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Where in Europe Should I take My Family?

Kai

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I'd like to take my family to Europe.

There's 6 of us. Wife and me + 4 kids, ages 11-18 Will be next summer.

We've got a couple of weeks. I'm thinking 3 cities max.

Guessing that Paris is a must do. Not sure where we should go besides Paris. Italy, maybe Greece. Maybe Spain?

Any ideas? Venice? Florence? Amsterdam? Barcelona? London? Rent a car? Take the train?
 

max b

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I can tell you the "usual" things about Italy (Venice, Rome, Florence...) but everybody can tell you. Here something different :

1 rent a car in Milan and drive from Milan to Perugia. This is one of the most beautiful roads in Italy. Time will be around 4-5 hours. You will cross the Appennini and driving trough the magnificent Tuscany

2 the Amalfi coast : Capri Island, Positano, Ravello, Amalfi

3 In the north Milan - Bergamo - Verona - Mantova (total driving is about 200 km)

but I guess with childrens it could be little too much..

About Europe (the same, I will not tell London, Paris etc. everybody knows they are the best) :

Lisbon, Prague, Stockholm, Barcelona
 

StephenHero

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I'd do Paris for 6 days and then choose north, south, east or west.

N- London (4), Bath (1), Amsterdam (3)
W- Barcelona (4), San Sebastian (4)
E- Vienna (4) , Prague (4)
S- Rome (6), Venice (2)
 

Britalian

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If it's their first visit to continental Europe.
Into Paris for 4 or 5 days.
Then to Rome 4/5 days then drive up to Venice for 2 days, stopping off somewhere on the way to break journey and give opportunity to see a different, non-tourist place.
Maybe somewhere coastal such as Elbe Island for a nice bit of beach and scenery.
I don't envy your trying to satisfy the demands of such an age range of kids, though. The above trip might go some way. Avoiding EuroDisney, of course.
 

pabloj

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Land in Paris, spend 5 days there, then take a one way flight to Rome (something cheap like Ryan or easyJet will do) spend a couple of days in Rome and then get back to Paris by train (use the new high speed train in Italy and the TGV in France) doing, Rome -> Florence -> Bologna -> Milan -> Turin -> Lyon / Chambery -> Paris (choose in which to stop for the night, consider that the italian stops are more or less at one and half hour distance each).
 

etb

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Paris, Rome, Krakow (underrated, better than Vienna and Prague IMHO), and London.
 

jeffjames

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My personal favorites (and the missus') London, Paris and Amsterdam. Rented a car in London Airport and had a blast over the last Summer
Do some planning and research before your trip to save time and frustration.

Good luck.
Jeff
 

StephenHero

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It does Italy a bit of a disservice to sneak it in in the form of a mini-trip.
 

globetrotter

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here's what I would do - hit a couple of cities from the following - Paris, London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Vienna, rome . these give you good food, theatre, art, music.

then, take at least one night train trip between cities, paris and Vienna, or Madrid.

the 3rd element would be a something outdoorsy - you can do a hike in Switzerland for a few days where every night you sleep in a different inn and they will take your gear from place to place, or, you can do a 5 day bike trip along the danube trail, or a similar canue trip between vienna and prague.
 

Annadale

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Do Paris on the way back, then you can bribe/threaten the kids with Eurodisney!
 

Kai

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Originally Posted by Annadale
Do Paris on the way back, then you can bribe/threaten the kids with Eurodisney!

I would rather wade in the red toxic sludge/mud than go to Eurodisney. My kids know that.


Originally Posted by globetrotter
here's what I would do - hit a couple of cities from the following - Paris, London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Vienna, rome . these give you good food, theatre, art, music.

then, take at least one night train trip between cities, paris and Vienna, or Madrid.

the 3rd element would be a something outdoorsy - you can do a hike in Switzerland for a few days where every night you sleep in a different inn and they will take your gear from place to place, or, you can do a 5 day bike trip along the danube trail, or a similar canue trip between vienna and prague.



An outdoorsy trip is a great idea. A river trip down the Danube would be very cool. Will need to bring some Strauss waltzes to listen to.
 

TheIdler

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Based just on what friends have told me, London seems to be a bigger hit with kids than Paris, and Italy is the best. Kids like eating most Italian food and Italians in general are very welcoming/accommodating with kids, even in big cities. And +1 on doing something outdoorsy for multiple days, but if you can't, at least think about renting bikes, spending time at beaches and parks, etc. Two friends did this with their (teenage) kids:
http://fattirebiketours.com/barcelona
and had a good time, and they're in other cities, too.

About transportation, 6 is kind of a lot of people, especially if you're used to American-sized legroom. Add in luggage and you're talking about needing a large vehicle to be comfortable. (Unless you rent a camper or something and go that route...that would be awesome.) I think trains are just way cooler and I think if I'd been a kid on the TGV I would've been really excited.

Based on the ages of your kids, I would just ask them what kinds of things they'd be more into and try to include them in the planning stages.
 

dhc905

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Europe is stupidly expensive now with the Euro where it is (just came back from Switzerland and Italy). Go to Brazil or Argentina - has culture, weather, people, and food. Or just stay stateside...there are seriously a million places here that people fly from all over to see that I haven't seen myself.
 

Britalian

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Night trains sound exciting and romantic (and for couples in their own couchette, they are) but I think with 4 kids it could turn into a disaster pretty rapidly.
While the TGV is probably the most comfortable train in yurp, spending all day on a train between major cities could be seen as a waste. Depends how much you like train travel. Some great scenery from northern France to Italy, Swiss., etc, however. And not cheap. Even with a fair amount of luggage, I imagine lowcost airlines such as EJ and paddyair, would be cheaper, and certainly quicker. You could treat yourselves to a nice taxi transfer at either end of trips...
 

globetrotter

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Originally Posted by Britalian
Night trains sound exciting and romantic (and for couples in their own couchette, they are) but I think with 4 kids it could turn into a disaster pretty rapidly.
While the TGV is probably the most comfortable train in yurp, spending all day on a train between major cities could be seen as a waste. Depends how much you like train travel. Some great scenery from northern France to Italy, Swiss., etc, however. And not cheap. Even with a fair amount of luggage, I imagine lowcost airlines such as EJ and paddyair, would be cheaper, and certainly quicker. You could treat yourselves to a nice taxi transfer at either end of trips...


I take night trains in europe all the time, havne't taken my kids on one yet, but I still think that it would be a lot of fun, also - these aren't little kids, they are teen agers.
 

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