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Posts Tagged ‘Netherlands’

Best Places To Visit In November: Where To Travel This Fall

Berlin

November is a great month for off-season travel and you’ll be thankful for the cheaper prices and shorter lines at tourist attractions. Here you’ll find cheap travel deals on flights, hotels, vacations, and cruises that allow for travel during the month of November.

Check out our best November travel deals:

Where are we traveling in November?

At TravelPirates, we’re always on the move and we love nothing more than exploring new destinations. We sat down with one of our editors, Carmen Morion Castilla, to find out where she’s traveling this November. Read on for her top tips on how to make the most of your trip, travel hacks, and where she’s headed this fall.

How To Travel Like a Pirate! An Interview with Carmen Morion Castilla

Carmen in Vancouver, Canada

Name

Carmen Morion Castilla

Job Title

I’m a content editor and deal hunter. My job is to make it easy, enjoyable, and affordable for people to travel. My job is also to motivate potential travelers, inspire them, and ease the whole travel search and organization process for them.

Background

I originally come from Cadiz, Spain. After I studied in Ireland during my fifth year of high school, a whole new world opened up for me. I realized, traveling, getting to know different people, and basically getting out of my comfort zone made me grow as a person, and I wanted more. I started a degree in Business Administration in Seville but thanks to some academic merits-based scholarship, I was able to study two semesters in Germany, one in Canada, and one in Madrid. After getting some work experience in the marketing department of a hotel headquarters, I headed to Germany to improve my German. Once there, I found a job in the travel industry, which led me to stay there for over 3 years. After having lived outside Spain for over six years, I felt homesick and started to look for options to continue to develop myself professionally in Spain and…here I am!

How many countries have you visited?

19

Carmen in Berlin, Germany

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled so far and why?

Hong Kong. It was the most random and unplanned travel ever. We decided to go somewhere in two weeks and found cheap flights to HK. Since my passport was expiring in 5 months, we could not visit anywhere else in China, we needed to stay in HK province. It turned out that Chinese New Year was the first week we were there. It was just an amazing experience, we were able to participate in the local traditions, and we discovered many beautiful isolated places in HK like paradise beaches and traditional fishing towns..

Where are you traveling in November?

I’m going to Florida because I have a friend living in Tampa who I’ve been meaning to visit for over 5 years! I will be there with my boyfriend for 10 days. We will arrive in Orlando and my friends will pick us up and take us to Tampa, where we will spend two days before flying to Key West together. We will spend two nights there, then take a road trip through the Florida Keys on our way to Miami, where we will spend one or two nights. Then it’s Tampa to celebrate Thanksgiving with my friends. The day after, we will buy a huge suitcase to fill on Black Friday. For the last 3 days, my friends will show us around, and we will probably explore Orlando a bit more.

What are 3 tips you have for someone looking to plan a vacation on a budget?

1. Book either with far in advance or at the last minute (or just use TravelPirates!)
2. If possible, pay with cash instead of a credit card. It helps not to lose track of what you are actually expending.
3. Avoid eating right in the city center, where the most touristy places are, and instead look for somewhere that caters to locals.

Carmen in Hong Kong, China

What are the most underrated travel destinations?

The Moselle Valley in Germany, Gibraltar, Iran, and Madagascar.

What song/album/artist gets you in the mood to travel?

Lonely Traveler by A. Blue 

Some people like to plan everything down to the tiniest detail when they travel, and some prefer to be completely spontaneous. Where do you fall on the spectrum?

I tend to plan everything but thankfully, don’t stress out if we change plans at the last minute or cancel them altogether. I think it is good to do research and get the big picture of what you are going to find, and to define you priorities. However, you will just truly see what there is, once you are there. That’s why it’s normal and perfectly fine to change plans or even to decide not to do anything for a day, and instead just hang around and enjoy the city like a local.

You’ve been gifted an all-expenses-paid trip anywhere in the world–where do you go?

I’d go to the Bahamas to swim with the wild pigs.

What were your most memorable/unique travel experiences?

Going dog sledding in the Rocky Mountains in Canada & spending Chinese New Year in China.

What kind of trip/destination would you recommend for someone who has never traveled outside the US?

I would recommend that they travel in Europe. I think it’s interesting for someone who has never left the US to see so many different countries, so close to each other but still so different, with their own customs, architecture, languages, etc.

Fill in the blank: When I travel to a new city, the first thing I like to do is ___________________

Find out what the typical food is and try it.

Fill in the blank: When I discovered ________________ it made travel so much better

Sketchers.

Carmen in the Rocky Mountains, Canada

Fill in the blank: I know a lot of people love ______________ when traveling, but I hate it.

Going on guided bus tours.

What was your longest trip?

10 days in Hong Kong.

What was your shortest trip?

A road trip from Saturday to Sunday, traveling from Düsseldorf to Luxemburg, passing by a few a few cute towns in Germany, and sleeping over in the Netherlands.

Tell us about a time when you felt like a pirate on your travels.

Well, once I went to Amsterdam with two friends. Once we got there, we realized we had been scammed with the house where we were supposed to stay in. We found ourselves, three people, in Amsterdam at midnight with our suitcases and nowhere to sleep and found some random hostal with a big poster on the door saying “Free Room”. The receptionist/owner slept on the sofa in the hall, in his underwear, with his cat. We squeezed in a super tiny room with 1 bed, where I saw a mouse.

Anyhow, we took it all with good humor. The receptionist/owner turned out to be super nice, the hotel was right in the city center, we spent very little money, and we had lots of fun and laughed a lot throughout the trip.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Browse more of our latest November travel deals:

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Europe With Kids – Top 10 Places for an Amazing European Family Vacation

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Best Places To Visit On Your European Family Holidays

So you want to visit Europe with kids?   But where on earth do you go-with such a huge continent and hundreds of interesting cities to travel to?   Well look no further-choose from these 10 best places for your European family holidays.

Europe is quite easy to explore. There are budget airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair that offer heavily discounted flights between cities.  You can also travel by Eurorail and get multi city passes with discounts for children.

Top 10 Places To Visit In Europe With Children



Barcelona, Spain

Teeanger at Guell Park in Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the best places to visit in Europe with kids.  This city has whimsical architecture from the famous Spanish artist Gaudi. Kids can play in Guell Park and see the mosaic lizard! Football fans will have a great time touring Camp Nou stadium (home to FC Barcelona).  Toddlers will be entertained by the Magic Fountain.


Crete, Greece

Little Boy in Crete Harbour

Crete is one of the beautiful Greek islands. With gorgeous bright blue waters and sandy beaches this is a great place to travel to on your Europe family holidays.  Teenagers will enjoy a cooking class to learn to make tasty Greek food! Visiting an olive oil farm, a glass bottom boat ride and riding a horse through the olive groves are some of the fun family friendly activities.


Rome, Italy

Family at Colloseum in Rome

Rome is a must do on your Europe family travel. This city has great food, a fascinating history and great boutique shopping.  Babies and toddlers will love the yummy gelato (Italian ice cream), children will enjoy riding an electric bike in Borghese park and teenagers will like exploring the Colosseum, a Wonder of the World! 


Istanbul, Turkey

Boy in Mosque in Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world and a great place to visit in Europe with kids. East meets West here as the city straddles both Asia and Europe. Your teenagers will love exploring the exotic Grand Bazaar and children will like the eerie Basilica Cistern. You can have a family hamam (Turkish bath).


London, United Kingdom

Father and Daughter in London

London is a great city to visit on your Europe family trip. Babies and toddlers will love seeing the changing of the guard, children will enjoy the scary London Dungeons and your teenagers will have a blast riding the London Eye. Don’t forget to stop at a sweet shop for some yummy chocolate and candy!


Prague, Czech Republic

Child in Prague

Prague is a historic town with fairytale castles. Babies and toddlers will have fun chasing the peacocks in the royal gardens, children will be enchanted by a horse and carriage ride through the cobblestone streets.  Teenagers will have a great time riding a bobsleigh down the hill! Don’t miss out on Prague on your family travels to Europe


Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife

Tenerife is one of the sunny Canary Islands. Enjoy a beach family holiday in Europe with a Spanish twist.  Your teenagers can learn to surf, babies and toddlers will adore the animal parks and children will have a great time at the water parks! Finish your day with some tasty tapas!


Amsterdam, Netherlands

Family Bike Ride In Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a great city to visit in Europe with kids. There are lots of quirky museums and you can explore the canals on a pedal boat. Teenagers will be fascinated by Anne Frank’s house after reading her diary in school. Children will like the treasure hunt at the Van Gogh museum. Babies and toddlers will enjoy the flower market.


Paris, France

teenager in paris

Paris is one of the most popular places to visit in Europe with kids. Kids love seeing the gargoyles on the Notre Dame church, climbing the Eiffel tower and riding a carousel in one of the beautiful Paris parks.  Stop by a bakery to pick out one of the yummy mini cakes or chocolate croissant.


Venice, Italy

little girl in venice

Venice is a unique town with canals instead of streets! Children will love a gondola ride. You can stay on nearby Lido island and enjoy the beaches and bike rides through the villages. Don’t miss the tour of the Murano glass factory and feeding pigeons in the square. Great place to travel to in Europe with kids.

Enjoy your European family vacation! Be sure to come back and share your photos and memories!

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Europe Travel: The 15 Coronavirus-Safest Christmas Trips According To European Best Destinations

Bavaria
Snow Ball With Christmas Tree In It

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Every year around this time, the European Best Destinations (EBD) organization, which is part of the European Commission’s EDEN Network (“European Destinations of Excellence”) working to promote sustainable tourism on the continent, releases its approved list of beautiful European cities that host the best Christmas markets.

It’s no exaggeration to say that practically every European city and town carries on its own traditional end-of-the-year holiday festivities, many of which have been occurring for centuries.

Although the process and the criteria for the selection this year had to be adjusted to account for Covid-19 measures and circumstances according to each country, EBD has unveiled a carefully-chosen list of destinations where it will be possible to enjoy the magic of Christmas while still following strict health and sanitary rules.

MORE FROM FORBES18 Gorgeous Hidden Gems To Visit In Europe When Travel Bans Lift, According To European Best DestinationsBy Cecilia Rodriguez

“Find out which are the safest Christmas markets in Europe for Covid-19,” EBD announced. “Since the start of this worldwide “Covid-19” crisis, we have kept you informed of the situation day after day by following the recommendations of the World Health Organization.” 

The Safest Christmas Markets/Destinations in Europe were chosen on the basis of the following criteria: number of Covid-19 cases per million inhabitants, number of hospital beds per inhabitant, proximity of airports, establishment of sanitary measures, hygiene charts in hotels, shops, restaurants, public transport and public places, provision of hydroalcoholic gels, masks and, last but not least, circulation routes inside the Christmas markets. 

MORE FROM FORBESGlobal Travel Bans: 115 Worldwide Destinations Easing Covid Restrictions Says U.N, What To KnowBy Cecilia Rodriguez

They’re all located in destinations less affected by the coronavirus, up to 80 times fewer cases of Covid-19 and sometimes even no deaths linked to Covid-19 (such as the Madeira Islands, which tops the 2020 list). 

In the safest Christmas Markets in Europe, contactless payment methods are the norm, merchants have protective masks or visors and a signposted route stops visitors from crossing paths.

Among other recommendations, EBD advises travelers to remain vigilant and to remember the gestures, social distancing and mask if possible and necessary and to avoid traveling in case of poor health.

“People over 70, overweight or with respiratory problems should be particularly vigilant,” the organization warns.

Christmas decorations in Madeira, Portugal

Madeira, Portugal, Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Madeira is the safest European destination this winter. With up to 12 times fewer cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than other European destinations and no deaths, the Portuguese island has been selected as the best destination for the Christmas holidays.

In addition to the “Safe and Clean” label established by the Portuguese National Tourist Office, Madeira officials have set up very rigorous health charters to welcome travelers in the best safety conditions while guaranteeing holidays for leisure, discovery and relaxation. 

They impose no quarantine on arrival for travelers that have taken the Covid-19 test before the trip (maximum 72 hours before departure). Scanning at the airport reinforces these security measures and various devices are in place, including hydroalcoholic gels and masks in crowded streets.

Everything is simply and well explained on the Madeira Safe to Discover site. Masks are compulsory in some places but not on the beaches.

Madeira’s Christmas market has been awarded the title of ‘Best Sunny Christmas Markets in Europe’ for its breathtaking tropical scenery, shiny illuminations, exotic fruits and flowers, local crafts and wines.

On several occasions, the market was previously awarded the title of “Best New Year’s Eve Destination in Europe.”

Christmas market dates:  December 1, 2020 to January 10, 2021. (Market Night is held on December 23.)  

Sanitary measures: Passengers flying to the Madeira archipelago must present a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to departure or they can perform it upon arrival. Masks are not required for beaches, sports activities or nature walks. Here is the form to be completed before travel.

Christmas market in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia: Best and Safest European Christmas Destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Awarded the title of Best Christmas Market in Europe in 2019, Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is second on the list of favorite destination for winter holidays in Europe, with its family atmosphere, magical illuminations, traditional and artisanal products and delicious local delicacies.

To date, Estonia has recorded 18 times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than the most affected European countries. Hospitals have never been overcrowded and the virus has done much less harm than elsewhere in Europe. More quickly than other countries, Estonia was able to resume “normal” life while applying measures of social distancing, protection (masks) and the provision of hydroalcoholic gels in public spaces.

Christmas market dates: November 15, 2020, to January 5, 2021. 

Travelling to Estonia: An updated list of countries for which entry to Estonia is subject to limitations is available at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Latest info here.

Christmas market in Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Vienna, third on the list of safest places to visit for the Christmas holidays, has also been recognized as one of the safest destinations in Europe. By reacting quickly to the pandemia and by taking a series of sanitary measures, Austria was up to 10 times less affected than other European countries. The number of serious cases of Covid-19 has remained far below the capacity of Austrian hospitals.

During the winter, Vienna has a multitude of Christmas market all around the city to suit every taste for family, food lovers, whether sustainable, vegan or terribly romantic.

From mid-November to Christmas, Vienna’s prettiest squares are transformed into magical spaces full of the Christmas atmosphere. The markets will be organized to ensure Covid-19 safety to make it possible for guests to enjoy a pleasant visit with enough space for everyone.

Christmas market dates: November 18 to December 26. 

Travelling to Austria: Entry from a country with a stable Covid-19 situation is possible without restrictions. The corresponding countries are listed in the Entry Ordinance.

 Sanitary measures: An entry and transit declaration are required. 

Luminous Christmas market in Craiova, Romania

Craiova, Romania: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Off the beaten track, the city of Craiova, Romania’s sixth-largest city and capital of the Dolj Countyin region, offers luminous Christmas markets that are both safe and authentic. If Craiova has experienced significantly fewer cases of Covid-19 than other European destinations, it’s thanks to the preventive measures put in place early by national and local authorities.

“This destination, which brings together internationally-renowned cultural institutions as well as world-renowned artistic events, was able to put its tourist offers on hold in order to be well prepared this winter and welcome you in the best conditions of health and security,” reports EBD.

Romania has more hospital beds per capita than Norway, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Christmas market dates: November, 28, 2020 to January 1, 2021.

Travelling to Romania: Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions, with the exception of Luxembourg, Malta and some regions in Spain (Aragon, Catalonia, Navarra, Community of Madrid, Balearic Islands, Basque Country).

Sanitary measures: Travelers coming from countries with an incidence rate of new cases of Covid-19 in the last 14 days less than or equal to that registered in Romania are allowed to enter without restrictions.

Citizens coming from countries with a high incidence of COVID-19 infection should self-isolate at home or quarantine for 14 days.

Latest information here.

Christmas market in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Prague, Czech Republic 

With 15 times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than the most affected countries in Europe, the Czech Republic has made it to the list of the safest destinations for this winter holiday.

Recognized as one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe, the Prague Christmas market will also be one of the safest this year. 

Strict health measures have been taken by the organizers to ensure the safety of visitors, such as signposted routes to respect social distancing, dispensers of hydroalcoholic gel, availability of masks and protective gloves for merchants, plexiglass protection and specific protocols for stalls that sell food and drink. 

Set in the heart of the city is a traditional Czech marketplace where in dozens of wooden stalls merchants offer typical Christmas goods and items such as traditional Czech blown glass balls, products made of glass pearls or straw, hand-embroidered tablecloths, wooden toys, biscuit cutters and many other traditional Czech products. Both young and adult gourmets can enjoy typical Czech Christmas biscuits, hot roasted chestnuts, gingerbread and typical Czech grilled sausages.

Christmas market dates: November 28, 2020, to January 6, 2021.  

Travelling to Czech Republic: Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions, with the exception of countries defined as “high risk” from an epidemiological point of view.

Sanitary measures: A Passenger Locator Form is mandatory for people traveling from countries that are not on the list of those with a low risk of infection

Latest information here.

Christmas in Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk, Poland: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

With 13 times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 than the most affected European countries, Poland is among the safest countries in Europe.

“As a result of the pandemic, we all want to travel less and make the trips we want unforgettable by discovering exceptional places and a unique atmosphere,” says EBD. “Gdansk is the perfect mix of safety and leisure, relaxation and discovery for this winter holiday.”

Situated in the historical centre of Gdansk, the Christmas Fair is like a fairytale “thank you” to the unique atmosphere and beautiful scenery. Here you will find streets marked out only for this special time of year: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Angel or Christmas Eve Street.

Christmas market dates: November 23, 2020, to January 1, 2021. 

Travelling to Poland: Citizens of EU+ countries are allowed to enter Poland without restrictions.

Sanitary measures: A Passenger Locator Form and a Public Health Self Declaration are requested on flights.

Latest information here

Christmas market in Dresden, Germany

Dresden, Germany: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Considered one of the most beautiful and authentic Christmas markets in Germany, the Dresden Christmas market will also number among the safest in Europe this year, with Saxony, at up to 15 times fewer Covid-19 deaths than other European regions, one of the continent’s least affected by the coronavirus.

Given the pandemic, there is a particularly strong focus to make the Striezelmarkt, Germany’s oldest Christmas market, safe for everybody. 

With glittering lights, twinkling stars, the scent of gingerbread and Christmas carols, Dresden’s Striezelmarkt will boast a unique character for its 586th year. Regional specialties, such as Ore Mountain wood crafts, Lusatian blue-printed fabrics and Moravian stars, are particularly popular.

Christmas market dates: November 26 to December 24. 

Traveling to Germany: According to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Testing Obligation Ordinance, anyone having spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before their entry into Germany must either provide proof of having tested negative or get tested within 14 days of their entry into Germany. A country or an area is defined as “high-risk” when there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the last period of seven days.

Sanitary measures: No special documentation is required.

Latest information here.  

Best Christmas in Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

With 13 times fewer Covid-19 deaths per million inhabitants than other European countries, Croatia appears as a safe destination for the winter holidays.

Beyond the early sanitary measures put in place by the authorities, Croatia has a rich offer of tourist apartments, private villas, boutique hotels and small accommodations.

One of Croatia’s secrets was that her capital city Zagreb has one of the best Advent scenes in Europe. The secret is out now: Against strong competition, Zagreb was voted “Best Christmas Market in Europe” by European Best Destinations online polls for three consecutive years. 

Known worldwide as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, along with ViennaBudapest and StrasbourgZagreb will welcome travelers this year with special sanitary standards adapted to the situation — dispensers of hydroalcoholic gel throughout the markets, disinfection of rides and ice skates, masks for vendors and protective plastic for those offering food. “The market is very large throughout the city and you will find the atmosphere that suits you for a safe and relaxed holiday,” according to EBD.

Christmas market dates: November 27, 2020, to January 3, 2021. 

Sanitary measures: Masks required on public transport, taxis, shops and other commercial premises. There are currently no requirements for travelers to produce a negative Covid test or self-isolate on arrival in Croatia. Screening on arrival. 

 Travelling to Croatia: Citizens of EU+ countries are allowed to enter Croatia without restrictions. Before entering the country, all travelers must complete the Enter Croatia form.

Latest information here.  

Christmas. Baden Baden. Baden Wurttemberg. Germany

Baden Baden, Germany: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

With a population equivalent to Belgium but five times fewer deaths linked to Covid- 19, the Baden-Württemberg region is one of the safest destinations for winter holidays.

Renowned as one of the best Christmas markets in Germany, the Baden-Baden Christmas market is implementing a series of health measures this year to combine safety and leisure.

Situated at the entrance of Baden-Baden’s splendid parks and gardens at the “Lichtentaler Allee,” the Christmas Market draws visitors into a romantic winter fairy tale with entertaining live-music programs and small streets of festive huts, where thousands of shimmering Christmas lights create a festive atmosphere.

“We are currently working into transforming our Christmas Market 2020 into a Corona-compatible market concept,” the organizers said. 

Christmas market dates:  November 26, 2020, to January 6, 2021.

Travelling to Germany: According to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Testing Obligation Ordinance, anyone having spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before their entry into Germany, if requested by the designated health office or other authority, must either provide proof of having tested negative or get tested within 14 days of entry into Germany. A country or an area is defined as “high-risk” when there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the last period of seven days.

Sanitary measures: No special documentation is required.

Latest information here

Best Christmas 2020: Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Slovakia, along with Hungary, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic, are destinations seen as safe, with far fewer cases of Covid-19 than elsewhere in Europe. Slovakia has so far recorded 75 times fewer deaths linked to Covid-19 per million inhabitants than the most-affected European countries. 

Thanks to these figures and stringent sanitary measures, Slovakia is seen as a safe destination for this winter.

Christmas time in Bratislava, the Capital of Slovakia on the Danube river and uniquely situated on the border of three countries, is connected with glowing streets, Christmas trees and stands full of goodies and craft products.

The Bratislava Christmas Market is located at the Main Square and Hviezdoslav Square in the city centre until December 23. In recent years, the Christmas Market has migrated to other locations of the city center as well, such as Bratislava castle.

Christmas market dates: November 23 to December 23. 

Traveling to Slovakia: Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions from countries classified as “low risk” from the epidemiological point of view.

Sanitary measures: No mandatory Travel Documentation

Latest information here.

Best Christmas 2020: Dusseldorf, Germany

Dusseldorf, Germany: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Not only is Düsseldorf’s one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany, but one of the safest this year. The capital of the North Rhine-Westphalia region and the second largest city in this region after Cologne has had 10 times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than other European regions.

The city offers different Christmas markets to suit families, lovers and foodies.

Christmas market dates: November 23 to December 30. 

Traveling to Germany: According to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Testing Obligation Ordinance, anyone having spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before their entry into Germany, if requested by the designated health office or official, must either provide proof of having tested negative for Covid-19 or get tested within 14 days of their entry into Germany. A country or an area is defined as “high-risk” when there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the last period of seven days.

Sanitary measures: No special documentation is required.

Latest information here.

Best Christmas 2020: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

With 12 times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than the most affected countries in Europe, Slovenia is positioned as one of the safest destinations this winter. Perfect for a break, far from stress in the middle of nature, Slovenia is the European destination most awarded by the European Commission for its commitment to sustainable tourism. 

“Treat yourself to unforgettable memories in Slovenia,” EBD recommends. “You can rent a car and discover other places in the country such as Bohinj, voted best hidden gem in Europe or Soca ValleyRadolca, awarded by the European Commission. 

 You can also treat yourself to a moment of pure relaxation and wonder as you walk through the illuminated streets of Ljubljana.”

This romantic destination, is one of the smallest European capitals and home to a Christmas market considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Christmas market dates: November 29, 2020, to January 5, 2021.

Travelling to Slovenia: Entry from EU+ countries is generally allowed without restrictions. Depending on their epidemiological situation, Slovenia divides countries in three categories (green, yellow and red). For each category, a different set of entry rules applies.

Sanitary measures: Face masks are required in indoor public spaces and public transport vehicles. Travelers from the red and yellow list must quarantine. No quarantine is required for travelers from the green list. No additional documentation is required.

Latest information here

Best Christmas 2020: Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw, Poland: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Poland is one of the European countries least affected by the coronavirus, along with Portugal and Greece. There are up to 13 times less deaths linked to Covid-19 per million inhabitants in Poland than in the most affected countries of Western Europe. No hospital has ever been overloaded and Poland has more hospital beds per inhabitant than the Netherlands or Switzerland.

Warsaw, the capital, with a historic center that has been declared a Unesco World Heritage, impresses with its resilience, respect for history and contemporary style. Its history is that of a people capable of facing any situation, of recovering and moving forward.

Facing Coronavirus, the Polish capital’s message has been: “Warsaw survived two world wars. We will get through this one too. See you very soon!” 

Warsaw will have two main, safe Christmas markets thanks to measures taken by local officials such as dispensed hydroalcoholic gel, signposted routes to ensure social distancing in the market and contactless payments.

Christmas market dates: November 29 to December 24. 

Travelling to Poland: Citizens of EU+ countries are allowed to enter Poland without restrictions.

Sanitary measures: A Passenger Locator Form and a Public Health Self Declaration are requested on flights.

Latest information here.

The streets illuminated for Christmas in Rothenburg, Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, southern Germany: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

DPA/AFP via Getty Images

With nearly five times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than in other parts of Europe, Bavaria is among the safest destinations in Europe. 

“Rothenburg ob der Tauber is probably the most magical destination at Christmas,” EBD writes. “The city appears to have been built to serve as the backdrop for one of Germany’s finest Christmas markets.”

With preventive measures but also many well-equipped hospitals, Germany has not experienced a critical situation during the pandemic. While measures are still in place for now, Germany is more open to travelers than many other European countries. Social distancing and wearing a mask are mandatory but not the Covid-19 test (except for travelers from countries at risk).  

Christmas market dates: November 23 to December 23. 

Traveling to Germany: According to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Testing Obligation Ordinance, anyone having spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before their entry into Germany, if requested by the designated health office or official, must either provide proof of having tested negative for Covid-19 or get tested within 14 days of their entry into Germany. A country or an area is defined as “high-risk” when there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the last period of seven days.

Sanitary measures: No special documentation is required.

Latest information here.

Best Christmas markets 2020: Graz, Austria

Graz, Austria: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Graz, Austria

Austria has remained a safe destination throughout the pandemic thanks to preventive and health measures taken early by the authorities. With up to 10 times fewer deaths per million inhabitants than the most other countries, Austria appears among the safest destination for the winter holidays in Europe.

Austria is welcoming travelers this winter with “the highest health and safety standards while doing everything to guarantee you wonderful moments for the winter holidays,” according to EBD.

 Graz, the capital of Styria and Austria’s second city, is a renaissance gem with a safe and unforgettable Christmas season. Numerous Christmas markets are located within walking distance, the oldest taking place around the Franciscan church. Close by is the Christmas market in front of City Hall with a giant Christmas tree and an old-fashioned merry-go-round for children.

The Eiserne Tor market is run exclusively by local charity organizations and the proceeds go to charity projects.

Christmas market dates: November 20 to December 24. 

Travelling to Austria: Entry from a country with a stable Covid-19 situation is possible without restrictions. The corresponding countries are listed in the Entry Ordinance.

Sanitary measures: An entry and transit declaration is required.

Latest information here.

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12 Of the Absolute Best Places to Travel in Europe With Kids

Austria

Wondering where to go in Europe with kids? When looking to travel to Europe with your family you have a whole host of stunning options.

How do you know which destinations will be best suited for your children and allow you to have a great time together? Unfortunately, not all destinations are very kid-friendly.

BelgiumBen

So in order to compile a helpful list of best places to travel in Europe with kids, we called on the help of well-travelled families to share their expertise of travelling with their kids around this beautiful continent.

Asking them for their opinions and collating the results to bring you the 12 best destinations to travel Europe with kids!

Here are the best places to travel in Europe with kids.

best family vacations in Europe

best family vacations in Europe

Europe is a wonderland of green fields, lush mountains, blue seas and so much more. It’s also a very family friendly destination with many of the best cities to travel in Europe with kids! The transport is easy and generally language is communicable. You can also visit Europe all year round – here is a great post about when to visit Europe.

We find that the absolute best family holidays in europe are always the ones that we found to be a joy to travel around with the children!

These places and cities offered so many fun and exciting activities and outings to do as a family that you may want to consider on your next European family vacation!

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1. Sweden with Kids

Stockholm: Best Family Vacations In Europe

Stockholm: Best Family Vacations In Europe

Sweden and especially Stockholm was voted as one of the best places in Europe for kids! It’s popular among families for good reason.

There are many different attractions, scenic gardens and parks to visit and it’s a stroller friendly destination and one of the best european family vacations!

Where to Go with Kids in Sweden:

There are loads of museums and galleries for some great educational visits and many zoos and amusement parks to keep the kids entertained across various cities in Sweden, however Stockholm is one of our favorites!

Here are some of our favorite things to do in Stockholm with kids:

Stockholm Kids Attractions:

It’s also an English speaking country so you’ll have no problem communicating your needs and getting them met on this European vacation with kids!

If you are looking for the best way to move around town, you can book your Stockholm taxi here!

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2. Austria with Kids

Austria: where to go in Europe with kids

Austria: where to go in Europe with kids

If you are looking for a great country to visit with kids, it’s hard to beat Austria. It has the oldest amusement park in the world, salt mines that are walkable, the world’s biggest ice caves as well as dinosaur parks.

Where to Go with Kids in Austria:

Austria has a plethora of interesting things to do and fun places to visit that will excite the whole family! A country characterized by mountain villages, baroque architecture and fascinating history and rugged alpine terrain.

From the world’s oldest amusement park to the world’s largest ice cave, here are the best things to do in Austria in Europe with kids:

Vienna Kids Attractions
Salzburg Kids Attractions

This means that there are a variety of different ways to keep your children entertained no matter how old they are. No wonder this country is a hot favourite as one of the best places to travel in Europe with kids!

The best time to visit Austria is in April and May or September and October. The weather tends to be mild, it’s not as crowded as the busy summer months and hotel rates are generally cheaper during this time.

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3. Croatia with Kids

BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL IN EUROPE WITH KIDS

BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL IN EUROPE WITH KIDS

Not many people realize just how family friendly Croatia is. The best time to visit this country is in June or September when it’s not as crowded or hot.

Croatia is one of the best places in Europe with kids because throughout Croatia, you will find that there are strong family values which makes it a very welcoming country for those that are travelling with children.

Where to Go with Kids in Croatia:

Croatia has many safe beaches and hiking trails that suit all abilities, as well as a handful of interactive museums and ancient towns and fortresses that will make the kids feel like they’re in a fairytale!

Some of our favorite destinations in Croatia include both Dubrovnik and Split. Here are some ideas of what to do in both of these:

Dubrovnik Kids Attractions
  • See the scenery marine life, and discover amazing caves from a sea kayak! Book your 3-hour tour here.
  • Explore the Old Town walls and castles in the historic center!
Split Kids Attractions

Many individuals will go above and beyond to make sure that the needs of you and your children are met throughout your time here. Our kids really loved their trip through Austria and without a doubt I can confidenty say that is is one of the best places for kids in Europe.

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4. The Netherlands with Kids

Netherlands: best places in Europe for kids

Netherlands: best places in Europe for kids

Holland is one of the best places in Europe to visit with kids and has numerous attractions that will make your family vacation fun and unforgettable! From zoos to historical squares and lively markets!

We love how children are often catered to and you can easily find someone who speaks English if you are in need of assistance.

Where to Go with Kids in Netherlands

Public transportation is incredibly efficient, so you can easily explore the country and see a lot of the attractions.

But of course we know that most of you would be keen to explore Amsterdam, so here are some of our favorite kids attractions in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Kids Attractions:

It’s a good idea to purchase a Museumkaart because it will allow you to access a lot of different attractions, and many times, skip the lines.

We really believe that the Netherlands is one of the best places to travel europe with kids, whether they are young or older! You can find more info on what to do with kids in Amsterdam here.

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5. England with Kids

London, UK: best places in Europe with kids

London, UK: best places in Europe with kids

Another one of the top favourite countries that proudly takes up its place on the best places to visit in Europe with kids list. The locals speak English, there are efficient public transportation systems in place and the locals are very friendly.

All our favorite features to tick the boxes as one of the best places to visit with kids in Europe.

Where to Go with Kids in England:

We love visiting London with our kids. There’s also so much for kids to do, including going on a Harry Potter Tour, riding the tube to a local market, visiting Legoland or taking a trek to see Big Ben. Here is a list of our favorite kids attractions:

London Kids Attractions:

In fact, because there’s just so many attractions and sights to see throughout the country, you may find yourself having to save some of the sights you wanted to see for your next trip as there just won’t be enough time to do it all.

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6. Italy with Kids

best towns in Tuscany Italy

best towns in Tuscany Italy

Italy was a favourite of ours when traveling around Europe with kids. With a beautiful Mediterranean coastline and ancient ruins and famous art and historic influences, there is so much to be discovered for the whole family!

Don’t forget to enjoy some gelato or a good slice of pizza while you are in Italy.

Where to Go with Kids in Italy:

Italy is a large country that can take up to 12 hours to travel from one side to the other, so you may want to choose a particular part of Italy to visit with your family in Europe.

We spent 3 months traveling around Italy with our kids and there are so many wonderful places to visit. I know that Rome and Florence are two popular destinations, so here are some ideas of what to do in each:

Rome Kids Attractions:

The Colosseum is enjoyed by a lot of travellers as it’s very unique. Make sure you also take your children to the Spanish Steps as long as they are up for a bit of a climb.

Florence Kids Attractions:

Many families make Italy their top choice for travel each year. There’s a lot to do here, no matter how old your children are. It might just be my pick as the best place in Europe for kids – but don’t just take my word for it, book your trip and try it out for yourself!

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7. Belgium with Kids

Brussels Belgium: best places in Europe to visit with kids

Brussels Belgium: best places in Europe to visit with kids

Known for its waffles, how could families not love Belgium? This country is smaller compared to other countries in Europe, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in culture and food.

Where to Go with Kids in Belgium:

Belguim is a great country to explore with kids as you can easily move around by train. We absolutely adore Brussels and Bruges. Here are some suggestions of kids attractions in both of these beautiful cities:

Brussels Kids Attractions:
Bruges Kids Attractions:

Traveling Tip: Best way to get around Brussels is by taxi. You can book your Brussels taxi here

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8. Spain with Kids

Gran Canaria, Spain: best places in Europe for kids

Gran Canaria, Spain: best places in Europe for kids

This country isn’t just for adults. Children can have a great time here too. It has a rich history and plenty of places to explore.

Where to Go with Kids in Spain:

Spain is a beautiful country with so much to offer any type of traveler. Thanks to the country’s high-speed trains, you can access a lot of destinations in a short period of time, but Barcelona were one of our favorites for the kids!

Barcelona Kids Attractions:

Families can also enjoy a lot of historic treasures including Isabella’s Alcazar and Sagrada Familia.

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9. Germany with Kids

Germany with Kids

Germany with Kids

One of the main reasons why Germany is a great destination to travel to with children is that it has affordable public transportation. This means that you can save money by not having to rent a car and can splurge on some of the many activities here.

A lot of individuals do speak English in this country and are more than happy to help tourists with whatever they need.

The winter months are the best time to visit Germany with children as travelers can visit the memorable Berlin Christmas markets.

Where to Go with Kids in Germany:

Families will love the interactive museums and informative outings to keep the kids entertained while exploring the best places in Germany to travel with kids!

You can start out by planning your trip around popular destinations such as Berlin and Munich.

Berlin Kids Attractions:
  • Explore the many sights and landmarks in Berlin on a Hop-On-Hop-Off tour.
  • Take the kids to the Legoland Discovery Center!
  • Visit the Berlin Zoo and Tierpark
Munich Kids Attractions:
  • Kids will love the amazing fairytale-like castles from Munich! Book your day trip here.
  • Explore the beautiful parks and incredible architecture of the churches and cathedrals.

Germany is definitely one of the best places in Europe for kids, with its other worldly charm with castles and medieval towns and all the mythical parks and safe outdoor areas to explore.

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10. Denmark with Kids

Denmark: European Family Vacation

Denmark: European Family Vacation

Wondering where to go with kids in Europe that is a little under-the-radar? 

Denmark is often forgotten about when planning family travel to Europe. It’s a shame as it’s very family-friendly. The public transportation system is extremely efficient which makes it easy to see a lot of the sights while you are here.

Many businesses will go out of their way to accommodate families, and children in Denmark are rarely made to feel unwelcome by the locals!

Where to go with Kids in Denmark:

Copenhagen is a great city to visit with little ones as there’s a lot to do. The Tivoli Gardens was one of our favorites and has theatres, gardens and plenty of rides to keep children entertained. We can also recommend Odense.

Here are some ideas of what to do in each of these destinations.

Copenhagen Kids Attractions:
Odense Kids Attractions:
  • Navigate the charming streets and lovely green parks all around
  • Take the kids to Odense Zoo to see all the animals and shows
  • Enjoy the museums

Denmark is filled with theme parks, amusement parks, zoos and child-friendly beaches that make it one of the best places to travel in Europe with kids.

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11. France with Kids

France with Kids

France with Kids

Being one of the most popular countries to visit for all travelers, it should come as no surprise that France is a great place for families to visit in Europe!

Hower as a word of caution, whilst we list France as one of the best places to take kids in Europe, I didn’t find their culture as welcoming to babies and toddlers. Perfect for older kids though!

Where to Visit in France with Kids:

France has many alpine villages and breathtaking architecture to explore and has many gardens and outdoor activities that make it a great place for a European family vacation!

Of course you can’t go to France and not visit Paris, but we also really love places such as Nice and Colmar for family trips too.

Paris Kids Attractions:

Kids will create memories they cherish forever as they find themselves in awe looking at the Eiffel Tower, enjoy the exhibits at The Natural History Museum and be amazed at the Paris Catacombs.

It is also great to rent a car and go on a road trip to see cities such as Nice and Colmar!

Tip: Despite having a decent public transportation system, you may find yourself doing a lot of walking. Make sure you plan for plenty of breaks and wear comfortable shoes.

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12. Czech with Kids

Prague: best European countries to visit with kids

Prague: best European countries to visit with kids

Czech is one of the most fascinating countries to visit with kids in Europe. It’s full of historical sights and amazing castles with intricate infrastructure, and has many medieval museums to explore!

After the endless stream of exhibitions and walking gets to the kids, it’s also a great place to find some fun child-specific attractions!

Where to go in Czech with Kids:

Czech is a country of many wonders, but one of the best European cities for Kids has to be its capital, Prague. Children often travel free or for a discounted price and have cheaper admission fees to many of the attractions!

Prague Kids Attractions:
  • Visit the Prague Castle and explore its fairytale-like wonder! Grab your small group tour here.
  • Visit Mořský Svět, the country’s largest water tank that is filled with lots of fish!
  • Enjoy the rides at Prague’s Aquapalace waterworld! Grab your tickets online here.
  • Check out the National Technical Museum, which is an oversized room stuffed with huge locomotives and old-fashioned cars.
  • The kids will love the Prague Zoo. It’s a well-tended zoo with an extensive collection of exotic animals.

Typically completely forgotten about, Czech definately deserves a spot on the best places to go in Europe with kids listicle.

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Summary of the Best Family Holiday Destinations in Europe

I know that was probably a bit of a mouth full and I thought it might be a good idea to quickly give you an easy to scan list of best European countries to visit with kids which were mentioned above:

  1. Sweden
  2. Austria
  3. Croatia
  4. Netherlands
  5. England
  6. Italy
  7. Belgium
  8. Spain
  9. Germany
  10. Denmark
  11. France
  12. Czech

Hopefully one of those kid-friendly countries in Europe made your heart fill with excitement.

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Final Thoughts on Your Next European Family Vacation

Europe is a continent that is full of magic and awe-inspiring places that you don’t need to be an adult to appreciate! These were some of the best European vacations with kids.

From the magnificent castles to the cultural ebbs and flows of each incredibly unique place, there is just so much hidden in the mountains and valleys of this vast continent.

These amazing cities were easy to explore with children, and offered safe environments and efficient transport systems that made them some of the best places for family vacations in Europe!

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Best Places to Travel in Europe with Kids

Best Places to Travel in Europe with Kids

Leave us a Comment:

  • Have you been to any of these destinations with your kids? Did you have a fabulous time there?
  • Do you have any recommendations on the best family vacations in Europe that you can add to our list?

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