Europe with Kids – Where to Go & What to Do

SD › Europe for Families
Updated: February 11, 2023
By Santorini Dave

Best vacation destination in Europe for families.

The Greek Islands are my favorite destination in Europe when traveling with kids. Spectacular, fun, interesting, and good value.

Hotels in Europe for Families

The best things to do in Europe with children.

My boys doing a cooking class in Florence, Italy.

The Best Kid-Friendly Destinations in Europe

  • Best City for Kid-Friendly Attractions: LondonParis
  • Best for Kid-Friendly Beaches: Naxos (Greece)
  • Best for History and Culture: Italy
  • Best for First Timers: UK & Ireland
  • Best for Beach Vacation: Greece
  • Best Value: Portugal
  • Best for Outdoor Activities: Switzerland & Germany
  • Best for Train Trips: France
  • Best for River and Canal Cruises: Germany & France
  • Best for Fun and Relaxation: Greece
  • Best for Idyllic Evening Dinners: Spain & Greece
  • Best for Kid-Friendly Bike Tours: Amsterdam

Greek Islands with Kids

Cruise ship docked off Santorini.
Taking ferries between the Greek Islands is fun and easy (though if you’re on a tight schedule booking tickets in advance can be frustrating). If Greek island hopping is what you want then the Cyclades (Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, Milos, Ios) are the best islands to visit as they’re close to each other and have lots of ferry connections between them.

Greece Highlights

  • Santorini – Incredible views and scenery. Take a boat tour of the caldera which was formed by a volcanic explosion and forms a huge cliff that runs the length of the entire island. The beaches are not Greece’s best but there is a water park with slides.
  • Crete – The largest island in Greece. Lots to do and see. Great beaches, historical sites, small traditional villages, thriving cities, and some wonderful hikes. Crete offers a little bit of everything – or rather, a lot of everything.
  • Rhodes – A great island if you’re looking to visit Turkey – whether it be a day trip or a more involved trip up to Istanbul. Rhodes has great beaches and an incredible Old Town.
  • Naxos – The best island for families in all of Greece. Wonderful kid-friendly beaches, with a gentle slope, and calm shallow water. The main village is packed with fun restaurants and shops. The island’s interior offers interesting traditional villages and great walks.
  • Paros – A hipper version of Naxos with a bit more partying and shopping and perhaps beaches that aren’t quite so kid-friendly – though still wonderful. Nearby Antiparos is a great day trip for its laid-back charm and quiet beaches.
  • Corfu – One of Greece’s most beautiful islands. Corfu Town is a beautiful old city and makes a great base for exploring the island. Lots of kid-friendly activities on the island (including a water park) and some great beaches.

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Further Reading

London With Kids

London Eye ferris wheel with kids

Where to Stay in London

London Highlights

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Further Reading on London

Paris With Kids

Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Where to Stay in Paris

Paris Highlights

  • The Eiffel Tower (of course): Great views are often dismissed by kids as boring, but not from the Tour Eiffel. The city looks small far below but never feels distant. If your kids are old enough walk the stairs instead of wait in line for the elevator.
  • The Catacombs: Run this by your kids first — you’ll descend 20 metres below street level where you’ll be able to explore 1.7km of corridors walled with the remains of long dead Parisians. They’ll either be thrilled or terrified and you can make your plans from there.
  • Musée de Louvre: It’s a huge intimidating museum that can make for a long visit for kids or an enthralling cultural journey depending on how you approach it. Read and discuss some of the paintings and sculptures before you arrive. Buy postcards of famous paintings and hunt for them during your visit. The Skip the Line Guided Tour is worth the expense.
  • Musée d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris: France’s best science museum could fill a whole day. The highlight for kids is usually the Galerie de l’Evolution.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral: Climb the 422 steps to the cathedral’s towers and you’ll be face to face with some fierce Gargoyles and an incredible view of Paris. Kids will recognize the scenes from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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Amsterdam With Kids

Canal in Amsterdam

Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Highlights

  • Boat tour: Hop on board a canal tour or rent your own pedal boat (from the same shop) to see Amsterdam’s famous canals. There are 3 lines for the canal tours and 14 stops. Day passes are available and most of Amsterdam’s major sites are easily accessible from the
  • Bike tour: Amsterdam is famous for it’s bike friendly culture and visitors will feel quite comfortable getting around it’s compact center on 2 wheels. Numerous shops rent bikes and little ones can hop into a bakfiets — the local version of a bike trailer.
  • Science Center NEMO: Lots of hands-on fun at the Netherlands largest science museum for children aged 6 to 16.
  • Visit one of Amserdam’s beautiful parks: Both Amsterdamse Bos (cheese farms, watersports, and horse riding) and Vondelpark (walking, biking, an open air theatre,  playground, and near to RijksmuseumStedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum) are great parks that could keep the kids busy for hours.

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Further Reading

Barcelona With Kids

Church in Barcelona.

Where to Stay in Barcelona

Barcelona Highlights

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Further Reading

Cornwall & Devon Counties With Kids

Long Beach in Cornwall.

Cornwall & Devon Highlights

  • The fantastic beaches of Southwest England: Kid friendly beaches can be found up and down the coasts’ of both counties.
  • St Michael’s Mount, Marazion: Walk during low tide (or ferry during high tide) to Cornwall’s most important historical landmark.
  • National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth: The huge maritime collection of boats and artifacts is perfect for slightly older kids.
  • Rent a cottage: Stay in a self-contained cabin — on a farm, near the sea, or in a small Cornish village.
  • Dartmoor National Park: Camp, hike, and explore this beautiful park.
  • The Eden Project: An amazing all-weather destination focused on nature, the environment, the arts, and having fun.

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Further Reading on Cornwall & Devon

Dublin With Kids

Light Rail in Dublin.

Where to Stay in Dublin

Dublin Highlights

  • Dublin Zoo: One of Europe’s best zoos. Easy access with the hop-on hop-off bus.
  • Kilmainham Gaol Historical Museum: A great introduction to Ireland’s history. Located out of town but on the hop-on, hop-off bus route.
  • The National Museum – Archeology: Features items pulled from the bogs (including mummified bodies) and a viking exhibit that are very popular with kids.
  • The Natural History Museum (a.k.a. the Dead Zoo): An amazing collection of animals that kids love.
  • Viking Splash: Tour Dublin and get a (small) spattering of history aboard an amphibious WW II vehicle.
  • Take the DART train to Howth (north) or Bray (south): Get to the coast, go for a walk, play on the beach, and take a break from the city.

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Further Reading

Edinburgh With Kids

Castle in Edinburgh.

Where to Stay in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Highlights

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Prague With Kids

Prague with Kids – Things To Do and Best Prague Tours for Families

Where to Stay in Prague

Prague Highlights

  • Petřín Hill has a funicular that goes up to the top you’ll have great views, a mirror maze for kids, pony rides on the weekends, and a sizeable rose garden. For an even better view, climb up to the top of Lookout Tower or visit the observatory to take in the stars through their collection of telescopes.
  • Nostalgic Tram No. 91 is a unique way to see the city. Vintage tram cars from the early 1900s travel along a special route that runs throughout Prague and past many of the city’s best sights. Not well known among tourists and for an affordable $1.50, it’s popular with both young and old.
  • Theater and Puppet Shows – There are several kid friendly theater options unique to Prague including the Black Light Theater which combines elements of dance, animation, mimes and illusions. Puppet shows also have a strong tradition in the Czech Republic and the National Marionette Theater does puppet versions of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and the Magic Flute.
  • Kid-Friendly Museums – At the Art Gallery for Children (Galerie umění pro děti) children are encouraged to interact in this multimedia space by touching, creating or even altering the art installations. Workshops are available for kids 5-12 and it’s a great way to introduce them to art. Or visit the Lego Museum – the largest in Europe. You’ll get to see lego versions of classic Prague landmarks like the 5 meter tall Charles Bridge.
  • Children’s Island – Though there are numerous outdoor playgrounds around Prague, this one is devoted entirely to kids. It features a full range of swings, slides, climbing nets, sandpits, open space to run around. Most importantly it offers a great place for parents to sit and relax on the bank of the Vltava River with a nearby café for coffee and refreshments.

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Provence & the Cote d’Azur With Kids

Avignon in the south of France.

Provence & the Cote d’Azur Highlights

  • The cities of Arles, Avignon, and Aix-en-Provence — Three cultural giants that are beautiful, walkable, and packed with cool attractions. Each is overflowing with art and architecture and all are within an hour’s drive of each other.
  • Beaches: The southern coast of France is known for it’s fantastic beaches with the best found between St Tropez and St Raphael.
  • Monaco: A small city state whose narrow winding streets are fun to explore. Highlights for the kids will undoubtedly be the fantastic Oceanographic Museum, the Prince’s collection of antique cars, and the parks and gardens that fill the city.
  • Le Pont du Gard: This Unesco World Heritage Site is a wonder of Roman planning and architecture. The kids program for 5-12 year olds is enriching, well designed, and describes in detail how the aqueduct was built and used.
  • Carcassonne: A remarkably well preserved medieval city. Le Cite can be painfully busy during July and August but as it’s one of Europe’s largest city fortifications it’s probably worth enduring the crowds.

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Rome With Kids

Trevi Fountain in Rome.

Where to Stay in Rome

Rome Highlights

  • Colosseum and Roman Forum: the highlight of a trip to Rome (likely for the whole family). Visit early to avoid the heat and crowds.
  • Villa Borghese Gardens: rent row boats and bikes, have a picnic, hop on the #3 tram for a tour of Rome, and visit the Cinema dei Piccoli for afternoon and evening children’s movies. This large park can easily form the basis of an entire day’s activities.
  • Explora: Rome’s top notch kids’ museum has lots of hands-on fun, an outdoor play area, and an ice cream shop. Visits are limited to 90 minutes.
  • Tivoli’s temples and gardens make a great day trip out of the city. The nearby Aquapiper water park makes it worthwhile for the kids as well. (Hydromania is another water park closer to Rome.)
  • Visiting the Vatican and the Vatican Museum probably won’t be at the top of your children’s to do list. If you decide to go anyway, a private tour will allow you to skip the long entrance lines and pick out the highlights of the museum’s extensive works.

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Tuscany: Agriturismo With Kids

Tuscany and Umbria Agriturismo with swimming pool for Family

This is so much fun for families. Stay at one of the Best Agriturismo in Tuscany or Best Agriturismo in Umbria. These are working farms typically with a beautiful setting and a rustic atmosphere (though accommodations can range from spartan to luxurious). Getting a villa that has a swimming pool is a good idea when traveling with kids. Meals are often included (and delicious). Getting a rental car is close to mandatory as agriturismos are off the usual bus and train routes.

Best Agriturismo for Families in Italy

  • Salvadonica – Family rooms sleep family of five. Nice swimming pool.
  • Castello Vicchiomaggio – Two-bedroom apartments and family junior suites sleep families of four and five. Nice swimming pool.

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About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loves Greece and Europe, travel and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers dedicated to providing the best travel content on the internet. We focus on Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece, offering recommendations for top hotels, neighborhoods, and family-friendly hotels worldwide. Dave can be contacted at

  1. Which Greek Island for Family of 4

    We are a family of four (kids 12 and 15) who will be visiting the Dolomites for 4 or 5 days in July. We plan on hiking and eating! We will have another week or so afterwards and would like to visit somewhere else in Europe for a beach holiday. So of course I ‘m thinking about Greece. We are an active family that enjoys swimming in the sea, jumping off rocks and eating seafood. We (I) also love visiting historical sites. What is your recommendation? Should we stick to one island or maybe two? Which ones? We have traveled to Spain, England and Italy and my family’s favorite was the town of Praiano on the Amalfi Coast- the food, swimming and jumping off rocks!
    Thank you for your help.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      In the Cyclades, Santorini, Naxos, Ios, and Milos all have cliff jumping. Santorini and Naxos are the best for history (actually both are great for history). All of them have wonderful food. With one week I’d stick to two islands, max.

  2. Family of 4 Trip to Europe

    A lot of great ideas here! Thanks.
    We are planning to go to Paris followed by London March 29 to April 6 (and back to Paris for flight home). This just happens to coincide with Brexit. If we nix the London leg, where else would you recommend we take our 10 & 6 year old for a few days? I’m starting to get concerned about the possible issues with Brexit and want to consider another, close by, location that we could travel to – as our first trip overseas as a family of 4.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Barcelona is great with kids and much better weather than London in April. Amsterdam is another good alternative.

  3. European Destination over Christmas Holidays in Europe

    Hello Dave,

    I’m planning to travel along with my wife and my 3-years old boy. The period is between December 25 and December 31. Ideally we would love to have a place where the kid can have really some good time (he enjoys parks, and love animals) as well we enjoy the city and restaurants.

    Which city would you recommend?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Barcelona is a great kid-friendly destination in winter for families.

  4. Sidetrip from Prague

    We are travelling at the end of September and beginning of October to Switzerland to visit friends. We have a 7 and 9 year old. We will be ending our trip in Prague but we are trying to figure out a destination that would be fun for us in the middle part of our vacation. We have discussed flying to Barcelona or Italy, but is there any destination that you would recommend. Thanks for your advice. Great website.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I think the Greek islands are the best family-destination in Europe. Crete is a great choice for a trip later in the fall. Great weather and beautiful towns and beaches.

  5. Europe Itinerary with Young Kids

    Hi Dave,

    We are planning to travel in October with a 2.5 year old and a 5 month old. We have a flight booked to London and then South of France, Zurich then Dubai (1 full month here). What are your recommendations for how to spend our month in Europe? An idea we had was 9 days in London, fly to Nice for 7 days, train to Zermatt for 3 days, train to St.Moritz for 3 days and then 7 days in Zurich. We are a bit worried with such young kids that his might be way too much traveling. Any recommendations of how to move around with more ease? Also out of those location is there a place you wouldn’t recommend us to see given our family situation?

    Thanks Chris and Nicole

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It sounds wonderful. Traveling by train through Europe is the way to go (though for longer routes obviously flights are best). My only hesitation is Switzerland in October – it’s not winter yet with snow-related fun, and not summer when you’d be swimming. Not sure what you have planned there but I would be more inclined to move south (Italy, Spain, Crete) than north.

  6. Family Holiday in Europe

    Your site has been so helpful in planning our past overseas trips! What a great resource, thank you for this great site! We’re an active family of two adults and three kids, ages 10, 8 and 6. We’re hoping to take our kids on their first European adventure this July, flying from NYC. My husband and I traveled fairly extensively throughout Europe before kids, but are struggling with where to take the kids for their first EU trip. Just when it seems we’ve decided on an itinerary, we remember a wonderful past trip and what an impact it had on us and we’re lost in the memories.
    We only have a week, but would like to break up our short time between city/culture and beach. We’ve discussed Italy (Rome/Sicily or Rome/Sardinia?), Spain (Barcelona?) or Greece (Athens + an island?). Culture, great food and weather are important. Do you have a favorite European destination that checks off these boxes and and can be enjoyed in week?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Greece is my favorite family destination in Europe. Super fun, unique, great food, history, beaches, island hopping. It’s the best of the best.

  7. Where To Go with Kids in Europe in April

    This is a great resource. I was reading all the previous questions and answers, trying to triangulate to an answer. But, I thought I’d comment directly – I have a 13, 11, 9 year-old kids who have never been to Europe. We have a week (plus weekends) off in April and trying to figure out a good european destination. Based on your insights, I was thinking Barcelona, but wanted to see if you thought hitting another location there is feasible/recommended, and if so, what do you suggest? They’ve never been on a “real” train to date, so wondering if Nice or Madrid would be a good experience. Anyhow, I’m very open if you have any recommendations since we are a blank slate. Thanks in advance.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I would do Barcelona and Madrid with train ride between the two. (Stay a night or two longer in Barcelona than Madrid.) Try to fly into one city and out of the other so you don’t have to backtrack.

  8. European Cities Like Sorrento

    Hi! I enjoyed reading all your information. We loved Sorrento on a trip to Italy a couple years ago as it was walkable, had interesting shops, was close to historic sites for day trips and was on the beach. We’re looking at another trip to Europe (initially thinking Spain). Can you recommend other similar cities in Spain or elsewhere that we might like based on our love for Sorrento?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’d suggest San Sebastián in northern Spain’s Basque Country. Set on a beautiful bay near the French border, it has a fabulous beach and an atmospheric Parte Vieja (old town) that’s easily covered on foot. It’s also renowned for its amazing food. There are several Michelin-starred restaurants in and around the city and its attractive streets are lined with bars serving pintxos (delicious bar snacks like a Basque version of tapas). At the other end of the country in Andalucía, Almuñécar is a beach resort much loved by Spanish holidaymakers. It boasts a couple of long pebbly beaches and a small historic quarter capped by a hilltop castle. From the town, you can take trips to the Sierra Nevada mountains and to Granada, whose Alhambra palace complex is one of Spain’s most magnificent sights.

  9. Kid-friendly Italian Beach Town

    Hi Dave, Heaps of good info here. Could you please recommend a picturesque small coastal Italian town/village to stay in with a 10 year old. A swimming beach is a must, and being within striking distance of Rome and other kid friendly day trips would be ideal. Amalfi Coast and Capri look amazing, but they do seem extremely busy with tourist traffic. September/October time period. Any ideas? Thank you.
    Ben Tilley

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Amalfi Coast and Capri are both wonderful but they’re some way from Rome. For somewhere closer, Sperlonga has two glorious sandy beaches and a charming hilltop center. The only problem is it’s something of a hike to get to – you’ll need to take a train from Rome Termini to Fondi-Sperlonga (about one and a quarter hours) and then a connecting bus. Some 90km south of Rome, Sabaudia is another possibility. It’s not the most beautiful of towns but it boasts a fabulous beach and a good range of restaurants and pizzerias, and there’s great walking/cycling in the nearby Parco Nazionale del Circeo. North of Rome, Santa Marinella is a pleasant resort town with an excellent beach and good train connections. Alternatively, you could try Lago di Bracciano, a large volcanic lake popular with weekending Romans. The best base here is Anguillara Sabazia, a small lakeside village accessible by train from Roma Ostiense station. Hope that helps.

  10. Lisbon or Porto with Kids

    Hi David,
    We are heading to Barcelona in late January and early February and have two kids (1.5 and 4 years old). We are in the area for two weeks and were also contemplating a visit to Portugal. Would you recommend Lisbon or Porto for two toddlers? Are there any other cities in Spain that would be good for a winter trip? Thanks so much for all the tips. Love all the recommendations! Irene

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      In general Lisbon has more attractions for families with toddlers than Porto, though in Porto there are a few places that’ll keep you occupied. Zoo Santo Ignacio is fun for kids, and it’s possible to feed lemurs and penguins. Then there’s the World of Discoveries, where staff in period costume and a boat ride takes you through Portugal’s discoveries, though that’s more for your older child than the younger one. The neighbourhood of Foz, where the Douro River joins the Atlantic Ocean, is a great place to go for a walk by the sea with a stroller. Apart from that, Porto’s attractions for families with young children are limited to the Crystal Palace Gardens, where there are plenty of ducks and peacocks, plus the gardens at the Serralves contemporary museum and Gaia Biological Park, with trails suitable for strollers, replica rural houses to explore, and an otter tank.

      As a bigger city, Lisbon has quite a lot in terms of kid-friendly attractions. There are some nice beaches a short train ride from the city, and though you’ll be visiting in winter, Mediterranean winters are mild and it should be warm enough for your kids to play in the sand. Lisbon Oceanarium, with its shark tank, tropical fish and more, is popular with families, though I’d avoid it on weekends when it gets rather congested with strollers. Lisbon Zoo has well-cared-for animals and a petting zoo for young kids. The zoo is at one end of the Parque das Nacoes (Expo Park), which has interactive outdoor features for your older child, plus a cable car. Riding on the classic Tram 28 through the narrow streets of the Alfama neighbourhood is a big hit with some kids, though avoid taking the tram during rush hour. The one challenging thing about Lisbon is that it’s hilly, and there are many cobbled streets, which make pushing a stroller hard work.

      In Spain, Barcelona’s an excellent choice for a vacation with small children, especially since most attractions are accessible year-round because of the climate. There’s Barcelona zoo, with a farmyard section, petting zoo and pony rides, the excellent L’Aquarium with shark tunnels and the nearby marina and long stretch of the Barceloneta Beach, which is great for wandering along with a stroller. If your older child likes museum, the Museu Egipci is a good place to learn about mummies, the secrets of the pyramids and pharaohs. Museu Blau, part of the Science Museum, has a skeleton of a whale, plus the Science Nest with interactive activities for young kids up to the age of 6. For great views of the city and some gentle fairground rides, it’s worth making the trip to Parc D’Attracions Tibidabo, up in the hills above Barcelona. Apart from that, there are large parks for kids to let loose in – Montjuic, with its cable cars and gardens, plus Parc de la Citadella being just two of them.

      As for other Spanish cities worth a visit in the winter, Seville immediately springs to mind. It’s not too cold during the day, and you can visit the Alcazar Palace with its extensive gardens and beautiful rooms, go for a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of the historic centre, take a stroller along the picturesque Guadalquivir river, visit the aquarium or take the kids to the large, popular Maria Louisa park with a large playground and pigeons to feed.

      Madrid can be quite cold in winter, but if you don’t mind the cold, there’s plenty to do as a family. Parque de Retiro with its lake and extensive gardens is very popular, plus there’s a good zoo, aquarium, and Faunia (kind of like a zoo, with different climatic areas, penguin enclosure and interactive sections where kids can feed goats and donkeys. Then there’s a Natural Science Museum, which would be particularly fun for your older child, with its different interactive displays.

      The nice thing about Spain (and Portugal) is that families with kids are generally made to feel very welcome in cafes and restaurants, and even if there’s no child menu, waiters tend to make an effort to keep kids happy, so feeding your kids is very rarely an issue.

  11. Europe with 3 Boys

    We are traveling from this summer June 10-August 20 with our 3 boys (Ages 14,12, 8). We are at the very beginning of our planning and I have some general transportation questions. We were thinking of renting a camper van or could be get by with a small rental car and staying in AirBnbs. Or could we get around by train. We want to be efficient in our travels because we have a lot we want to see.

    We are very big into hiking and the mountains but we are also wanting to see many of the historic sites. The countries we would like to visit are as follows:
    Spain: 2 weeks. Do you recommend Barcelona over Madrid? We also are going to see a friend in Santandar for one week
    France: Chamonix looks amazing or is there another area is Southern France you like. We may or may not make it to Paris.
    Switzerland: We want to see the cute mountain towns and do some hiking. Any base area you recommend? Number of days required. Maybe 2 different bases for a few days each.
    Northern Italy: I want to see the Dolomites and we want to take the kids to Venice
    Austria: My son wants to see Salzburg and Vienna but Innsbruck and Hohe Tauern National Park looks gorgeous
    Slovenia: Bled and Mt Triglav looks amazing but wondering about places with historic significance in Slovenia. Or could we skip Slovenia.
    Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park and Split
    Hungry: Budapest (A must)
    Poland: Krakow, my boys know everything about WWII and they want to see this.
    Southern Czech Republic and several small towns.
    Amsterdam for a few days at the end.

    My main question is transportation. We have been saving for this trip for years and will be on a budget with 5 but we can spend the money where we need to. Do you recommend renting a camper van, trains for 5 people and staying in apartments or are there some countries where a car is necessary to get to the little towns and mountains.

    Thanks so much

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If I had to choose between a camper van or a car and staying in Airbnb’s, I would definitely do the latter. It’s just that in many European cities, streets tend to be too narrow to navigate in a camper van and finding a parking space can be very difficult. Narrow mountain roads can also be a problem. Plus, staying in AirBnbs gives you a much more immersive experience, since you’d be staying with and interacting with locals. It would make your trip more memorable, especially if it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

      Train travel is also viable, since many European destinations are well-connected by train. It’s worth figuring out exactly where you’d like to go before making a final decision about transportation, and to do that it’s worth having a look at Eurail and Interrail to get an idea of where you can easily get to by train and how much rail passes would cost for the entire family. Also, cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Budapest, Vienna and Amsterdam have excellent public transportation, so you wouldn’t need a car when in the cities themselves.

      The one advantage of renting a car is being able to get to and around the more out of the way places more easily, especially since you’re keen hikers, though all places you mention are reachable by public transportation. Depending on your final plans, you can spend most of your time travelling by train (and public transportation in cities) and only rent a car from time to time, just to get out to more remote areas. Out of all the places you mention, there’s nowhere where having a car is an absolute must; it’s just that having your own wheels means getting around remote places quicker rather than having to adjust your plans in order to catch the one or two daily buses or trains heading into the mountains. Also, having a car gives you that extra flexibility in case you decide to change your plans somewhat and stay a bit longer in one place or another. Travelling around Europe by train is very doable, though on some popular routes, it means booking train tickets in advance, which makes it most difficult to change your plans. Cost is something to consider as well: renting a car for the entire time that you’re in Europe may work out cheaper for the five of you than a train passes for the whole family. It’s worth comparing the costs of the two.

      Spain: if you have time to visit both Madrid and Barcelona, I would recommend both, because they’re both vibrant, interesting cities with a lot to see and do, and they’re very different in character. If I had to choose, Barcelona would probably just about win because if its stunning location by the sea and surrounding attractions. Since you’re going to Santander, you might want to consider spending a couple of days in the Picos de Europa national park – it’s about an hour’s drive from Santander and there’s some excellent hiking to be done there. During the peak season of July to September, some access roads into the park are closed to private vehicles, and served by local buses and taxis instead.

      France: For hiking, Chamonix really is amazing and the hiking is excellent; if I had to choose one region in France to go hiking, it’d definitely be Chamonix. If you find that you have a couple of days for Paris, it’s well worth a visit because it’s a wonderful, interesting city.

      For Switzerland, Zermatt in the south of the country makes an excellent hiking base, with numerous day hikes of varying length and difficulty amid stunning mountain scenery. Grindelwald is another good base with a good variety of hikes, from easy to challenging, plus on the Eiger Trail you can get close to the famous Eiger mountain popular with mountain climbers.

      Austria: Salzburg is small and beautiful and if you’re fans of the Sound of Music, that’s where the movie was shot and you can easily do a tour of the movie locations. It’s hard to beat Vienna for culture (and good food) and Innsbruck is a superb destination for hikers; it’s in the heart of Tyrol, Austria’s scenic mountain region, and you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to trails. There’s some very good hiking around Salzburg as well, but not quite on the same scale as around Innsbruck. Hohe Tauern National Park is another beautiful location and worth visiting; it all depends on how much time you want to spend and where.

      Northern Italy: Dolomites is an excellent choice for hiking and Venice is an absolutely unique city – there’s nowhere in Europe quite like it.

      Slovenia: If you visit one place, make it Bled – it’s a really beautiful location with a lakeside castle and the country’s best hiking in Triglav National Park, right on the doorstep. Places of historic significance in Slovenia include old towns such as Ljubljana (the capital, with an old historic centre, castle, cathedral) and Celje (centuries-old town with medieval castle), but if you find yourself short of time, Slovenia is not Europe’s must-see.

      Croatia: Can’t argue with Plitvice Lake National Park – absolutely beautiful lakes, waterfalls and some great walking trails. Split is one of Croatia’s most beautiful cities and it’s only a couple of hours away from Dubrovnik, further south, which has a gorgeous maze of medieval streets (and it’s also where parts of the Game of Thrones was shot, in case you’re fans).

      Budapest: Absolutely. It’s a very scenic city, sitting on both sides of the Danube River and there’s plenty to see – it’s heavy both on medieval history and WWII history, plus there’s good hiking in the Buda Hills nearby, there are lots of great places to eat and it’s also famous for its thermal baths – both indoor and outdoor ones.

      Poland: Krakow is definitely one of the two places I’d visit in Poland, the other being Warsaw. And yes, it’s a must-see for WWII history, not least because the remains of the Auschwitz concentration camp are an hour away from the city and easy to visit. For something completely different, it’s also worth visiting the Salt Cathedral, one of Poland’s biggest attractions.

      Czech Republic: The Czech Republic has the densest network of hiking trails in the world so you are spoiled for choice. I’d head to the northern mountains – Krušné and Krkonoše, taking in castles and spa towns on the way. Of course you’d want to see Prague, perhaps at the start.

      Netherlands: Amsterdam is a great way to finish off the trip – lots to see, culture-wise, easy to get around, either on public transportation and hiring bicycles, and lots of good places to eat.

  12. London or Paris with Kids

    Heading to Madrid to visit relatives for a week with our 12, 10 and 7 year old. We have a second week and exploring our options for other locations. This will be their first time to Europe. In their minds, they want to see the Eiffel Tower, but wondering if London would be more suitable? Jessica

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      London has more to see and do that clearly falls into the kid-friendly category. Paris feels more foreign and unique (in a good way) for an American. London is busier and more spread out. Paris is more compact and walkable. Tours (e.g. food, bike, boat) are more plentiful and appealing in Paris.

  13. Where To Go with Kids in Europe

    We are travelling to Europe next August for a wedding in Sicily, with two active boys aged 4 and 23 months. Any suggestions for where to visit for 6 nights after Sicily, before we end our trip with a week in Lake Como? We want to stay in one location to minimize packing, and has to be kid-friendly in terms of accommodation, the sights & activities and getting around.

    Options we are considering include either Nice / Provence region, Sardinia, Athens (or one of the islands), Paris or Amsterdam?
    We are from Australia and this will be the first long-haul trip with the kids, and (apart from a few nights in Paris 12 years ago), we have not visited any of these places before to know what they are like. The boys love the outdoors and are not interested in sitting in restaurants watching the world go by.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      All the places you mention are awesome, but I’m partial to Greece and the Greek islands. Nothing beats island hopping, beach going, and the relaxed (but still charming) vibe on a Greek island.

  14. Poland with Kids

    Love your tips! I enjoy travelling with my kids and showing them the world so much. Before every trip me and my husband always try to make an itinerary and find as many attractions for our family as possible, and some children-friendly spots, it saves us so much time when we have it ready. Last time we went to Poland and had so much fun. We got some recommendations from our Polish friends and the one place that we really loved was a restaurant called the Akademia, it was in Warsaw. We had great time with delicious food and our kids were not bored, as they have a special corner for children. I wish more restaurants follow the example. All in all, Warsaw and Poland was amazing and it is perfect for a trip with kids.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Wow! Sounds amazing. Thanks for the info.

  15. Itinerary for Family Vacation to Europe

    Dave, we are looking to vacation in Europe for 2 weeks in 2nd half of May, with two small children (11 months and 5 yr old). We will fly from LA and are looking for suggestions on where to go. We are interested in culture and history and are trying to stay in two places (1 week each) as hauling luggage and small kids is very taxing. We would consider staying by a beach in a historic town, then travel somewhere else. As an alternative we are looking at going to Prague for a week, then somewhere else other than Vienna as long as it can be reached easily by train or with a budget airline. Any suggestions for itineraries?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are so many possibilities to try to single one out is a little silly … but I’ll try: how about 1 week in Barcelona then (train or fly) to Nice, France for the second week. Both are great family-friendly places.

  16. Vienna with Kids

    We will be in Vienna for 2 days, with 9 and 7 year old boys. The youngest loves music. What are your top recommendations of things to do in Vienna. Thanks, Jay

  17. Good Itinerary for Family Trip to Europe

    Hi, I like your suggestions and agree that there are some superb places in Greece that can’t be beaten (but remember there is more to Greece than the islands and the mainland (esp. Peloponnese) is equally interesting and fun).

    I’d like to suggest a new blog idea for you – we are tentatively planning a 12-month road trip with two kids aged, maybe 9 and 10 by then, almost certainly in a camper-van, starting in, say, Holland and ending in Portugal where we live. We will exclude the UK & Ireland, since we have visited there a couple of times, and our focus is to visit must-see places important for children to know about i.e. predominantly historical sites and maybe some natural wonders and any other must-see-in-a-lifetime places.

    If you see my first-pass without-thinking list below you will get the idea. I wonder if you’d like to make a few suggestions or a full blog?

    Thanks and regards, Matthew Cullen.

    • Anne Frank Museum + Kids museum
    • Eiffel tower, Catacombs Paris
    • Loire valley castles?
    • Oradour-Sur-Glane
    • Germany – where? Berlin wall
    • Malbork (Marienburg) Castle, near Gdansk
    • at least one concentration camp (Sachsenhausen / Auschwitz- Birkenau, + Warsaw ghetto
    • Krakow incl enamel factory
    • the Wolf’s Lair?
    • Tatras
    • Prague
    • Vienna
    • Budapest
    • north & central Romania?
    • Dubrovnik, Croatia
    • Montenegro
    • Winter in Greece: Prespa, Vergina, Meteora, Delphi, Olympia, Monemvasia +++ can’t wait!
    • Aoos gorge if weather permits (in lieu of Samaria gorge in Crete)
    • boat to Italy
    • Sicily?
    • Perugia?, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice
    • Nice, Arles, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Carcassonne etc southern France
    • canoeing Pont du Gard
    • San Sebastian
    • Barcelona? but been there often
    • tomato festival, Valencia?
    • Madrid, Toledo because I have never been there
    • fantastic Portugal – all over

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’m not sure what you’re asking or if there’s even a question. Looks like a fun itinerary though. Good luck.

  18. Where To Fly To for Naxos

    Thank you for your information. My family of 4 would like to visit Naxos, Greece from your recommendation for best family friendly places with a beach. Which is the best way to get to Naxos? I believe we will fly into Athens or is flying into Santorini. Dee Dee

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Naxos is the single best beach destination for families in Europe, so good choice. Both Santorini and Athens have direct flights from western European hubs. Naxos does not (but does have flights from Athens). Santorini is closer to Naxos than Athens and it’s quicker/easier getting from Santorini airport to the ferry port, than from Athens airport to the ferry port. If you’re interested in both Athens and Santorini I would fly into one, spend a night or two to see the sights, ferry to Naxos, ferry to the other one, see the sights, and fly home. No need to arrive and depart from the same place.

  19. Europe Beaches in Late October / November

    We are looking to make our first trip that involves a longer flight (Hawaii,Europe) in the Fall- likely mid October or possibly November. We have twins who will be 6 at that time. Candidly I’m overwhelmed by all of the options. I want to go somewhere where there are beaches/activites that the kids would enjoy but it seems like most of the places that I’ve researched aren’t warm enough at that time or beach towns have kind of shut down (Greece, Croatia). Am I missing something? Would love any suggestions you might have. Lisa Basch

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Crete (in Greece) has the warmest weather in October/November of any European beach destination. It will be fine for swimming and beach activities in mid-October but by late October / early November it will be getting cool and it would take an unseasonable heat wave for you to be swimming in early November. The south side of Crete will be more likely to be warm late into October.

  20. Family Destination for Beach, Shopping, and Great Food

    Awesome site! I would like to take my mother (69 with some mobility issues) and my son (6) to Europe in late July. My son loves the beach and nature, whereas my mother loves shopping and great restaurants. Any suggestions on where to go to please them both. Alicia

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Chania (Crete), Mykonos, or Barcelona.

  21. Where To Go in Late November

    Hi David, your blog/website has helped me with my last two trips to Europe from Australia. This time around I am hoping for some advice. We will be in Bulgaria (for sons sport) until 21st November. We have then booked a cruise from 26th November from Genoa Italy. In the days in between I would have loved to visit Santorini but my research is telling me that it’s not the best time to enjoy it. So my question is where should we go? (We have previously been to Rome, Venice, Paris, London, Rovenimi, Denmark). We travel with our 13 and 16 year olds. Thank you in advance.
    Tracey McGuinness

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Santorini can be chilly and have some rain in late November – so yes, less than ideal – but it can also be warm, clear skies, and very few tourists, so I wouldn’t say it’s a no-go. But there probably are better options. Barcelona would be right at the top of my list.

  22. Best Budget Friendly Destination in Europe for Families

    Hi David,
    Family of 6 (kids aged 15,14, & 9yo twins) would like to travel to Europe in late July/early August. Any destination suggestions that would be budget-friendly? Kids not so into museums etc., more active participation activities (biking, hiking, boating) would be better. Help! Nicole

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Greek Islands are the best value for money in Europe for families. Super fun, easy, and kid-friendly – and still unique, new, and a little “foreign”.

  23. Where To Go with Kids in Europe over Spring Break

    HI David,

    I have just come across your website and I love the detailed information you give. I love travelling and seize every opportunity to do it for I work for an airline. I need some suggestions…in the upcoming spring break (End March- early april), I would like to travel with my kids aged 8 and 5 to some place in Europe. Was looking at the islands in Greece or if not Barcelona, Nice, or Lisbon. Any suggestions and what you feel may be a good option?
    Would be grateful for any advice. Looking at just 5-6 days and this travelling will be without my husband so need someplace which is relatively safe.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      All of these places are great (and safe). You won’t be swimming or sun bathing at all in March/early April so that makes the Greek islands a little less appealing. Barcelona and Lisbon will have the most going on as they’re big lively cities. Since it’s essentially a coin-flip I’d look at flight connections and decide by what has the easiest itinerary.

  24. Good European Destination for Active Family

    Love your site, thanks for all the info. Thinking of planning a trip in late June, 2 weeks, with our 2 girls, ages 8 and 11. I am having a hard time choosing an itinerary. Our kids love beach vacations, but I’d like to show them some culture. We are an adventurous family, love hiking and exploring. Our 8 year old won’t do well visiting many museums, she has quite a bit of energy. Places I’ve considered are London, Paris, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, or spending the entire 2 weeks in Italy. Obviously I can’t do it all, any thoughts? Thanks!! Rene

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Those are all great ideas but the first place that jumped into my mind was Crete: great beaches, hikes, history, and culture. I’d do 10 days there then ferry to Santorini for 3 or 4 more days. Santorini has some stunning walks/hikes and you can do a caldera boat tour with a visit to the volcano and hot springs. The destruction of the island by the volcano is interesting for both kids and adults. You can fly directly into Crete from Western Europe and fly back out from Santorini (don’t retrace your steps to Crete).

  25. Kid-friendly Town in Europe

    HI David!

    Looking for a great place with to take my 2.5 year old in September of this year? We love food, culture and the local charm but still would need kid friendly places to eat where the adults may be able to grab a pint or glass of wine as well. Any suggestions? I was looking at the UK or Netherlands?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The first place that comes to mind is Nice, France as it is a wonderful small city that ticks all your boxes. In the UK, I would do Galway. In the Netherlands, consider Utrecht.

  26. Europe with Teenagers

    Hi David,
    Never been to Europe, yet planning a 2+ week trip to Europe from US in June. Kids will be 17, 13, 13 at time of travel. Likely would fly into London, train to Paris, fly to Rome and then return home from Rome. We like to be active, take guided tours, self explore, and see the sights, yet schedule in a couple “do nothing” days to recharge and just soak in the local vibe. Considering 5 nights in London, 5 nights in Paris, and 5 nights in Rome, but would be curious of your thoughts on this itinerary and whether you would adjust the # of nights for a family with 3 teenagers.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Sounds like an awesome trip and I like that you’re not trying to do too much. London does have the most to do for teens (in terms of actual attractions) so if anything, add a day there. That said, if it were me I would do 5/5/5.

  27. Spain, Portugal, and Italy with Kids

    We’re taking a big family trip to Europe for 4 weeks next year with our 2 yr old. We’re thinking Spain, Italy and Portugal.

    What cities would you suggest and what are the must see/do?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Highlights: Porto, Barcelona, Seville, Florence, Siena, Rome, Perugia, Orvieto, Lucca.

  28. Spain, France, or Italy with Kids

    Hi David,
    We would like to visit Italy (Rome, Naples, and then Sorrento as our base for day trips to Capri etc) the first week in October for 10 days. Our children will be 6 and 3 at the time of travel.
    We did Paris last year at the same time…the museum’s, churches even the Eiffel Tour was a big bore for them. They had the best time in parks with playgrounds and DisneyLand Paris.

    I have read your comments on your favourite places for kids and it Barcelona is coming out tops. Should we consider doing this instead in the Italian itinerary I have in mind? Would the South of France also be a good option instead?

    Looking forward to your advise.

    Kind regards

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      All 3 areas are wonderful. Since Italy grabbed your attention first I would stick to that.

  29. Family Friendly Destination in Europe with Beach and Water Parks

    Wow what an awesome blog!
    I’ve a son who’ll be 2 in July. We’re from the UK and looking for a European break in August that will suit him and us. Not sure where to go, any recommendations? We like some culture, but would like the option to have lazy days in the sun playing on beaches and water parks too. We were looking at Italy as my DH hasn’t been there, but open to suggestions!
    Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Nice, France is an idyllic destination with great parks, water fountains, restaurants, and beach-front walkway. Beaches here are stoney but it’s easy to hop on a train and get to great sand in less than 20 minutes.

  30. Best Cities in Europe for Kids

    Hi David, love your blog!

    We are from Sydney, Australia and planning to visit Europe mid-Apr. We have 3 kids (9,5,3); which cities are best for kids? We’re thinking – London, Paris, any more suggestions? Will 3 weeks be enough in Europe?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Amsterdam is great for families. Weather in Amsterdam can be all over the place in April – anything from rain and clouds to warm and clear. If you’re looking for better weather then Barcelona is a wonderful choice.

  31. Where To Go in October (anywhere in the world)

    Looking for the best kid-friendly destinations for mid October. Interested in Europe, but not limited to. Thank you! Misty

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Beaches: Greece, Spain, Bali, Fiji.
      Sightseeing and activities: Italy, Japan, California
      Cities: London, Paris, Rome, New York, Boston, Tokyo

  32. Where To Go in Europe in March with Kids

    Please help,
    I am in need of suggestions for a family vacation in March for 10 days, it will be myself, my husband and our three kids (4,2 and 5 months). I have no idea where to go, all I know is that I want to visit Europe. Any suggestions? Julie

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Portugal and Spain are wonderful in March – though you still won’t be swimming (water is still chilly) but sightseeing and exploring are great in spring.

  33. Switzerland, Austria, and Italy with Kids

    Greetings David! Thank you for an awesome family travel site. We are planning a 2-3 week European trip with kids ages 6 & 5 in October. We were thinking of driving from Switzerland down to Austria & then to Italy. We’d appreciate any recommendations. Thank you! Michelle

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      My main recommendation would be to take the train instead of driving. Much easier, more relaxing, and feels more like a trip to Europe. Take the train and your kids will remember for years running through the station, finding your seats, and the border guards walking down the aisles of the train. Drive a car and it will blend it with the trip to your hometown mall.

  34. Where To Go in Europe with Kids 3 and 5

    Hi David, we are planning a trip from Australia to Europe in May for my brothers wedding and have a few things already planned but have another week up our sleeve and are not sure where to go. We will be in Ireland for a week for the wedding, we’ve already got 2 weeks booked near Lot region in France (plus Paris Disney etc) and 5 days London. For the extra 5-7 days we were thinking either Berlin, Switzerland or somewhere else? Our kids will be 5 and 3 years old and my husband and I have done a lot of European cities already when we were living in London (pre-kids) so trying to find somewhere we both haven’t been to! Italy, and Greece out as we’ve both done lots of that and my hubby has already done heaps of Spain. Thanks in advance.
    Holly Henry

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Switzerland has some wonderful cities and towns. Prague is high on my list of favorites. Biking around the Netherlands (it’s easy to rent kid-carrying trailers) would also be highly recommended.

  35. Family Friendly Escape That's Not Too Expensive

    Hi David,

    I want to travel to Europe from NYC for 8-10 days in August with my husband and almost 2 year old son. We LOVE to travel. But we have never been to Europe. Instead of birthday parties for our son we decided we will celebrate his birthday in a different place of the world each year. His first birthday was spent in Barbados. This year, we want a place in Europe where we can explore the culture, beaches, nature and food. We are looking for a family-friendly escape that will not break the bank. Can you perhaps suggest your top choices so that we can have a starting point? Do you recommend Home rentals over hotels? ANY tips would be extremely helpful.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Naxos is a wonderful Greek island that might be exactly what you’re looking for. Fantastic beaches, great food, interesting history and culture, and pretty cheap (for Europe). Could also do some island hopping to Paros, Mykonos, or Santorini as jumping on a ferry is always fun (for kids and adults). For Naxos accommodations, using or Hotelscombined is best for price and convenience.

  36. Europe in February with Young Kids

    Hello David, we are planning to head to Europe in early February from warm sunny Singapore. Considering places like Paris, Rome, Barcelona or Switzerland. Will be travelling with a 3 year old and a 5 month old and the 3 year old requested to see snow for her first time. Any recommendations for which place has snow to play with but is baby friendly and child friendly? Jane

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are lots of family friendly areas along the border where France, Switzerland, and Italy meet. A beautiful, family friendly area is Lake Annecy which is popular in both summer and winter due to its great skiing as well as cultural attractions. The lake is one of the most beautiful in Europe and the region is home to an ancient chateau. The town of Annecy looks like it is out of a fairy tale and has a charming medieval quarter. Chamonix is another town to consider because not only does it have rustic charm, you’re also at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. Mont Blanc is covered in snow year round, even in summer. There are cable cars that take you up to the peaks where you can see panoramic views and glaciers. If you’re looking for more of a family friendly resort with lots of different activities, then one of the most popular is Avoriaz. They don’t allow cars (only horse drawn carriages and snow mobiles) and they have the “Village des Enfants” which hosts everything from a daycare center for infants to a beginners ski school for kids ages 3-16. Lessons are even timed so that parents start their classes 15 minutes after the kids, and there is something for all ages.

  37. Where To Go in March

    Hi there – I have a young son who will be 3 years old in March. I am looking for a place in Europe or Asia to vacation in March. I am wondering if you have any suggestions. Thanks.
    Dena Murphy

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The weather is still cool to cold in most of Europe in March. OK for sightseeing but not great weather for beaches (not sure if that’s an interest or not). If sun and sand are a priority then the islands of Thailand have great weather in March.

  38. Where To Go In Europe With Kids

    Dear David
    We are from Australia but now live in Bucharest. We have 2 young sons and will be having visitors fro Australia for a few weeks in July. We don’t know where to take them! Somewhere not too expensive, but we almost have too much choice. What do you know about the Black Sea Coast? We have been looking at the Bulgarian coast. We need your help! We love Barcelona too. We will be travelling with a 5 and 3 year old, and more elderly parents.
    Thank you in advance
    Frances Biffin

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Sorry, I don’t know anything about the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, though I’ve heard it’s beautiful. You are also close to Croatia’s wonderful coast and the Greek islands. Greece can be pretty cheap if you plan ahead and find an inexpensive family-owned hotel with a kitchenette.

  39. Where To Go with 2 Young Kids in Europe

    Hi David,
    We are hoping to go to Europe this summer for 10 – 14 days (still planning). We aren’t sure whether to go to Greece, Barcelona or do a driving trip around Ireland. We are a family of four – 2 adults and 2 children (18 months and 6 years old). What would you recommend? A couple of countries are possible as well since our time is pretty flexible. Thanks for your help!
    Alyson Sagara

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Nothing beats Greece for a family vacation. So much fun! (But we love Ireland and Barcelona too, so can’t really go wrong.)

  40. Spain with Kids – What Stroller?

    We leave for Spain in a few days and I was thinking of taking our in-line double stroller (its a city select by baby jogger). We will be in Barcelona for some time and Madrid for some time, spending all together 15 days traveling around. Our kids are 3yrs and 1.5yrs.
    Do you advise taking a double stroller or two separate umbrella strollers?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Umbrella strollers don’t do very well in old European cities. I’d go with your jogger as the city select ones are still a restaurant-suitable size.

  41. Best Spain Cities with Kids

    Hi! My husband and i are planning a trip next year for my 30th birthday. Our son will be 1 yr old. We are thinking of doing a road trip in Spain for a couple of weeks as we think that it will be much more laid back and we wont have to be on a “set” schedule. Besides Barcelona, are there any other cities that you recommend while having in a mind a toddler? thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Lots of great little towns throughout the country (in many ways it doesn’t matter which ones you choose) but as for cities Seville is pretty close to a must.

  42. Where To Go First Time in Europe with Kids

    Hi David,

    We are planning a trip for a week overseas. We have a 13 year old and 11 year old who have never been outside the US. Where would you recommend taking them for their first trip overseas? We would be going in mid April. Was thinking maybe London/England but open to suggestions. They love to travel and we want to make it special and fun for them!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It doesn’t get much better than a trip to London and Paris. Fly into one and home from the other so you don’t have to retrace your steps (can cost a little more but worth it for the money and time you save not having to return to where you started). Take the Eurostar train (kids love it) from city to the other. So much to do in both cities and the big crowds will not have really kicked in yet. Weather could be surprisingly pleasant, though do pack for anything.

  43. Where for New Years in Europe with Kids

    We are looking to travel for New Years (around December 28th – January 5, but flexible with dates!) with our 4 year old daughter and almost 2 year old son. We usually go to Brazil, but we just come back from there.
    Where would you suggest that we all could enjoy a beautiful kid friendly celebration, nice food and a weather that is not so cold?
    We already been to Paris and Italy.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Barcelona is wonderful at New Years. And mild/warm temperatures for Europe.

  44. Stroller-Friendly Cities in Europe

    Hi David,

    We are a family of 5 – 2 Adult+1 senior and 2 kids ( 6 yrs and 4 month old). We are planning our first trip to Europe from Austraila. We have about 25 days to spend in Europe. Can you please suggest some country/attraction that is pram friendly? We definitely want to see Paris and London. Rome is something we would like to see but not sure if its going to be challenge with a 4month old. Thanks for your time

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Amsterdam and Berlin are the two most pram-friendly cities in Europe. London and Paris are both pretty easy with kids (taking the bus is often better than metro since you don’t have to descend the stairs) but the streets are hit and miss for strollers. Nice and Barcelona are two other cities that are very easy to get around with kids and have a great family-friendly vibe.

  45. Near London with 2 Young Children


    I am due to take my kids (3.5 and 1.5) to England in Feb. I will be working during the day in Crouch End and my mother will be watching the kids during the day. Any recommendations on where to stay? We are thinking of renting a apartment/condo for 7-10 days, any neighborhoods that are great for kids? It will be easier for me to travel to work than her to travel with 2 small kids each day.

    Also, 10 hour flight ALONE with 2 kids… We fly often, but never more than 5 hours. Tips?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Taking your kids’ ages into consideration, I’d suggest renting an apartment in the South Kensington area, since it’s right near two museums which are excellent for small children. Crouch End is also fairly easy to get to on the tube from South Kensington tube, with a change at Leicester Square to the Northern Line.

      The Science Museum has lots of hands-on sensory exhibits to play with and two areas specifically for toddlers. Right next to it, the Natural History Museum has its Dinosaur Room (great for under-5s), plus the Mini-Beast Room with lots of buttons and hands-on displays, as well as the Investigate Room for older toddlers (this one tends to be booked for school groups on weekdays, so it’s best to visit in the afternoon). South Kensington is also near Hyde Park, where your mother and the kids can go walking, feed the ducks and play on the playgrounds. South Kensington is also a short tube ride from Regent’s Park, where there are also play areas, as well as London Zoo.

      Covent Garden/Leicester Square would be another good place to stay because it’s really central, your mother could take the kids to the National Portrait Gallery (, which toddlers tend to find entertaining, plus there’s also the excellent London Transport Museum where kids can climb aboard different modes of transport, dress up in the designated play areas and play with model cars and buses. Your mother could also take the kids on a boat from Westminster Pier to Tate Modern, where there are family activities on weekends (11am-4pm) and digital sketch pads for the little ones to create their own masterpieces at the Bloomberg Connect Drawing Bar on Level 3 of the gallery. Leicester Square is even more convenient for your commute to Crouch End (straight up the Northern Line), but the drawback of staying there is that there are no green spaces/playgrounds nearby, unlike South Kensington.

      As for apartments try lets you specify the neighbourhood and your accommodation preferences. can also be a good option, since you can also look for apartments for a short-term stay in your preferred part of London. For flying, make it fun. Kids pick up on your energy. If you’re worried and anxious they will be too. If you say, “wow, this is going to be great,” then it’ll be fun (hopefully).

  46. Europe in Winter

    Dear David,

    Thanks for your service with this blog very generous. I am moving with our 17 months daughter and husband to Dublin. We will have 6 weeks before he starts working in January so I am exploring options to travel in Europe with a baby in such cold weather. I was thinking to travel to Poland, Prague, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal. Is that too much with a baby? We definitely could do it but never travelled to Europe with her before.
    Should aí include or drop any country? Would love to do Sweden, and Denmark but not too sure about weather and kids-friendly options.
    Also I wanted to include London but I realised that I will have many other opportunities as it’s so close to Dublin. Could you help a little to choose the right itinerary? So lost!!!!
    Gabriela Romero

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If it was me I would stick to the southern countries. Fly to Porto, Portugal then train through Lisbon, Madrid, Seville, Barcelona, South France, Tuscany, and fly back to Dublin from Rome or Naples. Unless there is some specific appeal to northern Europe in winter I would save those countries for warmer months.

  47. Family Car Travel in Ireland

    Our family of five is moving to Spain in the new year (kids: 5, 3, 1), and we are starting to plan our first vacation. We would love to do a driving adventure in Ireland. The countryside seems like it would be laid back with our collection of little people – and our kids would love the fairies, leprechauns, castles, etc. And, it will be nice to take a break in an English speaking country. Do you think we would be setting ourselves up for failure? Would we be better off starting elsewhere? Thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I think it sounds great. Driving around Ireland is wonderful – so many beautiful places to stop. And the trips between the towns is so short it’s perfect for families.

  48. Where in Europe in December?

    Hi! Great site!
    We are looking for a European destination for a short vacation, mid December. We are traveling with a 6 month old baby and a nine year old so we are mostly worried about the weather. What would you recommend? Elana

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Spain and Portugal are your best bets: Porto, Lisbon, and Seville are all good choices.

  49. European Family Vacation from New Zealand

    Hi, I’m trying to plan a trip for the family – two kids age 6 and 7. We will have around 25 days to spend in Europe, which sounds like a lot, but I’m quickly learning it’s not! I have a list pf places I would love to see – this is the first time there for any of us (hopefully not the last). Ideally we were thinking of having three different bases in Europe and travelling to other places from there so we can get a feel of what it’s like to actually live there, rather than just do the tourist things, but I’m not sure about that because everyone keeps telling us it’s a terrible idea!!
    So, I’m going to have to cut some places out. What would you recommend? This is the (very long) list of places we are interested in:
    France: Troyes, Strasbourg, Colmar, Paris
    Czech Republic: Prague, Cesky Krumlov
    Austria: Vienna, Salzburg
    Italy: Venice, Siena, Cinque Terra, Florence
    Slovenia: Ljubljana, Lake Bled
    Belgium: Bruges

    As you can see it’s quite a list….any advise would be very much appreciated by this inexperienced Kiwi!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      You could do a loop of Europe by train that would work quite well. You would need to cut a few destinations for time but otherwise it should be great. The destinations a little out of the way (e.g. Cinque Terra, Lake Bled) are probably the most natural to skip.

  50. Family Package Vacations to Europe

    I am trying to plan a trip to Europe with my family of 6 plus my mother for June. My youngest child is 6 yr old and I am having a hard time finding a packaged vacation that allows for children that young. Do you happen to know of any good ones?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I don’t know of any package vacations, sorry. But I always recommend that people book trips on their own (find flights on and hotels with – it usually comes out cheaper and you get a better choice of flights and hotels.

  51. Iceland with a 9 Year Old

    Hi David
    Any thoughts or suggestions on Iceland with a 9 yo girl? We took our first European trip last year to London and now she has the travel bug. We are an adventure loving family of three who loves exploring the less touristy sites of any destination. We thought it could be an interesting trip
    Thank you,
    Amy in Orlando

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Iceland is beautiful and a great destination for those who like a little (or a lot) of adventure. Rent a car and do a 7 to 10 day loop of the Ring Road.

  52. Spain and Portugal with Kids

    Hi David,
    I love your site and always enjoy reading your post. I’m beginning to research and plan our 4 week trip to Portugal and Spain. It will be my husband and I and are two girls (14 & 8 at the time of travel). We will be visiting end of June through end of July. We are very excited and it’s the first time doing Europe with the kids. We enjoy sightseeing, museums, architecture, food, people watching and beaches. We will be doing Airbnb and Hostel for stay and mostly public transportation but a certain part of Spain might do a rental, just because it would be easier. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. We are simple budget travelers and love integrating with the local culture when we travel. I also speak Spanish fluently.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Do at least one walking food tour and one cooking class. They’re marvelous, easy-going, fun ways to get to know a culture. And kids (generally) love them.

  53. Month in Europe with Kids

    Hi David
    Awesome site.
    We will be travelling with children aged 9 and 11 in September next year from Sydney.
    We are looking at spending a few days in Singapore then onto Europe We will have 2 and 1/2 weeks to see as much as possible,then we are travelling to Athens and islands for another two weeks for some chill out time before travelling home.
    Our must see list is London, Paris, Barcelona, Florence, Venice, and Rome.
    I have a few questions.
    Can you give me your suggested itinerary?
    Is there any other places you recommend we see ?
    How would you travel between these places ?
    Do you think two and 1/2 weeks is long enough?
    Which islands in Greece do we definitely need to visit?
    Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Getting Around: London to Paris take the Eurostar train. Fly or train Paris to Barcelona. Fly to Italy, then train within Italy. Fly to Greece.
      Where To Go: Those are all great places, but it’s a lot for 2.5 weeks so might need to drop one (probably Venice or Florence).
      In Greece: Naxos is the most kid-friendly and has great beaches. Mykonos is busy but lots of fun. Ios has a handful of incredible beaches. Santorini is not known for it’s kid-friendliness but it’s so incredible do at least a few days there.

  54. Europe with Kids this Summer

    This is great! Such a helpful resource. I am hoping to take my two children (9,8) to Europe next summer. We are flying into London, where I believe we will spend a week and perhaps go to Ireland. I believe we will also go to Germany/Austria for a week. The final week I am undecided on though I have narrowed it down to France, Italy or Greece. We would likely do Paris, Rome, Athens as a homebase but maybe some travel from there. Do you have a recommendation for which you would choose and why? Elizabeth

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Nothing beats the Greek islands with kids. So relaxed (easy-going island vibe), fun (island hopping by ferry), and just this perennial summer-vacation feel (beaches, food, late dinners).

  55. Prague, Florence, and Rome with Toddler

    Hi David,

    My husband and almost 2 year old and I will be traveling to Prague (3 nights), Florence (7 nights) and Rome (4 nights) on 10/28. Although it is too late now, I am second guessing the Florence destination as it doesn’t seem there is too much there to entertain a toddler and would love some suggestions please. Also, any thoughts on day trips that a 2 year old will survive through that isn’t too much?

    Lastly, is bringing a stroller on this trip a bad idea if we are unable to keep her content in the Ergo for long periods of time?

    Thanks for your help!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Prague, Florence, and Rome might be the 3 worst cities in Europe for a stroller, so yeah, not going to be much use for transport. But it can still be handy as a place to nap in museums and while eating out. A highlight of Florence is eating at one of the restaurants around Piazza Santo Spirito. Great vibe and lots of fun. Great for kids. Siena, San Gimignano, and Fiesole (the closest) are great day trips from Florence.

  56. Good Base for Exploring Europe

    We’re considering renting a place in Europe for 2 weeks in April with our kids (10, 7, 3) and in laws. We have been to Paris and London. Any recommendation for somewhere with a decent climate and a good home base with family friendly day trips? Southern Spain? Italy? Other?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Barcelona and Florence would be my top picks.

  57. Paris or Amsterdam over Winter Holidays


    This is truly a very helpful forum. My husband and I want to take a 7 day trip to Europe from 29 December to 6 January with our 3 year old daughter. We were mainly considering Amsterdam or Paris and couldn’t decide which is better. We are mainly interested in child-friendly activities and seasonal Christmas / NY markets and fairs with more holiday spirit and enough activities. Can you please advise which would be a better choice or recommend any other similar destination keeping the above in mind?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Both are wonderful cities and would be great over the New Years week. I might lean slightly to Paris (since it has more indoor attractions) but can’t go wrong with either.

  58. Switzerland for A Year

    Just moved to Basel, Switzerland from Canada for a year…looking forward to using some of your great trip ideas while here!

    Cynthia Hickey

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Great central location. Have fun.

  59. Unsafe Areas of Europe for Family

    Hi David, My husband and I have decided to pack up our three children, aged 8,6 and 4 and take them on a year long adventure around western Europe and GB.
    We are from New Zealand, so its a big and rather scary adventure. We have booked one way tickets into London on May 2 and from there will be Motor homing for 10-12 months!
    We will be on a very tight budget and plan to mix between wild camping and staying in camping grounds..
    This has been a dream of ours, and we are so excited to finally be embracing on our big journey.
    I am finding lots of information on places that are great for children etc, however – I wonder where is NOT good for children, and/or not safe.
    I also would love any other advice you have for us.
    I look forward to hearing from you
    Thank you for your time, Allie.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Certainly there are less desirable areas in Great Britain and Europe (busy highways and areas with no parks or sidewalks) but generally they’re pretty obvious to the eye and too numerous to name. There are no shortage of wonderful areas so with a little research and a destination in mind each time you start the engine avoiding the uglier parts shouldn’t be much of a problem.

  60. Where in Europe To Go with Kids

    Hi there. Your website has been so helpful to me in planning vacations with my kids, so thank you! Last year, we went to Paris, Bruges and Amsterdam, and my 8 year old twins loved it. I want to plan a spring break trip at the end of March to probably Europe again. They will be 9 at the time and really loved staying in neighborhoods (Saint Germain in Paris and on a houseboat in Amsterdam) on the last trip, so I’d be looking to do the same on this trip. The kids also loved Bruges and all of the medieval architecture, riding on boats through the canals, etc.

    We will have around 8-10 days for the trip and would like to hit a couple of places either within one country or possibly 2 if we fly into one and out of the other.

    Initial thoughts were Barcelona and some other area along the coast in Spain or Germany/Austria or something in Italy. Any thoughts on what might be best?

    Lindsey in Denver

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are so many places to go that meet the “magical” criteria. Barcelona is wonderful – just a great vibe. Nice, along the southern French coast, is super family-friendly – it’s a stone-beach but otherwise perfect for kids and a great base for making fun day trips around South France. Italy is loaded with magical hill towns or old classical villages: Orvieto, Perugia, Lucca, Gubbio, San Gimignano, Todi, or Siena are all great (and there are many others).

      And for something really different and wonderful try staying at a Agriturismo in Tuscany. It’s basically a farm out in the countryside with some rooms to rent (though some have been converted to full-blown hotels or B&Bs). Many have pools and your kids will love it.

  61. Where To Go in Europe with Kids

    Hi- we live in New Zealand and planning to visit Europe in late December and January for 4 weeks. We have 4 kids ages 1-8 years. We have never been to Europe! We are thinking of staying somewhere? Cheaper such as Spain or France and traveling on and out from there. Is this a feasible plan? Do you have any recommendations as to were to base ourselves? Any advice would be much appreciated!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Based on what you’ve told me, I would suggest Barcelona. In general, Spain is cheaper than France and the time of year you’re planning your trip for (late December-January) is a period when many shops in France close. It’s very common for the French to take the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Eve which would be a significant part of your holiday! Even in Paris, many of the better restaurants and mom and pop shops close up. The opposite is almost true in Barcelona and there will be lots of activity to choose from. Plus, besides nicer weather, Barcelona has both mountains and a beach (for walking and playing – you won’t be swimming in December or January). You’ll also be in a great position to explore other parts of Europe. For example a new high speed train links Barcelona and Paris in about 6 hours. You’re roughly a 5 hour drive to the Cote D’ Azur and from there just a few hours to Northern Italy. In Spain, you’re about a 6 hour drive to Bilbao or Madrid or a cheap and quick 2 hour flight away from Portugal, Germany, or the UK on Ryanair.

  62. Hotels in London and English Countryside

    Hi David,
    Love your advice, so helpful! Planning a weeklong trip to England with my 16 month old, and I have two questions: do most hotels in London have cribs we could use in the room? And what would be a wonderful “English countryside” 2-3 day side trip we could easily take from London? I’m picturing strolls down green country lanes and rustic pubs.
    Thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Most hotels in London will provide cribs on request, but it’s best to contact them in advance to make sure; many provide cots free of charge, but some may charge a little extra. Chain hotels such as Novotel tend to be well-geared towards families. Other hotels that are child-friendly include Queen’s Gate Hotel (; boutique town house with comfortable family rooms, near museums, 5min walk from Hyde Park), Rydges Kensington Hotel (; boutique hotel 10 min walk from Hyde Park, right near Gloucester Rd Underground station, really nice beds, stylish rooms, good location for bus tours); the friendly, family-run Rhodes Hotel (, also near Hyde Park – and the Nadler Kensington (; spacious family rooms, offers large discounts if you book in advance, rooms have mini-kitchens). If you’re after something top-end, The Athenaeum ( in Mayfair has a great location and they offer services such as organic baby food, nanny service, etc.

      If you’re looking for good places to take your baby in London, the Dulwich Picture Gallery ( in Southwark (South London) has a Mini Masterpieces workshop on Tuesdays where parents and babies up to 18 months old can get messy. The V&A Museum of Childhood ( in Bethnal Green has a sensory pod with water- and bubble-filled columns and mirrors, and the visual and touchy-feely displays are very popular with toddlers.

      As for the English countryside, it’s hard to top the villages in the Cotswolds (West England) when it comes to green country lanes, thatched-roofed cottages and rustic pubs. It’s worth renting a car to get around; most of the villages are 2-3 hours’ drive from London, but if you don’t fancy making your way through London traffic, you can take a train to Oxford (1 hour from London) and rent a car there instead. The prettiest villages in the Cotswolds include Bourton-on-the-Water (stone cottages, cosy pubs, traditional tea rooms), Lower Slaughter (landscaped Manor Gardens, an old mill museum), Castle Combe (cute limestone cottages, good pubs), and Kingham (stone cottages, open village green). Kingham is actually reachable by train from Oxford if you don’t want to drive and are happy to stay and relax in one village. If you’re looking for somewhere good to stay, The Dial House in Bourton-on-the-Water is a 17th century manor with comfortable rooms; it also served creative British food. In Kingham, I can recommend The Wild Rabbit (rustic pub with inventive dishes and cosy rooms). If you’re after something fancy, Lords of the Manor in Upper Slaughter (near Lower Slaughter) is a historic hotel with beautifully landscaped gardens and a Michelin-starred restaurant.s). Kingham is actually reachable by train from Oxford if you don’t want to drive and are happy to stay and relax in one village. If you’re looking for somewhere good to stay, The Dial House in Bourton-on-the-Water is a 17th century manor with comfortable rooms; it also served creative British food. In Kingham, I can recommend The Wild Rabbit (rustic pub with inventive dishes and cosy rooms). If you’re after something fancy, Lords of the Manor in Upper Slaughter (near Lower Slaughter) is a historic hotel with beautifully landscaped gardens and a Michelin-starred restaurant.

  63. Stroller or Double Stroller in Europe

    We are traveling with our kids (4 and 1) to St. Tropez, Monte Carlo and Capri. Trying to decide which stroller to bring. We have a double city mini gt but I imagine it will be too big and bulky to travel with. Will a double umbrella stroller make it in and around these cities ok?? My 4 year old can walk but I do like the idea of him being able to sit back and rest if need be, or be strapped in if the streets are busy but if you believe we will be much better off with a single umbrella stroller that is the way we will go!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I would go with the single umbrella stroller. Just so much easier that I would live with any other trade offs.

  64. Good Neighborhood in Paris for family

    Hi David,

    Thanks for this awesome load of information on travelling with kids. I just wanted to pick your brains on selecting the right neighbourhood for our 4 nights in Paris. I was highly impressed and influenced by your recommendation for StayCity Serviced Appartment (Gare de l’Est) as the best budget hotel option in Paris. However, I then encountered some threads on different forums about the whole Gare De l’est location being too near the station and being far from real Paris experience. And of course I am confused now.

    Just to add to the confusion I also read your recommendation for Marais neighbourhood and I found one budget hotel option – Hôtel Du Vieux Saule [ 6 Rue De Picardie, 3rd arr., 75003 Paris, France] .

    Could you help us select between – Marais neighbourhood Vs StayCity apartment considering the cost of the two is almost the same.

    Really appreciate your help.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If the cost of both options is the same, I’d choose the Marais. However, that’s not to knock the Gare de L’est area which has a lot going for it too. It’s definitely not a tourist destination, but that’s also part of its charm. You’ll be in an area that sees few tourists but has been steadily gentrifying over the years. Its biggest advantage is that you’ll be right by the Canal Saint Martin, a fantastic area with lots of cool boutiques and restaurants. The StayCity is also right by a great park if you’re traveling with kids (Jardin Villemin) and also one of the city’s secret gems, Cafe A. The space was once an abbey and has now been converted into the Maison de l’Architecture. Within this setting you have a large, open terrace, perfect for having a coffee or drink in the summer with regular exhibits and jazz concerts. Since you mentioned that your goal was to have a “real Paris experience” though, I’d lean towards the Marais because you’ll be better positioned to enjoy the museums, the Seine, the farmer’s market at Bastille, as well as shopping and restaurants. Just in that area alone you can visit the Picasso Museum, the Centre Pompidou, the historic Place des Vosges and one of the oldest covered markets in Paris, the Marche des Enfants Rouge. And don’t miss the falafel at L’as on Rue des Rosier or the crepes at Cafe Breizh on Rue Vieille du Temple. Both will have a line but totally worth it!

  65. Europe with Kids

    Hi! I love your website. We are a family of 5, Dad,Mom, 17,15 and 7 year old boys. Our kids have never been to Europe. I have 2 questions. If we arrive in London 24 of June and leave Rome on the 19 of July. What would be your ideal itinerary? What travel guides do you think have fun, interesting facts. We can’t pay for a private tour guide but would like them to learn facts that will make it interesting and unforgettable for them. Can decide what tour guides to read or what to look for?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I would definitely hit Paris and Amsterdam. But after that, there are so many places that’s it’s hard to narrow it down. The good news is that you can’t really go wrong. South France or Tuscany or Bavaria. Are they different? Sure, very different. But you have to choose one over the others – and in the end your choice won’t matter a great deal. For the big cities the Rick Steves’ Guides are quite good and very detailed for specific sights and attractions.

  66. Stroller Friendly City in Europe

    Hi David,
    My husband and my (will be) 9 month old are wanting to visit Europe from Australia in May/June this year. We have to visit family in both London and Brest but that’s all so far. We are wanting to go for about 4 weeks. Are there any particular cities you would recommend that are stroller friendly? My husband loves the countryside and adventure things, while I love the history!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I would single out Amsterdam as a stroller-friendly and walkable city. Tram is super handy for getting around. Nice parks in city center. Boat trips along the canal are fun.

  67. Europe with Young Children

    Hi, I was just wondering what your thoughts are.. we are thinking of going to Europe in July and have two girls 3 & 5 years old. We are thinking of doing coastal Italy (for a relaxing holiday) and then would like to do either Copenhagen, Paris, or London for a week (for site seeing), before we travel to Hong Kong (Disney) on the way home to Australia. Do you have any suggestions for coastal Italy with kids? And which city would you suggest for sightseeing? Angela

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Italy’s coast is very varied, boasting everything from long sandy beaches to rocky bays and heaving resort towns. Some of the most spectacular beaches are on Sardinia. The island is well set up for family holidays with a vast array of seafront accommodation and regular flight/ferry connections. On the south coast, Chia is a popular spot with two gorgeous sandy beaches.

      On the Italian mainland, Tuscany has some wonderful seaside retreats. Between Livorno and Piombino, Marina di Bibbona is a relaxed family-friendly resort set near a pine grove and a lengthy stretch of sand.

      Down in the heel of the country, the southern region of Puglia is where many Italians take their summer holidays. It has some stunning beaches and its laid-back atmosphere is great for families. Particularly beautiful is the Salento area near the baroque city of Lecce.

      For stunning coastal scenery nowhere can top the Amalfi Coast, south of Naples, and the Cinque Terre in Liguria. But while both are fabulous to look at, the practicalities of getting to and around them can make them difficult with small kids.

      For city sightseeing those are all great. London definitely has the most kid-friendly attractions but at that age they might not get as much out of them as they will in a few years. I’d say you can’t go wrong with any of those 3 so perhaps base your decision on the most convenient and best priced connections.

      1. Angela

        Thank you David much appreciated!

  68. Best Websites for Booking Family Trip to Europe

    I am thinking of visiting London, Paris and Zurich with my wife and 2 kids. Do you have a recommendation on the best site to book a multi-city Europe vacation? I have tried Expedia, but it is not too friendly when it comes to multi city trip planning.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There’s no one website for booking your trip. The best for finding cheap airfares (and widest selection of flights) is The best websites for finding good hotel deals are and And the best website for train information is Seat61 (you can’t book tickets on the site but each page has very specific info on the best way to reserve seats).

      1. Vinod

        thank you.

  69. Family Trip from Australia to Europe

    Morning, We’re a family with 2 boys (6yrs and 2yrs) who live in Sydney and headed back to visit England this July. We currently have non stop flights on Singapore to LHR (may amend one flight to stop) and looking to include London, Paris and Lanzarote!! London for the usual reasons, plus we have family with young kids about 35 mins away from central London on the train. I also would like to visit a friend in Paris (although she’s North Paris). In terms of Lanzarote it’s not somewhere we would chose to go except for the fact my parents in law moved there from he UK. I speak Spanish and French and I’m nervous it will be Brits abroad and not at all my thing! We are committed
    To 5 nts in Playa Blanca but will Stay longer if you think it’ll be ok. We’re looking for a balance of culture (love the Spanish) and showing them England (London Eye, Zoo, Dinosaur Museaum, beach/pool for kids, relaxing, them getting to understand the culture, while combining with what we want as adults….we also have friends in Southampton/Bristol/Essex and no idea how we fit all in in 4wks!!! so thinking to prioritise London, Paris, maybe Barcelona and Lanzarote! Help!
    Cara Davis

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Sounds like a great trip but don’t have the foggiest idea of what you’re asking.

  70. Paris and What Other City with Kids in April

    Hi – great website, thanks for all the useful information! We are taking the kids (aged 4) to Paris mid-April. Can’t decide where else to go to (got a 7-8 days besides Paris) which will be interesting for us + them and not having to travel too much… having considered: Barcelona, French south coast, Rome, Amsterdam. Have left off London from the list as additional visa required plus have been there a few times recently. Any suggestions?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Amsterdam can be wet and rainy in April and the south of France (though pleasant) doesn’t offer as much to do as the large cities when it’s not beach weather. So, I would do Barcelona or Rome – both great cities but I would lean towards Rome.

  71. Europe in November with Kids

    Hi David,
    I’m planning to travel to Europe for 2 weeks with my husband and 3 years old son in November this year for our wedding anniversary. Which countries do you think we should go to? None of us have been to Europe.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’d either visit Paris and London (which have lots to do any time of year). Or the southern countries – Italy or Spain – which will have the nicest weather.

  72. First Time to Europe with Kids

    We just booked tickets for our family of four including two little guys (7, 3). We are flying into CDG and have two weeks. Suggestions on focus for our trip. My husband and I have been to England and Italy, but that’s it as far as Europe. This will be the kids first trip.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Paris is a great place to start so definitely spend a few days there. There is no end to the number of places I could list off but in general I’d choose between heading west and north (Atlantic coast beaches, then Amsterdam and area) or going south (French Riviera with a stop in Lyon and Provence on the way, maybe even continuing on to Barcelona).

  73. Europe with Kids for 3 Weeks

    Hi David,
    We are a family of 5 – 2 adults and 3 children aged 14, 11 & 4. We are planning to travel to UK & Europe in June starting June 3rd for 3weeks from Singapore. However, we are having difficulties planning our trip. We definitely need to go to London to visit relatives and thereby hope to travel to few places like Brussels, Frankfurt, Switzerland, and hopefully Italy too. But i’m not sure how feasible it is. Would you be able to guide us on this?
    Wani Mohan

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I can certainly answer some questions for you (the more specific they are the more likely I can help, the more vague the harder it is to give advice).

  74. Where to go in Europe with 2 Young Kids

    My husband and I are planning on taking our children (ages 3 and 5) somewhere in August for 2 weeks (probably mid-end of August). I have been looking around quite a bit and am uncertain where to even start as I’d love to go every where!!! My husband would like to go visit Iceland since it is a quick and affordable flight for us from Minneapolis but it seems as if it could get quite pricey with car rental and lodging for 2 weeks. I’d love to visit Europe and possibly see a couple countries. Since the kids are quite young and we realize we wouldn’t be doing the typical tourist places but instead go hiking, playgrounds, etc, I was wondering if you have a place(s) in mind that you would choose for your family (now knowing all that you know). Also, can you recommend a good site for searching air fares? We’ve been going to google flights just to give us an idea since you can explore all destinations based on price.

    Thanks and I love seeing the world through your site!

    Denise in Minnesota

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Iceland is a great destination if you like hiking and the outdoors. You could easily fill 2 weeks there if you set out in rental car to do in a tour of the top spots … but at the same time it seems a little long for the country. I think you’d want to seem more. Take a look at Iceland Air as they offer free stopovers in Reykjavik if you buy a ticket to Europe. They fly to a bunch of European capitals.

      Otherwise, I use to do all my flight searches.

  75. London, Paris, Brussels, Switzerland, Barcelona, Rome, or Budapest with Kids

    Hello David, wonderful site with very useful information.

    Although question from Jim above echoes my queries too, I have a few more. We are a family of 4 (daughters aged 14 & 8) & planning to visit Europe in May for around 10 days. Want to visit just 2/3 cities. Shortlisted cities: London, Paris, Brussels, Switzerland, Barcelona, Rome, Budapest. Which ones would you recommend? My husband & I have stayed in London for a few months in the past, but none of us have been to any other European City.
    Budget is limited.

    Thanks, Arch

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’d do London and Paris for sure (but they are the most expensive of all the cities you named) and then either Barcelona (great sites and good beaches) or Rome (walking tours and wonderful historical sites).

  76. Where To Go in Europe for Family

    Hi David,
    I love this site, thankyou!
    I would like to ask your advice.
    Next July, I plan to travel to Europe for 3-4 weeks with my husband and 18 month old son. We must go to London & Amsterdam to meet family. There are so many options, we are having trouble deciding where to spend our time whilst there. We have already been to France, Turkey, Italy & The Greek Island in the past, so would like somewhere different this time and toddler friendly. What would you suggest?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Barcelona, Madrid, and Porto, Portugal are great destinations. The coast of Croatia is absolutely beautiful – Greek-like beaches and coastline. Prague, Budapest, and Krakow are all magical cities.

  77. Europe with Kids in March and April

    Hi David
    This is a great site! We are needing some planning advice. We are traveling to Europe from Western Canada with our 3 yr old and 14 yr old in March/April. We have planned for 3.5 weeks, with key highlights including Athens, Rome, Venice, Monaco/south of France, Paris then either London and/or Copenhagen and Oslo (where we have family). We want to see historical sites but also have a chance to relax a day here or there without being over scheduled with sightseeing time. Is going south to north the best route? Plane or train? Thanks for your help!!!
    Dena Pedersen

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      You’ll need to fly to get to Athens and then best to fly from there to Rome (you could take the ferry from western Greece to Venice but it takes a fair bit of time and effort to take the bus from Athens to Igoumenitsa). But from Rome to Paris you can do all by train. Train is fun and easy (though can get a little boring on the longer journeys). It saves you from the airport/security/hassle and train stations are centrally located so that makes the train travel much more convenient. There’s a good overnight train from Venice to Paris (if you ever decided to skip south France). London is wonderful if your kids like history and train/military museums.

      1. Dena Pedersen

        Thanks for the advice. One last question, we are thinking of bringing our jogging double stroller. The 3 yr old can sleep and eat and play in it, and her bag can ride beside her (we will be packing light with back packs for the rest of us). Is the double stroller going to be an issue on trains/commuter planes or sightseeing?

      2. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

        Yeah, unfortunately I think it will. Doesn’t mean it’s impossible but be prepared for some major hassles.

  78. Europe at Christmas Time

    This is such a great resource. We have christmas holidays coming up this December and no plans yet. Assuming we make it to Paris – what are your suggestions for things to do and places to go over Christmas and New Years? We have a 9yo son who wants to have a white christmas.
    Or is there anywhere else in the world you can suggest we spend our 3 weeks during that time?
    I’m stumped for ideas and we would be travelling from Australia.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Paris is wonderful at Christmas time but you wouldn’t be guaranteed a white Christmas – for that head east and north (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and beyond). There is no shortage of great places to go in Europe.

  79. Where To Go in Europe with Kids

    Hi David, What a great site. My husband and I are planning a 3 month trip to Europe next summer with our two young children (ages 4 and 2 ). We are trying to figure out where to visit. We know that we probably will just choose 3-5 places and stay at each for a few weeks.

    I would love to get your opinion of some of the places on our list since we need to narrow them down! Here goes: Dublin, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, the South of France or Italian Riviera (any thoughts?), somewhere in Switzerland, somewhere in Spain.

    Any thoughts or suggestions to help us narrow down our list? Also, if there is another location that you highly recommend (especially given the toddler factor), we are open to ideas!

    Alison Freedman

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Those are all great places. I have to throw in London as there’s just so many awesome kid-friendly attractions there (5x what Dublin has). South of France is more expensive than the Italian Riviera but also has more to do for families. The Italian coast is cheaper and less busy – though this changes as you move east. I highly recommend the Greek Islands for families. They’re just great – laid back, great food, great beaches, and so much fun island hopping on the ferries.

  80. Austria with Kids

    Hi David
    My husband and I were thinking of going to Europe in the summer for 3 weeks
    Flying from Canada to Munich for a few days and then a train to Austria Kitzbuel ( where I had stayed for 6 months, 10yrs ago and fell in love with) but our concern is wether this would be too hard on our kids who are almost 3 and 5.
    Just considering the long flight and 8 hr time change on toddlers.
    We thought Austria, kitzbuel is low key with simple adventures and train rides to Innsbruck or Salzburg if wanted to
    Do you think it would be to much on a 3 and 5 yr old with flights trains and time changes?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      3 weeks gives you and the kids lots of time to get settled and adjusted to the time zone. It should be great.

  81. Amsterdam, Paris, Belgium in March

    My wife and I are considering spending 3-4 weeks in Europe next Spring (March); the timing and spot are linked to a meeting I will attend in The Hague, Netherlands in early March. So we thought it would be a good opportunity to travel with our two kids (son will be 5 and daughter 3). We were considering home exchange or apartment/house rental, either in Amsterdam, Belgium, or Paris, close enough for a short trip from The Hague by train.

    Our main concern is the climate and time of the year. We are from Canada, so used to cold and snow, but we wonder whether we would be able to take advantage of what these countries/cities have to offer in March (obviously too early for tulips, but maybe too late for real winter activities)…

    What are your thoughts about travelling to Amsterdam/Paris/Belgium in early Spring?

    Thanks, your input would be much appreciated,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Paris will tend to have better weather in March than Amsterdam or Belgium. Amsterdam has very uncertain weather in spring so expect anything. But it won’t be anything like winter in Canada – you’ll certainly be able to get outside and enjoy the sights. Both Amsterdam and Paris have many indoor attractions that are fine in any weather.

  82. Europe with Kids – Where To Go?

    Planning a vacation to Europe with my almost 2 year old for about 9 or 10 days! Could you recommend the best kid-friendly places to go? I visited Rome, Venice, Florence, Paris, London, and Madrid already, but was thinking that going to Paris and London again would be nice since everything is a new experience when you have kids… What do you think?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, they are very different experiences with kids. In general I recommend going to big cities (lots to do) or beach towns (kids love beaches). And Paris and London are the 2 best, funnest, and most enchanting cities for kids in Europe. Both cities can easily fill a week of almost constant exploration.

  83. 2 Weeks in Europe

    Hi David,
    We are booked to travel from Hong Kong for our Europe trip. our daughter is just under 3 years.
    We arrive into London (13th July) and plan on taking a morning Eurostar to Paris on 18th July. At the moment we are thinking maybe see a bit of Paris on 18th July and then have full 2 days 19th and 20th too. is that enough or do you think we need an extra day in Paris. We are definitely not doing Disney as we have one in HK and our daughter gets too tired and with the long queues its going to be a long day for us all.

    We have our flight out from Rome on 27th July in the afternoon so thought of doing 3 full days 4 nights in Rome (reach 23rd night in Rome and have 24th-26th).

    Now you can see we have 21 – 23rd free, .and wondering should we spend 21st in Paris or maybe do the following:

    Option 1 – flight to Nice and Monte carlo and cities around and fly straight to Rome
    Option 2 – fly to Nice spend a day and then next day take a train to Pisa and see Florence too (stay overnight) and 23rd eve go to Rome.

    can you please help…we need to book our Paris/Rome hotels..thank you so much.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Wow. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I would go with Option 1. Option 2 sounds a bit too busy and Pisa and Florence can be stifling hot in July. South France will offer more to do for a 3 year old.

  84. 2 Weeks in Europe for Family of 5

    Hi David

    Your web site is amazing with full on knowledge for everyone. I am planning to travel from 1st to 15th of August to Europe (1st time) with my wife and 3 kids aged 11, 8 & 6. We plan to get an airline ticket from Dubai to London & back from London to Dubai. It will make cheaper. We plan to spend 3-4 days in London, 3-4 days in France (inclusive of Disney land), 3-4 days in Switzerland (Zurich / Mt. Titlis) and remaining have not yet planned. Please advise and do correct of my previously mentioned plan if you think it is not appropriate. We are interested to go to Italy or Germany. Please advise accordingly.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It sounds like a wonderful plan. I would focus on what you have already planned which makes for a nice loop of western Europe. Adding Italy or Germany will make for a busier trip and I think what you have planned is right at the point of doing too much (but still good). When it comes to Europe, travel, and kids, less is more.

  85. London to Venice

    Hello David –

    What a wonderful resource for information you have put together – tremendously helpful!

    I will be traveling with my 7 year old daughter in early June and she wants to go to Venice and London from Boston. Her older sister did a “mommy and me” trip at age 7 also, but was very focused on London and Paris. There were many thongs to do in both cities and the logistics were easy because we flew into London, took the train to Paris, flew back to London and then back on to Boston. My younger daughter wants to go to Venice because of the Olivia books she read as a child and her main desire is to go on a Gondola (my older daughter wanted to go to see the Eiffel Tower).

    A few questions:
    1. Is there enough to do in Venice for the 7 year old and is it worth the trip to go on a Gondola ride? It is proving to be difficult to get to Venice ad then back to London from Boston.
    2. Are there museums there? How many days would you stay?
    3. Other than going back to Paris, is there another city or region that would be fun for her and easy to get to from London? She wants to do something different from her sister.
    4. Whats the easiest way to fly from Boston to Venice, back into London for 4 days and then back to Boston?
    5. Do you recommend taking the train from London to Venice?

    Many thanks for your help here! Berret

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Venice is great but it’s more about wandering around, exploring the city, and taking a gondola ride than about seeing any particular museums (though the Gallerie dell’Accademia is a must-see). Getting there from London requires taking the Eurostar to Paris and then the overnight train to Venice. Of course, there are plenty of direct flights from London to Venice too. 3 or 4 days in Venice is plenty of time.

  86. Rome, London, Barcelona or Copenhagen as a Base


    We would like to spend a few days in Europe this august (up to a week), with 2 kids, ages almost 3 and 1. I would like it to be an airline hub city to save money. I am trying to decide between Rome, London, Barcelona or Copenhagen. What do you think? Thank you! Chana.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      London has the most flights by a large margin – but no one saves money by staying in London. I wouldn’t worry about staying in an airline hub. All those cities have plenty of flights and you only need one – not 5, 10, or 20 flights.

  87. Europe in October

    Hi David,
    We are from Canada and want to take our two sons (12&14) to Italy in October for 11 days. My husband wants to go at that time of year for the grape harvest. After reading your posts I know this is not enough time to see and do all there is. I would like to see Venice. What would be your suggestions as to where to fly into, drive to, and fly out of given the time we have. We want to experience European culture and history. Beaches are not a priority for this trip. You had mentioned to another reader to go to Greece in October. Is this because the weather is not good?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, the weather in October is very nice in Greece – especially if you’re not interested in beaches as it can dip just enough to make it hard to enjoy the sea but is still wonderful for touring, hiking, sightseeing. I wouldn’t recommend both Italy and Greece for an 11 day trip, however – it’s just too much for a short amount of time. Sticking to one country or another with maybe one other city (say, Paris, Barcelona or Amsterdam) would be fine. For Italy, flying into Rome and out of Venice makes for a good trip with Florence or Siena in the middle.

  88. Best Blog about European Travel with Kids

    Just wanted to say, wow what an amazing blog!! I appreciate all the info you’ve collected and published here.

  89. Paris or Barcelona with Kids

    Hi David,
    We’re trying to decide between Paris and Barcelona for a week long stay in August after we visit family in England. We’ll be traveling with a 2 and 6 year old — which city do you think is more kid friendly for young children?
    Tessa in NYC

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I think Barcelona has a more kid-friendly vibe but Paris has more for kids to do – if that makes any sense. Both are great. The train from Paris to Barcelona is only 6.5 hours so could easily do both.

  90. European Itinerary with Lone Child

    HI David,
    I am trying to organise our family trip to London France Switzerland for this September.
    We are flying from Australia with a 1 night stop over in Singapore to break the long journey with our 6 year old.
    5 nights London
    5 nights Paris
    3 Nights Disneyland
    then I thought we might go to Strasbourg or Colmar 3/4 nights
    then wanted to do Switzerland and thought about going to Wengen..but now I think it might not be the right time of year and maybe should pick another place in Switzerland for the 4 nights or just stick to France?
    Then make our way to Lyon for 4 nights – fly home from here.
    Any help would be appreciated. We plan to use the trains to travel.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Both Switzerland and Strasbourg are wonderful destinations. 3 days in Disneyland seems like a lot to me but you know better than myself. London and Paris are both great but London does provide a lot more to see than Paris (for kids and families).

  91. Where To Go in Europe with Young Child

    Hi David,

    Am enjoying your blog so much. I always thought…children will only enrich our journey not restrict.

    I am thinking of a trip to Europe in the 1st week of Sep & at the moment leading towards Italy (Rome, Tuscany or Florence) or France (Paris, Provence or ??) but anywhere would be fine. I am a single mom & my girl would be 2yrs 3mo by then. We travel by baby carrier & she’s an active girl who likes to walk/run/climb. No stroller.
    Places to visit will have to include the beach/pool where she get to play with water…her favourite activity.

    Any suggestions would be great….it will just be a 9~12days trip. Wish it could be longer…but not when living & working in this side of the world. judy

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Those both sound like great trips and very doable. I would probably lean towards France rather than Italy. More playgrounds, more open spaces. The beaches on the Atlantic coast are more family-friendly (and less expensive) than the beaches of southern France.

  92. 5 Days in Rome and Venice

    Hi David,
    thanks for the links you have shared. We have a 5 yr old daughter and planning for our Venice tour. This is going to be her first tour so far away from home. I have collected a lot of information so far and your links helped a lot. We are planning a train journey from venice to rome. I am pretty sure of the fun she is going to have at Explora museum. We have seen some good itineraries from Triphobo and added a few more attractions as suggested here. Do you think 5 days will be sufficient to tour both rome and venice?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, 5 days is not a lot but it’s certainly enough to get a good look around.

  93. Greece, France, and England with Kids

    hi, David. My husband and I are planning to spend 10 days in Greece, London, and Paris in March. We will depart from New York City, where shall it be our first stop? Any good ideas? Is it going to be a rush for going to 3 countries? If yes, then can you pick one between London and Paris? Because Santorini island, Greece is a must-go place for us. Thanks!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, I do think that’s too much for 10 days but if you could get direct flights to and from Santorini and your flight from NYC to Europe went to Paris or London and you flew home from the other city (called an open-jaw ticket which would save a lot of time and hassle) then you could make it work. Both London and Paris are great but if I had to choose one for a first timer it would be Paris.

  94. Trip to Europe

    Hi David – Your site is really helping me out. I was wondering if you could comment on my itinerary which was haphazardly put together as a starting point. I have never been to Europe but have traveled quite a bit with our one child who will be 5. Travel from April through June:

    # Nights Destination
    7 London
    12 Paris
    3 Lyon
    3 Venice
    4 Florence
    5 Rome
    12 Provence & Cote d’Azur
    10 Barcelona
    6 San Sebatian
    7 Madrid
    3 Seville
    5 Algarve beaches
    7 Lisbon
    1 Home!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Sounds awesome. Try to book your arrival and departure from different cities so you won’t have to backtrack. Book train tickets in advance and through the country ticketing office (e.g. Use the Italian train website to book tickets in Italy not the general Euro website).

  95. 3 months in Europe

    I have stumbled across your website and am getting a lot of good ideas but am still stumped on a couple things mainly on duration and timing. I am planning a 3 month trip from Vancouver, Canada to Europe with my husband and will be 5 year old from April to June. I was considering starting in Paris. we would want to book apartments (airbnb and the likes) but I want to book in flexibility in case we love/hate a place. Is there a ballpark length per city you would recommend. We also really love the beach, so seeking out places places that might be warmer in May and June would likely be our thing.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      You can easily spend 10 days in the Paris and London. Bank on 5 days in Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Amsterdam. 3 days in Florence, Milan, Munich, and Lake Geneva. For beaches you need to go south in May and June. Barcelona is fine for swimming in June (late June even better). For May you would have to be in the southern Greek islands like Rhodes or Crete.

  96. Family holiday in October

    We need to plan a trip somewhere in Europe during Scotland’s school holiday (mid October) with a 6 and 7 year old looking for a bit of a holiday. We have a week, give or take. There’s Disney Paris (meh), but weather is obviously a factor as is the attention span of small children who likely will find a cathedral or gallery of minimal interest. Self catering the entire time would maximize adult stress. We are pretty flexible, but feel completely stuck. Any suggestions?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      What about Greece? Weather is still good in October and flights and hotels are cheaper than summer.

  97. European Travel with Baby

    Hi David,
    My wife and I are planning a trip with our 1.5 year old baby to Europe in May. We are thinking about flying into Amsterdam staying 3 days, taking a train to the Loire Valley for 2 nights or possibly Avignon, renting a car and driving to Provence for 9 nights in a cottage within walking distance to a small village. Does this make sense? Any suggestions on where to stay in Provence?
    Thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      That sounds great. Ensure the car company you rent from has a car seat – or take one with you. For hotels here are a couple in Cannes and Nice to get you started. Don’t overlook Marseilles – lots to see and do.

  98. Europe in July with Kids

    Hello David,

    Love the site!! It’s already provided us with some great ideas for our upcoming 18 day trip to Europe and the UK in July. As my wife and I have been to the UK before to visit family we wanted to experience something new as we take our children (12 -10) along for the first time. We are flying into Paris and home out of Dublin with stops planned for Belgium (Brussels and Bruges), London, Bath, Colwyn Bay (family) and then Dublin. We’re planning to use the high speed train between Paris-Brussels and Brussels-London. I guess my question would be…how long to spend in Paris/Belgium? Was thinking 4-5 nights in Paris, maybe 1 in Brussels and 2 in Bruges or visa versa on the last two. Any thoughts?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      That sounds like a great trip. 4 to 5 days will be easy to fill in Paris – so I would stick with that. And yes, would probably recommend more time in Brussels than Bruges. (Read 25 things to do with kids in Brussels). Good luck.

  99. Monaco with Kids

    Hi David,
    My husband is going to be in Monaco a few days in early April for work. We would love to take our boys (ages 3, and 7) on a 2 – 2 1/2 week trip but are having a difficult time planning an itinerary. We want to spend our final week with friends who live in Zurich. However, we are not sure what to do with the first half of our trip. We love Paris, Provence and Tuscany but this is our first time with kids so we want to do something kid friendly and are concerned about weather in early April. Where would you recommend for about a week between Monaco and Zurich? Also, should we take the boys to Monaco or set up camp somewhere else and just send Dad off to Monaco by himself? Thanks!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Monaco is great for kids (just be prepared for lots of hills). There’s a great aquarium there that is very kid-friendly. There are easy day trips by train to other cities along the coast (Cannes or Nice). And there’s an open-air trolley tour the kids should enjoy. I’d split my time between Monaco and Paris. Lots of great kid-friendly activities in the city. You could easily fill a week with your kids in Paris. I find cities to have lots to do and it’s the quieter places that you might think have a more kid-friendly vibe that leave you scratching your head to find things to do. But both Monaco and Paris should offer you plenty to keep busy. Good luck.

  100. Spain or France with Kids


    Ours is a bit different a question than what you normally see. We are a family of four (kids almost 4 & 19 months) & are planning on moving to either Spain or France. Our goal is at least two years & then who knows (a year in each country). Given your travels & knowledge, what cities would you recommend as wise choices? We speak Spanish & plan on learning French. The main purpose of the trip is to immerse ourselves in culture, food, culture & more food. Granada, Barcelona, Lyon, Provence…so many wonderful options!! Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Barecelona and Paris would be right at the top of my list for places to live. But what about traveling around for the first month and choosing a place after that?

  101. Traveling to Europe with Kids in Summer

    I’m an intern at a kid’s travel subscription site and these tips are great! I especially love #4, and hope to use it on our next family trip… It’s great to have variety and try new experiences that you might have not tried otherwise :)
    Cheers & happy travels!

  102. Budget for Family Trip to Europe

    So just to clarify… Is that 100-250 euro per per person per day? Not 100-250 euro for the 3 of us per day! Thanks for all your help.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      That would be for everyone. But there’s no upper limit. You could spend 250 euros a day per person with very little effort. Good luck.

  103. Budget for Family Travel in Europe (Airfare and Hotel Already Paid For)

    Hey there, I am taking my family of 3 (myself, spouse, 10-year-old girl) to Northern Italy (1 week), Switzerland (1 week), and France (1 week). Then the little girl is flying back home, and the spouse and I are going to Netherlands (1 week), Gremany (1 week), and Southern Italy (1 week) (3 weeks for the daughter, and 6 weeks for 2 adults). Accommodations are all paid for, and a car is leased. So I’m wondering if you can suggest a budget per person per day (in Euros) that would be reasonable to have a good vacation. Thanks.

    Oh…timeframe is last week in August till first week of October. Thanks again.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There is a huge range of possible budgets. Since your accommodations and transportation are paid for it will primarily be your food, attraction entrance fees, and incidentals. You could get by on 100 euros a day but that could easily bump up to 250 euros a day without feeling like you’re being indulgent. Hope that helps.

  104. Venice First Time with Kids

    Somehow or other, our first Europe trip with our two daughters (8 and 6) has shaped itself into London-Paris-Venice, but without any real detail. London and Paris we can organise easily – but any tips for Venice with kids?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Andrew, this is a great resource for Venice.

  105. Family of 4 Trip to Europe

    Hi David. Great site by the way. We are a family of 2 adults, 2 kids (13 & 15) from Australia and want to experience our first white Christmas in December. Was thinking Europe for 3 weeks. Was hoping to spend New Years Eve in Paris. As we have never been to Europe is it better to cruise or not. Wanting to see Paris, Rome, Italy, Venice, Greece. Friends have also said Austria is great for the Christmas festivities and spirit. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Fiona. That sounds great. I would not do a typical sea-cruise – getting around by train is much more interesting. Though a river or canal cruise would be cool. But they won’t be running nearly as often in winter. Good luck.

  106. Spain Holiday with Kids

    I am traveling to San Sebastián in May for work. Having lived in Seville for a while in college I thought it would be fun to take my three kids (ages 4, 6, 8) and travel around Spain for a couple weeks. My husband thinks I am crazy and is discouraging it. I am trying to put together a reasonable travel plan that would allow us to be in San Sebastián from may 2-4 with travel before and after. Would love the kids to see Barcelona, Seville, and Toledo. Madrid would be nice but scares me a bit as my brother was nearly abducted there in the mid 90s and our concierge told us it “happens all the time” related to slave trade…? (Not sure how accurate that is). Do you have suggestions for great things to see and do with young kids in Spain (I already saw your page about Barcelona which was very helpful). Thanks!!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Kristen. Sounds like a great plan. (And yes, I’m confident that Spain is incredibly safe and abductions exceedingly rare.)

      I do know of another family that just did a 3 month tour of Spain (blog here.) I’ll see if she has a few minutes to offer some suggestions.


    2. Bambi

      Lay your fears to rest! So many horror stories. So little reality. We just returned from living for three months in Spain with our 9 and 12 years old children and we had the opportunity to go to all the places you are hoping to visit. We had also heard may stories about pickpocketing on the Ramblas in Barcelona, and Gypsie scams in the south, but none of them came to fruition. Spaniards absolutely ADORE children! The family is the core of their culture, and you will be quite welcome when you bring your little ones along. In San Sebastian just wander around and hit the beach and eat every chance you get. The pintxos are fabulous! In Toledo be sure to buy a sword that can fit in your luggage – there will be so many options to choose from. The kids will love clambering up the stairs to the top of the Giralda Bell Tower in Sevilla. They’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that they made it, and be rewarded with great views. The Sevilla’s Alcazar has a whole group of ducks and peacocks running around, and it’s a great place to spend some time. Watch out for the duck that thinks one of the peacocks is his girl – he’ll bite your shoelaces if you get close to her! And as for Madrid – go! Madrid is fabulous. There are so many little parks and playgrounds sprinkled throughout the neighborhoods and the Parque Buen Retiro has little boats to rent. Your kids are younger than mine are, but we also traveled part of the time with my sister-in-law who had a 2 and 5 year old. We all had a great time and they were the hit at all the restaurants. Above all, just enjoy. We always stopped in pastry shops and had the local goodies, and when we had car journeys we would let the kids pick a bag of small Spanish candies from a corner store and distribute them through the ride. They loved looking at all the different wrappers and not knowing quite what they were going to get. As for lodging go with We booked 75% of out places through there and they all turned out outstanding. Giralda Suites in Sevilla were fabulous. In Madrid we stayed in an apartment from Homes for Travellers called the La Latina Loft. Apartments are the way to go. With that many people you are paying too much in a hotel, and they often don’t have the right size of beds to fit everyone. They don’t do two queens like we do here in the US. Also, once you are past 2 people it is sometimes the same price to taxi as to metro. We used the metro a lot, but sometimes a taxi was the better option and just as reasonable. Buen viaje!

      1. Kristen

        Thank you so much! That is so helpful. We have booked our flights and I have rooms reserved for the whole time through I was able to get the place you recommended in Seville. Now I am trying to prioritize what to see and do in Barcelona, Madrid and Seville. There is so much and we will only have 2 – 3 days in each. I guess it is a good problem to have!!

  107. Europe and Disneyland with Kids

    Hi David,

    I am glad I found you site, as planning a trip without any advise is so complicated. Every package/ deal offered is different and so are the cost and believe me it does not help!

    We as a family ( 2 adults & 10 yrs kid) are planning an Europe trip from Dubai this summer for 10 days..Our main aspect is to cover Disneyland for 2-3 days as my little one is very keen to see it. Appreciate if you could suggest a suitable itineray that will cover other places (Zurich, Rome, Italy, Paris, Geneva) along with Disneyland and that is cost effective too.
    In addition seek you valuable suggestion on budget friendly hotel/ hostel that offer family rooms.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      First off, the more you travel the more you’ll spend. There’s the cost on travel itself plus the longer you’re in one place the more your costs tend to come down. You get comfortable with an area, find the grocery store, the cheaper restaurants, a place to eat a picnic. The faster you’re moving about the more compromises you make and say, “Oh, lets just eat at that place over there – I’m tired, I don’t care how much it costs.”

      If it were me I’d head from Paris to South France for a few days and then onto Rome for the final 3 or 4 days and fly home from there. is the best website for finding discounted hotels throughout Europe. It searches every other major (and minor) site and gives you a list of available rooms and prices at each website.

      Good luck.

  108. Australia to Europe with Kids

    Hi David
    What an amazing website. Thank you. We have a 9 yo boy and 7yo girl, traveling from Australia to Europe. We want to go to Legoland, and Paris, I’d welcome any suggestions regarding an itinerary: about 5 weeks. Thanks again

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Lots to see of course. Paris is great. London, Rome, Amsterdam. So many great cities. If you’re there in summer the beaches in northern Europe are great too (e.g. the Atlantic coast of France) so no need to visit the Riviera if you didn’t want to. Not sure when you’re going but Legoland Windsor does close from December to March. Not sure about the Legolands in Germany and Brussels. I’d buy tickets to attractions like those in advance. Good luck.

  109. France Trip with Kids

    Hi David,
    We are planning to go to France in July next year to stay in Pezenas with our in laws. (They are there for the entire month, we will spend a week with them) We have 3 boys aged 4,7,9. I want to spend a further 3 weeks travelling, one week will be with my husband and kids, the second week will be with my parents on their yacht and the other week me and the boys. I’d welcome any suggestions.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Helen. There are so many different options it’s hard to narrow it down. I guess if I had one tidbit to offer it would be to fly into and out of different cities so you won’t have to retrace your route to get home.

      For destinations you’ll be very central and by the sounds of it you’ll have 2 different weeks to fill. I’d choose between either Barcelona, Madrid, and Spain; Paris and central France; or Rome and Tuscany. Don’t do too much so just choose 2 of those 3 regions and enjoy yourself.

      Hope that helps.

  110. Travel Planning for Family Trip to Europe

    Thank you David. We are actually thinking of changing our plans to lake Geneva. We are thinking of staying in Lausanne and touring around the lake and the srounding mountains. Do you have some tips for things to do, places to stay? Thanks

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Frommer’s has a great site on Switzerland:

      We loved the time we spent in Geneva.

      Good luck.

  111. London or Paris with Children

    Hi David,
    We are a family of 4, our kids are 3 and 5. We would like to visit Europe for one week on our way to USA. We are thinking either London or Paris. Which one is more kids friendly? Do you have other suggestions? Thanks

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      For kids a little older I’d definitely give the nod to London but for ages 3 and 5 it’s less about attractions and more about parks and street life and wandering around and I think in that category Paris might be the winner. Both are great however. I think you’d have an easier time finding a hotel with a pool in London than in Paris if that means anything to you. Good luck.

  112. Renting Apartments in France for Family of 4

    Hi David, my husband and 2 kids (8 and 10) are planning a holiday to France this summer. We thought we would fly into Paris, rent an apartment for 2 weeks and then travel south for the remaining 2 weeks. Any suggestions on an itinerary of where we should go in the south, a great “home base” where we could take day trips and still enjoy the beach? Also, any tips on finding great but also budget friendly short term accommodations? Any ideas would be great!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Renting a place in Paris for a 2 week stay is a great idea. I think you’ll love it.

      For a homebase in the south of France I’d say Aix en Provence would make a great choice. Central, lots to see, good transportation, charming city.

      For hotel discounts you’re best to use hotelscombined for Aix-en-Provence, Nice, or Cannes as they’ll find the best rates (rather than focusing on specific hotels).

      Good luck.

  113. 3 Week Family Europe Trip

    Hi David,
    Your site is fantastic and I’m glad I found it.

    I’m 21, and my family has put me in charge of planning our 18/19 day trip to Spain, Italy and France. We are planning on visiting Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante, Rome, Porto Recanit and Paris.

    We have home bases in Madrid and Porto Recanti (family, and we’ll be lodging there for a few nights). I was curious if you would recommend, if we start in Spain or Italy? What should we consider as a form of travel between the countries on a budget, we’ll all be adults by then and don’t mind traveling in unconventional ways, its all part of the adventure.

    Also, any recommendations as to what things in those cities most people tend to miss?
    (We’ll be there flying out of MCO on either 5/28/13 or 6/3/12 with 18 nights. What do you think?)


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Juan. Firstly I would recommend flying into and out of different cities so that you don’t have to backtrack. It saves time and money. Maybe fly into Paris and fly home from Rome. It might cost a little more for the air tickets but it’s easily made up for by the return trip (e.g. from Rome to Paris) and hotel/lost time.

      I’d take the train between the major cities. It probably won’t be worth it buying a eurail pass. The cheapest way to buy tickets is through each individual country’s train website – so don’t book through the more general Eurail site. Italy’s website, in particular, offers good rates.

      Hope that helps.

  114. European Trip for Family of 5

    I’m planning a europe trip for my family (2 adults & 3 kids 7-9-10yrs). We will be travelling from cumbria in the UK and plan to see Paris, Geneva, Marseille, Barcelona, San sebastien, La Rochelle and Normandy before going home (all in all 3 weeks!) We had planned on taking our car, use the ferry crossings at Dover and Calais and we plan to either use hostels and camp. Do you think planes and trains would be a more economical way to travel? And are there any places you would recommend which would be great for the kids instead of the above mentioned?
    Thank you,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      That sounds like an awesome itinerary. There’s always more to see but I think those are great choices. I often recommend flying to save time and money but I think with what you have planned (especially with the camping) then taking your own car should work well and be a great way to keep costs down.

      Good luck.

  115. Germany and France with Kids

    We have traveled with the kids (now ages 9 and 11) to Europe 3 times. We just returned from our most recent trip in which we spent 4 weeks going through Germany, France, and Italy. We followed your advice to fly home from a different city than we arrived in and it was wonderful. Great tip. Previously we would fly to London, then over to France only to have to return by train to London for that final night. A big expense with no benefit.

    On this trip we spent time in Berlin, Munich, camping in northern France with some friends, Paris (of course), the south of France (mainly around Cannes), and then Milan briefly, Florence, and Rome. We would have liked to visit Venice but ran out of time and seeing as we were very rushed at the end I’m glad we didn’t try to squeeze it in.

    The kids most enjoyed Rome (they had both shown an interest in Roman history in the few weeks before we left and there was lots to see there). The sites of Rome seemed to lend themselves to being enjoyed by kids. They’re right there in front of you so it’s very personal and hands-on, or I guess eyes-on. Paris is always nice but the kids had been twice before so there wasn’t much new there. The beaches of Southern France were wonderful. Very family friendly in their feel and amenities.

    I think our next trip we’ll try to make it to Venice and then ferry (maybe!) to Greece. That’s the plan anyways.

  116. Traveling to Europe with School Kids

    We are wanting to take our kids out of school for a period of 1-2 years and possibly place them into a school somewhere in Europe. Public or international school we are not quite sure. Where would be the easiest place for children aged 7 & 9 from Canada best integrate into? Would probably have to take our two dogs, so can a person rent homes in the countryside that accept pets? Just looking for some ideas that would be best for the kids and from there we could use it as a base to explore the remainder of Europe. Thanks for any suggestions.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are lots of great places and fantastic international schools all over Europe. The biggest difficulty will be securing a visa for that long (unless you have EU passports, but it doesn’t sound like it). Without a visa you can only spend 90 days in any 6 month period in all the Schengen countries (basically Western Europe and Greece). That’s 90 days total, not in each one.

  117. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

    Unless you’re traveling for more than 3 or 4 weeks I would suggest finding some cheap flights to Paris, Rome, Barcelona, or anywhere around Europe that you want to go. For example, if you wanted to see Barcelona, south France, and a bit of Italy, I would fly to Barcelona, train along the coast of France to Rome, and then fly home from there. If you really want to take in a lot of spots and are going on an extended trip then the car could save you some money. But a shorter trip that hits just 4 or 5 spots is probably cheaper with a combination of train and plane. I hope that helps. Good luck.

    1. Family Holiday to Europe

      I’m traveling to Europe from Canada in August, flying into Paris (4 days) then traveling to Barcelona (3 days) and Rome for (7 days).

      I have flights to Paris and from Rome also all hotels booked, but am wondering what’s the best (economical) way to travel from Paris to Barcelona and Barcelona to Rome. We are a family of 5 – 2 adults and 3 children aged 14, 12 and 7


      1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

        Train is the funnest way to travel but flights often turn out to be cheaper (and obviously faster). Use to find the budget airlines for the routes you need. But remember that many budget airlines depart from smaller airports that are often well outside the city center, so be sure to factor the time and expense of getting out there when comparing to taking the train which will leave from a terminal within the city.

        Good luck.

  118. 6 Week Trip to Europe with Kids

    Hi David! We are planning a six week trip to Europe this coming June to July. We are looking for the best options/itineraries for a large family of two adults and 6 kids ranging from 16 to 2 years old. I have looked at house/apartment rentals which seem to make more sense economically. Can you please suggest an itinerary and transportation modes that will be convenient/less costly for all of us? We want to go as many places as possible but would also want to be realistic about it. Thanks in advance!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’d pick out 8 or 10 places that you really want to see and then try to develop a line through a majority of them that starts and ends at different major cities. Fly into the first one and fly out of the last one. You save time and money by not backtracking. If it were me going on my first trip to Europe I’d start in Paris, train to Barcelona, then train to Rome with stops in the Cote d’Azur and Florence along the way.

      Train is usually always the best way to get around.

      Hotelscombined is the best for finding hotel deals. is good for apartments and houses.

      Good luck.

  119. Cheapest Places To Go in Europe for Family Trip

    I love this website. I have been trying to figure out how to start off a 6 week long trip for myself, my partner & our 2 children (5 & 12) to Europe/UK in October/November and I keep coming back to this website for advice & tips, it’s so informative, so thank you.
    However, I’m still confused as to what the best route/mode of transport we should take from NZ. We want to be in Scotland around 10th November for my partner’s grandmother’s 80th and the other places we want to visit include London, Devon, Paris, South France, Barcelona & Gibraltar, Italy (probably just west coast places like Rome).
    We thought we could fly from New Zealand to Italy, France or Spain and move up towards England & Scotland but thought we would fly into Scotland or England, leave some gear with family in either place & travel down to Europe and go to Scotland and fly out of Scotland or England again???
    It’s so confusing, we want to do it on a budget and have started the process of looking for couch surfers but I’m still unsure how to get from place to place.
    Any help would be so greatly appreciated.
    Tania, John & Kids

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The best way to save money is to travel around as little as possible. So with that in mind, the best budget route would be to fly into Rome (or maybe Paris, Madrid, or Barcelona), travel north to London and then Scotland, and then fly home from there. Rectracing your steps is costly. (You could also do this trip in reverse but the weather will be much nicer in Italy and Spain at the end of October rather than the middle of November.) I hope that helps. Good luck.

      1. Tania Mokaraka

        Thanks for your help :-)

      2. Tania Mokaraka

        Which would you suggest Lyon or Brittany?

        1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

          For the kids Brittany.

  120. Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy with Kids

    Hi David,

    Wonderful site with loads of info.

    We are family of 4 with 7 and 1 year old boys planning to visit Europe from Malaysia for 2 weeks. We would like to visit Amsterdam, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and London. I am interested to show my elder son places of historic interests plus some science centers and kids specific activities.

    Can you suggest how to go about? Is train travel cheaper?

    We are visiting Europe for the first time and would like to stay in apartments than hotels and keep the trip enjoyable and pleasant yet on a budget too.

    Tq in advance.

    With regards,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The easiest way to keep expenses down is to visit in the off or shoulder season, somewhere between late September and late May. That said, London is always expensive and the cities of Western Europe are never cheap. is an awesome site for finding good deals on hotels.

      Also, the more you move around the more you’ll spend. Train tickets are expensive and you tend to spend more in a place on your 1st day then on your 4th (when you have a better feel of where to shop, eat, and how much things should cost). You’ll often get better hotel deals for a longer stay too.

      To save money on trains book early. There are a limited number of cheap tickets and once they’re sold they’re gone. You’ll have to do the math to see if a train pass is worth it. Don’t assume that the train pass will be cheaper. The greater the number of stops you plan to make the more a train pass pays off. Also, check the websites of the individual countries when buying train tickets. So if you’re buying tickets for Italy visit the Italian train website instead of buying through the general Eurail site.

      Plane tickets can be cheaper than the train but they require more planning and the airports for the budget airlines often lie far out of town making even a short flight a half-day ordeal. The train is much funner, easier, and feels more European. Airports have a more generic, “I could be anywhere” feel.

      I hope that helps.

  121. First Time to Europe with Kids

    THANK YOU for such a great site. I just came back from two months in Europe with my two boys (6 and 11). My husband only joined us for two weeks because of work. I wish I had seen your site earlier. Now that I am planning a return trip for (9 weeks this time), I will be relying heavily on your site. I love your section on Greece. Thank you again for such great ideas.

  122. London and Italy with Kids

    Travelling to Europe with kids aged 4 and 2. Landing in London. Planning to spend a few days there. Following that, fly to Florence and take day trains to Pisa, Milan, Rome. How does that sound? Any other ideas?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      That sounds great. Check out the new Kids Zone at the Army Museum which is perfect for those ages (though you need to book in advance).

      They’d probably like taking a look at the huge Hamley’s toy store on Regent street.

      We stayed a week at the Marylebone Hotel which was great and has a pool (though it’s only open for kids from 3:30 to 5:00 which you need to plan around). But the staff are great with kids and make every effort to keep them happy. The neighborhood around the hotel is fantastic and very central. Good luck.

  123. UK, Italy, Spain, and Belgium with Kids

    Hi. My husband and I have decided to take our 4 kids (13,12,11 and 9) to the UK and Italy, Spain and Belgium (family connections) for 9 weeks beginning in March this year. We are still undecided on the best mode of transport – trains/public transport seem too expensive, car ok but then we need to find accommodation; motorhome seems good option but so large and very expensive …. ahh! Does anyone have any suggestions? We are happy to see less and experience more, and would love flexibility to change plans as we go… We have no experience of youth hostels or their cost/availablity, or of actually driving around in a motorhome – indeed of anything much! Ideally we would camp but feel the weather may be far too cold and maybe wet? Some may say we are travelling blind! thanks in advance for any comments.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      When you factor in the costs and hassle of getting your own vehicle, I think the train would win out. The good thing is that you should be able to find great deals on hotels that time of year. Look for longer term options on or even Good luck.

  124. Devon with Family

    (I may be slightly biased since I live here but when I first moved here I was amazed at how beautiful it was – now I kind of take it for granted.)

  125. Asia or Europe with Kids

    Hi David,
    Love the blog! My family of 5 (kids 15, 13 & 11) are planning a 3-4 week trip with another family of same age kids. We originally were going to do a London/Europe trip as you suggested with flying into London and out of Barcelona, however now the other family is leaning toward trip to Bali. You’ve been to both- your thoughts would be so appreciated! Jackie Moes

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Jackie. Both are great, but very different. Since you’re planning to travel with another family then I think Bali wins out as it’s much more easy going and chill-out friendly. Big cities are great for kids, but I think trying to negotiate all the challenges, planning, arranging that Western Europe requires would be too much for 2 families and probably result in some unneeded headaches. Go simple, go Bali.

  126. Cheap Flights from LAX to Europe for Family of 4

    Hi David,

    We’re planning a trip to Paris and Rome in June with the kids. Right now, I see a fare for non-stop legs LAX-Paris-Rome-LAX for about $1450 on Air France and Alitalia. In your experience, is that fare in a reasonable range given that it’s June or should I wait a few more months hoping that price will drop?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Rachel. It does sound reasonable and if you’re certain you’ll take the trip then I’d book it. Could there be cheaper fares? Yes. But, at best, probably not less than $1300 or so. Whereas it could move in the upwards direction several hundred dollars. My only suggestion for getting a cheaper ticket would be to leave the Paris to Rome leg off your ticket and do this by train or a cheap budget airline. It likely wouldn’t save you a lot of money but you would gain some flexibility (maybe stopping in South France, Milan, or Florence on your way to Rome) and the kids would get to do an overnight train ride which they’d love. Good luck.

  127. Chicago to Europe with Kids

    We’ll be flying from Chicago to Europe in the fall and are wondering what you’d recommend for a family trip itinerary. We’ll have almost 2 weeks (probably 12 or 13 nights) and are open to anything. We’re a family of 4 with an 8 year old and 13 year old. My wife went on a school trip to France in high school but other than that this will be our first trip to Europe. Thanks for your time.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Jim. That sounds awesome. Europe is a fantastic destination for kids – especially slightly older ones that will enjoy the history, castles, hikes, and urban attractions. There are so many places to visit it’s hard to pick one perfect itinerary. You’ll always be left feeling like you didn’t see enough.

      My first recommendation would be to fly into one city and out of another. This saves time, effort, and money. Though “open-jaw” tickets, as they’re called, usually cost a bit more it’s more than made up by the savings in a return train ticket, one night in a hotel, and the wasted time spent retracing your steps.

      So with that in mind, I’d look for flights into London and a return flight from either Barcelona, Madrid, or Rome. Spend 4 nights in London, then take the train under the Channel to Paris. 3 or 4 days there – perhaps with a day trip to Versailles – should keep you busy and happy.

      Both Paris and London have some wonderful museums for kids and the subway systems in both are an easy and exciting way to get around the city.

      I’d spend the end of the trip in either Rome, Madrid, or Barcelona – probably favoring Barcelona if you wanted some beach time, Rome and Madrid if the kids were really enjoying the historical sites. Train connections from Paris to all 3 of these cities are great – though you should book in advance, especially if you plan to get a family sleeper.

      If you had a few more days or shortened your time in some of the cities, then a few days at the beaches of Provence and the Cote d’Azur would be a great option.

      Also, IcelandAir has some great prices on trips to Europe with free stopovers in Reykjavik. It breaks up the trip and allows for a day or 2 to explore the city and maybe visit the Blue Lagoon.

      Good luck.

      1. Jim from Chicago

        Great. Thanks David!

  128. First Time to Europe with Kids

    Hi…I love travelling and so do my Family..We’ve done entire India and have done few South East countries. I have two great daughters aged 10 and 8 Years and would want to take them out for the first time outside India..although they have been to our neighbouring countries. It would be in October for 10 days max and I would want to budget my that I can show them a new country every year..where in Europe would you suggest..that appeases to all and make memories ..and how much would be the budget and how can we make use of Eurorail ???

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Jaya. Train travel can be expensive in Europe so my first piece of advice – especially if you’re planning to return multiple times – is to focus on just one area, one country, or a couple of cities and keep the travel (and train ticket purchases) to a minimum. Generally the north and west of Europe are the most expensive countries. As you move south and east things are cheaper – often much cheaper. Greece is a great family destination for a first trip to Europe. The islands are great to visit and kids love the ferry trips. Greece is much cheaper than, say, France or Spain, (though not nearly as cheap as it was 10 or 20 years ago), and you can often find great deals on flights between Athens and Mumbai or Delhi. I hope that helps a little. Good luck.

  129. Julia, KidsTravel2

    Great list and links, thanks. Taught in Spain near Barcelona for a while and several years, a marriage and 2 kids later am planning to return with family – looking forward to exploring the city from a child’s perspective

  130. Starting Blog About Family Trip to Europe

    This summer my Australian husband and I are moving from New Jersey to his native Australia with our two year old daughter. We have time, so we’re saving money and buying around-the-world tickets, planning on visiting Iceland, England, Spain, Italy, the Greek Islands, and South Africa before heading to Australia. This trip will probably take us about 8-10 weeks. We’re all pretty seasoned travelers and our daughter has flown many times, so we’re pretty cluey, but have never done anything of this magnitude with a kid involved. We’re interested in doing a blog about our preparations, the move, and of course, the trip itself, but we’ve never done one before and are looking for advice. Any tips on that?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Ashley. I’m going to be doing a blog post on this soon — as I get lots of questions on it — but here are a few quick ideas:

      – If you’re serious about your blog and about (maybe) putting some serious time and effort into it, then go with a WordPress self hosted blog. That means you’ll have to buy a domain, host it on a site (like Godaddy for example) and then use WordPress to run it.

      – On the other hand, if you just want a site for friends, family, and people you meet along the road, then is perfectly fine.

      – Plan before you start blogging. There are lots of little decisions you’ll make along the way, and doing a little prep work (or a lot of prep work) before you start will save you having to tear things down and start again.

      I hope that helps, let me know if you have a specific question.

  131. Europe Itinerary for Cheap Family Trip

    Dear Friends, We are a family of 4 , 2 adults and 2 kids ( 16 & 8 ) from India.We plan to visit Europe in May for 10-12 days. My budget is around Euro 1250 per head. Total Euro 5000 . Can somebody please suggest some itineraries? This will be my first trip to Europe and any suggestions/advice are welcome.
    Best wishes.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi JV. If I had to suggest some spots it would probably be a route between 2 cities, say Paris and Rome (or Paris and Barcelona). Fly into one, take the train between them, and then fly out of the other if you’re able to – thus saving the time and expense of backtracking. My perfect trip would probably include a few days in Paris, followed by 2 or 3 days in the south of France. Then on to Florence or Siena. And finishing in Rome. If anything take a stop out before adding any more. Keep it simple and don’t rush and you should have a great time.

      Good luck.

      1. Tips for Traveling to Europe with Kids

        Dear David,
        Thanks a lot for your comments. I really appreciate it. Any other suggestions/comments anybody.
        Best wishes to all

  132. Saving Money on Airfare to Europe for Family

    What keeps our travel dreams on hold is flight cost? How do you cut that down?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Loraine. I agree that’s a huge part of being able to travel – the initial cost of plane tickets. My biggest suggestion is to be flexible – as flexible as you can. The more you’re able to pick and choose from the different seat sales – whether it be the dates, the days of the week, the destination, or all 3 – the better the deal you’ll get.

      The good thing is that many places that require a bigger expense on the tickets side: Thailand, Vietnam, Greece, Turkey, Venezuela, offer great value to travelers. So once you’re there, if you really watch what you spend you can make that big expense up front pay off.

      Mexico is one place where you get both great deals on airfare and – if you stay away from the big tourist resorts like Cancun or Puerta Vallarta – you can still get great deals and very affordable accommodations.

      I’m currently writing a piece on finding great deals on air travel. I’ll be sure to send it to you once I’ve finished it.


  133. Soultravelers in Europe

    These are wonderful tips for families traveling to Europe! We have been on an open ended, non-stop world tour as a family since 2006 & many of our 32 countries & 175,000 miles (most overland) so far have been in Europe.

    We travel & live large on just 23 dollars a day per person. We’ve done everything from 5 star hotels to hostels, cargo ships to camels, but our main lodging AND transportation mode is by small motorhome.

    It is a fantastic way to see Europe with most campsites being 5 star resorts near all the sites with easy access via mass transit, biking or walking. Great for families as there is no packing & unpacking and almost all have kid’s clubs and great pools, restaurants, stores and beaches for after touring days.

    It’s a wonderful educational opportunity that will last you a lifetime!

    1. Krista

      What a wonderful adventure for your family!! May I ask who/where did you rent your motorhome in Europe? This idea really appeals to us. Thanks

    2. becky

      soultravler3: I am very, very interested in your travels, planning, tips, ideas, anything! how do you do it on so little money? how did you decide to “leave it all behind” and travel the world? what a classroom for your kids. I am so interested in your travels, any information would be very appreciated.

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