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15 Best Countries in the World

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The World’s Best Places to Visit

lauterbrunnen-switzerland-tim-trad-on-unsplash

If you’re the adventure traveler type, I bet you’re often caught day-dreaming about which travel destination you’ll be stamping next into your passport. To help you find a world class country that’s equal parts amazing for parents and kids, I’ve asked some expert family travel blogger friends to contribute about their favorite country. Here’s a list of 12 of the best places to visit around the world.

Maybe you’re looking for sandy beaches in beautiful, natural settings. Or perhaps you’re seeking more rich, cultural sites and a culinary scene. Either way, I believe there’s a country worth visiting for everyone on this list of best places to visit.

I realize there are so many different fantastic countries to choose from on this beautiful green earth, but the ones that follow are particularly great for families. This list includes beaches, waterfalls, UNESCO World Heritage sites, mountain top views, charming towns, safaris, gorgeous lakes, national parks, and bustling city life. Keep reading and let me know which one you’re adding to your bucket list.

Italy

Photo by  Massimo Virgilio  on  Unsplash

by Emma Morrell

Why go? 

Italy is one of those countries that really has it all. From spectacular beaches with white sand and crystal clear water to towering mountain ranges. Her cities are drenched in history and culture with art and architecture at every corner.

Italy’s lakes are some of the most stunning in the world and the Vatican is one of only 3 countries completely surrounded by another country. Italian food has inspired chefs around the globe for centuries and accompanying wine is drunk and celebrated in the four corners of the earth.

The question, for Italy, is less “why go?” and more “why not?!”

What to do? 

There’s so much to do in Italy that I think it is a country better explored by region or by activity preference. You can do food and wine tours in Tuscany, hit the beaches in Sicily or Sardinia, explore the lakes in the North or explore one of its many cities. We’ve been to six different places in Italy and I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface.

Where to stay? 

Italy has an abundance of beautiful hotels and resorts but it also has a booming Airbnb sector. Both are great options depending on your personal requirements and budget. For example, check out these Airbnb options in Sardinia or these hotels near Rome’s city center.

Learn more about Top Things to Do in Rome from Wanderlust and Wetwipes.

Argentina

iguazu-brazil-waterfall

by Sinead Camplin

Why go?

Argentina is a huge, diverse and fascinating country. There is something for everyone in Argentina - you can beach comb on deserted windswept beaches in Patagonia, dance a thrilling tango in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, watch thousands of penguins build their nests in Tombo or marvel at breaching Southern Right Whales on the Valdez Peninsula. Enjoy the wine of Mendoza or soak up the views of the Lake District around Bariloche.

What to do?

A comprehensive visit to Argentina will involve considerable traveling, but the long journeys are worth it to experience all this stunning country has to offer. Any trip to Argentina should include Patagonia. In El Chalten, hikes for all abilities and ages offer jaw-dropping views of the Fitzroy Massif (pictured below). Marvel at the size and myriad of shapes and colors of the breathtaking Moreno Glacier near El Calafate.

In contrast, Buenos Aires is a bustling, modern city with a rich cultural heritage, packed with world-class museums and galleries. Our children enjoyed the atmospheric Recoleta Cemetery and the colorful markets of San Telmo.

At the northern tip of Argentina is Iguazu Falls (pictured above), one of the world’s stunning natural wonders. The largest waterfall system in the world, Iguazu Falls is a once in a lifetime experience and worth the detour to get to. The Falls stretch for over 2 kilometers culminating in the awe-inspiring “Devils Throat”. The Falls can and should be visited from both Argentina and Brazil. Wooden walkways lead you past, over and to the foot of these powerful falls. No words or photos do it justice!

Photo by  Arto Marttinen  on  Unsplash

Where to stay?

Lay your head in El Chalten in Patagonia and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding valleys, lakes and Fitz Roy Mountain. 

Learn more about visiting Iguazu Falls in Argentina from Map Made Memories.

Jordan 

petra-monastery-jordan-with-kids

by Nicky Williams

Why go?

Jordan, in the Middle East, offers an astounding variety of adventure within a relatively small country. It has a great deal to offer with ancient cities, unique experiences, religious sites, desert landscapes, great food and friendly people. 

What to do?

There is so much to do and see in Jordan. Explore the historical lost city of Petra, marveling at the ancient buildings built into the pink cliffs. For memorable views, hike to the Monastery, and up to a point overlooking the Treasury. Ride a camel through the desert in Wadi Rum and spend the night at a bedouin camp in a traditional tent.

Strike out on a morning hike through the desert and imagine that you’re Lawrence of Arabia. The waters of the Red Sea, off the coast of Aqaba, are bath-warm all year around. Try snorkeling or scuba diving for some of the best underwater sights anywhere in the world. Float in the salty water of the Dead Sea and cover yourself in therapeutic mud!

Where to stay?

The best way to see Jordan is on a road trip, spending a few nights at each of the places mentioned above. There are plenty of accommodation options in Jordan, a country full of fun and outdoor adventure.

Learn more from Go Live Young: Top 10 Things To Do In Jordan with Kids

Slovenia

Photo by  Tom Schifanella  on  Unsplash

by Chelsea Kelly-Sipe

Why go? 

Slovenia is a picturesque country with amazing landscape and best of all, it's a bit of a hidden gem in Eastern Europe, making it budget-friendly and likely to steal your heart, just like it stole mine!

What to do? 

Slovenia is an array of sights and landscapes. From the iconic Lake Bled Castle overlooking the tiny island in the center of the lake. To the castle tucked into the cave with a Robin Hood-style story and nearby caves to explore. Finally, to the gorges, mountains and vivid blue lakes, it is an outdoor enthusiast paradise. Be sure to spend at least a day in the capital city of Ljubljana to round out your visit.

Where to stay? 

Slovenia is full of cute little airbnbs, cabins tucked into the woods, pensions (apartments) and beautiful eco-friendly hotels. Our favorite is the Garden Village - think top notch glamping. Garden Village is located just outside Lake Bled - go ahead, sleep in a treehouse! 

Learn more about Slovenia from Pack More Into Life

Switzerland

switzerland-with-kids

by Hayley Caldwell

Why go?

Switzerland has all the best of Europe in one country: beautiful nature, interesting cities, charming small towns. Plus, it’s just jaw-dropping gorgeous, with incredible mountain vistas, glaciers, crystal clear alpine lakes, and colorful wildflowers. It’s an easy country for travelers to navigate, with great transportation infrastructure, and incredibly
family-friendly as well.

What to do?

Get outside: ride a train or cable car up into the Alps, then pick one of the endless trails for a family hike. Switzerland is a perfect place for it, since there are options for every age and ability. Some trails are even stroller friendly, and most include the coolest playgrounds you’ll ever find.

You should also visit at least one city, either lakeside Luzern, Switzerland’s capital Bern, or its largest city Zurich. And don’t forget to sample lots of the local specialties- cheese and chocolate!

lauterbrunnen-switzerland

Where to stay?

For the best views of the mountains and a relaxing vibe, skip the big cities in favor of a smaller town. Lauterbrunnen, in the valley of 72 waterfalls beneath the Jungfrau, is my personal favorite. The Hotel Staubbach is a great choice for families, with simple but comfortable rooms and a playroom in the lounge.

Learn more about Berner-Oberland Switzerland from Because Germany.

Namibia

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by Jenny Lynn

Why go? 

If you're a family who craves epic lunar landscapes, affordable and rewarding safaris, and a true African adventure, Namibia gets our vote as one of the best places for intrepid family travel. Add to this the good roads, low malaria risk and the high quality campsites, and it's a definite winner in our books. 

What to do? 

Spot the “Big 5” in Etosha National Park (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo), perhaps the best safari experience for young kids. Explore shipwrecks and abandoned mines on the remote Skeleton Coast, and run down the tallest sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei. But the best bit is camping under the African stars each night. 

Where to stay? 

Don't do a tour. Hire a 4x4 with roof tents and do a self-drive safari. Bushlore or Britz are good hire companies. Stay in campsites along the way. Just ensure you book campsites in advance during the peak season. 

Learn more about Namibia with kids from TraveLynn Family.

Croatia

lumbarda-harbor-croatia

by Sinead Camplin

Why go?

Sunny Croatia has it all - historic cities, Roman ruins, scenic mountains, beautiful lakes and an impressive Adriatic coastline of over 1, 700 kilometers. The modern country has an excellent tourist infrastructure and an extensive, reliable transport system - both help make it an easy and affordable country in which to travel.

What to do?

Visitors are spoiled for choice for what to do in Croatia. Visit the cosmopolitan capital city Zagreb or the world-renowned UNESCO heritage medieval walls and old town of Dubrovnik or the winding lanes of the ancient city of Split. Imagine life in Roman times at the amphitheater in Pula.

Take a trip to Croatia's mountainous interior and the pristine, idyllic Plitvice Lakes and Krka National Park, both of which provide a stunning contrast to the tourist hotspots of the rocky coastline.

For those seeking a quieter slice of Croatian life, a comprehensive public boat network provides access to some of the 1000 Croatian islands lying off the coast in the sparkling Adriatic. Sea lovers can indulge in snorkeling, diving and fishing trips.

Where to stay?

Your choice of accommodations depend on what sort of holiday you are after! I would highly recommend traveling to an island such as Korcula, which offers something for everyone: the pretty, historic city of Kotor, Grk vineyards and sandy beaches of Lumbarda.

Learn more about Lumbarda from Map Made Memories.

Morocco

atlas-mountains-morocco

 by Diana Calia

Why go?

Africa may seem like a daunting dream for many traveling families. But did you know that Morocco has millions of families visiting every year? It is an amazing country that offers everything from the city, to the mountains, the ocean and the Sahara Desert!  Moroccan culture is very welcoming to families in every aspect, and makes for a wonderful travel destination. Marrakech is a great city to use as a base for exploring the rest of the country. 

What to do?

Marrakech has an abundance of sites and tours to offer and is a wonderful place for families to explore. The Medina is a famous central marketplace that must be visited. Majorelle Gardens is a wonderful escape in the city to enjoy plants and a bit of peace from the hustle and bustle of the center.   As one of the best places to be in Morocco, Marrakech also hosts numerous tour companies that are well versed in guiding tourists to places outside of the city such as the amazing Atlas Mountains.

 Where to stay?

In Marrakech, there are many family friendly hotels to choose from. A wonderful family friendly hotel is El Andalous Lounge and Spa, which we have detailed for our readers. 

Learn more about Marrakech, Morocco from The Elusive Family.

Singapore

singapore-with-kids

by Marianne Rogerson

Why go? 

The only city mentioned here that is both a city and a state, plus it’s in Asia!

Singapore is such as great place to visit with kids. There are loads of family attractions, good hotels, amazing restaurants and it is easy to get around with kids – it is stroller friendly and the public transport system is cheap and efficient. 

What to do? 

There is loads to do in Singapore to keep the kids entertained. A visit to the Singapore Zoo should definitely be on your list, and the next-door Night Safari also makes for a thrilling visit. 

Across town, the beautifully landscaped Jurong Bird Park houses over 8,000 birds and boasts the world’s largest walk-in aviary. Sentosa Island is family-getaway paradise, jam-packed with family friendly attractions, including Universal Studios Singapore, the Southeast Asia Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark.

 Beyond the theme parks and zoos, there are two beautiful gardens: the Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay to wander around, beaches to play on, the Singapore River to sightesee by boat, and colourful neighbourhoods, such as Chinatown and Little India to explore.

Where to stay? 

You are really spoiled for choice when it comes to family-friendly hotels here. Many families choose to stay near the beach on Sentosa Island or in Resorts World Sentosa, close to the big attractions such as Universal Studios and the SEA Aquarium. If you prefer to be more in the middle of the action, the Marina Bay area is a great choice for fabulous city views and to be close to many restaurants. 

Learn about Things to Do in Singapore with Mum on the Move

More great countries to visit with kids

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Further reading about the best countries in the world:

Which country is on your list and why? Share below, we’d love to hear it!

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15 Best Cities for Families to Visit