both country and sea, The Chemin de Peymeyan Residence is located between the coast at Nice and Provence.

4. Italy

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Packed with friendly locals, culturally enriching experiences and arguably some of the best food in the world, Italy is a must-see destination for families looking to create cherished memories. From the breathtaking Colosseum in Rome to the postcard-worthy beaches of Sardegna, Italy welcomes families with open arms. Prepare to slow down, take it easy and embrace ‘dolce far niente’ – the sweetness of doing nothing.

Best For: Friendly families looking for a friendly locals and super easy cuisine. Eat everything! It’s all delicious. 

Where to Stay: Equipped with an indoor playroom, designer furnishing and a breathtaking pool set against the rolling hills of Umbria, The Piegaro Residence sleeps up to 12 people for the ultimate family getaway.

5. Portugal

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Whether your family prefers an exciting blend of history and fun activities with cities like Lisbon or can’t wait to build sandcastles on the stunning beaches in the Algarve, Portugal has plenty to offer for families looking for a memorable European vacation away. Revered for being one of the most family-friendly destinations in Europe, children are welcomed everywhere in this family-first country. 

Best For: Easy-going families looking for an exciting mixture of history, natural beauty and great value.

Where to Stay: Situated only 10 minutes away from the beach, this luxurious pair of cabanas at The Carvalhal Beach Residence is spacious, modern and surrounded by breathtaking greenery.

6. Barcelona

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Barcelona is one of those magical European cities that truly has something for everyone. Boasting attractions such as Park Güell designed by Antoni Gaudí, CosmoCaixa Science Museum and Montjuic Magic Foundation, this colorful city is jam-packed with enticing history, impressive architecture and exciting things to do with kids.

Best For: Adventurous families looking for a bit of everything with their European city break. 

Where to Stay: Situated in the heart of the Bohemian Gracia neighborhood, The Passatge Camil Oliveras Residence is surrounded by cafes, parks and lively squares. 

7. Balearic Islands

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Featuring enchanting coves, luscious landscapes and crystal-clear waters, The Balearic Islands is overflowing with good vibes, immersive culture and delicious cuisine. An archipelago off the coast of Spain, the four main islands include Mallorca, Menorca, Formentera and Ibiza. Whether you can’t get enough of the white sandy beaches of Mallorca or want to try out Palma Aquarium with your kiddos, The Balearic Islands has plenty in store for adventurous families. 

Best For: Relaxed families looking for a sun-soaked European vacation. 

Where to Stay: With sunny skies and luscious landscapes, the spacious Can Matas Residence is a highly walkable home for easy strolls around the village. 

Book Your Family-Friendly Stay with Kid & Coe

The best European family vacations include beautiful landscapes, incredible history and cherished memories you’ll remember for years to come. And the good news with Europe is that there’s no shortage of destinations for family-friendly trips that provide fun for everyone. 

As long as you plan ahead, roll with the punches and find yourself a fun and family-friendly base for your adventures, you’re bound to have a memorable trip away. 

And when you book a stay with Kid & Coe, you can rest assured that your charming property has been vetted by parents, for parents. Check out our wide selection of properties for family vacations in Europe to book your next dream holiday.

Final Thoughts

Traveling with kids also means looking for places with interactive museums, theme parks, and child-friendly activities. Cities like London, Paris, and Barcelona excel in offering a mix of cultural richness and family-oriented attractions. Public transportation, safety, and ease of navigation are other important factors to keep in mind.

Ultimately, the best European vacation spot for your family will be one that offers a mix of entertainment, education, and relaxation, ensuring that every member of your family has a fantastic time. Whether you prefer bustling cities or serene countryside, Europe has something special to offer for every family vacation in 2024.