Family Fun in Europe: The Magic of Squares and Plazas with Children


Europe’s vibrant squares and plazas, at the heart of its cities, are not just architectural wonders but also hubs for activity, culture, and family entertainment. Traveling with kids becomes an adventure in these lively spaces, where history, entertainment, and community converge. We journey through some of Europe’s most magical squares and plazas, showcasing the family-friendly excitement they offer. For those seeking an organized exploration of the region, Scandinavia tour packages provide a comprehensive experience of Northern Europe’s enchanting squares, along with the unique cultural and natural beauty of the Scandinavian countries.

Enchanting Adventures: Exploring London and Edinburgh’s Vibrant Squares with Family

Experience the enchantment of family fun in Europe as you explore the vibrant squares and plazas of both London and Edinburgh. In London, Trafalgar Square captivates with its iconic landmarks such as Nelson’s Column and the National Gallery, offering cultural delights amidst lively street performances. Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, the historic Royal Mile comes alive with the colorful atmosphere of street festivals and the majestic presence of Edinburgh Castle towering above. After soaking in the sights and sounds of these bustling squares, consider embarking on an unforgettable journey by train from London to Edinburgh, traversing picturesque landscapes and creating even more magical moments with your family along the way. These two captivating cities offer the perfect backdrop for family adventures, where children can immerse themselves in the rich history and cultural heritage of Europe, forging cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

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Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy:

Photo by Marialaura Gionfriddo on Unsplash

Piazza Navona captures the essence of a lively European square, enchanting both adults and children. With Baroque fountains like the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi and street performers such as magicians and mime artists, it provides endless entertainment for youngsters. Nearby gelaterias offer sweet treats, and the spacious setting allows children to frolic against a backdrop of historical architecture.

Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain:

Photo by Eduardo Rodriguez on Unsplash

Madrid’s expansive Plaza Mayor is celebrated for its magnificence and vibrant atmosphere. Families delight in the diverse street performers, from musicians to caricature artists, adding whimsy to the environment. It’s also a hub for traditional Spanish eateries and cafes, perfect for savoring churros con chocolate or a cool horchata. During Christmas, the plaza transforms into a festive market, immersing families in the holiday spirit.

Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic:

Prague’s Old Town Square, reminiscent of a fairy tale, captivates visitors of all ages. The Astronomical Clock, with its hourly display, is a hit with kids, while horse-drawn carriage rides offer a unique perspective on the city’s cobblestone streets. The winter Christmas market transforms the square into a magical wonderland of twinkling lights, traditional crafts, and warming treats.

Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium:

The Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcases stunning architecture. The biennial flower carpet event is a spectacle for all, surrounded by chocolate shops that entice with Belgium’s famous delicacies. Street musicians and performers enhance the historic square’s lively ambiance.

Place de la Concorde, Paris, France:

Paris’s Place de la Concorde merges historical importance with breathtaking views. Famous for its ancient obelisk and the giant Ferris wheel, it offers stunning vistas of the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Élysées. The spacious area is perfect for leisurely strolls, with surrounding gardens providing a tranquil setting for a family picnic.

Rynek Główny (Main Market Square), Kraków, Poland:

Kraków’s Rynek Główny, one of Europe’s largest medieval squares, buzzes with activity. The Renaissance-era Cloth Hall now hosts market stalls selling traditional Polish crafts and souvenirs. The hourly bugle call from St. Mary’s Basilica captivates young visitors. In summer, the square’s outdoor cafes and street performers create a festive atmosphere for families.

Maria-Theresien-Platz, Vienna, Austria

Vienna’s Maria-Theresien-Platz beautifully showcases the city’s imperial history and artistic flair. Flanked by the grand Kunsthistorisches Museum and Naturhistorisches Museum, this square is a family favorite for cultural exploration. The central statue of Empress Maria Theresa, set among picturesque gardens, offers an idyllic setting for leisurely walks. Come winter, the square transforms into a charming Christmas market, brimming with traditional treats, crafts, and festive joy for families to revel in.

Praça do Comércio, Lisbon, Portugal

Positioned by the Tagus River, Lisbon’s Praça do Comércio is a testament to the city’s maritime heritage and resilience. The open space, enclosed by distinctive yellow buildings and triumphal arches, provides ample room for children to play and run freely. The interactive Lisboa Story Centre immerses families in the tale of Lisbon’s history, including the catastrophic earthquake of 1755. The nearby Ribeira das Naus promenade, with its bustling street performers and musicians, offers a scenic stroll along the riverbank.

Senaatintori (Senate Square), Helsinki, Finland

Senate Square in Helsinki merges neoclassical architecture with modern Nordic culture, dominated by the imposing Helsinki Cathedral. During summer, the square comes alive with various events and live concerts, making it a vibrant spot for families. Surrounding quaint cafes and design shops reflect Helsinki’s status as a city of style and innovation. In winter, the square’s Christmas market transforms into a wonderland of lights, crafts, and traditional Finnish treats, providing a warm and festive atmosphere for visitors of all ages.


Exploring the squares and plazas of Europe with children offers a unique opportunity to experience the continent’s rich cultural tapestry while creating cherished family memories. From the artistic splendor of Piazza Navona in Rome to the festive atmosphere of Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, each square provides a window into the heart and soul of its city. These vibrant spaces serve as playgrounds for the imagination, where history comes alive and the spirit of community is felt. As families embark on these urban adventures, they not only discover the beauty of Europe’s architecture and traditions but also foster a sense of wonder and curiosity in the younger generation. The magic of Europe’s squares and plazas lies in their ability to connect us to the past, inspire us in the present, and leave us with a lasting impression of the diverse and dynamic tapestry that is Europe.

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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

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