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Planning a road trip in Europe
June 1, 2012 10:49 AM   Subscribe

I need some help planning a family road trip in Europe (Germany, Czech Republic and UK) this summer. Special details inside

I'm trying to come up with some good routes for a planned family trip to Europe this summer, and want to get ideas of potential attractions that would be suitable for our 2 boys (9 and 7).

Right now we have 2 absolutes: 1) Arrive in Frankfurt on Aug 6th, and depart Frankfurt on Aug 26th. 2) We also need to drive to Prague in the first couple of days of arrival and will be staying there for at least a 4-5 days.

Our other needs/wants are to visit our friends in London for a few days (during the gap between the Olympics and Paralympics) and spend a few days in the Heidelberg area visiting family.

I'm looking for a few things here so let me make a list:

1) Route between Heidelberg and Prague. I understand it's about a 5 hour drive. Where can we stop to break that up for the kids that would be interesting for them. This could be an overnight stop if required and could be on the inbound or outbound trip.

2) Route between Heidelberg and London. We've done the standard
north to Cologne, across Belgium and then Chunnel or Ferry from Calais. We're looking for a different route that would be interesting to take. Maybe Metz-Rheims-Calais or Metz-Paris-Caen. Maybe even crossing in Amsterdam or Esbjerg. We could even leave from Prague instead of Heidelberg if need be. We have the luxury to be flexible here.

3) Accomodations in the Heidelberg area. Our relatives are in the Heidelberg-Worms-Kaiserslautern area so we're looking for somewhere to stay that would let us visit family without to much driving.

Above all we are willing to be flexible in order to make this a memorable vacation for the kids. Looking forward to some creative suggestions!
posted by smcniven to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total)
 
I've driven Metz>Luxembourg>Belgium>Calais - the roads were notably worse than the French peage but they were free. Luxembourg was kinda interesting. The rest of the journey was not especially scenic.

If it were me, I'd take them on a battlefield tour of somewhere west of Metz (i.e. go Metz>Reims>Calais). There are lots of choices. It's very moving, even for a kid - if you were to stop at somewhere like Cambrai you could talk about tanks and so forth.

Also - there is a very large complex outside Metz at Amneville with all manner of things going on - zoo, aquarium, cinema, climbing etc.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:33 AM on June 1, 2012


If you need something fun for the boys when you're coming or going from Frankfurt, I would recommend Freizeitpark Lochm├╝hle.

Lochm├╝hle is a nice smallish petting zoo / amusement park / picnic grounds. Cheap and only 25 km away from downtown Frankfurt.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:15 PM on June 1, 2012


1) Route between Heidelberg and Prague. I understand it's about a 5 hour drive. Where can we stop to break that up for the kids that would be interesting for them. This could be an overnight stop if required and could be on the inbound or outbound trip.


The easiest and most logical route is to take the A6 the entire way to the border at which point it turns into the Czech D5. In optimal conditions, it takes about 5 hours, but be aware that there could be quite a few traffic jams, since you'll be traveling during the Bavarian summer school holiday. You'll pass by Nuremberg about halfway through, so:

* Your kids might get a kick out of the Playmobil Funpark in Zirndorf (near Nuremberg) or Tucherland [PDF] (in Nuremberg near the airport).
* They might also enjoy the Field of Experiences or the Mediaeval Dungeon.
* If it's hot, you could stop at the Freibad West or Hallenbad near the Nordostbahnhof train station.
* If it's raining, which is unlikely but always possible, your kids might enjoy the Toy Museum or the Deutsche Bahn Museum.
posted by cmonkey at 1:12 AM on June 2, 2012


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