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How To Travel Europe With Kids Easily In 2024

Directional signpost of European countries for families traveling to Europe with kids.


According to the European Travel Commission, over 30 million families just like yours are planning to visit Europe with kids in 2024. That’s a lot of people! As a mom who’s taken her own kids on amazing trips to Europe, I’m here to share my experiences and help you plan the perfect Europe family vacation.

I love taking trips with my kids, and we’ve been to Europe many times. We learn about different cultures and make special memories together. Today, I’ll share all my best tips and tricks for planning a great family vacation to Europe. I’ll help you choose where to go, what to do, and how to have the best time ever.

Why Should Families Visit Europe?

Happy mother and children enjoying the sights of an Italian town during a European family vacation.

Europe is an incredible place to take your kids for so many reasons. Here are a few of the top ones:

Your Kids Can Explore Different Cultures

One of the best parts of traveling to Europe with your family is getting to experience different cultures. There are so many amazing countries to visit, each with its own special history, traditions, and way of life. Your kids will love learning about how people live in other parts of the world.

You can visit museums and historic sites to see cool artifacts and learn interesting facts. Try new foods like pasta in Italy or croissants in France.

Encourage your kids to say “hello” and “thank you” in different languages. They might even make friends with local kids at a park or playground!

Exploring different cultures is a wonderful way to help your children understand and appreciate the world around them. They’ll see that people may live differently in other countries, but everyone has something special to share.

There are Many Fun Activities for Kids in Europe

Your kids will never be bored in Europe, and that’s a fact. There are so many fun activities and attractions that the whole family will enjoy. Here are some of the best ones:

  • Amusement parks: Europe has some incredible theme parks, like Disneyland Paris in France, PortAventura World in Spain, and Europa Park in Germany.
  • Zoos and aquariums: Many European cities have fantastic zoos and aquariums where you can see animals from all around the world. Some top ones include the London Zoo in England, the Berlin Zoo in Germany, and the Oceanographic in Valencia, Spain.
  • Hands-on museums: There are many museums in Europe designed just for kids, with interactive exhibits and fun activities. Check out the Nemo Science Museum in Amsterdam, the Deutsches Museum in Munich, or the Cité des Enfants in Paris.
  • Outdoor adventures: Europe has plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun, too. You can go hiking in the Swiss Alps, swim at the beaches in Spain, or bike through the Dutch countryside. Many European cities also have parks and playgrounds where kids can run around and play.

Traveling Across Europe is Easy

Another great thing about visiting Europe with your family is how easy it is to get from one country to another. Many European countries are part of the Schengen Area, which means you can cross borders without going through passport control. This makes it super simple to visit multiple countries in one trip.

Europe also has a fantastic transportation network, with trains, buses, and budget airlines that can take you almost anywhere. High-speed trains like the Eurostar can get you from London to Paris in just a couple of hours. Budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet offer cheap flights between many European cities.

This means you can pack a lot of different experiences into one family vacation. You could spend a few days exploring the history and culture of Rome, then hop on a plane and be at the beaches of Barcelona in no time. The possibilities are endless!

What’s the Best Time to Travel to Europe with Kids?

Family of tourists pointing at a famous medieval tower while traveling in Europe with kids.

You should visit Europe with kids when the weather is nice, there are only a few crowds, and your kids won’t miss too much school. Here are some tips:

Perfect Months for Family Trips

In my experience, the best months to travel to Europe with kids are:

MayWarm weather, fewer crowds, flowers bloomingCan still be a bit chilly in some places
JuneLovely weather, long days, lots of outdoor activitiesCrowds start to pick up, prices go up
SeptemberNice weather, fewer crowds, back-to-school discountsSome attractions may have shorter hours
OctoberCool weather, beautiful fall colors, lower pricesCan be rainy in some parts of Europe
Perfect Months for Family Trips in Europe

Of course, the best time for your family tri to Europe will depend on your specific needs and preferences. But in general, I recommend avoiding the peak summer months of July and August, when the crowds are biggest and the prices are highest.

Affordable Travel Times to Europe

Let’s be honest – traveling to Europe with a family can be expensive. But there are ways to save money and still have an amazing time. One way is to travel during the off-season or shoulder season when prices are lower.

The most affordable times to visit Europe are:

  • November through March (except for holidays): This is the low season when tourism is at its lowest. You can find great deals on flights and hotels but be prepared for colder weather and shorter days.
  • April through mid-June, and September through October: These are the shoulder seasons, when the weather is nice but the crowds are smaller than in the summer. Prices are lower than peak season, but not as low as the off-season.

Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing. At least, traveling during the off-season or shoulder season is a great way to save money on your family trip to Europe.

Kid-Friendly Festivals in Europe

Another fun way to experience Europe with your kids is by attending a local festival or event in Europe. Many European countries have special festivals that are perfect for families. Here are a few of my favorites:

Carnival of VeniceVenice, ItalyFebruaryColorful costumes, masks, and parades
St. Patrick’s DayDublin, IrelandMarch 17Parades, live music, and lots of green!
King’s DayAmsterdam, NetherlandsApril 27Street parties, flea markets, and oranges everywhere
Bastille DayParis, FranceJuly 14Fireworks, military parades, and picnics in the park
OktoberfestMunich, GermanyLate September to early OctoberCarnival rides, traditional food and music, and lots of fun
Kid-Friendly Festivals in Europe

Attending a local festival is a great way to immerse your family in the culture and traditions of a place. Your kids will love the lively atmosphere, fun activities, and special treats. Just be sure to book your accommodations early, as hotels can fill up fast during European festival times.

Where Are the Best Places to Visit in Europe with Children?

Parents and child creating memories in front of the Eiffel Tower during their Europe trip.

Europe is full of amazing travel destinations that are perfect for families. Here are some of the best places to visit with your kids:

Must-Visit European Cities for Families

CityHighlightsKid-Friendly Activities
London, EnglandBuckingham Palace, Tower of London, Big BenHarry Potter Studio Tour, London Eye, London Zoo
Paris, FranceEiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame CathedralDisneyland Paris, Seine River Cruise, Tuileries Garden
Rome, ItalyColosseum, Vatican City, Trevi FountainGladiator School, Pizza Making Class, Villa Borghese Gardens
Barcelona, SpainSagrada Familia, Park Güell, La RamblaBarcelona Aquarium, Chocolate Museum, Beach Activities
Amsterdam, NetherlandsAnne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, RijksmuseumNEMO Science Museum, Canal Cruise, Vondelpark
Best European Cities for Families to Travel

These cities offer a fantastic mix of history, culture, and fun activities that the whole family will enjoy. Your kids will love seeing famous European landmarks, trying new foods, and experiencing the unique atmosphere of each place.

Hidden Family Destinations in Europe

While the big European cities are a must-visit, there are also lots of smaller, lesser-known destinations that are great for families. Here are a few hidden gems to add to your Europe travel itinerary with your family:

Rothenburg ob der TauberGermanyMedieval architecture, Christmas Museum, Night Watchman Tour
Plitvice Lakes National ParkCroatiaStunning waterfalls, hiking trails, boat rides
Český KrumlovCzech RepublicFairytale castle, charming old town, puppet shows
SintraPortugalColorful palaces, lush gardens, scenic hikes
GruyèresSwitzerlandMedieval castle, cheese factory tours, chocolate museum
Hidden Family Destinations in Europe

These off-the-beaten-path destinations offer a unique and authentic European experience for families. Your kids will love exploring the cobblestone streets, trying local specialties, and discovering hidden treasures.

Educational Spots to Visit in Europe for Kids

Europe is also full of educational opportunities for children. From museums to historical sites, there are countless ways to make learning fun and engaging. Here are some top educational spots to visit:

AttractionLocationWhat to Learn
AcropolisAthens, GreeceAncient Greek history, mythology, architecture
PompeiiNaples, ItalyRoman history, archaeology, volcanology
Louvre MuseumParis, FranceArt history, world cultures, famous paintings
Anne Frank HouseAmsterdam, NetherlandsWorld War II history, Holocaust education, human rights
StonehengeWiltshire, EnglandPrehistoric history, archaeology, astronomy
Educational Places to Visit in Europe for Kids

Visiting these educational destinations in Europe will give your children a hands-on learning experience that they’ll never forget. They’ll get to see real artifacts, hear fascinating stories, and engage with history in a tangible way. It’s a great way to supplement their education and spark their curiosity about the world.

How Can You Plan a Budget-Friendly Trip to Europe?

Smiling family gathered at a hotel, planning their next adventure in Europe together.

Traveling to Europe with a family can be expensive, but there are lots of ways to save money and stick to a budget. Here are some tips:

Plan Daily Budget for Families

One of the keys to sticking to a budget is planning out your daily Europe travel expenses. Here’s a sample breakdown of what you can expect to spend per day for a family of four in a mid-range European city:

ExpenseDaily Cost
Europe Travel Daily Budget for Families

Of course, these numbers can vary widely depending on where you go and how you like to travel Europe. To save money, consider staying in apartments or vacation rentals instead of luxurious hotels, cooking some meals yourself, and using public transportation instead of taxis or rental cars.

Save on Attractions in Europe

Visiting attractions in Europe like museums and national parks can add up quickly, especially with a family. But there are ways to save money without missing out on the fun:

  • Look for free admission days or discounted hours (many museums have these)
  • Buy city passes or combo tickets that include multiple attractions for one price
  • Take advantage of student, senior, or family discounts
  • Book tickets online in advance to skip the line and sometimes get a lower price
  • Enjoy free activities like parks, playgrounds, and walking tours

Manage Your Money While Traveling

Dealing with money in a foreign country can be confusing and stressful. Here are some tips to make it easier:

  • Notify your bank and credit card company of your travel plans before you leave
  • Use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees for purchases
  • Take out cash from ATMs instead of currency exchange counters (you’ll get a better rate)
  • Carry a mix of cash and cards, and keep them in separate places for safety
  • Use a currency converter app to quickly check exchange rates and avoid overspending

What Are the Top Tips for Traveling in Europe with Kids?

Excited kids cheer while touring Venice canals on a sunny Europe trip.

Traveling Europe with kids can be a wonderful experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some of my top tips for making your family trip to Europe a success:

Create a Child-Friendly Travel Itinerary

When planning your Europe itinerary, it’s important to keep your kids’ ages, interests, and energy levels in mind. Here are some tips:

  • Balance sightseeing with plenty of downtime and playtime
  • Choose activities that are engaging and interactive, not just educational
  • Plan for frequent snack and bathroom breaks
  • Don’t try to cram too much into each day – leave room for spontaneity and relaxation
  • Involve your kids in the planning process so they feel excited and invested in the trip

Travel Advice for Kids of All Ages

Traveling Europe with kids of different ages can be a juggling act. Here are some specific tips for each age group:

Age GroupTips
Babies/Toddlers (0-3)-Bring a stroller or baby carrier for easy transport

-Pack plenty of diapers, wipes, and snacks

-Choose accommodations with cribs or room for a portable crib

-Stick to a familiar sleep/feeding schedule as much as possible
School-Age Kids (4-12)-Encourage them to keep a travel journal or scrapbook

-Give them a kid-friendly camera to take their own photos

-Let them help with navigation and decision-making

-Balance activities with plenty of time to run around and play
Teenagers (13+)-Give them some independence and free time to explore on their own

-Involve them in budgeting and planning decisions

-Look for activities that cater to their interests, like music or sports

-Encourage them to disconnect from technology and engage with the destination
Europe Travel Tips for Kids of All Ages

No matter your kids’ ages, the key is to be flexible, patient, and open to new experiences. Remember that travel is all about creating memories and having fun together, even if things don’t always go according to plan.

Essential Health and Safety Tips

Keeping your family healthy and safe is the most important thing when traveling abroad. Here are some essential tips:

  • Get travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost luggage
  • Pack a basic first-aid kit with bandages, pain relievers, and any prescription medications
  • Bring hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to use in public places like airports and train stations
  • Teach your kids basic safety rules, like staying close to you in crowds and not talking to strangers
  • Know the local emergency numbers (911 equivalent) and have a plan for what to do if someone gets lost or separated
  • Stay up to date on any travel alerts or warnings for the countries you’re visiting

What Should You Know About Accommodation and Transport?

Smiling family rides a bus together on a fun Europe with children holiday.

Choosing the right accommodations and transportation options is key to having a comfortable and enjoyable trip to Europe with your family. Here’s what you need to know:

Find the Best Places to Stay in Europe with Kids

When traveling Europe with kids, your choice of accommodations can make a big difference in your overall experience. Here are some options to consider:

Accommodation TypeProsCons
Hotels-Convenient locations

-Amenities like pools and restaurants

-Reliable brand standards
-Can be expensive for families

-Limited space/privacy

-Not as authentic/local
Vacation Rentals/Apartments-More space and privacy

-Kitchen facilities for cooking meals

-Often more affordable than hotels
-May be farther from city center

-Less consistent quality

-No on-site staff for assistance
Hostels-Very budget-friendly

-Opportunity to meet other travelers

-Often have family rooms available
-Shared bathrooms

-Can be noisy/less private

-Limited amenities

-Great for nature lovers

-Lots of space for kids to play
-Requires camping gear

-Dependent on weather

-Fewer creature comforts
Best Places to Stay in Europe with Kids

My recommendation is to choose accommodations based on your family’s specific needs and preferences. A mix of different types can be a good way to balance comfort, convenience, and cost throughout your trip.

Tips for Using European Public Transport

Public transportation in Europe is generally safe, efficient, and affordable. Here are some tips for using it with kids:

  • Research the options (metro, bus, tram, etc.) in each city and plan your routes in advance
  • Buy tickets or passes before boarding to avoid delays and confusion
  • Avoid rush hour if possible, especially with young children
  • Keep a close eye on your belongings and hold onto your kids in crowded areas
  • Have a backup plan in case of delays, cancellations, or missed connections
  • Consider getting a stroller that folds up easily for navigating public transport

Using public transportation can be a great way to save money and experience local life in Europe. Your kids might even enjoy the novelty of riding on a double-decker bus or high-speed train!

Benefits of Renting a Car in Europe

While Europe’s public transportation is great for cities, renting a car can be a good option for exploring the countryside or taking day trips. Here are some benefits of renting a car in Europe:

FlexibilityYou can create your own schedule and itinerary
ComfortMore space for luggage, car seats, and tired kids
EfficiencyNo waiting for public transport or navigating transfers
AccessAbility to reach off-the-beaten-path destinations
Benefits of Renting a Car in Europe

However, renting a car also comes with some challenges, like navigating unfamiliar roads and finding parking in cities. Make sure you’re comfortable driving in a foreign country and understand the local traffic laws before renting a car.

What Essentials Should You Pack for Europe Family Travel?

Family in the living room packs for a trip, preparing for Europe with kids travel.

Packing for a family trip to Europe can feel overwhelming, but with a little planning and organization, you can make sure you have everything you need without overpacking. Here are some packing essentials to consider:

Clothing-Mix of casual and dressy clothes

-Layers for varying weather

-Comfortable shoes for walking
Toiletries-Toothbrush and toothpaste

-Shampoo and soap

-Sunscreen and insect repellent
Entertainment-Books or e-reader

-Small toys or games

-Coloring supplies or travel journal
Gear-Backpack or daypack

-Reusable water bottle

-Travel pillow and blanket
Family Packing Essential for Europe Adventure

Don’t forget to pack any necessary medications, chargers, and adapters (type C or Euro plugs), as well as copies of important documents like passports and travel insurance.

Pack Gadgets to Keep Your Kids Entertained

Long flights, train rides, and car trips can be challenging with kids and even for us parents. Here are some gadgets that can help keep them entertained:

  • Tablet or smartphone with preloaded games, movies, and apps
  • Portable charger or power bank to keep devices charged
  • Kid-sized headphones to avoid disturbing other passengers
  • Portable DVD player or gaming device for screen-free entertainment

Just remember to set limits on screen time and encourage other activities like reading, drawing, and playing travel games as a family.

Prepare for Europe’s Weather

Europe’s weather can vary greatly depending on the region and time of year you visit. Here are some general guidelines for packing:

  • Summer (June-August): Light, breathable clothing, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), and a light rain jacket or umbrella
  • Fall (September-November): Layers for changing temperatures, a light jacket or sweater, comfortable shoes for walking
  • Winter (December-February): Warm, waterproof clothing (coat, hat, gloves, scarf), sturdy boots, and thermal underwear
  • Spring (March-May): Mix of warm and cool clothing, layers for varying temperatures, and a light rain jacket or umbrella

Always check the specific weather forecast for your destinations and pack accordingly. And remember, you can always buy an extra layer or umbrella if needed once you arrive.

How to Enjoy Eating Out in Europe with Kids?

Children enjoy Italian cuisine at an outdoor restaurant during a Europe family vacation.

One of the best parts of traveling is trying new foods and experiencing local cuisine. However, eating out with kids in a foreign country can sometimes be challenging. Here are some tips to make your dining experiences enjoyable for the whole family:

Choose Kid-Friendly Restaurants

When selecting restaurants and dining options, look for places that welcome families and offer kid-friendly options. Here are some things to consider:

  • Casual atmosphere with quick service
  • Menu items that appeal to kids (e.g. pizza, pasta, burgers)
  • High chairs or booster seats available
  • Outdoor seating or room for kids to move around
  • Family discounts or “kids eat free” promotions

Don’t be afraid to ask locals or your hotel/rental host for recommendations on the best places to eat with kids in each destination.

Handle Dietary Needs While Traveling

If your child has food allergies, intolerances, or dietary restrictions, traveling to Europe can be extra stressful. Here are some tips to make it easier:

  • Research common dishes and ingredients in each country before you go
  • Learn how to say key phrases like “no dairy” or “gluten-free” in the local language
  • Pack safe snacks and meals for emergencies
  • Choose accommodations with a kitchen so you can prepare your own food if needed
  • Communicate your child’s needs clearly to restaurant staff and double-check food preparation

Encourage Your Kids to Try European Foods

Trying new foods is one of the joys of traveling, but some kids can be hesitant to branch out from their usual favorites. Here are some ways to encourage your kids to be adventurous eaters:

  • Lead by example and show enthusiasm for trying new dishes
  • Make a game out of ordering new foods, like a “mystery meal” or “rainbow plate”
  • Share dishes family-style so everyone can taste a little bit of everything
  • Look for kid-friendly versions of local specialties, like French toast or margherita pizza
  • Praise your kids for being brave and trying new things, even if they don’t end up liking everything

Remember, it’s okay if your child doesn’t love every new food they try. The important thing is to foster a spirit of curiosity and openness to new experiences.

Remember, there’s no one “right” way to travel Europe with kids. Every family is different, and what works for one might not work for another. Try to be a parent who’s flexible, patient, and open to new experiences. Embrace the challenges and the joys of family travel, and don’t be afraid to go with the flow.

What is the Best European Country to Visit with Kids?

For a family-friendly trip in Europe, consider Denmark, Finland, or Austria. Denmark offers fun attractions like Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. Finland is great for nature lovers and visiting Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. Austria boasts adventurous sites like the world’s largest ice cave in Salzburg​.

Where is the Best Place to Visit in Europe with Toddlers?

Italy and Croatia are great European destinations for toddlers. Italy offers a welcoming atmosphere with plenty of toddler-friendly activities like sandy beaches and cultural sites, especially in Sicily. Croatia is renowned for its child-friendly beaches and historical towns, along with unique attractions such as Dinopark in Istria, making it ideal for little ones to explore and enjoy​.

What Visa Kids Need to Travel Europe?

Children traveling to Europe need a Type-C Schengen Visa for stays up to 90 days, requiring a valid passport, recent photos, and possibly a parental authorization letter. Visa fees are reduced for children between 6 and 11 and free for those under 6. Starting 2025, children from visa-exempt countries must also have an ETIAS travel authorization, with each minor needing their own linked to their travel document.

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