Exploring London with Kids: Top Tips for an Unforgettable Family Trip

While planning a family trip to London, the question naturally arises: what are the best things to do with kids in London? Fortunately, the city boasts a wide range of exciting attractions for children. To help you plan your trip, I’ve summarized the top places, activities, and events for you and your little ones below. There’s something for everyone, and I hope you enjoy discovering London with your children.

Best London Sights for Children

As with any travel, a must while visiting London with children is exploring and discovering the city. However, not every attraction is child-friendly, and boredom can quickly set in. To help you plan your trip, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in London with kids:

  1. 01

    Shrek's Adventure

    Museum in Southbank Centre
    Shrek
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    Shrek’s Adventure! London is a unique, immersive attraction located on the South Bank near the London Eye. Inspired by the popular DreamWorks Shrek film series, it offers an interactive experience where visitors embark on a fantastical journey aboard a magical 4D bus ride, guided by the mischievous Donkey, to the land of Far Far Away.

    Along the way, you encounter various characters from the Shrek universe and participate in a series of live shows and interactive fairy tale-themed adventures. Designed to entertain families, it blends storytelling, live action, and stunning animation to create an unforgettable adventure.

     

  2. 02

    London Eye

    Ferris wheel in Westminster
    London Eye am Ufer der Themse
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    A visit to the London Eye is recommended for families with children because it offers spectacular panoramic views of London’s landmarks, making it both exciting and educational. The gentle rotation provides a thrilling yet safe experience for all ages. It offers great photo opportunities, has child-friendly facilities, and is near other attractions like the SEA LIFE London Aquarium and Shrek’s Adventure! Overall, the London Eye combines fun, learning, and convenience, making it a must-visit for families in London.
  3. 03

    Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

    Movie Location in Watford
    warner-bros-studios-harry-potter-london-200227144026006
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    The Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London is perfect for kids, especially Harry Potter fans. It offers an immersive experience where they can explore iconic locations like Diagon Alley and the Great Hall, bringing the magical world to life. The tour combines education and fun, showcasing film production insights with interactive elements like spell-casting and tasting butterbeer. Loved by over 17 billion fans since 2012, it’s a family-friendly attraction ensuring an engaging and magical experience for all ages.

  4. 04

    Tower Bridge

    Bridge in Bankside
    Tower Bridge London Glass Walkway
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    The Tower Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world and one of the most visited attractions in London. This 240-meter-long bascule and suspension bridge spans the Thames, connecting the districts of Tower Hamlets and Southwark.

    However, Tower Bridge is not only functional but also hosts a very educational museum. Here you will find the amazing “Tower Bridge Experience,” an interactive attraction within London’s iconic bridge. This experience offers visitors a chance to explore Tower Bridge’s history, engineering, and significance, and is especially popular among families.

     

  5. 05

    Tower of London

    Historic Building in City of London
    London - August 05, 2018: The Tower of London by the river Thames in London, England
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    The Tower of London is one of the most famous fortresses in the world and one of four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in London. Over the course of its roughly 1,000-year history, the Tower of London has served as a weapons arsenal, prison, execution site, zoo, and home to the Crown Jewels. And it is these Crown Jewels that attract so many tourists to the Tower’s sinister walls year after year, making this place a major London attraction. The Tower of London is incredibly popular among families visiting London with their kids, offering a rich historical experience that captivates both adults and children alike.

  6. 06

    Madame Tussauds London

    Museum in Marylebone
    Madame Tussauds London
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    See the original: The most famous wax museum in the world, Madame Tussauds, is located in London! This interactive wax museum features lifelike figures of celebrities, superheroes, and historical figures, providing a fun and engaging experience for children and adults alike. At Madame Tussauds, you can even marvel at the Royal Family up close!

    The exhibition is constantly changing, with new celebrities being added every year, offering an entertaining attraction for the whole family.

     

  7. 07

    Royal Mews

    Museum in Westminster
    Buckingham Palace Royal Mews, London
    Laura at the Royal Mews
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    The Royal Mews, located on the left side of Buckingham Palace, house the Queen’s horses, royal carriages, and the British royal family’s cars, which are still in use. The vehicles on display can vary daily. A tour of the Royal Mews typically takes one to two hours and is guided by an audio guide available in various languages.

    There are also different experiences where kids can learn how to prepare a horse or feel like a princess in a carriage. This makes the visit fully interactive and especially exciting for families with children.

  8. 08

    London Dungeon

    Museum in Waterloo
    Besuch im London Dungeon
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    The London Dungeon offers a unique, interactive experience blending history with entertainment. Visitors journey through 1,000 years of London’s dark past in a dungeon-like setting, featuring live actors, special effects, and rides. The attraction covers grim events such as the Great Fire of London, the plague, Jack the Ripper’s murders, and medieval trials and tortures. With chilling reenactments, the experience is designed to be both scary and fun, combining humor and horror to create an engaging and memorable visit.

    It’s particularly popular among families with older children and teenagers, as well as tourists seeking an entertaining and educational experience.

  9. 09

    Harry Potter London Walking Tour

    Walking Tour in London
    Harry Potter Tour in London
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    This tour is a great choice if you want to combine the magical world of Harry Potter with visiting some of the highlights in central London. The walk takes you to places that usually remain hidden from tourists, providing a unique perspective on the city. The Harry Potter tour is interactive and extends from the center of London to King’s Cross Station.

    It’s a fantastic experience for families, as it brings the beloved Harry Potter stories to life while exploring real locations featured in the films. Children and adults alike will enjoy discovering hidden gems and famous landmarks, making it a memorable adventure for all ages.

  10. 10

    Platform 9 ¾ in King’s Cross Station

    Drehort in Kings Cross
    Gleis ¾
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    The must-visit attraction on every kid’s wish list and probably the most famous Harry Potter setting in London!

    In King’s Cross Station, you’ll find the enchanting Platform 9 3/4. Previously located on Platform 9, it was moved due to station renovations and increased tourist traffic. Now situated in the main hall, it remains accessible to all. Expect crowds, but with patience, everyone can capture their coveted photo. The trolley is next to the official Harry Potter store, where staff provide scarves and take professional photos, available for purchase. However, you can also take your own photo for free while this happens.

  11. 11

    From London: Tour to Stonehenge

    Day Trip in London
    stonehenge-170201181439001-e1553269362624
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    There is nothing better than doing an exciting day trip to one of the most mysterious monuments in world’s history: the ancient stones are holding on to mysterious stories and secrets from thousands of years ago! Nobody can deny that this isn’t one of the coolest thing to do in London!

    Walk around those huge stones and wonder about what they could mean. The audio guide will indeed clear sum of the stories up, but there are always some fields that still in our modern time nobody can explain. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget!

  12. 12

    LEGOLAND Windsor

    Theme Park in Windsor
    Legoland Windsor
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    LEGOLAND Windsor offers the ultimate getaway for families near London. This popular theme park features numerous attractions and rides, including roller coasters, water rides, and interactive play areas. Highlights include Miniland, showcasing miniature LEGO versions of famous landmarks, and various themed zones like Pirate Shores and LEGO City. The park also offers live shows, character meet-and-greets, and special events.

  13. 13

    Thorpe Park

    Theme Park in Chertsey
    Thorpe-Park-230505134146001
    Silhouette of people having fun on a roller-coaster in an amusement park at sunset. Adrenalin concept.
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    Thorpe Park is a popular theme park located about 20 miles southwest of London. Known for its thrilling rides and attractions, it features high-adrenaline roller coasters like Stealth and The Swarm, as well as water rides such as Tidal Wave and Storm Surge. The park is divided into themed zones, including Amity Cove and Angry Birds Land, and hosts live shows and seasonal events like Fright Nights.

    In addition to thrill rides, there are family-friendly attractions, dining options, and shops. Visitors can also stay overnight at the on-site Thorpe Shark Hotel. Thorpe Park offers excitement for thrill-seekers and families alike.

  14. 14

    London: Thames boat cruise from Westminster to Greenwich

    Boat tour in Westminster
    LONDON, UK – APRIL 14, 2015: Canary Wharf view from the Greenwich hill. Modern skyscrapers of banking aria
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    The Thames serves as London’s lifeline, offering a unique perspective of the city and its landmarks from the water. A trip from Westminster Pier to Greenwich Pier takes about half an hour, during which you can relax and enjoy the audio guide’s interesting facts about the sights.

    The best part is the convenience of an open ticket, allowing you to skip lines and board the ship at your convenience, with departures every half hour. This tour also lets you arrive and explore Greenwich in a super convenient way, making it perfect for discovering this iconic London neighborhood with children.

Best West End Shows in London for Kids

  1. Lion-King-on-Broadway-Poster-Small

    01 Lion King

    The Lion King is one of the best musicals ever composed. How could it be otherwise, after all, it comes from the pens of the geniuses Hans Zimmer and Sir Elton John! Not without reason the piece enjoys worldwide high reputation is an absolute crowd puller.

    In London’s West End you can see one of the best productions of the Lion King worldwide. The London Disney adaptation impresses with its high-caliber cast, elaborate set and spectacular choreography. For three hours, this musical takes the whole family into the world of the little lion Simba and his fight for the throne!

  2. Frozen-Poster-quadratisch

    02 Frozen - The Musical

    If you’re in London with kids, or you’re kids at heart, grab your tickets to the spectacular musical Frozen on the West End.

    You’ll be immediately transported to the land of Arendelle and the struggles of Queen Elsa and her sister Anna as she fights to find her sister and save their kingdom. You’ll be blown away by the astonishing performances of Disney’s hit movie music _and_ the 12 new songs written especially for the show!

    The magnificent Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, is a fitting location for this musical sensation. And your favorite Frozen songs, such as “Do You Want To Build a Snowman” and “Let It Go” will be brought to life in this jaw-dropping production.

    The London show has won 7 impressive awards making your trip to Frozen on London’s West End an unforgettable event. You may be experiencing Frozen “For the First Time in Forever” but we’re sure it won’t be your last!

  3. mamma-mia-Poster-quadratisch

    03 Mamma Mia!

    The musical Mamma Mia is a huge success. The musical has been performed in London since 2012. Not only the cheerful and partly very emotional story, but also every single song by ABBA make the musical so unique.

    A special feature: When ABBA classics such as Waterloo or Dancing Queen are intoned, the audience warbles along at the top of its lungs.

    Mamma Mia tells the story of young Sophie, who wants to repair her relationship with her father before her wedding. It unfolds a romantic journey between the present and the past.

  4. Wicked-Poster-quadratisch

    04 Wicked

    Wicked tells the story of the two teenage witches Glinda and Elphaba. One is good, the other bad – both belong to the entourage of The Wizard of Oz. The show begins when the two witches leave for college.

    There they spend several adventures together until life divides them. The soundtrack of Wicked is probably one of the best in the musical scene. But experience for yourself how Elphaba becomes the fearsome Witch of Oz – an exciting spectacle!

  5. Matilda Poster

    05 Matilda - The Musical

    The award-winning musical Matilda is based on the famous book by Roald Dahl, in which the girl Matilda experiences extraordinary adventures due to her telekinetic powers. She tries to take flight from her tyrannical parents and find happiness – an unforgettable musical for the whole family!

  6. Back to the future - The Musical press

    06 Back to the Future: The Musical

    Back to the Future: The Musical” is a captivating time-travel adventure that has taken the London theater scene by storm. Based on the cult 1985 film, this musical seamlessly transfers the beloved story to the stage, capturing the hearts of audiences young and old.What makes Back to the Future one of the best musicals in London is the perfect blend of nostalgia and fun. As the DeLorean races through time and Marty McFly’s adventures unfold, this production goes beyond screen nostalgia to make it an unmissable musical sensation in London.

London Museums: Culture for Young and Old

London is a city of museums, offering culture enthusiasts a wonderful array of art, history, and science exhibitions. However, not all museums are suitable for children. For instance, I wouldn’t take my 5-year-old nephew to the Imperial War Museum or the V&A. To help you choose, I’ve compiled a list of London museums that are better suited for children.

  1. Natural History Museum, London

    01 Natural History Museum London

    The Natural History Museum is one of my personal favorite museums. It is located on the famous Exhibition Road in South Kensington. The building itself is already impressive and captivates with a Romanesque-Byzantine architecture.

    As the name suggests, the Natural History Museum shows the history of nature on earth. Among other things, it houses the world’s largest collection of meteorites and a lot of dinosaur skeletons. Visitors can trace the history of the earth with the help of creative and partly interactive exhibitions and especially children have great fun here.

  2. british museum

    02 British Museum

    There are truly impressive museums in the world, but the British Museum simply tops them all. Want a few numbers? 2 million years of human history are told in this impressive complex of buildings by means of over 8 million artifacts . You could spend weeks there and not have seen everything. The museum is simply part of a London trip. But probably the most impressive number of all is this: 0. That’s how much it costs to enter, because it’s completely free!

    Even without free entry, the British Museum would be a TOP sight of London for me. If you want, but you can throw a few pounds in the oversized donation boxes at the entrance.

    Tip: Check out the museum store! The assortment is really great and there is just everything possible that has to do with history, art, literature and that is connected with the museum. There are great special editions of my favorite books like Alice in Wonderland, original sculptures, and much more!

  3. London Transport Museum -GYG

    03 London Transport Museum

    London Transport Museum is definitely worth a visit, especially if you have an interest in the history of urban transportation. Located in Covent Garden, the museum offers a fascinating journey through the evolution of London’s transport system. It showcases a variety of exhibits including vintage buses, classic Tube trains, and historic maps. Interactive displays and hands-on activities make it engaging for all ages.

    The museum provides insight into the engineering, design, and social history of London’s public transport, highlighting its impact on the city’s development. It’s a unique museum that combines historical exploration with educational experiences, making it an enjoyable visit for both locals and tourists.

  4. Science Museum London

    04 London Science Museum

    The Science Museum in London is considered one of the best museums in the city. It’s renowned for its interactive and innovative approach to science and technology. The museum houses a remarkable collection that spans centuries of scientific achievement, including pioneering medical equipment, vintage cars, and space exploration artifacts. Its engaging exhibits appeal to a wide audience, from curious children to knowledgeable adults. The museum frequently updates its displays and hosts temporary exhibitions on cutting-edge science topics, ensuring there’s always something new to discover. Its blend of education and entertainment makes it a must-visit for anyone interested in the wonders of science and technology.

  5. 05 Young V&A Museum

    The best museum in London for the little ones to unleash their creativity. The Young V&A is a museum where children, young people, and families can imagine, play, and design through spaces specifically designed to challenge all the senses. It’s a super original space and a must-visit for anyone in East London with kids. The best part? The museum admision is 100% free!

Tip: Most museums in London are free, but it is now possible to reserve a ticket to skip the line. This method has been introduced to control capacity and can save you a lot of time when visiting popular sites like the Natural History Museum or the British Museum.

Animal Fun: The Best Zoos for Kids in London

Most children love animals, and London offers several places where a wide variety of wildlife awaits your little ones.

  1. ZSL London Zoo

    01 ZSL London Zoo

    The ZSL London Zoo is a bit like an oasis in the desert – located right in the heart of London, on the edge of Regent’s Park, it offers a breathtaking world of animals with over 700 different species. Established in 1847, the zoo provides daily exciting guided tours and informative animal shows.

    With innovative and interactive exhibitions, it’s guaranteed to be an adventure for your little ones, and parents can also learn something new. What’s especially wonderful is that a significant portion of the entrance fees goes toward the zoo’s conservation program for endangered animal species. All in all, it’s an absolute must when visiting London with your children.

  2. Sea Life London

    02 Sea Life London Aquarium

    The SEA LIFE London is an enchanting aquarium located in the heart of London, offering visitors a captivating glimpse into marine life. Home to thousands of aquatic creatures, including sharks, penguins, and rays, it provides educational and interactive experiences through immersive displays and underwater tunnels. It’s a magical destination for families and marine enthusiasts alike, aiming to inspire conservation of the ocean’s biodiversity. Highlights include shark dives and the chance to see rare and exotic sea life up close.

  3. Chessington Resort London

    03 Chessington World of Adventures Resort

    Chessington World of Adventures Resort is a family-friendly theme park and zoo located in Surrey, England, about 12 miles southwest of London. The resort features over 40 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and themed areas like Wild Asia and the Land of the Dragons. It also houses a zoo with over 1,000 animals and a SEA LIFE center. The resort offers live shows, interactive experiences, and seasonal events. Accommodation options include the Chessington Safari Hotel and the Azteca Hotel. Chessington is a popular destination for families, combining adventure, wildlife, and entertainment in one location.

  4. London mit Kindern Zoo

    04 Battersea Park Children Zoo

    “The perfect zoo for little explorers” – Battersea Park Children’s Zoo lives up to its promise. The zoo’s layout is much more manageable than the vast London Zoo and is tailored to the needs of young children. With experienced keepers, kids can experience various animals up close, pet them, and even help with feeding. There are also several playgrounds, rest areas, and child-friendly information boards. Admission prices are very family-friendly at £9.50 for adults, £7.50 for children, or £31 for a family ticket. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of London, Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is a great option. Parents can relax while children have a special adventure.

London with Kids – Helpful Tips for your trip

At the end of my article, I’d like to provide you with a checklist of tips and advice that I hope will be helpful for your visit to London with your family:

  • Navigating with a Baby Carriage: Using a baby carriage in London can be challenging, especially when relying on public transport. Many subway stations lack elevators, and carrying a baby carriage up the stairs amidst the crowds is no easy task, even for experienced parents. My tip: Use buses to get around; they are more accessible and easier to navigate with a baby carriage.
  • Transportation-Friendly Activities: Kids tend to get tired faster than adults, so finding activities that include transportation is always helpful. The Hop on Hop off buses are a great way to see the city while avoiding the tube, offering a comfortable and convenient way to explore.
  • Essential Supplies: If you find yourself needing something on the go, Boots pharmacy stores are located all over London. There, you can buy everything you need for your little ones.
  • Flexible Itinerary: Don’t over-schedule your trip! Enjoy strolling through bustling London with the children, visiting one of the many markets, and being spontaneous. Soak up the impressions of this great city and take a break in one of the beautiful pubs. Most pubs welcome children in the dining area and offer special child-friendly menus.

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Saving Tip

Multi-Attraction Tickets

Save money on London’s top attractions with the Big City Saver Pass, curated especially for families. This multi-attraction ticket includes entry to exciting sites such as:

  • London Eye
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Shrek’s Adventure
  • SEA LIFE
  • London Dungeon
  • Hop on Hop Off Bus
  • London Eye Boat Trip

See Multi-attraction tickets

Depending on your plans, you might also consider the London Pass or the London Explorer Pass. Check out our London Pass Comparison to find the pass that suits you best.

Family hotels in London

With so many hotels and accommodation options in London, it’s not always easy to choose the right one. I have therefore put together a small selection of family hotels in London for you below to make your decision easier. The location, the child-friendliness and the feedback from guests were the main deciding factors for me. I have also made sure that there is something for every budget.

  1. Novotel London Bridge Hotel London Bridge Booking

    01 Novotel London Bridge

    Sure, here’s the translation to English: 4 stars | Are you looking for a centrally located hotel? Then take a look at the Novotel London Bridge. This 4-star hotel not only boasts an excellent location but also combines design and style at reasonable prices. The rooms are large and bright and offer options with an extra bed for families, making it a comfortable choice in an unbeatable location for a trip to London with children. This makes it one of the most popular hotels in the city!

  2. Cheap Hotel in London: London Court

    02 London Court Hotel

    3* | Located in the heart of the museum district of London, close to Earl’s Court tube, this hotel is a great budget hotel in West London. Inside the hotel has a contemporary design with floral murals adorning the walls, with comfortable rooms and modern amenities. Guest rooms have been stylishly designed and feature comfortable beds and ensuite bathrooms with Grohe power showers. Double, twin and family rooms are available, as well as cheaper single-person rooms making this hotel ideal for solo travellers looking for a budget-friendly central London location.

  3. Marylebone Inn London

    03 Marylebone Inn

    3 stars | The family-friendly quadruple rooms at this classic hotel are a great option for those traveling to London with children and looking to save on accommodation. Located in the elegant Marylebone area, it’s conveniently close to Regent’s Park, Hyde Park, and the Madame Tussauds Museum. This hotel provides an ideal starting point for sightseeing in London.

  4. H10 London Waterloo London Hotel mit Aussicht Booking

    04 H10 London Waterloo

    4 Stars | Perfectly situated just south of the Thames yet still nestled in the heart of Central London, the H10 London Waterloo offers more than just a convenient location. Its rooms are a haven of brightness and contemporary design. The highlight, however, is the stunning rooftop terrace, where sweeping views of the London Eye and the city’s skyline await – an ideal backdrop for unwinding after an eventful day. The Waterloo district strikes a perfect balance, offering peaceful respite from the bustling city center while keeping you close to all the sights, with the metro station just a brief 5-minute stroll away.

Family-friendly restaurants

  1. Poppie

    01 Poppie's Fish & Chips

    A trip to London is not really complete without trying fish & chips. At Poppie’s you get the British traditional dish not only in the best quality – but also a little time travel: The store is decorated in the style of a 50s diner. At Poppie’s, only freshly caught fish is served – and you can taste it. The small restaurant is a real institution in London. By the way, Poppie’s now has three stores in London, and the other two are in Camden and Soho. But the original is the Poppie’s in Spitalfields.

  2. Breakfast-club-london-170405105441001-Kopie

    02 The Breakfast Club Spitalfields

    The Breakfast Club is our favorite breakfast spot in London, and dining here is our cherished tradition every time we visit the city. This lively venue offers everything you could wish for: pancakes, avocado and egg toast, porridge, and, of course, a traditional English breakfast. It’s the perfect choice for all tastes and ages. While our favorite Breakfast Club location is in Spitalfields, you can find all their locations on their website.

  3. 170913154608001 Wahaca Restaurant London

    03 Wahaca (Southbank)

    Wahaca restaurants in London offer vibrant, authentic Mexican street food in a lively atmosphere, featuring tacos, burritos, and quesadillas with fresh ingredients and bold flavors, perfect for a casual dining experience.

  4. Mother Mash in London

    04 MotherMash

    As the name already reveals, there are mashed potatoes in the MotherMash – much, much Mash! In addition, there are mostly traditional English gravy and sausages of all kinds (Bangers and Mash is then called). Also with a typical English Pie in addition it tastes super. Even the mash, i.e. the mashed potatoes, is available in many different variations, including the classic one with butter, of course, but also with horseradish or with cabbage and onions. You can also order the sausages in a variety of flavors, and one option is even vegan. The restaurant’s location in Soho is really awesome and the food is (surprisingly) reasonably priced. Like Fish & Chips, you should also have tried Bangers & Mash during your London trip!

Frequently asked questions about London with children

What can you do in London with children?

London has great leisure activities to offer with children. For example:

  • London Eye
  • Tower Bridge
  • Shrek’s Adventure
  • Sea Life
  • London Dungeon
  • Madame Tussauds
  • London Zoo
  • Thames cruise
  • Change of guard
  • Musicals
Profilbild Laura Haig
About the author

Laura

I love traveling in Europe and I am passionate about writing about my travels. The cultural peculiarities of each region always fascinate me. I enjoy exploring and discovering the best-kept secrets of each town or village. I love road trips as much as city breaks; I love visiting an art gallery and also the magic of musicals or discovering new delicacies in a street market. In this blog, I write about all my travel adventures and my best tips and tricks! Auf Loving Travel schreibe ich über alle meine Reiseerlebnisse und gebe euch meine besten Tipps und Tricks!

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