This Iconic European City Is Easily One Of The Best For Kids, According To Rick Steves

There are few things as inspiring and enriching for children as international travel. Exposing kids to different countries at a young age can help them appreciate different cultures, and perhaps even ignite a life-long passion for travel. Furthermore, travel can be a wonderful educational experience, and a study by the Student and Youth Travel Association showed (via Forbes) that children who travel may even do better in school. Understandably, some families with kids are deterred from taking international trips for a variety of reasons. Some worry about safety and security abroad, others are simply fearful of the inevitable meltdowns along the way, and some simply believe that their children won't remember the trip and choose to wait until they're older before investing in expensive family vacations.

There's no doubt that traveling with kids has its challenges, but there are plenty of destinations around the world that offer unforgettable family-friendly fun. According to author, TV host, and travel expert Rick Steves, the city of London is the perfect international destination for families, with plenty of activities for children and adults. If you're looking to plan an epic getaway with your little ones, take his advice and book a vacation to London immediately.

Take the kids down to London Town

London is one of the world's most famous cities, and one of the most popular tourist destinations. Each year, around 30 million international travelers visit the bustling city, highlighting its appeal to all types of people from around the world. Tourists visiting this iconic city experience gorgeous historic architecture, world-class museums, and dine at delicious restaurants. Doing the trip with your kids is even more magical, because it allows you to experience the city in a different way. You'll need to slow down a bit, and perhaps you'll discover some of London's most whimsical and wonderful attractions.

"Your children are like ambassadors, opening doors to new experiences and countless conversations," Rick Steves wrote on his blog. "With kids, you'll be forced to discard your tourist armor and become a temporary European — as a parent." According to Rick Steves, some European cities, like London, are "built for kids." London makes an excellent choice for families traveling from the United States because there isn't as much culture shock as other European nations, since English is the primary language. Kids may feel more comfortable and confident because they are able to communicate, and there are plenty of different dining options for picky eaters. 

The best things to do in London with kids

The London Eye, a massive ferris-wheel with incredible views of the city, is a popular London attraction you won't want to miss. You'll get a bird's-eye view of some of the city's most iconic sites, and it's a good way to get your bearings once you arrive. Visit historical sites like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace and watch the changing of the guards.

The city is jam-packed with incredible museums, many of which have fun attractions specifically geared towards children. The Natural History Museum with its massive dinosaur skeletons is an obvious choice for kids, as is the Science Museum that has plenty of hands-on activities for the whole family. Rick Steves also recommends the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood to explore centuries-old games and toys. Consider spending a relaxing afternoon picnicking in Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park, and don't skip a stop by some of the amazing playgrounds like the Diana Memorial Playground, which has a giant pirate ship, a stream, and plenty of other play areas.

Fans of the Harry Potter books and movies will love visiting various filming locations around the city, or taking a London day-trip to Warner Bros. Studios where you can learn about the making of the films and see props, costumes, and sets up close. If you're looking to treat your little ones to something really special, head to Hamleys. The seven-story toy store in Central London contains over 50,000 different toys that will delight children of all ages.