A round-up of super family friendly city breaks in Europe including my suggestion of 24 Hours in Bruges With Kids
For some, a city break with kids in tow can seem like the stuff of nightmares, but here at Dais Like These we have to disagree. With so many sights, attractions, parks, restaurants, shops, and much more all in within one area, cities can often provide a perfect family break with something for all ages. And we are not alone in our love of the city break, I have joined forces with some other family travel bloggers to highlight our favourite European cities to visit with kids.
24 Hours in Bruges With Kids
Europe is brimming with family friendly cities, and Bruges in Belgium is no exception. Despite our kids all being a bit under the weather when we visited at Christmas, we still managed to find plenty to keep them entertained. And when we returned for a sneaky child free weekend, I found myself wishing that the kids were with us to enjoy the city again!
So here is a roundup of some fab child-friendly things to get up to on a visit to Bruges.
Explore Bruges by Boat or Horse and Cart
Let’s face it, no matter how beautiful or interesting a town or city is, kids are generally not going to enjoy walking around all day long. Thankfully Bruges has a few other, definitely more fun, ways to get around. You can always hear the clip-clopping of hooves echoing through the pretty cobbled streets, so for a break from walking you could take a ride in a horse drawn carriage, sure to delight any mini tourist. Or, to get a different perspective, hop on board one of the many boat tours that run along the canals of Bruges.
Check Out the Chocolate Shops
The chocolate shop displays in Bruges are a delight for any chocoholic, young or old! But kids will especially marvel at the different displays at each of the many chocolate shops dotted along the pretty streets.
The wonderful displays range from traditional:
To live theatre!
Visit a Christmas Decoration Shop (even in the summer!)
Being in Bruges at Christmas is like stepping into a fairytale, with shops and restaurants adorned with the most fantastic lights and decorations. But what if you visit in spring or summer? Even when it’s not Christmas, kids still love Christmas! Indulge them with a visit to one of the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas decoration shops, I noticed at least two during our visit.
The shelves are stacked and lined with decorations of all different shapes, sizes, themes and designs. Kids are sure to be delighted (even in the summer!) and you may have to drag them away!
Run Up and Down the Windmill Hills
To the south east of the old town, in an area of park overlooking the canal, you will find three windmills perched atop steep mounds. Despite only being able to see the inside of the windmills on certain days during the year, this is still a great place to head to let the kids run free and escape the busy streets of Bruges for half an hour or so.
Climb the Belfort Tower
Probably best reserved for older kids, the climb up to the top of the Belfort tower is a real adventure! Arrive early to beat the queues and venture up the 336 steps to find fab views across Bruges with the vast bells looming above and if you are lucky, you might even have them chiming above your head!
Venture North to Visit De Haan
Not technically in Bruges, but great to have up your sleeve just in case your kids get fed up of sightseeing and need some space to run free! De Haan is a lovely seaside town around 20mins from Bruges in the car or less than an hour by bus or train. With golden sands as far as the eye can see, an awesome playground on the beach, and lots of places to eat, it is perfect for a family friendly breather if you need one!
Definitely up there with the best playgrounds ever! After a full on busy Christmas visit to Bruges, the kids definitely needed to let off some steam. So we headed half an hour North to #DeHaan, which is a beautiful costal town with a vast sandy beach. It certainly cheered the kids up! – – #travelwithkids #familytravel #travel
Other Family Friendly European City Breaks
Bruges is certainly one of my favourite European cities, and is ideal for if you are looking for a quick weekend away (especially if you live anywhere near the Eurotunnel or ferry as Bruges is only a 45minute drive from Calais in France). But if you are looking for inspiration for other family friendly European city-breaks, then check out these great suggestions from other family travel bloggers:
The Wandermust Family LOVE Rome and think it is the perfect European City Break for families. Over on their blog find out their top 6 reasons why! http://www.wandermustfamily.com/2016/11/07/top-reasons-why-rome-is-a-perfect-city-break-for-families/
Ting from My Travel Monkey spent a week exploring snow covered Iceland and discovered there was so much to see and do in Reykyavik – even for young children…http://www.my-travelmonkey.com/17-things-reykyavik-kids/
If you have visited all of the bigger London icons and are looking for Alternative things to do, hop over to Like Love Do. Donna share’s 10 hidden gems in Londons big city http://likelovedo.com/2017/07/10-alternative-things-to-do-in-london-explore-europes-cities
Check out POD Travels if you’re looking to visit Berlin in the near future. Charly shares the top 30 places to visit with kids and where you can explore without them. With posts on the Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery and Wall Museum, a round up of the top Christmas markets in the city and a look at the Berlin street art scene, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied: http://www.podtravels.com/?s=berlin
If you are planning to visit the UK during your European break, Zena from Zena’s Suitcase talks about why her family loved their visit to Liverpool and why it’s worth visiting if your looking for a vibrant and cultural city outside of London: http://zenas-suitcase.co.uk/2017/07/14/interesting-cities-visit-europe-family-liverpool
Pop over to Mums do travel to find out why Gretta Schifano and her teenage daughter think that Belfast is a great place for a family city break: https://mumsdotravel.com/2017/07/why-belfast-is-great-for-a-family-trip-with-teenagers/
Over on A Modern Mother, check out 12 reasons for families to visit Costa Barcelona: http://amodernmother.com/2016/10/10-reasons-families-visit-costa-barcelona.html
Karen from Mini Travellers tells us all about why she loved travelling to Lisbon with Children and why she is seriously considering a return trip later this year:http://minitravellers.co.uk/lisbon-with-children/
Nell Heshram will revisit Oslo, one of her favourite cities, this summer. On her blog the Pigeon Pair and Me she’s put together a round-up of the top family-friendly museums in the Norwegian capital: https://pigeonpairandme.com/2017/07/top-museums-families-oslo-norway.html
Samantha from North East Family Fun has visited Barcelona on numerous occasions with her three children and highly recommends the Catalonian capital as a fantastic city to visit with the kids. Did you know that Barcelona is one of the few cities in the world with it’s very own beach? Find out why Samantha rates Barcelona so highly and recommends as the perfect option for a family city break here: http://www.northeastfamilyfun.co.uk/2017/07/best-european-cities-to-visit-with-kids-2018.html
Penny from Parentshaped shares a treasure hunt in Amsterdam, a city packed with invitations to play and new things to discover and learn as a family: http://www.parentshaped.co.uk/2016/07/01/things-to-do-in-amsterdam/
Joanne and the eldest from Kids Days Out Reviews take you on a tour of Brussels, Belgium and show you the essential stuff to do, what to eat, and where to stay. http://kidsdaysoutreviews.co.uk/brussels/
Lisa from Travel Loving Family shares her five must see sights in the capital of Madeira, Funchal. Her recommendations include a scenic cable car ride to a view point at an incredible 1,800 feet overlooking the whole island, a thrilling toboggan ride in a wicker basket and a visit to Blandy’s Wine Lodge to taste the famous Madeira wine http://www.travellovingfamily.com/adventures-abroad/cruise-ship-call-madeira
With three hundred days of sunshine, six theme parks and miles and miles of golden sandy beaches, Jane Batt from Taking 5 says you should definitely consider Benidorm when planning your next family holiday. Pop over to Taking 5 and have a look at Jane’s recommendations for what to do and where to stay in Benidorm as well as her family’s top ten Benidorm activities. http://taking5.com/best-european-city-family-holidays-benidorm/