Lonely Planet Writer

How to combine a last minute European city break with family camping this summer

Travelling to a European city in summer can be very hot, not to mention expensive. But the option of combining camping and a city break is growing increasingly popular for families who are not fans of a beach holiday. Outdoor accommodation specialist Pitchup.com has created a list of campsites with availability near some of the most popular cities in Europe.  

Gothenburg

Riverside site in a small quiet town outside Gothenburg.
Riverside site in a small quiet town outside Gothenburg. Image by Pichup.com

The Swedish city is an increasingly popular destination thanks to its rich culinary scene, proximity to the coastline and fascinating sights. Kungälvs Camping is just outside Gothenburg in a quiet town.
What to do: Golfing and fishing are some of the local activities available, while the site has an easy stroll into the nearest town along the beach.  The campsite has basic facilities including Wi-Fi, shower blocks and washing-up areas and with a nearby biscuit factory, it also enjoys delicious vanilla scents wafting over.
Cost: Pitches for tents, tourers and motor homes from £28 per night.

Dubronik

Stay in an eco friendly treehouse 15 km outside Dubrovnik.
Stay in an eco-friendly treehouse 15 km outside Dubrovnik. Image by Pitchup.com

Why stay in the centre of Dubrovnik when just 15km away, accommodation for a holiday could be in a funky treehouse.  Cadmos Village is situated in Komaji and within easy reach of both Dubrovnik centre and airport.
What to do: There is so much to do here from archery, painting and ziplining to hiking, bike tours and wine tasting.  The site has a restaurant serving up local dishes or visitors can choose to cook in the treehouse.
Cost: Stay this summer for £203 per night, with a minimum two-night stay, the treehouse can sleep up to four people. It has a basic kitchen and ensuite shower room. 

Ljubljana

The site offers a swimming pool with a whirlpool tub.
The site offers a swimming pool with a whirlpool tub. Image by Pitchup.com

Car traffic is restricted in the centre of the Slovenian capital, leaving the banks of the emerald-green Ljubljanica River, free for pedestrians and cyclists. In summer, cafes set up terrace seating along the river; it almost feels like a nightly street party. The Ljubljana Resort is just a 20-minute cycle from the centre of Ljubljana, a perfect distance for families.
What to do: The peaceful site offers fishing (permits for sale), a seasonal pool and on-site restaurant. The amenities block offers showers and toilets for guests’ use.
Cost: The campsite offers pitches for tents, tourers and motor homes from as little as £17 per night.  

Madrid

A one bedroom cabin suite comes with a Jacuzzi.
A one-bedroom cabin suite comes with a Jacuzzi. Image by Pitchup.com

On the outskirts of Madrid lies Camping Park Arco Iris, with bus and metro links to the city 18 km away. There is also the nearby university town of Villaviciosa de Odón to explore.
What to do: Although most visitors will probably spend their days exploring the shops, museums and galleries of Madrid, there is also plenty to keep them on site including a pool, jacuzzi, sauna, restaurant and kids’ playground. The site welcomes groups and families. Visitors can choose to camp or glamp. Guests will need to bring their own cooking equipment. There is free Wi-Fi throughout and a launderette.
Cost: A two-night stay in a two-bedroom Primavera cabin this summer costs from £150. The cabin sleeps four and has a double room, twin room, shower room and kitchen.  

Paris

Twilight at the Alexander III bridge. In the background the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River.
Twilight at the Alexander III bridge. In the background the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River. Image by Sizun Eye/Getty Images

Save your euros for shopping and sightseeing when booking a break at Camping Paris Est on the outskirts of Europe’s capital of romance. This site is just 20 minutes from the centre of Paris and 40 minutes from Disneyland Paris.
What to do: There are plenty of facilities here including a bar, bistro, gym, hot tub, spa, kids playground and grocery store.
Cost: Accommodation options range from camping pitches which cost from £25 per night, to static caravans from £76 per night. The caravans offer basic accommodation for up to six people with a kitchen and bathroom. Guests will need to bring their own cooking equipment, bedding and towels.

Rome

It is just 15 minutes to Rome city centre with a shuttle bus available.
It is just 15 minutes to Rome city centre with a shuttle bus available. Image by Pitchup.com

Who needs to stay in the centre of Rome when from as little as £17 per night, visitors can stay just 12km away and enjoy a shuttle bus transfer everyday into the city. Camping Village Tiber offers guests a swimming pool, pizzeria and free Wi-Fi, with entertainment in peak season. There are pitches for tents and tourers or visitors can stay in a cabin or chalet.
Cost:  Cabins cost from £17 per night for a basic hut that sleeps two. The chalets sleep four and have a kitchen area, en-suite shower and heating. These cost from £31 per night.