Your Europe itinerary: 10 routes to explore the continent

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written by Rough Guides Editors

updated 11.10.2023

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You can’t expect to fit everything Europe has to offer into one trip and we don’t suggest you try. For those taking a big, extended trip around the continent you could join a few countries together. Each of these itineraries could be done in two or three weeks if followed to the letter but don’t push it too hard – with so much to see and do you’re bound to get waylaid somewhere you love or stray off the suggested route.

1. Britain and Ireland

2. france and switzerland, 3. benelux, germany and austria, 4. spain, portugal and morocco, 6. central and eastern europe, 7. scandinavia, 8. mallorca, menorca, ibiza and formentera (balearic islands island hopping), 9. the balkans, 10. greece and turkey.

This article is inspired by our Rough Guides guidebooks — your essential guides for travelling the world.

Where else to begin but London (1) – one of the world’s greatest but most expensive cities. While your wallet is still intact move on to the storied grounds of Oxford (2) before heading to Snowdonia (3), where the Welsh mountains provide excellent hiking.

Soak up some history in the medieval streets of York (4), then make the trip north to stunning Edinburgh (5). Find your inner Braveheart in the Scottish Highlands (6) and fit in an unforgettable hike, climb, or ski while you’re at it.

Pop across the North Channel to Belfast (7), but be sure not to miss the nearby Giant’s Causeway – one of Europe’s great natural wonders. Grab a perfect pint of Guinness in Dublin (8), then wind down on the windswept beaches of Ireland ’s West Coast (9).

Rough Guides tip: For more practical guidance that will help you make the most of your Britain and Ireland trip, have a chat with our local experts , who can help you plan your dream trip.

Start in Paris (1), Europe ’s most elegant capital, then venture off to the châteaux and prime vineyards of the Loire Valley (2). Move south to beautiful Bordeaux (3), which boasts bustling city life and some of Europe’s finest surfing beaches to boot.

Head south of the peaks of the Pyrenees (4) before taking a trip through Southern France to the Côte d’Azur (5). Don’t miss the magic of Corsica (6), a true adventure playground, or traditional cooking in Lyon (7), the country’s gastronomic capital.

Try your luck skiing and climbing in the Alps (8), and end by relaxing riverside in laid-back Zürich (9).

Rough Guides tip: If you're planning a trip to France, our fully customisable French itineraries can help you get the most out of your trip.

Kick-off in Amsterdam (1) before enjoying more atmospheric canals and beautiful buildings in Bruges (2). Cologne ’s (3) spectacular old town is a perfect first stop in Germany , but be sure to head north soon after for the vast port and riotous bars of Hamburg (4).

Few cities can compete with the style and youthful energy of Berlin (5), while Dresden (6) has also become a favourite backpacker hangout. Then head south to Munich (7), where Bavaria ’s capital boasts everything from snowy scenery to beer-fuelled Oktoberfest.

Cross over the border to Austria (8), and conclude this itinerary among the palaces, museums, cafés and boulevards of Vienna (9).

While travelling in Benelux, read our guide to the best things to do in Belgium and you may want to stay in the country longer.

Rough Guides tip: Don't know where to start planning your trip to Germany and Austria? Start planning with our local experts who will help you customise our German itineraries according to your preferences.

Begin in the Basque capital of Bilbao (1), Spain’s friendliest city and home of the Guggenheim . Then it’s on to the city beaches, late-night bars and enchanting old town of Barcelona (2). Ibiza 's (3) nightclubs are famous the world over, but its pockets of peace are worth the trip alone.

Gobble tapas and dance the night away in Madrid (4) before heading west for the countless port lodges of Porto (5). Cruise down the Atlantic coast to the historic Portuguese capital of Lisbon (6), then make for the region of Andalucía (7), stopping in the cities of Seville and Granada as you venture further south.

If you catch a ferry across the Straits of Gibraltar to Morocco and set course for Fez (8), explore the medieval Moroccan city of labyrinth alleys, souks and mosques. Finish up in Marrakesh (9), a colourful city with a stunning backdrop of the Atlas Mountains .

Rough Guide tip: This route may seem a bit intricate. That's why our Spanish , Portuguese and Moroccan itineraries will come in handy, fully customisable they leave room for imagination.

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Elafonissi beach in Crete © Shutterstock

Start in Milan (1) for a little Prada, Gucci, and Leonardo da Vinci. Veer east to visit the world’s most beautiful city, Venice (2), then south to the foodie nirvana of Bologna (3). Glide onwards to Tuscany (4) where Florence and Siena make excellent bases to explore the region’s hill towns.

You can hardly “do” Europe and not see Rome (5), and there is truly no better place to eat pizza than in the crumbling yet attractive city of Naples (6). Experience a Roman town frozen in time at Pompeii (7), before sleeping in one of Matera ’s (8) hand-carved caves.

Kick back in Sicily (9) on idyllic beaches beneath smouldering volcanoes, or enjoy the hectic pace of Palermo , one of Italy ’s most in-your-face cities.

Rough Guide tip: Planning a trip to a popular tourist destination like Italy can be difficult, as there are so many tempting places to visit. To make it easier, contact our local experts who can help customise our Italy itineraries to suit your preferences and help you have an unforgettable experience.

Get going in Prague (1), a pan-European city with beer that never disappoints. Move east to Warsaw ’s (2) vodka-soaked bar scenes, Old Town, palaces and parks.

Arty and atmospheric Kraków (3) shouldn’t be missed, and neither should a trip to the charming cafés of L'viv (4). Leave cities behind for the majestic wilderness of Slovakia 's Tatra Mountains (4), then head back to civilisation and immerse yourself in Budapest (6) where you'll find two great cities in one.

Finish this itinerary up in Ljubljana (7); Slovenia ’s capital is a perfectly formed pit stop between central Europe and the Adriatic if you’re eager to push on to the Balkans.

Rough Guides tip: Central and Eastern Europe can safely compete with their Western neighbours. Until recently, these regions were off the tourist radar, but that has changed. Contact our local experts and create an itinerary covering the places you want to visit.

Start in the lively lanes of beautiful Copenhagen (1), and head north to Gothenburg ’s (2) elegant architecture, fantastic nightlife and fully-functioning rainforest. A visit to Oslo (3) is worth the expense, but after a while, you'll feel the pull of the Norwegian fjords (4).

The mild climate and wild scenery of the Lofoten Islands (5) should not be skipped, but neither should the reindeer, huskies and elusive Northern Lights of Lapland (6). Of course, no trip to Scandinavia would be complete without a stop in Stockholm (7).

If you’re travelling in summer, get to Gotland (8) – Sweden ’s party island, buzzing with DJs and bronzed bodies on the beach.

Rough Guides tip: In our opinion, each of the Scandinavian countries is worthy of a separate visit. Start with our Norwegian or Swedish itineraries and see how both countries will keep you occupied for a long time. And if you want to cover the whole Scandinavian destination, get in touch with our local guides who will help you create a convenient and complete itinerary.

Start your island hopping trip with Mallorca (1), a Mediterranean gem boasting stunning beaches and vibrant culture. Move east to Menorca (2) with its tranquil coves and untouched beauty. Discover the island's natural wonders, including the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the ancient megalithic sites that dot the landscape.

In Ibiza (3), embrace the vibrant nightlife and dance your nights away at world-famous clubs. During the day, unwind at the beautiful beaches, explore the picturesque old town of Ibiza Town, and revel in the bohemian vibes that permeate the island.

Formentera (4) beckons with its idyllic beaches and laid-back vibes. Immerse yourself in this island paradise, then head back to (5) Mallorca for the perfect finale - a journey that combines the best of the Balearics!

Rough Guides tip: To make sure you don't miss out on the gems of any of the Balearic Islands - contact our local experts who will create the most comprehensive itinerary for you.

Start with a slew of cheap but delicious wine, watersports, and vitamin D on the Dalmatian coast (1), then move on to Europe’s war-scarred but most welcoming capital, Sarajevo (2).

History-steeped Dubrovnik (3) rivalled Venice in its day and is an easy stop on the way to Budva (4), Montenegro’s star resort with unspoilt beaches and throbbing open-air bars. Head further south to Tirana (5) for charming architecture and urban exploration, before visiting the shimming shores of Ohrid’s (6) mountain-backed lake.

Be sure to check out the chilled vibe of Sofia (7), and the more upbeat buzz of Serbia ’s hip capital: Belgrade (8). End this itinerary by discovering Transylvania (9) – you probably won’t find any vampires, but you will find fairytale villages, colourful festivals, and wolf tracking in the Carpathians.

Rough Guide tip: Discover the riches of Croatia and Romania: each country is a treasure trove of fascinating experiences. Start with our carefully designed Croatia or Romania itineraries and you will be immersed in a world of coastal wonders, ancient legends and delicious cuisine. To fully experience the magic of both destinations, our local guides are ready to create an unforgettable journey through these enchanting countries.

Begin by finding the perfect beach in Kefaloniá (1), and continue to Athens (2) for a sunset over the Parthenon. Sail first to the island of Íos (3) for partying backpackers and hippie-era charm, then on to Crete ’s (4) Samarian Gorge.

Get to the Turkish mainland for a visit to the remarkably preserved temples, mosaics, and baths in Ephesus (5) before mountain biking, paragliding, or diving in Ka ş (6).

Then venture east to Cappadocia ’s (7) volcanic landscape and subterranean city, and wrap up among the bazaars, hammams, and surprisingly hectic nightlife in Istanbul (8).

Rough Guides tip: Choose our Greek or Turkish itineraries for a fascinating journey into ancient history, breathtaking coastlines and tantalising cuisine. For a complete Mediterranean adventure, our local guides will create a seamless and unforgettable journey through both countries.

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Europe Road Trip – 24 Incredible Routes

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The Best Road Trips in Europe

Europe is perfect for an epic road trip! From the rolling fields of Tuscany and the soaring mountains of the Sierra Nevada to the beaches of the South of France and the mighty Alps, you can find a European road trip route to suit your taste and travel style.

Whether you’re road tripping in Europe for a week, a month, or a year, our top Europe road trip itinerary ideas will give you plenty of inspiration to get on the road.

We have lived on the road in Europe for over five years, and in our Europe trip planner, we share our top routes and itineraries, ideas about what do to and see, and accommodation recommendations. If you’ve got wheels there’s a European road trip here for you!

Europe road trip

Europe Road Trip Planner

We have traveled every single one of these European roads in and on a variety of vehicles! Whether you ride a motorbike, drive Europe by car or you’re traveling in a motorhome or RV, you’ll find some of the best Europe road trip ideas here.

If you’re on a flying visit and or want a 3 month Europe road trip , we have the best Europe road trip itineraries for you. Our road trip planner Europe includes specific road trip routes, amazing hotel recommendations, and insider travel tips to help you plan a driving holiday in Europe.

RELATED POST: Why We Think These Are the Best Driving Roads in Europe

Are you planning to rent a car in Europe? As one of the largest car hire aggregator companies in the world, we recommend Rentalcars.com because they have massive purchasing power which enables them to secure the best rental prices, which benefits you when you’re planning a road trip through Europe.

For a real adventure, hire a motorhome or campervan in France. We recommend Auto Europe for their large range of fully equipped vehicles, competitive pricing, and great customer service. Use the Park4Night app to find overnight spots and campsites, and sleep on a high mountain pass, next to a beautiful lake, or in a wildflower meadow.

Europe Road Trip Map

Europe road trips map

Make sure you have travel insurance you can trust when visiting Europe . We recommend True Traveller for their 5-star TrustPilot reviews, variety of cover options, best activities cover as standard, great prices, and excellent service.

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Vienna to Innsbruck Road Trip

Vienna – graz – hallstatt – salzburg – zell am see – mayrhofen – innsbruck.

  • May-October

We recommend starting your two week Austrian road trip in Vienna and concluding the itinerary in Innsbruck.

As you leave Vienna, beautiful and quaint Austrian towns and villages will greet you as you travel south toward the foodie city of Graz, the next major stop on your Austrian itinerary. From here, it’s north to Hallstatt, a small, alpine village situated on the western shores of Hallstätter See, also known as Hallstatt Lake, that offers iconic views and outdoor experiences. 

Next up is Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We recommend leaving enough time in your itinerary to explore the Baroque architecture of the city and visit the Salzburg Fortress for stunning panoramic views. From Salzburg, head to Zell am See, a charming mountain town surrounded by the unforgettable mountain peaks of the Alps. 

Zell am See is the perfect spot from which to drive the spectacular Glossglockner high alpine pass, a mountain road that twists and bends itself along the Alps mountains, providing panoramic scenery and an unforgettable experience.

Your journey will continue on to Mayrhofen, a popular skiing destination known for its vibrant nightlife, unrivaled winter sports, and stunning alpine scenery. 

Finally, finish your Austria road trip in Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol region. This Austrian city is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and is home to several impressive landmarks. Innsbruck is the perfect place to end your road trip and reflect on the stunning beauty of Austria.

  • Driving the gorgeous mountain roads, when you feel like you’re on top of the world!
  • Listening to Mozart in Salzburg, his birthplace and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Walking out 1,48 feet onto the Hallstatt World Heritage Skywalk for breathtaking views of the Hallstätter See.

Where to Stay

Vienna ⇒ Jaz in the City Vienna for its city center location, modern interior, and funky bar.

Salzburg ⇒   Altstadthotel Wolf-Dietrich  for its old town setting, luxury spa, and fantastic breakfast.

Innsbruck ⇒ Hotel Grauer Bär for its perfect downtown location, light and stylish rooms, and excellent customer service.

snow capped mountains with wooden huts and green pastures in the foreground

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Route des Grandes Alpes: An Epic French Road Trip

Loire valley road trip.

Orleans – Blois – Tours – Angers – Nantes

Centre-Val de Loire is a landlocked region, located to the southwest of the French capital Paris. As the name suggests this region is all about the magnificent river Loire. Just four to five hours from Calais to the capital of Orleans, and three from Paris, this region is a popular holiday region and makes an ideal destination for a road trip.

This is a real France bucket list trip. Fine historical cities and towns, many of which stand on the banks of the Loire, offer superb Renaissance religious buildings and architecture and of course, the fabulous and extravagant chateaux the region is best known for.

Follow this Loire Valley road trip between famous cities and marvel at the natural wonders, opulent architecture, charming towns, and breathtaking castles of one of France’s best-loved regions.

You’ll visit the many chateaux on the route, including the famous Chateau de Chambord and Chateau de Villandry, and explore the Loire’s historic towns, learning about French history, architecture, and culture and you go.

Discover Joan of Arc’s legacy in Orleans and take a ride on a giant machine elephant in Nantes as you take in the beautiful Loire landscape.

  • Taking a vineyard tour to taste the delicious white wines, like Vouvray, Pouilly-Fume, and Sancerre, which are produced here.
  • Visiting the world-famous Chateau Chenonceau, the only castle on the Loire built by women.
  • Watching the iconic steampunk elephant strutt its stuff at Machines de L’Ile on the Ile de Nantes, an urban island in the Loire river.

Orléans ⇒   Empreinte Hotel & Spa for its riverbank location, beautiful bathrooms, and private spa.

Tours ⇒ Château Belmont  for its wonderful grounds, stylish bedrooms, and excellent restaurant.

Nantes ⇒ Okko Hotels Nantes Château   for its city center location, cool decor, and private parking.

Fine French chateau with turretssurrounded by lush grass and foliage

Pyrenees Road Trip

Lourdes – cauterets – gavarnie – arreau – bagnares-de-luchon.

  • May-September

This is a Pyrenees road trip and hiking tour all in one. With four easy-to-moderate classic Hautes-Pyrenees hikes en route plus an extra in Spain just over the border and some of the most spectacular mountains on the map of Europe at your feet, this is an amazing route. 

One of our go-to happy places, get our detailed seven day Pyrenees hiking tour guide, including an interactive map of hikes and the suggested route.

  • Taking a dip in the crystal clear waters of the beautiful Lac de Gaube on a hot summer’s day.
  • Braving the nail-biting drive up the Pic du Midi and the incredible views from the Col du Tourmalet.
  • Standing at the top of Pic de la Pahule with the entire Pyrenees mountain range at your feet.

Lourdes ⇒ Villa L’Orante  for its commanding views, beautiful bathrooms, and delicious homemade breakfasts.

Gavarnie ⇒ Hotel Le Taillon  for its location, views, and hearty mountain food.

Bagnares-de-Luchon ⇒ Le Castel d’Alti   for its elegant decor, heated jacuzzi and pool, and live music in the bar.

Pyrenees mountains in spring time

South of France Road Trip

Lyon – st croix du verdon – aups – cassis – aix-en-provence – bezier – carcassonne – toulouse.

  • avoid July & August

A road trip in France is one of the best ways to see this beautiful country, and because France is so accessible, this is an easy 2 week Europe road trip from UK and the rest of Europe

Start in the foodie city of Lyon, a five hour drive south of Paris , before using the historic Route Napoleon to travel south. It’s one of the  best drives in Europe , free and incredibly scenic.

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is a gorgeous little town and worth a stop before you take a jaunt around the stunning Gorge du Verdon.

Try some  wild swimming in the Lac de Sainte-Croix here before making your way to Aups for their authentic farmers market and Provencal vibe.

Stop at Cassis to explore the Calanques, huge gashes in the coastal cliffs, often only accessible by boat. Take a day trip out for a picnic and an idyllic afternoon of soaking up the sun and snorkeling.

Head north to the vibrant and pretty French city of Aix-en-Provence and spend an evening strolling through the charming squares and winding alleys of this elegant and cultured city.

Next up is the drive east across the hauntingly beautiful and off-the-beaten-track Camargue, before arriving at Bezier, famous for the nine locks of the Midi Canal.

Move on to Carcassonne, dipping into the Pyrenees en route to see the incredible Peyrepertuse Castle, before spending a few days marveling at La Cite, the Disneyesque medieval citadel of Carcassonne. 

The pink city of Toulouse is your last stop and what a road trip destination it is! Head into the old town for great food, live music, and a typically Occitan atmosphere of noise, heat, and fun. 

  • Walking through the fragrant iconic lavender fields of Valensole in Provence (June is the best month).
  • Kayaking to hiffen beaches in the stunning Calanques National Park from Cassis.
  • Discovering the atmospheric UNESCO World Heritage site of the medieval citadel in Carcassonne.

Lyon ⇒ Mob Hotel Lyon for stylish design, contemporary dining, and live DJ sets.

Aix-en-Provence ⇒   Le Pigonnet  for its beautiful location and luxury with a touch of glamour.

Carcassonne ⇒ Hotel de la Cite   for the Citadel location, traditional character, and spa.

Getty images - Colourful houses and yachts in front of pine covered hills

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The Fairy Tale Road

Frankfurt – steinau – marburg – kassel – gottingen – hamelin – bremen.

This central to north Germany road trip from Frankfurt does not technically start in the city, but Frankfurt is the perfect place to fly into and pick up a rental car. If you’re spending the night, make sure you visit the South Bank, where you’ll find an eclectic selection of restaurants, bars, and clubs.

The Fairy Tale route, or Deutsche Märchenstraße , offers travelers a series of charming towns, half-timbered buildings, castles, beautiful parks, and museums, most of which reference one fairy tale or another from the story collection of the Brothers Grimm .   

The starting town of Steinau an der Strasse is straight out of their fairy tales, complete with typical half-timbered houses, twisting cobbled alleys, and the turreted Schloss Steinau which overlooks the whole town. Visit the Brüder Grimm Haus and Museum Steinau, both of which showcase the works of the brothers.

Take the back roads to Marburg and enjoy the gorgeous landscapes and slower pace for a few hours. Marburg’s altstadt is full of medieval houses and the hilltop Landgrafenschloss, a dramatic castle holding exhibits on sacred art and local history.

From Marburg, head to Kassel, where the Brothers Grimm spent their teenage years whilst working as librarians for the King of Westphalia, Jerome Bonaparte, the younger brother of the infamous Napoléon. Make sure to visit the Brüder Grimm Museum, and the Schloss und Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, a tranquil green space and the largest hill park in all of Europe.

Gottingen is home to the University of Gottingen, where the Grimm Brothers once served as professors. Make for the traditional and atmospheric central market square, where the statue of Ganseliesel, the little goose girl of German lore, is one of the most kissed statues anywhere in the world. It is said that the kisser is rewarded with good luck, but maybe post-virus this practice will change!

Hameln (or Hamelin) is next up and one of the most famous fairy tale destinations in Europe. Hameln is the home of the Pied Piper, or Rattenfänger, who rid the town of rats in 1284, only to be cheated out of his payment.

The Pied Piper returned to Hameln a year later and lured away all the children. The story is re-enacted in the town center every Sunday between May and October and is a fantastic spectacle. The Weser Renaissance architecture of the Rattenfängerhaus and the Hochzeitshaus makes a fitting historic backdrop for the streets which are thronged with locals dressed the part, stalls selling food, and live music playing. 

Finally, on to the Hanseatic city of Bremen, your final stop. Good places to visit in Bremen include the traditional Marktplatz, which is located in the city’s charming altstadt, the 600-year-old Rathaus or town hall, the Roselius-Haus Museum, and the stunning St. Petri Dom, the 11th century gothic cathedral.

Another landmark can be found in the city’s central town square – a statue of the Bremen musicians and heroes of the Brothers Grimm story, ‘The Town Musicians of Bremen’.

  • Watching the lively re-enactment of Hameln’s Pied Piper luring away visiting children.
  • Exploring the altstads of towns en-route, where half-timbered houses and cobbled streets are common.
  • Indulging in northern Germany’s hearty and tasty cuisine, like wurst , Germany’s delicious sausages, Bremer klaben , a yeasty cake of candied fruit and nuts, and kluten , a delicious dumpling.

Frankfurt ⇒ Kempinski Hotel Frankfurt Gravenbruch  for its proximity to the airport and city center, fantastic spa, and beautiful surroundings.

Marburg ⇒ The Vila Vita Rosenpark  for its central location, excellent regional restaurant, and stylish bedrooms.

Bremen ⇒ Atlantic Grand Hotel   for its perfect riverside location, bike rental from reception, and ultra-stylish bathrooms.

Tradtional German altstadt with colourful houses and a castle perched on a rocky crag

Southern Germany Road Trip

Wurzburg – rothenburg – ludwigsburg – burg hohenzollern – fussen – oberammergau – linderhof – munich – chiemsee.

This route follows parts of southern Germany’s famous Romantic Road and the Deutsche Alpenstrasse and has a good mix of Alpine views, historic schloss and castles, and typical Bavarian towns and villages.

As you head south, enjoy the views of the magnificent Alps ahead.

You could rush around in a week but we think ten to fourteen days gives you enough time to visit a few other places of interest when you’re all castled out!

Visiting in the summer will provide you with sunshine and clear skies but if you can do this route in winter, then you’ll be rewarded with some of the best Christmas markets in the world, fairytale snowy landscapes, and schloss decorated for the festive season.

More of a palace than a castle, the  Wurzburg Residence  is a huge Baroque palace. Beautiful inside, the real draw here is the gardens, laid out in a typically formal French style.

From here, head to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a fairytale Bavaria town packed with medieval architecture, half-timbered houses, and cobblestone streets.

Next up is  Ludwigsburg Residential Palace  one of the largest Baroque palaces in Germany. Its sumptuous interiors, with gold leaf and painted ceilings, are on a similar scale to Versaille, and the Palace Theatre is pretty impressive. 

Schloss Lichtenstein  is a pretty little Neo-Gothic castle built in the romantic style. It may not have the scale of other castles but it’s charming and quirky, with amazing views.

Hohenzollern Castle  does have the scale, along with grandeur, Rapunzel towers, and a long royal history. It’s one of the most magical castles to visit in Germany . 

Hohenzollern Palace (also known as Sigmaringen Castle) sits 50km to the southeast, can be seen on the horizon for miles around, and is a real  hidden gem in Germany .

Our next stop is the daddy of German castles, Neuschwanstein. Just outside Fussen, in the village of Schwangau, Neuschwanstein is a truly stunning Cinderella-esque schloss built by the fascinating historical figure of King Ludwig II, who ruled Bavaria in the 19th century.

If you have time when  visiting Neuschwanstein Castle , take a walk out to Marienbrucke bridge where you can take the perfect images of the castle, the earlier the better! This castle gets very busy every day through the year, so make sure you  book tickets online  before arriving.

Next up, take in Oberammergau, home of the famous once-in-a-decade Passion Play. There is also a fantastic  public spa  here, which may be just the thing after a few days of driving. The Germans know how to do a spa and this is one of the best we’ve visited.  

If you’ve time to spare,  visit the Zugspitze , you’re only an hour away from Germany’s highest mountain in the northern Alps . This natural wonder is easy to summit, with the help of the cogwheel train and cable car; it is absolutely worth the detour, and the views are stunning. 

The next stop is  Linderhof Palace , our favorite of the German schloss. This beautifully symmetrical and elegant palace is arguably King Ludwig’s finest creation. Check out the grottos in the landscaped grounds; they’re pretty special!

Finally, drive on to Munich for the Nymphenburg Palace, one of the premier royal palaces in Europe with magnificent interiors and gardens. Spend a day discovering Munich  and if you’re  road tripping in autumn , you could also take in Oktoberfest, Munich’s famous beer festival. 

Herrenchiemsee Palace  is the last stop on this Bavaria road trip. Known as the ‘Bavarian Versaille’, this palace is in a beautiful location on Herreninsel, the largest island on the Chiemsee lake.

  • Discovering the pretty medieval houses and architecture of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
  • Admiring King Ludwig’s before-their-time building innovations at his fairytale castles .
  • Taking fantastic images of Neuschwanstein from Marienbruck at dawn, when the light is perfect and you’ll have the bridge to yourself. 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber ⇒ Hotel Reichs-Kuchenmeister  for its altstadt location, traditional Bavarian decor, and fabulous breakfast!

Oberammergau ⇒   Mammhofer Suites  for their family-run hospitality, central location, and kitchen access for self-catering.

Munich ⇒ Roomers Munich  for stylish design, superb customer service, and an excellent restaurant.

fairytale castle in mountains of Bavaria

Looking for the best SIM card deals in Europe for your trip? Check out our guide to the best data SIMs in Europe and get the best deal for your trip to France.

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Mainland Greece Road Trip

Athens – delphi – galaxidi – nafpaktos – parga – meteora – mount olympus – thessaloniki.

The beautiful landscape of mainland Greece is dotted with ancient Greek monuments and temples, UNESCO World Heritage sites, hot springs, roadside churches, lemon trees overhanging the roads, and traditional tavernas where you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

This trip hits all the big highlights of Greece, taking you from the modern yet historic capital city to the most charming coastal towns before exploring the mountainous interior, all on one road trip.

You’ll visit the most important archaeological site in Greece, Ancient Delphi, and be in awe of the gravity-defying monasteries in Meteora, before making your pilgrimage to the most mythical of all sites in Greece, Mount Olympus.

  • Looking across the magnificent landscape of Meteora, to capture that once-in-a-lifetime iconic image.
  • Sipping a carafe of chilled Greek rose on the harbourside in Parga.
  • Taking the hike up to the Acropolis in Athens in the early morning, before the crowds arrive.

Ancient Delphi ⇒ Fedriades Delphi Hotel , for its perfect location and fantastic Greek breakfast.

Parga ⇒ Villa Coralli apartments for its perfect location overlooking Krioneri Beach and 200m from the center of town.

Thessaloniki ⇒ Plaza Hotel in Ladadika, for its beachside location close to all the major attractions.

Turquoise sea by small Greek coastal town

Peloponnese Road Trip

Athens – corinth – kalavryta – olympia – kalamata – the mani – sparta – nafplio – mycenae – athens.

This two week Peloponnese itinerary and road trip starts in the capital city of Athens. Spend a day or two in this incredible city, which is both ancient and edgy.

As you head west from Athens towards Ancient Corinth, you’ll cross the Corinth Canal, which splits the Corinth Isthmus, the narrow strip of land between mainland Greece and the Peloponnese, and joins the Aegean and Ionian Seas, it’s worth making a stop to see what was a major feat of engineering back in the day.

Home to the legendary Jason of the Argonauts, of Golden Fleece fame, Ancient Corinth was one of the largest and most important cities of Greece, with a population of 90,000 in 400 BCE. The Romans demolished Corinth in 146 BCE before building a new city in its place in 44 BCE, which became the provincial capital of Greece.

Next up, head to Kalavryta, known officially as the place where the Greek War of Independence started when Greece revolted against the Turks in 1821, and where 500 souls were massacred by the Nazis in World War Two. The latter event is depicted in the Museum of the Kalavryta Holocaust, a moving tribute to those residents and the story of the struggle between Greek partisans and the occupying forces.

The Diakofto-Kalavryta Railway is a vintage rack and pinion railway between the two towns. The route is incredibly scenic, passes through seven tunnels, and twists along the dramatic Vouraikos Gorge, clinging to its narrow ledge over the churning rapids below – make sure to fit this into your visit before moving on to Ancient Olympia.

The birthplace of the Olympic Games, Ancient Olympia is where the Games took place every four years, for over 1100 years! The Olympic Flame is still lit here for the modern Games. This beautiful, shady archaeological site is incredibly evocative – wandering through the ruins, it’s easy to imagine the ripped athletes and excited spectators of its heyday, amongst the magnificent temples and athletic facilities.

Our route has two options at this point – head inland for spectacular scenery and mountain passes, or take the coastal route around the middle peninsula of the Peloponnese through the wild and rugged Messinian Mani, with picture-perfect Kardamyli and the colorful harbor of pretty Gythio awaiting.

Your final stop is Nafplio, often called the most romantic city in Greece, and blessed with pretty streets, elegant neoclassical architecture, and interesting independent shops, bars, and tavernas.

  • Hiking the incredible Vouraikos Gorge from Kalavryta to Diakofto, and admiring the limestone formations along the route.
  • Driving the 59km Langada Pass across the Taygetos Mountains from Kalamata to gory Sparta and the Byzantine capital of Mystras.
  • Walking along the Cave of the Lakes boardwalk to view the incredible rock formations and thirteen crystal clear subterranean pools formed by millennia of mineral deposits.

Athens ⇒ The Athens Gate Hotel for its central location, Acropolis view, and stylish decor.

Kalamata ⇒ Messinian Icon Hotel & Suites for its spa and pools, sea views, and large, bright rooms.

Nafplio ⇒ Amymone and Adiandi for its perfect location, gorgeous decor, and homemade Greek breakfast.

Busy beach with sun shades and mountains behind

Don’t forget your road trip essentials! Our free road trip checklists help you remember everything, including road trip snacks , podcasts , and road trip songs for the journey!

  • Lonely Planet Iceland
  • The Rough Guide to Iceland
  • DK Eyewitness Top 10 Iceland
  • Iceland Road Trip – 26 Epic Things to See & Do
  • One Day Reykjavik Itinerary – Map, Tips & Guide
  • South Coast Iceland: 18 of the Best Things to Do & See

The Golden Circle Road Trip

Reykjavik – thingvellir national park – geysers of haukadalur valley – gullfoss waterfall – reykjavik.

  • June-September

Close to Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik , the Golden Circle is easily the most touristy thing to do in the land of fire and ice, and traditionally the first stop on Iceland’s Ring Road, so it can get very busy, especially in peak season.

Start early if you can, and hop onto the Iceland ring road (route 1), which takes you first past the Reykjavik waterfront, and then out to the three stops on the Golden Circle. It’s a short drive away from Reykjavik, and should only take about 40 minutes to get to the first stop, Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Located right in Þingvellir (or Thingvellir) National Park , you can walk through the middle of the large area where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates have been splitting apart over the course of the centuries. This is one of the coolest things to do while you’re visiting the Golden Circle.

Don’t miss the other attractions in the national park where the Continental Divide is located. It’s home to Iceland’s first Parliament, where chieftains formed the first laws and court proceedings at what is known as the Lögberg, and has lots of trails and beautiful nature to explore if you have the time. You can even go snorkeling at Silfra, and see the divide in the tectonic plates underwater!

The next stop, about 60 kilometers from Þingvellir, is the two geysers at Haukadalur . These geysers are easy to visit because they erupt very regularly, so you’ll definitely see at least one eruption while you’re there. Strokkur is the larger of the two, but don’t get too close as the water really is boiling hot!

The last stop on the Golden Circle is the Gullfoss waterfall, just one of Iceland’s incredible waterfalls, of which there are 10,000!  The waterfall, located at the end of the Hvítá River, is absolutely gigantic and produces beautiful rainbows and light prisms from every angle.

There are viewing places galore here. A concrete path makes it easy to see the waterfall at various points, though there are clearly marked signs and ropes warning you where you should stop, as it can be very windy and slippery the closer you get to the edge.

After you’ve finished seeing Gullfoss, it’s about an hour and a half drive back to Reykjavik to complete the circle. There are add on’s which aren’t traditional Golden Circle stops, but you may want to take a lovely warm bath at the Blue Lagoon just outside the city, enjoy a slightly more natural thermal experience at the Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River, or head to the Kerid Crater if you’re in an off-road vehicle.

♥  Spending an hour lounging in the Reykjadalur Hot Springs whilst taking in the incredible scenery. ♥ Standing at the continental divide where Europe becomes North America, and being in awe of Iceland’s geology. ♥  Doing the Golden Circle in reverse and getting to Gullfoss before the crowds arrive.

Reykjavik ⇒ Sand Hotel for its city center location and Icelandic character and design.

Iceland's Gullfoss waterfall in autumn

  • Lonely Planet Ireland
  • DK Eyewitness Ireland
  • The Rough Guide to Ireland
  • Wild Atlantic Way: Itinerary, Map & Tips
  • One Day in Dublin – Itinerary, Map, Tips & Guide
  • Motorhoming in Ireland – A Complete Guide

Wild Atlantic Way Road Trip

Co. donegal – co. sligo – co. mayo – co. galway – co. clare – co. limerick – co. kerry – co. cork.

From Co. Donegal to Co. Cork and passing through counties Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, and Kerry, the Wild Atlantic Way winds down the intricate coast of western Ireland and the edge of Europe.

Taking in the must-sees of Malin Head, the Killarney National Park, the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, and the Dingle Peninsula, this is a truly epic Ireland road trip covering many of the Emerald Isle’s most beautiful spots .

This huge trip from the north to the south of Ireland is best done with time on your side. Three weeks is just about enough, four weeks or longer will give you time to explore more and perhaps participate in some activities along the way.  

If this is too long for you, then pick out one of the six regions that appeal the most and take a couple of weeks to cover that specific area. You can find out more about these from the official  Wild Atlantic Way  website.  

The Bay Coast stretches south from Erris to Galway Bay and takes in the wild beauty of Connemara, the incredible 365 islets of Clew Bay, pretty Georgian Westport, dramatic Downpatrick Head, and medieval Galway, our favorite city in Ireland .

There’s plenty of things to see and do in Ireland if you love wide open spaces, wilderness, and raw nature, one of the reasons we adore this bit of the Wild Atlantic Way.

A great alternative is to  road trip from Dublin to Galway , traveling the southern half of the Wild Atlantic Way in a huge circle, and visiting Waterford, Dingle, and Cork on the way.

Dublin is a great place to start your road trip with an easily accessible international airport and lots of car rental choices.  

  • Watching the rollers crashing from the savage beauty of Malin Head in Co. Donegal.
  • Tapping your foot, sipping a pint of Guinness, and enjoying a hooley (live traditional Irish folk music) in Galway.
  • Taking the steep and winding road to Dunquin Pier on the Dingle Peninsula for a memorable photo opportunity.

Westport Co. Mayo ⇒ Knockeranny House Hotel and Spa  for sublime Clew Bay views, Irish hospitality, and elegant dining.

Rossnowlagh Co. Donegal ⇒ The Sandhouse Hotel and Marina Spa  for its stunning beachfront location, contemporary decor, and excellent spa.

Glengarriff Co. Cork ⇒ Eccles Hotel and Spa  for its snug and traditional decor, a superb restaurant specializing in local seafood, and proximity to the pretty village and harbor.

grass topped cliffs in front of steel grey sea and cloudy sky

  • Lonely Planet Italy
  • Fodor’s Essential Italy: Rome, Florence, Venice & the Top Spots in Between
  • T he Rough Guide to Italy
  • Italy Travel Guide
  • The Ultimate Bucket List Italy Road Trip
  • Northern Italy Road Trip: Itinerary, Map & Tips

Great Dolomites Road: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know!

  • Tuscan Road Trip: Itinerary, Map & Tips
  • A Bucket List Amalfi Coast Road Trip
  • Sicily Road Trip – Itinerary, Tips & Map
  • Beautiful Puglia – A Road Trip Itinerary

Dolomites Road Trip: Explore the Best of Northern Italy

  • Motorhoming in Italy: Your Complete Guide
  • Driving to Italy from UK – Routes & Tips

Amalfi Coast Road Trip

Sorrento – positano – amalfi – ravello – salerno.

  • avoid July-August

The Amalfi Coast road, the SS163, is a 50km spectacular stretch of tarmac, hugging the cliffs and coves of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and is surely one of the best driving roads in Europe.   

Like the roads around Portofino and the Cinque Terre, this is a car route only and the road is permanently closed to motorhomes and RVs.

In a car or on a bike, it is best driven early in the morning in the months of April, May, October, and November due to the monstrously high amount of traffic in the peak months.

You can do the entire road in a day and stop in Ravello for lunch, but two or three days will give you longer to enjoy the glorious views and pretty towns en route.

Start from easily accessible Sorrento and head south across the peninsula until you get to the coast at San Pietro. Your first view of the glistening sea and this epic road are pretty special, prepare to be wowed.

Stop at Positano, the quintessential coast road town and the image on a thousand travel magazine covers. Take a wander through the maze of steep streets, pastel-painted stacked houses, and steps to find charming hotels and restaurants alongside chic independent boutiques. 

Next up is Amalfi itself. This hugely popular holiday resort is the largest town along the coast road. The pretty seafront, with its cafes and glamorous boutiques, gives this town a great vibe.

Head west on foot to Spiaggia del Fornillo from Amalfi, a long stretch of soft sandy beach perfect for an afternoon’s relaxing.

Ravello has to be one of the most romantic villages in Italy and is right up there on our list of favorite places in Europe. Perched high above the sea and overlooking immaculate terraced slopes full of vines, Ravello is home to lush Mediterranean planting and charming sun-dappled squares, and has to be one of the best spots in Southern Italy .

The 20km round-trip detour to Ravello from the main coast road is so worth taking. Visit Villa Rufolo, host to beautifully landscaped and dramatic gardens with superb sea views.

On to Salerno and the end of the Amalfi Coast road, or turn around and drive it again! 

  • The glorious coastal views from the gardens of Villa Rufolo in Ravello.
  • Taking a Limoncello tour and tasting this delicious local liquor where it’s made.
  • Watching the fiery sun sink into the Tyrrhenian Sea at the end of a perfect day.

Positano ⇒ Hotel Marincanto  for its stunning cliff-hugging position, beautifully decorated rooms, and hands-on owners.

Ravello ⇒ Hotel Villa Maria  for its romantic dining terrace, old-world Italian charm, and fabulous breakfasts.

Vietri sul Mare ⇒ Palazzo Suriano  for its fragrance-filled terraced gardens, excellent homemade breakfasts on the terrace, and gorgeous decor.

the Amalfi coast road with a small town in front and the turquoise sea to the right

Puglia Road Trip

Taranto – gallipoli – santa maria di leuca – lecce – ostuni – alberobello – bari.

Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot, is a beautiful place for a 7 day road trip in Europe. With Trulli houses, a fabulous sandy coastline, and whitewashed villages, there is a lot to see and do here.

The abundance of fresh, local produce means you will eat and drink well on this road trip! We spent an  amazing seven days exploring beautiful Puglia  and fell in love with the region.

  • Visiting the UNESCO Trulli houses at Alberobello for an other-world experience.
  • Discovering Gallipoli’s atmospheric, oh-so-Italian old town and castle.
  • Finding a salumeria (deli) and enjoy the local specialties over a lazy lunch.

Gallipoli ⇒ Palazzo Presta for its fabulous old town location, eclectic design, and excellent service.

Lecce ⇒ La Fiermontina Urban Resort for its contemporary art and sculpture, outdoor pool set in an olive grove and gorgeous rooms.

Alberobello ⇒ Tipico Resort for its superb location, fabulous breakfast and for being a Trulli!

A large castle built jutting out into the sea

Sicily Road Trip

Catania – syracuse – ragusa – agrigento – marsala – palermo – cefalu – taormina.

A coastal road trip around Sicily can take a few weeks or a few months, there is so much to see. From ancient, immaculately preserved temples to modern and vibrant cities like Palermo , via jaw-dropping natural wonders, this rich and diverse island is a world away from anywhere you’ve ever been before. 

Read our detailed guide to  road-tripping eclectic Sicily , which includes an itinerary along the island’s coastal ring road, and start planning your trip!

  • Taking a hike above the clouds to the summit of Mount Etna and look deep into the rumbling magma below. 
  • Being awed by the ancient Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.
  • Wandering the charming historic back streets of Ortigia, the old town of Syracuse.

Syracuse ⇒ Hotel Gutkowski for lovingly crafted and unique interiors, beachcomber chic, and a cool roof terrace.

Palermo ⇒ BB22  for its perfect piazza location, a cozy home-from-home feel, and palazzo style.

Taormina ⇒ Hotel Villa Ducale  for spectacular views, a relaxed vibe, and legendary cocktails!

an Italian hilltop town with houses stacked together

Tuscany & Umbria Road Trip

Pisa – lucca – florence – san gimignano – siena – arezzo – cortona – pienza – montepulciano – assisi – spoleto.

  • avoid August

Italy is a gorgeous country for a road trip , no area more so than Tuscany and Umbria, which are easily accessible by car from the UK and Europe. The rolling fields of vines and golden wheat, studded with tall cypress trees and creamy stone villas are iconic.

This is a truly epic journey packed full of culture, great food, wine, and fantastic roads. There is much to see and lots of interesting places to stop between the main route destinations, make sure to do your research before leaving home!

Pisa in northern Italy is a great place to start this road trip. The leaning tower is a bit cliched but has to be seen. Lucca is perfect to explore on foot, with narrow lanes opening onto charming piazzas lined with historic buildings.

Florence is the jewel in Tuscany’s crown. A surprisingly compact city with the imposing Duomo at the center, a must-see. Book well in advance for anything to do with the Duomo, it’s strictly ticketed and you won’t be able to buy a ticket on the day.

You’ll probably want at least two days in Florence to see everything at a manageable pace, although you can see Florence in a day if you plan well. Leaving Florence is the time to set your sat nav to ‘no autostrada’ and get off the beaten track in the Tuscan countryside …yes, it may take a little longer but it will be worth it!

San Gimignano, famous for its thirteen towers, sits high on a hill south of Florence. Between April and September, this thriving hill village is busy with tourists visiting the churches, palazzos, independent shops, and restaurants.

Onwards to Arezzo and then Cortona, one of the oldest and most scenic hill towns in Tuscany. Pienza is a delightful village and has perfect, interesting streets for wandering and admiring the 15th century architecture.

The drive through the  Val d’Orcia  from Pienza to Montepulciano on the SP146 is like driving through a film set! Sweeping curves, rolling vineyards, and photo opportunities at every bend; this is quintessential Tuscany.

From Montepulciano , follow the road around the tranquil Lake Trasimeno to Assisi, our favorite Umbrian destination. The imposing Basilica of St Francis can be seen hugging the hillside for miles around. Your last stop is the gorgeous hill town of Spoleto, stuffed with monuments, churches, and other historic buildings.

For us, this has got to be one of the best European road trips we have taken; for the fabulous ride (we did it on a motorbike, highly recommended!), the stunning landscapes, and the beautiful Italian hospitality.

  • Taking the breathtaking drive through the Val d’Orcia to Montepulciano with photo opportunities galore and a glass of local red waiting for you!
  • Discovering Siena’s perfectly laid out, beautiful fan-shaped Piazza del Campo.
  • Climbing the dome of the Duomo in Florence for spectacular views, inside and out!

Florence ⇒ AdAstra Suites  for their stunning location, classy and interesting decor, and magnificent terrace.

Montepulciano ⇒ Palazzo Carletti  for attention to detail, gorgeous frescoed interiors, and central location.

Assisi ⇒   Nun Assisi Relais and Spa  – for its lavender-filled gardens, incredible Roman spa, and fabulous restaurant.

road lined with Italian Cypress trees winding through green fields with an orange sunset sky

  • Lonely Planet Norway
  • Fodor’s Essential Norway
  • The Rough Guide to Norway
  • Norway Road Trip – Three Unmissable Routes
  • Atlantic Road Norway: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know!
  • Driving to Norway from UK – Routes & Tips
  • One Day Oslo Itinerary – Map, Guide & Tips
  • Campervanning in Norway – Tips, Routes & Destinations
  • Flåm Norway: Visitor Guide & Tips

West Coast of Norway Road Trip

Bergen – loen – geiranger – trollstigen – kristiansund – trondheim – jektvik – bodo – tromso.

Taking in the iconic sights of Norway ‘s west coast, this route will take you through tunnels, over fjords, along the Atlantic Ocean Road, and the infamous Trollstigen Mountain Road.

This is a route for those that love the journey more than the destination; it’s all about the road – even getting to Norway is a road trip in itself!

Start in  beautiful Bergen , the city surrounded by seven fjords and seven hills. There are lots of things to do here, including visiting the lively Vagen harbor in Bergen’s old quarter, Bryggen.

From Bergen, take the E39 motorway north to Loen where you’ll find the awesome new  Loen Skylift  which takes you to the top of Mount Hoven for spectacular views of the white-blue Jostedalsbreen glacier.

If you prefer to get to the top under your own steam, then take the via Ferrata up and the zip-line down! Is sea-level activity more your thing? Then head for glacial Lake Lovatnet where you can swim and kayak.

At Hellesylt, you’ll take the ferry through Geirangerfjorden to Geiranger itself before picking up the RV63, the Trollstigen Mountain Road. Incredibly beautiful, this road was opened in 1936 and includes eleven hairpin bends and a 9% incline. Stop at the Ornesvingen viewing point for incredible vistas and again at the top to admire the Stigfossen waterfall.

Once you reach Andalsnes, head west and then drive north on the E39 to Vevang, and the start of the Atlantic Ocean Road, which runs across seven bridges and follows the islands between them like a silver ribbon. If you want to visit picture-perfect  Alesund  on the way, take a slight detour and head south on the E39 instead of north – if you have a few extra days, you won’t regret it!

Next up is Trondheim, Norway’s original capital city before you head to Jektvik. You can either take the E6 Arctic Highway all the way or around 80km north of Trondheim, and just after Steinkjer, pick up the FV17 and take in the glorious landscape and coastal views from the magnificent Kystriksveien Coastal Route.

This Atlantic road route will add a fair few kilometers, two days, and six fjord ferries to your journey, but the detour will be worth it if you have the time. You’ll cross into the Arctic Circle at 66 degrees, on the ferry between Kilborghavn and Jektvik.

At Bodo, you can get a ferry out to the  Lofoten Islands  if you are making this a longer trip. Perfect for hikers and nature lovers, Lofoten has become Norway’s go-to place for adventure – you can even  swim with Orca whales  here! 

Mount Romvik, outside Bodo and with minimal light pollution, is a good place to see the Northern Lights.

Otherwise, keep on trucking to  Tromso , Norway’s party city. From here, you can head on to Nordkapp where the sun never drops below the horizon from mid-May to the end of July.

Hauntingly beautiful but incredibly busy, you may prefer the true northernmost point of continental Europe at Knivskjelodden, an 18km hike away and inaccessible to vehicles.

You could also take a ferry to Svalbard and visit the polar bears, catch the  Hurtigruten ferry  back to Bergen or Oslo , or get on a flight to pretty much anywhere in the world. Wherever you end up, it will take you a while to forget what is surely one of the best road trips in Europe.

  • Driving the thrilling and impressive Trollstigen Road from Geiranger to Andalasnes
  • Crossing the Arctic Circle into the land of the midnight sun and Northern Lights.
  • Following the Kystriksveien Coastal Route and see the real coastal Norway of fishing villages and subsistence agriculture.

Bergen ⇒ Det Hanseatiske Hotel  for its harbourside location, dining options, and cozy decor.

Narvik ⇒ Narvik Mountain Lodge  for its truly spectacular location, traditional log cabin style, and amazing coastal views.

Tromso ⇒ Scandic Ishavshotel  for its harbor location, fabulous breakfasts, and excellent customer service.

red and green shed by the edge of lake surrounded by mountains

Western Fjords Road Trip

Stavanger – preikestolen – kjeragbolten – trolltunga – flam – bergen.

This is an outdoor enthusiasts’ adventurous road trip ! If you’ve ever looked at those amazing images of people perched on tongues of rock, sheer cliffs, or precipitously balanced boulders whilst gazing out over stunning blue fjords, then this is the road trip for you. We did this Norway route by campervan , and it’s got to be one of our favorite travel experiences!

You’ll start in the pretty and typically Norwegian city of Stavanger before heading off to  hike to Preikestolen  (Pulpit Rock) which is 4km and can be done in half a day with an early start.

Next up is the  Kjeragbolten  hike, the site of a giant boulder wedged in a crevasse 1084m above Lysefjorden, where you can also base jump. This is a longer hike at 10km and you will need a full day to complete it.

Both hikes can get busy and you may have to wait if you want the obligatory photo, so allow plenty of time. If you’re not a confident hiker, consider taking a guided hike, you’ll learn lots on the way.

Everywhere you drive in Norway, you are surrounded by mountains, fjords, and waterfalls. The scenery is simply spectacular, with new thrills around each bend in the road. Route 13 from Stavanger to Odda is known as the Ryfylke National Scenic Route, one of Norway’s eighteen official touring routes designated for their stunning scenery and tourist-friendly infrastructure.

As you drive through Norway you will motor through tunnels and need to get a ferry to cross a fjord. Allow several hours drive time longer than Google Maps suggests; this is a full day drive and you should start early.

Your next stop is Odda, for the infamous Trolltunga (literally Troll’s Tongue) one of the best hikes in the world. The most challenging of the three, this hike is 20km distance across mainly flat terrain but can be tricky underfoot with changeable weather.  Hiking Trolltunga  is not for the faint-hearted or unprepared but is an absolute must-do on your Norway road trip.

Take a few day’s downtime in Flam, a small village right at the top of the beautiful Aurlandsfjord. Surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and water this is a playground for hikers, water sports enthusiasts, and mountain bikers.

From Flam, you can drive to Bergen or take the spectacular Flamsbana railway there, considered one of the most spectacular train rides in the world.

  • Taking the incredible Flam Railway to Myrdal and cycle the Rallar Road.
  • Standing on the edge of the Troll’s Tongue with the world at your feet.
  • Discovering the imposing and dramatic Lysefjorden by boat.

Stavanger ⇒   Sola Strand Hotel  for the breathtaking beachfront location and a modern spa.

Odda ⇒   Vikinghaug Apartments for their amazing fjord views and the post-Trolltunga bath!

Flam ⇒ Flåmsbrygga Hotel   for its superb central position, cozy traditional decor, and micro-brewery.

A small black clapboard church by a gree and white river

  • Lonely Planet Portugal
  • DK Eyewitness Portugal
  • The Rough Guide to Portugal
  • Road Trip Portugal – Two Incredible Itineraries
  • Driving from Lisbon to Porto: Itinerary, Route & Tips
  • Driving to Portugal from UK – Routes & Tips
  • Campervanning in Portugal: Complete Guide

Atlantic Coast Road Trip

Porto – coimbra – nazare – sintra – lisbon.

Portugal is a tiny country but it packs one hell of a punch. This Portugal road trip itinerary can be managed in five days, but seven gives you the opportunity to revel in the cities of Porto and Lisbon and enjoy a beach stop en route.  

You could easily drive from Lisbon to Porto as a 7 day road trip in Europe from UK if you fly into Porto and out of Lisbon, or vice versa. One-way car rental is possible from either airport.

Porto is a lively and fun city, intimate and friendly. There’s a lot to do in  Porto  but walking over the mighty Douro river on the iconic Luis I Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia and the historic port lodges, has to be top of the list.

Head south from here to the  less-traveled city of Coimbra , Portugal’s ancient capital. Stacked on the banks of the river Mondego, the Moorish old town is dramatic and atmospheric. This is a great place to stop at a bar for authentic live fado or Portuguese guitar music.

Halfway between Coimbra and Lisbon, take a short detour to Nazare on Portugal’s Silver Coast. Known for its monster waves and daredevil surfers, this is a great place if you like huge beaches and dramatic landscapes.

Heading south, Sintra, in the mountains of the same name, is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of place. Home to Portuguese royalty for centuries, the lush landscape is dotted with pastel-colored palaces, villas, and houses.

You can also take a  day trip to Sintra from Lisbon  if you’d prefer to base yourself in the city. Visit and decide for yourself!

Finally to wonderful Lisbon for picture-postcard panoramas and fabulous food!  This most Portuguese of cities serves up fantastic bacalhau, pastel de nana, and port from the Douro Valley. Head for the exotic Tropical Botanical Gardens and stroll amongst giant banana plants before visiting the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a haven of peace amongst the bustling city.

If you want to stretch your week in Portugal, you’ll find the beautiful Algarve region just three hours south of Lisbon. This stunning part of Portugal is famous for its incredible beaches and perfect climate. Make for the charming town of Lagos and stay at  Vivenda Miranda , a beautifully restored boutique hotel.

  • Taking a port wine tour and tasting in one of Porto’s historic port wine lodges.
  • Heading to a fado bar to hear the traditional and haunting music of Portugal played live.
  • Tasting hundreds of delicious foods at the Mercado de Ribeira, Lisbon’s buzzy food hall.

Porto ⇒ Flores Village Hotel and Spa for its central location, roof-top bar views, and stylish design.

Coimbra ⇒ Sapientia Boutique Hotel  for the perfect location, stylish design, and warm hospitality.

Lisbon ⇒ Valverde Hotel for its gorgeous interiors, walkable location, and courtyard pool.

red roofed colourful houses and domed topped church in front of sea and cloudy sky

  • Lonely Planet Spain
  • DK Eyewitness Road Trips Spain
  • The Rough Guide to Spain
  • Spain Travel Guide
  • Six of the Best Road Trips in Spain
  • The Perfect Andalucia Road Trip: Itinerary, Map & Tips
  • North Spain Road Trip: Itinerary, Route & Tips
  • Madrid in One Day – Itinerary, Map, Tips & Guide
  • One Day in Barcelona – Itinerary, Map, Tips & Guide
  • Driving from UK to Spain – Routes & Tips
  • Motorhoming in Spain: Your Complete Guide

Andalucia Road Trip

Marbella – ronda – cadiz – jerez de la frontera – seville – cordoba – granada.

Andalucia epitomizes Spain for most visitors; vibrant, colorful, and passionate. This itinerary will take you to the major cities of Andalucia, bringing Spain alive.

If you’re looking for a longer holiday, it’s perfect for a 3 week European road trip itinerary with a bit of beach time thrown in,  even if you visit in winter .

This is a perfect road trip to start and finish in Malaga. Fly in, hire a car, and within a few hours, you can be on the beaches of the Costa del Sol, enjoying year-round sunshine.

In Marbella, spend a day soaking up the sun and visiting the charming old town. Make for  Taberna Casa Curro Marbella  where you’ll find great tapas and fruity Spanish wine.

Head north to Ronda and the stunning mountains of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. If you have a few extra days, now is the time to visit the atmospheric cities of Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera.

Your next stop is  Seville , a city almost too good to be true, and everything you ever through Seville would be.

Cordoba  is home to the breathtaking Mezquita, or mosque-cathedral, started by the Moors and finished by the Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century. Seeing this alone would make a visit to Cordoba worthwhile.

Pass through Antequera and learn the local legend of the  Lovers Rock  before making your way high into the Sierra Nevada to Granada and the famous Alhambra. Make sure you book your  priority tickets online  at least three months in advance, this ancient palace of kings sells out quickly.

  • Visiting the beautiful  La Casa del Rey Moro  in Ronda for unrivaled views of the Puenta Nuevo.
  • Watching steamy live flamenco in Seville’s atmospheric Barrio Santa Cruz.
  • Being wowed by the incredible Moorish architecture of the Mezquita in Cordoba.

Marbella ⇒ Amare Beach Hotel  for its fun adults-only vibe and glamorous beach club. 

Seville ⇒ Casa del Poeta  for the beautifully renovated interiors, Barrio Santa Cruz location, and roof-top views to die for.

Granada ⇒ Hotel Santa Isabel la Real  for cozy rooms, spectacular Alhambra views, and a really special cooked breakfast.

creamy coloured palace with snow capped mountains behind

Northern Spain Road Trip

San sabastian – bilbao – comillas – oviedo – ribadeo – a coruna – santiago de compostela.

  • April-October

This Spanish road trip will take you through the beautiful and lush, aptly named Green Spain, hugging the north coast along the Bay of Biscay.

From the border with France and through the regions of the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia, you’ll see some of the most picturesque landscapes in Spain, enjoy amazing food, and crisscross the famous  Camino de Santiago .

Start in San Sabastian, a sophisticated city with a renowned restaurant scene, famous for seafood and pintxos (pronounced pinchos), which are similar to tapas.

Take a  gastronomic tour  for the best experience. Eat your fill and head west to Bilbao, home of the incredible  Guggenheim museum . The building itself is a work of art, with beautifully curved and sweeping architecture.

Head west, making sure to stop at the  cave of El Castillo  to see the 35,000-year-old drawings there.

Continue along the coast to the stunning Santillana del Mar, known as the town of the three lies; not holy (santi), flat (llana) or by the sea (del mar) .

This medieval town is beautifully preserved and worth a wander before you make your way to Comillas, further along the coast. Traditionally low-rise, you’ll find a pretty beach, a tiny fishing port, and a charming cobbled old center here.

Don’t miss El Caprichio, a Gaudi-designed villa.  If you have a few extra days, head into the  Picos de Europa , the small but perfectly formed mountain range.

Oviedo is the next stop and the starting point of the lesser-known Camino Primitivo (the oldest Camino). This compact and elegant city is another foodie delight, with a lively gastronomic scene.

Home to Spanish cider (who knew?), you’ll find traditional sidrerias along Calle Gascona, known as cider boulevard.   Visit in September for  Fiestas de San Mateo , a live theatre and music spectacular. If you go in October, you’ll be in the middle of the Asturias apple harvest.

A Coruna is up next, passing by the spectacular Playa de Las Catedrales en route. There is so much to do in A Coruna, a dynamic city that is home to a busy modern port, a relaxed beachfront resort, and an atmospheric old town.

The seafood here is some of the freshest and finest in Spain, with seafood tapas being a specialty. Take a walk out to the Tower of Hercules, the least-looking lighthouse we have ever seen!

Finally, you’ll reach  Santiago de Compostela , the end point of the famous Camino de Santiago, and your last stop. As you enter the town, you’ll see pilgrims covering the final few miles into one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, proudly displaying their vieira, the scallop shell badge that you’ll have seen along your route .  

Twisting alleys, dramatic squares, and historic religious buildings make up this labyrinth of a city, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are too many must-sees to list so consider a  walking tour with a local  to make the most of the time you have in this gorgeous city.

  • Eating delicious  pintxos straight from the bar in the Basque Country. 
  • Walking along the boardwalks at Playa de Las Catedrales and marvel at the extraordinary natural arches.
  • Exploring the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela and make the climb to Las Cubiertas , the cathedral roof, for incredible views of the city and landscape beyond.

San Sebastian ⇒ Lasala Plaza Hotel  for a big dose of glamour, sea views, and a cool rooftop pool.

Oviedo ⇒ Barcelo Oviedo Cervantes  for its laid-back vibe, modern decor, and smooth service.

Santiago de Compostela ⇒ Parador De Santiago de Compostela  for its history, traditional decor, and HUGE breakfast buffet.

Large and ornate Roccoco cathedral in Spain

Switzerland

  • Fodor’s Essential Switzerland
  • Rough Guide to Switzerland
  • DK Eyewitness Switzerland  
  • Switzerland Road Trip: The Best Itinerary + Map & Tips
  • One Day in Zurich – Itinerary, Map, Tips & Guide

Road Trip to the Alps

Zurich – bern – lausanne – geneva – montreux – nendaz – zermatt – interlaken – lauterbrunnen – grindelwald – furka pass – lucerne – zurich.

This two week Switzerland summer road trip will take you on a spectacular, circular drive through Switzerland’s iconic landscapes covering roughly 1000km south across western Switzerland to Geneva before heading east towards Zermatt and eventually back north to Zurich.

Starting in Zurich, your first stop will be Bern, found within the curves of the Aare river. Bern is the capital city of Switzerland and is known for its 12th century architecture that forms the old town or Alstadt . Your visit to Bern would be incomplete without exploring Lake Brienz, just north of the Alps, which offers breathtaking mountain views and is considered one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland .

After your trip to Bern, begin traveling south to Lausanne, Geneva, and Montreux, visiting Lac Léman en route. 

The following stretch of your trip will provide unrivaled views of Les Diablerets as you head towards Zermatt where you will be met with the iconic Matterhorn, a mountain in the Swiss Alps.

At this point, your road trip starts the route east taking you to Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, and Grindelwald where hiking, mountain views, waterfalls and plenty of exciting adventures await.

As you leave Grindelwald, make sure you save time for the Furka Pass as you head to Lucerne. Our Swiss road trip itinerary will continue north to our initial starting point, the city of Zurich.

  • Driving the incredible Alps passes of Furka and Susten, high in the picturesque Bernese Highlands.
  • Taking one of the many cog-wheeled trains or cable cars into the big mountains that Switzerland is famous for.
  • Exploring the incredible Jungfraujoch from Lauterbrunnen, an absolutely epic day trip!

Zurich ⇒ Placid Hotel Design & Lifestyle for its very cool interiors, accessible location, and free bikes to help you explore the city.

Geneva ⇒ Hotel Mon Repos  for its excellent location, beautifully decorated rooms, and comfy beds.

Lauterbrunnen ⇒ Hotel Schützen Lauterbrunnen for its Swiss chalet style, cozy restaurant and terrace, and friendly service.

The incredible Furka pass

United Kingdom

  • Lonely Planet Great Britain
  • DK Eyewitness Great Britain
  • Rough Guides Make the Most of Your Time in Britain
  • United Kingdom Travel Guide
  • UK Road Trip – 18 Unmissable Routes
  • Eight Incredible Scotland Road Trips
  • North Coast 500 Route Planner + Highlights, Map & Tips
  • Road Trip England – 10 of the Best Routes
  • Wales Road Trip – A Stunning Route & Itinerary
  • A South England Road Trip to Dorset & The New Forest
  • Cornwall Road Trip: The Best Itinerary, Map & Tips
  • Causeway Coastal Route: The Best Road Trip In Ireland?
  • Belfast in A Day: Itinerary, Map & Tips
  • Atlantic Highway: An Epic Devon & Cornwall Road Trip

Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

Derry-londonderry – port rush – bushmills – cushendun – carrickfergus – belfast.

The wild and unspoiled  Antrim Coast  in Northern Ireland is made for a road trip. Peppered with fascinating places to see and exciting things to do, this route will appeal to outdoor adventurers.

If you are a  Game of Thrones fan , there are lots of  places along this route  which featured in the show or book a tour to find them all.

Start in the walled city of Derry-Londonderry, one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe and the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland. The walls, which are around 1.5km in circumference, form a walkway around the inner city and provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town.

From here head north on the coast road, past the magnificent and unmistakable mountain of Binevenagh, and stop at Benone beach for a bracing walk along the sands. Don’t miss the Mussenden Temple perched on the cliff edge at the easternmost point of the beach.

Make your way to the pretty seaside town of Port Rush for a local ice cream and local craft shopping before meandering along the coast to Bushmills, home of the whiskey distillery. This is the perfect starting point for the gloriously breathtaking Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO site.

As you head west, make sure to stop at the picture-perfect harbor of Ballintoy and test yourself at the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge.

Take in the conservation village of Cushendun, steeped in character and folklore before heading on to Carrickfergus Castle. This imposing Norman castle stands on the northern shore of Belfast Lough and is one of the best-preserved medieval structures on the island of Ireland.

Belfast is your final stop; don’t miss the fantastic Titanic Quarter, historic Crumlin Road Gaol, and the buzzing nightlife of the Cathedral Quarter. Check out this detailed post for more  things to do in Belfast .

If you have longer, start in Belfast and head in the opposite direction. From Derry-Londonderry head across the border into raw and wild Co. Donegal and pick up the Wild Atlantic Way. This makes for a great island of Ireland 2 week road trip in Europe.

  • Discovering the Giant’s Causeway, a truly spectacular natural wonder.
  • Crossing the iconic Peace Bridge in Derry-Londonderry and then walking the ancient city walls.
  • Taking a black cab mural tour in Belfast for a unique cabbie’s take on local politics and the troubles.

Londonderry ⇒ Bishop’s Gate Hotel for its perfect location, fascinating history, and tasteful decor.

Bushmills ⇒ The Bushmills Inn Hotel  for its homely peat fires, great Irish breakfast, and proximity to the Giant’s Causeway.

Belfast ⇒ Ten Square Hotel  for its superb central location, fantastic grill restaurant, and contemporary decor.

narrow road running by sea with green hills on the other side

Norfolk Road Trip, England

Norwich – wroxham – winterton – cromer – hunstanton – sandringham – king’s lynn.

  • Distance 175km
  • Duration 5-7 days
  • Drive Time 3 hours

This delightful coastal road trip will take you through the county of Norfolk to the Norfolk Broads, old-fashioned English seaside resorts, and onto the beautiful and unspoiled North Norfolk Coast .

Summer road trips in the UK are best if you want sunshine, but visit the UK in winter for more cost-effective travel and you’ll enjoy incredible beaches, big skies, and perfect solitude, especially when you road trip in Norfolk , England.

From the historic and pretty city of Norwich , head east towards Wroxham, the self-styled capital of the Broads. The dramatic landscapes and raw natural beauty of the Norfolk Broads were created when peat digs flooded in the 14th century.

This area is now a national park and a haven for wildlife and birds. Take a Broads cruise, hire a boat, or head off for a long walk along towpaths and through fields, where seeing flapping sails in the river is an everyday occurrence.

Nearby is the loud and bright town of Great Yarmouth , a traditional bucket and spade destination, with great nearby beaches and lots to do – you certainly won’t get bored here!

From the Broads, head east to explore the pretty towns and incredible beaches of the Norfolk coast . Winterton-on-Sea is a perfect place to see seal pups in the winter. Further north is the popular seaside town of Cromer, renowned for its lively pier.

From Cromer make a short detour south to the stunning Jacobean  Blickling Hall , home of Anne Boleyn.

Continue along the coast road to Blakeney and practice your crabbing skills from the harbor. Make a stop at the beautiful and huge Holkham Beach, where the ending of ‘Shakespeare in Love’ was filmed.

Onwards from here to Hunstanton, another bucket and spade destination , which is close to the medieval and Hanseatic port town of King’s Lynn . 

From here it’s a short drive to  Sandringham , home of the Queen. There are lots of things to do here, including visiting the house, gardens and country park.

If you have time, head to 12th century  Castle Rising  before making your way to the Hanseatic town of Kings Lynn. The town’s heritage is reflected in the fine merchants’ houses which stretch down to the river between cobbled lanes and the elegant Custom House that overlooks the harbor.

  • Walking on Holkham Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
  • Traditional, delicious and fresh fish and chips from No 1 Cromer .
  • Discover the stunning historic estates of Blickling Hall and Holkham Hall.

Norwich ⇒ The Georgian Townhouse   for its informal vibe, lively bar and restaurant, and contemporary decor.

Thornham ⇒  The Lifeboat Inn  for its romantic retreat-style location, open fires, and really seriously good pub grub.

King’s Lynn ⇒ Bank House  for its prime location, Grade II exterior, and go-to, lively brasserie.

red and white stiped lighthouse in a field of ripe rapeseed

North Coast 500 Road Trip, Scotland

Inverness – wick – john o’groats – durness – lochinver – ullapool – applecross.

  • Distance 830km
  • Duration 2-3 weeks
  • Drive Time 12 hours

A favorite of motorhomers and campervanners, this iconic Scottish road trip is a 516 mile route that wends its way around the spectacular north coast of Scotland, starting and ending in Inverness. 

Passing through the remote and wild landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and the spectacular west coast, the North Coast 500 route delivers dramatic roads with spectacular views and is one of the must-do road trips in the United Kingdom .

  • Hiking to beautiful  Sandwood Bay Beach , for the incredible sight of the Am Buachaille sea stack, a remnant of when the Highlands and North America were connected, millions of years ago.
  • Whale watching from Gairloch, where you might also see porpoise, dolphins, and sharks, as well as seals, otters, puffins, and maybe white-tailed eagles. 
  • Driving Bealach na Ba, the legendary Applecross Pass, and one of the best (but also most dangerous) roads in the UK.

Inverness ⇒ Kingsmills Hotel  for its traditional Scottish decor, lively bar, and spa.

Wick ⇒   Mackays Hotel for its award-winning service, great restaurant, and ideal location.

Gairloch ⇒   Shieldaig Lodge Hotel  for its wonderful lochside location, traditional hunting lodge style, and seriously good breakfast.

Scottish loch with a small bothy beside in in fall

Snowdonia to the Brecon Beacons, Wales

Snowdonia – portmeirion – barmouth – new quay – pembrokeshire – gower peninsula – mumbles – brecon beacons.

  • Distance 256km
  • Drive Time 7 hours

Small but perfectly formed, the glorious country of Wales is a road tripper’s dream. With soaring mountains and valleys, miles of golden sands, craggy headlands, and some incredible roads, head to Wales for an adventurous and eclectic road trip.

Start your road trip itinerary in the spectacular Snowdonia National Park, or Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri in Welsh, in north Wales for drama, huge skies, and plenty of outdoor adventures. Perfect as a base for a few days, Betws-y-Coed is a typical mountain town in a beautiful valley, full of companies offering outdoor adventures, shops selling outdoor gear, and pubs and restaurants full of hikers talking about the day’s activities.

Your next stop is Portmeirion, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful places in Wales. Portmeirion is best known for Portmeirion Pottery (now made in Stoke-on-Trent) and its role in the 1960’s cult TV show The Prisoner . Look beyond the obvious though and enjoy local walks, tropical gardens, and interesting architecture.

Families with love Barmouth and its location on the west coast has to be one of the most beautiful in Wales. Steeped in a history rich with connections to the shipping and slate industries, this is a good old-fashioned seaside resort with a west facing beach ideal for sea swimming and watersports. 

Head south through coastal mid-wales to the vibrant seaside town of New Quay, following the Coastal Way along the length of Ceredigion Bay. Popular with tourists for its picturesque harbor and sandy beach, New Quay is an ideal base for water sports like sailing, stand-up paddle, kayaking, and canoeing – you’ll find lots to pack in for a couple of days.

Next up is Pembrokeshire, famous for its rough cliffs, huge beaches, and remote islands. The coast of Pembrokeshire offers limitless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and is one of the most stunning places in the UK. 

Pembrokeshire boasts that it invented coasteering, and it’s an activity you must try. The sport of jumping from land to sea, cliff scrambling, and swimming between rocks will stretch you mentally and physically but give you hours of fun. There is also lots of opportunity for swimming, paddling and generally messing about on the water.

Your next stop is the spectacular Gower Peninsula in south Wales, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty famous for its breathtaking coastline, 30 or so unspoiled beaches and coves, and coastal walking, including the gorgeous Rhossili Beach and the dramatic Worm’s Head, whose long ridged back rises straight from the sea.

Stop at Mumbles, a traditional seaside town, and walk along the bustling prom, where rollerbladers weave between pedestrians, and ice-cream parlors tempt.

Make a detour to the infamous Top Gear road, the Black Mountain Pass, as you head into the Brecon Beacons, or Bannau Brycheiniog in Welsh, for more fantastic hiking, especially if you tackle Pen y Fan, and incredible views.

  • Driving the Black Mountain Pass and the Gospel Pass through the Brecon Beacons.
  • Paddleboarding at the Blue Lagoon at Abereiddy in Pembrokeshire.
  • Visiting the puffins and wildlife of Skomer Island.

Snowdonia ⇒ Ty Gwyn Hotel in Betws-y-Coed for its great location, friendly welcome, and traditional decor.

New Quay ⇒  Rooms @ The Dolau Inn for its location close to the beach, cozy rooms, and Welsh hospitality.

Pembrokeshire ⇒   Heywood Spa Hotel in Tenby for its luxury facilities, comfortable rooms, and great location.

brightly painted houses and a beach with small fishing boats

European Road Trip Resources

Here are the websites and services we personally use and recommend for planning a European road trip.

  • Search for affordable flights to Europe with Skyscanner
  • Search for availability and book hotels and accommodation in Europe with Booking.com
  • Find and book the best campsites in Europe with Eurocampings
  • Book the cheapest and most reliable hire cars in Europe with Rentalcars.com
  • Best for ferries around Europe are Ferryhopper
  • Find and hire your perfect motorhome or campervan with Indie Campers
  • Get highly rated, reliable, and trustworthy travel insurance with True Traveller
  • Check if you need a visa and arrange your documents with Visagov

Information About Driving in Europe

  • Driving in Europe – Everything You Need to Know
  • How to Plan a Road Trip – Your Complete Guide
  • 19 Helpful Long Distance Driving Tips
  • Road Trip on a Budget: 36 Tips to Save Money in Europe
  • The Best Printable Road Trip Checklists
  • 150+ Road Trip Songs: Your Ultimate Driving Playlist
  • Podcasts for Road Trips: 26 to Keep You Entertained
  • Road Trip Snacks: 32 Ideas for Your Next Trip
  • 113 Road Trip Quotes to Inspire Your Next Trip
  • You must have at least three months remaining on your passport (issued in the past ten years) at your intended date of departure from Europe. If you’re traveling to Ireland , your passport must remain valid for the duration of your stay (UK citizens do not need a passport to visit Ireland, which is in the Common Travel Area).
  • You must have at least 3rd party insurance for your vehicle.
  • Citizens of non-EU third countries may require an International Driving Permit for driving in Europe . You can check whether you need an IDP here .
  • Most of Europe drives on the right, except the United Kingdom which drives on the left.
  • Most European countries, especially those with mountains, have rules about snow tires and snow chains. Make sure you check these rules if you’re taking a road trip to Europe in colder weather.
  • You may want to consider carrying an  electronic toll pass  for the duration of your European road trip itinerary. These devices deduct the toll fees from a credit card automatically, meaning you don’t have to stop at a booth or barrier.
  • Many cities across Europe have low emissions zones, which can be easy to stray into accidentally.  The Urban Access Regulation in Europe  website has information on a country and city-by-city basis, to help you plan your trip. They also share links for purchasing LEZ and ULEZ stickers online.
  • Make sure you’re aware of the specific rules for each European country that you intend to visit. Some have obscure rules about driving in flip-flops or eating road trip snacks at the wheel! You can find more information about the rules of the road and what to carry in your vehicle  here .
  • Although it is strongly advised, you are not required to have breakdown cover. UK registered vehicles may be able to add this to an existing policy or take out a policy for the duration of the trip. If you’re hiring a car to road trip around Europe, make sure to check breakdown arrangements with the car rental company.

Looking for more Europe itinerary ideas? Check out these top posts…

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Stelvio Pass: The Best Mountain Road in Italy?

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Spain Road Trip: 8 Amazing Routes for an Epic Trip

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Croatia Road Trips: Five Incredible Routes

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The Mindful Traveller

The Mindful Traveller

Eco Travel Blog & Photography

Most Scenic Road Trips in Europe: 16 Epic Routes

13 October 2023 · In: Europe , Road Trip

recommended europe trip route

Are you looking for the  most beautiful and scenic road trips in Europe ? Adventure lovers, you have come to the right place! This article walks you through  16 road trip ideas to add to your bucket list  for an unforgettable holiday, whether you are travelling for 7 days or 2 weeks.

Europe is a breathtaking destination  which has much to offer! From quaint villages and stunning natural landscapes to emblematic historical sites and tasty local cuisine, you will find  plenty of things to do and places to see  on a European road trip in both summer and winter.

Born in Paris and living in Manchester in the UK,  I consider Europe my home , continually exploring it and discovering something new. Each country has something exceptional to offer, and I am always surprised by their  cultural diversity . 

So, are you ready to discover the  top 16 Europe road trips that you must experience ? Let’s get started! And, of course, let me know in the comments below if you have any other suggestions 🙂

Disclosure : Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, we will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, please  read our full affiliate disclosure .

16- Vienna to Innsbruck, Austria

Overview: 16 epic european road trips.

1- Iceland Ring Road 2- North Coast 500, Scotland 3- The Loire Valley, France 4- The Romantic Road, Germany 5- Pula to Dubrovnik, Croatia 6- The Atlantic Coast, Portugal 7- The Tuscan Countryside, Italy 8- The Atlantic Road, Norway

9- The Peloponnese region, Greece 10- Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland 11- Andalusian Escape, Spain 12- Montenegro Loop 13- London to Edinburgh, UK 14- Baltic States Route 15- Into the Wilderness, Finland 16- Vienna to Innsbruck, Austria

recommended europe trip route

Best Europe road trips – Map

recommended europe trip route

16 breathtaking road trip routes in Europe

Here are 16 road trips to inspire your next European adventure. Each of these routes is easily accessible by car, campervan or motorbike. But also be sure to check road conditions, especially during the winter months, and book your accommodation in advance.

Best car rental options

Looking for the best car rental deals for your road trip in Europe?

Check out Rentalcars.com to search and compare which one is best for you. From affordable to luxury, they make it easy to choose and have a great selection of rental agents.

1- Iceland Ring Road

recommended europe trip route

⏰  Duration : 7-10 days 📆  When to go : summer (June-August) 

The Iceland Ring Road, also known as  Route 1 , is the main route  that circles the entire island  and connects most of the major towns and attractions, making it an ideal road trip route for exploring the country.

This incredible road offers one of the  most famous and scenic drives  in the world, where you will be able to experience the best of Iceland through its  breathtaking landscapes , including glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, hot springs, black sand beaches and more!

Iceland is one of my favourite countries, and I never get tired of it. It is also the  perfect place for a road trip  due to its Ring Road forming a complete loop around the island,  accessible any time of the year , although I would be careful and focus on the South in winter.

READ MORE: 9 Perfect Days in Iceland: Ring Road Itinerary

ITINERARY 

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering the most iconic natural wonders in Iceland:

Day 1: Reykjavik

  • Start your road trip in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.
  • Discover the main attractions and sites, including Hallgrímskirkja Church, Harpa Concert Hall and the downtown area.
  • Bathe in the  Blue Lagoon , a relaxing geothermal spa.

Day 2: Golden Circle

Explore the Golden Circle , which includes three highlights:

  • Thingvellir National Park: walk (or swim) between tectonic plates and visit Lake Thingvallavatn.
  • Geysir Geothermal Area: see the still active and erupting Strokkur Geyser and its hot springs.
  • Gullfoss Waterfall: admire the stunning waterfall.

Day 3: South Coast

Head to the south coast and visit attractions such as:

  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall: walk behind the waterfall.
  • Skogafoss Waterfall: climb to the top for panoramic views.
  • Reynisfjara Beach: discover the black sand beach and its basalt columns.
  • Vik: stop to discover this charming town.

Day 4: Vatnajökull National Park

Explore Vatnajökull National Park:

  • Skaftafell: hike to Svartifoss waterfall or take a  glacier hike  (I highly recommend it! In winter, you can also join an  ice cave tour ).
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: marvel at the floating icebergs.

Day 5: East Fjords

  • Take the day to travel through the picturesque East Fjords, stopping at fishing villages and enjoying scenic views.
  • Visit Seydisfjordur, a lovely hidden town with colourful houses.

Day 6: North Iceland

  • Visit Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe.
  • Travel north to visit places like Húsavík (known for  whale watching ) and Goðafoss Waterfall.
  • Explore the town of Akureyri, the second-largest city in Iceland.

Day 7: Northwest Iceland and back to Reykjavik

  • Explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and its dramatic landscapes.
  • Return to Reykjavik.

RING ROAD MAP

Click on the top left of the map to display the list of stops and locations.

2- North Coast 500, Scotland

recommended europe trip route

⏰  Duration : 5-7 days 📆  When to go : spring & summer (May-September) 

The North Coast 500 (NC500) is a scenic driving route taking you on a circular journey through some of the  most picturesque and remote parts  of the northern Scottish Highlands. It is a fantastic way to explore the  beauty and rich heritage  of the country.

This popular route covers around 500 miles (805 kilometres) of stunning scenery, rugged coastlines, historic sites and charming villages. Some of its highlights include the wild  Torridon Mountains , the fairytale-like  Dunrobin Castle  and the secluded  Cape Wrath .

This road trip itinerary is also perfect for nature lovers! You will find  many outdoor activities  possible, such as hiking, cycling and wildlife spotting. In addition, the area is known for  birdwatching and stargazing  due to its low light pollution. And in winter, you might be lucky enough to  see the Northern Lights !

Here is an example of a  7- day itinerary  covering the main highlights of the North Coast 500:

Day 1: Inverness

  • Start your road trip in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands.
  • Visit Inverness Castle and stroll along the River Ness.
  • Explore the nearby Culloden Battlefield and Clava Cairns.

Day 2: Ullapool

  • Drive to Ullapool, a picturesque fishing village.
  • Along the way, stop at the Rogie Falls and Corrieshalloch Gorge.
  • In Ullapool, enjoy fresh seafood and walk along the harbour.

Day 3: Durness

  • Head north along the coast, passing through the spectacular scenery of Assynt.
  • Stop at Ardvreck Castle and the Bone Caves.
  • Visit Smoo Cave near Durness.

Day 4: Thurso

  • Continue to drive along the north coast to Thurso.
  • Explore the stunning beaches of Balnakeil and Sandwood Bay.
  • Visit the Castle and Gardens of Mey.

Day 5: John O’Groats and Wick

  • Drive to John O’Groats, the northernmost point of mainland Britain.
  • Visit Duncansby Head and its distinctive sea stacks.
  • Head south to Wick and explore the town, including the Old Pulteney Distillery.

Day 6: Dingwall

  • Leave the north coast and head south to Dingwall.
  • Along the way, visit the Black Isle, known for its picturesque villages and dolphin-watching opportunities.
  • Explore the town of Dingwall and its surrounding areas.

Day 7: Return to Inverness

  • Drive back to Inverness and complete the North Coast 500 loop.
  • Along the way, consider visiting the historic town of Beauly and the Beauly Priory.
  • Return to Inverness, where you can spend your final evening exploring, shopping or relaxing.

3- The Loire Valley, France

recommended europe trip route

⏰  Duration : 5 days 📆  When to go : spring & summer (May-September) 

The Loire Valley, located in central France, is a  picturesque and historic region  known for its magnificent castles, vineyards, picturesque villages and beautiful countryside. It is the ideal place to learn more about the  rich culture and history of France .

Not only a paradise for history and architecture enthusiasts, this road trip itinerary is also a delight for food, wine and nature lovers. It offers a  perfect blend of cultural, culinary and natural experiences  that make it a popular destination for travellers from around the world.

I feel lucky to say that  I was born in the Loire Valley , more precisely in Orleans. I loved the area and its cultural landmarks. It always felt great to be in the countryside whilst still being close to major cities like Paris. I am sure you will love exploring the many castles (châteaux) – a  great location for families with children !

Here is an example of a  5-day itinerary  covering some of the most famous châteaux and attractions in the Loire Valley:

Day 1: Tours

  • Start your road trip in Tours, a city in the heart of the Loire Valley.
  • Explore its historic Old Town with half-timbered houses and Place Plumereau.
  • Visit the Cathédrale Saint-Gatien and the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
  • Take a walk along the banks of the Loire.

Day 2: Château de Villandry and Château d’Azay-le-Rideau

  • Drive to Château de Villandry, famous for its superb Renaissance gardens.
  • Continue to Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, a fairytale castle set on an island in the Indre River.

Day 3: Château de Chambord and Château de Cheverny

  • Visit the iconic  Château de Chambord , a masterpiece of the French Renaissance.
  • Explore its massive double-helix staircase and its vast garden.
  • Head to Château de Cheverny, famous for its elegant interiors and well-preserved furniture.
  • If you have time, you can also discover the pretty village of Cheverny and its vineyards.

Day 4: Château de Chenonceau and Amboise

  • Visit the elegant  Château de Chenonceau , spanning the Cher River.
  • Explore the stunning gardens and galleries of the castle.
  • Drive to the town of Amboise, where you can visit Château d’Amboise and Clos Lucé, the former home of Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Spend the evening exploring the quaint streets of Amboise.

Day 5: Wine tasting and back to Tours

  • Enjoy a wine-tasting experience at a local vineyard in the Vouvray or Montlouis-sur-Loire wine region.
  • Return to Tours in the afternoon.
  • Spend your last evening in Tours sampling local cuisine and wine.

LOIRE VALLEY MAP 

4- The Romantic Road, Germany 

recommended europe trip route

⏰  Duration : 4-5 days 📆  When to go : spring & summer (May-September) 

The Romantic Road (Romantische Straße) in Germany is one of the  most famous and scenic tourist routes , taking you through charming villages, historic towns and beautiful countryside. You will embark on a journey filled with  medieval architecture, stunning landscapes and a feeling of romance . 

The road stretches for around 350 kilometres (220 miles) through the  southern part of Germany,  near the border with Austria, and is a great way to immerse yourself in  German history and culture  as you come across many influential landmarks.

And for any  food lover  out there, you have come to the right place! The region along the Romantic Road is known for its  delicious Bavarian cuisine , including sausages, sauerkraut, schnitzels and pretzels. And do not forget to try  local beers and wines , such as Franconian wine.

READ MORE: Bavaria Road Trip: Epic 1-Week Itinerary

Here is an example of a  5-day itinerary  covering some of the most iconic stops along the Romantic Road:

Day 1: Würzburg

  • Start your road trip in Würzburg, a city known for its stunning Residenz Palace.
  • Explore the Residenz and its beautiful gardens.
  • Take a stroll through the Old Town.
  • Enjoy a glass of Franconian wine at a local wine tavern.

Day 2: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

  • Drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany.
  • Explore its charming streets and walk along the city walls.
  • Visit the Town Hall and St. Jacob’s Church.
  • Try a Schneeball, a local pastry speciality.

Day 3: Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen

  • Head to Dinkelsbühl, another picturesque medieval town along the Romantic Road.
  • Explore its well-preserved city walls and the Cathedral of St. George.
  • Relax in the charming market square.
  • Continue to Nördlingen, a town located in a meteorite crater. 
  • Visit the Daniel Tower for panoramic views.

Day 4: Augsburg

  • Drive to Augsburg, one of the oldest cities in Germany.
  • Visit its historic Old Town, home to the Augsburger Dom and the Fuggerei, the oldest social housing complex.
  • Explore Maximilianstraße and its beautiful Renaissance buildings.

Day 5: Füssen and Neuschwanstein Castle

  • Head to Füssen, a pretty town located at the foot of the Bavarian Alps.
  • Visit Hohes Schloss.
  • Explore the picturesque streets of the town.
  • Do a quick detour to  Neuschwanstein Castle , the iconic fairytale castle.
  • Take a guided tour of the castle or enjoy the views from Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge).
  • Return to Füssen to end your road trip.

ROMANTIC ROAD MAP 

5- Pula to Dubrovnik, Croatia

recommended europe trip route

⏰  Duration : 7-10 days 📆  When to go : spring (May-June) & autumn (September-October)

A road trip from Pula to Dubrovnik in Croatia is an adventure you should not miss, as it takes you  along the stunning Adriatic coast  through historic towns and beautiful landscapes. The country has become an increasingly  popular tourist destination  in recent years, and you will understand why!

The perfect  blend of natural beauty  (from the coastline to national parks),  historic monuments and vibrant culture  make Croatia a diverse and attractive destination for travellers looking to explore the Adriatic coast and immerse themselves in  European history and lifestyle .

Stretching for over 1,700 kilometres, the coastline of Croatia is  ideal for a road trip under the sun with friends , with its thousand islands, crystal-clear waters, pebble and sandy beaches and traditional coastal towns.

READ MORE: 20 Best Summer Destinations in Europe

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering the main highlights of a road trip from Pula to Dubrovnik:

Day 1: Pula

  • Start your road trip in Pula.
  • Explore its Roman heritage, including the well-preserved Pula Arena, Temple of Augustus and Arch of the Sergii.
  • Relax on one of its beautiful beaches.

Day 2: Rovinj

  • Continue south to Rovinj, one of the most charming towns of Istria.
  • Wander its cobblestone streets, visit the St. Euphemia Church and explore the Old Town.
  • Enjoy fresh seafood at a local waterfront restaurant.

Day 3: Poreč

  • Head to Poreč, known for its UNESCO-listed Euphrasian Basilica and historic Old Town.
  • Explore the basilica complex and its Roman heritage.

Day 4: Zadar

  • Leave Istria and continue your road trip south to Zadar.
  • Explore its Old Town, including the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun installations.
  • Visit St. Donatus Church and the Roman Forum.

Day 5: Šibenik

  • Drive to Šibenik, a historic town known for its impressive St. James Cathedral.
  • Explore the cathedral and the charming Old Town.
  • Take a boat trip to nearby islands or Krka National Park .

Day 6: Split

  • Head to Split, the second-largest city in Croatia.
  • Explore Diocletian’s Palace , a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Stroll through the historic Old Town.
  • Enjoy the lively atmosphere along the Riva promenade.

Day 7: Dubrovnik

  • Continue your road trip south to Dubrovnik.
  • Walk on the city walls and admire panoramic views of the Old Town .
  • Visit iconic attractions like the Rector’s Palace, Sponza Palace and Onofrio’s Fountain.
  • Relax on Banje Beach.
  • Take a cable car ride to Mount Srđ for even more breathtaking views.

PULA TO DUBROVNIK MAP

6- The Atlantic Coast, Portugal

recommended europe trip route

⏰  Duration : 8-10 days 📆  When to go : spring (April-May) & autumn (September-October)

Are you ready to explore the  stunning Atlantic coast of Portugal ? A road trip from Porto to Faro will allow you to experience the  diverse landscapes ,  historic towns  and  most   beautiful beaches  of the country. 

Vibrant and culturally rich, Portugal is also known for its  delicious cuisine and warm hospitality , making it an  ideal destination for solo travellers  (by car or campervan). I experienced it alone for a few days in May and always felt safe. I mostly stayed in hostels and met many other travellers along the way.  

Whether you are discovering historic landmarks, relaxing on the beach, hiking along the coast or savouring local cuisine, Portugal has  something to offer every type of traveller . And there is no better way to experience it all than a road trip from Porto to the Algarve.

Here is an example of a  9-day itinerary  offering a great mix of cultural, historical and natural attractions as you road trip from Porto to Faro:

Day 1: Porto

  • Start your road trip in Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal.
  • Explore the historic Ribeira district along the Douro River.
  • Visit Livraria Lello, Clerigos Tower and Porto Cathedral.
  • Enjoy a wine-tasting tour in the nearby Douro Valley .

Day 2: Aveiro

  • Drive south to Aveiro, often called the “Venice of Portugal” due to its picturesque canals.
  • Take a moliceiro boat ride along the canals.
  • Explore the colourful houses of its historic centre.

Day 3: Coimbra

  • Visit the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe.
  • Explore the Joanina Library, Royal Palace and Coimbra Cathedral.
  • Stroll through the medieval streets of the city.

Day 4: Tomar

  • Drive to Tomar, home to the Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Explore the Templar Castle and its intricate Manueline-style architecture.

Day 5: Óbidos and Nazaré

  • Visit the charming medieval town of Óbidos with its well-preserved city walls.
  • Enjoy a stroll through its narrow streets and visit the Óbidos Castle.
  • Drive to Nazaré, known for its impressive waves and beautiful beach.

Day 6: Batalha and Alcobaça

  • Explore the Batalha Monastery, another UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Visit the Alcobaça Monastery, known for its spectacular Gothic architecture.

Day 7: Lisbon

  • Spend a full day exploring Lisbon.
  • Visit historic neighbourhoods like Alfama, Bairro Alto and Belém.
  • See the Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries.
  • Enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal and Fado music in the evening.

Day 8: Faro

  • Drive to Faro, the capital of the Algarve region .
  • Explore its historic Old Town with its medieval walls and charming streets.
  • Visit the Faro Cathedral and stroll through Jardim Manuel Bivar.
  • Relax on the nearby beaches.

Day 9: Algarve Beaches

  • Spend this day exploring the beautiful beaches of the Algarve.
  • Consider visiting Praia da Marinha, Praia de Benagil and Praia da Rocha.
  • Enjoy water activities like swimming, snorkelling or kayaking tours.
  • Or explore traditional villages such as Carvoeiro and Ferragudo.

PORTO TO FARO MAP

7- The Tuscan Countryside, Italy

recommended europe trip route

⏰  Duration : 5-6 days 📆  When to go : spring (April-May) & autumn (September-October)

For any Italy lover out there, you will love this itinerary! A road trip through Tuscany offers a  fantastic mix of picturesque landscapes, medieval towns and excellent cuisine . I experienced it for a few days in March and absolutely loved it. Tuscany has an incredible atmosphere that will  transport you back in time .

Located in central Italy, Tuscany is a  scenic and culturally rich region  renowned for its winding cypress-lined roads, historic villages, Renaissance art treasures, wine production and culinary delights. You guessed it, you will not run out of  things to do . 

In addition, a road trip through Tuscany will be an excellent way to immerse yourself in  Italian culture  and enjoy a blend of  artistic exploration, gastronomic pleasures and relaxation  in a stunning and peaceful setting.

READ MORE: Tuscany Road Trip Guide: Perfect 3-Day Itinerary

Here is an example of a  5-day itinerary  offering a taste of the best that Tuscany has to offer:

Day 1: Florence

  • Start your road trip in Florence , the capital of Tuscany.
  • Explore its historic centre, including the Florence Cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Uffizi Gallery.
  • Tour the  Galleria dell’Accademia  to admire the sculpture of David by Michelangelo.
  • Take a walk across the Ponte Vecchio bridge.

Day 2: Siena

  • Drive to Siena, a beautiful medieval town.
  • Explore the Piazza del Campo, its main square.
  • Visit the Siena Cathedral and the Torre del Mangia.
  • Get lost in its narrow streets and alleys.

Day 3: Val d’Orcia and Montalcino

  • Explore the beautiful Val d’Orcia region, known for its rolling hills and iconic cypress trees.
  • Drive to Montalcino, famous for its  Brunello di Montalcino wine .
  • Visit vineyards for wine tasting and explore the town.

Day 4: San Gimignano and Volterra

  • Head to San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers.
  • Explore the town and enjoy the views from the Torre Grossa.
  • Drive to Volterra, known for its Etruscan heritage and medieval architecture.
  • Visit the Volterra Cathedral and the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum.

Day 5: Pisa and Lucca

  • Drive to Pisa.
  • Visit its iconic  Leaning Tower of Pisa , Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery.
  • Continue to Lucca, a charming walled city.
  • Explore its historic centre, and walk or cycle along the city walls. 
  • Stop at its San Martino Cathedral.
  • Return to Florence.

TUSCAN COUNTRYSIDE MAP

8- The Atlantic Road, Norway

best europe road trips

The Norwegian Atlantic Road, also known as Atlanterhavsveien, is a  breathtaking drive in Norway  taking you along the rugged coastline of the country, passing over islands and bridges  with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean . 

With many charming towns and cultural attractions along the way, it is often considered one of the  most scenic drives  in the world, offering a unique and exhilarating experience for travellers seeking to explore the  coastal beauty of Norway  and its  dramatic landscapes .

Whether you are a photo enthusiast, a nature lover or simply looking for an unforgettable (and short) road trip, the Atlantic Road is a  must-visit destination ! Hop on your car or campervan and enjoy.

READ MORE: Norwegian Fjords Cruise: Complete Winter Guide

Here is an example of a  5-day itinerary  for exploring the Norwegian Atlantic Road and the surrounding area: 

Day 1: Ålesund

  • Start your road trip in Ålesund, a picturesque coastal town known for its Art Nouveau architecture.
  • Explore its historic district and climb to Aksla Viewpoint for panoramic views.
  • Visit the Ålesund Aquarium to learn about local marine life.
  • Enjoy a seafood dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Molde and Bud

  • Drive to Molde, another scenic coastal town.
  • Explore its beautiful gardens and Molde Cathedral.
  • Head to the fishing village of Bud.
  • Stop at viewpoints along the way to admire the dramatic coastline.
  • Visit Bud and discover its historic charm.

Day 3: Atlantic Road and Kristiansund

  • Drive along the Atlantic Road, a highlight of your trip, with its iconic bridges and breathtaking views.
  • Make stops at different viewpoints and islands along the way.
  • Arrive in Kristiansund, a coastal town known for its colourful houses and vibrant cultural scene.
  • Explore its city centre and visit the Kirkelandet Church.

Day 4: Geiranger via the Trollstigen

  • Drive to Geiranger, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a detour to the famous Trollstigen mountain road.
  • Experience the hairpin bends and spectacular landscapes of Trollstigen.
  • Explore the  Geirangerfjord  and go on a boat trip.
  • Visit the Dalsnibba viewpoint.
  • Hike or take a scenic drive to see the Seven Sisters Waterfall and the Bridal Veil Waterfall.

Day 5: Return to Ålesund

  • Return to Ålesund.
  • You might have time for some last-minute shopping or a final meal before heading home.

ATLANTIC ROAD MAP

9- The Peloponnese Region, Greece

best europe road trips

⏰  Duration : 5-7 days 📆  When to go : spring (May-June) & autumn (September-October)

Located in southern Greece, the Peloponnese is a  historically and culturally rich region  separated from the Greek mainland by the Gulf of Corinth. It is a  fascinating peninsula  known for its ancient history, archaeological sites, beautiful coastlines and picturesque towns. 

Venturing on a road trip through the Peloponnese region offers an ideal mix of  history, culture, stunning natural landscapes and outdoor activities . It is a captivating destination if you are interested in exploring ancient ruins, enjoying coastal activities and  immersing yourself in Greek heritage .

And if you are a  food lover , you will also love tasting the culinary delights of the area! The Peloponnese is known for its  delicious Mediterranean cuisine , where you can savour local dishes like pastitsio, grilled lamb, fresh seafood, olives and feta cheese. 

If you would like to extend your trip to the Greek islands, check out this article: 15 Best Things to Do in Santorini, Greece .

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering some of the highlights of the Peloponnese region:

Day 1: Athens to Corinth

  • Start your road trip in Athens, the capital of Greece.
  • Visit the  Acropolis  and explore the historic Plaka neighbourhood.
  • Drive to Corinth, known for the ancient Corinthian Acropolis and Temple of Apollo.

Day 2: Epidaurus and Nafplio

  • Visit the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, known for its exceptional acoustics.
  • Explore the Sanctuary of Asclepius and the Epidaurus Museum.
  • Continue to Nafplio, a charming seaside town.
  • Explore its historic Old Town and visit the Palamidi Fortress.

Day 3: Mycenae and Nemea

  • Head to Mycenae, home to the famous Lion Gate and the Treasury of Atreus.
  • Explore the archaeological site and the Mycenae Museum.
  • Drive to Nemea, a wine region famous for its Agiorgitiko red wine.
  • Visit a local vineyard for a wine-tasting experience.

Day 4: Olympia

  • Drive to Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games.
  • Explore its  archaeological sites , including the Temple of Zeus and the ancient stadium.
  • Visit the Olympia Archaeological Museum.

Day 5: Messene and Kalamata

  • Visit the ancient city of Messene, known for its well-preserved ruins.
  • Explore its Ancient Theatre and city walls.
  • Drive to Kalamata, a coastal town known for its olives and olive oil.

Day 6: Mani Peninsula

  • Drive to the rugged Mani Peninsula, famous for its unique stone tower houses.
  • Explore picturesque villages like Kardamyli and Areopoli.
  • Visit the Diros Caves on a boat tour through underground caverns.

Day 7: Monemvasia

  • Visit Monemvasia, a medieval fortress town on a small island.
  • Explore the narrow streets and Byzantine churches.
  • Enjoy panoramic views from the upper town.
  • Return to Athens.

PELOPONNESE REGION MAP

10- Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

best europe road trips

⏰  Duration : 7-10 days 📆  When to go : spring & summer (May-September) 

The Wild Atlantic Way is a  spectacular coastal route in Ireland , stretching along the west and northwest coasts of the country. It is renowned for its  rugged and dramatic landscapes , quaint villages, historic sites and the raw beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.

It offers a fascinating journey, allowing you to experience the  wild beauty of the west coast of Ireland . From impressive cliffs to pretty fishing towns and unique cultural experiences, a road trip on this iconic road will provide you with  unforgettable   memories ! 

Whether you are driving the entire route or exploring specific sections, exploring the Wild Atlantic Way is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in  Irish natural beauty, culture and history . 

Here is an example of a  10-day itinerary  covering some of the most spectacular parts of the Wild Atlantic Way:

Day 1: Ring of Kerry

  • Start your road trip by exploring Kerry, one of the most famous scenic routes in Ireland.
  • Drive the Ring of Kerry, stopping at viewpoints and attractions like Muckross House and Torc Waterfall.
  • Visit the town of Killarney and its national park.

Day 2: Dingle Peninsula

  • Drive to the Dingle Peninsula, known for its stunning scenery and traditional Irish culture.
  • Explore the town of Dingle and taste fresh seafood.
  • Drive the Slea Head Drive for breathtaking coastal views.

Day 3: Loop Head Peninsula and Kilkee

  • Drive to Loop Head Peninsula, a hidden gem on the Wild Atlantic Way.
  • Explore the Loop Head Lighthouse and take in the coastal views.
  • Continue to Kilkee and relax on its sandy beaches.

Day 4: The Cliffs of Moher and Burren 

  • Continue to the Cliffs of Moher, one of the most iconic natural attractions in Ireland.
  • Drive to the Burren region, famous for its unique limestone karst landscape.
  • Visit the Poulnabrone Dolmen and explore the walking trails of the Burren.

Day 5: Galway

  • Head to Galway, a bustling city on the western coast.
  • Explore its lively Latin Quarter and listen to traditional Irish music in local pubs.

Day 6: Connemara Peninsula and Clifden

  • Drive to the Connemara Peninsula, known for its spectacular landscapes.
  • Stop at the charming fishing village of Roundstone.
  • Visit Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful castle and abbey located in the Connemara wilderness.
  • Explore the stunning landscapes of Connemara National Park.
  • Continue towards Clifden.

Day 7: Explore Westport

  • Drive to Westport, a picturesque town with colourful buildings.
  • Spend a full day exploring Westport.
  • Tour Westport House and Gardens.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities like cycling the Great Western Greenway or climbing Croagh Patrick.

Day 8: Achill Island and Sligo

  • Head to Achill Island, known for its stunning beaches and dramatic cliffs.
  • Explore Keem Bay and Keel Beach, and take a scenic drive around the island.
  • Leave Achill Island and drive to Sligo to explore the town.
  • Enjoy the stunning landscapes that inspired the poet W.B. Yeats.

Day 9: Donegal

  • Continue north to Donegal.
  • Make a detour to the beautiful Glencar Waterfall.
  • Explore the wild beauty of Slieve League Cliffs, one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe.
  • Visit the charming village of Donegal.

Day 10: Derry

  • Drive to Derry (also known as Londonderry), Northern Ireland.
  • Explore the historic city walls and learn about its troubled history.
  • Take a walk along the Peace Bridge.
  • And if you have time, head to the iconic Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

WILD ATLANTIC WAY MAP

11- Andalusian Escape, Spain

best europe road trips

⏰  Duration : 7-10 days 📆  When to go : spring (April-May) & autumn (September-October)

Andalusia (Andalucía in Spanish) is a  vibrant and culturally rich autonomous community  located in southern Spain. It is known for its beautiful landscapes, historic towns, Moorish architecture, flamenco music and dance and rich cultural heritage.

Whether you are exploring the historic streets of  Cordoba , admiring the Alhambra in  Granada  or lounging on the beach in  Cádiz , Andalusia offers plenty of experiences  for all travellers and ages . 

The region is also perfect for a road trip thanks to its  diversity and wealth of sites and attractions , from some of the most famous cities in Spain, such as  Seville , to the wide range of landscapes and historical landmarks, including  Roman ruins, Gothic cathedrals and Renaissance palaces .

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering some of the most iconic locations and attractions in Andalusia:

Day 1: Seville

  • Start your road trip in Seville, the capital of Andalusia.
  • Explore its historic city centre.
  • Visit the Alcazar,  Seville Cathedral  and the Giralda Tower.
  • Stroll along the banks of the Guadalquivir River and watch a traditional Flamenco show.

Day 2: Cordoba

  • Drive to Cordoba, known for the beautiful Mezquita.
  • Explore the Mezquita and the historic Jewish Quarter.
  • Visit the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and stroll along the Roman Bridge.

Day 3: Granada

  • Head to Granada and visit the  Alhambra , a stunning palace and fortress complex.
  • Explore the Generalife Gardens and the historic Albayzín neighbourhood.
  • Visit the Monastery of Saint Jerome.
  • Relax in a tapas bar and enjoy the local cuisine.

Day 4: Ronda

  • Continue towards Ronda, a picturesque town perched on the edge of a deep gorge.
  • Visit the Puente Nuevo and the Plaza de Toros.
  • Explore the charming Old Town.

Day 5: Jerez de la Frontera

  • Head to Jerez de la Frontera, known for its sherry wine.
  • Visit a sherry bodega for a wine-tasting experience.
  • Discover the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art.

Day 6: Cádiz

  • Drive to Cádiz, a historic port city.
  • Explore the Old Town and visit the Cádiz Cathedral.
  • Relax on La Caleta beach.

Day 7: Seville

  • Return to Seville.
  • Spend your last day in Seville, doing some last-minute shopping or visiting any attractions you missed.

ANDALUSIAN ESCAPE MAP

12- Montenegro Loop

best europe road trips

Montenegro is a small yet  incredibly picturesque country  located in southeastern Europe, in the  Balkans . It is known for its diverse landscapes, rugged mountains, pristine coastline along the Adriatic Sea and quaint historic towns.

The combination of  natural beauty, cultural heritage and outdoor adventure  of Montenegro makes it an attractive destination for road trippers looking to explore a  lesser-known corner of Europe .

Whether you are seeking relaxation on the  Adriatic coast , hiking in the  mountains  or immersing yourself in  history and culture , Montenegro has something for everyone. And if you are adventurous, try yourself at  white-water rafting or mountain biking .

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering some of the most popular destinations and attractions in Montenegro:

Day 1: Podgorica

  • Start your road trip in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro.
  • Explore its main landmarks, including Millennium Bridge and Gorica Hill.
  • Try local specialities like Njeguški pršut (smoked ham) and seafood risotto.

Day 2: Lake Skadar

  • Drive to Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans.
  • Take a  boat trip  on the lake to explore its natural beauty and birdlife.
  • Visit the picturesque village of Virpazar.

Day 3: Cetinje and Lovćen National Park

  • Head to Cetinje, the historic royal capital of Montenegro
  • Visit the Cetinje Monastery and the King Nikola Museum.
  • Continue to Lovćen National Park and hike to the Njegos Mausoleum for stunning views.

Day 4: Budva

  • Continue to Budva, known for its beautiful beaches and historic Old Town.
  • Explore its historic centre and visit the Citadel.
  • Relax on one of its sandy beaches.

Day 5: Kotor

  • Drive to Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage city.
  • Explore its Old Town and climb the city walls for panoramic views.
  • Visit the Maritime Museum to learn about local maritime history.
  • Discover the lovely Tryphon’s Cathedral.

Day 6: Durmitor National Park

  • Head to Durmitor National Park, famous for its spectacular scenery.
  • Drive along the picturesque Bay of Kotor.
  • Visit the charming coastal town of Perast and take a boat to the  Our Lady of the Rocks  islet.
  • Explore the town of Žabljak and the nearby Black Lake.
  • Consider hiking the Tara River Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in Europe.

Day 7: Return to Podgorica

  • Return to the capital city of Podgorica.

MONTENEGRO LOOP MAP

13- London to Edinburgh, UK

best europe road trips

A road trip from London to Edinburgh is the perfect opportunity to explore the  diverse landscapes, historic landmarks and beautiful countryside  of England. You will have the chance to uncover hidden gems and  picturesque villages  that are worth the detour. 

Whether you enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere, hiking through scenic national parks or delving into the rich history of the country, England offers a  wide range of experiences for all travellers .

And do not forget to sample  traditional English cuisine  along the way, including dishes like fish and chips, roast dinners, pies and the famous English breakfast. England is also known for its  afternoon tea tradition  and beers in  cosy pubs .

READ MORE: London to Edinburgh Drive: 20+ Best Stops

Here is an example of a  5-day itinerary  covering the best stops and detours for an unforgettable adventure through the UK:

Day 1: Cambridge

  • Start your road trip from London and drive to Cambridge.
  • Explore the historic University of Cambridge, including King’s College Chapel and the picturesque Backs.
  • Discover the city from the water by  punting on the River Cam .
  • Admire the beautiful Mathematical Bridge.

Day 2: York

  • Drive to York, a city rich in history.
  • Stop at the Peak District National Park, known for its dramatic limestone valleys.
  • Discover York Minster and walk along the medieval city walls.
  • Explore the Shambles, a picturesque shopping street.
  • Visit the York Art Gallery and the Castle Museum.

Day 3: Durham

  • Continue north to Durham.
  • Stop at the charming town of Whitby and visit its Abbey.
  • Discover Durham Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Explore the charming city centre.
  • Discover Durham Dales and walk to High Force waterfall.

Day 4: Alnwick

  • Head to the town of Alnwick. 
  • Pass through Newcastle-upon-Tyne and see its historic Tyne Bridges.
  • Visit Alnwick Castle and its beautiful gardens.
  • Explore the nearby Alnwick town centre.

Day 5: Edinburgh

  • Continue to Edinburgh, crossing the Scottish border.
  • Visit the town of North Berwick along the way.
  • Explore  Edinburgh Castle , the Royal Mile and Holyrood Palace.
  • Hike to Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views.
  • Tour the National Museum of Scotland or the Royal Yacht Britannia.

LONDON TO EDINBURGH MAP

14- Baltic States Route

best europe road trips

The Baltic States, also known as the Baltic countries or simply the Baltics, are a  group of three countries located in Northern Europe  along the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, which include  Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania .

If they share a common history, geographic proximity and cultural ties,  each has a unique identity  and something different to offer. That is why a road trip through the Baltics is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the  rich heritage of Northern Europe .

From  stunning and well-preserved cities  such as Riga or Vilnius to  breathtaking national parks  and protected areas, the Baltics are the ideal holiday destination whether you are into culture, art or nature. 

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering many of the major attractions and cities in the Baltic States:

Day 1: Tallinn, Estonia

  • Start your road trip in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
  • Explore its Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Visit historic landmarks like Toompea Castle and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Day 2: Riga, Latvia

  • Cross the border into Latvia and head to Riga, the Latvian capital.
  • Explore its  Old Town , known for its Art Nouveau architecture.
  • Visit attractions like Riga Castle and St. Peter’s Church.
  • Take a relaxing walk along the Daugava River.

Day 3: Jurmala, Latvia

  • Drive to Jurmala, a seaside resort town on the Baltic Sea.
  • Relax on its sandy beaches and enjoy its pretty wooden architecture.
  • Explore Dzintari Forest Park and Majoru Promenade.

Day 4: Kaunas, Lithuania

  • Head to Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania.
  • Visit the Rundale Palace, a magnificent Baroque palace en route to Kaunas.
  • If you have time, also drive to the Hill of Crosses, a unique and spiritual site with thousands of crosses.
  • Explore Kaunas Old Town, the Pazaislis Monastery and the Ninth Fort.

Day 5: Vilnius, Lithuania

  • Continue your journey to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.
  • Stop in Trakai and discover  Trakai Island Castle  on Lake Galvė.
  • Explore Vilnius Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Visit attractions like Gediminas Tower and the Cathedral of Vilnius.
  • Sample Lithuanian cuisine at a local restaurant.

Day 6: Tartu, Estonia

  • Drive back north to Tartu, the second-largest city in Estonia.
  • Visit the University of Tartu and the Estonian National Museum.
  • Explore its charming Old Town and stroll along the Emajõgi River.

Day 7: Tallinn, Estonia

  • Return to Tallinn to conclude your Baltic States road trip.
  • If time allows, explore any remaining parts of Tallinn or do some last-minute souvenir shopping.

BALTIC STATES MAP

15- Into the Wilderness, Finland

best europe road trips

⏰  Duration : 7-10 days 📆  When to go : spring & summer (May-September)

A road trip from Helsinki to Inari in Finland will take you through some of the  most beautiful landscapes of the country , including forests, lakes and the magical Arctic region, providing the opportunity to learn about  Sámi culture  and experience the  unique beauty of the far north .

Often referred to as the Land of a Thousand Lakes, Finland is a  haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts . Additionally, the country boasts a unique  blend of modernity and cultural traditions , making it an appealing destination for a scenic road trip.

And although it is easier to drive in Finland in spring and summer, I would also recommend doing this itinerary  in winter  to discover the best of the country and the Arctic region under a white coat, which includes  skiing, dog sledding and catching the Northern Lights . 

READ MORE: Travel Guide to Lapland, Finland in Winter

Here is an example of a  10-day itinerary  allowing you to experience a diverse range of Finnish landscapes and cultures as you make your way from Helsinki to Inari:

Day 1: Helsinki

  • Start your road trip in Helsinki , the capital of Finland.
  • Explore its top attractions, including Senate Square, Helsinki Cathedral and Suomenlinna Fortress.
  • Experience a traditional Finnish Sauna at Löyly.

Day 2: Porvoo

  • Drive to Porvoo, a charming historic town known for its well-preserved wooden houses.
  • Explore its Old Town and visit Porvoo Cathedral.
  • Stop at Café Fanny and try their cinnamon buns.

Day 3: Lahti

  • Continue your journey to Lahti, known for its beautiful lakes and outdoor activities.
  • Visit the Sibelius Hall and Lahti Harbour.
  • Explore the nearby Lake Vesijärvi.

Day 4: Jyväskylä

  • Drive to Jyväskylä, a city surrounded by lakes and forests.
  • Discover the architecture of Alvar Aalto, including the Muurame Church and the Alvar Aalto Museum.
  • Explore the Jyväskylä Harbour.

Day 5: Kuopio

  • Head to Kuopio, known for its picturesque lakeside setting.
  • Visit Puijo Tower for panoramic views and explore the Kuopio Market Square.
  • Relax by Lake Kallavesi.

Day 6: Oulu

  • Drive to Oulu, a coastal city with a vibrant cultural scene.
  • Explore the Oulu Market Square and visit the Oulu Art Museum.
  • Relax on Nallikari Beach.

Day 7: Rovaniemi

  • Continue your journey north to Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland.
  • Visit the Arctic Circle and the Santa Claus Village.
  • Explore the Arktikum Science Museum and Pilke Science Centre.

Day 8: Saariselkä

  • Drive to Saariselkä, a winter sports resort in the Lapland region.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking.
  • Explore the Urho Kekkonen National Park.

Day 9: Ivalo and Inari

  • Continue north to Ivalo and Inari, which are close to each other.
  • Visit the Siida Sami Museum in Inari and explore the beautiful surroundings.
  • Experience the unique culture and traditions of the Sámi people.

Day 10: Explore Inari 

  • Spend your last day exploring around Inari.
  • Take a boat trip on Lake Inari.
  • Drive the scenic Kaamasentie road.

HELSINKI TO INARI MAP

best europe road trips

Austria, located in the heart of Central Europe, is known for its rich  cultural heritage , stunning  Alpine landscapes ,  picturesque towns  and a high standard of living. And that is why a road trip from Vienna to Innsbruck is an excellent way to discover everything the country offers!

With its perfect blend of  historical landmarks ,  charming historic cities  such as Salzburg and the  ideal setting of the Alps , Austria has become a popular destination for travellers seeking  outdoor adventures with a dose of cultural experiences . 

Whether you are exploring the spectacular palaces and museums, skiing in the Alps or indulging in Austrian cuisine, Austria provides a  diverse range of activities and attractions  for an unforgettable road trip.

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  providing a mix of cultural experiences, natural beauty and historical sites along your road trip from Vienna to Innsbruck:

Day 1: Vienna

  • Start your road trip in Vienna , the capital of Austria.
  • Explore the main attractions, including  Schönbrunn Palace , St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Palace.
  • Stop at a traditional restaurant to sample a Wiener Schnitzel.

Day 2: Melk and Dürnstein

  • Drive to Melk and visit the magnificent Melk Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Continue to Dürnstein, a charming town located on the banks of the Danube River.
  • Explore the medieval streets of Dürnstein and enjoy the views.

Day 3: Krems and Wachau Valley

  • Head to Krems, another picturesque town along the Danube.
  • Explore its historic centre and visit the Gozzoburg Castle.
  • Drive through the Wachau Valley, known for its vineyards and pretty villages.

Day 4: Linz

  • Drive to Linz, the third-largest city in Austria.
  • Explore the Hauptplatz and visit the Ars Electronica Center.
  • Take a stroll along the banks of the Danube.

Day 5: Salzburg

  • Drive to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and a city rich in history.
  • Explore its historic Old Town and visit Hohensalzburg Fortress.
  • Take an unforgettable  Sound of Music tour .

Day 6: Zell am See

  • Drive to Zell am See, a beautiful Alpine town located on the shores of Lake Zell.
  • Enjoy water sports, hiking or take a scenic boat ride on the lake.
  • Explore the charming town centre.

Day 7: Innsbruck

  • Drive to Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, known for its breathtaking Alpine backdrop.
  • Explore its historic Old Town and visit the Golden Roof.
  • Take a cable car to the Nordkette mountain range.

VIENNA TO INNSBRUCK MAP

Shop the printable road trip planner

Plan and create an unforgettable European road trip!

recommended europe trip route

Tips for reducing your impact on a road trip

Are you looking forward to your amazing road trip? I understand! Road trips are a fantastic way of travelling as they allow us to move freely and discover many incredible places at our own pace. However, they can also have negative environmental impacts. That is why considering our carbon footprint and adopting  eco-responsible habits  is essential.

READ MORE: How to Plan an Epic (Eco-Friendly) Road Trip

Here are some sustainable tips on making your Europe road trip more eco-friendly and having a positive impact on the places you visit:

Prepare your route in advance 

I know getting lost on a road trip can feel fun and exciting, but when trying to minimise your footprint, it is best to plan your route to avoid unnecessary travel. In addition, the shorter the distance you travel, the less fuel you will use and the less harmful emissions you will produce. Tip: Get offline maps to stay on track even if you lose signal. 

Plan your meals

Another great way to reduce your impact on the road is to plan your meals. Throughout your journey, try to find local restaurants or eco-friendly facilities. You can try the local cuisine or wander through local markets and buy fresh produce. 

Make your trip plastic-free

As you might know, plastic packaging is a significant environmental issue and causes concerns for wildlife and the preservation of natural landscapes. Therefore, avoid plastic as much as possible and bring reusable items instead. Choose  eco-friendly alternatives , like reusable tote bags, cutlery, plates, etc. Tip: you can also buy  filtered water bottles  to refill your water anywhere. 

Check your car and drive smoothly

Make sure your vehicle is in the best possible condition for the road: check the engine, oil level and tire pressure before your trip. In addition, use the available features in your car, like cruise control, to help you maintain your speed and reduce excess emissions. And even better, drive an electric vehicle if possible! (Or a bike for the most courageous).

Leave a place better than you found it

Aim to live by the principle: leave no trace. And even better, leave a place better than you found it. For example, dispose of your litter appropriately and pick up any trash you encounter. Be respectful of the land and do not drive over protected areas. And finally, stay on the marked trails when hiking, as going off can be dangerous for flora and fauna. 

Adopt a responsible attitude towards wildlife

Be mindful of your surroundings and adopt a responsible attitude towards wildlife, on land and in the sea. Do not come close to, feed or touch animals and corals. Remember that you are only a guest in their home.

Always respect the local heritage

Treat people and their surroundings with respect. Sustainable travel is not only about the environment but also about the local communities. So, always be respectful and try to learn a few local words!

Want more inspiration?

  • The Complete Guide to Sustainable Travel
  • 10 Best Travel Apps for Exploring Sustainably
  • Best Ecotourism Activities Around the World
  • 15 Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Eco-Adventure

recommended europe trip route

Europe travel planning guide + tips

Yes, buying insurance is always valuable when travelling abroad. Enjoy your European road trip stress-free with one of my favourite providers,  Nomad Insurance .

Yes, tap water is safe to drink in most European countries. But I also recommend travelling with the  UltraPress Purifier Bottle , a filtered water bottle perfect for reducing plastic and staying hydrated.

Yes, renting a car in any European country is easy and is a great way to explore freely. I recommend booking yours with  Rentalcars.com  – they offer a variety of operators for all budgets.

The best way to book your accommodation on a Europe road trip is with  Booking.com  – my favourite platform to compare and reserve places to stay each night, from affordable hostels to luxury resorts.

I recommend booking your plane with  Skyscanner to reach any European cities. It has been my favourite platform for years, as it allows me to book the cheapest flights whilst lowering my carbon emissions.

The best road trip planner app I recommend you download on your phone is Roadtrippers . It will help you build your perfect itinerary with the top stops along the way.

best europe road trips

And you, what is your favourite road trip in Europe ? Let me know in the comments below!

With love ♡ Lucie

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Don't pronounce it, just drive it

The 12 best and most beautiful road trips in Europe

Fill up the tank, load up the tunes and get behind the wheel. The best road trips in Europe are waiting

John Bills

If you’re anything like us, incredible road trips will be high on your bucket list. You simply can’t beat the feeling of speeding down the road, loading up the tunes and having your main character moment (whether you’re the one behind the wheel or not). 

The best part? Europe alone is home to a number of incredible road trips, from the mountainous views of Iceland to the deserts of Tirana. Pick your favourite road trip playlist or a cracking podcast, load up on snacks and hit the road. Here are the best road trips in Europe. 

RECOMMENDED: ⛰️ The best city breaks in Europe for 2024 🗺 The most underrated travel destinations in Europe 🏛️ The best museums and galleries in the world 🎨 The world’s exhibitions worth travelling for

John Bills is a writer for Time Out Travel. At Time Out, our travel guides are written by experts all over the world. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines . 

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Best road trips in Europe

Iceland Ring Road

1.  Iceland Ring Road

Iceland makes an appearance on any self-respecting list of travel experiences. The Iceland Ring Road encircles the entire nation, covering 1,333 kilometres of road, a distance that can be traversed in 12 or 13 hours, depending on speed. Truth be told, you should take a week or so to do it properly, stopping to take in the majestic scenery that only Iceland can produce. Sigur Rós made a video of the whole thing backed by some typically gorgeous music, so head to a well-known internet video streaming site and start making plans. 

Epirus, Greece

2.  Epirus, Greece

Driving around the winding mountain roads of Zagori sounds like a dream, right? These serpentine roads aren’t the easiest, but they are well worth it; think lakes, monasteries, stunning mountain villages and animals that are very much in charge of the place. There are several possible routes, so you might as well just get that driving licence sorted and let your whims do the rest.

Pula to Dubrovnik, Croatia

3.  Pula to Dubrovnik, Croatia

If anyone tells you that Croatia is still a hidden gem, you should stop listening to them. Hrvatska gets mega busy throughout the summer, but spring and autumn remain brilliant times to visit, and what better way to explore the coast than by driving all the way down it? Start at Pula and snake your way down the coast to Dubrovnik, breaking up the 709km with stops in Rijeka, Zadar, Split and wherever else. Heck, you could even nip inland to explore the magical Plitvice Lakes National Park, and extend the last leg by heading into Bosnia and Herzegovina to see Mostar, Kravice waterfall and Blagaj for yourself.  

Transfăgărășan Highway, Romania

4.  Transfăgărășan Highway, Romania

You can also call it the DN7C if you’d prefer. The Transfăgărășan is a stunning mountain road that traverses Romania’s Carpathian Mountains, the second-highest in the country but arguably the best known. Every spectacular second of the 150 kilometres offers up stunning views. The speed limit is 40km/h because of the relatively fragile ground, but going slow makes it easier to enjoy the surroundings. Bâlea Lake is pretty much at the top, and it doesn’t get much more beautiful than that. 

Atlantic Road, Norway

5.  Atlantic Road, Norway

Not all road trips need to be multi-day marathons. Sometimes, going out for a few hours of gorgeous driving interspersed with views (and a picnic, you gotta have a picnic) is all that is needed. Norway ’s Atlantic Road snakes around the west coast of the country, covering just 8.3km but encapsulating the old ‘quality over quantity’ cliche perfectly. The road has been described as the world’s most beautiful car journey, and we aren’t about to disagree.

Tallinn to Tirana

6.  Tallinn to Tirana

Somehow, someway, Eastern Europe remains criminally misunderstood. The vague geographic notion doesn’t tell half the story, so why not drive from the north of the east to the south and see for yourself? From Estonia on the Baltic to Albania on the Med lies a conveyor belt of fascinating nations with beauty around every corner. It would take around 34 hours to drive the 2,945km without stopping, but you’d also need to be a cyborg. Head through the Baltic states before heading central into Poland , Czechia and onwards. 

Autobahn, Germany

7.  Autobahn, Germany

If you’re interested in an incredible European road trip, the chances are you’re already very aware of the Autobahn. Germany and all things automobiles go together like magnet and steel – hurtling down the Autobahn is one of Europe’s great behind-the-wheel experiences. You can’t actually go as fast as you like on this famous road, so pay attention to the various limits, lest you end up in serious bother. Start in Cologne and head north through Bremen and Hamburg before snaking back down to Berlin , covering more than 500km in the process.

Northern Lakes, Italy

8.  Northern Lakes, Italy

Okay, now we’re really entering the world of dreams. The magnificent lakes in the north of Italy have been big business for a long old while, but how about an extravagant road trip taking in as many of them as possible? You can start this one pretty much from the moment you land in Milan , picking up a rental and heading to Lake Maggiore and setting up shop before heading east through Lake Como, Lake Garda and all the rest. Take as much time as is humanly possible, you’re going to want to savour these spots. 

Edinburgh to London, United Kingdom

9.  Edinburgh to London, United Kingdom

You could tackle the entire length of Great Britain, starting at John o’Groats and driving 1,407km down to Land’s End, but the  very northern tip of Scotland isn’t the most accessible place. Instead, make a grand journey between the capitals of Scotland and England , starting in Edinburgh and heading south through the Lake District , the cities of the north, the meat of the Midlands and more. Just 647km sit between the two, so be sure to make this itinerary a winding one.

Vienna to Belgrade

10.  Vienna to Belgrade

Europe has no shortage of great rivers, but the diversity of the Danube makes it the continent’s finest. The second longest in Europe, the Danube runs through four capital cities (Belgrade, Budapest , Bratislava and Vienna ), so why not get behind the wheel and hit up all four? Start in the latter and weave your way towards bouncing Belgrade, treating yourself to a night out in one of the continent’s most exciting cities as a treat. Better yet, if you have the time, why not follow the entire length of the river?  

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11 Best first-time Europe itineraries for 1, 2, or 3 weeks

Europe is going to be very busy in the summer of 2024 as the world is back to normal and travel demand is higher than ever. One other key factor is that most European currencies are still hovering at lower levels historically compared to the US dollar, which means that Europe will feel somewhat cheap again this year. In fact, according to our World Backpacker Index , European cities like Lisbon, Madrid, and Munich are about 30% cheaper to visit than Boston, Chicago, and New York City. In other words, flying to Europe might seem expensive, but most things will be cheaper once you get there compared to the costs of visiting a large US city.

Below you’ll find 11 of the most popular and best itineraries for a first visit to Europe. Your first visit is not really the time to be different or creative, and the famous destinations tend to be popular for a reason. In other words, it’s kind of silly to visit, say, Bulgaria, if you’ve not yet been to France or Italy. I lay out the best options along with how long to stay in each place as a general guide. I also discuss Mediterranean cruises, which can actually be an amazing way to see a lot of Europe on your first visit, especially if you don’t like going back and forth to train stations and airports every 2 or 3 days.

For a bit of fun you might be interested in the cheapest 5-star hotels in Europe , which start at US$80 per night for really nice hotels. It helps show that if you choose some of the cheaper cities, you can treat yourself to some luxury that you can’t afford in most other places.

This article was last updated in March, 2024.

There are 11 starter itineraries described in detail below

  • Classic London and Paris
  • England and Scotland
  • Paris and Italy
  • Mediterranean cruise
  • France, Belgium, and Netherlands
  • Paris and elsewhere in France
  • Switzerland
  • Best of cheap eastern Europe

For each itinerary there are suggestions of other destinations that are easy to add on to the main cities.

Note: This article was most recently updated in March, 2024

Building the best itinerary for your first trip to Europe

Below there are 11 popular itineraries for one week in Europe. If you’ve only got a week then choose one of them and assume you’ll return again to conquer more of this amazing part of the world. If you’ve got more time then you can choose from some of the top add-on suggestions for each one.

Start in the most famous cities

Your first visit to Europe is no time to try to be different or edgy. I recommend that you  focus on these 5 great cities  before you start branching out into cheaper or more obscure places.

Keep your travel days to a minimum

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Spend 3 (or 4) nights in almost every major city

recommended europe trip route

So many first-time visitors are initially planning on spending only 1 or 2 nights in major cities that I wrote a detailed explanation of why  3 nights is ideal for almost all European cities , even if you want to see as much as possible.

3 (or 4) nights will be enough for any city on your first trip

Most first-time visitors are tempted to move too quickly, but it can also be a mistake to move too slowly. It’s really amazing how much you can see in two full sightseeing days. If you spend too long in one city you’ll end up seeing things that are way down your list, while you could be in another city seeing things at the top of your list there.

Choose cities that are easy to reach from each other

recommended europe trip route

For your first trip it’s best to visit cities that are no more than a 5-hour train ride apart.

Choose cities that are connected by reasonable train rides rather than flights

To build on the point above, finding cheap flights within Europe is easy, but train travel is about a million times more enjoyable and less stressful. You’ll enjoy the train rides almost as much as the cities, so focus on places that are within 5 hours of each other by train.

Start with one of the classic itineraries below, and then add to it if you have more time

If you only have 7 days then you’ll find a list below of classic itineraries that are well-suited to a first visit to Europe. Hopefully you have more than 7 days though, and if you do you can add in one or more of the suggested add-on cities to build an itinerary that appeals most to you.

Price of travel

Best 1-week itineraries for the first time in Europe

Itinerary 1: classic london and paris.

  • London  (3 or 4 nights)
  • Paris  (3 or 4 nights)

Fly into either city and take the 2-hour Eurostar train between them

recommended europe trip route

London highlights

  • Big Ben and Parliament
  • Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Tower of London and Tower Bridge
  • West End shows (Broadway equivalent) and classic pubs
  • Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle

Paris is actually far more beautiful than London and the food is famously much better as well. Since Paris gets so many tourists from non-French speaking countries, it’s easy to get by on just English, and the Metro system makes it fast and easy to get around. The architecture of both cities is amazing from the Tower of London, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. These cities each pack a huge punch and they are very different from each other as well. Actually, England is arguably the best choice for your first trip to Europe .

Paris highlights

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre Museum and Museum de Orsay
  • Arc de Triomphe and other monuments
  • Montmartre neighborhood and Sacré Coeur Cathedral
  • Probably the world’s best affordable restaurants and wine

Best add-ons to London and Paris

  • Edinburgh  (2 or 3 nights, from London)
  • Amsterdam  (2 or 3 nights, from Paris)
  • Bruges  and  Brussels  (2 nights, from Paris)

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>>> Best one-week London and Paris itinerary in detail >>> Check London hotel deals >>> Check Paris hotel deals

Itinerary 2: England and Scotland

  • York (1 night)
  • Edinburgh, Scotland  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Inverness, Scotland (2 or 3 nights)

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York is a small Roman city with intact city walls and one of the most famous cathedrals in Europe. Edinburgh is not only the capital of Scotland, but it’s easily the second most interesting city in all of Britain. If your time is short, skip York and spend more time in Edinburgh.

If you prefer to focus on the south of England on your first trip then the best option is to go to Bath or nearby Bristol after London. Bath is another of England’s top destinations and it’s a gorgeous city that has been a spa resort for many centuries. It’s also reasonably close to Stonehenge. You can also easily get to Cornwall in England’s southwest corner from Bath, and that’s a whole different and fascinating experience (with nicer weather than up north).

If you’ve got more than a week and want to spend more time in Scotland, especially in the summer months, the place to head to is Inverness. It’s a small town that is considered the gateway to the Scottish Highlands, but it’s an interesting and charming place on its own. You can take day-trips by bus to the highlights of the Highlands including the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness. Between you and me, it’s better to minimize time in Loch Ness or skip it altogether because it’s not one of the more photogenic parts of Scotland and the monster has always been a hoax.

Travel times between the recommended places

  • London to York by train: 2 hours
  • York to Edinburgh by train: 2.5 hours
  • London to Edinburgh by train: 4 hours
  • Edinburgh to Inverness by train: 3.5 hours
  • London to Bath by train: 85 minutes

Best add-ons to England and Scotland

  • Paris  (3 or 4 nights from London)
  • Amsterdam  (3 nights from Paris)

If you think you want to spend your whole trip in Britain you should have a look at our article on the  best itineraries in England, Scotland, and Wales .

>>> Check London hotel deals >>> Check Edinburgh hotel deals

Itinerary 3: Paris and Italy

  • Paris (3 or 4 nights)
  • Venice (1 night)
  • Florence (2 or 3 nights)
  • Rome (3 nights)

recommended europe trip route

From Paris you can easily fly to Venice (or nearby Treviso) where you should try to spend about 24 hours. Venice is small enough to see in a full day, and so crowded that most people are satisfied to leave after that day. The key is to stay in the main part of the main island so you can enjoy Venice before the cruise passengers and day-trippers arrive, and also after they leave for the day. Two nights in Venice would not be wasted time, and it’s possibly the most gorgeous city in the entire world, but you can see the best of it in a bit over 24 hours.

recommended europe trip route

Rome also lives up to the hype and spending a day in the Vatican City will be a highlight even for non-Catholics, but it’s also a crowded and busy city so three days is usually enough for most people. Similar to Paris, Rome is an unusually beautiful city from almost any angle when you are in the historical center. You’ll walk through a stunning piazza (town square) and then turn a corner and you’ll see gorgeous buildings or public statues that are as nice as anything in the museums. Seriously, it’s worth a visit.

Paris to Venice flight: 1 hour 35 minutes Venice to Florence by train: 1 hour 53 minutes Florence to Rome by train: 1 hour 16 minutes

You can of course instead fly from Paris to Rome and then go north to Florence and then to Venice and fly home (or back to Paris) from there, and it would be just as enjoyable.

Best add-ons to Paris and Italy

  • Nice/Cannes/Monaco  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Avignon (2 nights)
  • Bourges (2 nights)
  • Bordeaux (2 nights)
  • Aix-en-Provence (2 nights)
  • Reims (2 nights)
  • Dijon/Burgundy (2 nights)
  • Milan  (1 or 2 nights)
  • Lake Como (2 nights)
  • Siena (2 nights)
  • Cinque Terre (1 night)
  • Naples / Sorrento /Amalfi Coast/Pompeii/Capri (3 to 5 nights)
  • Sicily (3 to 4 nights)

>>>Much more information in this article about the best France and Italy itineraries >>> Check Paris hotel deals >>> Check Venice hotel deals >>> Check Florence hotel deals >>> Check Rome hotel deals

Itinerary 4: Mediterranean cruise

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In spite of the reputation of cruises to be floating buffets, they can actually be an excellent way to visit a great number of amazing European cities in a short time. The ship typically is in port from the early morning until mid evening, often giving you the opportunity to have dinner in the city (unlike Caribbean cruises). Better still, the cruise ports are often near the center of town, so you can just walk off the ship and do sightseeing on foot or by public transportation.

Mediterranean cruises usually start at 7 nights but can go up to 3 weeks, which can provide an amazing tour of the entire region without having to pack and repack your bags more than once. They also can provide excellent value, especially compared to the price of taking trains or flights and finding new hotels in every destination.

Most popular Mediterranean departure ports

Barcelona, Spain – It’s an easy port to reach. Ships generally go from Barcelona with stops in France and then Italy.

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy – The port isn’t very close to Rome, but it’s easy to get back and forth. Ships go west to France and Spain as well as south around the tip of Italy and then on to Croatia, Venice, and to Greece.

Venice, Italy – The cruise ships no longer dock close to the best tourist areas, but it’s easy enough to visit Venice for a day or two before boarding a ship. Ships starting in Venice go south and then head west and to Rome and then to France, or they go south to Croatia and then head east to Greece.

Athens, Greece – The cruise port of Piraeus is just south of Athens and easy to reach. Ships from Athens usually head west towards Croatia, Italy, France, and Spain, but there are also ships that visit Greek islands and Turkey.

>>> Check for deals on Mediterranean cruises

Alternative to consider: a river cruise

recommended europe trip route

Amsterdam ,  Budapest , and  Prague  are some of the most popular river cruise ports, but there are dozens of others including many smaller towns in France where few other tourists will be when you stroll off the ship. There is little or no entertainment on the river cruise ships, but passengers don’t miss it because the entire day and into the evening is spent just steps from local cultural offerings and restaurants.

>>> Check for Europe and river cruise deals

Itinerary 5: France, Belgium, and Netherlands

  • Paris  (3 nights)
  • Brussels  and  Bruges  (1 or 2 nights)
  • Amsterdam  (2 or 3 nights)

Paris to Brussels: 1 hour 22 minutes Brussels to Bruge: 58 minutes Bruges to Amsterdam: 2 hours 45 minutes Amsterdam to Paris: 3 hours 17 minutes

recommended europe trip route

Spending 4 nights in Paris and 3 nights in Amsterdam would be a great trip, but if you want to see something else you’ve got a couple options in between. My advice is to spend an afternoon looking around the Grand Place (main square) in Brussels and then hop a 58-minute train ride to Bruges for a night or two. Brussels isn’t a great tourist city, but Bruges really is so it’s a better option for most people. Whatever you choose out of this group, you can be back in Paris on another high-speed train for your flight home.

Best add-ons to France, Belgium, and Netherlands

  • Luxembourg City  (1 or 2 nights)
  • Cologne, Germany (1 or 2 nights)
  • Interlaken, Switzerland  (2 or 3 nights)

>>> Check Paris hotel deals >>> Check Bruges hotel deals >>> Check Amsterdam hotel deals

Itinerary 6: Paris and elsewhere in France

And a choice of:

  • Normandy (2 nights)

recommended europe trip route

While Nice is a wonderful tourist city for a look at the French Riviera, the other larger cities of Lyon and Marseilles are probably better saved for a future trip because they are light on key sights compared to many smaller towns. Wine lovers can rent a car or take trains into Bordeaux or Burgundy. Since you can get between most of these towns by train in 2 hours or less, spending only 2 nights in each one is a reasonable option if you want to see a lot in a short time.

Normandy is an interesting choice and easy to reach in only about two hours by train from Paris. Some visitors like to see the famous WWII beaches and memorials, while others (especially in summer) like to check out one or more of the beach-resort towns. Deauville is one of the more famous of those, and it’s also famous for its horse race track and as one of the epicenters of the industry in Europe.

Best add-ons to Paris and elsewhere

  • More France, of course

>>> Check Paris hotel deals >>> Check Nice hotel deals

Itinerary 7: Italy

  • Rome  (3 nights)
  • Florence  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Venice  (1 or 2 nights)

Rome to Florence: 1 hour 16 minutes Florence to Venice: 1 hour 53 minutes

recommended europe trip route

Venice is small enough that you can see the main sights in about 24 hours, and it’s so insanely crowded that many people tire of it after about a day as well. It’s better to pay more for a hotel to be on the main island and visit quickly than to save money with a hotel on the mainland where you’ll be in crowds going back and forth as well. Florence is the most relaxing of the 3, and also a great base for side trips to Pisa, Siena, and Cinque Terre, just to name a few.

Going to Italy? Here are the  best first-time Italy itineraries for 3 days to 2 weeks  (in much greater detail)

Best add-ons to Italy

>>> Check Rome hotel deals >>> Check Florence hotel deals >>> Check Venice hotel deals

Itinerary 8: Spain

  • Madrid  (4 nights) (including day trip to Toledo)
  • Barcelona  (3 nights)

Madrid to Barcelona: 2 hours 30 minutes

recommended europe trip route

A huge part of Spain’s tourism industry is built around its southern beaches and islands such as Ibiza, Mallorca, and Tenerife (in the Canary Islands). For most people it’s best to ignore those places on your first trip because none of the beaches are special enough to spend days on them compared to the culture of the cities.

Best add-ons to Spain

  • Valencia  (2 nights)
  • Seville  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Granada  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Lisbon  (3 nights)

By popular demand, I’ve added a full article on where to go in Spain with itineraries from 7 to 10 days up to two weeks .

>>> Check Madrid hotel deals >>> Check Barcelona hotel deals >>> Check Lisbon hotel deals

Itinerary 9: Germany

  • Berlin  (3 nights)
  • Munich  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber (1 night)
  • Füssen (1 night)

Berlin to Munich: 6 hours 2 minutes Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber: 2 hours 56 minutes Munich to Füssen: 2 hours 4 minutes

recommended europe trip route

Those two cities are the keys to a Germany visit, and after that you’ve got a wide variety of choices. I cover most of the popular choices in my article on  where to go in Germany , which covers several smaller towns that are major highlights.

Best add-ons to Germany

  • Cologne (1 or 2 nights)
  • Hamburg  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Amsterdam  (3 nights)
  • Prague  (3 nights)
  • Salzburg  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Vienna  (3 nights)
  • Interlaken, Switzerland  (3 nights)
  • Lucerne, Switzerland  (2 or 3 nights)

>>> Check Berlin hotel deals >>> Check Munich hotel deals

Itinerary 10: Switzerland

  • Interlaken  (3 nights)
  • Bern (1 night)
  • Lucerne  (3 nights)

Zurich Airport to Interlaken: 2 hours 10 minutes Interlaken to Bern: 53 minutes Bern to Lucerne: 1 hour 50 minutes Lucerne to Zurich Airport: 1 hour 3 minutes

recommended europe trip route

Interlaken is the best hub for the most dramatic Alps views and experiences. The one-hour cable car ride up to the Schilthorn observation deck is something you’ll never forget, and the only thing that might be more dramatic is the train ride up to the Jungfraujoch station, which is the highest in Europe. Lucerne is almost as beautiful with a scenic lake at its heart and also great mountaintop views nearby. If you do want to see a Swiss city then the capital of Bern is the most interesting and photogenic on a short visit. Read more about  where to go in Switzerland  for even more ideas.

Best add-ons to Switzerland

  • Munich  (3 nights)
  • Italy (as long as you’ve got)

>>> Check Interlaken hotel deals >>> Check Lucerne hotel deals

Itinerary 11: Eastern Europe’s best cheap cities

  • Budapest  (3 nights) and/or
  • Krakow  (3 nights)

recommended europe trip route

Each of these cities is beautiful and historic, but English is less widely spoken so they can also be quite a bit more challenging for a first-time visitor. Another difficulty is that the trains between them are still quite slow compared to the high-speed rail in the West, so it takes most of a day from one to another, and a bus is often a better choice. I cover this best cheap Europe itinerary more fully in the linked article.

Prague to Budapest: 6 hours 41 minutes Budapest to Krakow: 9 hours 54 minutes (flying might be better)

Best add-ons to cheap Eastern Europe

  • Cesky Krumlov, Czechia  (2 nights)
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Split, Croatia  (3 nights)
  • Belgrade, Serbia  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Sofia, Bulgaria  (2 or 3 nights)

>>> Check Prague hotel deals >>> Check Budapest hotel deals >>> Check Krakow hotel deals

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Hi Roger, was reading your article and reply to various questions and its actually too good and kind from you. if you pls,help me out a route plan for 15days. but my catch is, i have to start from Stockholm.i like to end in rome to head back home. in between what should be my plan?thanks

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I’m happy to help. Stockholm to Rome could be done in 15 days, but it would require skipping quite a few great places along the way. My recommendation would be to choose 5 or maybe 6 cities total and spend 3 days in each. If Stockholm is one of your cities you’d only have 12 days left but even if Stockholm didn’t count on the 15 days I think it’s probably best to fly from Stockholm to a city closer to Italy and then do the rest of it on shorter train rides. You could do Stockholm to Copenhagen by train, but those are pretty long train rides and honestly those two cities are pretty similar to each other.

So maybe Stockholm and then a flight to Paris and then trains to Venice, Florence and Rome? That sort of thing. Stockholm is just so remote that it would require at least 3 or 4 longer train journeys but if you flew from Stockholm to Paris (or Berlin or Prague or Budapest or wherever) the remaining train rides would be relatively short. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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Firstly, I would like to thank you for the article and itineraries; they are very helpful.

My wife and I are planning a 3 to 4-month trip around the EU (Western Europe). Before I delve into the specifics of our itinerary, I am wondering if the same 3 to 5-day in each-city principle applies for cases where travellers will spend more time travelling around?

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks Raf

Wow. That sounds amazing! Even when traveling for longer periods like that I’d recommend a minimum of 3 nights in almost any place you go. The main reason is your travel days tend to be kind of long when you factor in everything from checking out of one hotel to getting to the train station and waiting and then the journey time and then getting to your next hotel and getting situated. All of that usually takes 4 to 6 hours even when the train journey is only an hour or two, so you just don’t get much sightseeing done on those days. So if you only stay 2 nights in each city it means every other day is a travel day and that just takes up too much time.

That said, I think 3 or 4 days is enough time in most places as well. If you really want to get to know Paris, for example, you might stay a week there. But for most cities there are diminishing marginal returns starting on day 3 or 4. In other words, you’ll be able to see the 10 things that most interest you in 3 days or so, and at that point you might be ready to see the Top 10 things in the next city instead of the #11 through #20 things in the first city.

Another thing that is important with longer trips like that is to plan some down time at least every few weeks. If you try to do sightseeing 7 days per week for weeks at a time it starts to feel like a job. What I like to do is every two or three weeks find a smaller town or cheaper place where I can rent a little apartment or some place larger and more comfortable than a typical small European hotel room. And I like to stop in places without many sights otherwise it’s too tempting to keep sightseeing every day.

I’ve actually done quite a few long trips like this and I’m happy to help with any other advice if you like. -Roger

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Comment*We are planning on Athens to Amsterdam from June 4, 2024 to Amsterdam June 24th.

We are thinking trains to major cities inbetween Athens and Amsterdam. We are open to anything and everything.

Priorities: Parthenon in Athens, Art Museums in Amsterdam (3-5 days in Amsterdam) Can you help us?

That is a tricky one. Both Athens and Amsterdam are great and very worthwhile, but once you go north of Athens to Thessaloniki in northern Greece, the train service is spotty and very slow all the way until you reach Budapest. Strangely enough, buses tend to be faster and much more frequent in those “eastern” countries like Bulgaria and Romania. Also, being perfectly honest, most of those in-between cities such as Sofia and Belgrade are kind of dull by European standards, although they are quite cheap.

If you really want to visit Athens I’d definitely start there and then after a few days fly to Budapest or some other city in that area that interests you and then carry on from there by train. In fact, Athens to Budapest and then trains to Prague then Berlin and then Amsterdam could be perfect. You could even add in a couple of days in Cesky Krumlov near Prague if you want to include a gorgeous smaller town among the big cities.

Those are all first-class cities and several of them are quite affordable as well. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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Hi, my wife and I would like to visit Rome, Florence, Italy, Venice, Prague, Berlin and maybe Switzerland. This will be the first time travelling to Europe and I would appreciate your help in planning where to start, where to stay, how to get there and where to go. We will be coming from Trinidad and Tobago for 2 weeks. If possible, i would like a day-to-day plan.

Unfortunately I don’t have time to do a day-by-day plan for you, but I can help get you started. If you’ve got 14 nights I would keep the list to 5 total cities. If you tried to include Switzerland on this trip it would mean spending only 1 or 2 days in some cities and that means spending every other day on trains.

I think the best thing to do would be to fly into Berlin or Prague and then spend 3 days there and then take a train to the other one and spend 3 days there and then fly to Venice. Spend 1 or 2 days in Venice and then take a short train ride to Florence for 2 days or so and then a train ride down to Rome for your final 3 days and then a flight home or back to your starting city if that is cheaper. I’m happy to help if you have any other questions. -Roger

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Hi, Roger. My wife and I (56 and 63) want to do our first trip to Europe from Canada and would like to start by visiting Portugal (Lisbon and Porto) and Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada y Sevilla with day trips to close small cities in between). What it would be your suggestion for: 1. Stay in each city for a 15/17 days trip? 2. any additions/modifications? 3. Train over flights internally? 4. If we travel with one suitcase of 50 Lbs would it work to take public transit when required? 5. Instead of this plan, would it be better to visit 1/2 famous city in different countries? Would appreciate your inputs. Than you Roger

If you’ve only got about 16 days I’d recommend choosing 5 or maybe 6 cities in total. I strongly believe that 3 nights is the best amount of time to stay in each city so you have two full sightseeing days in each one, although some smaller cities can be done a bit quicker. I go over the reasons in detail on this other article about how long to stay in each European city , but the main point is that if you stay only two nights it means literally spending every other day on trains or in airports and such and you just don’t get much sightseeing done on those travel days with all of the packing and unpacking and checking in and out of hotels.

I’d definitely include Lisbon, Madrid, and Barcelona. You could add a 2-day visit to Porto and 2 or 3 days each in Sevilla and Granada. I’d save Valencia for a future trip. It’s nice, but aside from the new buildings clustered in one area, it’s more generic than any of the others on your list.

The only train between Portugal and Madrid goes over night and I’m not a fan of those so I’d fly on that leg. But from there I’d definitely take the high-speed trains, which are fast and comfortable. Buy your tickets at least a couple months in advance for the best fares.

There will be room for a 50 lb suitcase on the flights (of course) and on the trains as well. On older trains they have you put them on racks above the seats, but on most of the more modern ones (like the high-speed trains) they also have room for larger bags at each end of the carriage. If you can lift them, there will definitely be room for them.

I think your plan sounds really good and those are all great cities. That said, for most first-time visitors to Europe I’d recommend Paris and Italy as those are really more dramatic and interesting, although also more crowded and somewhat more expensive as well. I think once you do the Iberia trip you’ll be hooked and you’ll start planning a trip to France and Italy for the coming years. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Hi, Roger. Thank you for your comments and recommendations and also for your prompt response. I have modified my plan as I have now 22 days. My Itinerary is Porto(3), Lisbon(3), Seville(2), Malaga(2), Madrid(3),Barcelona(3), Zaragoza(2) and Bilbao(3). What do you think? is this a good plan? Any suggestions? I am still debating between Malaga and Granada though. I included Bilbao to visit friends. The question on the luggage was more related to the comfort to pull a large back in public transit than the allowance in the planes or trains. I will appreciate your inputs. Thank you again, Roger

Those six more days will help a lot. I think your new plan looks really good. You can probably enjoy Porto in 2 days and add an extra day somewhere else, but you might also be dealing with jet-lag so 3 days might be better. Your itinerary looks efficient and logical.

I really like Granada and Malaga, but I think if I were to choose between the two I would go with Granada. Malaga is (in my opinion) an underrated city that is close to some extremely popular beach towns and it’s got a lot going for it, but if you aren’t also going to be staying by the beach I think I’d save it for another trip. Granada has got the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens and those are unlike anything else in Spain or the world for that matter. Granada is small enough to enjoy in two days and I think seeing the Alhambra will be more memorable than anything in Malaga.

Buy your train tickets as early as possible for the best times and fares, and the flight for Lisbon to Seville (or you could take a bus).

And again, your 50 lb suitcase will fit on city to city trains (although not as well on buses or trams within a city), but still (as the saying goes) no one ever went on a trip around Europe like this and swore they would pack more stuff the next time. In other words, 40 lbs is much easier than 50 lbs and getting laundry done cheaply in a country like Spain is quite easy. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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Comment*Hi travelling first time to europe next year we are 55 years age group any suggestions for 10-12 days itenary with guided tour would be nice if any suggestion are there also april or may better time to visit there anil

Actually, all of my best suggestions for first-time visits to Europe are in the article above. If you specifically want a guided tour you’ll obviously just be choosing from the ones that are available from the companies you look it, although many of those should resemble the itineraries in my article. Planning your own trip to Europe is actually quite easy, and especially if you are going to the classic and most popular cities. I’ve got lots of articles that could help you.

I’m not sure how many guided tours you’ve done, but one thing to consider is that they always move at the speed of the slowest person in the group. If YOU are the slowest person in the group then it’s fine, but if you are 55 then you should be much faster than most other people on a guided tour. For example, if you have a coach/bus tour for a day with 5 or 6 stops, you always have to wait for the slowest people to get on an off the bus. I’ve done countless day tours this way and it can be frustrating waiting 10 extra minutes many times each day as slow people are trying their best.

I think my top two best suggestions are London and maybe another stop or two in England and then Paris and other stop or two in France, OR, Paris then another stop in France and then Venice, Florence, and Rome. It obviously depends whether England or Italy sounds more interesting. Let me know if I can be of any other help. -Roger

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Planning a family trip with a adult and nearly adult children. Hoping to be able to do 18 to 20 days. Must sees are Paris, Venice, England, and Prague but would adore seeing more! What route would you suggest and should we rent a car, fly, train, river cruise? There are so many options and I’m completely overwhelmed! A suggested itinerary would be amazing!! Thank you!

That sounds like a great start to a plan. As far as “England” is concerned it’s probably best to just think of it as 3 or probably 4 nights in London. With 4 nights you’d have enough time for a good day trip to Bath/Stonehenge and Windsor or to Oxford or even York, but London is big enough to keep you busy and it’s probably best to just stay there and then take the Eurostar train to Paris for 3 or 4 nights.

Prague is a bit out of the way, but you can fly there cheaply enough if you want and then after 3 nights fly to Venice. After 2 nights in Venice I’d take a train down to Florence for 2 nights and then another train to Rome for 3 nights. That would be just about a perfect 18 to 20 day trip including Prague. I definitely wouldn’t rent a car as they tend to be counter productive when visiting a string of large cities that have bad traffic and expensive parking. Your itinerary doesn’t really work with a river cruise at all, but hopefully you can plan one in the future.

It would probably be cheapest to fly from Rome back to London for your flight home (being careful of which of London’s 5 airports you fly into because your flight home will almost certainly go out of Heathrow), but if you can get a flight home straight from Rome for a good price, that would be even better. Getting around by train in Europe is by far the best way wherever it’s close and fast enough, so I’d focus on trains in the places I mentioned. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Yes, I meant London. Thank you for picking up on that. After reading though your site and many, many of these informative comments, I think I have figured out a basic itinerary and would love your feedback and suggestions!

-Fly into London London(3 days) -Eurostar Train to Paris Paris (3 days) -Train to Switzerland – unsure which train company Switzerland (3 days) -Train to Venice?? Venice (2 days) -Train to Florence – which train company? Is there a pass? Florence (2 days) -Train to Rome Rome (2 days) -Fly to Prague Prague (3 days) -Fly home out of Prague

Very interested to hear your feedback. I know you suggest 3 nights but I am ok with missing out on some things in Rome/Florence if needed. Would love train suggestions and if passes are best. NO idea on how the trains operate in Europe.

Thank you so much for your time!

This itinerary looks amazing. My only real suggestion would be to spend only one day in Venice and three days in Rome, or at least a day and a half in Venice rather than two, but you’ll enjoy it no matter what. The thing is that Venice is about the size of a theme park like Disneyland and from 9 AM until 5 PM it feels even more crowded than Disneyland. It’s absolutely amazing, but also easy to get tired of the crowds and you’ll do your best sightseeing in the mornings before the day-trippers come and in the evenings after they’ve left. And Rome is huge with a long list of really cool sights so with only one full sightseeing day you’ll miss quite a few of them. But again, you’ll enjoy it no matter how you divide your time.

In most of Europe including between France and Switzerland and Italy, there is just one rail company per country so just book whatever comes up. From Paris to Basel, Switzerland you’ll take the France national service and then change trains to a Swiss train for your ride to Interlaken or Lucern. Then from Switzerland you’ll take (probably) a Swiss train to Spiez or Brig and then change there for an Italian train to Venice. You’ll buy it just as one ticket and it’ll include all the legs required to get from one city to your final city, and usually come with seat reservations as well (except in Switzerland).

My favorite site for checking schedules all over Europe is the Trainline . But you can also check the official rail sites of each country involved and I’d definitely check those prices before booking anything. My article on buying European train tickets in advance is still pretty much up to date and it has links to the various national train companies.

It will be cheapest if you lock in your dates and buy all of your train tickets as early as possible, which will be around 3 months out in most cases. The tickets start off really cheap and go up in price as more seats are sold on each train, so earlier is always better. There are no rail passes that would be helpful on a trip like this, but that’s mostly because the tickets will be pretty cheap already, especially the ones within Italy.

Trains in Europe are really fun and shockingly easy once you get started. All the important signs will be in English as well as a local language. For most of them you can literally walk aboard just before it leaves and you are fine as long as you have a reserved seat, but the Eurostar works more like a flight with security and such so you have to be checked in at least 30 minutes in advance. Let me know if you have any other questions.

I won’t have time to update that other older article about trains vs planes vs buses, partly because these days there is a clear choice depending on which two cities you are going between. There are places in eastern Europe where there are advantages to each mode, but for the cities you’ll be doing the train is going to be the fastest, by far the most enjoyable, and probably the cheapest as well, at least once you factor in airport transportation costs. It’s going to be a great trip! -Roger

Thank you SO much for all of your help. Your in-depth website is an amazing resource! I get so lost in it and spend hours scouring your resources and links – it has everything anyone could need! And, the fact that you are also personally answering comments and offering personalized advice is mind blowing! Thank you for all that you do to inform us!

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If you could suggest on a 14-15 day iterinary covering Athens, rome Milan paris London and Finland from New Delhi / Mumbai.

If you have 14 to 15 days I’d suggest choosing about 5 cities in total to visit. So your list should work out fairly well, although it depends on how much of Finland you’d hope to see. I’m guessing you must have a specific reason for wanting to go there? Finland normally isn’t very popular and honestly there isn’t much to see. Helsinki is, in my opinion, the least interesting of the Nordic capitals, although it’s pleasant enough and the country has some nice forests. If you are visiting relatives or something, that requires different planning of course.

It might be easiest to fly from Mumbai to London and then use that as a base. You could spend a few nights there and then fly to Helsinki and back after that or Helsinki to Paris for a few days. After Paris you could fly to Milan or Rome and then take a train to the other and then fly to Athens to finish your trip.

Milan actually isn’t a popular tourist city. It’s the home of most of Italy’s big banks and fashion brands, but neither of those are accessible to most tourists. Italy has amazing fashion shopping in Rome as well as Florence. Venice is also more popular. I hope this helps and I’m happy to help more if you have questions. -Roger

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Comment* Planning first trip to Europe Want to do tour of England, Scotland, Wales and then to Paris for sites and Monet Gardens. Might take train to Brussels and Bruge. Then to Switzerland and home. Any suggestions what tour group to contact. Want slower pace trip…at least 3 weeks. Thank you.

I enjoy helping people plan independent trips, and I honestly don’t know much about booking all-inclusive tours like you are after. I’d imagine you’d have to do at least a few different tours to cover all the places you have in mind. The one outfit that I am familiar with is Rick Steves, who I am a huge fan of for his Europe travel guides and I know he has a big tour organization. I’d start with them and see if they have anything that fits what you are looking for. Best of luck. -Roger

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10 Day Europe Trip Routes: The Best Itineraries to Inspire Travel

10 Day Europe Trip Routes

Planning a trip to Europe can be a very daunting task because there is so much to explore! This list of 10 day Europe trip routes will help navigate those difficulties and determine which destinations you want to officially check off the bucket list on your next trip.

We have done a variety of these 10 day Europe trip routes both as individual trips to Europe and also combined with our original six months backpacking around the world. If you are planning long term travel , it helps to break the full itinerary into smaller pieces like this!

Also keep in mind that these 10 day Europe trip routes are simply guidelines. Everyone has different preferences when traveling and by all means, you can add or takeaway days from each city! The goal here is to help give direction to your travel planning.

Be sure to read all of the best Europe travel tips to prepare you for your trip!

In our experience, we do not recommend tackling more than 3 major destinations in a 10 day Europe trip. It can start to feel rushed and exhausting if you squeeze too much into the time. We have found that 3 destinations per 10 days is a healthy balance. But again, there is no right or wrong way to travel, it is all about what is best for you!

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Amsterdam best 10 day Europe trip routes

A beginners 10 day Europe trip route: Amsterdam – Brussels – Paris

Days 1-3: amsterdam, netherlands, days 4 – 6: brussels, belgium, days 7-10: paris, france.

We absolutely love this 10 day Europe trip route because transportation is easy between all of these destinations and each city is a completely unique experience. You also check three countries off your list if you have not been before!

You can easily flip this itinerary and start in Paris and then work your way up to Amsterdam. Either way, flights are relatively comparable from the United States to whichever city you choose to start with.

Best time of year for this route

This 10 day Europe trip can be taken anytime of the year. The warmer months are great for wandering around the cities. The winter is beautiful because each of these cities have stunning Christmas markets. You can’t go wrong!

Amsterdam is a bucket list city for so many reasons! Amsterdam is a beautiful city filled with so much history. It is also one of the cleanest cities in the world. We originally flew to Amsterdam from Thailand and it was an actual breath of fresh air to arrive here. The people are beyond friendly and there is so much to explore! Two days should be ample time to hit all of the main attractions in Amsterdam itself. If you are looking to venture elsewhere in the Netherlands like Rotterdam, you may want to add another day here.

One important thing to note here is that you must make reservations ahead of time for many of the main attractions. Places like the Anne Frank house book up weeks in advance. As soon as you know your travel dates to Amsterdam, you should look into reserving your ticket!

Read our complete Amsterdam city guide here.

The next stop on this 10 day Europe Itinerary is Brussels, Belgium. You can take either a train (2 hours) or a bus (3 hours) to get from Amsterdam to Brussels. Remember to always research your transportation options on Rome2Rio! This is our favorite way to see different transportation options between cities.

Brussels is an awe striking city with endless things to do. We did not expect to fall in love with Brussels and now it is on our short list of cities we want to live in long term in Europe. You could spend your entire time here exploring the city itself but there are also tons of day trip options to see more of Belgium!

Read our complete Brussels guide here.

Is there a destination more iconic than Paris? Depending on if it is your 1st or 100th time here, you may want more or less time to check everything off the bucket list. While there are plenty of museums and sites to see in Paris, you also want to allot ample down time to simply sit under the Eiffel Tower and walk along the Seine River.

The easiest way from Brussels to Paris is again by train or bus. The train is only an hour and a half but is more expensive than the 3 hour bus ride. Decide what is best for you based on your preference and budget!

Read 10 things to do in Paris on a budget here.

Venice 10 day Europe trip routes

The classic Italy route: Rome – Florence – Venice

Days 1-3: rome, days 4-6: florence, days 7-10: venice.

The next 10 day Europe Itinerary option is to explore some of the most famous cities in Italy! If you are in the market for full culture immersion from sightseeing to incredible food and wine, Italy is the place to go! Rome, Florence and Venice are all accessible to each other by train. The train system is very easy to use in Italy!

Spring and fall would be ideal to avoid the summer rush and scorching August heat.

It is best to start this route in Rome because it is the biggest airport to fly into and the southernmost of the three cities on this 10 day Europe trip itinerary. It will most likely be cheapest to fly to and from the Rome airport.

Rome truly has so much to offer as a city. There are obviously tons of iconic sites to explore in Rome just starting with the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and St. Peter’s Basilica. You can also experience the culture by checking out museums or by taking a cooking class!

Florence is our all time favorite city in the world. In our opinion, you could spend an entire week, month or year here but understandably, you want to tackle more than one city! The train is a quick hour and a half ride from Rome to Florence. Take in the beautiful Italian countryside during your ride!

Florence is a simply magical city. From wine tours to watching the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo, there is plenty to fill your days and stomachs with while you are here! I guarantee you will be itching to come back here as soon as you leave.

Read everything we love about Florence in these posts!

Venice is next on this 10 day Europe trip itinerary through Italy. Venice is one of the most unique cities in the world with its historic architecture and canals used as streets. It is truly a mind blowing experience navigating your way through this city!

While there is plenty to do in Venice itself, we highly recommend taking a day trip to Murano and Burano during your time here. It is a super easy trip on the ferry and these little towns are absolutely stunning.

Croatia 10 Day Europe Trip Routes

The Ultimate Croatia 10 Day Europe Trip Itinerary

Days 1-3: split and beyond, days 4-6: island hop (hvar, vis, brac), days 7-10: dubrovnik.

Croatia is a European destination that gains more and more tourists each year for good reason. It is a simply gorgeous country filled with so much history and some of the most beautiful scenery and water in the world. It is a country that deserves an entire 10 days to see what it has to offer!

For more details on this itinerary, read our extended 10 Croatia itinerary !

Transportation between cities

The best way to travel between all of the cities listed below is by ferry. The ferry system is great in Croatia and they operate at all times of the day. We recommend booking your tickets in advance once you finalize your full itinerary!

Best time of year for this 10 day Europe trip route

May – September would the ideal time to visit these cities in order to capitalize on the beautiful water and beaches.

recommended europe trip route

Split is the best airport to fly into because it is a major port city with access to the rest of the country. There are no direct flights from the United States to Split, but there are still very doable travel options with a layover typically in Germany.

There is so much to do in Split itself so before you start island hopping, plan to spend some time here! Explore national parks, trendy bars, restaurants and historic palaces.

Read our complete Split city guide for all of the ways to fill your first few days in this 10 day Europe trip itinerary!

Croatia is a great country for an extended trip because the ferry system is both affordable and easy to follow. Feel free to get creative and flexible with your days here because there are so many ways to go about island hopping in Croatia. Some travelers prefer to stay in one port city, like Split or Hvar, and take day trips to the other islands. Others prefer to move all of their things from one to another and stay the night in each. There is no wrong or right way to do this!

We definitely recommend at least staying one night in Hvar because of the famous nightlife. It is very possible to stay in Hvar and take a day trip island hopping around there.

Thanks to Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik has become one of the most visited cities in the world as it is now famous for being the home of King’s Landing. Besides the connection to the show, Dubrovnik is one of the coolest cities in the world. The city walls are completely intact and go all of the way around the city center. You can even walk all of the way around them for epic city and Adriatic Sea views!

Munich best 10 day Europe trip routes

The Beer Route: Munich – Prague – Budapest

Days 1-3: munich, germany, days 4-6: prague, czech republic, days 7-10: budapest, hungary.

We traveled this 10 day Europe trip route back in 2018 when we went to Oktoberfest. It was such a great way to tackle Oktoberfest in Munich (hello bucket list!) and also experience more of Europe in one trip. We also fit 2 days in Split, Croatia on that trip in 2018 and it felt like we crammed too much into the 10 day itinerary. Extending a day in these cities would have made that trip feel less rushed!

Spring and fall will capitalize on the beer festivals in Munich with comfortable temperatures. These are also great cities to visit during the winter!

The beauty of travel in Europe is that there are multiple transportation options between all of these cities. You can take a plane, train or bus depending on your budget and preferred mode of transportation.

Munich is a great place to start this 10 day Europe trip itinerary because there are typically lots of direct flights from the United States. The public transportation is also easy to use in Munich so you can get to your housing from the airport without calling a cab!

Even if you do not visit Munich during Oktoberfest, the city has so much to offer any time of the year! Take a bike ride to the Chinese Tower in the English Gardens, drink a stein at the original Hofbräuhaus and explore the century-old architecture.

Read our Munich city guide here!

Days 4-6: Prague

Prague is next on this itinerary and wow are you in for a treat! Prague is one of the best cities in the world and also on our short list of places to move in Europe. The bus from Munich to Prague is about 5 hours and the most affordable way to travel between the two cities. The train is also an option (there will be one transfer) that takes about 6 hours total. You can also fly between the two cities! Europe is great at providing quick and cheap flights between the major cities.

The Prague Castle is one of the most epic castles in the world. That mixed with the beer, the nightlife and the Charles Bridge make this destination a total European vibe.

For more details on how to spend your time in Prague, read our complete city guide.

Days 7-10: Budapest

The best way to get from Prague to Budapest is to fly. The flight is an hour and very affordable, there are options for less than $25! There are also options on the bus or train but the travel time will be much longer. Again, take the transportation that is best for your budget and comfort level.

The Baths are just the beginning of the fun in Budapest! Budapest is home to some of the most unique architecture in all of Europe. It is also known for epic ruins bars that go multiple stories underground. Budapest is a great city to visit on a budget. Everything is very affordable here from housing, food and drinks!

Read a complete guide to visiting Budapest here.

Northern Ireland best 10 day Europe trip routes

10 day Europe trip: The United Kingdom and Ireland

Days 1-2: london, days 3-4: edinburgh, days 5-6: belfast, days 7-8: galway, days 9-10: dublin.

Ok so real talk here, this route goes against what we said before about limiting a 10 day Europe trip to 3 cities. It is certainly a jam packed itinerary, but it is doable to cover all of the cities in 10 days. It is a great way to cover ground and learn which cities you want to go back to for a longer period on another trip!

The reason we start this route in London and end in Dublin is that these two hubs have the most direct flights from the United States. They are easy and affordable flights, especially from the east coast. We flew to Dublin round trip for our honeymoon for $500 total!

March – October are the best months to visit these cities. You’ll want to avoid these in the middle of the winter so that you can make sure to take in all of the beautiful landscape.

Obviously you could spend more than two days exploring all that London has to offer, but this is a great start to experience the city. It is essential to prioritize activities that are most important to you here. If you are a huge Harry Potter fan, then it is 100% worth the trip out to the studios. If you are not a fan, skip that! The Tower of London is one of the coolest museums in the world filled with immense history. If you are food obsessed, highly recommend checking out Borough Market! There is plenty to do to fill your short time in London.

recommended europe trip route

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Edinburgh, Scotland is the next stop on this 10 day Europe itinerary. Edinburgh is a 4 hour train ride from London. It is a beautiful train ride with the English and Scottish countryside just outside your window!

Edinburgh is an amazing city to explore. It somehow manages to be historic and lively with gorgeous highlands that you can walk to just outside of the city center. You can walk through the famous Edinburgh castle and then take in views of the city at Arthur’s Seat. Be sure to stop in some pubs for local beer and freshly made haggis.

Read our full Edinburgh guide here.

Next stop on this route is Northern Ireland! The flight from Edinburgh to Belfast is less than an hour and as cheap as $30.

Northern Ireland is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, this is the hub of filming for this show and you can take a tour of the many filming spots. Even if you are not a fan, the tour is great because it takes you to all of the epic landscape scenes like the Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.

Belfast is also where the Titanic was built and originated. There is a titanic museum and also a bar that is themed completely from the boat!

Read our full Belfast city guide here.

Now it is time to move down to Ireland! The bus system all around Northern Ireland and Ireland is simply spectacular. We have taken buses from multiple cities here and it is always a great experience! They are spacious and even have free wifi. The bus ride between Belfast and Galway is 5 hour and it does stop in Dublin. You have the option here to skip Galway and spend the rest of your days in Dublin! We personally love Galway so think it is worth making the trip there for two days.

Book your bus rides through Ireland on CityLink!

Read our complete Galway city guide to determine how to spend your time here! The biggest things to do are to take a tour out to the Cliffs of Moher and listen to live music at Taaffe’s Bar.

The last stop on this 10 day Europe itinerary is Dublin! It is an easy 3 hour bus ride here from Galway.

Similar to London, there are endless things to do in Dublin so it is important to prioritize the activities that are top of your list for your time here. Make sure to book your reservation ahead of time for the Guinness museum and Jameson Distillery! Take some time to walk around Trinity College and then pub crawl through the Temple Bar area.

Read our full Dublin guide here!

Lisbon best 10 day Europe trip routes

West Coast 10 day Europe trip route: Spain and Portugal

Day 1-3: lisbon, day 4-6: ibiza (option 1), day 4-6: madrid (option 2), day 7-10: barcelona.

Spain and Portugal are great countries to visit together because transportation is very easy between the two. You can either fly into Barcelona or Lisbon, whichever one is cheapest from your starting destination.

March – October would be the best time to travel this Europe route. If going to the beaches are a priority, then we would recommend going during the summer months. If that is not a priority, then enjoy the comfortable temperatures in the spring and fall!

Lisbon is a great city to start this route because it is typically the easiest to fly to from the United States. There is so much to do in Lisbon itself in those three days! The food and drink scene is one of the best in the world. The best day trip to take from Lisbon is out to Sintra! Sintra is home to some of the most epic castles Europe has to offer.

If you want to explore more than one city in Portugal, you can extend your stay here and travel up North to Porto or South to The Algarve. Consider cutting one of the Spanish cities below if you add more time in Portugal. That’s the beauty of these itineraries! You can adjust the trip to fit your travel style and interests.

Read our complete Lisbon city guide here.

If your crowd is in the mood for a party, now would be a great time to check Ibiza off of the bucket list. There are so many party options here! You can check out a nightclub or a pool party during the day. There are also lots of bars to spend the day bar hopping along the beach. Make sure to buy tickets ahead of time to any DJ parties. They will get sold out depending on the day and time of year!

Madrid is a major European city that many people absolutely love! It is filled with historic buildings and epic parks to explore. Madrid is also known for a fun nightlife scene and of course fabulous dining options.

We recommended closing (or starting) this 10 Europe trip loop in Barcelona because it is one of the most affordable cities to fly to and from.

Barcelona is one of the most famous European cities for good reasons! Not only is it home to some of the most unique architecture in the world, there are unlimited bars and restaurants to try. Also, check out the beach and nightclubs! There is something for every type of traveler in Barcelona.

Europe trip planning resources

London best 10 day Europe trip routes

Rome2Rio is the best travel resource to see transportation options between cities. It will show you every route option from plane, train, bus, and ferry!

Google Flights

Many travelers disagree on the best platform to browse flight options but we love the classics. Google flights is a great place to gauge flight costs and options between cities.

Trivago is our favorite site to browse housing options in cities. You can enter your budget and see all of the different options!

Additional travel resources:

Download these 15 travel apps before your next trip. Have the travel itch? Learn how to quit your job and travel here. Check out our backpacking Europe complete packing list here! Here are 15 items you need to travel to Europe.

Europe is filled with so many amazing cities, sometimes it is hard to choose where to go next. We hope these 10 day Europe itineraries help to inspire your next trip! Let us know in the comments which of these routes you are looking forward to traveling.

recommended europe trip route

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20 one-week europe trip itinerary ideas.

One Week Europe Itinerary Ideas

Wondering where to spend one week in Europe? These 20 ideas for your Europe trip will help you decide how to maximize your time.

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How to Choose the Best One Week Itinerary for a Europe Trip: 20 Europe Itinerary Ideas

If you’re like most people and getting time off work or kids out of school is challenging, you may only be able to manage one week of vacation. Europe is a great destination to go for one week, simply because of the cultural diversity in such a small geographic area.

The small size, proximity, and ease of transportation between many of the countries in Europe make it a good choice for a culturally rich one week holiday. If you’ve only got one week in Europe, and really want to maximize your time, but you’re wondering where to go in Europe, here are 20 perfect one-week Europe travel itineraries.

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If you're heading to Europe and only have one week to enjoy it, try one of these 20 one week European itineraries that will help you make the most of your time. #Europe #Itinerary #Vacation

  • Before You go to Europe

Europe is an amazing destination, especially if you pick any of these awesome itineraries, but before leaving there are a few things you should consider when planning your Europe trip:

  • KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Before you go to Europe, be sure you follow my 50 travel tips for Europe. You can find those here. 

And the winter months are generally cold in most European countries, especially in the north.That doesn’t mean you should avoid those times, it just depends on your tolerance for crowds and your preference in weather.

  • WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE: What you pack for Europe will highly depend on what time of year you go and where you decide to go. This  packing guide for Europe will ensure you have the essentials.
  • GETTING AROUND: Getting around Europe can be a little daunting, but if you do some research before you go, you’ll be just fine. Transportation in every country in Europe is a little different. I’ve linked many of my articles with helpful advice below like   How to Survive Train Travel in Italy   and   Driving in Scotland . Some itineraries will require you to go by train, car, plane or boat. Travel around Europe doesn’t have to be scary if you learn what to do ahead of time.

If you’re renting a car, there are two companies we prefer to use: Rental Cars and Expedia Cars. We have had no issues with them and have been able to find the best prices available.

What to do in Europe for One Week: 20 European Vacation Ideas for Your Europe Trip

These are my best one week vacations in Europe. Taking a multi city European vacation can be a great way to experience several different cultures on one continent. I know that one week in Europe isn’t a lot of time, so I’ve picked cities that are either close in proximity or a quick and cheap flight between each other.

I’ve also tried to choose each Europe travel itinerary with a mix of classic sites and unique destinations. There are so many cool places to visit in Europe that are still undiscovered. Hopefully, some of these locations will be new to you and you’ll be able to discover a new European favorite!

Here's a Short Cut

1 | Amalfi Coast + Rome

2 | paris + london, 3 | ireland + iceland, 4 | heidelberg, germany + strasbourg, france, 5 | colmar, france + basel, switzerland, 6 | interlaken + lucerne, switzerland, 7 | lake como, italy + zermatt, switzerland, 8 | paris + normandy, 9 | iceland and the scottish highlands, 10 | venice and lake como, 11 | the ionian islands, greece, 12 | ireland + northern ireland, 13 | edinburgh + scottish highlands, 14 | colmar + strasbourg, 15 | loire valley + paris, 16 | london + cotswolds, 17 | cinque terre + florence, 18 | prague + vienna, 19 | budapest + bratislava, 20 | lucca + sardinia, 21 | lisbon + algarve, 22 | vienna + hallstatt + salzburg , 23 | croatia + montenegro, 24 | budapest + bratislava + vienna, practical tips for booking your trip.

Europe Itinerary- 20 Europe Trip Ideas

This is one of my very favorite European vacation destinations. There are hundreds of choices for stunning history and scenery when you visit Italy, but this Amalfi Coast and Rome itinerary gives you the best of both worlds. Rome is one of the top places to visit in Europe and offers history around every corner…literally, while on the Amalfi Coast you will be overwhelmed by breathtaking ocean views.

Spend several days in Rome, then head south to the Amalfi Coast via Naples and spend a few more relaxing on the beach and driving the coast. It’s one of the best European beach vacations you can take! Amalfi is also one of the most popular Europe vacation spots during the month of August, so you may want to take that into consideration when planning your trip.

Check out these other 5 amazing itineraries for Italy.  Italy is one of the best countries to visit in Europe due to its size and variety of landscapes, cultures, and attractions.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Rome

GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Getting from Rome to Amalfi is easy. Take the train from Rome to Naples, from there take the bus to Sorrento. There are many tour buses that travel along the coast, or you can rent a car and do the driving yourself.

WHERE TO STAY Rome | Amalfi RESOURCES How to Spend One Day in Rome Family Guide to Rome How to Spend 2 Days in Naples How to Survive Train Travel in Italy The Best Places to Visit in Italy How to Spend 10 Days in Italy Tips for Renting a Car in Europe i Heart Italy

Europe Trip Itinerary

If you’re looking for a European vacation with a lot of history and class, this is it! I can’t even count the number of times that I have done the Paris/London combo. I’ve done it with kids, as a couple, as a girls’ trip, and as a field trip. No joke! And every time I go, it’s like completely different cities. You can follow completely different options for London and Paris itineraries and have an amazing time no matter what you choose. In my opinion, these are two of the best cities to visit in Europe as they offer a huge amount of culture, food, and entertainment bang for your buck!

When I plan our family trip to Europe each year, I make sure to always include both Paris and London. These are two of my favorite places in all of Europe. They are popular for good reason. Both Paris and London are so vast and diverse that you can have a new experience each time you visit. The best part about visiting these two cities is that they are very easy to travel between with the help of the Eurostar. It’s a quick journey from the heart of one city to the next that requires no airports, no flying, and no hassle. Note: You will need a   passport or visa   to travel between England and France and you will need to go through customs before boarding the Eurostar.

I’ve created an easy-to-use day-by-day itinerary for Paris and London so that you can show up and enjoy your trip. 

recommended europe trip route

GETTING THERE: Fly into London or Paris GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Take the Eurostar

WHERE TO STAY Paris | London

RESOURCES Paris Walking Guide Paris with Kids Foods You Must Try in Paris Paris Neighborhood Guide How to Use the Paris Bike System London Travel Guide Perfect London Itinerary London with Kids Christmas in London Paddington’s Guide to London How to Use the Paris Bike System

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

If you’re looking for a European vacation with wild nature and rural beauty, this option is a winner. While both of these spectacular islands really deserve their own week (or weeks really), a trip combining the two is possible, thanks to affordable flights between Iceland and Ireland. A good route would be Reykjavik and the Golden Circle, combined with the west of Ireland including Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, and the Cliffs of Moher. These countries are some of the best places to go in Europe if you love majestic natural beauty.

GETTING THERE:  Fly into Iceland as its one of the cheapest ways to get to Europe. GETTING BETWEN COUNTRIES:  From Iceland , take a quick flight to Ireland. Dublin , Belfast , Cork, or Shannon Airports are usually where you’ll find the best deals.

WHERE TO STAY Ireland | Iceland

RESOURCES Iceland on a Budget Bucket List Things to do in Iceland Iconic Things to do in Dublin Day Trips from Dublin What to do in Killarney Perfect Ireland Itinerary Ireland with Kids Ireland Packing List

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

This one-week European itinerary includes two of my favorite cities in Europe! Heidelberg, Germany, known for its ancient castle and walkable downtown is a perfect companion to Strasbourg, France only an hour and a half away, in the Alsace region of France, known for its impressive cathedral and half-timber houses. These towns are particularly spectacular during the Christmas season and some of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe. This will be the best Europe itinerary for those looking to spend time in provincial looking towns!

GETTING THERE:  Fly into Frankfurt, Germany GETTING BETWEEN COUNTRIES:  Drive for 1.5 hours or take the train for 1.5 hours.

WHERE TO STAY Heidelberg | Strasbourg

RESOURCES Best European Christmas Markets European Christmas Market Treats What to do in Strasbourg What to do in Heidelberg, Germany What to do in Strasbourg, France

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

If you want to spend your Europen vacation wandering charming streets and feeling like you’re in a fairytale, this is it. Basel, Switzerland holds a special place in my heart and is often an overlooked town. Only a quick 45-minute train ride from the popular and iconic Colmar, France, Basel offers a unique culture that only a town on the border of three countries can. Basel is especially fun during Herbstmesse, the local Autumn Fair when the city literally turns into a fair! Combine these two beautiful cities for a one-of-a-kind holiday.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Basel or Zurich GETTING BETWEEN CITIES:  Drive 45 minutes or Train 30 minutes

WHERE TO STAY Colmar |  Basel

RESOURCES What to do in Basel Guide to Colmar, France

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

No European vacation list would be complete without including the unimaginable beauty of the Swiss Alps. Switzerland is a wonderland of natural beauty for the outdoor enthusiast or even anyone who has a remote interest in pretty scenery! It’s one of the best countries in Europe for those who love outdoor activity and natural beauty. It’s just jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

For such a small country, there is so much to see and with two of Switzerland most breathtaking areas just a few hours from each other, it’s worth visiting both of them. These areas offer pristine lakes, ancient gorges, colossal mountains, and a vast array of cultural activities.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Zurich, Switzerland GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Train to Lucerne, Train to Interlaken

WHERE TO STAY Interlaken | Lucerne

RESOURCES Switzerland Itinerary Swiss Food Guide Switzerland Packing List 24 Hours in Zurich What to do in Interlaken What to do in Lucerne

One Week Europe Itinerary

If you’d like your Europe trip to have a good mix of beach and mountain time, this is the perfect combination. Lake Como is probably one of my top favorite places on the planet. It is totally magical and peaceful, and I’ve written about it multiple times and helped friends and family plan trips there. Don’t skip Lake Como on your next trip to Italy. One of my favorite parts of Lake Como is its proximity to the Swiss border. You can actually hike over the borer and into Switzerland! But if you’d rather not hike, hop in the car and take a trip to Zermatt, Switzerland, home of the famous towering mountain, Matterhorn.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Milan, Italy GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Drive 3 hours to Zermatt or take a 4 hour Train ride from Milan

WHERE TO STAY Lake Como | Zermatt

RESOURCES Guide to Lake Como Boating Lake Como Guide to Zermatt Best Places to Visit in Italy How to Spend 10 Days in Italy i Heart Italy

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

This is a European vacation full of charm, but also a healthy dose of history and reality. A Paris-Normandy itinerary of Europe combines all the glamor and romance of the city of light with the charm, history, and beauty of Northern France. Spend several days in Paris, taking several day trips, including the impressive floating Mont Saint Michel. This area is one of the best places to visit in Europe for history lovers.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Paris GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Drive 3 hours

WHERE TO STAY Paris | Normandy

RESOURCES Paris Itinerary Paris Walking Guide Paris with Kids Foods You Must Try in Paris Paris Neighbgorhood Guide Guide to Normandy Guide to Visiting Mont Saint Michel France with Kids

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

Two naturally and culturally beautiful countries are just a short and cheap flight apart and a great combination for a one-week European itinerary, although both countries could take weeks to explore on their own.  Spend a few days in Iceland, then take a cheap hopper flight and explore the mystical highlands of Scotland.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Reykjavik GETTING BETWEEN COUNTRIES: Fly into Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, or Aberdeen

WHERE TO STAY Iceland | Scotland

RESOURCES Iceland on a Budget Scotland Itinerary What to do in Inverness What to do on the Isle of Skye Scotland Packing List

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

Some of my favorite Italian destinations, Venice and Lake Como, both built on water, are ideal locations for aquatic enthusiasts. Taking a ride on a gondola in Venice is one of the best things to do in Europe! Take the Vaporetto (water bus) in Venice, then take a short drive or train ride to Lake Como and enjoy boating and relaxing on the beach in one of the adorable villages lining the lake.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Venice or Milan GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: 3.5 hours by car or 10 hours by train

WHERE TO STAY Venice | Lake Como

RESOURCES Guide to Lake Como Boating Lake Como Surviving Train Travel in Italy Guide to Venice Best Places to Visit in Italy How to Spend 10 Days in Italy i Heart Italy

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

If you’re interested in cheap Europe trips, the gorgeous Ionian islands of Greece are one of the best-kept secrets in Europe. Naturally and culturally diverse, affordable, and downright beautiful, Kefalonia and Corfu make great choices for one week in Europe.

Explore ancient ruins, relax on pristine beaches with locals, and dine, affordably, like a Greek god. If you’re travelling Europe on a budget, this is a great option and Greece is one of the best places to visit in Europe in summer if you’re looking for gorgeous beaches at affordable prices.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Kefalonia from London on Ryanair GETTING BETWEEN ISLANDS: Take a ferry between the Ionian Islands from Greek Ferries

WHERE TO STAY Kefalonia | Corfu

RESOURCES Guide to Kefalonia Greece The Ionian Islands The Best Beaches on Corfu What to Wear in Greece Guide to Athens

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

Two countries on one island? Yep! Take a visit to Ireland AND Northern Ireland. Two countries that are very similar, but also very different. Explore the entire island with this perfect itinerary.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Dublin or any airport in Ireland GETTING BETWEEN COUNTRIES: Rent a Car. Driving in Ireland can be tricky and slow, but worth the views and the adventure.

WHERE TO STAY Ireland | Northern Ireland

RESOURCES The Best Places to Visit in Ireland Perfect Ireland Itinerary Ireland with Kids What to do in Killarney Scotland and Ireland Itinerary Ireland Packing List

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

Scotland is one country that should really be given an entire week. You could definitely say that about any destination, but for a relatively small country, but it has so much to offer that you could spend years here and not see it all.

For one week in Scotland, I recommend visiting Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands, including the Isle of Skye. Read here for an entire Scotland Itinerary, here for Edinburgh , here for Inverness and the Highlands , and here for the Isle of Skye.

GETTING THERE:  Flying into Edinburgh is usually the cheapest option. GETTING BETWEN AREAS:  It’s best to rent a car or hire a driver or tour company. Be sure to read my guide to driving in Scotland.  

WHERE TO STAY Ediburgh | Inverness | Isle of Skye

RESOURCES Perfect Scotland Itinerary What to do in Edinburgh What to do in Inverness What to do on the Isle of Skye Scotland Packing List

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

What could be more charming than a week spent in these “poor provincial towns.” Ok, so they’re definitely not poor or provincial, but you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Belle’s hometown from Beauty and the Beast .

The ancient half-timber homes built along scenic rivers provide a feast for the eyes, while the patisseries, boulangeries, shops, and restaurants provide a feast for the tongue. Split your time between these two idyllic towns and enjoy a peaceful trip back in time.

If you visit Colmar or Strasbourg during Christmas, these towns will be even more magical! Strasbourg is known as “The Capital of Christmas” and both towns have incredible Christmas markets and decorations!

GETTING THERE:  Fly into Zurich GETTING BETWEEN COUNTRIES:  30 minutes by train or 1 hour by car

WHERE TO STAY Colmar | Strasbourg

RESOURCES 24 Hours in Zurich Guide to Colmar Guide to Strasbourg The Most Magical European Christmas Markets Must-Have European Christmas Market Treats 

One Week Europe Trip Itinerary

Divide your time between the ancient and modern city of light and the historic Loire Valley , home to magnificent palaces, stunning gardens, and green pastures. This one-week itinerary is the perfect balance between city and country life and will provide you with a mix of excitement, peace, and romance. It can be hard to squeeze everything you want into one week European itineraries, but this is a must!

Be sure to map out the castles and palaces you want to see along the way. Our favorite is Chenonceau ! Don’t miss it!

GETTING THERE: Fly into Paris GETTING AROUND:  Rent a car and drive two hours to the Loire Valley

WHERE TO STAY Loire Valley | Paris

RESOURCES Walking Guide to Paris Paris with Kids Day Trips from Paris Foods You Must Try in Paris Guide to the Loire Valley 15 Affordable Castles You Can Stay In

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

This London and Cotswolds Itinerary provides the best of both British worlds, encompassing both the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s oldest and largest cities and the peace and tranquility of the quaint cottage speckled Cotswolds.

As much as I love London (it’s my favorite city), I do get tired of the crowds and the constant noise. It is so refreshing to get into the countryside and have a change of scenery during your time in London. The Cotswolds are a fairytale-like dream trip. Be sure to grab cream tea every chance you get!

GETTING THERE: Fly into one of three London Airports GETTING AROUND: Rent a car and explore the whole Cotswolds area

WHERE TO STAY London | Cotswolds

RESOURCES London Travel Guide Complete Guide to London Perfect London Itinerary London with Kids Paddington’s Guide to London Christmas in London Guide to the Cotswolds

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

I call this itinerary the best of Northern Italy. Italy is huge and has so much to offer geographically and culturally, but one of my favorite parts of Italy is the train system. The trains in Italy allow for easy access to most major sites, but it can be slightly confusing, so be sure to read this guide to train travel in Italy before you go. Getting between Florence and Cinque Terre is simple with the right knowledge.

The great thing about this itinerary is that you will get to see a big city full of culture, history, and art, and also spend time swimming at the beach and on a boat soaking up rays in in the Liguerian Sea. Read here for Florence, here for Cinque Terre, here for Trains in Italy.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Florence GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Two hours by train

WHERE TO STAY Cinque Terre | Florence

RESOURCES Guide to Cinque Terre Guide to Florence How to Survive Train Travel in Italy Best Places to Visit in Italy How to Spend 10 Days in Italy

Europe Itinerary

I think Prague and Vienna might be some of the most underrated cities in Europe, and they are worth dedicating an entire week to. Stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and cultural activities abound in these cities that are just a few hours apart.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Vienna or Prague GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: 3-hour drive or 4-hour train ride

WHERE TO STAY Prague | Vienna

RESOURCES One Day in Prague What to do in Vienna

One Week European Itinerary

If you’re looking for cheap European vacations, the farther east you go, the cheaper it generally gets. These are two cities that had never really been on my bucket list, and to be honest, I had never even heard of Bratislava, which is in Slovakia by the way! Both cities are charming and culturally rich. They are especially festive and beautiful around Christmas time.

Bratislava is on the way between Budapest and Vienna (you can even cycle between Budapest and Vienna ) and Budapest and Prague, so if you’re thinking of doing a combination of any of those cities, it’s a great stop.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Budapest GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: 2 hours by car, 2.5 hours by train

WHERE TO STAY Budapest | Bratislava

RESOURCES What to do in Budapest European Christmas Markets What to do in Bratislava

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

These incredible destinations in Italy are not well known, but that is part of the appeal. I would say they are a good option for a cheaper and less crowded alternative to the  Florence and Cinque Terre itinerary.

Lucca is a walled city in Tuscany offering stunning architecture and culture with great family fun activities such as riding bikes along the top of the medieval wall around the city. Sardinia is a heavenly island, just a ferry ride away full of breathtaking beaches, delicious food, and friendly locals. Known as one of the five blue zones in the world- places in the world where people live longer and healthier than anywhere else on earth-Sardinia will make you feel younger and more alive just by visiting.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Rome or Florence GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS: Take a Ferry from Civitavecchia to Olbia

WHERE TO STAY Lucca | Sardinia

RESOURCES One Day in Rome What to do in Lucca Sardinia Best Places to Visit in Italy How to Spend 10 Days in Italy What to Wear in Italy

recommended europe trip route

Portugal is a beautiful country full of diverse landscapes, amazing beaches, and cultural city centers. Lisbon is a stunning city and the Algarve region in the south of Portugal offers sunny beaches with world-famous surfing. There are some really cheap flights to Lisbon from the US right now and you can either drive, train, bus, or fly to the Algarve easily. As a southern European country, Portugal is a great choice for a winter destination. We were there last January and could still get in the water. There are many towns to choose from in the Algarve and they are all equally unique and beautiful. 

GETTING THERE: Fly into Lisbon GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS: Take a plane, car, or bus to the Algarve.

The Perfect Portugal Itinerary

recommended europe trip route

This one week in Europe spent in Austria is a dream. Combining the culture of Vienna and Salzburg with the picturesque feel of Hallstatt, it’s sure to satisfy any traveler. In my opinion, this is a great winter destination if you don’t mind the cold. Vienna and Salzburg have several amazing Christmas markets and Hallstatt is simply a dream to see in the snow! 

GETTING THERE: Fly into Vienna GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS: Take a train to Salzburg (2.5 hours). A great way to see Hallstatt is to take a day trip from Salzburg.

Hallstatt Day Trip

European Christmas Markets

Christmas Market Treats

recommended europe trip route

If you’re into coastal towns, walled cities, and breathtaking scenery, this combination is for you. The Dalmation Coast is absolutely stunning. The bordering country of Montenegro is really the hidden gem of Europe, offering the same draw as Croatia, but with far fewer tourists. I recommend going during shoulder season (April-May or September-October) to be able to enjoy warmer weather with fewer crowds. 

GETTING THERE: Fly into Dubrovnik, Croatia  GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS:  Take a Day Trip to Montenegro

recommended europe trip route

Two of the most underrated cities in Europe if you ask me, Budapest and Bratislava are both cities that offer an amazing array of culture and also incredible food. If you’re up for the cold weather, these cities all have incredible Christmas markets and stunning decorations around the holidays. These cities are also all connected by rail so you can easily navigate between them. 

GETTING THERE: Fly into Vienna or Budapest GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS: Take the train between each city. Bratislava would be a good day trip from Vienna.

25 | Berlin + Prague

recommended europe trip route

If you love history and architecture, then these two cities will captivate you! Split your time between the two, rent a car and take a road trip between them to enjoy some beautiful scenery. 

GETTING THERE: Fly into either Berlin or Prague, whichever airport is cheaper.  GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS: Rent a car and take a road trip between Berlin and Prague.

Whichever Europe Itinerary you choose, you’re guaranteed to love it. You can definitely see so much of Europe in a week and you really can’t go wrong with any of these choices. Just remember to relax and enjoy and also remember that this probably won’t be the last Europe trip of your lifetime.

Not the Trip You Need?

Not exactly the trip you’re looking for? Don’t worry, I also offer custom trip planning by request for many destinations! Learn more here.

Book Your Flight s and Car Find a budget airlines by using  Skyscanner . This is my favorite way to search for flights because they crawl websites and airlines around the globe, so you always know you’re getting the best deal. Learn more tips for finding the best flight deals here. For cars, I like to use Rental Cars because they have good filters and its easy to search for multiple companies.

Book Your Accommodation My preferred way to stay around the world is VRBO . I find it usually gives you a unique local experience in any destination. If you want to stay in a hotel, use  Booking , as it consistently gives the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels. I use them both all the time.

Always Get Travel Insurance Travel insurance protects you and your family against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s peace of mind in case anything goes wrong. I never travel without it. I’ve been using World Nomads for the last few years and love how easy it is to use. I have also used Allianz . Compare rates to see which is best for the coverage you need.

Looking for ways to save money on travel? Check out my  resource page  for the companies I use for traveling! I share everything I use to save me time and money.

recommended europe trip route

Wanderlust Crew

9 thoughts on “ 20 one-week europe trip itinerary ideas ”.

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Hi there, My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary next March and would love to go somewhere in Europe for a week. I have only been to Italy (over 20 years ago) and he’s never been. I’m a bit overwhelmed by even trying to figure out where to go. Can you help? Thanks! Hannah

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Hi Hannah. I can definitely help! I’ve got several Italy Itinerary ideas for Italy here: https://wanderlustcrew.com/10-days-in-italy/ I also do custom trip planning, specifically for Italy, if you’re interested in that, you can find more info here: https://wanderlustcrew.com/custom-travel-planning/ Italy will be so much fun! One of my favorite places on earth! xo Vanessa

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Very helpful! Thank you. We are planning a one year stay & this helped with our itinerary tremendously.

Oh that sounds amazing! You’ll see so much!

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Great ideas! We hope we’ll be able to travel to Europe again soon!

Thanks so much! Me too! Going as soon as it’s safe!!

Pingback: Backpacking around Italy with kids - Travel Mad Mum tips

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Very good these tips I was even thinking about taking a vacation for a few days, thank you

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10 of the Best Road Trips in Europe

From the U.K. to Italy, here are 10 of the best European road trips.

recommended europe trip route

Sometimes a road trip is a way to reach a destination; other times the road itself is the destination. Scenery that would disappear if you flew over it, or turn into a blur if you passed by it on a train, is yours to enjoy at your own pace. For Europe road trips, you'll want to take it slow and enjoy the journey as the destination.

Having a car lets you stop where and when you want, letting you find those out-of-the-way spots that make a trip especially memorable. My personal favorite way to do a road trip is to spend time at a destination, and then add a drive to the itinerary for a day or two. Perhaps you would like to focus your entire vacation on the drive, spending a night or two in each place before moving on to the next.

Before you embark on a European road trip, there are a few practical things to know. The major car rental companies (Avis, Hertz, and Budget) generally have pickup offices at airports, near train stations, and in some city locations. You can also use Auto Europe for help selecting a rental company. Be sure to reserve the car in advance.

Most European cars have manual transmissions, but automatics are available at a higher cost, which is probably worth it. Unless you're very comfortable shifting, you don't need another thing to think about as you navigate unfamiliar roads. This is especially true in the U.K., where cars are right-hand drive and you ride on the opposite side of the road. Adding a manual shift to that mix is too much to handle for most of our brains.

Be sure to check if you need an International Drivers Permit (IDP) before you leave. You will of course need your state-issued driver's license and passport, but many countries also require the IDP. It takes a few weeks to acquire if you do it by mail, so be sure to leave time before your trip to complete the paperwork. It's also a good idea to double-check your rental car coverage with your insurance and credit card company, and to consider accepting insurance from the rental company at additional cost.

Driving in Europe has gotten easier with the advent of GPS devices and phone apps. You no longer have to depend on unwieldy paper maps, although they are helpful for getting an overview of your route and noting the next big cities along the way.

Google Maps , Waze , Here We Go , and others are useful in guiding you, and maps can be downloaded offline for convenience. If there are concerns about internet availability, data charges, or phone battery life, you can always rent a GPS with the car or take along a separate GPS device, making sure the specific country information is downloaded before you leave.

Here are a few ideas to get you started with planning your own Europe road trip. The itineraries can be extended with a few days at either end (or somewhere in the middle), and several can be done in a day or two from major European cities.

Berlin to Munich, Germany

This is your chance to drive the famous Autobahn, making the one-way trip in about five to six hours — depending on your speed, of course. Heading south out of Berlin on A-9, you can drive straight through or stop along the way.

Contrary to popular opinion, there are speed limits in certain zones, and they are displayed on electronic signs that can be adjusted based on traffic or weather. In other places, speed limits are just suggestions. Stay to the right — the left lane is mainly for passing. Your signal to get out of the way of a faster car will probably be that car hovering on your rear bumper and flashing headlights. Remember that on Europe road trips, you'll be dealing in kilometers, not miles!

Leipzig is a good halfway point and an ideal place to spend the night. Historic and home to art, music, and culture, it's a blend of old and new with great food as well. Spend at least a day in Munich , Bavaria's capital, exploring its historic buildings, restaurants, and beer gardens. For your return trip, consider a scenic route heading north along A-93 and A-13 with a stop in Dresden, home to art museums and an old town reconstructed after World War II bombing.

Be sure to also spend a few days in Berlin , Germany's capital, at either end of your trip. A visit to the remains of the infamous Berlin Wall and the 18th-century Brandenburg Gate should be on your itinerary.

Edinburgh to Inverness, Scotland

Spend a few days in Edinburgh absorbing the history, exploring the ancient streets, walking up to the iconic Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Royal Mile, and taking in Holyrood Park and its highest point, Arthur's Seat, for a stunning view of the city. When it's time to set out for your drive across the Scottish Highlands, you'll be on Route M-9 and A-82 heading northwest across green hills and rocky peaks, enjoying waterfalls and streams on your way to Fort William .

On the way, you'll pass Helix Park and the Kelpies, the largest horse sculptures in the world, and after about three to four hours, you'll be in Fort William, looking up at Ben Nevis , Britain's highest mountain. It's time for lunch and some warm Cullen skink, Scotland's famous fish soup, at one of the town's restaurants or cafes.

Next head for Inverness , taking Route A-82 along the eastern edge of Loch Ness . Allow nearly two hours for this part of your trip. You'll want photos of the picturesque scenery, and you also want to be ready to snap one in case Nessie should show her head.

You'll want to spend some time in Inverness before heading back to Edinburgh or on to your next adventure in Scotland.

Paris to Strasbourg and the Alsace Wine Route

Christopher Larson/Travel + Leisure

After a few days in Paris , a drive through the countryside could be a nice change, if you can tear yourself away from the Eiffel Tower views and morning croissants. If you have time for a two- or three-day trip, consider spending a night in or near Strasbourg before touring the wine country. The actual drive time between Paris and Strasbourg is around five hours, but you'll want to stop along the way in both directions, especially if you include the Alsace Wine Route .

About two hours east of Paris on Route A-4, you'll get to Reims, known for its magnificent Gothic cathedral as well as for its role as the center of France's Champagne region. After another two hours or so of driving, you'll arrive in the city of Metz , also home to a stunning cathedral, Saint-Etienne, one of the tallest Gothic buildings in Europe. Strasbourg is still around three hours away, so if you've driven enough for one day, you have your choice of lodging in this lovely city situated along the Moselle and Seille Rivers. A relaxing dinner and a walk along the river would be perfect after a day on the road.

On to Strasbourg the next day and a trip down all or part of the winery route. Explore vineyards, medieval chateaux, and quaint villages. Before heading back to Paris, especially after a day in wine country, you may want to continue your Alsace experience with a restful night in historic and charming Colmar . With an early start the next morning, you can be back in Paris after about five hours of drive time.

Barcelona to Málaga, Spain

Rory Fuller/Travel + Leisure

From Barcelona , head south along the coast. After an hour or two of enjoying views of the Mediterranean and stopping to take a photo or two, you'll get to the port city of Tarragona . Roman ruins are among the attractions, including a second-century amphitheater, Roman tombs, and the remains of the Forum. It's also a great stop for its beaches, seafood restaurants, and medieval Old Town.

From there, continue south on AP-7, passing through medieval towns that will beckon you to stop, take in the sights, and of course, take plenty of photos. Peñiscola is known for its thirteenth-century castle, which played an important role in Christianity for many years. The walled city offers steep streets and stunning coastal views from its high point above the beaches.

Your next stop will probably be Valencia , the perfect halfway point and a fascinating place to spend the night. After a day of medieval towns, Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences with its futuristic buildings and displays will be an amazing contrast. There's a lot to explore, both old and new, and Valencia is the place to dine on famous paella.

From Valencia, A-92 takes you inland from the coast and on to beautiful Granada, known for its medieval and Moorish architecture, including the stunning Alhambra . It's just a few more miles to Málaga , with its beaches and blend of Renaissance, Moorish, and modern architecture.

Palermo to Siracusa, Italy

Laura La Monaca/Travel + Leisure

After enjoying Palermo 's cuisine, art, architecture, history, and people, you'll want to head eastward along the northern coast of Sicily on Route A-20 towards Messina, the closest point to the mainland of Italy. On the way, stop in the beach town of Cefalù just an hour away. If the weather is warm, it's a great place for a dip in the Mediterranean, and if you're hungry, you'll find pizza, pasta, and more at the cafes overlooking the beach.

From Cefalù, you'll enjoy unsurpassed views of the Mediterranean and arrive in Messina after about two hours of driving. Take some time to explore the ancient city, and note its cathedral and unique bell tower, said to be the largest astronomical clock in the world. Seafood is the specialty in this city bordered by the Mediterranean and Ionian seas, so if it's mealtime, enjoy some fresh fish.

One more hour of driving will take you to Taormina , a hilltop city with views of the sea, cobblestone streets, and a welcoming place to rest for the night. Stop for cannoli or gelato and then stroll along the Corso with the locals on their evening passeggiatta and watch Mt. Etna sending smoke into the sky. In the morning, explore the ancient Greek theater , which is still used for concerts and events.

From Taormina, head south on A-18 for an hour to the city of Catania , the location of the area's main airport. The ancient port city has much to see, and it's worth exploring if there's time. Another drive of about an hour will take you to Siracusa , with its thousands of years of history, Greek ruins, medieval buildings, and the lovely island of Ortygia, where I suggest you stay. This will allow you to experience its magnificent Piazza Duomo at night, sip a prosecco, and relax after a day on the road.

A few reminders: You'll undoubtedly encounter drivers who want to go faster than you. Move to the right to let them pass when you see them approaching or get their signal. Also, parking in these towns is difficult or impossible, but most have parking garages on their outskirts where you can leave your car and taxi to your destination.

Amsterdam, Netherlands to Brugge, Belgium

This could be a day trip from Amsterdam after you've strolled along the canals and feasted on cheese, stroopwafels , and poffertjes (and managed to avoid getting run over by a bicycle). Or you might want to go on from Brugge to explore other cities in Belgium. The three-and-a-half hour drive along the coastal route takes about an hour longer than the inland route, which I would suggest for the return trip, if your plan is to end up back in Amsterdam.

From Amsterdam, take A-4 South toward Den Haag (The Hague), home of the Dutch Parliament, the United Nations' International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court. Set on the North Sea, the city offers several museums and landmarks dating to the 11th century.

The next main city along the way is Middelburg , founded in about the ninth century and once an important trading port. The city has been restored to its original style after bombing during World War II.

If your final destination is Brugge , you'll want to spend a few days exploring the city of canals, history, and medieval buildings. Its background includes evidence of ancient Roman settlements and Viking invasions before its settlement in the ninth and tenth centuries.

Stay and explore or head back to Amsterdam on A-27 and E-19, about a three-hour drive.

London to Cape Cornwall, England

This straight-through drive should take about six hours, so it's not a turn-around day trip. With stops for photos, meals, and enjoying the scenery, it will be a full day of driving, so plan to spend at least a day or two in the Cornwall area.

Besides, there's a lot to see on what has been called the Cornish Riviera. Heading southwest on A-303 and then A-30, you'll end on the tip of the peninsula with hundreds of beaches, quaint villages, and towns with appealing names like St. Ives, Mousehole, Penzance, Lands End, and Porthgwarra, said to be more attractive than their names.

Decide where you want to stay, and then settle in to explore this historic part of Britain. Walk part of the 630-mile South West Coast Path , England's longest footpath, bordering the coast of Devon and Cornwall. See a show at the open-air Minack Theater , high on the cliffs above the Atlantic. Visit castles such as the Pendennis Castle , which was built by King Henry VIII to protect Cornwall. Enjoy fresh seafood at one of the many fishing villages and explore the history of the area dating back to the Stone Age.

Lisbon to Estoril, Portugal

Increasingly popular for good reason, Lisbon is the starting point for this day trip to another coastal city. After you've visited Lisbon's museums, walked its hills, explored its Roman and Moorish history, and listened to its traditional fado music, you'll want to see more of Portugal with Lisbon as your home base.

This road trip takes you inland on A-5, paralleling Portugal's southern coast until it reaches Estoril . The drive is less than an hour, but you'll probably stop as you pass through towns along the way. In Estoril, you'll find picturesque beaches, restaurants, bars, and the Estoril Casino, one of the largest in Europe.

Nearby is the fishing town of Cascais , also a popular tourist destination with beaches, historic buildings, and elegant nineteenth-century architecture. Both Estoril and Cascais can be explored during your day-trip visit.

For the drive back to Lisbon, consider taking a different route for a bit of variety. This one takes you inland a little further, but adds only about fifteen minutes to the trip. Drive north on A-5 and then east on IC-19 for a circular drive to Lisbon in time for dinner and another entertaining evening in Portugal's capital.

Killarney to Dingle, Ireland

Irjaliina Paavonpera/Travel + Leisure

The lovely town of Killarney is the perfect blend of history, city, and nature, with lodging that ranges from quaint guesthouses to luxury five-star hotels. Killarney National Park, Ireland's oldest and a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is lush, green, and enchanting. You'll want to spend a few days exploring Killarney's historic castles and museums.

From there, it's about a two-hour drive west to the coastal town of Dingle on R-563 and R-561. This small port town offers rugged scenery, friendly pubs, fresh seafood, and the starting point for one of Ireland's most interesting and beautiful drives — the Dingle Peninsula.

Parts of the Star Wars movie "The Last Jedi" were filmed there, and the drive is lined with historic monuments, partial stone houses, and remnants of Bronze Age settlers and medieval buildings. The drive is about thirty miles, and after the trip from Killarney and the Dingle Peninsula drive, you'll want to relax with a night in one of the charming town's hotels or guesthouses. And perhaps enjoy a pint at a local pub.

Heading back to Killarney, if that's your plan, could be done on a slightly different route, taking N-86 north towards Tralee (definitely worth a stop for lunch and a look around) and then south to Killarney on N-22. The trip should take less than two hours. (Keep in mind the right-hand-drive cars and driving on the opposite side of the road.)

Vienna to Graz, Austria

This day trip will take less than three hours of drive time, and there are a few routes to choose from with Vienna as your starting point. There's so much to do in Austria's capital with its legacy of music and art. Palaces, museums, concerts, Wiener schnitzel, wine, and pastries will keep you immersed in the city for several days.

When you're ready to see more of Austria, a pleasant road trip to Graz will let you see the countryside and a new destination. The most direct route is on A-2, for about two hours of drive time. The medieval town of Graz, with its Renaissance and Baroque architecture, invites browsing and strolling through its streets. For a view from above the city, take a funicular to the top of Schlossberg, the forested mountain overlooking Graz.

Nearby wine country features rolling hills, vineyards, restaurants, and ancient castles, so you may decide to extend your visit with some wine tasting and an overnight in Graz. You'll find many lodging options, and you'll be fresh and ready for the return drive to Vienna the next day. Take the longer scenic route on B-72 and A-2, which adds about an hour to the trip.

Eiffel Tower in Paris France as framed by trees

How to Plan an Epic 2 Week Europe Trip (+ Europe Itinerary Ideas!)

Ready to plan a 2 week Europe trip but not quite sure where to start?

We want to help!

Whether it’s your first trip to Europe or your tenth, there’s something simultaneously overwhelming and exhilarating about planning a trip through multiple countries that–for us and most of the readers of this blog post–lie across an ocean from home.

I’ll never forget planning our first 2 week Europe itinerary: I pored over flight schedules, bucket lists, budgets, and maps for months, desperate to pull together the ultimate Europe trip.

Kate Storm looking toward San Marco Campanile from Scala Contarini del Bovolo, which is an excellent place to visit during 2 days in Venice

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There were many, many lists involved in planning that first trip, and after months of planning, I emerged with an eclectic but incredible itinerary that kicked our love of travel into high gear.

In the summer of 2015, Jeremy and I spent a little over 2 weeks in Europe exploring Krakow , Budapest , Plitvice Lakes National Park , Zadar , Dublin , and the Cliffs of Moher (I told you it was eclectic!).

We’ve now cumulatively spent years of our lives traveling in Europe, falling in love with world-famous cities and less iconic locations alike, and there’s absolutely nothing we like better than helping people plan their own unforgettable adventures.

Over the years, we’ve explored the continent in almost every way possible, from backpacking Europe on a budget for 2 weeks to checking into luxury hotels to playing tour guide for family and friends to finally spending more than a year living in Lisbon, Portugal !

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm at Wawel Castle, Krakow on their first 2 week Europe trip.

We’ve put together this 2 week Europe itinerary guide to help you plan your trip–here’s what you need to know before you go.

(Also, yes–this is an incredibly long blog post! We recommend using the table of contents right below this paragraph to help you navigate to different sections depending on what you’re hoping to read first.)

Table of Contents

How to Use This 2 Week Europe Trip Guide

Exciting 2 week europe itinerary ideas, how to get around during 2 weeks in europe, important tips for planning a 2 week europe trip, faq for spending 2 weeks in europe, what to pack for 2 weeks in europe, read more about visiting europe.

praia do camilo from above, one of the best things to do in lagos portugal

This 2 week Europe trip guide is designed for someone hoping to see the highlights of a few different European destinations, spread across multiple countries, in only a couple of weeks.

We’ve primarily written it for someone planning their first trip to Europe, but if this is your second trip, third trip, or beyond, hopefully, we have some interesting ideas and tips for you, too!

And, of course, given that Europe is home to more than 50 countries and is roughly the same size as the USA, no 2 weeks in Europe could hope to cover the entire continent or all of its numerous and distinct cultures, languages, and histories.

For ease of communication, we’ll talk in general terms about traveling in Europe here, but once you pick your itinerary, of course, you’ll want to follow up with further research on the specific locations you’ll be visiting.

kate storm jeremy storm and ranger storm overlooking brisighella italy

And, once you’re further along in your planning process, we’d love to help you with some of that planning here on Our Escape Clause, too!

We’ll link to relevant blog posts throughout this travel guide, but given the hundreds of posts we have on the site, we won’t be able to link them all.

You can use our destinations page or the search bar on the top right of the page (on desktop) or at the top of the pop-out menu (on mobile) to find our content about various specific destinations across Europe or general travel tips.

For example, a few of our most popular guides that might come in handy next include our guide to traveling Europe by train , our 75 best Europe travel tips , and our (biased) guide to the best cities in Europe .

Italy Bucket List: View of Orvieto Cathedral

The number of possible 2 week Europe itinerary ideas is truly infinite–just look at the odd itinerary that I cobbled together for us in 2015 as an example !

However, the sample itineraries for Europe outlined below should give you a good idea of what you can accomplish with around 14 days in Europe .

I truly struggled to narrow down these ideas–I could name 10 more excellent 2 week Europe trips in an instant, and still feel like I was leaving so much on the table.

I aimed to keep these mostly focused on destinations that are popular for first-time visitors to Europe, with just a couple of slight curve balls thrown in.

Bike leaning against bridge over a canal in Annecy, France

The Classic: London, Paris, Rome

As three of the world’s most beloved and celebrated cities, you can’t go wrong with splitting your 2 weeks in Europe between London, Paris, and Rome.

As the capital of an English-speaking country and home to an enormous airport hub, London makes logistical sense for a first trip to Europe hailing from North America–and, of course, it’s a truly fascinating city.

Visit Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park, stroll through Notting Hill, snap photos of Big Ben, check out the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London , visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, stop by Piccadilly Circus, ride the London Eye , and tour the British Museum.

… And that’s just to get you started !

Big Ben and Parliament as seen from across the river. London is absolutely one of the best cities to visit in Europe.

The City of Lights is one of our favorite cities in the world and was also the first place we visited on our very first trip to Europe (we spent a week there and then planned our 2 week Europe trip outlined in the introduction of this blog post the following year).

Since then, we haven’t been able to stop going back, and believe that it’s an excellent addition to any 2 week Europe itinerary!

While you’re in Paris , visit the Eiffel Tower, marvel at the beauty of Sainte-Chapelle, tour the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay, stroll the picturesque streets of Montmartre and the Latin Quarter, visit the Palais Garnier, discover hidden passages and tiny cafes, and soak up every minute of that Parisian charm.

Our full guide to planning your first trip to Paris can help you get started!

Kate Storm in a gray dress standing in Rue de l'Universite in Paris with the Eiffel Tower behind her

Ah, Rome –if Paris is the first European city we fell in love with, Rome is probably our deepest love on the continent.

From wonders of Ancient Rome like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon to more recent additions like the Vatican Museums , Trevi Fountain, and winding cobblestone streets of Trastevere , exploring Rome is a captivating, engaging experience that we can’t recommend highly enough.

And, of course, you couldn’t ask for a better cuisine to savor during your 2 weeks in Europe: Rome is home to some of the best pasta in all of Italy!

Couple in front of Colosseum: Visiting Rome in Winter

Southern Europe Charm: Madrid, Rome, Amalfi Coast

Want your 2 weeks in Europe to focus on a delightful combination of history, food, and sunshine?

Head directly to Spain and Italy!

While Barcelona gets all the love (and a lot of the crowds), we’re personally smitten with the Spanish capital of Madrid… and excellent flight deals from North America make it almost irresistible on a 2 week Europe itinerary.

With a few days in Madrid , you can admire world-class art in the Prado, soak in Spanish culture with a stroll through Retiro Park, eat all the tapas and churros con chocolate you can get your hands on, tour the Royal Palace , check out an Egyptian temple, and take day trips to fairytale towns like Toledo and Segovia.

Madrid Royal Palace with garden in foreground, a must see during your 3 days in Madrid Itinerary!

I described Rome in the first Europe itinerary on this list, so I won’t repeat myself here, but as I sit typing this Europe travel blog post out in a Rome apartment while dreaming of the carbonara I’ll eat for dinner tonight, all I can say is: you won’t regret coming to Rome (and scroll up for more details).

And, while I detailed some of Rome’s highlights above, let me also say… don’t forget to get off the beaten path in the Eternal City , either!

kate storm in front of a church when traveling in rome italy

Amalfi Coast

The famed Amalfi Coast , with its dramatic cliffs, chic villages like Positano, delicious lemons, and jaw-droppingly beautiful hikes like the Path of the Gods, is a fabulous conclusion to any 2 week Europe trip–where better to relax than one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world?

While you’re there, be sure to make room for plenty of day trips!

Iconic locations like Capri and Pompeii , as well as less-popular but equally amazing spots like Ischia, Herculaneum , and Procida, are all at your fingertips when staying on the Amalfi Coast.

(Also, if you like page-turning novels about friendship and Italy, I highly recommend reading Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend series before coming or while visiting Europe).

Cliffs of Capri with bright blue water and boats visible to the left. Definitely consider a visit here when planning a trip to Italy!

Regal Central Europe: Prague, Vienna, Budapest

Sweeping boulevards, dramatic architecture, beautiful coffeehouses, and tasty comfort food: a trip to Central Europe is an absolute delight.

In my opinion, this region truly shines during the winter months when Christmas markets are in full swing and the hearty cuisine keeps you warm from the inside out.

I’ll try to keep this section quite brief, as I’ve already written a detailed Central Europe itinerary here , but suffice it to say, we love it.

View of Cesky Krumlov from above--one of our top Europe travel tips is to leave the big cities to explore incredible small towns like this during your trip

Known as the City of a Hundred Spires (and also for the fact that beer is cheaper than water here–true story, at least when it comes to pricey bottled water at restaurants), Prague is easily in the running for the most beautiful city in Europe.

The beauty of Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, the famed Charles Bridge, and Prague’s well-known astronomical clock will all draw you in.

If you have enough time, consider adding a day trip to a smaller Czech town like gorgeous Český Krumlov as well!

Best Views in Prague: View from Old Tower Bridge

Regal and beautiful, full of spacious, wide avenues and ornate buildings, Austria’s capital city is the perfect place to come to tour grand palaces ( Schonbrunn is one of the most popular), see a show in one of the world’s premier opera houses, and to enjoy European cafe culture at its finest.

We absolutely adore Vienna’s coffee houses–be sure to try a slice (or several) of Esterhazy Cake while there, as well as Viennese hot chocolate.

The city’s famed Spanish riding school and striking St. Stephen’s Cathedral are also worth adding to your list!

Austria Christmas Market Trip: Christmas Lights in Vienna

As our favorite city in central Europe and one of our top 10 cities in Europe overall, I really can’t say enough about how beautiful Budapest is! 

The city is somehow, simultaneously, both grand and down-to-earth , absolutely gorgeous while also remaining accessible, affordable, and fairly simple to visit and explore.

While in Budapest, go for a soak in the famous thermal baths, tour one of the most beautiful houses of Parliament in Europe, check out a castle, visit grand basilicas, take a boat ride down the Danube, and, if you’re up for a bit of adventure, even go on a cave tour!

Be sure not to miss the great food , either–Budapest’s hearty cuisine is a delight, and one of our all-time favorite wine tastings took place there!

Prague or Budapest: Budapest view of Danube

Europe for Art Lovers: Paris, Florence, Venice

If you’re an art buff at heart, you can’t ask for a better sampling of some of the continent’s most beloved artistic cities than the trifecta of Paris, Florence, and Venice (and it certainly helps that each city is practically an art museum in and of itself).

From the Louvre to the Musee d’Orsay to the Orangerie to the Musee Rodin to the Centre Pompidou to the Cluny Museum, it would probably take a lifetime to enjoy all the art museums in Paris alone.

And of course, the city has so much more to offer once you need a break!

tapestry hanging in the cluny museum in paris

Nicknamed the Cradle of the Renaissance, Florence boasts the finest collection of Renaissance art on the planet–and claims many of its most famous artists as locals. 

Michelangelo, DaVinci, Botticelli, and more all originally hailed from Florence, and their works are scattered about the city.

Perhaps most famously, Michelangelo’s David is in the Galleria dell’Accademia and Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus is in the Uffizi Gallery .

And of course, no art-focused trip to the Cradle of the Renaissance can overlook Florence’s iconic Duomo , a masterpiece of the era!

View of Florence from above with Duomo in the center--you can't go wrong adding Florence to your 2 week Europe itinerary

Located an easy train ride away from Florence, Venice may be slightly less well-known for its art than the first two cities on this 2 week Europe itinerary, but there’s no doubt that there’s plenty to find!

From the utter masterpiece of St. Mark’s Basilica (don’t miss a chance to go in!) to the incredible Doge’s Palace to the famous Galleria dell’Accademia (not to be confused with the one in Florence!) that focuses mostly on Venetian artists, Venice is an art lover’s dream.

Mix it up by adding a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which holds modern art, and a gondola ride .

A fter all, Venice itself is no doubt one of the best artistic masterpieces in the city, and it deserves to be seen from all its best angles.

Grand Canal of Venice with a gondola in the center

The Incredible Iberian Peninsula: Lisbon, The Algarve, Andalucia

The Iberian Peninsula is dominated by Spain and Portugal , and while I might be biased after spending more than a year living in Lisbon, it makes for an unforgettable Eurotrip!

(The fact that there are often flight deals from the US to Lisbon and Madrid doesn’t hurt, either).

There are infinite ways to craft southern Europe itineraries out of these two countries, but here’s one great option…

kate storm and jeremy storm sitting on a wall overlooking lisbon portugal

Start your trip with a few days in Lisbon , Portugal’s trendy capital city, soaking up beautiful views from its many miradouros , sampling Portuguese food (starting with pastéis de nata ), touring the incredible Jerónimos Monastery, and taking day trips from Lisbon to nearby gems like the palaces of Sintra and/or the beach resort town of Cascais .

Be prepared to head up and down a lot of hills while you’re there–but Lisbon is worth the climb.

If you’re looking for neighborhoods to wander through, Alfama, Castelo, Chiado, and Bairro Alto are particularly picturesque–keep an eye out for trams, azulejos, and peacocks as you explore!

And, while Lisbon’s top attractions are definitely worth a visit, seeking out some of the many hidden gems in Lisbon will add extra beauty to your trip.

kate storm in a black dress sitting on a ledge at miradouro de santa luzia, one of the best places to visit in lisbon in 3 days

The Algarve

After saying goodbye to Lisbon, head south of Portugal’s Algarve for a dizzying array of whitewashed villages (you’ll find many of the best beach towns in Portugal here) and a picturesque coastline.

Lagos is one of the most popular places to stay, and we can highly recommend it–don’t miss the famous Ponta da Piedade, which photos can’t do justice to.

Nearby attractions (ideally, you’ll want to rent a car in the Algarve) include the famous Benagil Cave and the unmissable Seven Hanging Valleys Trail!

view of algarve coastline from seven hanging valleys trail, a wonderful place to visit as part of a 14 day europe itinerary

For the second week of your trip in Europe, cross the border into southern Spain (note: there’s no direct train access for this journey, but there are buses).

Split your time between any two of Andalucia’s incredible cities, taking nearby day trips from there.

Seville (with its Alcazar and famous Plaza de Espana), Granada (home of the Alhambra ), and Cordoba (home of the Mosque-Cathedral , one of the most unique houses of worship in the world) are all wonderful inland options.

On the coast, options include Cadiz, Malaga, Marbella, Tarifa, and many more.

With a bit more than 2 weeks in Europe or an ambitious schedule, you may be able to squeeze in a day trip to Gibraltar and/or Tangier, Morocco while here!

kate storm jeremy storm and ranger storm in plaza de espana seville spain

Food + History: Athens, Santorini, Istanbul

Feel like heading further east–as far east as you can get during a Europe vacation?

Greece and Turkey pair very well for a 14 day European itinerary–here’s what that might look like.

kate storm in a red dress walking through istanbul grand bazaar, one of the best places to visit in istanbul turkey

Start your trip in Athens, marveling at some of the world’s most remarkable ruins, including the famous Acropolis complex and museum.

Be sure to make time to explore non-ancient aspects of Athens as well, including the trendy Plaka neighborhood, Monastiraki Square (and nearby flea market!), and Syntagma Square.

And of course, one of the absolute best things to do after you touch down in Athens is to dive into plate after plate of phenomenal Greek food –that alone is worth traveling to Greece for ( our Athens food tour remains one of my favorites that we’ve taken in Europe).

Athens Parthenon--this structure tops all kinds of bucket lists, and is a worthy addition to any 2 week Europe trip!

Truly, any one of Greece’s amazing islands would fit nicely into this 2 week Europe itinerary, but where better to choose than Santorini , with its iconic blue-and-white color scheme, fantastic caldera views, and excellent flight connections?

While Santorini isn’t best known for its beaches–you’re better off heading to Crete for those–you sure can’t beat the charming villages or stunning nature.

Kate Storm in a white shirt and blue jeans overlooking the blue domes of Oia in Santorini--this island is incredible and worth visiting as part of your 2 weeks in Europe!

The city of two continents, where thousands of years of history blend seamlessly with modern life, and where you can eat one of the best breakfasts you’ll ever experience in your life: Istanbul tops bucket lists around the world, and there is simply nowhere on the planet quite like it.

Marvel at the Blue Mosque, step inside the Hagia Sophia, eat your weight in Turkish breakfast (seriously, I can’t emphasize enough how tasty it is), admire the views of the Bosphorus, climb the Galata Tower, and shop your way through the Grand Bazaar.

Since this Europe travel blog post focuses on, well, Europe, I won’t sketch out any other possibilities further east in Turkey in detail…

But, if you have time, you could easily add a visit to Cappadocia , complete with a sunrise hot air balloon ride, to your trip, or even a visit to the ruins of Ephesus.

kate storm standing in front of the blue mosque, one of the best things to do in istanbul turkey

Architecture + Culture: Cologne, Amsterdam, Belgium

With this small triangle of destinations, you can easily visit separate countries via train, with very little travel time between them!

And, if you were particularly motivated to add another, you could even squeeze in a day trip to Luxembourg.

If you’re looking for a winter itinerary for Europe that focuses on cities, this is a fantastic option.

jeremy storm at christmas market in cologne germany

Home to a stunning cathedral and what may just be the best Christmas markets on the planet, Cologne is a gorgeous German city that is a delight to explore on foot.

Don’t miss its soaring Gothic Cathedral while you’re there!

… Though honestly, that would be hard to do, considering you can see it right as you step outside the train station.

Cologne German Christmas Market at night as seen from above with red roofs of stalls prominent. Cologne hosts one of the best european christmas markets

As one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe, Amsterdam requires no introduction.

The city of canals, biking, and revelry is somehow even more beautiful in person than in the billions of photos of it.

While you’re there, be sure to take a canal cruise, stroll the 9 Streets, and visit at least a couple of the city’s museums (the Anne Frank House is incredibly moving).

If you visit Amsterdam in winter , you’ll no doubt need to bundle up–but the lack of crowds in this often-packed city is also a treat to experience.

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm wearing winter coats on the edge of a canal in Amsterdam in December, facing each other

Perhaps it may be slightly unfair to list Belgium entirely while the other destinations are split into cities… but considering Belgium’s two most popular cities, Bruges and Ghent , are located less than an hour apart by train, you can cover quite a bit of the country in a few days !

With stunning architecture, canals, and carbs (bring on the waffles and frites), it’s easy to have a blast in Belgium.

Winter in Belgium brings a lack of crowds and plenty of festivities during the Christmas season!

Bruges Main Square with green awnings in front of the buildings--this storybook village is a fun place to add to your 2 weeks in Europe itinerary!

Alpine Escape: Bavaria, Switzerland’s Jungfrau Region, Milan, and Lake Como

If your dream Europe trip involves plenty of Alpine views with a side of cities, this is the itinerary for Europe in 2 weeks for you.

Start your trip in Bavaria, the land of castles, beer, and outdoor delights.

City lovers will enjoy being based in Munich (don’t miss the opulent Munich Residenz or view from St. Peter’s Church and/or the Town Hall Tower while there).

From Munich, you can easily day trip to more mountainous areas, starting with Fussen, home to Germany’s famous Neuschwanstein Castle .

If you get good weather and want to see as many mountains as possible, a day trip to the Zugspite–the highest point in Germany–is also an option.

Really, though, if there’s one thing to prioritize in Munich, it’s to eat and drink all the sausage, pretzels, beer, and beyond you can get your hands on!

view of munich from town hall tower in winter during christmas markets bavaria germany

Switzerland’s Jungfrau Region

I am convinced that Switzerland’s Jungfrau region–located around (literally, above) Interlaken–is paradise on earth in the summer.

If you’re dreaming of the Alps, check into a hotel in Wengen, Murren, or Grindelwald (for the best views) or Interlaken (for a bit more selection) or Lauterbrunnen (to be in the literal center of the action) and have the trip of your dreams.

Switzerland’s legendarily efficient trains and gondolas mean that wherever you stay, the region is at your fingertips.

Hiking from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidigg, riding the highest train in Europe to Jungfraujoch (aka the “Top of Europe”), eating daily fondue, walking from Murren to Gimmelwald , and riding a historic cogwheel train to Schynige Platte are just a few of the unforgettable experiences you’ll find here.

kate storm and jeremy storm overlooking a balcony in wengen switerland jungfrau region

Milan + Lake Como

End your trip to Milan and Lake Como , two of the most popular destinations in northern Italy!

In Milan , be sure to visit its legendary Duomo, stroll through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, visit Sforzesco Castle, and, if you can get tickets (plan ahead!) see Da Vinci’s The Last Supper .

At Lake Como (just an hour north of Milan by train), take a boat tour around the lake and visit delightfully charming towns like Varenna and Bellagio while admiring magnificent Alpine views.

kate storm and ranger storm sitting on a bench overlooking lake como surrounded by flowering trees

Getting around in each city on your 2 week Europe itinerary is a question better suited to blog posts on that particular city, so this section is designed to address getting in between each destination during your 14 days in Europe.

We recommend checking several solutions for each destination, as you never know what will crop up!

Personally, our first 2 week Europe trip involved an overnight train, a budget plane ride, and a couple of rental cars.

Selfie of couple on Lover's Bridge in Annecy, one of the best places to visit in Annecy

Train travel is our absolute favorite way to travel in Europe!

I t’s much less stressful than traveling by plane, especially once you get the hang of it, far more comfortable, and for those of us hailing from North America, it’s a travel experience in its own right!

We recommend using services like Omio to compare train prices across multiple countries.

It works more or less exactly like a car rental aggregate does, searching multiple companies and generating the best routes and prices for your dates.

Keep in mind that train travel is most useful in western and central Europe–once you head into eastern Europe and especially the Balkans, train travel becomes more limited and bus travel more common (for example, popular Dubrovnik, Croatia doesn’t have a train station).

Shop train routes and tickets prices in Europe today!

Frecciarosa Train in Italy: Florence to Bologna Train

For those traveling on a budget or between two smaller destinations where rail travel isn’t an option, buses can be a very affordable choice.

In addition to standard local buses, companies like Flixbus provide an easy-to-use service, and you can check their prices and availability directly or through Omio as well (that way you can compare train tickets at the same time).

Browse bus routes in Europe today!

Bus in front of Altar to the Fatherland at night: What to Do in Rome at Night

With plenty of budget airlines and plenty of airports to choose from, if you plan wisely, it’s possible to take flights in Europe that are so inexpensive you wonder how the company pays for the fuel.

S eriously: 10 Euro flights are possible, though we’ve never actually managed to pay that since we prefer to check our bags !

When looking for flights within Europe, we recommend using Google Flights in order to search the whole continent at once (you can simply put “Europe” in as the destination, and it’ll pull up a map of prices). 

With a little flexibility on destination (for example, maybe flying into nearby Bologna is cheaper than flying into Florence ?) and even on dates if possible, you just might end up with an excellent flight deal or two during your trip to Europe.

kate storm at ponta da piedade , one of the best lagos attractions

Personally, we recommend avoiding a car rental when possible during your 2 weeks in Europe, especially if you’re following anything resembling a Europe itinerary like the ones I outlined above.

In large cities, rental cars are a hindrance and a liability, not an asset, and they add quite a bit to your bottom line.

That being said, if you’re planning on visiting any rural areas or small towns, road trips in Europe can be a delight!

Y ou could consider renting a car for a couple of days in Tuscany , for example, or to visit the villages of Provence.

If you do choose to rent a car, we recommend searching for the best prices through Discover Cars , which will allow you to search multiple companies at once and come up with a great option. 

jeremy storm's hand on a steering wheel when driving in portugal and renting a car in europe

While major international carriers like Hertz and Enterprise are available in Europe, they’re not always the best deal, and searching for a combination of local and international companies is best.

Personally, we have no loyalty to any one rental car company, and book with whoever is most affordable (and we always buy the extra insurance).

As a result, we’ve rented cars through easily more than 15 or 20 agencies over the years (I’d be hard-pressed even to estimate it), and we’ve never had any issues with surprise charges.

Price out rental cars with Discover Cars now!

Photo of Lake Sainte-Croix as seen while driving in France. You can see Kate holding a camera to her face reflected in the rearview mirror of our rental car on the left side of the photo

Don’t forget boats when it comes to planning a 2 week Europe itinerary, especially over the summer!

While ferries between or to/from islands are obviously the most popular ( Dubrovnik to Hvar , for example, or Barcelona to Mallorca), there are longer ferry options as well!

Last summer, we took a ferry from Barcelona to Rome and loved the experience of drifting along the Mediterranean Sea for 24 hours!

Many ferry routes are seasonal, but not all.

Kate Storm in a yellow raincoat on the ferry from Inisheer to Doolin. You can see the Cliffs of Moher far off in the distance.

Don’t plan to visit too many destinations.

With only around 14 days in Europe, I know it can be incredibly tempting to squeeze in as many destinations as possible (and I have many fevered outlines of ridiculously ambitious trips I planned in my college days to prove it), but your trip will go so much more smoothly if you can resist that temptation.

In most cases, we recommend an absolute minimum of two full days per major city.

By full days, I mean with limited exceptions (like a red-eye flight that lands at 8:00 AM), the day you arrive and the day you depart don’t count as a “day” in a given city–just as a travel day.

Three or four days per city is even better and will allow you to potentially squeeze in a day trip from that city to a smaller city or village if you want to mix things up.

Peach and blue dome with trail on Santorini, 3 days in Santorini itinerary

Start and end in a major airport hub.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same hub–more on that below–but there are definitely airports that are cheaper to fly into and out of for intercontinental flights than others.

Budapest may be affordable once you’re there, for example, but flying from the US directly to Budapest can hurt the wallet!

For those of you coming from the USA, London, Dublin , Madrid , Paris , Lisbon , Frankfurt, Amsterdam , and Milan are a few places to check ticket prices for.

That’s not an exhaustive list by any means, but there are often flight deals to and from these cities.

Kate Storm in a red dress in front of La Consulat cafe in Montmartre, one of the most instagrammable places in Paris

If you can, use an open-jaw ticket rather than a return ticket.

This will allow you to begin and end your 2 weeks in Europe in entirely different destinations, and let you avoid doubling back!

While one-way tickets can be pricier than round-trip ones, if you’re flexible on your dates and destinations (so deciding which cities to start and end in partially based on price), you can usually find excellent deals

This is exactly how we ended up flying into Krakow and out of Dublin for our first 2 week Europe trip!

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm standing in front of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland shortly before sunset

You will be exhausted at some point. Plan for it.

Two weeks in Europe may not seem like a ton, but if you’re anything like us or virtually all of the travelers we have talked to, exhaustion will set in during your trip.

Sightseeing in Europe is fabulous, but it’s also tiring.

Add in navigating cultural differences, language barriers, and moving countries every few days, and you’re bound to need a break at some point.

We recommend planning a couple of laid-back days without museum visits, tours, or day trips so that you can catch your breath and avoid burnout.

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: View of Fort Lovrijenac viewed from city walls

Try to be flexible with where you go.

As you start pricing train, plane, and bus tickets for your trip to Europe, you’ll likely notice dramatic shifts–for example, is it 4x the money to get to London instead of Amsterdam?

Does traveling to Prague require a long flight and 2 layovers but Rome is a quick hop away?

If you can, be flexible when you come upon these challenges: we recommend having 1-2 “must visit” destinations and filling in the rest of your trip based on a combination of logistics and desire.

After all, there’s no way you can see it all on a 2 week Europe trip anyway!

Český Krumlov in Winter: Couple in Cesky Krumlov

Don’t underestimate the time and energy it takes to change destinations.

“Oh, it’s only a 3-hour train ride away! That’s nothing!”

I think we’ve all said that at some point when planning a multi-country trip, but be cautious.

Three hours on the train doesn’t account for packing and unpacking, getting to and from the train station, checking out of and into a hotel… you get the picture.

If you’re looking at a high-level schedule without picking a specific date or time, you may also come to find that sure, there’s one direct 3-hour train between two cities… but it leaves at 10:00 PM or 6:00 AM, and the rest of the trains require layovers.

jeremy and ranger at abrantes portugal train station when traveling europe by train

Or perhaps the direct train only runs 3 days a week.

Or maybe you’re looking at a plane, in which case, be sure to add at least 4 hours to your transit time: getting to and from the airport and security/check-in beforehand.

Long story short, travel days between countries are virtually always more tiring and time-consuming than they look at first glance, so don’t overcommit on those days when planning your ultimate Europe trip!

Photo of Via Krupp and the sea seen from above on a Day Trip to Capri

Big cities are more accessible than small towns and nature areas.

For the first trip to Europe especially, big cities are absolutely the easiest to plan your itinerary for Europe around.

They’re generally easier and cheaper to get into and out of, and there’s far more information available about them online to help plan your trips.

That’s no reason not to visit other places too, of course–but keep in mind that the more rural the area, the more logistically challenging your trip will be.

kate storm visiting parma italy with baptistery in the background and red vespa in the foreground

Skip-the-line tickets are incredibly useful.

I’m sure it comes as absolutely no surprise that the world’s most iconic monuments and museums tend to get a bit crowded… and that makes skip-the-line tickets invaluable, especially with only 2 weeks in Europe to squeeze in as much sightseeing as possible.

In some places (like the Arc de Triomphe ) they’re available without any additional fee, and in other places (like the Colosseum) they cost a bit extra.

Either way, though, it’s 1000% worth the price and effort to get tickets online beforehand for popular spots, especially if you’re traveling during the high season.

kate storm in a striped dress in front of colosseum rome italy

And, in 2024, it’s worth pointing out that given ever-changing capacity limits, it’s a better idea than ever to book in advance–and for some attractions, it’s even required!

When 2020 shook the travel industry to its core, many of the most popular museums and monuments in Europe found that life was easier with reservations and online bookings, and have continued prioritizing that system over traditional lines and ticket booths even as crowds returned to “normal”.

We use skip-the-line tickets all over the continent and book them through Get Your Guide .

selfie of kate storm and jeremy storm after climb the arc de triomphe paris with eiffel tower in the background

Book your hotels and major transportation in advance.

Before kicking off your 2 week Europe itinerary, we recommend having all of your hotels and major transportation (so travel between destinations) booked and ready to go.

This dramatically cuts down on stress levels, makes it easier to budget and plan out your days, and generally helps your trip run more smoothly.

These days, we book virtually all of our lodging (including apartments, farm stays, houses, and more) through Booking.com .

Smaller things, like metro passes or tickets for getting around cities, can be handled once you arrive.

Kate Storm in a brown coat in the Alsace village of Riquewihr with a clock tower in the background

If you can, we recommend taking at least one food tour during your 2 weeks in Europe.

Food tours are one of our favorite ways to get our bearings in a new city while learning about the culture, history, and neighborhood through something we can all appreciate: a tasty meal.

We’ve taken food tours in several countries around the world, including many in Europe, and have never walked away unsatisfied!

Plate of Grilled Meat at Tanjga Family Restaurant in Kotor, shot from above. Fun Things to Do in Kotor Montenegro

You do need to pay to use the restroom… sometimes.

Throughout Europe, public restrooms are generally available for a fee (typically either half a Euro or a Euro).

If you’d like to avoid those costs, be sure to take advantage of available restrooms in restaurants and museums as you sightsee !

Also, toilet paper is far from guaranteed in public toilets on the street.

We recommend carrying a small pack of tissues with you just in case.

View of Vernazza harbor from above, Cinque Terre

Will I need an adapter?

Most likely, yes!

Luckily, adapters are cheap to buy and easy to carry–we recommend picking these up before you go.

Keep in mind that the UK and a few other countries ( Ireland , Malta ) use a separate plug from the bulk of the continent.

If you’re heading to a place that uses UK plugs, you’ll want these adapters as well.

Jeremy in a blue shirt and black jacket, holding a beer while eating lunch in a square of Aix-en-Provence

Is a money belt a good idea?

It depends, honestly.

We used a money belt for our first trip to Europe and for a couple after that.

Back then, we weren’t used to life in bustling big cities, and though we knew that thieves knew about them (because they definitely do), Jeremy found them comfortable enough to wear and it was an easy way to keep our belongings a bit more secure.

recommended europe trip route

If you’re not used to traveling in a big city or watching for pickpockets, I don’t think it’s a terrible idea to use one– this is the one we used and we had no complaints–but I also don’t think it’s necessary, especially if you’re comfortable in large cities.

vertical photo of the spanish steps rome with fountain in the foreground, part of a one day rome itinerary

Is the water safe to drink?

Usually, yes.

We drink out of the tap just about anywhere in Europe.

In rare cases where the water is not safe to drink (usually in remote areas of southern and eastern Europe, or in very old buildings with iffy pipes), there will generally be large and obvious signs stating so.

If you’re worried about it, though, you can always ask your hotel concierge or host about it!

2 Weeks in Italy Itinerary: View of Siena

Is it worth going to Europe for 2 weeks?

This is a pretty common question, and honestly, I get it: with long and expensive flights, it’s easy to wonder if flying to Europe for “only” 2 weeks is worth it.

But yes, it absolutely is!

Two weeks in Europe is long enough that you’ll have plenty of time to get past jetlag, visit several destinations, and have a wonderful trip packed with memories.

Now whether or not it’s worth flying to Europe for just one week is a bit more controversial… but we love to travel Europe so much that we still say yes (for some people).

jeremy storm and ranger storm eating breakfast in venice italy--it's fun to be able to order in italian during your first trip to europe

How extreme is the language barrier?

It varies significantly, of course, but generally, it’s not nearly as difficult as first-time visitors to Europe worry before they arrive (ourselves included).

We recommend learning basic phrases in the language of the countries you are visiting during your 2 week Europe itinerary, but this is usually more for good manners than out of necessity.

While you can absolutely find monolingual Europeans in virtually any country, especially in smaller cities and towns, the people employed in customer service roles and in the tourism industry in major cities–in other words, where most or all of your 2 weeks in Europe will likely take place–generally speak some English.

kate storm in a yellow jacket in front of seljalandsfoss fun stop plan a trip to iceland

How many European countries should you visit in 2 weeks?

For most travelers, we recommend roughly 3 “base” destinations for a 2 week Europe trip, plus a couple of day trips from there to mix things up.

These can all be in one country (for example, here’s how we recommend spending 2 weeks in Italy ), or they can be in 3 separate countries!

There are plenty of exceptions to this standard layout, of course, but it’s a doable but exciting number of destinations to work with for most 14 day Europe itineraries.

kate storm standing in the doorway to the unfinished chapels at batalha monastery portugal

When should I tip?

While this is very country and industry-dependent, generally speaking, tipping is not nearly as prominent in Europe as it is in the USA, and you’ll virtually never need to tip over 10%.

In some countries, you may also tip 5-10% at restaurants, while in others, you might round up the bill or leave nothing at all.

Frequently, a “service charge” will be automatically supplied to the bill which serves the purpose of a tip.

For tour guides, a 10% tip is common.

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: view of Old Town from Minceta Fortress

What’s the best month to visit Europe?

All of them, except August.

I kid–somewhat–but honestly, every single month in Europe has its perks!

For a concise answer, the late spring (April-May) and early fall (September-October) are considered ideal by most travelers.

August is specifically difficult because it’s not only very hot in many of Europe’s most popular destinations, but most Europeans take vacations then, so many places (especially in the mountains and on the coast) are at their priciest.

If we absolutely had to visit Europe only during one month for the rest of our lives, we’d pick September, though October is a very close second.

kate storm in a black dress at the top of the bell tower, one of the top activities saint emilion france

What’s the cheapest month to visit Europe?

It depends–trying to spot the northern lights in Tromso would be one exception to this, for example–but for standard first time Europe itineraries like the ones I outlined in this blog post, January and February are often the cheapest months to visit.

When the Christmas markets are over and the gray weather settles in, you can score great deals on vacations in Europe (and have plenty of room to stretch out at iconic monuments).

kate storm jeremy storm and ranger storm on vila nova de gaia riverfront in porto portugal

How far in advance should I book my trip?

For plane tickets, as soon as you can commit to dates!

Not only will this allow you to have more time to plan and budget with a bit of structure, but it will also spread out your costs a bit more.

During peak seasons, like coastal locations in the summer or popular destinations during the Christmas season in Europe , you’ll want to book your hotels as far in advance as you can commit to them as well.

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm in the Greek Theatre of Taormina Sicily

Can you do Europe for $100/day?

This depends a lot on the traveler, group size, etc, but my initial, instinctive answer is:

If you don’t include plane tickets to and from Europe, yes, absolutely, without a doubt–we’ve done it many, many, many times (as a couple).

The key is to shop for deals, visit during the off-season, not shy away from less common destinations (especially in Eastern Europe and the Balkans), and travel slowly.

The fewer destinations you visit, the cheaper a trip generally is!

If you want to stick to Western Europe, southern Spain , southern Portugal, and southern Italy can all be bargains (as compared to places like Paris and London) as well.

Here’s how we manage our travel budget.

kate storm and jeremy storm standing at an overlooking slovakia hiking high tatras

We’ve put together detailed packing lists for various seasons in Europe, so be sure to check out our complete suggestions for spring , summer , fall , and winter before you head off on your 2 weeks in Europe.

We go into far more detail on what to wear in Europe there !

To get you started, though, here are a few essentials that should definitely be at the top of your list .

Travel Insurance — We don’t ever suggest traveling without travel insurance–anything can happen, and it’s better to be safe than sorry during your 2 weeks in Europe.

Check travel insurance policy inclusions and prices for your trip here.

Trip to Italy Cost: View of Mount Vesuvius from Naples

Pacsafe — We can’t recommend our Pacsafe enough!

This travel safe is affordable, sturdy, easy to pack, and will help keep your valuables safe in your hotel room (not that you should need to worry much about theft from your hotel room during your trip to Europe, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!).

Comfortable Day Bag  — We currently use  Pacsafe’s sleek anti-theft backpack  and love it, but if you don’t want to shell out the cash for this trip, that’s totally understandable.

Just aim for something comfortable to wear, not flashy, and medium-sized–we used a  Northface Jester backpack  for years and loved it as well.

Kate Storm in a red dress at Hore Abbey. She's sitting on a stone wall looking out at a field of cows. Her boots are recommended for your packing list for Ireland!

Travel Adapters for Europe — If you’re coming from outside of Europe, you’ll definitely need adapters for your electronics.

Be sure to check the requirements for any particular countries you visit–the United Kingdom, for example, is well-known for using different plugs than most of the continent.

Portable USB Charger — Don’t stress about your phone dying while you’re sightseeing!

Add a portable charger to your 2 weeks in Europe packing list.

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm standing in front of a waterfall when visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia

Hand Sanitizer — We carry this everywhere, and never been sorry to have it floating around in our day bag.

Travel Journal — If you want to keep a travel journal during your 2 week Europe trip but can’t commit to a huge amount of writing each night, I can’t recommend the One Line a Day Journal enough.

I’ve been using it for more than 5 years now (I’m on my second volume!) and I absolutely love it.

kate storm kneeling amongst tulips in the netherlands in april

In the process of booking your Europe trip and eager to keep planning?

We’d love to help!

You can browse all of our general Europe blog posts here , find articles about specific places through our destinations page , or check out these guides:

  • Your 13-Step Guide to Traveling to Europe for the First Time
  • The Perfect 2 Week Spain and Portugal Itinerary (+ Essential Tips!)
  • How to Travel Europe By Train: The Ultimate Guide (+ Tips!)
  • 11 Quick Tips for Finding + Using Toilets in Europe
  • Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Beyond: Epic Central Europe Itinerary

4 images from top left: Eiffel Tower, Venice Grand Canal, blue domes in Santorini, Cliffs of Moher. Black text on a white background reads "How to plan an epic 2 weeks in Europe itinerary ideas + travel guide"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

58 thoughts on “How to Plan an Epic 2 Week Europe Trip (+ Europe Itinerary Ideas!)”

Great post! I’m actually working on my own 2 week itineraries through Europe post, but I might wait to publish until next year, when I’ve visited a few more spots. I totally agree that the key is to slow down and not switch cities every day or two. Three nights is perfect and sometimes more for the big cities. And yes, multi-city flights are so helpful so you don’t have to backtrack!

Thanks, Riana! We definitely love to slow down whenever we can. 🙂

Hi Kate! This is the BEST post related to Europe Itinerary out of the 1000 other posts that I have checked.

I am from India and I am planning for a trip in February end.

I definitely want to visit FINLAND (so that’s definitely in my list). From there, I am planning for Bupadest,Croatia OR Budapest, Prague OR Budapest/ Vienna.

Do you think this will be good for 2 weeks?

Waiting for your reply. And thanks a ton for such a beautiful detailed post.

Thank you so much, Akshay, that’s wonderful to hear!

That sounds like a wonderful itinerary. Croatia is a bit further out of the way than the other places, but it’s peaceful and beautiful during the winter and fairly simple to get to via a budget flight.

Hope you have an incredible trip to Europe!

Oh my goodness Kate, thank you so much for this post! This is exactly what I needed for my boyfriend and I to plan our trip to Europe in 2020. We want to visit Italy, Spain, France, and England but Greece and Croatia look amazing too! It’s so hard to decide.

Thank you, Jessica! So glad you found our blog helpful.

It is SO hard to decide, and honestly, it never gets any easier in my experience! All of those places are absolutely amazing, so no matter what you decide I’m sure you guys will have an incredible trip.

Italy, France, and Spain are really easy to pair together if you want to keep logistics simple, but really any combination of those would work.

What about panning around the seasons? Isn’t the Amalfi coast and Italy in general super hot during August?

It’s always nice to plan around the seasons when you can, but it depends on your availability!

Italy can be hot in August but it depends very much on where you go. It averages around 85 F / 30 C on the Amalfi Coast in August, which I have to admit isn’t enough to bother us, but it depends on where you’re coming from. It is high season there, though–very, very generally speaking, August is an expensive and crowded time to visit beaches in Europe because it’s when many Europeans tend to take their vacations and head to the coast!

Planning a trip in 2023-24 for my daughter’s graduation present. I was thinking maybe 2-3 weeks. On this trip, how much did you spend in total? I might end up being more because I usually pay for more luxurious than most, but will help with a little expectation of costs plus COLA increases obviously over the years. I figured I should start planning and saving now. lol

Hi Steven! We put this together based on years of traveling in Europe, so unfortunately I don’t have a specific figure to offer. So much varies, and can be impacted by where you go, how fast you travel (ie, how many times you change destinations), of course luxury as you mentioned, etc, etc. Generally speaking, for two people, I would say that $100/person/day is a good lower-midrange figure to calculate (excluding airfare), $200/person/day starts edging toward luxury territory, and of course, the sky is the limit.

That’s INCREDIBLY general, though. You’d be better off narrowing down which countries you plan to visit and calculating based on how long you plan to spend in each of them.

A few things to look at to give you an idea: price of hotels, price of day tours, projected cost of moving between destinations, and average cost of a meal. Those figures should give you a backbone to estimate a budget from.

What brand are the boots you are wearing in the photo “Comfortable Day Bag.” My wife loves them. Gift idea for when we go to Europe 🙂

Those are Ugg Kesey Motorcycle boots, and I love them too! Just got them out again for fall last week. 🙂

Hi kate I am planning to visit europe sometime in 2023(may/june) with my wife and son. Could you please guide me with an itinerary for 15 days Or so?? Swiss, italy, France, spain. After that we will go to a friend in England. If possible, the expenses involved as well. Thanks

Hi Abhijit! I’m not a travel agent, so that’s a bit beyond my scope. 🙂 Generally speaking, though, I’d recommend parring your itinerary down to 2 countries, or 3 at the absolute maximum. 4 countries in 15 days is a lot of travel! Luckily, all of those destinations pair well together, so you can mix and match fairly easily. Also very generally speaking, Italy and Spain will be the most affordable, and Switzerland by far the most expensive–but that depends a lot on where you go and what you do!

Hey Kate, All your pictures are amazing! What kind of cameras do you bring with you? And do you edit your photos? If so what do you use for that, they are all really bright, great pictures.

Hi Stefanie! Thank you so much! We’ve used different cameras over the years, but our main camera these days is a Sony A7 rIII. We love it, and yes, all the photos taken with it are edited in Lightroom. 🙂

Hi Kate, THANK YOU for the great article! I have booked my flights for a 2 week trip next spring, into London and out of Paris. I’ve been to both cities before, but do hope to get a few days in paris again. It’s stolen my heart.

What do you recommend in terms of getting from London to Rome, fairly quickly, and cheaply? I arrive into London mid-day and had hoped to just figure it out at the airport (Gatwick). Do you think that’s possible?

Thank you so much, Sarah! Your trip sounds fantastic.

I’d definitely plan on flying between London and Rome–it’ll be fastest and most likely cheapest, too. Check budget carriers like Ryanair, etc.

If you’re planning on flying out to Rome the same day you arrive in Gatwick, I’d absolutely recommend booking before you arrive. Be sure to double-check and make sure you’re flying out of Gatwick, too, or have time to change airports.

Hope you have an amazing time!

Oh wow I’m doing the same trip with my 3 sons. And unfortunately is the month that she said it’s the worst to go ..in August…oh well🤷🏽‍♀️ can’t do anything about it how but I am worried about the expense tho..

Love your information. I’m planning a trip to Italy and then we want to go to Salzburg as well in the summer of 2023. Our first time to Europe. We will be 60 in 2023 and we think we can plan this without going through a company. After reading your information, I feel comfortable. Two questions about hotels and transportation. What would you recommend for safe places for hotels in those two countries? We don’t need luxury but just comfort and clean. Would you recommend using rail between cities in Italy and it looks like you can travel from Venice to Salzburg by rail? Thoughts?

That’s great to hear, glad we could help!

Venice to Salzburg by rail is very doable in a day and a scenic journey. You’ll probably have to make a change, but that’s workable. Personally, we’d opt for it over flying in a heartbeat.

For hotels, I have several recommendations in our specific Venice and Salzburg posts (you can use the search bar to pull up everything we have on both cities). The centers of both places are quite safe, I wouldn’t worry much about that in a well-reviewed hotel.

Hope you guys have an unforgettable trip!

AWESOME Post!!!!

Please let me know if you have posted anything similar in 2020 or 2021. My wife and I are bringing our three teenagers and we will likely choose the Food & History trip. We both would like to speak with you if possible as we are planning our trip for December.

Hi guys! We don’t run tours ourselves, just provide information for independent travelers, but we’re always happy to answer a few questions about possible itineraries!

Hi Kate, THANK YOU for the amazing Pic ,for now i’m in South Africa Cape Town I’m planning a trip to Italy , France & Austria next year 2022 for 2weeks , Would you recommend using rail or Via Road way .

Thank you in advance & best Regards En vous remerciant d’avance et cordialement

Sounds like a fabulous trip!

Rail vs car depends entirely on where you’re going. If you’re sticking to cities, I’d recommend going by train. If you want to enjoy the countryside, a car could be helpful.

You can also mix-and-match, and rent a car for only part of your trip if you’re going to be in the countryside only part of the time.

Thank you for this awesome post, Kate! My husband and I are wanting to take our first international trip to Central Europe early spring 2022 and have reviewed your Central Europe post. What type of difficulties have you faced with international travel during COVID-19? Any issues with a country on your itinerary going into lock-down or no longer allowing tourists from the US?

We haven’t personally run into any issues with lockdowns interrupting our plans but of course, it’s always possible and things are changing constantly.

Most, if not all, countries in Europe are accepting vaccinated and/or tested US visitors now and haven’t shut their borders to US citizens again since the initial reopening. All of the countries included on our Central Europe itinerary are currently among them.

In addition to entry, some countries are requiring proof of vaccination in order to do certain things like eat in restaurants or check into hotels. Portugal, where we are now, is among them. It’s a very simple process as long as you have the paperwork in order!

Generally, if you plan to visit Europe from the US in 2022, we recommend arriving with proof of vaccination, a negative COVID test (check regularly for specifications as your flight gets closer), flexibility, and the expectation that you’ll wear a mask indoors and potentially in crowded outdoor areas.

I am not a public health expert, of course, and European countries all set their own restrictions, but in the early stages of planning, that’s what I’d keep in mind!

The reaction that we’ve seen from readers who visited in the second half of 2022 has generally been that it’s easier than they expected, but as we’ve all learned way too much in the last 2 years, none of us can predict the future!

Thanks so much, Kate! It definitely seems like flexibility is key as well as continuously monitoring each country’s individual rules for a multi-country trip. I think right now Hungary isn’t accepting tourists but fingers crossed that will change soon so we can replicate your trip. 🙂 Cheers to more adventures for you in 2022!

Hi Kate, my family is in the beginning phase of planning our first international trip and have decided on Europe! I really liked your recommendation of arriving and departing from different airports and I think departing from London would make sense (we’ll probably want to spend the most time there). All we’ve decided is to vacation for somewhere between 2-3 weeks, and we want to see London and Ireland (oh and I want to stay at least one night in a castle hotel!). Would you have any recommendations on destinations or experiences to share? Thanks!

How exciting–nothing like your first trip abroad. 🙂

We actually still haven’t been to London, which is a huge shame! Fingers crossed that 2022 is the year.

Ireland, on the other hand, is one of our absolute favorites! If you search “Ireland” on the top right corner of the blog (or on the pop out menu on mobile), all of our blog posts will come up, but this is a great one to start with: https://www.ourescapeclause.com/10-day-ireland-itinerary-ireland-road-trip/

We spent a night in this castle (slash manor house) and had a fantastic time: https://www.ourescapeclause.com/belleek-castle-county-mayo-ireland/

Ireland is one of our favorite places for road trips on the planet. You’ll love it!

Great post, thanks!

Need your advice here 🙂 We will be landing in London, staying there 3 days, then train to Paris (staying in Paris for 3 days). We fly back home from Lisbon and have 3 options: night train to Nice (spend some time there and then a few days in Lisbon), fly to Napoli (spend some time there and then fly to Lisbon) or fly to Lisbon and discover a bit more of Portugal… What would you recommend?

Oh and we are travelling with two teens who have never been to Europe… I’m trying to pack as much stuff, but wonder what would be too much :/

That’s a lot of hard choices! Each and every one of those destinations is a delight (and we’re living in Lisbon right now).

I’d opt for Nice if you’re looking for coastal views, picturesque villages, and something logistically simple. Nice is a delightful city and the day trips to nearby villages like Eze as well as Monaco are phenomenal. It is the most formal and pricey of the 3 cities and will have a resort feel near the coast in the summer.

Naples is a much less manicured city, it’s a love-it-or-hate-it place (we love it). I’d argue that it has the best food of the 3 options, but those are fighting words and many would disagree. The day trips are equally stunning but very different. If you or your family has an interest in ancient ruins, Pompeii and Herculaneum are unmatched. Visiting the Amalfi Coast or nearby islands is also doable, but it’s a trek if you’re staying in the city center. Keep in mind that there’s no train service to the Amalfi Coast proper, you will need a bus, car, or ferry to get beyond Sorrento.

Lisbon is delightful but honestly, our favorite parts of Portugal lie outside the city. Porto, in the north, has a much more regal feel while Lisbon is fairly spread out. The Duoro Valley (also in the north) is magnificent for port tastings and views, Sintra’s palaces located just outside of Lisbon are must-sees, and if you want to head to the south, the Algarve is incredibly striking.

Logistically speaking, I’d make sure you have at least 2-3 days in Portugal at the end of your trip before flying out, regardless. With 3 full days, you can spend 2 in Lisbon and take one day trip (probably to Sintra but the coastal town of Cascais is also easy and lovely).

If you have time to do that and add another stop for 3 full days, I would check detailed flight and train schedules and let that guide you–the logistics alone may make the choice for you.

That got a bit long, but I hope it helps! 🙂

Thanks a lot for the precious information!

Hi Kate! I know you said you are not a travel agent but are open to a few itinerary questions! We have recently done a European Cruise which hit almost all of Italy! We are wanting to go back independently. I am highly interested in Ireland, but would also like to see Paris. My husband is interested in Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland. With a 14 day trip wanted, what areas do you think we should do (based on best places to see, with allotted time?)

& Austria! 🙂

That is a lot of very different places, but you’ll definitely be able to pull together a great trip! I’d recommend narrowing it down to around 3 destinations, 4 if you’re comfortable moving quite fast and two of them are close together.

Ireland is definitely the odd one out geographically, but if you use two one-way tickets instead of flying in and out of the same airport, it can work (it’s what we did on our first multi-country Europe trip many years ago).

Since you’ll likely have 1-2 flights in this itinerary regardless, which destinations you pick can come down to a combination of your absolute favorites and what makes logistical sense. Paris is a very popular place to fly in and out of, so it’ll likely be easy to work in.

I’m not sure which parts of Germany your husband is interested in, but parts of western Germany have simple train access to The Netherlands and/or France.

As far as what places I’d personally visit, Ireland and Paris are two of my favorite places on the planet, so I’m biased! Switzerland’s mountain landscapes are truly beyond belief, so if you’re looking for nature (and aren’t concerned about the budget), it’s a winner.

Germany is also gorgeous, both its nature and many of its cities, though it’s quite big and varied–with a big trip like this, you’ll want to choose one small corner of it (Bavaria is a popular first stop, but you can also look at places along the Rhine, which makes more sense if you’re hoping to visit Paris or The Netherlands by train before or after).

The only part of The Netherlands we’ve had a chance to visit so far is Amsterdam, which is visually stunning but will be extremely crowded–probably more so than anywhere else you’ve listed, as there’s less room to spread out there than in, say, Paris.

When it comes to your itinerary, I’d recommend that each of you pick one place that is your absolute first choice, plan on a trip to those, and then fill in the 3rd and possible 4th destination based on what makes logistical sense as far as what planes/trains/buses are available to the spots on your shortlist.

Also, if you do need to book high-speed train tickets, book them ASAP, as prices increase as your trip gets closer.

What a wonderful blog, just when I feel like I’ve read them all I find another really helpful article. Heading to Europe for 1 month in May. Keen on Spain, definitely Italy, and probably 2 days in London and Paris respectively (arrival and departure). Feel like we have space for one more place and can’t figure out which is the better option (Portugal, Croatia or Greece) for potentially 5 days? Any recommendations?

Thank you for sharing all your wonderful insights.

That’s tough, because all 3 are fantastic but very different!

I’d probably recommend (if I had to choose), Greece for beaches/swimming and small towns, Portugal for cities, and Croatia for a combination of all. But we adore each and every one of them, so hard to go wrong!

Portugal fits nicely into your Spain section geographically, so there is that to consider.

Hi, Kate! Super love your blog. I just booked a trip to Europe for August, was thinking of going to France, Spain, and Italy in 2 weeks. Or should I cut it down to 2 countries? Hope to hear from you!

Less relevant than the countries are the destinations within them–I wouldn’t go more than 4 places in 2 weeks, max.

So if you’re hitting up Paris, Barcelona, and Rome, for example, your plan is fine. If you want to go to 2-3 places within each country, it’s time to cut it down. 🙂

HI! Thanks for the fantastic blog! My husband and I are planning our first trip to Europe from Canada and are feeling quite overwhelmed by all the choices! His family is from Holland, so we are spending one week touring with them for the first week of May, and then will stay an additional 2 weeks after that. What would you recommend? We are not keen on France but everything else looks so great, and it was good to read that you don’t recommend trying to fit everything else in, which is what we might otherwise be trying to do. Any suggestions for the 2 weeks after Holland?

Hi Michele,

That’s so exciting! You guys are going to have an amazing time.

Without knowing your tastes or the season you’re traveling, the sky is truly the limit when planning your itinerary! Anywhere that sounds exciting to you is going to be worth it. With 2 weeks, I’d opt for 1-2 countries and no more than 4 base destinations (3 would be even better).

I started trying to make a list of some of our favorite countries in Europe for you, but just backspaced the sentence because I was ending up just listing every country, LOL. But Italy is one of our special favorites that we would recommend to just about anyone!

We will be in Holland for the first week of May so we could do the other two weeks either before or after that (or split one before and one after). The suggestion to cut down to less rather than more is helpful – it’s our first time to Europe and everything looks like something we should see! We are 50 and really like most things – some scenery, some castles, etc. Do you think it would be do-able to do Germany and Italy on top of Holland? Any specifics on what you love in Italy? I am really NOT a crowd person, so we’re really going to try and avoid huge crowds or I’ll lose my mind 😉

A week in Germany followed by a week in Italy is definitely doable!

Personally I’d opt for either southwest Germany (Black Forest, Heidelberg, Burg Eltz) or Bavaria.

We love virtually all of Italy, but if you want something somewhat more offbeat that’s in the top half of the country (for geography reasons), I’d recommend looking into Emilia-Romagna.

It’s the region east of Tuscany, and has similar appeal with far fewer tourists. It’s also gorgeous and a culinary dream–Emilia-Romagna is the origin of many iconic foods like parmigiano-reggiano and traditional balsamic vinegar.

A few destinations in the region to poke into as you research: Bologna, Parma, Ravenna, Ferrara, Modena. The micronationa of San Marino is also accessible from there!

Kate-what a remarkably comprehensive, detailed and resourceful blog! I love the considerations offered from different perspectives. My family of 4 (including 2 kids ages 10 and 6) will be traveling to Paris for the second half of August for 2 weeks to visit family. We have already been to Paris a few times so this time around, I would like us to explore more of Europe for some of the time, ideally via trains. I am thinking of staying in Air B&B’s as we have been enjoying that accommodation when we travel locally within the US but would love your perspective on this (vs hotels) considering the cultural and language differences in certain destinations as well as any recommendations for either you may have. Based on some research, some destinations I came cross purely based on travel distance via train from Paris are Switzerland (3 hrs), Barcelona (6.5 hours! would probably have to be an overnight train for the kids), London (2 hrs, have family we can see), and Greece (2 hours), Belgium (1.5 hrs, also some family we can see). My goal is to show my kids/family different cultures, ways of living and experience foods, interesting architecture, beautiful cafe’s etc. Also curios if any of these can be “day trips”. I do not have specific destinations yet to see at these locations and would love your input. From your article, it sounds like limiting to 2 destinations maybe best (outside of Paris) and your thoughts may help me narrow down where to focus. Thanks so much and look forward to reading your insights on this.

So glad you found it helpful, Tez! Sounds like you guys have an amazing trip planned.

I’m sure you already know this, but August is the height of peak season for European travelers visiting the coast and mountains, so some destinations will be quite crowded and expensive (book your hotels and train tickets ASAP, especially in a group of four).

I’m assuming Greece is a typo, so I’ll pass over that one–pretty sure it’s much further than 2 hours even by plane. 🙂

Luckily Paris is a huge train hub for getting across Europe, so you have plenty of options! Most of them will take longer than it looks on the map once you navigate connections, train times, etc. We highly recommend using Omio to search exact routes and dates, and keep in mind tickets will increase in price as you get closer. With kids, you’ll probably want to search by the fastest available routes.

London, Belgium, and Switzerland all jump out at me from your list–simple to access and incredible. The Jungfrau region in Switzerland is pure paradise, though a bit further away.

You may also want to look into Amsterdam, it’s only 3.5 hours from Paris by train.

With the right schedule, you can get as far as Venice in a day from Paris (we’ve done this), so Italy is an option for you as well, as is Germany.

Essentially, the more you stick to major cities, the easier it will be to navigate solely by train. Smaller towns and cities are often connected, but you’ll virtually always need to pass back through the main city of a region to make your way back to Paris.

You may want to take a look at this post as well, we talk a lot more about train travel here: https://www.ourescapeclause.com/travel-europe-by-train/

Hi Kate Love your blog, lots of useful information. My husband and I are planning a 10 day trip to Europe end of April to early May. At the moment we are looking at flying from the US RT to Paris. We’re thinking of possibly going to Amsterdam and Belgium as well. this will be our second trip to Paris. We are open to other suggestions. Do you have any other recommendations?

Happy to be able to help, Daisy!

Paris + Amsterdam + Belgium is an excellent itinerary and doable in 10 days. It’s actually a route we recommend ourselves. We have posts on all those places, but here are our suggestions on spending 3 days in Belgium to give you an idea of what you can cover in a short time frame: https://www.ourescapeclause.com/3-days-in-belgium-itinerary/

Paris is extremely well-connected by rail (you can be in Venice in 9 hours or Munich in under 6, for example), so as far as ideas for other destinations go, the sky is the limit!

If you choose to extend your original itinerary, a few additional places that you might consider along that route are Strasbourg/Alsace, Heidelberg, and Cologne.

Thank you for your blog.. We are travelling to Europe for 14 days the end of May. Flying Calgary to Dublin, doing a couple days at the Isle of Man races then hopefully, London, Paris, Rome. Your blog shares what to pack for clothing in Summer, Fall and Winter, what would you recommend for spring? We are trying to decide if we take the trains or flights from London, Paris and Rome. We aren’t planning any beach time. Also, what do you recommend for luggage? I’m leaning towards a rolly carryon but have every size hard shell case and multiple back country camping packs.

So happy you find it helpful!

Funny you mention spring packing ideas–I’m actually working on a post for that right now. It will hopefully be up next week. But off the top of my head, you’ll definitely want a travel umbrella and to pack in layers. The end of May is a beautiful time to be in much of Europe but the weather could be unpredictable–you may want sundresses on some days and light jackets on some evenings!

As far as luggage, either is completely fine. There are advantages to both backpacks and suitcases, but as long as you’re comfortable carrying your bag up and down staircases, carrying (or rolling) it down the street for 10+ minutes, and loading it into and out of trains and/or cars, you’re good.

As far as trains vs planes–London to Paris can definitely be a train, but do a time and cost-benefit analysis between that and a plane (depending on the dates, your travel style, etc, you may choose either). Paris to Rome is better done as a flight!

Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom. We are really excited.

Hi Kate, Thank you so very much. You have provided an AMAZING amount of helpful information. Can you pretty please help me with the best location to travel to 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th and the best way to get to the locations? (We will NOT be doing any driving).I’m a 55 years old woman. I live in USA. I’m planning the 1st International trip for me and my husband for either the 1st or 2nd week of September 2023. My biggest challenge is knowing where to start and end the trip, based on logistically traveling to the different destinations, as well as, the best way to get to each destination.Here are the the things I have planned. I know you mentioned you’ve never been to London but i’m hoping you can assist based on me providing the area I want to be in. *LONDON-7 NIGHTS I’m a theatre/adrenaline junkie person so Theatreland West End of London near (North of the River Thames. 3-Plays (evening events) 2-Hour Sherlock Holmes museum (near West End) 1-Hour Ghost Bus tour (nearest tube stations are Embankment and Charing Cross) 4-Hours-day walking tasting tour (near London Bridge Station) 1-day Harry Potter Studio Tour (Leavesden London) 2 -Nights Theme park “Alton Towers” located Alton, Staffordshire near Manchester and Birmingham. (stay onsite at the parks resort)*PARIS-3 NIGHTS Moulin Rouge (BD de Clichy area) L’ATELIER DES LUMINERES -DIGITAL ART MUSEUM I would like to visit just one of the haunted castles in Paris (depending on recommendation) Château de Puymartin Château de Brissac Château Lagorce Château de Chambord Château de Versailles* GERMANY 3 NIGHTS-Phantasialand Theme park (located Bruhl Germany) Stay onsite at the parks resortThank you for any advice or suggestions you can provide.

Hi Melvina,

I definitely can’t speak to getting around London in detail, though a combination of the tube and buses will likely be doable! You can add cabs as needed as well.

In Paris, the metro is so dense you should have no issue getting around. Assuming you are planning to do the usual Paris sights (Eiffel Tower, Louvre, etc), our Paris itinerary might be able to help you out (and has hotel recommendations): https://www.ourescapeclause.com/3-days-in-paris-itinerary/

For the chateaus, Versailles is by far the closest to Paris and you can get there by RER train. Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley is doable via an organized day trip like this: https://www.getyourguide.com/paris-l16/loire-valley-castles-wines-day-trip-from-paris-t70389/?partner_id=1OI4D21&utm_medium=online_publisher&placement=content-middle

The others are way too far from Paris for day trips, so I’d focus on Versailles and/or Chambord this time.

Hope you have a wonderful time! 🙂

Thank you so very much.

Hi, thank you for this comprehensive post! We are planning a trip this summer and will be going to Paris, Rome, Florence and Amsterdam. My question is about changing money. We were in Iceland last year and used Apple Pay or credit card everywhere, never needed cash and didn’t get any. Is that possible in either France, Italy or Netherlands? Should I plan on getting cash for taxis, tips, etc?

Happy to help!

I’d definitely recommend having some cash with you as you travel, especially for small purchases like coffee, gelato, etc. Most hotels in Italy will require the city’s tourist tax in cash, too. Some taxis and tips will be best done in cash as well, and occasionally very small, offbeat tourist attractions.

While cash-only restaurants definitely aren’t the norm in any of those cities, they’re not unheard of, either.

Overall, I’d say you’re most likely to avoid cash entirely in Amsterdam and most likely to use some of it in Rome and Florence, but that’s not a hard and fast rule by any means (I used some cash on my trip to the Netherlands last spring, for example).

We find that the easiest way to get cash, by far, is to withdraw Euros from any bank’s ATM once you’re already in Europe (avoid Euronet–use an ATM branded by an actual bank). Luckily, since all the places you’re visiting use the Euro, you won’t need to worry about changing currency beyond that. 🙂

Hi Kate, thank you for this great, and helpful post! We’re are planning a trip to Europe for the first time in September for next year in 2024. My plan is to visit Spain, Italy and I’m still undecided on the third country to visit. What country would you suggest or advised that we can visit that has beautiful scenery, mountains, lakes, etc. We like the city, but we also want something where we can hike out in nature like Iceland maybe, Switzerland. Any tips on that? Also, is it cheaper to stay in hotels, Airbnb’s? Thank you!

Spain and Italy–two of our favorites! You guys are going to have a great time. 🙂

The hardest part about picking a third country with your criteria will be narrowing it down between many excellent choices–you really can’t go wrong.

Switzerland is absolutely spectacular, if the Alps are what you’re looking for, it’s iconic and hard to beat in every category except the price tag.

Germany and Austria also offer beautiful mountains and lakes and are a more budget-friendly than Switzerland.

The French Alps are also wonderful–towns like Chamonix and Annecy offer plenty of mountains, lakes, etc.

And, for a a wild card, you don’t necessarily need a third country at all: the Dolomites in Italy have everything you’re looking for.

Any of those that appeal to you and fit your budget will be a great addition to your trip. They’re well-connected to Italy and each other by train, the travel times aren’t too far, and they’re all phenomenal places to visit.

One small thing to keep in mind if you’re planning to travel by train a bunch is that Spain isn’t very well connected to the rest of the places you’re considering by rail–you may want to consider flying in and out of there.

Iceland is definitely far out of the way, but assuming you’re traveling to and from North America, look into the Icelandair stopover program if you want to add it on! I will say that while it does offer mountains, lakes, and beautiful scenery, it’s a very different vibe than Switzerland or any of the surrounding Alpine countries, so take a close look at the specific destinations and see if it’s what you’re looking for. It’s a stunning place, just very different than the others. Here’s one of our Iceland posts if you want to get a feel for it: https://www.ourescapeclause.com/10-day-iceland-ring-road-itinerary/

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Two Week Traveller

2 Weeks in Europe: 6 Itineraries

DISCLAIMER: This post might have links to travel services and products that we enjoy. We might make a commission from it at no extra cost to you.

Europe is a continent consisting of 44 countries with diverse languages, climates, and cultures . It has numerous world-famous landmarks preserved from years upon years of history.

Spending 2 weeks in Europe will cover plenty of amazing places. It’s not much, but a good start, especially if it’s your first time here.bulga

Another great thing about Europe is that the places are close to each other, you can reach most of them via train, buses, and driving. Land borders separate the countries. However, many of them practice free movement across borders.

This continent has peninsulas, islands, and varied landforms, as well as seas, lakes, and other bodies of water. There are infinite fascinating places to see, foods to taste, and activities to try out during your 2 weeks in Europe.

TIP : This is a long-form article, I highly recommend you check the Table of Contents below to help you navigate the page easier and faster.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING EUROPE

4 IMAGES - colourful houses in bergen, london tower, colosseum in rome, and buildings by the sea - 2-Weeks in Europe Itinerary

Before you go book your flight and hotels, take a look at the information below first. It will help you visualise and plan your itinerary better. You can get ideas on when to go, how to travel around, and what to pack.

When is the best time to go to Europe

This depends on what you plan to do. Most people go to Europe during summer, but of course, if you want to ski, come between December and February. I personally love going in spring and summer, during autumn, it’s also very pretty but it rains a lot.

You might want to consider travelling during the off-season because this is when there are fewer travellers and the prices of accommodations and tours aren’t sky-high so you’ll be able to save quite a bit.

Getting around Europe

The best way to get around Europe is to rent a car especially if the country you’re visiting are next to each other or have an open border agreement. It’s cheaper and gives you freedom of your time.

However, if you are crossing countries and they are not next to each other, you are probably better off flying than doing a long drive. Check first if your driver’s license is valid in Europe and check what type of cars each country you are going to have.

For example, Italy, Spain, and France are known for using a stick or manual transmission. While the UK and Ireland drive on the left.

Buses and trains are quite reliable and affordable. But there are also domestic flights which are affordable as long as you don’t pack too much unless you are willing to pay extra.

Language and currency

There are over 24 official languages in Europe. You should be able to get around with English but it’s important to also learn basic words to show respect for each country’s culture and easily communicate with locals.

Luckily though, most countries in Europe use Euro, except in the UK, Nordic countries, and maybe some countries in East Europe. It’s easy to pay with credit cards but carrying cash with you for emergencies is still advisable.

Visa and COVID-19 policy

Each country has different visa rules, however, if your destination is an EU member, they have the same visa policy; 90 days visa-free for visitors with a passport from North America, some Latin America, some Southeast Asia and East Asia, and most Oceania. This also applies to non-EU countries such as Switzerland and Norway.

For visitors with a passport from the EU or a European country, you should have freedom of movement for unlimited time except for some nationalities such as the UK and countries in East Europe.

Europe is open to COVID-1 vaccinated tourists. If you are unvaccinated, best to check if your destination has extra entry requirements. Depending on the airline and destination, you might be required to submit a test before boarding.

Wearing a mask is no longer required in many places in Europe, but it’s smart to carry one just in case you get to countries that still require them. Read about the EU reopening .

What is the average cost for 2 weeks in Europe

As diverse as the European culture is, the cost also varies a lot. The budget for 14 days in Europe depends on a few things such as the countries, type of tours, accommodation, and how you plan to move around.

$800 in Eastern Europe will not work for Scandinavia. $800 is a tight budget, but it might work for more affordable countries such as Eastern Europe or the Baltics (assuming this excludes the flights to the region and back). $1,000 will be fine for southern-east Europe, and $1,500 will be decent for central Europe. While west Europe and the Nordics plan to spend around $3,000.

The accommodation will cost the most expensive, but the food can be budgeted. Then the transportation. You can either use public transport or rent a push bike when moving around the cities. Take the bus or train when travelling to the next country or ride a plane.

Travelling during the peak season will also cost a lot more. Check under each itinerary to see the average cost of a 2-week trip in Europe.

Other basic travel tips

Planning a trip can be exhausting and often overwhelming. To make it a bit easier, I use travel sites and services that have flexible cancellation policies in case I change my mind or my travel dates. Here’s a list of travel tools I use. From flight selections, affordable hotels, wide-range options for car rentals, and even affordable travel insurance.

TOP PLACES IN EUROPE (pinned map)

Click the icon on the top right to enlarge the map. Credit: map data: Google

2 WEEKS IN EUROPE ITINERARIES

I will show your six itinerary options to choose from for your 14 days in Europe. Covering multiple countries and featuring famous attractions that are historical, cultural, and outdoor activities.

Deciding where to spend your 2 weeks in Europe can be hard. Should it be in Spain or Portugal? How about both? Should you visit Rome or Paris ? When unsure, there are a few things you can do to see which places are more suitable for you.

For example, Rome would be ideal if you love historical sites such as ruins. Perhaps you like history, but in the form of art, then Paris is the one. For food lovers, don’t miss visiting France, Spain, Italy, and Greece.

Itinerary #1 South Europe: Spain and France or France and Italy

We have two sub-options in our first itinerary for your 2 weeks in Europe. This includes either Spain and France or France and Italy. Spain is well-known for its lively culture, flamenco, arts, and literature, as well as its wines, beaches, and, of course, football.

If you feel like this itinerary is a little too expensive, you can instead go to Portugal. Take a look at how to spend 2 weeks in Portuga l or even just a few days in Lisbon. Spending 14 days in Southern Europe is a good place to do your first trip to this continent.

France, on the other hand, is well-known for macarons, wine, champagne, great pastries, as well as fashion, museums, and other historical sites. You could also do many water activities in France or if you plan to come during winter, you can head to the Alps for some skiing.

Italy is loved for its opera, its art cities, unique scenery, and good food. They are also among the four fashion capitals, with luxury brands, and of course, who could forget the Vespa?

If you have never been to Italy, make sure you visit Venice, Rome, Florence, and the southwest coast, where you can visit Naples for Amalfi and Sorrento. You can also consider 2 weeks in Greece for this itinerary. Not to mention, the south is a famous region to spend honeymoon in Europe .

Spain for 7 days

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Spain is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, not only for foreign visitors but also for other European nations. With its stunning beaches, yummy food, and very welcoming culture, Spain is undeniably a must-visit when you come to Europe for 2 weeks.

Most people go to Madrid, the capital of Barcelona, a coastal city. However, if you want to get away from big crowds, head to Seville, Valencia, or even Zaragoza. For young travellers who love to dance and party, Ibiza is a top spot, while Palma, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria are awesome islands to explore and spend your vacation in.

We have a specific 2 weeks in Spain itinerary , which might help you plan a trip there if you decide to spend your trip in one European country only.

Here are some of the top-rated attractions in Spain :

  • Alhambra and Generalife in Granada
  • Palacio Real in Madrid – get your ticket in advance
  • El Escorial near Madrid
  • Aqueduct of Segovia – north of Madrid
  • Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Sites in Barcelona – check tour prices
  • Great Mosque in Cordoba, near Seville
  • Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
  • Beaches of Gran Canaria

France for 7 days

Some of the options to reach France from Spain include flying, taking a train, riding the bus, using rideshare or driving. The most recommended option is to ride a plane, but if you have plenty of time, you should consider renting a car and driving on your own. We have an article with 3 different itineraries on how to spend 2 weeks in France .

France is a country famous for many reasons. The food is great, it is rich in culture, the abundance of historical sites, and thousands of wineries to explore. France is also known for Tour de France and is a great holiday destination any time of the year. You should geat a hop-on hop-off bu s that will take you to the top attractions of Paris.

Paris is an obvious place to visit, but if you don’t like big cities or have been here before, you can consider other places. For history buffs, head to Calais, Dunkirk, and Normandy. For those who love the outdoors, check out Lyon, Marseille, Nice, and Bordeaux (aka the Basque region).

Here are some of the top attractions n France:

  • The Louvre in Paris – book a guided tour
  • Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres near Paris
  • Eiffel Tower in Paris – get your skip-the-line ticket in advance
  • Chateau de Versailles in Paris – visit with a garden access
  • Mont Saint Michel
  • Loire Valley Chateaux
  • Côte d’Azur aka French Riviera in the South
  • Provence for lavender fields
  • Chamonix-Mont-Blanc for skiing in the Alps

Italy for 7 days

To reach Italy from France, you could either take the train or fly but taking the train is preferred by most tourists and locals alike because you’ll be able to reach your destination in less than five hours anyway. There are tons of routes to choose from if you want to see some interesting scenery and plan to drive instead.

2 weeks in Europe have to include Italy. It is loved for its dishes to die for, beautiful castles, amazing hiking trails, and warm culture. Just like in Spain and France, wine in Italy is world-class and their historical sites are well preserved.

Before you book anything, decide where you want to go. Rome and Venice are the top places to visit in Italy. But if you have been there, it’s time to explore Florence, Milan, Bologna, and Genoa in the north. For the south, head to Naples, Sicily, and all the way to Palermo. Check out our 4 itineraries for 2 weeks in Italy .

Some of the top tourist attractions in Italy include :

  • Colosseum in Rome – get your ticket in advance to skip the very long queue
  • Spanish Steps in Rome
  • Trevi Fountain in Rome
  • Venice Grand Canal – don’t skip the romantic gondola ride
  • Gode Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice – explore with a tour guide and secure a ticket
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Vatican City near Rome; Basilica of St. Peter, Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums – you can visit this in one go
  • The Uffizi Gallery in Florence
  • Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence
  • Lake Como near Milan
  • Cinque Terre
  • Amalfi Coast
  • Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius in Naples – visit this and the entirety of Naples on a day trip from Rome

Travel cost

These three destinations are one of the most expensive places in Europe. Budget around $2,000 for a 2-week trip around Spain, France, and Italy not including the flights from your location and back. Accommodation will be the most expensive cost while food is quite affordable in these places.

Of course, if you want to travel with luxury, you can easily spend $3,000-$5,000 which will allow you to stay at 4-5 star hotels, dine at fancy restaurants, and take a private car with a driver anywhere.

For those on a tight budget, $1,500 is possible , however, you will likely stay at youth hostels and share a room with other people in dorm/bunk rooms or even look at Couchsurfing. You can also save more money by looking at ready-to-eat meals at grocery stores or cooking in the hostel is possible. Join a free walking tour where you will be expected to give a tip based on the tour guide and the tour itself.

Itinerary #2 Central Europe: Germany and Poland

For this next itinerary, we’ll be covering 2 weeks in Central Europe, which consists of the countries Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary. However, in this itinerary, we’ll only be covering Germany and Poland.

Germany is well-known for its cathedrals, castles, palaces, and colourful architecture, as well as its sausages and beers. It has many historical sites relating to World War I and II. Berlin is loved for being vegan-friendly, but meat-eaters shouldn’t have a problem finding their way around restaurants either.

Conversely, Poland is famous for its food, stunning geography, folklore, history, and friendly locals. In Poland, you’ll find Europe’s most ancient forest, Medieval Castle, the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp, amazing museums, and more.

Apart from that, you can also visit theme parks in Poland, such as Engerylandia Theme Park, Rabkoland, and Aquapark Sopot.

2 images - bavarian houses in germany and st mary church in krakow, poland - 2-weeks in europe

Germany for 8 days

Germany has so many things to offer that it would take 8 days to satiate your curiosity, and even then, you would barely scratch the surface. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to see everything in 8 days. If you want t visit Germany only, we have these 2 weeks in Germany itineraries .

Most people will go to Berlin or Munich, but there are also other cities such as Hamburg, Frankfurt, Nuremberg and Cologne to name a few. I highly recommend you rent a car to move around easier, but taking a domestic flight or the train is also easy and affordable.

If you’re going to Berlin, the best way to see all the top attractions is by buying a hop-on hop-off bus with live a tour guide .

Here’s a list of the top attractions in Germany:

  • Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
  • Berlin Wall
  • Cruise the River Spree – book a 2.5-hour boat tour
  • Museum Island in Berlin
  • Sachsenhausen Memorial – visit with a tour guide
  • Neuschwanstein Castle near Munich
  • Linderhof Palace near Munich – book a combo tour with Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Marienplatz in Munich
  • Pay respects at Dachau Concentration Camp – join a tour from Munich
  • Kölner Dom in Cologne
  • The Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg, near Stuttgart
  • Miniatur Wunderland at Port of Hamburg
  • Bamberg and the Bürgerstadt near Nuremberg

Poland for 8 days

There are tons of modes of transportation from Germany to Poland, including boarding a plane, using rideshare cars, trains, buses, or driving. Flights between these two countries are frequent and affordable.

Poland has a dark history, but the country is more than that. It has stunning lakes, UNESCO sites, and rather interesting cuisine, and it is in the top 20 safest countries in the world – a great place to discover if you are travelling alone.

Poland also has the biggest castle in the world, and many believe that vodka originated in Poland. In winter, you can ski in Poland, which is more affordable than France, Switzerland, and even Italy.

Many foreigners get confused and think Krakow is the capital of Piland, but it’s actually Warsaw. Apart from these two cities, you can also visit Gdansk, Wroclaw, Katowice, and Lublin. Most of the cities are connected via buses and trains hence moving around during your 2 weeks in Europe shouldn’t be a problem.

>>TIP: Check out our 2 weeks in Poland post if you prefer to explore that country on a single trip. There are two itineraries to choose from.

Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Poland:

  • Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow
  • Auschwitz- Birkenau Camps near Krakow – book a guided tour or combine it with the Wieliczka Salt Mine tour
  • Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory in Krakow
  • Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow
  • Warsaw Old Marketplace
  • Lazienki Park in Warsaw
  • Malbork Castle near Gdansk
  • Morskie Oko Lake and Hot Bath Pools near Zakopane – check tour prices
  • Crooked Forest near Szczecin

Travel cost:

Central Europe in general can be costly, but only if you plan to visit Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Poland and Czechia are both affordable destinations compared to their neighbouring countries. $2,000 will take you a long way if you choose one expensive place to spend a week and the other one is a more affordable country (e.g Germany and Poland or Switzerland and Czechia).

You can save even more money if you focus on Poland or Czechia only or book a trip to Switzerland just for 2-3 days instead of an entire week.

$5,000 will be a great budget for a luxury trip . This is suitable for couples who are on their honeymoon or retiree travellers. For young visitors and backpackers, you can probably get away with $1,000 to $1,500 for the 2 weeks trip .

Accommodation in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria is costly but affordable in Poland and Czechia. Rely on using public transportation in all countries, such as buses and trains, instead of renting a car or flying.

Itinerary #3 Baltics: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

The Baltics are one of the most affordable regions in Europe. Although it has its fair share of tourists, the streets and attractions don’t get too busy, even during the summer season. It’s an awesome place to spend your 2 weeks in Europe vacation without being surrounded by a big crowd.

Lithuania is famous for its natural scenery, including forests, lakes, flatlands, and other landscapes. There are also historical spots here to visit, and you must try their local ciders. I personally loved their local food, especially beetroot. If you’re a foody, check this Vilnius food guide for a list of must-try dishes.

Conversely, Latvia is known for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites and art nouveau architecture. It’s on the coast, hence if visiting during summer, don’t forget to dip your toes.

Last but definitely not least is Estonia, which is famous for its dense woods, thousands of uninhabited islands, and rich history. It experienced a boom in tourism recently since it implemented a digital nomad visa.

Estonia is among Europe’s most linguistic nations, is one of the countries with the cleanest air in the world, and half of the country is made up of forest, which probably explains the great air quality. We also have two itineraries specifically for 2 weeks in the Baltics only or 2 weeks in Eastern Europe itineraries .

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Lithuania for 5 days

Lithuania is rich in cultural preservation, so much so that UNESCO considered their folk dance as one of the intangible cultural heritages. They also have one of the oldest languages, even older than Greek, German, and Celtic, and the oldest tree in Europe could be found here as well.

With five days in Lithuania, you can do and see a lot of things. You can cover at least two major cities; the capital city Vilnius, and the cultural art city of Kaunas. If it’s warm enough, head to the coast and visit Klaipeda.

Here is a list of the best places to see in Lithuania:

  • Gediminas Castle Tower in Vilnius
  • Vilnius Cathedral Square
  • Hot Air Balloon Flight – over Vilnius or Trakai Castle
  • Energetikos ir technikos muziejus in Vilnius
  • Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights and A.Mickiewicz Memorial Museum in Vilnius
  • MO Muziejus in Vilnius
  • Gates of Dawn in Vilnius
  • Three Crosses Monument in Vilnius – join a full-day tour from Vilnius
  • Walk around Uzupis
  • Trakai Castle near Vilnius
  • Kaunas Castle
  • Devils’ Museum in Kaunas
  • Hill of Crosses near Šiauliai

Latvia for 4 days

You can go to Latvia from Lithuania by driving, riding a bus, plane, or taking the train. The most recommended option is through riding a bus as it is the cheapest and fastest. Latvia is also a great destination during summer. You can take a swim on its sandy beaches, lakes, and rivers.

You can either spend the entire 4 days in Riga, the capital city or take day trips to see Gauja National Park and Turaida Museum Reserve for example. You can also explore Riga on a segway tour .

Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Latvia :

  • House of the Black Heads in Riga – get your ticket in advance
  • Riga Cathedral
  • Three Brothers, Latvian Museum of Architecture
  • St. Peter’s Church
  • The Freedom Monument in Riga
  • Shop souvenirs at Riga Central Market – join a food-tasting tour
  • Gauja National Park outside of Riga
  • Rundale Palace and Museum ner Jelgava

Estonia for 4 days

To reach Estonia if you’re coming from Latvia, you could board a plane, ride a bus, take the train, or drive. The most recommended option would be to ride a plane as it’s the fastest, but the cheapest option would be to take the bus.

Estonia is very unique, they have islands but are inhabited – and that makes them interesting to visit. There, you can go fishing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and for those who love birds, birdwatching is a popular thing to do in Estonia.

Tallinn, the capital, is obviously the most popular destination. However, with 2 weeks in Europe, around the Baltics, you can also head to Parnu and Tartu – both are located in the south of Estonia. Go to Haeska, Kabili, and Matsalu for birdwatching and wildlife experiences.

Here are some of the sights to see in Estonia :

  • Tallinn’s Old Town
  • Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor in Tallinn
  • Lahemaa National Parl – sign up to a day trip
  • Patarei Prison Exhibition/Communism Prison in Tallinn
  • Parnu’s Beaches
  • Alpakafarm near Parnu
  • Estonian National Museum in Tartu
  • Tagurpidi Maja (Peapeal OÜ) / Upside Down House in Tartu
  • TYPA Letterpress and Paper Art Centre in Tartu
  • Kuressaare Castle in Saare
  • Join a 3-hour food tour

Travelling around the Baltics is one of my favourite destinations and one I recommend if you’re on a budget. You will still experience the European culture, walk through the alleys and paves with cobbled stone, and eat delicious meals.

It’s honestly possible to travel here for around $1,000 for those on a budget . You will stay in a hostel and consume street food or grocery store meals. The tours also don’t cost that much. Accommodation is around $25 to $35 a night, but transportation is cheap.

$2,000 is the average cost where you get to have a private room and try out a few local restaurants. For a luxury trip, $3,000 will get you very comfortable.

Itinerary #4 East Europe: Hungary and Croatia or Romania and Bulgaria

East Europe is a massive region. You will have to choose 2-3 countries to cover during your visit and perhaps next time, you go to new places. Right now, we’ll only cover 4 destinations for your 12-day in Europe itinerary; Hungary and Croatia or Romania and Bulgaria.

Croatia has so much to offer, but in the last few years, being the filming location of Game of Thrones, this country attracted more tourists. Aside from that, they also have stunning waterfalls and gorgeous Adriatic Islands, among other landscapes.

Hungary on the other hand is famous for its ruin bars, paprikas, and goulash. It also has sought-after outdoor and public thermal bars and great nightlife. Outside the city, Hungary has a lot of nature preserves and can be an affordable ski destination in winter.

Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe and has tons of hot springs. It’s undeniable how affordable Bulgaria is as a travel destination. It also sits right on the Black Sea, a popular spot during summer.

Nightlife in Bulgaria is another reason tourists come here for its affordability. Speaking of cuisine, the traditional Bulgarian food is something of a must-try.

Romania is famous for its Carpathian Mountains, Salt Mines, and Medieval Fortresses. Just like Bulgaria, it’s also located on the Black Sea. One might want to visit Romania since it’s famous for being the home of Dracula.

2 images -city view of budapest and aerial view of dubrovnik, croatia - 2-weeks in europe

Hungary for 7 days

Hungary, like many other European countries, is a landlocked country. But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy summer in Hungary. This country has over 1,000 natural springs water, hence, the popularity of its thermal baths.

Budapest is not the only city worth visiting in Hungary, you should also consider Debrecen and Szeged. While Balaton Uplands National Park is the spot to you want to go hiking, join wine tours, and be around nature.

Here are some of the top tourist attractions in this country :

  • Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest
  • Budapest’s Széchenyi Thermal Bath – book a full-day spa
  • Buda Castle
  • Buy souvenirs at Central Market Hall
  • Take a boat cruise Danube River in Budapest – check cruise prices
  • Matthias Church in Budapest
  • Esztergom Basilica
  • The Caves of Lillafured near Miskolc
  • Lavender field at Tihany

Croatia for 7 days

It is relatively easy to travel to Croatia if you’re coming from Hungary as they are neighbouring countries. You could travel by bus, by train or by driving. Any option is fine, but the cheapest option would be to ride the night bus.

As mentioned before, Croatia is now popular for being the filming location for Game of Thrones, but there are other places to see in this magnificent country. Just like its neighbouring country of Italy, Croatia is also a fantastic beach destination and so much more affordable.

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and a must-visit, then you can go to the coast. The most popular city is Split and Dubrovnik, but Zadar,  Hvar, and Pula are an equally stunning area for swimming and other water activities.

Want to spend 14 days in Croatia ? Our guide has three itineraries you can check out and see which one suits you best.

Some of the top tourist attractions in this country include :

  • Dubrovnik’s Old Town Walls – join a walking tour
  • Trsteno Arboretum, Trsteno near Dubrovnik
  • Dubrovnik’s Lovrijenac Fort
  • Visit Game of Thrones filming locations – book a tour
  • Nikola Tesla Technical Museum in Zagreb
  • Diocletian’s Palace in Split – enjoy a walking tour with a local guide
  • Blue Cave, near Split – book the 5 island boat tour
  • Krka Waterfalls, near Split – visit on a boat tour
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park near Zadar
  • Kornati National Park near Zadar
  • Euphrasian Basilica in Porec
  • Pula’s Roman Arena
  • Swim at Galebove Stijene in Pula
  • Explore Brijuni/Brioni National Park near Pula
  • Mulini Beach in Rovinj

Romania for 7 days

A massive country in East Europe, Romania has a lot to offer. From national parks, vibrant cities, historical sites, and beach access to the Black Sea. Bucharest is known for great nightlife, but apart from that, it’s also rich in cultural and historical spots.

Other than Bucharest, you have to go to the Transylvanian region, known as the home of Dracula. If it’s warm enough, head to Constanza, while Brasov and Cluj-Napoca are the areas to go to during winter for skiing and other winter activities.

Here are some of the places you could visit once you reached Romania:

  • Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest
  • Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History in Bucharest
  • National Museum of Romanian History in Bucharest
  • Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum in Bucharest
  • Vaser Valley Forestry Railway
  • Bran Castle aka Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania – book a tour combo with Peles and Brasov trip
  • Sighisoara Historic Center
  • Covered Stairway in Sighisoara
  • The Clock Tower in Sighisoara
  • The Black Church in Brasov
  • Peles Castle near Brasov – book a 2-day tour from Bucharest to visit Brasov, Sibiu, and Sighisoara
  • Bucegi Natural Park near Brasoc
  • Transylvanian Alps

Bulgaria for 7 days

Just south of Romania, you can reach Bulgaria by train, bus, or driving. The quickest option would be to drive, which would take you more or less five hours, but the cheapest option is by riding a train.

Another country with the best nightlife, Bulgaria is popular with young tourists. But it doesn’t mean non-partygoers cannot enjoy Bulgaria. This country is a great place to explore the outdoors. There are many hiking trails and to ski here, you don’t have to spend too much.

Head to the capital city, Sofia, but for winter sports, you can go to Bansko, Borovets, and Pamporovo. If you are coming during the warm months, you can still go to the Black Sea by heading toward Varna.

Some of the top spots in Bulgaria are:

  • National Palace of Culture in Sofia
  • Sofia History Museum
  • Rila Monastery – visit with combo tour to Boyana Church
  • Seven Rila Lakes – check tour price from Sofia
  • Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo
  • Belogradchik Rocks
  • Prohodna Cave in Karlukovo
  • Krushuna Waterfalls
  • The Rose Valley near Kazanluk
  • The Ancient Theatre of Philippopolis in Plovdiv – join a tour of Plovdiv, Asen’s Fortress, and Bachkovo Monastery
  • Pirin National Park near Plovdiv
  • Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari near Shumen

East Europe is one of the most affordable regions in Europe. The accommodation alone can range between $20-$30 while food and the use of public transportation are also very affordable.

It’s easy to travel on a budget in eastern Europe, around $800 is feasible for backpackers and young travellers. If you want to be comfortable, $1,000 will be great and get you your own private room and dine at restaurants. $2,000 can easily be a luxury trip in this region for a 2-week adventure.

Itinerary #5 Nordic: Iceland, Norway, and Denmark

The next option would be the Nordic countries, which consist of Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. However, in this itinerary, we will only cover Norway, Iceland, and Denmark.

Norway is also known as the Land of the Midnight Sun. It is famous for its fjords, lakes, and magical skies (Aurora Borealis), as well as Viking culture and folklore.

Iceland is also famous for a lot of natural wonders such as geysers, active volcanoes, and glaciers. You could also see the Northern Lights here. Iceland is relying 100% on renewable energy; hydropower, and geothermal.

Last but definitely not least is Denmark, which is well-known for its coastal towns, architecture, Royalty, and cuisine. Copenhagen is a must-visit. If you find yourself with extra time, you can hop on a train and head to Sweden.

2 images - colourful houses in bergen, norway and northern lights in iceland - 2-weeks in europe

Iceland for 4 days

Iceland is the land of fire and ice, and you might be wondering why. They have glaciers but have volcanically heated pools at the same time, where you could swim all year round. That’s pretty fascinating.

Aside from that, it is also a literary-focused country. In fact, one out of ten Icelanders will publish a book even at least once in their lifetime.

Iceland is not a big country, but spending four days here is plenty. Most tourists love staying in Reykjavik, but you don’t have to. If you want to save money, you can stay outside the city and rent a car instead. You can easily move around in your own car, which means it doesn’t matter if your hotel is not in the city.

We have a complete guide and itinerary for 2 weeks in Iceland .

Top attractions in Iceland:

  • Drive the Golden Circle
  • Blue Lagoon – get your ticket in advance including Kerid Volcanic Crater
  • Gullfoss Falls
  • Seljalandsfoss
  • Silfra – snorkel between 2 tectonic plates between North American and Europe
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Jökulsárlón
  • Chase the Northern Lights – join a tour to find the best spot
  • Icelandic Phallological Museum
  • National Museum of Iceland
  • Reykjanesfólkvangur
  • Whale Watching near Reykjavik – book a cruise
  • Eystri-Fellsfjara / Diamond Beach

Norway for 6 days

You will need to ride a plane to reach Norway if you’re coming from Iceland. The fastest route takes more or less 6 hours. However, the journey would be worth it because there are so many sights and sceneries once you reach Norway.

This includes the world’s longest road tunnel and the world’s most remote island, among others. This is also an amazing place to ski during winter.

Many tourists usually go to Oslo and Bergen, but you can also add Stavanger, Kristiansand, and Tromso to your itinerary of 2 weeks in Europe.

If you want to see Fjords, you have to head west; from Trondheim all the way down to Stavanger. Check our 2 weeks in Norway itinerary list if you only want to see this country.

Here is a list of some of the best places to visit in Norway:

  • Bygdoy Peninsula in Oslo 
  • Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo
  • Viking Ship Museum in Oslo
  • Naeroyfjorden
  • Akershus Fortress in Oslo
  • Oslo’s Fjords – check tour prices or a cruise to Nærøyfjorden, Flåm, and Stegastein 
  • Hanseviertel Bryggen in Bergen
  • Sognefjord near Bergen
  • Osterrjod and Mostraumen near Bergen – join a cruise
  • Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen), in Stavanger
  • Lofoten Islands
  • Geirangerfjord
  • Arctic Museum in Tromso
  • Find the Northern Lights from Tromso – book a guided tour
  • Atlantic Ocean Road

Denmark for 4 days

To reach Denmark from Norway, the best would be to take a plane. There is also a car ferry service, but with a limited time, it’s not ideal. Denmark has the oldest Monarchy in Europe.

Denmark is a small country but popular not only in Europe but around the world. For many years, it has been voted the happiest country in the world. It’s also known for being safe for tourists, the home birth of lego, and has the oldest monarchy in Europe and the oldest flag in the world.

Naturally, visitors will go to Copenhagen, but since the country (excluding Greenland and the Faroe Islands) is not that big, 4 days in Denmark is plenty

You can explore the entirety of Copenhagen and even have time to go to Odense, where the famous children’s book author Hans Christian Andersen was born. You can actually get to the city centre from Copenhagen airport in just 13 minutes – a great way to save time.

Here is a list of some of the best attractions in Denmark:

  • The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) – explore Copenhagen in a day
  • Freetown Christiania
  • The King’s Garden
  • Amalienborg
  • Rosenborg Castle
  • Tivoli Gardens – get your ticket in advance
  • Botanical Garden
  • The Round Tower
  • Memorial Anchor
  • Copenhagen Opera House
  • Walk around Strøget
  • Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
  • Christiansborg Palace
  • Danish Architecture Centre
  • Ofelia Plads
  • Legoland in Billund
  • Hans Christian Andersen’s Childhood Home
  • H. C. Andersens House

Nordic and Scandinavia is undeniably the most expensive place to travel around Europe. Accommodation alone could run $100, and dining and consuming alcohol are costly as well. But taking the bus and train is a little bearable.

To ensure that you will enjoy your 2 weeks in Europe around this region, plan to spend about $2,000 . If you are on a budget, you can probably do it for $1,700 but no less. But for l uxury, your trip cost will really skyrocket up to $5,000 .

Itinerary #6 West Europe: The UK, Netherlands, and Belgium

The last itinerary option for your 2 weeks in Europe includes the countries the UK, Netherlands, and Belgium, also known as the west of Europe.

The UK is popular for many things, including its monarchy, culture, history, and performers. Being the home of four different countries; England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, you can easily say that it’s worth a visit. From bustling cities, amazing hiking trails, pubs to check out, and castles to explore.

There are tons of iconic places in the Netherlands despite it being a small country. The Netherlands is famous for many things . Here, you’ll be able to see windmills, cheese markets, bulb fields, and earthenware, among others. The Netherlands also have plenty of historical spots to discover including Anne Frank’s House.

The last country on our list is Belgium. They have high-quality chocolates, hence the name Belgian chocolate. This country is also well-known for waffles and beer and is the home to NATO headquarters.

2 images - tulip field with two windmills in netherlands and tower clock of london

The UK for 6 days

There are many things to see in the UK, and six days is definitely not going to be enough. But don’t panic. If this is your first time here, list the attractions you really want to see first. The world-famous Big Ben, London Eye, and River Thames can all be found here, and that’s just in London.

If you have been here before, perhaps, you can now explore less popular areas. Perhaps, you can focus on hiking instead of being in the city or just spend 14 days in England only, especially if it’s your first time.

It’s undeniable that the UK has the most famous monarchy in the world. London alone has a lot of attractions related to the British Monarchy and historical places. In order to make the most out of your trip, the recommended duration of stay is at least five days.

ALSO READ: 2 weeks in the UK , 2 weeks in England , and 2 weeks in Ireland and Northern Ireland itineraries.

List of some best places to see in the UK :

  • Tower Bridge
  • Stonehenge – book a combo tour with Windsor Castle and Bath
  • Buckingham Palace
  • The British Museum
  • Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition – buy your ticket in advance
  • Kensington Palace
  • Madame Tussauds – get your skip-the-line ticket
  • Shakespeare’s Globe
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Book a Harry Potter tour – Warner Bros. Studio
  • Scotney Castle
  • Bodiam Castle
  • Warwick Castle
  • Lake District National Park
  • Dean Village
  • Edinburgh Castle – book a skip-the-line tour
  • Palace of Holyroodhouse
  • Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Scottish Highlands – check the tour price from Edinburgh
  • Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
  • Titanic Belfast – join a guided tour
  • Crumlin Road Gaol
  • Giants Causeway – visit with a stop at Dark Hedges, Dunluce, and Belfast
  • Free Derry Corner
  • The Derry Walls

The Netherlands for 4 days

You could either ride the train or drive if you want to reach the Netherlands from the UK. Once you reach the Netherlands, you could experience the biggest ice skating tour in the world, or join a cycling tour. You can also know more about world-famous painters like Van Gogh and Rembrandt.

Four days sounds too little but you can actually do a lot while in the Netherlands. You can of course explore Amsterdam, and head to The Hague, Rotterdam, and Groningen.

Some things to see and do in The Netherlands:

  • Jordaan and Amsterdam’s Canals – book the famous canal cruise
  • Anne Frank House
  • Rijksmuseum
  • Mauritshuis
  • Van Gogh Museum – enjoy with an audio guide
  • The Windmills of Kinderdijk
  • Hoge Veluwe National Park
  • Valkenburg Castle Ruins

Belgium for 4 days

To reach Belgium, you could ride the train, ride a bus, use rideshare, or drive. The cheapest option would be to use rideshare and the most recommended option would be to ride the train. It would take you almost 3 hours to reach your destination.

The popular cities in Belgium are Brussels which is the capital, Ghent, Antwerp, and Bruges. You can take buses, trains, or rent a car to travel between cities. Don’t forget to go try different beers and waffles which are two of my favourite part of my visit.

Popular attractions in Belgium:

  • Grand Palace
  • Atomium – get your entry ticket in advance
  • Sign up for the famous Hungry Mary’s beer and chocolate tour or join chocolate making class
  • Manneken Pis
  • Day trip to Bruges and Ghent – enjoy with a tour guide
  • The Canals of Bruges
  • Battlefield in Flanders
  • Belfry of Bruges
  • Basilica of the Holy Blood
  • Bruges Beer Experience
  • Sint-Salvatorskathedraal
  • Gravensteen
  • Museum Aan de Stroom
  • The Rubens House

What I enjoy about travelling in western Europe is how it’s honestly a pricey place but it can be done on a budget. If you think you can stay on your feet for long hours and walking around is not a problem, you can easily cut costs by taking the bus or taxi. The accommodation will surely get you, but dining can be affordable.

The street food in all these countries is fun, globally diverse, and easy to find. For budget travellers, $1,700 is required for your 2-week trip and most likely requires you to stay in a youth hostel. $ 2,500 offers comfort and a bit of luxury where you can dine at nice restaurants. $4,000 means you can stay in hotels right downtown and near the top attractions, With this budget, you can even hire taxis during your entire trip.

SUMMARY OF 2 WEEKS IN EUROPE

There are so many countries to choose from if you plan to visit Europe. Fortunately, Europe has amazing transportation between cities and countries, making it easy to travel around even with limited time.

When planning your 14-day itinerary for Europe, don’t try to cram it too much. It’s better to travel a bit slower, see fewer places, but be able to enjoy and process everything you have seen and experienced. Europe is not going anywhere, you can always visit again and check out a new place.

I hope that you found these 2 weeks in Europe itineraries helpful in planning your own.

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Travel across Europe for two weeks, experiencing Paris's romance, Rome's ancient history, Prague's Gothic architecture, and Amsterdam's canals. Enjoy diverse cultures, cuisines, and landscapes from sunny beaches to majestic mountains in this unforgettable journey. via @twoweektraveller

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Yardbarker

20 of the best road trips in Europe

Posted: March 1, 2024 | Last updated: March 1, 2024

<p>Europe is a continent best known for amazing public transportation. Seriously, the rail network and bus connections over there put the US to shame. However, this limits your trip, as not every site or adorable town or viewpoint is located conveniently on the train line or near a bus stop. So, we’ve rounded up 20 of the best road trips around Europe.</p>

Europe is a continent best known for amazing public transportation. Seriously, the rail network and bus connections over there put the US to shame. However, this limits your trip, as not every site or adorable town or viewpoint is located conveniently on the train line or near a bus stop. So, we’ve rounded up 20 of the best road trips around Europe.

<p>This route weaves through two southern provinces, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg,<span> and follows an old Roman road. You’ll enjoy stunning views in the Bavarian Alps, storybook castles like Neuschwanstein, and medieval towns like Rothenburg de Tauber.</span></p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/24_things_you_didnt_know_about_subway_021924/s1__39859605'>24 things you didn’t know about Subway</a></p>

Romantic Road, Germany

This route weaves through two southern provinces, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg,  and follows an old Roman road. You’ll enjoy stunning views in the Bavarian Alps, storybook castles like Neuschwanstein, and medieval towns like Rothenburg de Tauber.

You may also like: 22 things you didn’t know about Domino’s

<p>One of the original wine routes in France, Alsace is ideal throughout the year. You’ll stop at numerous wineries between Mulhouse and Strasbourg. Additionally, many other fairytale villages, such as Colmar and Riquewihr, are included.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Alsace Wine Route, France

One of the original wine routes in France, Alsace is ideal throughout the year. You’ll stop at numerous wineries between Mulhouse and Strasbourg. Additionally, many other fairytale villages, such as Colmar and Riquewihr, are included.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.

<p>Istria is one of the few parts of Croatia that can still be considered a true hidden gem, as the masses have yet to descend. The beaches, wineries, hilltop towns, and olive oil producers are best visited via car. Base yourself in Pula or Rovinj and take day trips!</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/the_23_best_european_cities_during_the_spring_021924/s1__39854074'>The 23 best European cities during the spring</a></p>

Istria Peninsula, Croatia

Istria is one of the few parts of Croatia that can still be considered a true hidden gem, as the masses have yet to descend. The beaches, wineries, hilltop towns, and olive oil producers are best visited via car. Base yourself in Pula or Rovinj and take day trips!

You may also like: 24 things you didn’t know about Subway

<p>Brittany and Normandy are some of the most underrated coastal regions in Europe. White sand beaches and turquoise waters await, with none of the crowds of the south. Start in Rennes and head west to Dinan, Saint-Malo, and Dinard. Then head north to Cancale and before stopping at the straight-from-Disney Mont St Michel. End your trip at the D-Day beaches.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

The Northwest Coast, France

Brittany and Normandy are some of the most underrated coastal regions in Europe. White sand beaches and turquoise waters await, with none of the crowds of the south. Start in Rennes and head west to Dinan, Saint-Malo, and Dinard. Then head north to Cancale and before stopping at the straight-from-Disney Mont St Michel. End your trip at the D-Day beaches.

<p>This 1,600-mile route would be ambitious to complete on a single trip. It stretches from Kinsale in the south along the west coast all the way to Malin Head. Most people complete one or two sections at a time.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/the_23_best_european_cities_during_the_spring_030124/s1__39854074'>The 23 best European cities during the spring</a></p>

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

This 1,600-mile route would be ambitious to complete on a single trip. It stretches from Kinsale in the south along the west coast all the way to Malin Head. Most people complete one or two sections at a time.

You may also like: The 23 best European cities during the spring

<p>Thanks to electric blue waters and stunning cliffs, Albania has blown up on social media in recent years. And all those stunning beaches you see on Instagram? They’re located in the southern part of the country. So rent a car in Tirana and head to <span>Vlorë, then continue south with stops in Dhërmi, Himarë, Sarandë, and Ksamil.</span></p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Southern Albania

Thanks to electric blue waters and stunning cliffs, Albania has blown up on social media in recent years. And all those stunning beaches you see on Instagram? They’re located in the southern part of the country. So rent a car in Tirana and head to Vlorë, then continue south with stops in Dhërmi, Himarë, Sarandë, and Ksamil.

<p>Travelers flock to southern Croatia for a reason: it’s amazing. Rent a car in Split or Dubrovnik, take a ferry to an island, check out Zadar and Cavat, and then head to Montenegro. Must-sees in this country include Herceg Novi, Kotor, and Budva.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/20_essential_travel_hacks_021824/s1__38265139'>20 essential travel hacks</a></p>

Dalmatia Coast & Montenegrin Coast, Croatia/Montenegro

Travelers flock to southern Croatia for a reason: it’s amazing. Rent a car in Split or Dubrovnik, take a ferry to an island, check out Zadar and Cavat, and then head to Montenegro. Must-sees in this country include Herceg Novi, Kotor, and Budva.

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<p>It would be almost criminal to leave Italy’s most iconic stretch of coast off this list. And it’s best explored by car if you can stomach the narrow roads and occasional street cliffside drop-offs. Start in Salerno and head to the town of Amalfi before heading to Ravello, Positano, and Sorrento.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

The Amalfi Coast, Italy

It would be almost criminal to leave Italy’s most iconic stretch of coast off this list. And it’s best explored by car if you can stomach the narrow roads and occasional street cliffside drop-offs. Start in Salerno and head to the town of Amalfi before heading to Ravello, Positano, and Sorrento.

<p>These two neighboring regions in central-southern France are home to many “Villages de Caractère” (basically an official title designating them as cute), castles, wineries, and hikes. Rent a car in Valence or Montélimar, then head west to Aubenas, the entry point for the Regional Ardche Park. Return to the Drôme via Vallon Pont d’Arc and make sure to hike among the natural arches. Then check out Alba (Roman ruins), Grignan, and Nyons.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/22_southern_slow_cooker_recipes_022524/s1__39105921'>22 Southern slow-cooker recipes</a></p>

Villages de Caractère Drôme/Ardèche, France

These two neighboring regions in central-southern France are home to many “Villages de Caractère” (basically an official title designating them as cute), castles, wineries, and hikes. Rent a car in Valence or Montélimar, then head west to Aubenas, the entry point for the Regional Ardche Park. Return to the Drôme via Vallon Pont d’Arc and make sure to hike among the natural arches. Then check out Alba (Roman ruins), Grignan, and Nyons.

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<p>These three small Western European countries are best covered in a vehicle. Fly into Amsterdam and pick up a car. Explore the Netherlands before continuing south to Belgium and ending in Luxembourg.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Benelux, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg

These three small Western European countries are best covered in a vehicle. Fly into Amsterdam and pick up a car. Explore the Netherlands before continuing south to Belgium and ending in Luxembourg.

<p>Start in Milan and hit up all the major lakes in northern Italy, from glamorous Lake Como to less pretentious but still lovely Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore, plus plenty of other small ones. You’ll delight in the Italian mountain scenery!</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/23_foods_that_make_us_nostalgic_for_the_90s_022524/s1__39034591'>23 foods that make us nostalgic for the ‘90s</a></p>

Northern Lakes, Italy

Start in Milan and hit up all the major lakes in northern Italy, from glamorous Lake Como to less pretentious but still lovely Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore, plus plenty of other small ones. You’ll delight in the Italian mountain scenery!

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<p>Sweden’s west coast is a beautiful part of the country, with amazing cities such as Malmo and Gothenburg. However, plenty of smaller towns, beaches, and lakes await you in this epic part of the country.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

West Coast, Sweden

Sweden’s west coast is a beautiful part of the country, with amazing cities such as Malmo and Gothenburg. However, plenty of smaller towns, beaches, and lakes await you in this epic part of the country.

<p>This storybook part of the United Kingdom is full of adorable thatched cottages, scenic walking routes, and villages plucked from a Miss Marple episode. The towns are best explored with a car but can also be walked between if you’re keen on some hiking!</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/25_cooking_hacks_you_wont_believe_you_didnt_already_know_030124/s1__34563020'>25 cooking hacks you won’t believe you didn’t already know</a></p>

Cotswold, UK

This storybook part of the United Kingdom is full of adorable thatched cottages, scenic walking routes, and villages plucked from a Miss Marple episode. The towns are best explored with a car but can also be walked between if you’re keen on some hiking!

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<p>The Ring Road is a well-trodden (or, in this case, driven) tourist route for a reason. You’ll hit up all the best sites in the country: cascading waterfalls, glacier beaches, and volcanic landscapes. Just be prepared to share the roads with lots of other tourists!</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Ring Road, Iceland

The Ring Road is a well-trodden (or, in this case, driven) tourist route for a reason. You’ll hit up all the best sites in the country: cascading waterfalls, glacier beaches, and volcanic landscapes. Just be prepared to share the roads with lots of other tourists!

<p>This mountain route through the Carpathian Mountains is breathtaking at every turn. Just be mindful of the speed limit, as you’ll need to go slow at many points due to curves and landscape preservation.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/15_essential_scenic_drives_in_the_united_states_021824/s1__39042302'>15 essential scenic drives in the United States</a></p>

Transfăgărășan Highway, Romania

This mountain route through the Carpathian Mountains is breathtaking at every turn. Just be mindful of the speed limit, as you’ll need to go slow at many points due to curves and landscape preservation.

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<p>This unique part of both countries is perfect for those looking for something different. Begin in Bilbao and drive north with stops in San Sebastian, the Pyrenees Mountains, and Bordeaux. As a bonus, plenty of amazing wine is available to sample along the way (once you’ve finished driving for the day, of course.)</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Basque Country, Spain and France

This unique part of both countries is perfect for those looking for something different. Begin in Bilbao and drive north with stops in San Sebastian, the Pyrenees Mountains, and Bordeaux. As a bonus, plenty of amazing wine is available to sample along the way (once you’ve finished driving for the day, of course.)

<p>This beautiful drive along the Atlantic Ocean in Norway is great if you’re not looking for a major road trip. It’s only a few miles long but crosses bridges with the ocean on either side and has amazing views of fjords and mountains.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/the_14_most_beautiful_beach_towns_on_the_west_coast_021824/s1__38578337'>The 14 most beautiful beach towns on the West Coast</a></p>

Atlantic Road, Norway

This beautiful drive along the Atlantic Ocean in Norway is great if you’re not looking for a major road trip. It’s only a few miles long but crosses bridges with the ocean on either side and has amazing views of fjords and mountains.

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<p>Greece is often thought of as a sea-oriented trip, thanks to the ease of island-hopping via ferry. However, if you want to explore the mainland, a car is the easiest way to get around, especially the historic Peloponnese Peninsula. Home to Nafplio, Sparta, and numerous ancient sites, it’s the ideal place for a road trip.</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

The Peloponnese Peninsula, Greece

Greece is often thought of as a sea-oriented trip, thanks to the ease of island-hopping via ferry. However, if you want to explore the mainland, a car is the easiest way to get around, especially the historic Peloponnese Peninsula. Home to Nafplio, Sparta, and numerous ancient sites, it’s the ideal place for a road trip.

<p>This route is ideal for mountain lovers, whether you want to complete it in the winter and ski along the way or wait until summer to hike your way through it. Start in Vienna and grab a rental car, then head west to Salzburg, Austria’s gateway to the Alps. Continue to Innsbruck before crossing into Switzerland and, finally, France.</p><p>You may also like: <a href='https://www.yardbarker.com/lifestyle/articles/15_amazing_train_rides_across_the_us_021824/s1__39017192'>15 amazing train rides across the US</a></p>

European Alps, Austria, Switzerland, and France

This route is ideal for mountain lovers, whether you want to complete it in the winter and ski along the way or wait until summer to hike your way through it. Start in Vienna and grab a rental car, then head west to Salzburg, Austria’s gateway to the Alps. Continue to Innsbruck before crossing into Switzerland and, finally, France.

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<p>Slovenia is a great country for a road trip as it is compact but diverse in its small area. Start in Maribor in the east before heading west to Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj. Spend a few days hiking in Triglav Nation Park before turning south to Piran on the coast. Then return to the capital, Ljubljana, to end your trip!</p><p><a href='https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-cj9pqbr0vn9in2b6ddcd8sfgpfq6x6utp44fssrv6mc2gtybw0us'>Did you enjoy this slideshow? Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Wine Country to the Med, Slovenia

Slovenia is a great country for a road trip as it is compact but diverse in its small area. Start in Maribor in the east before heading west to Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj. Spend a few days hiking in Triglav Nation Park before turning south to Piran on the coast. Then return to the capital, Ljubljana, to end your trip!

Did you enjoy this slideshow? Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.

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Taking the train in Spain - all you need to know

Daniel James Clarke

Apr 3, 2024 • 15 min read

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The vintage train from Sóller to Palma de Mallorca is one of the most scenic rail routes in Spain © Shutterstock

Spain boasts Europe’s longest high-speed rail network, second only to China globally, and its trains are exceptional and far-reaching. In one day, you could gawp at Gaudí’s architectural genius in Barcelona , be whisked by rail to Madrid ’s museums, and still arrive in Seville for a sunset flamenco show.

Not that it’s all A to B whirlwind rail routes. There are some outstanding scenic train journeys to slow down and enjoy the Spanish pace of life, whether trundling along the northern coast’s narrow-gauge tracks or meandering into the mountains. And with some new low-cost operators now on the scene, exploring Spain by train has never been more affordable.

With over a thousand stations and thousands more daily departures, getting around Spain by train is a straightforward joy rather than a stressful necessity. Seat reservations on most services guarantee uncrowded carriages, Rioja-serving cafe cars provide perfectly wine-paired panoramic views, and electric-powered trains make journeys even more sustainable. What’s not to love? Here’s everything you need to know to plan a train trip in Spain like a pro.

Onboard an AVE service from Madrid, passengers are seen sitting and reading

Train services are generally excellent in mainland Spain

You can traverse all four corners of Spain by train, usually on swift, reliable, well-maintained carriages. Few areas aren’t covered by at least a regional service. And where there are coverage gaps, buses will usually take you the final stretch to that pretty medieval village. While strikes can occur, they are rare, and minimum service levels are generally guaranteed. Compensation payments are offered for delays over one hour, which helps keep timetables on track. 

Renfe is Spain’s national railway company, operating everything from non-stop regional capital connections to short-hop commuter services. Iryo and Ouigo provide low-cost competition on the main high-speed intercity lines, with the latter’s double-decker trains being a welcome addition.

While the numerous names for differing service and train types can be confusing, the trains in Spain can generally be divided into three categories:

  • High-speed, mainly long-distance (larga distancia) services link many major cities, mainly via Madrid. These full-service trains can reach 310km/h (193mph) and include Renfe’s AVE (Alta Velocidad Española), its new no-frills Avlo counterpart, and Iryo and Ouigo. There’s an ever-growing network of high-speed routes , including the popular Barcelona–Madrid, Madrid–Seville, and Madrid–Valencia lines.
  • Mid-distance services – although they can sometimes cover long distances and reach speeds of 250km/h (155mph) – make up the majority of other major routes. Renfe services these under names including Media Distancia, Avant and Alvia. Intercity and Regional Exprés services are somewhat slower but only call at major stations. Popular routes include Madrid– Toledo , Granada–Seville, and the Euromed coastal service between Barcelona and Alicante . Nearly all long and mid-distance services use sleek, modern carriages.
  • Slower trains , including Regional, Proximidad, and Cercanías commuter services (Rodalies in Catalonia), complete the network. The older Cercanías AM trains, previously FEVE, mainly operate on the northern coast’s picturesque narrow-gauge tracks.

Nearly all large and medium-sized train stations are staffed and contain shops or cafes. High-speed train stations operate similarly to airports, with luggage security scanners and boarding gates. It’s advisable to arrive 20–30 minutes early, especially as boarding can close five minutes before departure. The bonus is you’ll have time to admire the stations. Some, like Toledo’s Mudejar-style ticket hall and art nouveau Bilbao Concordia , are attractions in their own right.

There are tourist trains and unique rail services too

In addition to standard train services, Spain has an exceptional selection of specialist rail routes known as “ tourist trains .” These range from seasonal, short routes, such as the scenic Tren dels Llacs in the Pre-Pyrenees, to indulgent, multiday sojourns like the luxury Transcantábrico train hotel. There are currently no standard domestic night trains.

Passengers onboard the vintage Dels Lacs train lean out of windows to take photos of the lush countryside

International and island rail routes are limited

Away from the mainland, the rail situation is starkly different. The Canary Islands have no train services, and only Mallorca in the Balearic Islands has limited rail connections . These consist of three short, modern lines and the vintage Sóller train. 

Traveling to and from France by train is possible on France’s TGVs (from Paris) and Renfe’s International AVE services to Marseille and Lyon . Fares start from €29. You can also cross via Hendaye in the Basque Country or take the slower, scenic sleeper service via the Pyrenees . The Trenhotel (night service) between Madrid and Lisbon has been discontinued, leaving the Tren Celta between Vigo and Porto and the slow route to Lisbon via Badajoz as the only connections with Portugal . Work continues on improving the tracks to accommodate a direct, high-speed link between the two Iberian capitals.

Book ahead to save money and guarantee your seat

Spain’s rail operators all use dynamic pricing for high-speed and long-distance services. Therefore, early booking is advised, especially as seat reservations are mandatory. Advanced Avlo tickets between Madrid and Barcelona start from €7, with Ouigo and Iryo also offering competitive pricing on primary routes. A same-day ticket can sometimes cost more than 10 times more than booking in advance. Prices are less competitive on routes solely operated by Renfe. 

When booking tickets online to or from major cities, use the dropdown city name followed by todos (all) to check for direct and affordable tickets from all stations. Provide the Passport or ID number of the photo document you’ll be traveling with, as tickets are personal. The second surname can be left blank – Spanish people take both their father's and mother’s surnames. Tickets can be printed, collected at self-service machines, or displayed as QR codes on mobile devices. Overall, Ouigo and Iryo's websites are easier to navigate than Renfe's, which can be glitchy. While most people would recommend using a third-party booking service – handy for comparing prices between all operators – direct reservations avoid booking fees.

Even short-distance, popular services with fixed fares (some mid-distance and regional trains) can fill up. I’ve previously struggled to get last-minute weekend tickets on the Madrid to Toledo route. Secure all tickets ahead if your vacation coincides with a major holiday such as Easter (Semana Santa) or Christmas, including around Three Kings Day on January 6.

Iryo and Ouigo release tickets many months ahead. Renfe’s tickets should be available at least 60 days ahead, but this isn’t always true. Check regularly in the months leading up to your departure and sign up for newsletters on the three websites to receive ticket availability and discount updates.

Occasionally, two single fares (ida) can be cheaper than a return (vuelta) . Reservations can also be made at station ticket machines (in English) or staffed desks. Larger stations may have separate sales points for particular types of tickets. 

You’ll always be assigned a mandatory seat reservation. However, if you’d prefer to select your own to guarantee a window, you can change it for a nominal fee. Confusingly, Renfe’s website has this step after choosing a payment method. 

Cercanías and Cercanías AM tickets can’t be purchased in advance and should be purchased at the ticket office, self-service machine, or onboard from the conductor when traveling from the tiniest unstaffed stations. This is the only time you’re allowed to board a train without a ticket. 

If you wish to upgrade from basic class (básico) on high-speed routes, you can choose from Elige, Elige Confort and Prêmium on Renfe, or similar options on Iryo. Upgrades can include access to premium station lounges, at-seat food service, and more spacious seats. Solo travelers may want to upgrade to enjoy an individual seat in the 2+1 configured carriages. Ouigo allows these seats as a paid add-on without upgrading.

Two young women with suitcases board a Renfe train in Granada

Discounts and offers: know your benefits and bring ID

Much noise was made about the launch of Spain’s fixed-price travel pass . Yet this system, established to offer discounted fares on repeat return trips, is primarily aimed at locals and commuters.

Renfe does offer a Spain Rail Pass for travelers , covering between four and ten journeys. However, depending on the routes you plan to take, pre-booking discounted, advanced fares can be cheaper. Some region-specific options exist, such as the better value three-day Galica Rail Pass .

Other discounts available on Renfe include:

  • Small group discount when booking four or more travelers together.
  • Seniors discount, up to 40%, for over 60s. However, this requires purchasing a card ( La Tarjeta Dorada ) in person before making the reservation. Advanced, discounted fares can be better value.
  • Youth Discounts for under 25s with a European Youth Card or suitable International Student Card. A digital card can be purchased online by citizens of most countries.  
  • Babies travel for free, as do children, although the age cap varies between operators.

Considering an Interrail or Eurail pass? Check on any savings first. All high-speed trains in Spain require seat reservations, an additional cost not included in these passes. Avlo, Iryo, and Ouigo are likewise excluded, and these cheaper advanced tickets may be better value than using the pass, though there is less flexibility.

Money-saving tip: high-speed trains include a free local ticket

If you’re traveling on a high-speed AVE or long-distance service operated by Renfe or Iryo, Combinado Cercanías is included. This allows for free use of local Cercanías trains to reach your departure station and again on arrival. Scan the QR code at barriers, or use the PDF code to get a zero-priced ticket at Cercanías’ self-service machines.

Seat reservations ensure most train journeys don’t feel crowded

Traveling by train in Spain is so enjoyable because all long and mid-distance services require a seat reservation. With no congested corridors or jostling vestibules, these trains never feel crowded, even when full. However, some regional and Cercanías services can be packed, particularly around commuter hours and Friday and Sunday evenings. You might want to avoid peak times or, when available, pay for a regional service seat reservation.

Plan around major events and regional holidays during your trip, such as Semana Santa, when ticket demand and crammed suburban trains are common. Trains in Spain operate every day of the year, though some services may finish earlier on public holidays. If you’re traveling on weekends or during holidays, check onward public transport in advance as small, rural stations may have a reduced weekend bus service.

Train can be the fastest, most affordable transport method

Using the train in Spain can be quicker and cheaper than flying. For example, a flight from Madrid to Barcelona takes 1¼ hours compared with 2½ hours by high-speed rail. But once you factor in security checks, out-of-city airport transfers, and runway taxi times, the overall journey length by plane becomes longer.

Driving distances are considerable. The same journey by car will take closer to seven hours. It’s unquestionably worth renting a car if you’re planning a road trip , but generally, long-distance jaunts are best by rail. 

Most train terminuses are connected to city buses and, in larger metropolises, commuter rail or metro systems. Barcelona-El Prat Airport and Madrid–Barajas Airport are on the train network. If you wish to visit smaller towns or villages that are not on the train network, consider other ways to get around Spain .

A waiter at the cafeteria inside one of the trains of operator Iryo during the company's presentation at Atocha station

Onboard facilities differ between service types

All of Spain’s high-speed train services are spacious, comfortable, clean and well cared for. Carry-on luggage can be placed in overhead racks, while storage areas at either end of the carriage accommodate bulkier luggage. Popular services (especially on Friday and Sunday evenings) can quickly fill, and train staff will usually assist in rearranging suitcases to fit. Cercanías services can be more dated and crowded and often lack enough dedicated luggage space.

If you’re traveling by bicycle, check the luggage policies of Renfe and Iryo . In some instances, bikes must be disassembled or an additional fee paid.

The dining carts on Spain’s trains are typically stand-up, cafe-style rather than seated dining carriages. They’re good for stretching your legs or getting an alternative window view, but dining at your seat table is often more comfortable. A selection of hot meals, snacks and drinks – usually all of decent quality – are available, and certain ticket types offer pre-ordered meals served at your seat. Iryo has particularly impressive dining options .

On some routes, a trolley service may be provided in addition or as an alternative. Mid-distance and Avlo services have vending machines rather than dining carts. Bringing your own food and even alcohol onboard Renfe’s services isn’t a problem.

Complimentary (sometimes patchy) wi-fi is provided on Iryo and Renfe’s high-speed services, alongside entertainment portals accessible on your device. Ouigo charges per connection. Plug sockets (F-type) are available at seats on high-speed and mid-distance trains. Nearly all trains, except commuter services, have toilets.

Plan the perfect train trip with these scenic routes and tips

The most popular train routes for travelers in Spain are the high-speed connections that rocket between Seville, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. But riding the rails in Spain isn’t only about barrelling between urban sprawl. These are some of our favorite scenic rail routes worth planning into your trip. 

  • Santander to Oviedo :  Cross the lush landscapes of Northern Spain on this slow, scenic rail route using Cercanías AM’s narrow-gauge tracks. This six-hour journey provides some of the expensive Transcantábrico Train’s panoramas for a bargain €16.55. There are no seat reservations, which is handy, as you can switch sides to marvel at both the sparkling Bay of Biscay and the mighty Cantabrian Mountains , Spain’s answer to the Dolomites. 
  • Barcelona to A Coruña :  Once served by the discontinued sleeper Trenhotel, this is one of Spain’s longest rail routes, taking nearly 14 hours. The 9:05am Alvia departure can be affordable to cross seven of Spain’s autonomous communities. Pack snacks and pay for a window seat (ideally on the right) to see the full scope of Spain’s landscapes, from arid pastures and fertile farmlands to the verdant Galician Massif . Consider hopping off a few stops early in Ourense to use the town’s free-to-access thermal pools the following morning.
  • Granada to Almería : Leaving the magnificent Moorish Alhambra behind, set off across western Andalucía towards the coastal city of Almería. It’s a showstopping three-hour journey traversing the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, snow-capped peaks looming beyond, before cutting through carpets of cork trees. Book a late afternoon departure for ethereal golden light, or take two single tickets to plan a lunch pause at Guadix, best known for its cave houses. 
  • Palma de Mallorca to Sóller:  Step onboard the rickety, wooden carriage of Ferrocarril de Sóller , constructed in 1912, for a one-hour-long trundle from Mallorca's capital to the pretty port town of Sóller. En route, you’ll wend through the Tramuntana Mountains, unlit tunnels, and citrus groves close enough to touch. All seats are excellent, but you might want to stand in the open-air platforms between carriages. 
  • Zaragoza to Canfranc :  A one-way ticket on this twice-a-day, 2½-hour regional train costs just €16.90, and you’ll get plenty of panoramas for your money, especially after Huesca when the tracks slowly climb up into the ​​Pyrenees. Our resident rail expert, Tom Hall, calls it one of Europe’s best train routes , partly because the landmark Canfranc Station has recently been reborn as a grandiose hotel .

Entrance to the beautiful Canfranc international railway station

Station tips when traveling Spain by train

Most large cities have multiple train stations, so always confirm departure points. When traveling to dedicated AVE stations outside major cities, check the station’s distance from the city center and pre-plan your connecting travel. Some stations, such as Antequera ’s Santa Ana, can be as far as 15km (9 miles) from the Old Town. 

Spain’s largest stations, such as Madrid Atocha and Barcelona Sants, can be confusing due to split-level and separated boarding areas for different services. Don’t be afraid to ask for help navigating the station. A quick flash of your ticket will soon have you pointed in the right direction.

All major stations have cafes and kiosks where you can pick up food, although preparing a train picnic from a delicatessen might be preferable. Still, a quick tapas in Atocha's Tropical Garden, even if the pond-residing turtles have now been rehomed, is a solid start to any journey. If you’re on a connecting service with time to explore beyond the station, most larger terminals have lockers or left luggage desks (​​consigna) .

Many stations are accessible, but there’s room for improvement on older services

Adif, the agency in charge of Spain’s rail infrastructure, provides in-station and boarding assistance for travelers with accessibility needs via the Acerca service, offered at 145 stations.

When booking tickets online, H seats – accessible spaces that can anchor a wheelchair – can be requested on the opening screen, and Acerca assistance can be requested later in the booking process. A minimum of 12–48 hours' notice is stipulated, depending on the operator. However, in larger stations, staffed service centers can usually provide support without pre-booking if you arrive and register at the desk ahead of travel. Check which facilities are available at each station on Adif’s website .

In addition to offering boarding support (many train types require a stair-climber lift, not just a ramp, while others like Avlo have level boarding), Acerca can provide technical aids for hearing and a guided sight service. Contact Adif Acerca for information on induction loop systems or to discuss alternative routes should your planned journey include a non-accessible station without in-person assistance. Tactile paving, step-free access, and elevators are installed at most major stations, and nearly every train has a conductor or staff member onboard who can assist. 

On high-speed, long-distance, and most other services, wheelchair-accessible bathrooms are located in carriages with H seats. Ouigo trains have a call button on adapted seats to provide food and drink service, as the cafe is located on the top deck. Cercanías AM carriages have no H seats but offer a dedicated space for wheelchair users with tie-downs. However, many older, narrow-gauge trains lack accessible bathrooms.

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Watch CBS News

Solar eclipse maps show 2024 totality path, peak times and how much of the eclipse people could see across the U.S.

By Aliza Chasan

Updated on: April 9, 2024 / 5:00 AM EDT / CBS News

A total solar eclipse  crossed North America Monday with parts of 15 U.S. states within the path of totality. Maps show  where and when astronomy fans could see the big event  as skies darkened in the middle of the day Monday, April 8.

The total eclipse first appeared along Mexico's Pacific Coast at around 11:07 a.m. PDT, then traveled across a swath of the U.S., from Texas to Maine, and into Canada.

About 31.6 million people live in the path of totality , the area where the moon fully blocked out the sun , according to NASA. The path ranged between 108 and 122 miles wide. An additional 150 million people live within 200 miles of the path of totality.

Solar eclipse path of totality map for 2024

United states map showing the path of the 2024 solar eclipse and specific regions of what the eclipse duration will be.

The total solar eclipse started over the Pacific Ocean, and the first location in continental North America that experienced totality was Mexico's Pacific Coast, around 11:07 a.m. PDT, according to NASA. From there, the path continued into Texas, crossing more than a dozen states before the eclipse enters Canada in southern Ontario. The eclipse exited continental North America at around 5:16 p.m. NDT from Newfoundland, Canada.

The path of totality included portions of the following states:

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Hampshire

Small parts of Tennessee and Michigan also experienced the total solar eclipse.

Several major cities across the U.S. were included in the eclipse's path of totality, while many others saw a partial eclipse. These were some of the best major cities for eclipse viewing — though the weather was a factor :

  • San Antonio, Texas (partially under the path)
  • Austin, Texas
  • Waco, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Rochester, New York
  • Syracuse, New York
  • Burlington, Vermont

Map of when the solar eclipse reached totality across its path

The eclipse began in the U.S. as a partial eclipse beginning at 12:06 p.m. CDT near Eagle Pass, Texas, before progressing to totality by about 1:27 p.m. CDT and then moving along its path to the northeast over the following few hours.

Eclipse map of totality

NASA shared times for several cities in the path of totality across the U.S. People could have also  checked their ZIP code on NASA's map  to see when the eclipse was to reach them if they were on, or near, the path of totality — or if they saw a partial eclipse instead.

How much of the eclipse did people see if they live outside the totality path?

While the April 8 eclipse covered a wide swath of the U.S., outside the path of totality observers may have spotted a partial eclipse, where the moon covers some, but not all, of the sun, according to NASA. The closer they were to the path of totality, the larger the portion of the sun that was hidden.

NASA allowed viewers to input a ZIP code and see how much of the sun was to be covered in their locations.

Could there be cloud cover be during the solar eclipse?

Some areas along the path of totality had a higher likelihood of cloud cover that could interfere with viewing the eclipse. Here is a map showing the historical trends in cloud cover this time of year. 

You could have checked the latest forecast for your location with our partners at The Weather Channel .

United States map showing the percent of cloud cover in various regions of the eclipse path on April 8. The lakeshore region will be primarily affected.

Where did the solar eclipse reach totality for the longest?

Eclipse viewers near Torreón, Mexico, got to experience totality for the longest. Totality there lasted 4 minutes, 28 seconds, according to NASA. 

Most places along the centerline of the path of totality saw a totality duration of between 3.5 and 4 minutes, according to NASA. Some places in the U.S. came close to the maximum; Kerrville, Texas, had a totality duration of 4 minutes, 24 seconds.

What is the path of totality for the 2044 solar eclipse?

The next total solar eclipse that will be visible from the contiguous U.S. will be on Aug. 23, 2044.

Astronomy fans in the U.S. will have far fewer opportunities to see the 2044 eclipse they had on April 8. NASA has not yet made maps available for the 2044 eclipse but, according to The Planetary Society , the path of totality will only touch three states.

The 2024 eclipse will start in Greenland, pass over Canada and end as the sun sets in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, according to the Planetary Society.

Map showing the path of the 2044 total solar eclipse from Greenland, Canada and parts of the United States.

Aliza Chasan is a digital producer at 60 Minutes and CBSNews.com. She has previously written for outlets including PIX11 News, The New York Daily News, Inside Edition and DNAinfo. Aliza covers trending news, often focusing on crime and politics.

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NEWS... BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT

These are the UK’s most delayed flight routes

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The most disrupted flight paths from the UK have been revealed, and one route in particular sees passengers facing constant delays.

The journey most likely to arrive behind schedule is the Ryanair flight from Leeds Bradford to Ławica Airport in Poznań, Poland, where travellers experience an average delay of 36 minutes.

According to research by Esendex, despite the average scheduled arrival time of 11.51am, the actual arrival time of this flight was 12.27pm – not the best start to your summer holiday.

The business communications provider analysed over 250 flight routes based on upcoming scheduled flights at 20 UK Airports using FlightRadar24 to create its Delay to Departure report.

The second most delayed route on the list was found to be Birmingham to Dubai in the UAE, which saw an average half-hour delay to the planned landing time.

Next up, East Midlands Airport to Paris Orly Airport came third (albeit by a whisker) with an average delay of 28 minutes.

METRO GRAPHICS UK Flight Delays

Bristol Airport appeared the most in the top 10 list, with both its international and domestic flights experiencing regular delays. Bristol to Guernsey, Bristol to Edinburgh and Bristol to Porto in Portugal, have all arrived behind schedule.

Using data from the last 12 months, Esendex assessed every completed flight, taking an average scheduled arrival time and an average actual arrival time to calculate if the flight route was delayed, early or on time.

When it comes to arriving early, London Heathrow to Delhi took first place. Passengers flying with Air India often landed on average 35 minutes ahead of schedule.

Rounding off the top three earliest flights were Belfast to Frankfurt in second and Manchester to Prague in third.

UK's top 10 most delayed flight routes

  • Leeds Bradford Airport to Lawica, Poland (36 minutes)
  • Birmingham International Airport to Dubai, UAE (30 minutes)
  • East Midlands Airport to Paris Orly, France (28 minutes)
  • Edinburgh Airport to Belfast City, Northern Ireland (27 minutes)
  • Manchester Airport to Lisbon, Portugal (25 minutes)
  • London Gatwick to Milan Malpensa, Italy (20 minutes)
  • Bristol Airport to Guernsey, UK (20 minutes)
  • Bristol Airport to Edinburgh, Scotland (19 minutes)
  • Bristol Airport to Porto, Portugal (18 minutes)
  • Belfast International to Glasgow, Scotland (17 minutes)

Via Esendex.

Chris Gorman, head of professional services at Esendex, said of the findings: ‘A delayed flight can cause a lot of anxiety, adding to an already stressful situation for many of us.

‘Whether that’s impacting further travel plans once landed, or causing issues with accommodation, flight delays can cause havoc to travel itineraries.

‘It’s vital that airlines have the right digital infrastructure in place to ensure passengers are kept up to date, with the correct information and crucially, to allow passengers to stay in contact with airlines as a solution is being sought.’

In terms of airlines experiencing the most delays, a report last year showed Wizz Air to be the worst offender.

Across all carriers, delay times averaged at 24 minutes, but the figure for Wizz Air came in at 46 minutes and six seconds,

Rory Boland, editor of consumer choice publication Which?, said: ‘These figures are worrying, but will be no surprise to passengers who’ve had to endure shoddy treatment from airlines for years. 

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What does the week have in store? Your tarot horoscope reading for April 8 to April 14

‘‘With a regulator still lacking the appropriate powers to punish airlines who break the law, including withholding refunds, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that some carriers are simply getting away with leaving passengers high and dry.’

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2024 solar eclipse map: Where to see the eclipse on April 8

These 2024 solar eclipse maps will help you make the best decision about where and how to watch the total solar eclipse on Monday (April 8).

map of north america showing the path of the april 8 solar eclipse

It's finally here: Today, (April 8) a total solar eclipse will pass across the skies North America, giving more than 33 million people living in 15 U.S. states a rare view of the totally-obstructed sun, and — weather permitting — a taste of some seriously strange eclipse phenomena .

If you’re wondering where the total and partial phases of the eclipse will be visible, the good news is that almost everyone in the contiguous U.S. will be able to see the celestial spectacle to some extent. But for a more detailed view of the eclipse’s path, take a look at these handy eclipse maps, courtesy of GreatAmericanEclipse.com. 

Solar eclipse 2024 path of totality map

Map of path of totality across North America of solar eclipse, tilted to show its full path over mexico and canada

Totality is the moment that every eclipse-chaser lives for: The moment when the moon completely covers the sun’s face, resulting in a brief but eerie darkness in the daytime. The path of totality , shown in the map above, is the path of the moon’s shadow across Earth’s surface. 

On Monday (April 8), totality will begin in Sinaloa, Mexico, then move northeast up to Texas, ultimately crossing 15 states before moving on to Canada. The states where totality will be visible are: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine — although Tennessee and Michigan will only be glanced by the moon's shadow.

Related: April 8 solar eclipse: What time does totality start in every state?

Viewers MUST be within the path of totality to witness the total phase of the eclipse; if you are off the path by even a mile, you will only see a partial eclipse, and miss out on the spooky daytime darkness. Furthermore, the closer you are to the center of the path of totality, the longer totality will last for you — up to a maximum duration of 4 minutes, 27 seconds in Torreón, Mexico.

Note: Totality is the ONLY TIME when it is safe to view the sun without protective eyewear like certified solar eclipse glasses . You must protect your eyes during the entire partial phase of the eclipse, no matter where you are.

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Solar eclipse 2024 partial eclipse map

A map of total and partial eclipse coverage across North America on April 8, 2024.

If you live in the U.S. and can’t make it to the path of totality, a partial eclipse still awaits you on April 8. The entire contiguous U.S. will have some view of the partial eclipse, ranging from 99% coverage of the sun just off the path of totality to about 15% coverage far to the northwest of the path.

The map above shows how much of the sun’s disk will be blocked from your location. Watching the partial phases of the eclipse — which last about an hour and 20 minutes before and after totality — means wearing protective eyewear at all times. Failure to do so could result in permanent eye damage, according to NASA .

If you want to experience the celestial spectacle but don’t have a pair of eclipse glasses handy, there are many other ways to safely enjoy the partial eclipse . These include making a homemade pinhole projector , using a pasta strainer to project the shadow of the moon onto the ground or watching one of the various eclipse live streams available.

2024 eclipse travel maps

A travel map showing driving distances to the path of totality on April 8, 2024

If you want to see totality but don’t live within the path, driving or taking public transit to a city within the path may be possible. The map above shows how far the drive is to the path of totality, based on where you’re coming from. Meanwhile, the map below shows the most populated cities within the path of totality — many of which are expected to be flooded with millions of eclipse tourists on April 8.

The biggest cities within the path of totality include: San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth in Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Hamilton and Montreal in Canada; and Torreón and Mazatlan in Mexico.

A map showing the 10 biggest cities on the path of the April 8, 2024 eclipse

Wherever you are on April 8, we wish you clear skies and protected eyes during this rare, wondrous eclipse over North America.

Brandon Specktor

Brandon is the space/physics editor at Live Science. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Reader's Digest, CBS.com, the Richard Dawkins Foundation website and other outlets. He holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from the University of Arizona, with minors in journalism and media arts. He enjoys writing most about space, geoscience and the mysteries of the universe.

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