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5 European Daytrips Your Kids Will Love
Expand your youngsters' horizons with these culture- and history-driven tours.
Plan a trip across the pond that will pique every family members' interests. (Getty Images)
Families yearning to expose their kids to other cultures might call Europe the perfect place to visit. With each country offering its own culture and place in history, parents can introduce their children to an array of experiences in one enriching trip. While planning a DIY European getaway as a family can be rewarding, booking a few guided tours of iconic attractions and landmarks beyond can't-miss capitals (think: Rome and Paris) can help bring historical lessons to life. Still, not all daytrips are family-friendly. After all, some jaunts are too long, too adult-oriented or simply not stimulating enough to keep kids interested in learning more. That's why U.S. News pinpointed five kid-friendly European daytrips that are well-suited for a variety of interests, price points and age groups.
Below are top European daytrip picks for families with kids ages 4 and up.
With a home base in Rome, you can book a full-day Pompeii and Amalfi Coast tour with reputable outfitter WalksofItaly.com. Your kids will marvel at the ancient ruins of Pompeii, a city buried in volcanic ash in A.D. 79. Immaculately preserved, Pompeii still features streets, buildings, mosaics and frescoes just like it did 2,000 years ago. Next, you'll drive along the scenic Amalfi Coast, before stopping in the lovely seaside town of Positano. Explore the narrow streets, shop any number of upscale boutiques or enjoy an authentic Italian meal before boarding the bus back to Rome. Best of all, the trip includes round-trip transportation from Rome, entrance to Pompeii attractions and an expert guide, offering a great bang for your buck.
If you're traveling with little ones who dream of castles fit for royalty, Europe is filled with charming villages and enchanting castles from times gone by. From Munich, you can take the kids to explore some of the most iconic castles in Europe – all in a day – with reputable tour company Viator. The Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace in Germany offer plenty of opportunities to brush up on fascinating histories while soaking in picturesque surroundings. Created by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, both castles offer magnificent scenery that will keep the kids busy for hours. What's more, the tour includes an optional interior castle tour, along with round-trip coach transportation, and time to enjoy shopping in nearby Hohenschwangau in Schwangau, Germany.
From Bergen, Norway
If your kids are naturally drawn to the water, a boat and hiking tour might provide the best way to spend your day. On an 11-hour private tour from Bergen to Sognefjord, Gudvangen and Flåm in Norway, available through Viator, you and the gang can enjoy quality time on the water, along with jaw-dropping scenery. Cruise to the area around the Aulandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, before riding the Flåmsbana railway from Flåm to the mountain railway station Myrdal. Plus, you can enjoy a hearty buffet lunch and hear all the details of the area and its history from your privately appointed expert guide. Even better, this trip includes round-trip transportation from Bergen, a private guide and hotel pickup.
While Paris itself offers plenty for kids to do, a trip to nearby Versailles might set their imaginations wild. On a full-day tour from Paris, you'll get a priority access pass to the Palace of Versailles itself, along with a gourmet three-course lunch and a guided tour of the Trianons and the Queen's Hamlet – a special retreat created specifically for Marie Antoinette. Even kids who aren't yet aspiring history buffs will love the building's unique baroque architecture along with the splendor of gold leaf and mirrors. This trip, offered by Paris City Vision, includes luxury minibus transportation, priority admission to Versailles, a gourmet lunch near the Palace and an afternoon guided tour of the small and large Trianons and the Queens Hamlet.
From Florence, Italy
What do kids love? Pizza and ice cream. With a Florentine cooking class available from Viator, youngsters can learn how to create something similar to both. Led by a chef, this three-hour class in Florence teaches kids and adults how to make Italian-style pizza and gelato using historic culinary methods and local ingredients. As your kids try their hand at different culinary creations, they can sample various pizzas, ingredients and gelato flavors. This trip to one of the best places to visit in Italy includes a three-hour class taught by a professional chef, all ingredients and cooking tools and a graduation certificate.
The Bottom Line
If your ideal trip to Europe includes your kids, it's best to come up with some fun activities to keep everyone occupied. These daytrips can bring Old World wonders to life for your kids while keeping the adults happy, too.
About En Route
Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.
Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.
Edited by Liz Weiss.
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