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7 Countries Surprisingly Family Friendly

7 countries
which are surprisingly family friendly

A family holiday is usually, by default, a trip to a beach town or tourist hotspot that isn’t too far from home. But why not consider the stranger, lesser-known options next time around? Here are seven destinations you wouldn’t have thought about taking the family to, even though you really should.


44226616 - procession of beautiful balinese women in traditional costumes carry ritual offerings on heads for hindu ceremony. arts festival, culture of bali people, and indonesia islands. asian travel background
Procession of beautiful Balinese women in traditional costumes carrying ritual offerings on their heads for Hindu ceremony.  Photo by Dmosreg

It’s the traveller’s paradise – Bali’s luxurious sandy beaches and tropical allure draws in tourists from all over the world. But it’s never usually considered suitable for a family holiday, even though it’s one of the best destinations for it.

The Secret Traveller details just one reason why in the form of a treetop adventure park set in the middle of botanical gardens. There’s also the appeal of Kuta, the country’s capitals, with its renowned vast stretch of beach as well as Waterbom, one of the world’s biggest and most fun water parks.

Brooklyn, USA

Okay, so Brooklyn may not be a country – and the USA is a very, very big one – but it’s quickly become a tourist hotspot that is perfect for families. Removed from the perhaps overwhelming bustle of Manhattan across the river, there’s an ever-increasing number of things to do in the New York borough.

Take Coney Island, for example – deep-rooted in history, the pier will be fascinating for both the young ones looking for cheap thrills, as well as the grandparents who want to see such a famed landmark. And that’s not to mention the abundance of unique food joints to try out throughout the borough.

Costa Rica

For such a quiet and undeveloped country, there’s plenty of potential in Costa Rica for a family holiday. It’s purposely understated in its architecture and attractions, remaining low-key for environmental reasons – your accommodation will likely be small and quiet, offering a very personal and immersive experience.

For the travellers who crave the outdoors, The Telegraph recommends Costa Rica as the ideal location, especially for the kids who want an adventure. Consider taking up zip-lining at sites such as Pura Aventura, and trying your hand at surfing at one of the country’s many beautiful beaches.

Sicily, Italy

18118885 - scilla, castle on the rock in calabria during sunset, italy
Magnificent castle on the rock in Calabria during sunset.  Sicily, Italy Photo by Gurgen Bakhshetsyan

Italy is quickly becoming a hotspot for family holidays, but many skip over Sicily in favour of more famed destinations, such as Tuscany and Rome. That’s their loss – Sicily is a wondrous city with nothing other than a volcano as its backdrop.

It’s not too dissimilar to Rome in its atmosphere, but the striking thing about Sicily is the absence of tourists. This effectively makes for a more relaxed and laid-back excursion when compared to Italy’s bigger cities, where your family can roam and explore freely without worry. Consider sampling the delicious and delectable Sicilian food on offer for an authentic experience.


For a family holiday that’s completely removed from the ‘norm’, head to Morocco’s capital city of Marrakech. It’s a destination that’s so rich in culture and heritage everyone in your family will be helplessly intrigued.

Head to the Jemaa el Fna square in the city’s centre for a sensory overload in the form of performers, market stalls and incredible street food. Hop on the back of a camel for a ride through the surrounding deserts, with an awe-inspiring backdrop of the dusty Atlas Mountains shadowing your journey.

Reykjavik, Iceland

You’ll be surprised at how small, and homely Reykjavik is for a capital city. A majority of tourists unfairly use it as a base when touring the Golden Circle, but it deserves your full attention – especially as a family.

Consider visiting the famed Blue Lagoon spa, where you’ll be able to bathe in warm geothermal waters as a contrast to the cold air of Iceland. It’s the perfect attraction both for the older ones who want a spot of pure relaxation and the kids looking for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.


33650582 - mt. fuji with chureito pagoda in autumn, fujiyoshida, japan
Mt. Fuji with Chureito Pagoda in autumn, Fuji-Yoshida, Japan

Although many tourists head straight to the capital of Japan, Tokyo isn’t the only place of interest in the Asian country. Consider taking your family to Kyoto, a laid back alternative that offers an abundance of history, culture and fun in equal measure.

The temples here in Kyoto are majestic and beautiful, set in some of the most secluded and naturally stunning settings – you’ll all likely be overcome by their peaceful and intriguing allure. And don’t hesitate to browse through the city centre, where you might be able to spot a geisha or two once the sun sets.

Where have you travelled as a family? Share your experiences with us.

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