4 Best European City Breaks for Families

Updated On: November 06, 2022

city breaks - athens

Enjoying a long weekend alone or with your beloved partner before having kids is entirely different from a vacation with your kids. Still, various city breaks are out there to suit every type of family.

European city breaks for families are affordable and considered some of the best getaways. Smaller European cities can offer many family-friendly activities for a short holiday.

Travellers can enjoy a variety of cultures and history in Europe. Paris and Rome are among the best city breaks. Yet, they are expensive to stay in and are crowded all year long.  

Suppose you want to try somewhere different; many suggestions for a city break with kids offer everything to make you and your little ones happy. Let’s look at 4 of the best city breaks for families.

Athens

02 Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city's cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
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Athens is one of the best and cheapest city breaks for families. It is a city of legends. Famous for legendary hospitality, heroes, and beauty, Athens is a city to indulge in ancient history and engage with Europe’s exhilarating contemporary culture. 

Athens is the Cradle of Western Civilization since it offers access to a unique metropolis. You can start with the Attica region of Greece, with a history of over 3,400 years.  

Athens draws tourists worldwide due to its remarkable temples, cosmopolitan centre, and ancient monuments. It also has various affordable accommodations for travellers.

The Best Time to Visit Athens

Autumn and spring are perfect; the weather is pleasant during these seasons, and you can get great deals that would definitely help if you’re travelling on a budget. You can enjoy Athens festivals through mid-June and late September, including various music types and operas.

Best Attractions to See With Kids in Athens

Acropolis

Visiting the ancient sites in Athens with your kids has to be on your must-do list, and Acropolis is just the perfect place for that.

Acropolis is a citadel that goes back to the 5th-century B.C. It is the most iconic spot in all of Greece. Learn more about Greek mythology by visiting various monuments around the Acropolis devoted to the goddess Athena, including the Theater of Dionysus, the Odeon of Herodes, and the Temple of Athena Nike.

This fantastic site is suitable for all ages. Kids under 18 can access it with no tickets. It is recommended to visit it in the morning during the warmer months as they are outdoor sites. We recommend taking enough water and snacks because all the touring will definitely make you exhausted.

Agora 

The ancient Agora is only a short walk from the Acropolis. It previously served as the city’s political, commercial, and residential centre. It was the home of famous Greek thinkers. 

Your kids can learn more about the ideas of Socrates, Plato, and Sophocles. You can experience travelling back to the Golden Age of Pericles and the beginning of democracy. 

Agora has various landmarks, including the Stoa of Attalos and the Temple of Hephaestus. The Stoa of Attalos was revived in 1956, and today, it holds a museum.

Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum is one of Athens’s best sites to visit with family. You can explore the archaeological excavation of an ancient Athenian community through the museum’s glass floors on the ground floor. Kids can also watch the model of the Acropolis consisting of 120,000 LEGO bricks on the second level.

The Acropolis Museum offers family backpacks containing educational resources, painting kits, and puzzles. It also provides the family with maps, exhibition-based activities, and games that help the whole family solve challenges while exploring the museum.

National Garden

The green National Garden is a stunning place to spend some time in Athens with family. It features a botanical garden hosting 500 species of flowers, plants, and trees from everywhere in the world. It also features a mini-zoo, a playground, and two duck ponds.

The gardens are a splendid place to relax during your visit. Athenians often visit public parks to read, have picnics, and race. The gardens also feature a children’s library, a music and film room, a reading room, and a fairytale room.

Best Family Hotels in Athens

Colours Hotel Athens

Colours Hotel Athens is a 4-star hotel located in Emmanouil Benaki, Athens. It features paid private parking, family rooms, free WiFi, a restaurant, a bar, a kid-friendly buffet, kids meals, and many other amenities.

The Gem Society Hotel

It is a 4-star hotel located at 3 Aristidou, Athens. The Gem Society Hotel features various amenities, including free WiFi, family rooms, a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, and more. It also has diverse room types with different facilities.

Enattica Suites

Enattica Suites is one of the top-rated hotels in Klitiou 5, Athens. It offers various facilities, including free WiFi, family rooms, a 24-hour front desk, and more. It features different room types equipped with several facilities.

Best 5 Restaurants in Athens

  • Varoulko Seaside Restaurant
  • Yi
  • GB Roof Garden Restaurant And Bar
  • Fuga Restaurant
  • Balthazar

Macedonia

Macedonia is one of the most spectacular city breaks for families. It is a small Balkan country with a rich history, incredible culture, and immense beauty. Moreover, it features friendly people, tasty food, and remarkable attractions that can take your breath away.

Hilary Bradt, the publisher of Bradt Travel Guide to Macedonia, called Macedonia “the Cinderella of the former Yugoslavia.” The country holds many attractions, including the stunning UNESCO site Ohrid Lake and Town and the Galičica National Park.

Best Attractions to See With Kids in Macedonia

Ohrid, Macedonia

The historic UNESCO- protected Ohrid is a great city break for families. It lies on the ancient beaches of Lake Ohrid and is one of the best destinations to visit with your kids; they will definitely be mesmerized by the stunning nature.

01 Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city's cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
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You can explore many sites with your kids and enjoy the wonders of both history and nature. The ancient theatre is just a short walk along the cobblestone passages of Old Ohrid. Kids can get on stage and even try an improvised act for the family.

You can also walk along the lakeside passage to Kaneo Beach and feast on the outstanding trout caught from the lake’s depths. We recommend touring the archaeological site of Plaoshnik and climbing up to Samuel’s Fortress, which is believed to be constructed by Alexander the Great.

Staro Nagroichane

Staro Nagroichane is a small village of fewer than 600 residents and lies in northern Macedonia. It is famous for the Church of St. George, which was first constructed in 1071 under the rule of the Byzantines. Serbian King Stefan rebuilt the church from 1313 to 1318. 

Early fall is a perfect time to go on a tour since there are fewer crowds and lower prices, so you can shop till you drop!

The Vrelo Cave

The Vrelo Cave is one of the top 77 natural spots in the world. It is perhaps the deepest underwater cave in the world. Vrelo is a system of two caves, one lying above the water and the other down the stream. 

Depositphotos 288331894 L Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city's cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
Vrelo Cave in the Matka Canyon of Macedonia in Summer

The cave features many stalactites, including one named “Pine Cone” because of its shape. The Concert Hall, a gallery in the cave, is mainly observed by bats, the cave’s central residents.

The Bay of Bones Museum

The Bay of Bones Museum is a floating museum. It is a prehistoric amusement of a village presenting artefacts from the Bronze and Iron ages. These antiquities were recovered from Lake Ohrid. “Bay of Bones” refers to the number of animal remnants uncovered at the site.

04 Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city's cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
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The prehistory museum has stilt houses, representing a settlement that goes back to 1200 and 70 B.C. Therefore, the museum helps visitors to learn more about prehistory and the style of living during that time.

The Bay of Bones is the Reconstructed Site of a Prehistoric Settlement at Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. The wooden jetty and the Bay of the bones (museum) are near Ohrid, Macedonia.

Best Family Hotels in Macedonia

Skopje Marriott Hotel

It is a 4-star hotel located in Plostad Makedonija 7 Entrance from str. Maskim Gorki, Skopje, and is near the historic Macedonia Square. It is a mix of elegance and convenience, so it is ideal for business and leisure-seeking visitors.

Skopje Marriott Hotel contains 164 modern guestrooms, including family rooms and the luxurious Presidential Suite. Rooms feature elegant designs and stylish furnishing. 

Doubletree by Hilton Skopje

It is a 3-star hotel located on Blvd Asnom 17, Skopje, and is on the bank of the river Vardar. Doubletree by Hilton Skopje offers contemporary and modern accommodation.

The hotel is just 10 minutes from Skopje city centre and 20 kilometres from Skopje airport. Local attractions are only a few kilometres from the hotel. 

You can enjoy dinner with the family at the restaurant serving innovative cuisine or eat on the outdoor terrace. The panoramic view of the river Vardar is splendid and will make your food even tastier!

The hotel offers many facilities, including an elegant ballroom, a complimentary shuttle to the city, a fitness centre, an indoor pool, and a Spa. There are various attractions nearby, including Art Bridge, Stone Bridge, Skopje, and Macedonia square.

Villa & Winery Mal Sv. Kliment

It is one of the top-rated accommodations in Metodi Patcev 8, Ohrid. It is a privately owned Bed & Breakfast near the entrance of the old city of Ohrid called Lower Gate. 

The villa offers an excellent opportunity to walk through and explore the old city while being close to stores, restaurants, and beaches. Guests can enjoy the marvellous views of Ohrid lake, the dock, and the harbour. 

The villa contains 16 rooms, including a penthouse suite that can have room for 2 to 4 people. Vila and Winery Mal Sveti Kliment is devoted to producing only the best wines, made with passion and the best grapes. 

The wine bar is made in a classic stone style, where they produce the Amphora wine by an old method. 

Best 5 Restaurants in Macedonia

  • Ohrid Restaurants
  • Skopje Restaurants
  • Prilep Restaurants
  • Bitola Restaurants
  • Tetovo Restaurants

Vilnius

Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city’s cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.

Vilnius is one of the best city breaks, with various affordable accommodations offering good-quality service and a wide range of great restaurants.

Best Attractions to See With Kids in Vilnius

Gedimino pilies bokštas 

Depositphotos 132954652 L Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city's cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
Gediminas tower in Vilnius on a beautiful summer day

Gediminas Castle Tower is a reference to Vilnius. You can see it from different locations in the Old Town. Gediminas’ Hill was established by Lithuanian Ruler Grand Duke Gediminas, who strengthened the country’s independence.

The Gediminas Castle Tower houses a small museum. It has a panoramic view of the city, including narrow cobblestone streets, red roofs, church towers, and nearby wooded hills and parks.

St. Anne’s Church

Depositphotos 187672868 L Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city's cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
4 Best European City Breaks for Families 15

St. Anne’s Church is one of the exceptional examples of Gothic architecture in the country. It’s so gorgeous and magnificent that Napoleon Bonaparte loved it and wanted to take it back with him to Paris.

The cathedral is based on alder logs, and its western facade is constructed with 33 different types of bricks. Inside the cathedral, there are rib vaults outlining beautiful brick lines, and on the main altar hangs a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Child and St. Anne.

Gates of Dawn

Depositphotos 319550626 L Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city's cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
4 Best European City Breaks for Families 16

Gates of Dawn was completed in the 1500s. It is the only remaining gate from Vilnius’ ten genuine defensive walls. In the late 1600s, the Carmelite nuns from St. Theresa’s constructed a chapel above the entrances holding a painting of the Virgin Mary; they believed the image had miraculous powers.

This site is respected by both the Catholicism and Orthodoxy religions. This place is worth being at the top of the must-visit list for anyone worldwide.

Vilnius Cathedral

05 Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city's cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
4 Best European City Breaks for Families 17

Vilnius Cathedral was mentioned in recorded history in 1387. It is also recognized as one of the oldest churches in the country. The cathedral was reconstructed frequently because of wars, recurring fires, and inconsistent soil.

The popular name is the Cathedral of St. Stanislaus and St. Vladislav; this square structure was dedicated to worshipping the Lithuanian thunder god Perkunas. Vilnius Cathedral has neoclassical architecture, and inside is the main shrine with a painting representing the death of St. Stanislaus.

Best Family Hotels in Vilnius

Calvary Hotel & Restaurant Vilnius

It is a 3-star hotel located in Kalvarijų g. 59, Snipiskes, LT-09318 Vilnius. It is 1.1 kilometres away from Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. It features a bar and private parking. The hotel also provides various amenities, including free WiFi, a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk, and room service. 

The property is near well-known attractions, such as the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania Money Museum, and Vilnius Cathedral Square.

Park Inn by Radisson Vilnius Airport Hotel & Business Centre

It is a 4-star hotel located in reivių g. 32, Naujininkai, LT-02188 Vilnius. This hotel is 6 kilometres away from Vilnius Defense Wall Bastion. It offers private parking, free WiFi, a fitness centre, a bar, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage.

The hotel offers a buffet or continental breakfast at the property. The rooms have A.C., a flat-screen T.V., a desk, an electric kettle, a safe, and a private bathroom with a shower. 

There are various attractions close to the hotel, including the Museum of Genocide Victims, which is 6 kilometres away from the hotel, the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater, and Vilnius Airport.

Hilton Garden Inn Vilnius City Centre

It is a 4-star hotel located in Gedimino av. 44 B, Naujamiestis, LT-01110 Vilnius. The hotel offers private parking, a restaurant, a fitness centre, and a bar. In addition to all of these services, it provides various amenities, including family rooms, free WiFi, a 24-hour front desk, and room service.

The rooms have A.C., a desk, a flat-screen T.V., an electric kettle, a safe, and a private bathroom with a shower. The Hilton Garden Inn Vilnius City Center rooms feature bed linen and towels.

Many attractions are close to the hotel, including the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater, the Church of St. Michael, and the Bank of Lithuania Money Museum and Constantine. Vilnius Airport is the nearest airport.

Best 5 Restaurants in Vilnius

  • Pirmas Blynas
  •  Pachamama Dinner Club
  • Amandus
  • D’eco Bar & Restaurant
  • Alaus Biblioteka

St. Gallen, Switzerland

The name and foundation of the town are derived from the Irish missionary monk Gallus. He founded a sanctuary in the year 612. In the Middle Ages, the city expanded into a significant hub of culture and education in Europe. Later, the St. Gallen embroideries drew international recognition and brought fortunes to the town.

The excellent location of St. Gallen caused it to be the best starting point for tours into the Appenzellerland with the Säntis and to Lake Constance. Whether by railway or bicycle, you can reach Lake Constance quickly along the Lake Constance Cycle Path.

This charming city features 111 oriel windows, substantial water lilies, outstanding architectural designs, archaeological discoveries at the Lapidarium, and much more.

Best Attractions to See With Kids in St. Gallen

Old Town

You can begin your tour by strolling through the charming St. Gallen’s Old Town. This traffic-free area comprises narrow cobblestone streets and extensive squares surrounded by wealthy textile merchant homes returning to the middle ages.

There, you can find the famous 111 oriel windows named Swan, Pelican, and Camel. These gorgeously carved and colourfully painted window decorations often expose a story. They tell about the life of their homeowners, adventures, mythological creatures, and more.

The Old Town also features many boutiques and art galleries. The sidewalk cafes, bars, and restaurants create a lovely atmosphere to enjoy a great time and a delicious meal.

Peter and Paul Wildlife Park

03 Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city's cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
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Peter and Paul Wildlife Park is your ideal destination if you love animals. It is available to visit all year round. You can watch the Swiss native animals in their natural habitat, like deer, the lynx, chamois, ibex, etc.

You can also watch short films or listen to different animal sounds for more information about them. You can experience touching horns, antlers, and more.

Finally, you can have a delicious meal and a spectacular view at the Peter and Paul restaurant.

Botanical Garden

Depositphotos 344751112 L Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city's cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
Blue “Spiderwort” flower (or Spider Lily) in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Its Latin name is Tradescantia, native to North and South America

You can experience reading a book among giant lily ponds and enjoy the peace and magic of goldfish swimming around at the Botanical Garden in St. Gallen.

The garden features over 8000 plants from all over the world, many greenhouses, and educational exhibits. The Botanical Garden has to be on the top of your must-visit list.

Abbey Cathedral of St. Gall

Depositphotos 208816422 L Vilnius is a small fascinating capital of Lithuania. Believe it or not, it is an ideal choice to spend a long weekend. The city features magnificent churches and monuments. You can stroll the city's cobbled streets and pass by the most well-known sites. Among these sites are Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, the Gates of Dawn, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
Beautiful Aerial View of St. Gallen Cityscape Skyline, Abbey Cathedral of Saint Gall in Switzerland

The Abbey of St. Gall is a milestone with legal protection. This site has important cultural significance and has been an outstanding example of a Carolingian sanctuary since its construction in the 8th century.

However, its formation today differs because of the construction campaigns of the 18th century. The exceptional architectural design offers various buildings, including the ancient abbatial church, ancient abbey, and towers regrouped in Abbey’s central square.

So, make sure you pay a visit to this historical and beautifully designed cathedral. You will see exquisite views and impressive architecture and have more information about the history of this city.

Best Family Hotels in St. Gallen

Einstein St. Gallen

It is a 4-star hotel located in Berneggstrasse 2, St. Gallen. It lies close to the UNESCO World Heritage, Monastery area. The hotel offers 113 gorgeous rooms and suites, cuisine variety in two restaurants, cultured entertainment, and more. 

The rooms and suites contain high-quality materials like marble and textiles to enjoy exceptional living comfort. 

Hotel One66

It is a 3-star hotel located in Alte Bildstrasse 6, Postfach 462, 9015 St. Gallen. It offers free garage parking and free WiFi. It also serves a luxurious breakfast. You can have your coffee in the CaféBar, where you can enjoy some of the highest-quality coffee beans.

There are various attractions close to the hotel, such as Olma Messen St. Gallen and the Abbey Library. Zurich is the nearest airport, 56 kilometres away.

Sorell Hotel City Weissenstein – Boutique Hotel

It is a 3-star hotel located at Davidstrasse 21, 9000 St. Gallen. It is located on the edge of the pedestrian zone of St. Gallen near the old town and the central train station. Free parking is available and a parking garage as well.

Rooms are equipped with satellite T.V., air conditioning, a coffee machine, a private bathroom, a kitchenette, a seating area, and more.

Best 5 Restaurants in St. Gall

  • Einstein Gourmet
  • Einstein Bar
  • Gaststuben zum Schlossli
  • Candela
  • Bistro St.Gallen

Europe offers you and your family the best of the city breaks worldwide to enjoy a getaway with your family or indulge in various exciting activities during your short vacation or weekend.