Are Lonely Planet’s Best Places in Europe Best for Kids?

Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has put together a list of their favorite best places to visit in Europe. Peloponnese takes first place, but among others Aarhus, Venice and the Dordogne also found their way on the list. We took a look to see if kids and families can enjoy these destinations too and what can they do.

Author: Afroditi De Beste Olijfolie

The Peloponnese in Greece

Because most people head straight to one of the many beautiful Greek islands or only take time to visit the capital of Athens, this region is too often undeservedly left out. The locals though claim they have the best of everything Greek: food, wine and history. Take your time and explore places like Olympia, Mycenae and Mystras, Nemean wine region and bay of Navarino…

Coolkidz want to know – what can we do?

The peninsula is rich in myths and legends, so there is a lot to learn and do. How about visiting Olympia – known for having been the sight of the first Olympic Games? Explore the ruins of the complex, which hosted these games for five days every four years. Once at the stadium challenge everyone to a race and see who is the best. Then spend your days at the some of the most beautiful beaches at the bay of Navarino – explore the lagoon of Voidokilia and be an archaeologist with your bucket and spades.

Author: Inge Vautrin

Aarhus, Denmark

The second largest city in Denmark is getting more and more recognition due to the interesting architecture – the prime example is the new public library in the harbor front and culinary wizardry. In 2017 the city will become European Capital of Culture and European Region of Gastronomy. So, visit now, before there’s a crowd.

Coolkidz want to know – what can we do?

Don’t worry the city has you covered. Start with getting to know the city and enjoy the beautiful buildings in the old town museum, Den Gamle By – a National Open Air Museum of Urban History and Culture. It is a living and breathing experience of what it was like to live and work in a Danish market town, as it was in the old days. After learning so much it’s time for fun – right in the city’c center there is a theme park. Tivoli Friheden with 4 roller coasters, 40 rides, stalls, games and playgrounds.

Author: Ostseetroll

Venice, Italy

One of the tourists’ favorite places, but like Paris, Venice is always a good idea. This year, the city commemorates the 500-year history of the Venetian ghetto – an island at the heart of this island city. The Ducal palace will host a major exhibition to celebrate its contribution to history. Use the opportunity to also stand in awe at the San Marco Sqaure, cross the Rialto bridge, and explore the newly restored synagogues and Jewish Museum.

Coolkidz want to know – what can we do?

My favorite memory of Venice as a child was a trip to the near by island of Murano famous for its glass makers. Take the vaporetto (a boat bus) and enjoy many little shops with amazing things made from glass.

The Dordogne
Author: Xavier Fontaine

The Dordogne, France

Located in the southwestern France, this region is famous for dreamy castles, medieval towns, walnut groves and Saturday-morning food markets. With less crowds than Provence but still as beautiful, it’s no wonder it made the list.

Coolkidz want to know – what can we do?

Be a king or queen in the land of a thousand and one castles, as the region is nicknamed. Pick Château de Beynac – one of the best-preserved and best known castles in the region, where a lot of movies were filmed – such as Chocolate. Explore mysterious caves at Perigord. And eat croissants to your heart’s content. (Or as many as the folks will allow).

Author: Kuba Kłopotowski

Lviv, Ukraine

The country has been through some turbulent times. Honestly, I don’t know if I’d pick it for my next holiday. But the Lonely Planet claims that these events have had little direct effect on the country’s west. And Lviv is not only safe but full of some of the greatest architectural treasures in the country. It is also known as the festival capital of the region. This year there will be a record 100 events.

Coolkidz want to know – what can we do?

Visit Lviv Urban Goat Farm (Dmytrovychi village) and spend a day playing with goats, taste some milk and cheese and see how they are made. There is also an open air museum “Shevchenkyvskyy Hay” with more than 124 architectural monuments (mostly village houses and churches grouped into 54 farmsteads) situated in beautiful ethnographic areas.

Warwick castle
Author: Baz Richardson

Warwickshire, England

Bucolic hills, sublime castles, historic market towns and slow pace that might be it, if Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare wasn’t located in this region. This year commemorates the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death, so there will be a lot going on.

Coolkidz want to know – what can we do?

Follow in the footsteps of William Shakespear and learn all about him in the best way possible.

Author: Santi Mendiola

Extremadura, Spain

They say it’s one of the least-known regions in one of Europe’s best-known countries. The three jewels of this region are without a doubt: the city of Mérida with Spain’s best Roman ruins, Trujillo and Cáceres, both resemble Tuscan hill towns but lack their crowds.

Coolkidz want to know – what can we do?

There is some great exploring of the beautiful medieval towns you could do. Pretend to be a conquistador for a day. Then let the parents do the exploring and enroll you into a Spanish or English learning course at the beautiful Casa Rural Finca Flores Amarillas.

Author: Etoma

East Coast Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands, certainly no hidden gem. But this part of the island is less visited than the rest of it. It is known for quiet little fishing villages such as Abades and El Medano, home to the best natural beach on the island.

Coolkidz want to know – what can we do?

Play at the best beach on the island? Try scuba diving? Convince parents to take you to the Siam Park, one of Europe’s largest waterparks on the other part of the island.

Author: Niels Vinck

Texel, the Netherlands

It is the largest (25 km long and 9 km wide) of the Netherlands Wadden Sea Islands, situated just 3 km north of the coast.  It can be reached in 20 minutes by ferry. It is famous for unspoilt dunes, a part of Texel Dunes National Park, as well as wildlife reserves, expansive, more than 30 kilometer long white-sand beach and woodland.

Coolkidz want to know – what can we do?

Once you’ve had your fill of running around the beach and dunes, go to the Ecomare seal sanctuary and see those lovely animals face to face. You can also learn a lot about the North sea there. Another interesting place to visit is The ‘Bonte Belevenis’ Estate, where you can see how they bake bread rolls, make soap and candles. It has a nice outdoor area, with a playground.


Northern Dalmatia, Croatia

Zadar is the heart of Northern Dalmatia and is really one of the best places on the Adriatic coast. It is certainly a place I love recommending to all the friends asking me where to go in Croatia. The city has everything: beautifully preserved old town, nice beaches and plenty of things to do.

Coolkidz want to know – what can we do?

Liste to one of a kind sea organ – you have to hear it to believe it. Climb the 56 meter high bell tower of the Zadar Cathedral and earn an amazing  view of the city. Then convince parents to explore the region such a lovely little town of Nin or the nearby islands.

So, there you have it: Lonely Planet’s Best Places in Europe. They all look great for exploring with or without the kids, but I would probably pick other favorites. Which ones are you missing?


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