The world looks like a different place when you’re a kid.
Everything’s bigger, sure. And there are lots of mysterious adult things that seem far too serious. But there are also heaps of places that seem packed with potential fun, adventure, and new friends, if only you’d get a chance to visit them. When everything looks so promising, it can be difficult for parents to pick out the best tourist attraction to visit when the holidays come.
This is where the internet comes in. Thanks to community review sites, it is easy to get aggregated opinions on which destinations are as fun as they look. Using Tripadvisor, we searched through each country’s ‘Best things to do’ page, and then refined the search with the ‘Good for Kids’ label.
Using this data we’ve created a new set of maps showing the top kid-friendly tourist attraction in every country. Sort of how the world might look through your child’s eyes if only they did their research before demanding to be taken somewhere! We then made an extra, detailed, city-by-city map for Australia. Because, sometimes even at home, it’s difficult to know where to go.
Wherever you’re going in the world, here’s the best place to take your children.
1. North America’s best tourist attractions for kids
The continent of North America includes the areas of Northern America, Central America, and the Caribbean. From the Bahamas to Cape Columbia, unique cultures have emerged from the meeting of millennia-old indigenous peoples and more recent European settlers. At the same time, urban development threatens local wildlife. A guided tour of the Tet Paul Nature Trail in St.Lucia will reveal all manner of local plant life, while Ripley’s Aquarium Of Canada introduces kids to the ancient stories of endangered animals.
At the southern end of the continent, beaches and bays dominate the lists of ‘best things to do.’ Varadero Beach in Cuba is so idyllic it could have been drawn by children: white sand, blue skies, green palm trees, and the crystal blue-green Caribbean sea.
2. Europe’s best tourist attractions for kids
Europe is the seat of western civilization. Thousands of years of human history jostle with progressive ideas amidst a web of diverse cultures. A great example of this in action is the award-winning in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. The museum is situated at the heart of a city that still bears the scars of the longest siege in the history of modern warfare. Exhibitions of personal belongings, stories, and videos relate the experience of children who grew up in wartime around the world.
Krakow in Poland is home to the largest medieval town square in Europe. The 10-acre plaza contains a 16th-century Renaissance Cloth Hall, 13th-century Gothic Town Hall Tower, and a 14th-century Gothic Basilica of the Virgin Mary. But the town is very much alive today, with shows, open-air events, and markets thriving between the historical buildings.
3. Africa’s best tourist attractions for kids
Africa is enormous. Despite the way it looks on most maps of the world, you could fit the whole of China, India, and the contiguous United States into Africa and still have room to squeeze in a fair bit of Europe. So, it’s not surprising that there is a lot to do there – and much of it is outdoors. For example, the Okavango Delta in Botswana is home to birds, hippo, elephant, giraffe and buffalo, to mention a few. And you can view all of them, from a safe distance of course, here.
For older kids who want to get a little closer to the animals, you can treat them to a horse ride at Plateau Stables in Malawi. As you trot along you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding indigenous forests.
4. Asia’s best tourist attractions for kids
“Potted plants wither when their roots are not trimmed,” begins the slogan of South Korea’s Spirited Garden, “and people age when they do not change their way of thinking.” Asia is home to some of the most diverse cultures and landscapes on Earth. From the jungle to the temple, the whole family is sure to see the world from a new perspective.
The seven small landscapes that make up the Spirited Garden are situated on Jeju Island. They form a harmonious landscape of waterfalls, stone bridges, and bunjaes (ornamental dwarf trees). Castle-like walls protect the gardens from the winds so children can see nature and human design working hand-in-hand.
For kids with a passion for architecture or history, the Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, Japan will thrill and fascinate in equal measure. Visitors can learn about Kannon, the goddess of mercy, the temple was built in her honor.
5. South America’s best tourist attractions for kids
South America is a magical, dramatic expanse of rainforests, mountains, ancient ruins, and vibrant music and nightlife. You can prepare for a big nature trip with a stay in the city. For kids with a passion for marine life, the Commewijne River in Suriname is an excellent way to start. Take a relaxing stroll with the kids and you might just spot some dolphins.
If you’re in Buenos Aires, Argentina and looking for a way to escape with the kids from the hustle and bustle of the city, check out the green belt of the Palermo Neighborhood. It’s flush with beautiful parks, monuments, botanical gardens and lakes. An excellent place to start would be the Jardin Japones, one of the largest gardens of its type in the world outside Japan. This tranquil Zen garden is complete with fish ponds, an arched bridge and even offers a place to enjoy some traditional tea.
6. Oceania’s best tourist attractions for kids
Oceania is a varied region containing some of the most rural and culturally diverse inhabitants in the world. For example, Fiji has served as a crossroads for migrants for many centuries due to it being right in the middle of the Pacific. The best child-friendly thing to do here is the breathtaking guided walk along the Lavena Coast. Black sand beaches one minute, beautiful forests the next, this wild southeastern coastline will thrill kids and adults alike.
The Samoa Cultural Village in Apia, the capital of Samoa, is a living celebration of this Polynesian people’s culture and traditions. Visitors can learn and experience the Samoan way through tours, storytelling, food, and events.
7. Australia’s best tourist attractions for kids
Australia is perfect for families with children. There’s something for everyone – particularly if you’re up for ! Stunning sea-life nestles up against some of the world’s best beaches, the cities are alive with art and events, and there’s plenty of rural adventure and bizarre wildlife in between.
Our final map introduces the top-rated kid-friendly destination in 50 cities around Australia. is a great nature reserve for the children to get to grips with the country’s iconic marsupials such as kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and wombats. The adventure playground at is a fabulous place to alternate sport and games with a nature walk or getting lost in the maze. And you can polish it all off by cooking food together on the free-access electric barbecue!
There is so much variety to see in the world. Introducing kids to art, sport, and nature early in their lives can help stimulate a lifelong passion for learning and enjoying new things. Thanks to the power of review websites like Tripadvisor, it’s easy to find a top kid-friendly tourist attraction wherever you are in the world. Where will you take the children next?
We began by collecting data from TripAdvisor. We searched through each country’s ‘Best things to do’ page, and then refined the search with the ‘Good for Kids’ label. This label selects the highest rated attractions in each country reviews containing keywords relating to kids and family activities. If the top attraction given was not a kids attraction, e.g., a transport system, then we chose the next highest rated place on the list. The smaller city-states of Vatican City and San Marino were left out as they are not easily viewed at a large scale.
After consulting Smartraveller, the Australian Government website that provides information and advice for safe travel overseas, we decided to remove several countries from our map. Countries that are flagged as Do not travel, Reconsider your need to travel or Exercise a high degree of caution were removed.
Civil and political situations in different countries can vary quite quickly, so please refer to your preferred travel alert resource before booking.
Tripadvisor. (2019). Things To Do. tripadvisor.co.uk
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