We usually stick posts authored by parents on Ciao Bambino — one of the reasons our content is both credible and useful. Today, we’re going to do something different. I was contacted by Baltic Travel a few months ago around doing a guest post on off-the-beaten European cities to explore with kids. I asked them to send me the list and thought it looked great.
I’ve been everywhere on the list but Bigra Na Moru in Croatia, although I have not explored these destinations with kids. The information presented is general; we’ll follow up in the next few months with with first-hand reports on what to do with kids in each destination. If you’ve been to any of these cities and have great tips, we’d love to hear your thoughts via comments.
If you are planning a holiday with little ones, consider these five unexpected European cities to explore with children:
Bergen has devised wonderful attractions so families can explore from the mountain tops to the depths of the sea. Ride the Funicular cable car up to the top of Mount Floyen to see the breathtaking view of the coastal city and the beautiful fiords and nearby islands. At the Bergen Aquarium, watch the seals and penguins play in their fresh sea water pool before — and after — exploring the extensive collection of marine fauna and fish from all over the world. From the Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf, catch a cruise to explore the winding fjords from a sea level vantage point.
Underneath Oxford’s scholarly façade lurk exciting family adventures. Spend the day on a self-guided walking tour that explores locations used for blockbuster movies like Harry Potter and the Golden Compass. Another day can be spent at the Science Oxford Life which features interactive exhibits that teach children — and adults — with presentations like the Fire show that demonstrates the amazing properties of fire. A short ride on a tour bus or private taxi can take your family to visit the Oxford Castle, where you can enjoy shopping and dining while learning the fascinating history of this infamous building.
Families who enjoy sharing musical events together will have a blast in Salzburg, home of the Sound of Music, where you can visit the actual locations in the movie and learn the true story of this family classic. Regardless of what time of year you visit, musical events in the city’s castles and palaces are always in season. The Hohensalzburg Fortress is open to visitors and down the road you can tour an ancient salt mine by boat and discover a spectacular underground kingdom of living crystals.
For families who love to learn while they explore, the city of Glasgow provides a wealth of museums, from historic glimpses of times gone at the “Braveheart” castle to the ultra modern Museum of Transport. Spend the day at the Glasgow Science Centre featuring Imax presentations and learning centres full of fun exhibits and demonstrations. Admire the modern art gallery or tour the classics at the Kelvingrove Art Museum.
Bigra Na Moru, Croatia
For families who love outdoor fun, the Adriatic coastal city of Biogra Na Moru is a perfect place to land. The quaint city is surrounded by sandy beaches and the crystal clear sea is dotted with islands just waiting to be explored. Discover the rich history of this formally royal city while you enjoy the many family fun activities that abound either on land or in the water. Hike through the countryside and camp overnight at Lake Vrana, where legends tell of fairy tale castles just beneath the waves.
Discover together, with your children, how delightful treasures are often discovered in the most unlikely places.
Ciao Bambino Europe family travel guide
Visiting Dover Castle with kids