We hate when we read travel websites that do nothing but rave about how wonderful every destination is. It’s misleading. We want to be honest about our experiences, and we honestly don’t recommend families visit Macau. It is a nice enough place, super new and super clean, and one of the only places in China you can gamble. Unlike Las Vegas, however, it just doesn’t have the same energy and things to do with kids. Unless you want to visit to gamble and play games in the casinos, which are nice and super expensive (more expensive than Las Vegas!), it’s just not on our list of cities to visit with kids.
There is something so magical about Budapest, which is the capital of Hungary. Natasha knew she wanted to visit the Danube River, but she never thought the city would be as beautiful as this. Although Hungary is a part of Europe, it was occupied by the Mongols in the 13th century, which translates into country’s look and culture being slightly separate from the rest of Europe. Resting on the Danube River, the city was actually two separate cities: Buda and Pest. When they united, they became the full city you can explore today, and the tourism folks like to say you have one city with two personalities.
When people think of visiting a Croatian city, they often think of picturesque Dubrovnik, where “Game of Thrones” was filmed. We decided to visit the capital city of Zagreb instead, and it is such a cool, energetic city that we would go back in a heartbeat. Although the country is old, its democracy is young, and the people of Zagreb have such an excited and hopeful energy – you can feel it as you walk around. It reminds of our hometown of Charlotte because it’s filled with new businesses, restaurants and growth. It’s also very family-friendly and children are everywhere.
Venice is one of those must-visit cities in the world, and certainly one of the most unique cities we visited. Venice is a series of tiny islands that were once inhabited. When refugees escaping persecution from Rome began hide here, they began building the city from the marshes using wooden poles dug deep into the bottom of the lagoon to create foundations that have now stood solid since 421 AD. While it’s a cool city that you should see, it is definitely more touristy than we prefer. It doesn’t feel as if anyone actually lives on the island; it feels like one giant tourist trap. Plus, Natasha found it the water stinky in some places.
After visiting one of our favorite cities, Barcelona, with extended family – and two more children – we hit the road to explore Southern Spain’s coastline, discovering the allure of the coastal city of Tarragona.
Upon first impressions, we were, well, not impressed. It seemed like a small, little town with not much but boy were we wrong. Not only did we see some incredible sights, we ended up having some of our best meals in this incredibly charming ancient Roman city. All you need is two days to see it, although we easily could have spent more time here.