10 Inexpensive Family Vacations in Europe

There is no better way to start a fresh New Year than exploring some of the most beautiful cities available in Europe with your whole family. Although the idea of bringing the kids in this journey could mean extra effort, more preparation and patience, there are plenty of inexpensive family vacations in Europe that could be life-changing and kid-friendly destinations.

If you are worried about the budget, now it’s a great opportunity to start planning a hot top travel destination  that will surely not leave a big hole in your pockets. Whether a family enjoys exciting outdoors with sports and activities options for kids or prefer the idea of relaxing in a fine yet affordable restaurant, we have useful recommendations including the average family budget for a 5-day journey in a European city. Therefore, see below a list with 10 inexpensive family vacations in Europe plus a family average budget we estimated that should be enough, although you might wanna take precautions and bring extra cash. 

10. Prague, Czech Republic 

Inexpensive Family Vacations in Europe

We are almost sure that this fairy-tale city often dubbed as “The city of 100 towers” or the “Heart of Europe” is for many reasons one of the most beautiful European cities that can offer beautiful storybook scenes and memorable experiences for adults and kids alike. But could this magical place be one of the affordable trips to Europe for the whole family? Read on and get inspired by some great info with places to stay eat or have fun in the capital of Czech Republic with your kids.

Where to stay:

For accommodation, Prague has a wide variety of top notch hotels, but not everyone can afford to spend a few days with two kids, since there are more expenses to think about, right? Let’s see some budget-friendly options where you can have good conditions while getting the best value.

Astronomical Clock Apartment has a perfect location directly in the city center with a cozy and large apartment to make you feel like home. We recommend it, as its prices are more reasonable than opting for a 4 star hotel. As for the price, you can get a room for 2 adults fully equipped with kitchen, TV, Wi-Fi and other facilities costs for around 65 euros per night, which lead us to a total of 350 euros for 5 nights. For kids over 3 years old, you pay around 10 euros per night. No breakfast included.

The second accommodation that is worth a look is Plzenska Villa, a modern and beautiful apartment located in the Smichov district of the city, on the left bank of the river Vltava, ranked as a good choice by TripAdvisor. Although metro and tram stations are nearby to get you to the center of Prague, you can also walk about 30 minutes and get familiar with the city’s beautiful architecture. In terms of price, expect to pay around 275 euros for 5 nights, with the mention that children under 3 stay for free. Obviously, it comes with general utilities plus Wi-Fi or TV. Smoking allowed.

Where to eat:

Wings Club is an excellent option for people who love food, airplanes and everything related to flying, because it has a great interior design resembling more with a museum. Once you get here, you’ll feel part of an exciting adventure and your kids will love discovering new things. Don’t be surprised if most of meals from the menu have strange names like fish caught from a hydroplane or soup recommended in calm water, because it’s something quite normal for such a place. On top of that, the food is delicious and diverse with prices ranging from 4 to 7 euros for a decent meal for one person and around 25 euros for the whole family. 

They say beer is one of the main reasons to come to Prague, so the Pub Praha 2 located in the heart of the city can provide a perfect mix of good food and excellent beer for a decent price. We recommend this place because it’s in a central are and allows customers to tap your own beer and enjoy a healthy and diverse menu with soups, pasta, salads or burgers. Speaking of prices, you’ll pay around 2 euros for a half liter beer, 5 euros for a portion of pasta or mixed salad, dessert for 1 euro, meaning that the average meal for one person should be around 8-10 euros.

Where to go:

When it comes to attractions, Prague has so much to offer, but we recommend taking a free stroll with your kids across Prague’s famous historic and oldest Charles Bridge where you can listen to live music, see street performers or just enjoy the views and take some shots. Another affordable option is to make a stop at one of the most beautiful towers, the Old Town Bridge Tower considered to be a top attraction for kids and adults alike, with an impressive construction and breathtaking panorama over the city. Built in a Gothic style, it is also one of the most affordable towers of Prague with prices ranging from 3 euros for an adult to one euro for children.

We also advice you to take a walk at the Stefánik Observatory  located in a central area on the top of the Petrin Hill and known as a great recreational space for the whole family eager to learn more about astronomy and related natural science. On top of that, it has a reasonable admission fee: around 1 euro for adults and only 0.75 euros for kids.

Summarizing, if you are planning a 5-day family vacation and you’re particularly interested in finding the cheapest offers, we believe that the average family budget should be around 550 euros, including a decent accommodation, good meal and see some of the city’s most important sights.

9. Budapest, Hungary

Inexpensive Family Vacations in Europe

If the Hungarian’s capital, often described as the “Little Paris of Middle Europe” is one of your next travel destinations, be sure that you can discover good ways to spend the minimum of your budget. Do you have big plans but limited finances? Check out our recommendations and see which variant suits your needs the best.

Where to stay:

Obviously, a suitable accommodation in Budapest for a four member family is an apartment that includes a fully equipped kitchen, big bedrooms, bathrooms with separate toilets, as well as free internet, TV and more. So, we recommend trying the Garibaldi Bud apartment located in the heart of the city, next to the Parliament with spacious, clean and very cozy rooms. It’s a large studio that accommodates 4 persons (adults and kids) with a double bed and a double sofa bed and the the total price should be around 165 euros for 5 nights. Moreover, it is located within 100 m of different restaurants and supermarkets, in case you need to buy something and save a few bucks.

Another place we believe that it could be reasonable for a tight budget is the Paradise Funhouse Center apartment situated in district 7 Budapest, a great and quite location for the whole family with all services included: kitchen, internet, washing machine and more. It has large beds, modern design and spacious, and you’ll have to pay only 150 euros for 5 nights during your stay in Budapest. Less than 15 minutes walking to the city center.

Where to eat:

If you are in Budapest, the world capital of food and you are curious to taste the Hungarian cuisine, we recommend a good value cheap restaurant like the self-service Fozelekfalo where you can try the typical Hungarian dish called fozelek (made of vegetables stew), a soup ranging from 1 to 3 euros, a variety of dishes such as pasta, pork or salads for 4 to 7 euros per person or drink for maximum 1 euro. In these types of restaurants, a daily menu starts from 2.5 euros for a person, so expect to pay around 10 euros for the whole family.

Another good example of cheap place with great and affordable food is Hary Vendeglo restaurant located in the downtown Budapest. One of their specialties is the large Wiener schnitzel, and a daily menu (soup and main dish) is set to cost around 3 euros for one person, which means that the whole family can eat with 15-20 euros, including the drinks.

Where to go:

Traveling with kids can cause lots of stress factors, so we have a few child-friendly attractions to keep everybody entertained and relaxed during the trip. You’ll find that Hungarians are welcoming to kids mainly, so expect to find many great and free options. One of them is the Millenaris Park, a modern cultural complex with playgrounds for children, exhibition hall for concerts, plays and other performances.

If you are interested in exploring the flora and fauna of the Buda Hills and you prefer outdoor activities, then we recommend making a stop at the Budakeszi Vadaspark. Here, visitors can discover a petting zoo, a play area plus excellent options for hiking. Located about 10 km from the central part of the city, you can get there by taking Bus 22 or the Children’s Railway. Entrance fees are around 3 euros for adults and almost 2 euros for kids.

Bottom line, we estimate that a family average budget for a 5 day vacation in this lovely city should be somewhere around 400 – 450 euros, but keep in mind that prices may vary from a place to another.

8. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Inexpensive Family Vacations in Europe

Most of tourists fall in love immediately with Amsterdam, so you might discover lots of reasons to include this city on your journey and put it on the list of the most affordable trips to Europe. Dubbed as “the Venice of the North” due to its large number of canals and being one of the most bicycle-friendly capital cities in the world, it is also a family-friendly town and there are lots of things to do for the whole family. First off, let’s see where you can find the best value accommodation to stay in the city, so you can go out and explore beautiful sights, visit historical places or just meet new people.

Where to stay:

For instance, the 2-star Trianon hotel is a great budget accommodation situated in a very good area, next to the Concert Hall and the Museumplein location. Each room is equipped with a TV and private bathroom, but for 4 persons you’ll need to book a dormitory room that costs around 380 euros for 5 nights with a continental breakfast included and served in the breakfast area every day.

Another good option to stay is the Washington Hotel located nearby the Museum Square which offers modern yet stylish rooms plus a wonderful backyard garden to enjoy your morning coffee. For a four family member, we recommend taking a quadruple room with breakfast included and pay around 450 to 500 euros for 5 nights at least, but it may vary depending on the period you decide to go.

Where to eat:

Despite the off-the-beaten-path positioning, the Yam Yam (translated <yum yum>) restaurant is a good place for a local and friendly neighborhood feel, where tourists can taste the specialty called Tartufata pizza. No matter what pizza you choose, expect to pay at least 11 euros for one, plus 2-3 euros for drinks and another 4 euros for dessert, which means around 50 euros for the whole family.

If you want to grab a sandwich while discovering the city on foot, it’s a must to go to Singel 404 where you can find the best sandwiches in Amsterdam. A big sandwich that can fill you up until later in the day costs around 5 euros and you can choose all ingredients you like to eat the best one. Include also 4 bottles of waters for approximately 5-6 euros and you can enjoy a tasty, quick and cheap lunch in the outdoors for 30 euros for everyone. If you are lacking ideas, The Guardian magazine presents some of the best cafes and budget restaurants available in Amsterdam, so explore more possibilities.

Where to go:

Depending on the time you are visiting the city, a bicycle tour with the whole family is an interesting and cheap way for sightseeing in Amsterdam. There is plenty of family fun in this area, so a good idea would be to visit Amsterdam’s gardens and parks opened for free most of the time. Whether you prefer a family picnic in Vondelpark or catch the Open Garden Days in June 2014 where you can admire one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world (or pay entrance fees: 8.5 euros for adults and 4.5 euros for kids), don’t miss these relaxing green spaces of the city.

Briefly, if we count those 5 days you stay in Amsterdam, an average family budget of 850 – 900 euros should be enough without spending too much on food but focusing more on the entertainment section.

7. Lisbon, Portugal 

Inexpensive Family Vacations in Europe

Nothing compares to a mini vacation for the whole family in a beautiful European capital, and Lisbon is one of those places that can provide endless possibilities for both adults and kids alike. Whether you visit the Portuguese capital in the cold season or during the summer time, expect to find a variety of things to do and see for everyone. Moreover, we can find plenty of reasons to enjoy the city’s amazing landscapes and attractions, but there’s no such thing like the personal experience, so take full advantage of those 5 days and discover Lisbon. Meanwhile, we’ve comprised this list with useful tips referring to accommodation, fun and eating places.

Where to stay:

Opting for a large apartment in a quiet and decent zone in Lisbon seems to be one of the best options you can get for a good price, so we recommend to have a look at the Almafa S. Vicente Typical apartment which has a central position in the town, nearby the main attractions and is a good value for your money. The best solution is to select a large studio for 4 persons and pay a total of 200 euros including VAT (16%) for 5 nights.

Another excellent choice for you is FLH – Ajuda/Belem apartment, a very modern and elegant property situated a good and safe area that offers partial Tagus River views from the balcony. Equipped with two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room with dining area plus a full bathroom, this unit can be booked for 245 euros per apartment for 5 nights. Since it is located near several local eateries, you may purchase and cook your own meals to save money with food in different restaurants. However, if you’re curious to see its main dishes, we suggest having a look below at some affordable restaurants.

Where to eat:

If you are one of those foodie people who are eager to discover the delicious Portuguese cuisine, here are some excellent and great places to taste traditional meals and eat well for little money.

Casanova restaurant is well known for cooking the best pizza in town, but it’s your call to judge whether it’s true or not. Therefore, we recommend going there and trying it, but keep in mind that’s a very popular place, so you might need to arrive early. Pizza costs around 10 euros, a bottle of water, homemade iced tea or a coffee is around 1.5 euros, meaning that the bill will come up to approximately 15 euros for one person. For kids, you can order a special pizza nutella for maximum 5 euros.

Although it has a central position, the Valenciana restaurant has a varied and affordable menu with paella, pastas or salads. It is also the perfect location to taste traditional Portuguese food plus the famous grilled food which represents the local’s brand image. Therefore, you can order a grilled chicken for 6.75 euros, a soft drink and one coffee for 1.5 euros, respectively 0.75 euros and pay around 9 euros for one person. We recommend this place, because it is rich in healthy food options for the whole family.

Where to go:

For a family with two kids, there are plenty of opportunities in and around Lisbon to spend a few hours of fun. For instance, a good idea is to enjoy a free and healthy experience outdoor in the Monsanto Forest Park. Having a good positioning in the heart of the city, it has plenty of playgrounds and fun areas for the little ones, while parents can rest on a bench or read a book.

Probably one of the best attractions for the whole family is the Lisbon Zoo, since it is home to over 2,000 animals, including sea lions, dolphins or pelicans. Entrance fee is free for kids under 2, 12.50 euros for children between 3 and 11 or 17 euros for adults and children between 12 and 64.

Bottom line, the 5-day vacation in Lisbon including accommodation, eating and fun activities should cost you around 650-700 euros for a family with a limited budget, but as we mentioned before that prices may vary from one day to another.

6. Bucharest, Romania 

Inexpensive Family Vacations in Europe

If you are still wondering why you should pay a visit to Romania with the whole family, we remind you that it’s a small yet beautiful country and the capital Bucharest is dubbed as the “Little Paris”, hosting real gems like the Grand Parliament Building or Village Museum. Besides that, the city has been nominated as one of the cheapest cities by European Backpacker Index, so you might find lots of great places located in the central area, delicious traditional food, as well as affordable accommodation with little money.

Where to stay:

Locals are welcoming and hospitable people, so chances are to be well satisfied by all services, including the hotelier ones. However, being a foreign visitor in a large city, you are advised to take usual and general safety precautions by keeping an eye on your valuable stuff. As for the accommodation, we recommend you to stay in Bucharest Serviced Apartments situated in an excellent zone, near the University and other main attractions such as: Kilometer Zero Monument, Old City or National Museum of Art of Romania. Plus, many rooms have a beautiful courtyard views, free internet, kitchen, TV and other home comforts available in the room. This superior 3-star apartment has one double and one sofa bed suitable for the whole family and you need to pay around 370 euros for 5 nights.

Another place we believe you may enjoy a pleasant stay in Bucharest is the 3-star Prince Residence which is situated in a very good zone close to National Museum of Romanian History or Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral, as well as nearby other top attractions: University Square or Palace of the Parliament. Probably the most convenient room type for your family is one apartment with two king beds plus a balcony view fully equipped with a kitchen, one bathroom, free internet, cable TV and other needed services. Although it’s a bit pricey than the first option (500 euros per total for 5 nights including free parking), it is worth staying, due to its excellent conditions, top notch services plus a pleasant staff.

Where to eat:

If you are in a mood to taste the traditional Romanian food, then we recommend visiting the Old City with the whole family where there are lots of pubs, restaurants and pizza places for every budget. For example, a great spot is called Caru cu Bere and it’s an ideal place to eat a few or their traditional dishes such as homemade boeuf salad for 4-5 euros, a been/beef soup for around 3-3.5 euros or some desserts for kids for 3-4 euros plus drinks (water or beer) for another 2-2.5 euros. Simply put, the menu for one person should vary between 15 to 30 euros, depending on what everyone will prefer to eat.

For those who want to feel the city’s vibe and grab something on the road, another cheap and reasonable idea is to eat big size sandwiches for around 2 euros, have a big pizza for 3-4 euros or choosing one special menu for 2 euros per person at McDonald’s or KFC.

Where to go:

When it comes to nightlife, Bucharest knows how to make tourists feel like home and you should take a tour in the Old City to see a lovely atmosphere, get familiar with locals and drink a fresh juice for 2 euros or a bottle of water for 1.5 euros. However, if you prefer a more quite place, then you shouldn’t take your family there, but try a walking on the Magheru Boulevard, a very pedestrian-friendly area filled with souvenirs shops, bookstores and more.

During the day, take a stroll in the center of the city and see its main attractions, including the Palace of Parliament, known as the largest building in Europe and the world’s second largest administrative construction. A tour inside this imposing building will take at least half of the day, so if you are running out of time, take some nice shots from the Constitution Square.

Since you are traveling with kids, we recommend spending a wonderful free day in the nature, more exactly in Herastrau Park where you can also pay a visit to the open-air Village Museum located in the park. Entrance fee is 2.5 euros for adults and 0.55 euros for kids. More traveling tips and ideas can be found here.

Although Bucharest is rated as one of the cheapest inexpensive family vacations in Europe when it comes to food, fun activities or fees to enter to different museums, theaters and more, you should expect to pay around 500 euros for the whole 5-day journey, unless you find cheaper accommodation that will help you save extra cash for buying souvenirs from Romania.

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