The Essential 2 Week Europe Itinerary For Your Family

Europe is a tremendous place to visit for a family vacation. If you’re planning a 2 week trip through Europe, you’ll have the opportunity to experience several fascinating locations. But which locations should you choose and how do you plan for such an epic trip? Check out the 2 week Europe itinerary that we used for our trip as well as several other helpful tips and start planning your family adventure now!

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2 WEEK EUROPE TRIP ITINERARY

DAY 1 – LONDON

On our first day, Sunday, as soon as we dropped off our luggage at our Stasher location, we were then able to cross Westminster Bridge and enjoy the spectacular view up and down the Thames River which includes the Eye of London, The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. 

London Eye

We then made our way to Victoria Tower Gardens and Westminster Abbey and called it a day.

DAY 2 – LONDON

We had to switch our plans around a bit because of the nonstop rain on that day, and it was cold. Since it was a great day to be indoors, we made our way to the British Museum.

After the museum, which the whole family loved, we went to Chinatown for dinner. Dinner was two stops. First at Jade’s Café for dumplings, which served as our appetizer. Then to Lanzhou Lamian noodle bar for the main course. The food there was so good!

DAY 3 – LONDON

The sun came out a bit and what a difference that made! Our first stop was Buckingham Palace with a stroll through Green Park.

Buckingham Palace

We were also able to visit Hyde Park along with Kensington Palace which included the Sunken Gardens

Following our park visit, we took a walk down Regent Street and stopped inside the world’s largest toy store, Hamleys. We also saw Picadilly Circus and returned to our favorite noodle bar, Lanzhou Lamian for dinner.

DAY 4 – LONDON

Our planned activities were all pretty closely located which made things easy to get around, but the rain made it a bit difficult.  We started at the Sky Garden, which is in the Walkie Talkie building, then toured the Tower of London and crossed the Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge in London

The Tower of London was enjoyed by the whole family, with the highlight being the Crown Jewels, of course.

DAY 5 – LONDON TO ROME

A travel day. We took EasyJet from London to Rome for the second part of our trip.

DAY 6 – ROME

After a long day and late night, we slept in so our itinerary for the day was condensed. It was also very hot. Castel Sant’Angelo, pizza, and gelato were the main part of our day. Our apartment was close enough that we could walk to Castel Sant’Angelo.

DAY 7 – ROME

Archivio di Stato in Rome, Italy

We happened upon Archivio di Stato which was a wonderful surprise and not in our plans. The Pantheon was in our plans and we greatly enjoyed not only the Pantheon but also the piazza. Piazza della Rotonda gave us a great opportunity to rest and enjoy the area.

After our rest, we caught a bus over to Trastevere where we got some great pastries. Our kids enjoyed the playground in Piazza di San Cosimato. The rest of the evening was spent strolling the streets of Trastevere including the Piazza di Santa Maria.

DAY 8 – ROME

Our day started in a park that happens to be one of the best in Rome, Borghese Gardens. It’s a very beautiful place to spend some time. We walked from one end to the other, ending up at Terrazza del Pincio which gave us a breathtaking view of Piazza del Popolo below us and the city of Rome out beyond. Piazza del Popolo is a stunning space that is very impressive so we spent some time there as well.

Piazza del Popolo

Next, we followed Via del Babuino to the Spanish Steps through to the shopping district along the side streets and back over to Via del Corso. This is one of the best areas in Rome to shop.

After shopping, we made our way past the Pantheon and through Piazza Navona on our way back to our apartment.

DAY 9 – ROME

The Colosseum has to be number one on your list when you visit Rome. We visited just before noon and it would have been better to get there as early as possible especially when you’re visiting the Colosseum with kids

The Colosseum in Rome, Italy

It gets pretty hot out in the open. Another good thing to do is to purchase your tickets online ahead of time to avoid long lines. It’s great that you get the combination ticket of the Colosseum and Palatine Hill

After the Colosseum, we went back to our apartment to rest, change and freshen up then headed back out in the evening for dinner and a visit to the Trevi Fountain

If you can squeeze in two trips to the Trevi Fountain, one during the day and one at night, that’s even better. It can get crowded, but it’s a cool experience.

DAY 10 – ROME TO NAPLES

Our train to Naples wouldn’t leave until 3 pm so we had time to do some sightseeing in the morning. We stashed our luggage at the apartment’s office and headed to Vatican City.

There was enough time to see what we wanted, get back to our apartment to get our luggage then head to the metro station.

Vatican City

Once we arrived in Naples we were able to get set up in our apartment and then explore Centro Storico. We walked the streets and found an excellent place for some pizza. It was a great introduction to Naples.

DAY 11 – NAPLES

Starting the day with some fresh produce and pastries for breakfast was a great choice. From there we took the metro to via Toledo and took a nice walk down the busy street until we ended up in Piazza del Plebiscito.

Bagno Elena Beach in Naples, Italy

We explored the area down near the waterfront then took a bus to Bagno Elena Beach. While the city of Naples doesn’t have a lot of great options for beaches, this is a good one. We spent about 3 hours there and the kids wanted to stay longer.

DAY 12 – NAPLES

One of the great things about Naples is the variety of options for day trips. That makes Naples a great base for exploring the region. We took advantage of this by including Pompeii in our itinerary.  

To get there, we took the metro to the Napoli Centrale Station and from there took the Circumvesuviana train that dropped us off just about in front of the entrance to the park.

We spent enough time to enjoy the site and would’ve stayed longer except it was pretty hot and there is very little cover once you’re out there. It’s a fascinating place to visit and with its relative proximity to Naples, it’s worth the visit.

DAY 13 – NAPLES

There are several options to choose from if you want a nice island experience near Naples. Again because of its location, several are a day trip away from Naples.

Sant'Angelo in Ischia

Ischia is a wonderful choice because it’s such a beautiful island that is only a 45-minute ferry ride away (if you choose the faster hydrofoils). With its beaches, excellent seafood, spas, and scenery, Ischia is the perfect day trip from Naples.

DAY 14 – NAPLES

Since we were in Naples, but flying out of Rome, we had to take the train back. We had plenty of time and made it to the airport with no problem and our flight home was great.

THE DESTINATIONS WE INCLUDED

In planning our two-week trip, we decided that we would select three main destinations. For that period, three destinations is a good number.

It allowed us to have a bit of variety in the types of locations that we experienced and at the same time it wasn’t too many so that we would feel rushed and spend too much time in transit.

London is always a fascinating city to visit, but there were some great flight deals to London, so it made sense to start our trip there.

Rome is our favorite city so far so we are more than happy to return. It’s also a nice contrast to London in that it’s a much older city with older sites. 

The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

Naples was our final choice in large part due to its proximity to Rome and unlike London and Rome, it’s not the same type of tourist destination. That proved to be correct Naples isn’t as polished as Rome and London so it was a completely different feel to the city.

Naples was also a great choice since it’s close to several great day trip options.

Whichever cities you choose to include in your itinerary, I think that the basic outline that we used worked out well. You can do something similar by sticking to three main destinations over the course of two weeks.

Select cities that offer something different than the others and make sure that at least one of them has several good day trip options. This allows you to experience multiple locations without having to pack up and transit from one area to another.

Here are some detailed itineraries for the cities that we visited:

London

Rome

Naples

FLIGHTS TO UK AND ITALY

Toronto to London with Air Transat

Queen Victoria Monument in London, UK

There are several things that we did to make sure that we got the best deal for our flights. We flew out of Toronto even though we live in Cleveland because the flight prices were so good. 

Air Transat had an amazing deal and it was nice that it was a direct flight since it was an overnight flight. Air Transat also provides meals and entertainment with the cost of the ticket.

We had a Basic Economy ticket, so we didn’t check any bags, and it still included meals and entertainment. I thought that we got great value with that ticket.

We were allowed one carry-on and one personal item (backpack, purse, etc.) person. So we all brought a carry-on and my daughter had a backpack and I brought a backpack.

Seat selection is something that costs extra and is not included in the Basic Economy ticket. From my research, it seems that Air Transat places a priority on sitting families with children together.

I also made sure to check in online the moment that it was available. This was 24 hours ahead of departure. For our flight to London and the flight back from Rome, we were all sat together so that wasn’t a problem at all.

Every family situation and airline is different. Make sure you do your research and think carefully if this is the approach that you want to take for your family.

London to Rome with EasyJet

The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

We booked our flight’s open jaw, meaning that we would arrive in one city and then depart for home from a different city. For us, that meant that we would arrive in London and depart from Rome.

That left it up to us to find our way from London to Rome. It was cheaper this way since I was able to book a one-way ticket from London to Rome that cost approximately $40 per person with EasyJet.

Rome to Toronto with Air Transat

The second leg of our open-jaw flight went pretty smoothly. We reached the airport via train from Naples with no problem and made the flight home.

CONNECTING BETWEEN LOCATIONS

Trenitalia train in Italy

Once we arrived in Italy, we used their train system and ferries to reach our destinations. From Rome, we took the Trenitalia Train. We boarded the train at the Termini Station. The train arrived at the Naples Centrale train station. From there, we took the metro to our apartment.

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR UK AND ITALY

As a budget-conscious family of four, we value the comforts and amenities provided by renting apartments through services like Airbnb and VRBO. Each of the three apartments we rented featured full kitchens and three beds.

We were able to find nearby markets which we use to purchase small food items for breakfast, snacks, and water which helps to save time and money.

Location is also important when selecting accommodations. 

We found London accommodations to be incredibly expensive so we settled on staying outside the city center in the suburb of Belsize Park. Our apartment was near a tube station, so we were able to reach most attractions in a relatively short amount of time. 

In Rome, we stayed in the neighborhood of Prati which borders Vatican City. The prices were reasonable and it was in an ideal location. It’s close enough to the main landmarks that it is easy enough to walk or take a short bus ride there.

Bicycles near building in Prati, Italy

In Naples, we found an amazing apartment in the historical center of the city. We were able to walk around the neighborhood and we were close enough to the metro station to use that to get around the city.

We were able to stay in a variety of locations from outside the city center to being in the middle of it all. Of course, being in the middle of the action is usually preferred, but in major cities, staying outside the center and relying on the metro can be a great budget-friendly option.

HOW TO PACK 

What you pack will largely depend on the locations that you decide to visit. For the itinerary that we chose, we would experience two vastly different climates. In London for the most part it was cool and rainy but on our first day in Rome it was 95f! 

To accommodate this we stuck to the basics and went with clothing that we could easily wash and mix and match. We packed everything from sweaters to flip-flops but did so efficiently. Everything fit in our four carryons and two backpacks. 

Check out these essential space-saving tips that can help on extended vacations.

For detailed packing info check out our packing list for London as well as our packing list for Italy.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

The side streets of Naples, Italy

For our family, June is the preferred time to travel. This works because it’s often cheaper and less crowded than the summer months of July and August.

Even though planned to go during a time that it was less crowded, we started planning early, around September/October of the previous year. This allowed us to search for deals and build up our travel fund.

While the mid-summer would seem to be ideal for visiting a place like London, it actually can be the opposite. It’s similar to most major European cities. Between the crowds, the prices and the heat it’s best to plan to go as early in the summer as possible.

ENJOY 2 WEEKS IN EUROPE

A two-week European vacation will be a fascinating experience for your family. With our itinerary and tips, you’ll be well-prepared and ready to have an amazing vacation. Before you go, be sure to check out our essential guide to planning a family trip for more info to help you plan an awesome trip. Safe travels!

Author

  • Jeremiah Pittmon

    Jeremiah Pittmon is a published travel writer and photographer from Cleveland, Ohio. Passionate about exploring the world with his family, he finds inspiration in all types of travel. Through his blog, smilesonarrival.com, and social media channels, he shares captivating experiences and valuable tips for families who love to travel.

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The Essential 2 Week Europe Itinerary For Your Family
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