Travel Tips

City Breaks with Children

…a top option!

Okay when you consider city breaks you may think more romantic get away than a break with the kids but I’m a huge fan of a city breaks as a single parent.

Firstly cities are easy to get to! Whether you’re planning to staycation or vacation. If you’re going to be using public transport a large town or city is going to have better links than a tiny countryside village making it easier, quicker and often cheaper to get to.

This also applies to getting around when you’re there. Jumping on a bus, tram or the underground is so easy and makes moving around from attraction to attraction simple. Plus if you travel over ground you can also take the opportunity to see the sights as you travel.

TOP TIP: I am a huge fan of the hop on hop off open top/sightseeing bus tours that you find in big cities so they’re definitely worth investigating. While they are more expensive than public transport they can make getting to the big sights super easy which is great if you’re on a tight timeline or are a little nervous about knowing where to go using public transport especially abroad where you don’t speak the lingo.

The other great thing about a city break is that there’s usually so much to do for all the family whatever you’re into. We’ve visited zoos, aquariums, museums, historical sights amongst other things on our city breaks over the years.

If you’re on a budget city breaks can also make sense despite sounding expensive. I often find the most dear part of a trip away can be the activities and in cities alongside the expensive options are often plenty of free or cheap ones. Lots of museums around the world have free entry and you can see plenty of the worlds landmark and sights just by talking a walk.

TOP TIP: Before you head off on your adventure google “free or cheap activities to do in (wherever you’re going)” to get some budget friendly ideas.

And the best thing about having such a range of activities to do whatever the weather is that city breaks are perfect for every month of the year. If you have a beach break planned and it rains it’s so disappointing and in many resorts there isn’t a huge amount to do but on a city break you can change with the weather. Stockholm in summer is beautiful sitting alongside the water enjoying a cold drink and watching the world go by but it’s just as fabulous in January when you walk through the snow all wrapped up and snuggle in a coffee shop with a cake!

Another reason I do love a city break is the range of options generally available when it comes to hotels. If your budget and tastes so desires there are incredible 5 star offerings through mid-priced or quirky options down to budget B&B’s or cheap chains. Yes it may be more expensive to stay in a big city but there’s also generally a larger choice to help offset this. And don’t forget to check out things like Air BnB as being able to eat food in/pack a picnic for the days out can also save you a lot.

Food is another great way to tailor a city break to your budget as you have practically limitless options unlike on a countryside break for example. We’ve been on breaks where the budget is small and it’s been Maccie D’s for tea and on other holidays where cash hasn’t been an issue and it’s been fancy steak restaurants.

There are so many amazing cities around the world to enjoy a city break, and I think we’re especially lucky in Europe as so many of them can be reached in a couple of hours on a plane so here are some of my favourites.

London: Apart from where I have lived I have probably been to London more than anywhere. I love a stroll along the Southbank and I find that whatever the time of year and whoever I’m with there’s something different to do.

Paris: Another place that both me and the mini adventurer love equally. Lots to do, landmarks to see and who doesn’t want to enjoy a warm pain au chocolate every morning!

Cologne: Perhaps not the first place that comes to mind when thinking of a city break but with a zoo, aquarium, cable cars and the Lindt chocolate museum it’s a yummy and activity packed adventure.

Stockholm: Something novel especially for those who don’t live near the water. There is plenty to keep the kids entertained whether you visit in winter or summer but personally I could quite happily just ferry hop and walk around all day enjoying the views.

Or why have one city break when you can have 3 by taking in Nice, Monaco and Genoa all in the same weekend. All amazing places by themselves but as combination they make a fantastic break, enjoy walks on the prom in Nice, marvel at the luxury in Monaco and enjoy a perfect pizza in Genoa!

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