City break for myself and DD(7)(18 Posts)
Hi hoping for advice. Did quite a lot of travelling pre-child but haven't ventured outside UK since then.
Have decided to take DD (who will be 7) abroad next year. She does love to explore new places, ask lots and lots of questions and isn't at all bothered about other children when on holiday (anti social madam) and I know she would be bored on a typical package holiday (despite how nice and easy this would be).
I would like to take her on a city break that would be easy to navigate with children, she would like to go to Paris to go up the eiffel tower and see notre dame (disney fan) or to salzburg to where the sound of music was filmed! I was also wondering about lisbon or palma.. some of these places I have visited before but in a selfish teenage or young adult mindset where I paid no attention to practicalities. I did have my heard set on barcelona but I have heard a lot of bad stuff about pick pockets and due to my colouring we would definitely stand out as tourists, which I would worry would make us a target, especially by myself with a young child.
We want somewhere that would be easy to find our way around, feels safe, easy to get to from east midlands or birmingham airport if possible, not too hot, lots of interesting things to see, reasonably child friendly in terns of food options and getting around. Would be looking at going april, may or Oct depending on destination.
Thanks in advance x
There are pickpockets/petty thieves in all cities who target obvious tourists.
I am GB and still targetted on the Underground.
Sensible precautions eg keeping camera hidden and using
small backpack or belt round your middle conceals the goods
I really liked Palma, it's quite compact and felt very safe to walk around. There's also a town beach. Malaga is also a comparable.
Amsterdam is a great city, with lots of do and see, but seems very expensive for accommodation.
We had good flights from Birmingham to Rome.
We also went to Barcelona last year. I would go for it op. We had no problems though I have to say we knew three other people who'd been and all had had at least attempts made.
I always wear my bag across the body anyway and kept my hand on it in busy places etc.
I live in London and despite commuting into Central London each day and going out work wise in the evening I never had issues. We survived Paris, Rome and New York (on my own) without issues.
You need some basic precautions, put passport and one bank card in the hotel safe plus cash if you have lots. Take only a copy of the passport with you, one bank care (I normally take credit card and leave debit card behind) plus some cash and mobile. All is in an inner coat pocket or in a inner pocket of my backpack. So if you really loose something you minimise your loss.
I stand out because I speak my mothertongue when we are out as a family, so you would think people target you more.
We have been to Paris with DD just before she turned 7, 5 days May half term. It was great. A lovely city (DH and I have been before pre-child) and easy to access walking or via Metro/overground trains. The only negative point I found was the prices for eating out, the three of us easily managed to get a bill of 80 Euros plus for dinner. There don't do childrens menu but are happy to make things plain or half portions.
We plan Rome maybe next year October, that is also great but more walking as you don't have a lot of underground trains. We have been end of April, temperatures were decent enough to be outside without a coat but not too hot to enjoy the sights.
Palma is a day-trip size, Majorca is lovely and if you get a decent resort you could just do it as a base and if you are confident enough it is a great island to discover by rental car. We stayed south of Alcudia which is around 1 1/2 hours drive from Palma and easy to do via motorways.
I have been to Salzburg as a teenager, I found it nice but quite provincial and not really for a city break of more than 1 day. Vienna may be interesting or Berlin or Munich. Amsterdan is also a good option, Bruges and Ghent, you can also do day trips to the sea side from Bruges.
I loved Stockholm, great city but I was there pre-child. If you don't mind driving, Denmark is small enough to explore from one base for a week plus some days in Copenhagen. And there is the original Legoland....
Basically the world is your oyster.
Lisbon is great, v compact and good public transport, and close to Cascais on the train for a day at the beach
Lisbon is probably my favourite capital city. We felt pretty safe walking around. I would say the cities we felt safest in were Vienna and Bruges. Rome has a reputation for pickpockets, but DD and I never felt unsafe or threatened at all last year.
I think the trick is to not look vulnerable, and wear practical clothes with hidden pockets. The advantage with going in colder weather is that you can wear jackets or coats with zipped inside pockets.
We had a fantastic trip to Barcelona - DS loved it. Yes there are pickpockets, but there are in lots of major cities these days.
Loads of interesting places to visit and explore and v child friendly. We did a children's walking tour which was particularly good.
I did Paris with dd when she was 9 and it was awesome. I felt very safe, though I do know Paris very well.if you keep to the central areas, though, I don't think you'd feel unsafe, either. Make sure you do the science museum, that was great (and somewhere I'd never been before because I'd never had kids before in Paris)!
Just came back from Rome with DS 7. stayed at Holiday park campingfabulous.com 3 days tourist in Rome / Colloseum etc / day at seaside and 1/2 days on camp - fantastic - brilliant but v. Hot weather so did sight seeing early in the day and on camp afternoon when it was too hot - plus a night trip into Rome as well. We both loved it
Copenhagen, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome all great with kids. The others mentioned are on my list ;).
I love Stockholm and Hamburg. Both are very beautiful cities with gorgeous bodies of water. Honestly, clean, safe, interesting, fun and child friendly.
Copenhagen also lovely.
I prefer Seville to Barcelona.
She would love Venice - that would be an amazing trip for her.
Go for it! Have confidence in yourself as a traveller. It is such a treat for the dd, but also for you!
I took dd to Paris as a surprise 7th birthday gift. We stayed in a nice little Left Bank hotel (Home Latin on Rue du Sommerard), had breakfast every day in a different cafe, and had an absolutely brilliant and exhausting time. We didn't go to the Eiffel Tower, but went to Notre Dame (of course!), L'Orangerie (Monet's Waterlilies - she loved them), Île de la Cité (ice-creams), Bateaux Mouches, Les Halles/Pompidou (buskers). The Opera is well worth a visit with a dc. My 8yo ds couldn't be dragged away last year!
A few years later I took dd to Copenhagen. Also lovely. Another nice hotel (Copenhagen Strand on Havnegade). Lots of Hans Christian Anderson links, Cristiansborg Slot, Tivoli Gardens, very different foods to try. But too much walking, dd was just too tired to pack it all into a long weekend. 5+ more leisurely days would have been better.
The only thing that ever 'happened' to us was being approached by some con-artists with a 'gold ring' in the Tuileries. I don't consider myself street-smart, but even my spidey senses twitched and I refused to engage.
Berlin is wonderful for children, although very cold in winter/very hot in summer.
If she's keen on paris why not take her on the eurostar?
DS and I went to Amsterdam, and he loved it, especially the NEMO museum. He also loved the canal boat rides.
Our friends went to Barcelona for the 4th time recently, they love it and always go back ... They are very obviously not local (dc have white blonde hair that stands out a mile) never heard any mention of pickpockets and doubt it's any worse than Paris/London
I'd go for Paris too if that's what she'd like. Although I never tire of Barcelona myself.
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