5 best European family vacation destinations

Whether you’re seeking sunshine, adventure or a city break, Europe has vacation destinations to please every member of the family. That means you can hit the beach in Spain or Portugal, see the sights in London or Paris and sample delicious food wherever you go – Europe is extremely family-friendly. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 family vacation destinations to help you choose.

1. Family Vacation in Madrid, Spain

Madrid is the bustling capital city of Spain. Filled with history, art and culture, the city boasts hot summers and crisp, cool winters – rain is rare. Old meets new in Madrid. Here you’ll find skyrise buildings, ancient meeting squares and winding roads filled with cafés, bars and restaurants. And you’ll also be happy to know that getting around this family-friendly city is super easy with the quick, safe and clean Metro service.

Top Family Activities in Madrid

Parque de Atracciones

With over 30 attractions for both children and adults, Madrid’s amusement park is one of the most popular attractions for both locals and tourists.

Natural Science Museum

The Natural Science museum is sure to surprise both adults and children. It’s divided into three zones: Natural history, the Mediterranean Sea and a reproduction of the old Royal Cabinet of Natural History. Visitors will have the opportunity to complete experiments and take part in special activities.

Check out our guide to Madrid for more information on things to do.


2. Family Vacation in London, United Kingdom

One of the most impressive European cities, London is a must-visit. Between cobble-stoned streets, towering buildings, giant parks, magnificent museums and a thriving theater district, there’s something for every member of the family to do in London. It’s difficult to take in everything this big city has to offer – there’s just so much to do.

Top Family Activities in London

The Making of Harry Potter – Warner Bros. Studio Tour

This is a must for families that are fans of Harry Potter. The studio tour will whisk you and the kids away to the magical streets of Diagon Alley, the halls of Hogwarts and other notable film locations. You can also sample butterbeer, munch on chocolate frogs, and browse the official gift shop where you can purchase your very own school cloak and wand.

Kid-friendly Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

Afternoon Tea is a very important part of English culture. Take your little ones for a fun Afternoon Tea experience with a difference on board the B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus. You all can sip on English tea and enjoy sandwiches, scones, mini quiches and cupcakes as the bus passes by London’s most famous landmarks. You’ll spot Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye.


3. Family Vacation in Portugal: Algarve

If you’re looking for blue skies and clear blue sea, the Algarve is the perfect European destination for your next family vacation. The coast stretches over 90 miles and is filled with gold, sandy beaches with water activities for the whole family to enjoy. There’s a large choice of family-friendly resorts and accommodation and the Algarve is home to a number of world-renowned golf courses. Day trips can be made from the Algarve to Fatima, Lisbon and Seville.

Algarve beach

Top Family Activities in the Algarve

Dolphin Boat Trip

The seas of the Algarve are the ideal place to take a boat trip to see dolphins living free in their natural habitat. Dolphins are commonly found jumping and diving around the boats in this area because the waters are so calm and warm.

Lagos Zoo

Home to 150 species of animals, Lagos Zoo is open all year round. Visitors can view animals in their naturalistic styled habitats and attend feeding demonstrations at the pelican, otter, penguin and lemur enclosures. Top attractions within the zoo include the penguin beach and the bat enclosure.


 4. Family Vacation in Paris, France

The city of lights appeals to all ages. Adults and children will marvel at the sight of the Eiffel Tower, and everyone can enjoy the thrills of the fairytale land that is Disneyland Paris. Children can learn about the rich history of Paris, climb the steps of the Sacre Coeur Basilica, watch the street performers and munch on delicious Parisian pastries.

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Top Family Activities in Paris

Disneyland Paris

Located just 40 minutes outside Paris and accessible by train, Disneyland Paris is most definitely not just for children. Get lost in the excitement with your family and share lots of laughs as you venture through the two theme parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. There are rides to suit all ages from movie favorites like Toy Story and Finding Nemo. Each unforgettable day is sure to be filled with entertainment.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg is the largest park in Paris and was redesigned especially for children by order of Napoleon himself. In the park, you can take a trip on Paris’s oldest carousel, rent toy boats at a pond in front of Luxembourg Palace and visit the puppet theatre. There are also pony rides and a large playground to enjoy.


5. Family Vacation in Spain: Malaga / Costa del Sol

One of the most popular destinations for families in Europe is Spain’s Costa del Sol. Malaga is the main airport for this region. You can hit the beach, browse the local markets in Fuengirola, check out Malaga city and take a trip up to the quaint mountain village of Mijas. There are amusements and excitements at Torremolinos and tons of family-friendly dining options to suit all palates. Stay in one of the many family-focused resorts in the surrounding areas where entertainment is provided for you and your family.

Top Family Activities near Malaga

Butterfly Park in Benalmadena

The Butterfly Park at Benalmadena is the largest of its kind in Europe. Designed to resemble an Asian temple, the materials used to build the park were imported directly from Thailand. A visit to the park will transport you and your family to eastern Asia where you’re greeted with humid habitats surrounded by tropical jungle plants, waterfalls and, of course, butterflies.

Aqualand Torremolinos

Aqualand is the largest waterpark at the Costa del Sol and features one of the highest water slides in Europe. A range of other slides and attractions will suit all ages. There’s more than enough excitement to spend a full day with the family at Aqualand.


Europe is waiting to be discovered and Aer Lingus is ready to take you there. Fly from the US to Europe to enjoy spacious seats, superior inflight entertainment, free onboard Wi-Fi and a warm and welcoming Irish service. Get the best flight deals to Europe at aerlingus.com.