City retreats for families

You can still get away from it all in the heart of the city


Russell Bowes

Russell Bowes
HomeAway travel expert


City retreats for families A city retreat for the family might at first sound like an oxymoron. Today’s cities are large and vibrant places, with so much going on in every street that they can become really quite intense. But many cities also have a quieter and lesser-known side; a side where things slow down and where we can relax whilst enjoying the amenities of the modern world at a slower pace. A retreat doesn’t have to be in the countryside: many of the destinations below have green spaces where you'll feel a million miles away from the rest of the world. 

Travelling with the whole family, kids in tow, can sometimes feel like real work, so you'll want to find a retreat where the family can let loose and the kids can run around (and tire themselves out!), whilst still having enough to keep the grownups entertained. Kids will love a city retreat: you can keep them entertained with a great range of activities both indoor and outdoor. So why wait? Read on for some of our favourite family retreats in the city, and start planning your break today.


 

Quiet city retreats for the family


   

Family city retreats in Athens Family city retreats in Athens

Athens is one of Europe’s most relaxed cities, and with its green suburbs, it's perfect for a city retreat. The lush botanical gardens make a wonderful escape from the city, where you can take time to stroll through and visit Lycabettus hill with its panoramic views out to Piraeus. From the steps of the Parthenon to the shores of Attica, there is plenty for a family to do; there are miles of quieter areas away from the main attractions to get some peace. There are also excellent state museums and attractions including the Agoras, and on Sunday’s during the winter (and on Bank holidays) the museums are free. Year-round, however, a single cheap ticket can get you into all the main attractions. But Athens remains an outdoor city:when the sun is out, you should take the 30 minute trip to the beach at Attica.

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Family city retreats in Paris Family city retreats in Paris

Whether for couples, families or even the solo traveller, Paris is an enduring destination. When we think of a family holiday to Paris, Disney land immediately comes to mind; but Paris has some wonderful quiet corners where you can relax with the family and retreat from the busy city centre. Looking around Paris, you can find quiet spots at the place Dauphine, or wander the back streets of Montmartre. Like many European cities, Paris has some wonderful green spaces from the large to the small: the small but perfect Square du Vert or Jardin Tino Rossi are particularly great spots for a sunny afternoon.

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Family city retreats in Barcelona Family city retreats in Barcelona

Barcelona is one of those great benchmark cities, which so many others look to as a leading capital in culture, art and history. If travelling with older children, there are some great galleries and museums to explore such as the Picasso or Catalan Art museums. Whatever the age of your brood, however, they will enjoy a visit to the stunning Museu del Temple Expiatori de La Sagrada Familia: the famous church, which is yet to be completed. If you'd like to retreat from the main city centre, head to the Parc Guell. Designed by Gaudi, it's a great spot to enjoy panoramic views of the city. And for real relaxation, there are two main family-friendly beaches at Barceloneta and Icaria.

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Family city retreats in Prague Family city retreats in Prague

Prague is like a fairy-tale brought to life. Its old world charm creates a magical atmosphere which kids are sure to love. From its Baroque churches and palaces to its Gothic castles, children will be enthralled by how much it feels like a movie. For a reasonable price, you and your family can tour both the Karlestan and Prague castles; each of which will easily fill a day, though do check opening times before visiting. Prague is a very child-friendly city:: virtually the entire centre is traffic-free and there are cafes on every corner. Though it is ever increasing in popularity, Prague is still a destination which is easy on the pocket for those travelling with the family.

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Family city retreats in New York Family city retreats in New York

The Big Apple might not seem like a place to take a city retreat, with its bright lights and bustling avenues. But New York has a quieter side to it, and one which more people should try to explore. Get away from the hustle and bustle with an escape to the famous central park, and you'll join hundreds of locals trying to catch some rays on the grass. New York is, of course, brimming with world-class attractions, from the shows of Broadway to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but for more quiet activities you should take a trip to the New York Botanical Gardens or visit St Patricks Cathedral.

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City retreats can offer a new way to see a familiar place, or a great way to explore somewhere new. Even if it's a city you've visited before, you might not have seen its quiet side: revisiting can often prove a pleasantly surprising experience, particularly when you find what’s on offer just a short walk away from the main streets. 

 

Rentals in London

Two luxury London (N21) apartments in an historic setting

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Bramham suite is located in the heart of Kensington, this quiet street is ideal for those visiting London for work or on holiday. Easy access to London underground by either choosing Earls Court Tube Station or Gloucester Road Tube Station from wh...

Quaint Apartment With A Garden In South Kensington

Country charm The approach to Drayton Gardens VI, through the elegant streets of South Kensington, is sure to raise expectations. And crossing the threshold here won’t disappoint, but surprise. In contrast to its sleek city surroundings, this hom...

Superbly designed warehouse conversion in Clerkenwell

Windows to the soul Are we seeing things? Oh yes. Do take a look. Along a cobbled Clerkenwell Lane, Anchor Yard was once a stables. Then it was a wine warehouse. These days, it’s glass and brickwork, natural light and uber-cool decor. Indoors and...

Light and airy maisonette with an exquisite roof terrace in Marylebone

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Wonderfully bright, tranquil apartment. Super close to Portobello Market.

Apartment has all amenities and everything is new as of June 2013. Wifi is super fast (60mb/sec) fibre optic. The double beds are super king size with adult size bunk beds in the third bedroom. Master bedroom is ensuite with shower. Bathroom has s...

Tower of London & City Apartment - Spectacular views of Tower Bridge

We are pleased to offer two luxury self-catering apartments in this Edwardian building, located close by the River Thames, with the world-famous Tower of London literally across the road, and the iconic Tower Bridge as our backdrop. Our two-bedro...

Apartment in London with easy access to the tourist sites.

This well-lit and well-kept apartment is located in a modern district of London, to the north of the city centre. This district offers many original tourist options. Don't miss the "Barbican Centre" and its many cultural events (theatre ...

Apartment in London with easy access to the tourist sites.

This well-lit and well-kept apartment is located in a modern district of London, to the north of the city centre. This district offers many original tourist options. Don't miss the "Barbican Centre" and its many cultural events (theatre ...

Small but practical apartment about 10 minutes walk from the British Museum

During your next city trip to London, why not stay in this small but practical apartment about 10 minutes walk from the British Museum? Chancery Lane underground station is only 5 minutes walk away. This underground line, the red one, is very usef...

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