Romantic car songs, serene roads, and sheer tranquility are what make Europe road trips the ideal getaway for couples. However, if you’re traveling with kids, road trips can become precisely the opposite.
With limited activities on the road, the little ones usually get bored within hours. Not to mention, basic amenities are miles apart, even on major highways and driving trails. Having to stock your car up with every road trip essential can get quite tedious.
But, what if I told you that you could plan some kid-friendly road trips across Europe and enjoy some memorable family time together? We are planning a Paris to Berlin road trip and using our favorite credit card for overseas travel that offers rental car insurance and using our hotel rewards to make this road trip budget-friendly.
Ranging from historical destinations to breathtaking natural landscapes, here are some options for those planning a Europe road trip with kids.
Best Road Trips in Europe to take with kids
1. Pack Your Bags for a Germany Road Trip
For those planning a European road trip, driving across some of the major routes in Germany is a great idea. Some of the most appealing options include the Romantic Road, the Black Forest High Road, and the German Wine Road. Along the way, you will be able to see some of the most beautiful landmarks in Germany.
Are your kids mesmerized by tales of knights, princesses, and fairies? In this case, you can take routes such as the Fairytale Road or the Castle Road. These driving trails go through the most magnificent castles, countrysides, and landscapes in Europe.
Through these roads, you can relive your favorite childhood tales with your kids, including Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, and other Grimm Brothers’ works. You can even book guided visits to some castles and give your children an enthralling educational experience.
Most importantly, some of these castles also double up at hotels. Spend a few days and nights living like royals and create unforgettable memories by booking a castle stay.
If your kids love active vacations, you can take them through the Black Forest Road along the Rhine River. Here, you can enjoy the mind-blowing natural beauty of the country. There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking and bird watching along the way.
2. Take a Winter Road Trip Across Romania
If you’re planning to travel with kids in Europe, you’ve probably ruled out the winter months beforehand. However, for those who have no choice but to plan getaways during the holiday months, a Romanian road trip is the ultimate choice.
What makes this one of the best Europe road trips for families are the serene roads and accessible amenities. Since many locals stay home for the holidays, the inns and motels along the way are usually empty.
This means you can enjoy peaceful bathroom stops and snack breaks along the road. The snow-blanketed trails throughout Romania are a sight to behold and ideal for memorable family photos.
Romanian roads are quite safe with multiple towns and villages along the way, so you can easily find a place to stay for the night without a prior reservation.
Most importantly, the European white Christmas is something you wouldn’t want to miss with your kids. You can visit the local Christmas markets and indulge in exotic merchandise at low prices.
New Year attractions also include horse and sleigh rides and fine dining experiences in most cities and towns so your kids can enjoy the thrill of a Romanian winter!
3. Drive Through The Peloponnese Area in Greece
Are you traveling with teenagers interested in the Percy Jackson book series or Greek mythology in general? If so, this route across Greece is the ideal European road trip for a family. Greece has many historical sites mentioned in the Percy Jackson books. Include these stops on your road trip and fuel your kids’ passion for reading.
Start on mainland Greece in Athens and move towards the Peloponnese peninsula by road. Apart from ancient historical sites, the area offers breathtaking beaches, astounding monuments, and a gorgeous natural landscape to keep you mesmerized along the way.
Similarly, the Corinth Canal, the Epidaurus Theatre, and Olympia are unique places to provide educational and enjoyable experiences to young adults.
Greek hospitality combined with the light, rustic cuisine will keep your family relaxed and well-fed along the way.
Plan to spend a day or two in the small seaside town of Nafplio and take time to relax on the beach. The town also offers delicious seafood and does not attract huge crowds even during the peak summer season.
Finally, try to end your Greece road trip with a visit to Delphi, one of the most famous sites in Greek mythology. Need more Greece ideas? Use our guide to help you plan a Greece family vacation.
4. Historical itinerary through Eastern Europe
If you want to visit multiple countries and experience a variety of cultures on your road trip for kids in Europe, you should head to Eastern Europe. Plan an itinerary of at least 3 to 5 days covering countries like Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus.
Depending on your family’s interests, you can customize the stops you want to take on your road trip. However, some of the most attractive places to visit along the way include:
- Warsaw – A perfect combination of historical heritage and natural beauty to keep your kids busy for the day.
- Bialystok – A border town that is a melting pot of many countries that is famous for its delicious cuisine and beer.
- Augustow – If your kids are interested in watersports, this is a must-visit on your Eastern Europe road trip. Here, you can take guided hikes and boating or fishing trips on numerous canals.
From these locations, you can head over to Lviv in Ukraine to enjoy its signature chocolate. Nothing seems to excite kids more than this decadent dark dessert.
Another option is to drive towards Krakow to admire the mountain ranges of Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
End your trip in the charming city of Budapest. Here, your kids can experience the elegance of European culture. Since there are a lot of outdoor adventures on this route consider renting an RV with Outdoorsy in advance to ensure you make the most of the mountains and national parks.
While the route is accessible and enjoyable year round, winter is ideal for planning a road trip in Europe for kids. During the holiday season, these countries are bustling with festivities, and there are so many activities to keep your kids from getting bored.
5. Take a Road Trip From Paris to Berlin
There’s no way you can miss Paris while planning a European road trip. By plotting your excursion from Paris to Berlin, you can visit historical castles, modern artistic monuments, and breathtaking landscapes.
Head out of Paris through the Champagne and Reims hills and into Luxembourg to explore the majestic medieval castles. Some of these castles offer guided tours and accommodation so you can give your kids the ultimate royal experience.
After Luxembourg, head to Trier and observe ancient Roman architecture and watch history come to life. From there you can choose to visit cities like Bacharach and Nuremberg. The former is popular for its local wineries and the latter for its role in the Cold War and classical music.
From here, take your kids to the artistic paradise of Berlin and enjoy the rich culture and traditions of the continent. There’s also more than 20 castles in Berlin to explore, so kids are sure to find one they love!
The trip will take around 1-2 weeks so be sure to pack kid-friendly road trip books so your kids can stay entertained during the drive. Also, if you have time, be sure to stay longer at your favorite cities and enjoy each destination to the fullest.
6. Drive From The Arctic Fjords in Bergen to Trondheim
If beautiful valleys, snow-capped mountains, and breathtaking glaciers are more of your family’s speed, this is the best road trip for kids in Europe. Start your adventures in Bergen, Norway, and move across the snowy mountain peaks to the famous Atlantic road for the experience of a lifetime.
The magnificent views are the perfect distraction for kids who get squirmy sitting in the car for too long. In Bergen, make sure to explore the fascinating Tvindefossen waterfall. Or, you can drive through one of the world’s longest under mountain tunnels.
Be sure to take a ferry ride across the stunning Fjaler valley and watch the sunlight make the glaciers sparkle like diamonds. Here, you can find comfortable small towns to stay in for the night or for grabbing a bite to eat. These include the rustic waterside towns of Stryn and Videster.
One of the most thrilling experiences of this road trip is the final stretch along the Atlantic Road. Drive through its roller-coaster-esque bridges and watch the stilted Trondheim homes go by. You can take as many stops as you like along the route and enjoy relaxing meals with your family.
7. Cruise From Sicily to Calabria
If you want an all-encompassing experience of Europe’s highlights, taking a road trip from Sicily with your kids is a great idea. Its capital city Palermo is one of the most appealing metropolitan cities on the continent. It is filled with mind-blowing historical sites and rich cultural experiences.
From Palermo, you can head over to the renowned family holiday spot of Cefalù. Hit its magnificent golden sand beaches or explore the medieval town and feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
If you’re looking for outdoor adventures, head over to Enna, near the heart of the island. The ancient city is surrounded by cliffs and bordered by the Ionian Sea. Here, you can enjoy scenic views right out of a set from Game of Thrones.
Similarly, the nearby cities of Siracusa and Catania are dotted with historic castles previously inhabited by Greek rulers. You can explore the majestic architecture with your kids or visit Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the continent.
The trip will take around one or two weeks to cover. Be sure to avoid this road trip during the scorching months of July and August.
Author Bio: Kyle Kroeger is a travel blogger for his site ViaTravelers.com. ViaTravelers is a modern travel blog providing the best tips, hacks, and itineraries to ensure you have an amazing adventure. Follow him on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube to get their latest travel updates in real-time.
Europe Travel Tips
Book Your Flights
You can find discounted fares using sites like Momondo or Skyscanner. If you want to keep an eye on discount fares, we suggest signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights, a daily newsletter with flight sales around the world.
If you travel frequently, consider investing in a Priority Pass for airport lounge access. It’s nice to have a space where you can relax before your flight.
Book Your Accommodation
We regularly use Expedia.com and Hotels.com to find lodging when we travel. It’s a great way to compare vacation rentals, hotels, and resorts.
If your family knows they want to stay in a vacation rental, we recommend looking at VRBO and Plum Guide.
Book Your Transportation
For rental car agencies, try Rentalcars.com. We tend to use Hertz simply for the quality of service.
When traveling in Europe, we use AutoEurope to make our bookings. They find the best rates and allow you to compare different car rental agencies. Europcar is another option.
If you would prefer to travel by train in Europe we recommend Eurail who offers discounted packages for rail travel.
Book Your Tours and Travel Photos
We regularly used companies like Viator and GetYourGuide to book tours when we travel. Both have great communication and a large variety of activities that work for all ages.
If you’re visiting a city with multiple attractions, be sure to check out a discount pass, such as CityPASS or Go City. Both are worthwhile investments.
Context Travel is another option and they offer more educational based activities. The former teacher in me loves their tours.
One of our favorite things to do annually is take photos with Flytographer. They have photographers around the world and we’ve used them on four separate occasions. This is our favorite travel souvenir.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
With the state of travel these days, it’s important to have some type of travel insurance to cover any unforeseen accidents, illnesses, threat or cancellations. We always travel with insurance and would recommend SquareMouth, Travelex, or Medjet as good options. And if you want to compare different insurance options, use Travel Insurance Master to find the best policy for your group.