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Fun Ideas for Family Travel in Europe’s Capitals

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Europe has some of the world’s most legendary, exciting, and historic capital cities. Just like families, they are a blend of generations. Why not plan a legendary family trip to Europe, perhaps to mark a milestone birthday or anniversary?

Here are some of the great cities in western Europe with some suggestions for more off-the-beaten-path places to include in your itinerary. 

 

  • London 

There are so many things to see and do in London, so we’ll narrow down the choice with some more unusual attractions.  

Some of your party might like to indulge in their passion for astronomy and exploration at the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

National Maritime Museum, London

Meanwhile, others can enjoy a day of vintage glamour at the neighboring Fan Museum. It is set in a restored 1721 home that boasts an immaculate Japanese Garden and Orangery. Learn how fans were made and used by genteel ladies in Victorian times to send subtle messages to admirers. Drawing the fan across the cheek meant “I love you” while dropping the fan sent an entirely different message of rejection! End your visit with a Fan Making Workshop and take home your very own shell-shaped frontage accessory. 

Fashionistas of all ages will enjoy the Design Museum, founded by Sir Terence Conran. Exhibits range from fashion to furniture, cars, and digital design. Talks, lectures, and hands-on family activities can be tailored to suit your group. 

For movie lovers and amateur sleuths, a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street is a must. The home of this famous fictional character is filled with his period belongings and the gift shop has some very quirky souvenirs! 

Baker Street, London

One final tour takes you underground on a very unique ride on a railway. Explore the Royal Mail Postal Museum before descending beneath the city streets for a rather cramped ride on this unique railway. It’s “all aboard” as visitors ride on the narrow Mail Rail train that once carried the mail swiftly between London’s sorting offices.  

Here are a few other activities for you to see and do as a family on your trip to London.

 

  • Rome 

A big part of any visit to Italy is the amazing cuisine. Combine your sightseeing with a private cooking class with Nonna Antonella. Experience life in an old-fashioned city apartment in the neighborhood of Trastevere. It’s an education in itself!

Street in Rome with Pizzeria
Trastevere District, Rome, Italy

A translator is provided for this fun class in the kitchen learning how to make the perfect bruschetta, ravioli con spinacie ricotta (ravioli with spinach and ricotta), and tiramisu, or whatever dish you might like to request.

There’s plenty of time for storytelling, questions, and gossip from Nonna while the dough is kneaded and the meat is tenderized. You’ll learn to smell as well as taste your endeavors! 

Tiramisu

You’ll pass the Colosseum many times while exploring the city, but few people get to go inside and visit the underground chambers. This exclusive tour allows you and your personal guide to skip the lines and explore all areas of the Roman Colosseum including areas not open to the general public.

Walk in the steps of the gladiators and see the chambers, pits, and ingenious pulley system used to transport the animals. Step out into the vast arena, climb to the second tier and hear the faint cheers of the crowds echoing from these historic walls.  

Colosseum, Rome

  • Paris 

The Eiffel Tour is a must-see, but how about incorporating the stunning views with Priority Access and a memorable meal 57 meters above ground level? Here’s the surprise – this level has a completely transparent floor covering half a hectare! It provides amazing views of the structure and a surreal sensation of floating above the activity below.

After lunch, explore the shops and museums on this level and learn how this iconic 130-year-old landmark was built. 

Eiffel Tower

Next, take a taxi to Montmartre, not to see the artists’ quarter and Sacre Coeur (although you probably will). This trip is to visit the best-known vineyard in Paris!

Clos Montmartre vineyard was established in 1933 to prevent developers from building on the land. Book a private guided tour to see the pinotin, muscat, and cabernet noir grapes and end with tastings of the organic and biodynamic wines. Suitable for visitors aged 18+. If you visit in October, join in the high-spirited grape harvesting festival in the vineyard and nearby streets. 

Clos Montmartre

If you want to enjoy a garden stroll, bypass the busy parks and head to La Coulée Verte René-Dumont (formerly known as the Promenade Plantée).

This delightful garden walkway follows a former railway, starting in Bastille in the 12th arrondissement. Like the High Line Park in New York City, it runs above the streets providing rooftop views beyond the wild and formal plants. It’s stunning in spring when the cherry blossom is in full bloom.

The walkway runs for three miles but you might want to descend at Viaduc des Arts and explore the high-end galleries and boutiques.  

 

  • Berlin 

Berlin is a vibrant modern city of elegant restaurants, designer shopping, and a lively music scene. However, it never forgets its 20th-century history as a divided city, commemorated at Checkpoint Charlie and on Museum Island.

As you explore the city, look for a double row of cobblestones on the floor. They mark the site of the 96-mile-long Berlin Wall.

For a pleasant amble around an open-air exhibit, visit the Berlin Wall Memorial. See the graffiti-covered 200-foot (60m) wall segment still standing, along with the watchtower. Notice the escape tunnels dug by the East Germans desperate to join their families in the west. 

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany

The best way to orientate yourself in Berlin is by visiting the rooftop terrace and glass dome of the Reichstag. This former seat of government has been beautifully restored to its former glory.

What many tourists miss is visiting the rooftop, which offers 360-degree views of the city.

After that, follow the walkway that spirals to the top of the dome. The audio guide tells the story of how the building was engulfed in a fire that remains a mystery to this day. Young visitors can check the facade for bullet marks from the Russian Army assault.

Don’t miss the 96 cast iron plates stacked up outside as a memorial to the 96 Members of Parliament who died of unnatural causes during Hitler’s rule. 

Reichstag Building, Berlin, Germany

Finally, take to the water for a private sightseeing cruise down the River Spree aboard the luxury yacht Marlene. See many city landmarks on this fascinating trip with SkyBlueBerlin. Alternatively, tour Berlin in vintage convertibles, including a 1969 Mercedes 280 SE or an iconic 1979 VW Beetle.  

There are so many places to visit and so many ways to explore the world. We hope you’ll try some of these suggestions and have a blast! 

Experience the unique and lesser-known hotspots of Europe today!

 

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By: Admin on August 25, 2021    No Comments

 

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