Last updated: 05:20 PM ET, Thu October 13 2016

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  • Sam Schuler | October 13, 2016 5:20 PM ET

    Best Fall Family Destinations in Europe

    Best Fall Family Destinations in Europe

    Photo courtesy of Auto Europe

    It seems like there is always a debate on when it is the right time to visit Europe, especially when you are after a fun and interesting, but relaxing family vacation. I simply can’t think of a better time than the fall to pack up the kids and head to Europe.

    The advantages? How about fewer crowds, shorter lines and moderate weather? When you travel in the fall you can also enjoy cheaper accommodations and great deals on your car rental as rates drop for the slow season. And did I mention the spectacular displays of autumn foliage in Europe’s parks and countryside, especially in October?

    Consider renting a van (Auto Europe has super options) if your family consists of more than three people and hit the road to enjoy one of these awesome family destinations that are even more amazing in the fall.

    Venice and Italy’s Adriatic Coast

    You were wrong if you thought Venice was only for romantic couples in gondolas. Kids love Venice. There’s the thrill of getting lost and not knowing what waits around the corner of yet another narrow street. And while mom and dad relax with a drink in St Mark’s Square, the kids can feed or chase the pigeons. All this without the summer crowds and motorized vehicles getting in the way.  

    Riding in a waterbus is an adventure in itself, but you can also do some island hopping to watch the glassblowers of Murano in action.

    Instead of staying in the floating city, take advantage of the low season rates at some of the best resorts along the Adriatic coast north of Venice. Venice Lido and Bibione are excellent choices. With daytime temperatures commonly between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius in the fall, you are guaranteed to spend splendid days building sandcastles on the sandy beaches.

    READ MORE: What to Know Before Driving in Europe

    Budapest in autumn

    Hungary’s capital is surprisingly family-friendly, even in the fall, with a host of children's playgrounds and indoor swimming pools. Alternating sightseeing with fun activities has never been easier.

    Budapest is home to a cluster of hot springs, which means the choice of indoor pool complexes is big and varied. Two of the best are Aquaworld and the Gellert Spa and Baths.

    In City Park (Varosliget) you will find not only a beautiful little lake reflecting the surrounding autumn colors, but also a zoo and a circus. And when the hunger pangs start, there is nothing like Hungarian pastries for an instant energy boost before exploring the Buda hills along the famous Children’s Railway, run almost entirely by 10- to 14 year-olds.


    Less than three hours’ drive from Paris, the beaches and countryside of Normandy await adventurous families. Teach the kids some history while visiting the D-Day beaches. It might be too cold to swim, but when you visit in the autumn you’ll have them all to yourself to explore and run around. Discover underground war bunkers and visit the family friendly museums scattered all over the region.

    When you’ve had your share of history, admire the beautiful fall colors framing romantic Normandian country houses from a horse or cycle trail. Or you could get lost in the maize outside Caen or have some undiluted fun at Festyland, Normandy’s largest theme park. Exploring this part of France by car is a fantastic way to share an important piece of history with your children while enjoying magnificent autumn views.

    Wherever you decide to travel in Europe, let Auto Europe’s experts help you find the best available rate on your vehicle.


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Sam Schuler Europe by Car

Sam Schuler Sam Schuler is a travel writer, photographer, graphic artist and a member of Auto Europe's marketing team in Portland, Maine. An Oregon native, Sam has enjoyed trips to France, Italy, Bermuda, and Mexico on multiple occasions. Sam continues to draw creative inspiration from his travels, documenting many of them in a variety of mediums, including travel blog writing and photographic exposes.
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