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Traveling with young children - summer 2019 - Paris to Budapest

Hello everyone,

I am looking for suggestions for our 2019 summer trip in Europe. We have 2 young children (oldest is 6, youngest 1) and we are starting our trip in Paris, ending it in Budapest. Should we do France/Germany/Austria/Hungary or rather France/Switzerland/Italy/Austria/Hungary? We have around 14 days in total and we are hoping to include easy hikes, bike rides and other children friendly activities. Has anyone done this itinerary before or something similar? Any suggestions are welcomed!

Thank you in advance,

Posted by
5265 posts

Four or five countries in two weeks is a lot to take on, especially because the little ones will slow you down. I'd suggest Paris, Budapest, and one smaller city or rural area between them, preferably with train service so you can get there easily even though you might rent a car while there. Maybe others can suggest destinations in southern Germany or Austria to fit that bill.

Posted by
5719 posts

Exactly how many days on the ground will you have excluding your arrival and departure days?

With about 12-14 days, you could have a week in Paris, then fly to Budapest and transfer to Lake Balaton for a few days before returning to Budapest.

You can’t cover 4 or 5 countries in 2 weeks, especially with very young children.

I don't have a straight answer honestly. We arrive in Paris on the 11th. After the trip through Europe we will stay in Romania until August 1st. We would like to do 14 days before heading to Romania, but it really depends on the kids...

Posted by
26 posts

Well halfway between Paris and Budapest is Stuttgart. It is a delightful mid size town with a huge nature area. We stayed in the Waldhotel right next to the forest and it was one of my favorite stays. After the busy city of Paris, Stuttgart might be a great change of pace. There were miles and miles of trails in the forest to explore. Very nice. To be fair, the Waldhotel was a bit pricey but for me it was idealic.

Closer to Budapest is Vienna which is an equally beautiful city. Less busy than Paris but still very vibrant. The biking lanes are very well defined, the metro advanced with a very large park in the center of the city. It felt less commercial to me in a wonderful/artsy way.

Overall, given the age of your kids, I would go from Paris to Budapest with only one other city in between and just take the pace a little slower. Your little ones will remember very little, but you will have many pleasant memories of all the things discovered through their eyes! What a wonderful opportunity!

Posted by
34 posts

We did a 7 country trip with our two young kiddos two summers ago, ages 5 and 7 at the time. We took 6 weeks to travel, and even with 6 weeks, it felt extremely rushed and exhausting. Most places we stayed between 2-4 nights. Take whatever guidebooks say for travel times, and double or triple it with young kids. With only 2 weeks, I would say limit your travel to maybe 4 cities at the most, but that is based on my experience, which was in different countries than those you listed. Good luck, and let the kids dictate the day. I've found that if I go into my trips with "no expectations", than it makes for a much more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Posted by
16883 posts

You can also connect France/Switzerland/Austria/Hungary, without Italy. I'm thinking Italy is a bit of a detour that I would save for another trip.