If you’re planning the ultimate family holiday and need some inspiration, read on. From exotic, faraway destinations such as Thailand and Japan, to more familiar territories like Ireland and Portugal, we’ve compiled the top 25 countries (alongside their fabulous capital cities) to get away with your family.
To do this, we used a special formula that accounts for factors such as average spend per holiday, total holiday visits from UK residents, volume of social media posts, and the cost of dining out. Another major factor considered was the world happiness score. This landmark survey ranks 156 of the world’s countries based on everything from social norms and government policies, to technology and local environment.
The top five countries based on happiness score alone were Finland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands respectively. But, not one of these worthy destinations made the top five when all the other factors were taken into consideration. Focusing on the capital cities of our highest-ranking countries, let’s take a closer look at the cream of the crop.
Spain’s capital is a culture vulture’s dream, and home to world-class museums boasting iconic artwork from the likes of Dali and Picasso to name just two. But it also has plenty to offer families too, whether you happen to be fanatical about football, aquariums, or theme parks. Madrid topped our list with a strong performance across the board, but really excelled when it came to price and total number of UK visitors.
No less than 13,968,270 Brits visited Madrid in 2018, which is more than double that of Paris. And with an average spend per holiday of £574 and the cost of an average meal £9.50, this is a city that gives your family more for your money.
With a capital city as vibrant as London, how can anyone tell you that a family staycation is dull? With endless landmarks, thriving street food culture, and everything from Madame Tussauds to Shrek’s Adventure to keep the kids happy, everyone wins in London.
London’s respectable second placing comes off the back of its low daily expenditure average (£119), high number of visitors (1,767, 878), and huge social media buzz (136,659).
With essential tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and Disneyland to its name, few would be surprised to see Paris in our top five. Known as both the city of love and the fashion capital of the world, France’s capital is also home to some of the planet’s best food and drink.
Paris earned its spot in the upper tiers of our chart thanks to the 6,063,772 UK visitors in 2018 and huge amount of social media activity (43,007 posts from the UK).
Berlin is world-renowned for its cutting edge youth culture and fascinating history, but did you know that it also has plenty to offer kids too? From parks to petting zoos to Legoland and woodland rope climbing, there’s more to Berlin than meets the eye.
Germany’s capital scored big points when it came to the cost of an average meal (£7.77), low overall holiday spends (£408), and high UK visitor figures (1,184,656), proving it’s not just a city for the cool kids.
Thailand is by far the biggest surprise in our top five ultimate family holiday destinations, but it has plenty to offer those who have kids past the toddler years. Home to arguably the most laid-back and friendly locals on earth, Bangkok is a feast for all senses with something new to discover around every corner. From the weirdly wonderful street food to theme parks and snake farms, it’s a fantastic option for those with a sense of adventure.
The Thai capital is the cheapest place to eat in our top 25, with an inexpensive restaurant meal costing just £1.80 on average. And if the bustle of Bangkok becomes too much, Thailand’s paradise beaches are never too far away.
Wherever you choose to spend quality time with your family, the simple fact that you’re all together is a good start. Add to this one of our top 25 destinations, however, and you have the perfect recipe for an unforgettable family holiday designed to make fond memories.