If you are planning a 2 weeks trip to Europe and need some itinerary ideas for your vacation you have come to the right place. As someone born and raised in Europe, I can give you some good advice when it comes to my home continent.
14 days may sound like a long trip, but not on this incredibly diverse continent. With so many attractions, sights to see and cultures to experience, your 2 weeks vacation in Europe will go by in the blink of an eye!
How to Plan a Perfect Europe Trip Itinerary
If this is your first time in Europe, you probably have quite a few places on your Europe bucket list. Without knowing anything about you or your interests, I can only give you basic, generic advice.
Below is a list of 10 suggested itineraries for for a 2-week trip to Europe. The itineraries are grouped according to the different European regions. However, you can choose any combination from the cities listed here, according to your tastes and interests.
Best Western Europe Trip 2-Week Itinerary
• London, Paris, and Amsterdam
These three cities have more than enough to keep you engaged for 2 weeks. You can easily spend the entire two weeks in Paris, if you were to visit all its amazing churches and museums.
London, Amsterdam and Paris are among the Europe’s greatest cities and enjoy a perennial popularity, despite the many problems they have been facing lately. I think they are worth seeing at least once, even though they are always crowded.
You have excellent direct flights, trains, or bus connections between all three. There are overnight trains between Lisbon and Madrid that run daily, departing at 11:34 p.m. and arriving in Madrid at 8:40 a.m. Also, there are direct flights, trains, or busses from Madrid to Barcelona.
• Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona
All these Iberian cities are packed with culture, culinary delights and incredible landscapes. They are easy to reach from most major airports from around the world.
Although you could easily spend two weeks in Spain alone, visiting other historical places like Toledo, or Cordoba for instance, I suggest including Portugal in your European itinerary as well. Lisbon, its capital city, is not only very romantic and cultured, but also quite inexpensive.
Book this private walking tour of the highlights of Lisbon and enjoy the history of this city.
• Rome, Florence, and Venice
These are three of Italy’s most captivating and rewarding cities. If you like archeology, you’ll love Rome! Florence and Venice are also very charming cities, although quite different from Rome. If you prefer to spend your time in one single country, this combination is one the best itineraries for a 2 weeks trip to Europe.
Italy has a wealth of archeological sites, most of which are concentrated in relatively compact areas. These three cities also have excellent train, bus, and plain connections (buy your ticket on omio.com).
Sicily is another great place in Europe where you can easily spend 2 weeks. There are so many archeological sites and beautiful towns in Sicily to add to your list! I promise that you won’t get bored if you choose to spend your entire European vacation on this island.
Palermo alone can easily justify a 10-day Italy itinerary. You have good bus connections between cities, but Sicily is best explored by car. You can choose visit the nearby Malta if you go to Sicily.
Central Europe 2 Weeks Trip Itinerary
Central Europe is becoming increasingly popular. 30 years ago, cities like Prague, Budapest, Dresden, or Wroclaw were largely unknown to the world traveler. But after the fall of communism, Central Europe experienced a strong cultural and tourist revival.
• Prague, Vienna, and Budapest
These three capitals have it all: beautiful architecture, fascinating history, packed concert calendars, and delicious food. For those who want to tour Central Europe, this trip itinerary is perfect.
Traveling by rail is the best way to go between these three, as distances are relatively short. You can buy tickets at the station right before the train is scheduled to depart.
READ NEXT: Budapest Travel Tips and Practical Information for First Time Visitors
• Berlin, Dresden and Wroclaw
Combining the cosmopolitan Berlin with the phoenix-city of Dresden and the picturesque Wroclaw, will give you a great understanding of what makes this part of Europe so fascinating. You have direct trains between all these cities.
• Zurich, Lucerne, Lugano and Milan
You can never go wrong with Switzerland and the northern part of Italy! Cities like Lucerne, Zurich, Lugano and Milan have stunning scenery, art museums, old cathedrals, historic palaces, and more charm than you can imagine. However they are not very big, so 2-3 days in each one would most likely be enough.
The best way to move between these cities is by rail. Switzerland is famous for its top of the line panoramic trains, so you can choose to travel from Lucerne to Lugano aboard the Gotthard Panorama Express. You can also take the same route on a non-panoramic train if you want to avoid paying the mandatory reservation fee.
READ NEXT: 10 Days in Switzerland Itinerary by Scenic Trains
Northern Europe 2 Weeks Itinerary
• Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen
These three cities are definitely in a league of their own. Although they can’t compete with Rome’s historic sites or with the charm of Paris, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm have stunning architecture, world-class museums, and some of the best shopping and dining in Europe.
If you plan to spend your 2 weeks vacation in Northern Europe during the summer months, this trip itinerary is your best bet. While the rest of Europe is be boiling hot, Northern Europe enjoys much cooler temperatures and longer days in summer.
READ NEXT: 10 Fantastic Things to Do in Stockholm in a Week
• Riga, Tallin, and Vilnius
I can’t mention Northern Europe without including a tour of the Baltic capitals. The Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania weren’t even on the map when I was growing up. But like many other European countries that lived in the shadow of the Soviet Union till the 90s, they have enjoyed a true renaissance in the past years.
If you want to travel somewhere your friends haven’t even heard of, you should visit the Baltic capitals. Plus these are among the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.
South-Eastern Europe – 2 Weeks Trip Itineraries
The Balkan Peninsula is the most culturally diverse in Europe. This region has also an extremely varied topography. Bordered by the Adriatic and Ionian Sea to the west, Aegean Sea to the south, the Sea of Marmara to the southeast and the Black Sea to the east, the Balkan countries are stunningly beautiful.
There are so many great destinations in South-Eastern Europe, that it’s difficult to decide which ones to include into your trip itinerary. Here are two suggestions:
• Athens, Istanbul, Bucharest
If you plan to build your itinerary around these three cities, you could spend 3 days in Athens, 7 days in Istanbul and 2-3 days in Bucharest. Or you can choose spend your entire 2 weeks trip to Europe by visiting just one country.
Countries like Greece, Turkey, or Romania have plenty of amazing sites to keep you entertained and engaged for 14 days.
The best way to travel between these 3 countries is by plane. Between Istanbul and Athens you an use Pegasus Airlines (a budget airline) and between Istanbul and Bucharest you can use Turkish Airlines.
• Ljubljana, Split, Dubrivnik, Kotor
These four cities will take you through 3 of the most beautiful countries in the Balkans: Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro. The best way to travel between these cities would be by car or by bus, as there are no train connections between Split and Dubrovnik.
For those who want to rent a car to drive through the Balkans, I recommend this 14 days Balkans road trip itinerary. If you have a car, you can extend your itinerary to some other points of interest in this region.
Planning a trip to Europe? Read next: 12 Tips for Traveling to Europe Like a Pro
How to Plan a 2 Weeks Trip to Europe
Being born and raised in Europe I always get asked these two questions: when is the best time go to Europe and what is the best itinerary for a first time visit to Europe. My answer it’s always the same: it depends what you want to do in Europe and how much time you can spend there.
If this is your first time in Europe and all you have is 14 days, there are a few things to consider before deciding what to add to your list:
• Keep your travel plans simple
Most first time visitors to Europe are determined to see as much as possible on that first trip. Keep in mind that Europe is a big and diverse continent. There is a lot to see everywhere you go. Fitting all your bucket-listed locations in a 2 weeks trip to Europe is nearly impossible.
• Start with the most popular cities
Your first trip to Europe is not the best time to go off the beaten path. I recommend sticking to the big cities, even though they are more crowded. Major European cities have it all: top notch museums, beautiful architecture, great restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.
Besides, they are big transportations hubs and are cheaper for flying in and out of Europe.
• Choose to visit places that are close to each other
The closest major European cities are at least two hours apart, whether you travel by car, by train, or by plane. Transit between cities takes at least half a day, if you consider the time you need to check out of one hotel and check into your next one. Therefore, you won’t be able to do much sightseeing on the day you travel.
• Plan to spend at least 3-4 days in each city you visit
While it’s possible to cover more than half a dozen countries in your 14 days in Europe, just running between destinations doesn’t mean you actually visited them! If you want to see at least the major sights, you should plan to spend a minimum of 3-4 days in each city you visit.
• Book an open-jaw ticket
If you plan on touring a specific region or doing a multi-destination trip, you can often save a lot of time and money with booking one.
Once you’re further along in your planning process, you can use our Travel Resources page for the best deals in airfare, accommodations and local guided tours.
• Rent a car only if you are planning to travel outside the big cities, where parking is expensive and difficult to find. Nonetheless, sometimes renting a car will save you a lot of time and is obviously more comfortable. We usually use Discovercars when we travel in Europe.
Tips for Spending 2 Weeks in Europe
• Book accommodations in the city center
Hotel rates are higher in the city center, but it’s worth paying the extra dollars if you can afford it. You’ll save time and money on transportation.
• Use Hotel Alternatives
AirBnB or VRBO for lodging instead of booking hotel rooms, especially if you travel in a bigger group. They are a much better deal and have beautiful apartments all around the world. For the same price you would pay for an average hotel, you could rent an entire apartment.
• Don’t exchange money in the airport
Airports, train stations, or tourist areas have the worst exchange rates. But if you look for an exchange office outside these areas, your hard earned money can go a way longer way. If no exchange booths are around, use the ATM machines throughout the city.
• Consider using public transportation
Driving a car Europe is an expensive and inconvenient complication. None of these European cities were built with cars in mind, so the roads are crowded and full of restrictions. Rather than worrying about parking fees, one way streets, and pedestrian zones, consider using public transportation during your 2 weeks in Europe.
• Travel by train, or use budget airlines
Train travel through Europe is one of the best ways to see the continent. The rail network is extremely developed and train service is very reliable. For longer distances, flying one of the many European airlines is also a great option.
There are over a dozen budget airlines in Europe that fly anywhere on the continent for unbelievably low prices. They charge extra for seats and luggage, but even so you can fly for as low as €30-40/one way.
• Dress comfortably
Dressing comfortably when you travel to Europe is very important, but avoid looking like a tourist. Not sure how to blend in with the locals? Read my guide about how to dress like a European.
Buy the best shoes you can afford. I can stress enough the importance of wearing comfortable shoes while traveling in Europe. Many of the old European cities are still paved with cobble stones which are very rough on your soles.
• Travel off season
Everyone wants to travel when the weather is stable, but summers can be brutal in Europe: big crowds, expensive accommodations and airfare, busy trains and public transportation and very hot.
The best time to visit Europe is in fall or in spring, when temperatures are milder and there are less crowds. December is also a very popular time of year to visit Europe, when most European cities dress up for the holidays.
• Get acquainted with the European lifestyle
Most travelers to Europe expect to encounter cultural differences, yet when confronted with them they are always caught off guard. I wrote a very detailed post about what will surprise you as a first time visitor to Europe. These are very useful tips that you will need before traveling to Europe.
A Final Note
This guide is a good resource if you intend to visit Europe independently. However, if you prefer an organized tour there are plenty of great tours of Europe to choose from.
Hope the itineraries above gave you some idea on how to travel Europe in 2 weeks. And if you like a place you saw, make a plan to return and explore it more in depth. Two weeks in Europe will not be enough to see this magical continent.
Did you enjoy this post? Please pin it to help other travelers to Europe:
Ana Delos Santos
Hi, this is really helpful for 1st time Travelers in Europe. Just want to also ask you, for a 2 week Europe Trip, what do you advise to those traveling with Kids that wanted to visit countries in Europe with an Entry and Exit point from the Philippines? Thanks for the possible response. God bless you.
I am not aware that coming from the Philippines (with or without kids) may pose any problem for entering any country in Europe. However, if you want further more detailed information you should check the respective country’s entry requirements. Sorry I can’t be of more help.
Looking for Europe tour starting from India, for honeymoon would like to explore Europe.
Places need to cover
Travel dates will be 9Jun to 29Jun
It should be not very expensive , reasonable place to stay either good apartment or good Hotel
You can suggest if some needs to be cut short or some other place.
Do not want any museum or historical place to cover.
It should be main and popular area only.
I’m sorry, but I am not a travel agent, Basil. You can use my post for reference in order build your own itinerary.
Great guide – but overwhelming!! My wife and I are taking our first trip to Europe next year – a long kid- and COVID- delayed 20th/25th/30th anniversary! – and want to make the most of our 3 weeks. But you just listed 31 must-see cities, and suggested 3-4 days per city!! 🙂
My wife wants to “see the highlights” – if we never can come back, what should we make sure we see? I think we’d probably be best served by a managed tour, but maybe I can cobble together something with even hand-holding? 🙂 Advice would be *so* appreciated!
Thanks for reading my guide. I have indeed 31 must-see cities in Europe, but those are 10 independent itineraries and each one of them is for two weeks. If you want to spend 3 weeks in Europe you definitely won’t be able to include all those places in your itinerary. I can give you a few suggestions for a 3-week itinerary, but planning the trip in detail will require a lot of effort from your part.
You’ll need to research each destination and decide what you’d like to see once you get there, book hotels, check timetables for trains and busses, or maybe rent a car in some places, etc. Since I don’t know anything about your travel style, I can’t tell you whether to attempt this trip on your own, or book a guided tour. Many people prefer to be care-free when they travel and just sit back and enjoy. We like to travel independently and do our own planning, but I can assure you it’s not easy. One other option would be to book local guided tours in each country, but travel independently between countries.This way you’ll have more control over what countries you may want to visit.
In regards to the “highlights” of Europe, there are so many! But regardless of what you choose, you shouldn’t include more than 4 countries in 3 weeks because you’ll have to account for the days you loose when moving from one place to another. Here are my suggestions. My first choice for Europe would be Italy, France and Spain. They are rich in culture and architecture and have gorgeous scenery. My second choice is Portugal, Switzerland and Croatia. Not as culturally rich as Italy, or France, but surely breathtakingly beautiful. If you are looking for less expensive destinations, Central and Eastern European countries are more budget friendly (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania).
I hope this helps. I have lots of European destination on my blog in case you want to do some further reading. And remember: no matter what country you choose, you’ll love Europe!
Hi there Anda!
Me and my are planning eloping and then honeymooning to Europe. Neither of us have been and I have family in the Sicily area. I originally wanted to go to Hawaii as I am an avid beach lover and have been to many in search of the most beautiful beach. My finance enjoys the beach, but is definitely more of a historian. So, I would like to encompass a little of both. We plan on late September or sometime in October….14 days. What are your thoughts? Do you think we should use a travel agent? Thanks so much!
September-October is a great time of year for visiting Italy and I think Sicily is a wonderful choice if you like beaches. It has plenty of historic sites, so it’s the best of both worlds: history and beaches. I have a lot of information about Sicily on this blog, so for further reading you can go under Destinations > Europe > Italy > Sicily and read more. I also have a very informative post about driving in Sicily, should you decide to rent a car for your trip.
I don’t believe you need a travel agent to design your itinerary or make reservations for you. At the bottom of my home page there are some links that you can use to check out prices. I also have a Resource Page if you need more information on car rental and lodging. And if you need more itinerary ideas, read this post: https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/10-days-in-italy-itinerary/. It includes 4 itinerary ideas for Italy to choose from. Please let me know if you need any further assistance.
This is very informative. My husband and I have been to several countries in Europe, but not our son. He wants to go to Germany, and I think with more than 2 weeks travel time that we will have, a visit to several cities in Central Europe will make sense to us. My friend in Zurich will be happy to take us around.
Hope you’ll get to visit Germany, Umiko. I have relatives in Münich and go to Germany quite often.
Hi Anda, I have to say, this is a great itinerary for first time travelers. I’ve been living in Europe for almost 2 years now but I still have not seen most of the places in this list and I would consider myself a “first time traveler” to most of these destinations. It gave me tons of ideas though once we finally get to travel again and I love your pctures.
I love Croatia
Absolutely stunning! Thank you on a detailed impressive guide!
Thank you for all of your articles and tips! I’m trying to soak everything in while planning for a 2-week trip next August 2021. I know you said August is the worst time to go to Europe but I am to be a part of a bridal entourage early that month and have no leeway in that regard – hoping to make the best of it! What are your suggestions for 3 first time Europe travelers to make the MOST of our time but with about three days locked in at London for the ceremony? I was thinking of coming a week before the festivities and staying a week after, putting the wedding in the middle of the two weeks – if that makes sense. Please help!
Thank you so much,
A wedding in London sounds like a great reason to visit Europe. The good news is that London is not so hot in August as other cities in Europe. Here are my recommendations for you:
1. I would get the wedding out of the way and then go on with my travel plans. Or leave it for the end of the trip, but not place it in the middle.
2. I would avoid big, crowded cities (like Paris or Rome) where the asphalt radiates even more heat in summer. Keep in mind that many of the buildings in Europe don’t have air conditioning, so there is very little relief from the heat.
3. Rather than big cities, I would visit places that have a breeze, or have access to the Mediterranean, or the Adriatic Sea. My personal favorites for summer are the French Riviera (Nice, Monaco, Cannes), Italy (the Amalfi Coast, or Sicily), Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast (Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, etc.) Italy, France and Croatia seem like good options for you since they are also close to England.
4. Other great countries to visit in August are: Austria, Switzerland and Germany. For instance, you could spend 1-2 days in Vienna, then go to Salzburg and use it as a base for wonderful day trips in the Alps. Or stay 2 days in Zurich and do a Switzerland itinerary. You can also do a combination of countries, but I wouldn’t visit more than two considering that you already have London on your list.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions. I’m sure your trip is going to be great!
Hi: A friend and I would like to visit somewhere in Europe for 2 or so weeks, and stay in a smaller village and “live” like a local. Yet, also be close enough to other places or countries to take day trips via public transportation. Any suggestions?
Your friend could stay for instance in one of the many villages on the French Riviera (like Ezé Village) which are close to Nice,and visit the the entire coast in two weeks. Or perhaps stay in one of the villages in Tuscany, which are close to Florence, and many other fascinating places in Italy.
Me & my wife wants to cover Europe in 20-30 days. Just for your information I had travelled to Italy & covered Rome, Florence, Venice & Milan. I want to cover other countries & beautiful cities of Europe. Can you suggest best time & an itinerary to visit except July/August when the weather is pleasant & one can travel in budget.
Hi Rajeev, late September to early October is a great time to travel to Europe. So is spring, late April to early June. As for an itinerary, you can cover a lot of territory in a month in Europe. I would suggest visiting some of the countries in the Balkans (Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia).I have a complete itinerary for the Balkans on my blog, if you are interested. Also, you could visit the Baltic countries (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia) and Sweden. Eastern European countries like Hungary and Romania are also good choice for a fall visit. Hope this helps.
Hello, me my friend will be traveling to Europe in August 2020 ( I know not a good time to go there) for the first time. We have 2 weeks to go to cities we prefer. And that is Italy and Paris. We are in for outlet shopping, visit museum and architectures. Can you recommend us a place to go to met our preferences? And if we would add one more country what would that be? By the way we are flying from Manila.
Thank you very much.
Hi Mitos, even though August it’s kind of hot in Europe, I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun. Especially if you plan to go shopping, hahaha! Paris and Rome are great places to shop and so is Milan and London. I also like shopping in Vienna, where they have a big pedestrian area (the Graben) lined up with stores. All these cities have magnificent architecture, old churches and palaces that you can visit. Prices are a little higher in Europe than they are in Asia or the US, but I love shopping there just the same. They have so much trendier clothing stores than we do. My favorite one is Massimo Dutti, you should check it out.
Hi Anda, Me and my wife plan to travel to Europe for about 10 to 14 days(depends) from the first week of August’2020 (After my sons final semester Exams). Flight ticket are yet to be booked. This would be our first trip to Europe. We plan to cover Europe in six visits, this would be our first. Both of have past our half century mark and have taken a sabbatical. Could you please suggest us an Itinerary? Is August a good time to travel
Hi Shyamsunder, August is one of the worst times to go to Europe: it’s hot, it’s expensive and it’s crowded. I know you may be bound to your son’s vacation time, so if August is the only time you have available, I would suggest going to Northern Europe. You can visit Sweden, Norway, and the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia). Either that, or choose to spend your entire vacation in southern Italy, in places close to the sea (Capri, Positano, Cinque Terre, or Sicily).
Thanks for your insight and prompt response. Travel planning can be overwhelming and your site has been extremely helpful. The more I dig into options and different itiniraries my gut keeps saying to stick with Italy and you helped confirm this even more! Another thought was to combine a 7n cruise but again my gut (and hubby) prefers a land based trip. So sticking with Italy it seems just 3 cities maybe better (based on your suggestion) with day trips mixed in…Venice, Rome & Florence. Initial plan was for Cique Terre which maybe too much. The idea of Lake Cumo is a really good one! Now need to explore those logistics!
Glad I could be of help, Sandra. Just one last note: keep in mind that Rome is a big city, rich in history and archeological sites. You will need at least 4-5 days to explore it properly. Have a wonderful trip.
Hi Anda, Just found your site and love the information. We are late in planning our 20th anniversary trip to Italy in May. We have 16 days so 14 nights exculuding travel. This is our first time to Europe (other than Greece) in a very long time. Initial thoughts are fly into Venice 2n, Florence, 4n, Cinque Terre 4n, Rome 4n – Now second guessing about all Italy (which I know is all good) but maybe adding Amsterdam or another city and subtracting days from Italy. Any thoughts input appreciated!
Hi Sandra, first of all congratulations on your 20th anniversary! Italy is a great choice to mark this important event in your life and I’m sure this will be a trip to remember. My personal opinion is that Italy has so much to offer that it’s not a good idea to add Amsterdam to the mix. The two-week European itineraries I recommend in my post are for people who want to get a feel of Europe and explore some of the big cities. I think you’ll be better off spending all your time in Italy and exploring as much as you can there. Instead of Amsterdam, you could go to Lake Como, for instance. It’s a very romantic destination for an anniversary.
So glad I found your site. I’m in the beginning stages of planning a trip for late 2020 (Christmas time) for my husband and myself. I think you’ve helped me decide on Italy. Christmas is the only time he has vacation so we’re locked in to that time of year. We’d both like to see Pompeii, so I was thinking Naples to Rome and ending up in Venice. We have 2 weeks, so I think we could take our time and stop if we’d like to see something along the way. What do you think about going to Italy this time of year? Are trains reliable in winter? Thanks for any help you can give me.
Italy is actually a great choice for winter, particularly in December when you’ll have the Christmas markets everywhere. Prices may be still pretty high because of the Holidays, but there will definitely be less crowds. You may expect colder weather in Northern Italy (Rome and Venice), but the Amalfi Coast (Pompeii and Naples) will be beautiful. I don’t think you’ll have any issues with the trains. It doesn’t snow often in northern Italy and even if does, the weather doesn’t impact public transportation. I think you’ll enjoy Italy tremendously! It’s a great place to visit. You may want to check this post as well if you are traveling to Rome: https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/best-areas-to-stay-in-rome/
Anda what wonderful information. My husband and I planning a trip to Europe in mid May for two weeks. Thinking about flying into Switzerland or Austria, dipping down into Italy then on to Slovenia and Croatia. We are told Slovenia is very similar to Italy. We could stay in Slovenia and train over to Venice for the day, avoiding crowds ect. Any ideas? take the train, rent a car?Thank you!
Train is probably better for the day trip. Besides, in Venice you won’t have any need for the car.
Hullo Anda, your article literally saved my life. I have read it twice and sucked in as much of your advice so thank you.
I am black and I was wondering if you have any specific advice for a black travelers in Europe. What is the general reception for black africans in Europe?
I may be overthinking it, but I am worried that it may be negative.
Your honest thoughts will be appreciated.
I’m truly happy that my article was of help to you. I don’t think you have any reason to worry about traveling to Europe as a black person. As far as I know, Europeans are quite open and welcoming to any race and nationality. I think you’ll have a wonderful time there.
Thankyou for the suggestions. We are planning to visit Europe from US for two weeks from April 24 to May 9 . Our itenrary idea is to arrive in Paris > Milan > Venice > Cinque terra> Florence > Rome . While at florence we planned to visit Pisa for half day Will this be aggressive or Do-able? Can you please suggest on how many days each city require to explore? Thanks in Advance
What you are listing here looks like a very busy itinerary. All these cities are loaded with attractions. Besides, you need time for transportation between the different destinations and time to check in and out from the hotels. Rome and Paris require at least 3 days each. Milan you can probably do in a day, but for Florence, Venice and Cinque Terre you’ll also need a minimum of two days. My suggestion would be to leave Paris for another time and concentrate on Italy.
Thank you Anda
Thankyou for the detailed itenenaries. We are planning for Europe trip during last week of April for two weeks. Our plan is to arrive in Paris and depart back from Rome. So planning for Paris> Fly to Milan> Venice> Cinque terra > Florence> Rome . Is this agressive or Doable? Do you recommend driving from Milan to Rome for this trip? Can you help me with how many days we will needing to explore these places? Appriciete your help on this.
I am planning a trip with my wife and 2 kids (3 & 9) to visit Europe in Mid-June. we are planning to spend 14 days and planning to land in Paris then train to Zurich > Interlaken (might add Zermatt if time permits) > Venice > Florence > Rome. Does this sound doable in 14 days? Any tips and recommendations? Should we get the Euro Rail Pass or buying individual trip will be better and cheaper option?
Hi Ali, your plan sounds great for two young adults who can move fast. However, with two kids in tow and using public transportation (not having your own car) this sounds like a very busy itinerary. You need a minimum of 3 days in the big cities like Rome and Paris. As for Zurich, Venice and Florence, you could probably spend only 2 days in each city. But even if you do that, you’ll be left with only two days, which is not enough time if you want to squeeze in Zermatt and Interlaken. I understand you are planning to use Rome as your departure city, but exploring it with a 3-year old will be very difficult. Rome is huge and truly overwhelming, even for adults. I would suggest spending more time in Switzerland instead, which is a friendlier place for small children. You can buy a pass for the scenic trains and go from Zurich to Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt, St.Moritz, Engadin and maybe cross over to Lake Como in Italy. The Glacier Express is a fantastic train and goes from Zermatt to St. Moritz. Your kids are going to love the train rides. I wrote a few posts about our train trip through Switzerland, in case you need more information.
Hi, my husband and I have plan 13 days trip 11 nights for travel to Barcelona, Switzerland, Munich and Amsterdam. The 1st arrival destination has decided is Barcelona as we want to catch the football match. 2nd destination we not sure want to start from Amsterdam, Munich and end in Switzerland or vice versa. Is it possible to squeeze Milan or Paris in between by the way?
You can easily squeeze one day in Milan on your itinerary, Agnes. I wrote a post about how to spend a day in Milan, in case you are interested you can check it here: https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/one-day-on-the-streets-of-milan/. From Barcelona you can go to Milan, then to Switzerland, Munich and Amsterdam. Not sure exactly what means of transportation you intend to use in Europe, but it makes sense to do it this way rather than jump from Spain all the way to the Netherlands. In regards to Paris, I would leave it for another trip. There is too much to see there to be able to squeeze it into this itinerary. You’ll need at least 3 days for it, while Milan can be done in one day.
Hi Anda.. Greetings from Malaysia.!! Great advice for first time traveller to europe. Me and my friends planning to come over to europe in may next year. We are having some difficulties choosing places to visit as europe is super big and all the places look so beautiful. We will be landing in amsterdam. I would love to go paris,london n also swiss. And we have only two weeks to cover and we have no idea where to start. Super confussed. First time in europe.! Thank you.
Hi Reva. Since you land in Amsterdam you could probably do Amsterdam, Paris and London. You need to spend at least 3 days in each of these cities in order to see at least the main points of interest. You probably have time to see one city in Switzerland as well. I would recommend Lucerne, since it’s a smaller one and can be done in about two days. Hope this helps.
Great suggestions! Planning a trip next June ( I know, I know), your suggestions are great.
I’m glad if you found my suggestions useful. Thanks, Jackie.
Anda, thank you for the very informative article. Loved going through it and your detailed responses to the questions below.
I and my wife are planning to travel in August(2nd and 3rd week). We have zeroed in on France(only Paris) and Italy. I know the temperature will be on the higher side, but I guess should be a breeze considering we are from India 🙂 (or are we way off the mark?)
What according to you are good destinations to include in the itinerary in Italy, beyond Rome, Venice, and Florence)?
Hi VB, since your trip to Europe in in full summer, I would suggest a couple of destinations closer to the water. In Italy you can add Cinque Terre and maybe Lake Como. Both of them absolutely spectacular. In France, just about an hour away by plane you can go to he French Riviera. The coast is much cooler and absolutely spectacular. You have places like Nice, Monaco, Cann, Antibes, plus the many perched villages along the coast that are absolutely a dream to visit. Hope this helps.
I was trying to plan a 20th anniversary trip for myself and my wife in July, 2020. I was planning on just doing a Western trip visiting London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Berlin but now I’m worried it’s going to be too hot. We already live in Charleston, South Carolina (US) which is miserably hot in the summer so we always try to find cooler places to go.
I was thinking of this route because there are now direct flights from CHS to London and I get employee discounts at Hilton properties (about $50 USD/night). There are hotels all within 1.5 miles of the train station in each of those cities so this would be most economical.
I would rather visit Northern Europe because of the cooler weather and because my family immigrated from Sweden. However,, there are no Hilton properties in any of the Scandavian cities except Stockholm.
I’m just wondering if you think it is worth it to spend a lot more to visit Northern Europe or just battle the heat and crowds to visit Western Europe.
Hi Michael, Europe is very hot and humid in summer, as you already know. I would rather spend a little more and go to countries like Norway, Sweden or the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). I believe there is a Hilton in Riga as well, if I am not wrong). However, you may want to look into Airbnb as an alternative if you can’t find a Hilton. Most of the time they are way cheaper than a hotel and you get much more for your money.
This is a great guide! I’ve been searching everywhere for ideas on how to go about a European trip. I’ve never been so I wasn’t sure where to start.
Is it possible to do a trip with London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Florence, and Venice? What would be the beat way to do that?
Squeezing 7 cities of this size into a 2 weeks trip seems too much to me. I would recommend keeping it at 4, at the most. You will spend too much time on the road and too little time visiting the sites. Florence and Amsterdam could be done in about 4 days, if you just want to rush by, but the other cities requires way more time for proper visiting. I would not advise you to add more than at the most 5 cities to your itinerary, unless you have more than just 2 weeks.
This article is very informative and useful as I am planning a graduation gift for my girlfriend this summer. She’s a mechanical engineer and loves architecture, but has never been to Europe. I do plan on 2 weeks, give or take a few days. Do to the traveling being in June (not the best time), where would you recommend going? Regarding weather, locations, travel season, etc. I’ve only been to France but was there for wine industry. I’m fine with traveling by train or by car as I have done both. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your time!
Hi Nick, I’m glad you found my post useful and informative. Summers in Europe may be very hot, so I would recommend you go to Northern Europe, where the weather is much cooler. And if your girlfriend loves architecture, she will have a blast visiting cities like Stockholm and Riga. I would recommend the Baltic countries and Sweden. You don’t need to drive there. You can fly between the cities for very little money.
Hi, Anda. I’m taking my daughter to Europe in May. Got a great R/T flight into (and out of) Barcelona. We will be there 2 weeks, and I’d like to add 3 other cities. She really wants to go to Florence (but not Rome??♀️). We plan to book a rail pass and Air BnBs. Any recs for our 3 must-see cities. She’s 20 and has never been to Europe.
Hi Stacy, Barcelona is a very exciting destination for young people. I’m sure your daughter will love it. You’ll have to decide how many countries you want to include in your two weeks trip. You have quite a few choices in Spain, if you decide to stay only there. You can spend 3 days in Barcelona, then go towards the west and Visit Madrid (3 days), Toledo (a day trip from Madrid), Granada and Sevilla. From there you can fly back to Barcelona. Or you can spend a few days in Barcelona, then go to Paris, Milan and Florence. The second option includes 3 countries, but it will give your daughter a taste of some of the most impressive cities in Europe. Hope this helps.
I will be visiting Europe for two weeks in may and would like to know what do you suggest we could see as we will arrive in Rome and depart from Paris.
May is one of the best times to visit Europe. The weather is just perfect and the tourist season is not in full swing yet. Since I don’t know you and your interests, I would make some suggestions based on my own taste and experience. Both Rome and Paris are very big cities and you might want to allow yourself at least 3 days in each one of them. They are packed with attractions, ranging from historic sites and landmarks, to museums, art galleries, parks and restaurants. In Rome you might want to concentrate on the historic center (including the Vatican) and allow yourself a little time to simply wander the streets and admire the beautiful architecture. I wrote a post about the best areas to stay in Rome that will give you an idea about what attractions are in the different parts of the city (https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/best-areas-to-stay-in-rome/). While you are in Italy, you might also want to include Florence and Milan in your itinerary. Florence is not very big and it quite easy to explore (great for art galleries and museums). You could spend 2 days in Florence and one day in Milan (https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/?s=one+day+in+milan). From Milan you could go to Switzerland and maybe take a scenic train trip through Zermatt, Interlaken, Lucerne).Or you may go directly to France and visit Marseille, Lyon and then Paris. If this is your first time in Europe I would suggest keeping it simple. Probably just Italy and France would be enough. For Paris, you might want to refer to this post that will give you an idea about what you can see in 3 days: https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/?s=3+days+in+paris. I hope this helps and I hope you’ll come back with some great memories from your trip to Europe.
Me and my husband are planning a trip to Europe for 2 weeks in early May 2019.
As of now we are planning to visit Prague, Vienna, Budapest & Greece. Could you please suggest if its doable also if its the good time to visit these places.
P.S : We will be visiting Europe for the first time and we are more inclined towards scenic and natural beauty , could you please suggest more affordable options.
Many Thanks !
Europe is beautiful at any time of year, but particularly in spring. Vienna, Budapest and Prague are very close to each other so can move easily from one to the next (either by train or by car). Trains are very affordable in Europe, especially if you buy a pass. I suggest spending 3 days in each one of these cities to at least get a taste of what they have to offer. You could leave Greece for last, as you will need to take a plane to get there. In regards to affordability, Europe in generally expensive. However, you will find Budapest (and Greece) more affordable overall. For lodging I use Airbnb or VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner), as I get more for my money. Hope this helps.
Hey, thanks for this informative and detailed info about getting around in Europe.. every word made sense to me.. I just want a small suggestion from you.. I am solo traveller and will be starting my itinerary as “Prague (2n)-Copenhagen (4N)-Budapest (2N)- Barcelona (3N)- Amsterdam (2N)” in total of about 13 N starting from 13 th March 2019..
My question is : I want to add another city between my trip from Copenhagen to Budapest as I think 4 Nights will be too boring in there.. so can you please suggest which place to add in for 1 N ???
I am getting some real good deals for Brussels, Berlin, Milan… for Ryan Sir & Easy jet from Copenhagen..
please enlighten me for this as I am super confused ???
Thanks in anticipation ….
Your itinerary seems pretty busy for 13 days. All these cities you selected make wonderful destinations in themselves. You could easily spend 13 days in each one of them and still have plenty to see and do. My suggestion would be to spend 3 nights in Prague or in Budapest, rather than trying to squeeze in another city into the itinerary. Europe is packed with attractions and if you were to spend any less than 3 days in a big city you’ll be rushing too much. However, if you want by all means to include another city, you can try Milan. You can just concentrate on visiting the Duomo and the area around it and that would be enough for one day. Hope this helps.
My family has a two week planned trip to Europe and I am having difficulty picking a third location to visit in addition to London & Paris. I am glad I came across your website which is full of good ideas. I could use some help picking a third city and places to stay. One of my challenges for the trip is traveling around Christmas which I understand the trains close.
Some of the other questions I have are:
How long is it recommended to be at an airport before a flight between cities like London & Amsterdam? Is taking a train recommended even though it takes twice as long.
Where are the best areas to stay in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Ghent?
We would like to rent an apartment in each city.
We arrive at 6:15am on 12/21 in Gatwick and leave on 1/3 in the evening out of Heathrow. What might be the best itinirary taking into account Christmas and New Years?
Hi Michael, I’m afraid I can’t make any specific recommendation in any of these cities. We usually stay in Airbnb apartments when we don’t stay with friends or relatives in Europe.
You are so right, Anda – Two weeks in Europe will fly by! We love your itinerary ideas though. Two weeks is such a short time for so many great places to see and enjoy, but these really help make the most of the time. Can’t wait to get back and explore more!
I love exploring northern Europe. The cities have a charm that the rest of the continent lacks. I can’t explain it, but they do. I always feel like they are more welcoming as a city. Plus Stolkhom has the best museums to visit.
That is a complete exhaustive guide on Europe. I liked the way how you have divided the itinerary and it is going to be super helpful while we plan up our trip. The 2 weeks really seems like a less time now, for Europe.
Cynthia | Adventuring Woman
You’ve covered all the important things! I agree that Paris, Amsterdam and London should be #1. I really want to do Vienna, Prague and Budapest. Also the Balkan itineraries. So true that it’s best to spend time really experiencing a place, rather than running around between them.
These are good itineraries for those who want a quick glimpse of certain areas of Europe. Im not sure on the Nordic ones, I think I need a bank loan for that one. 😀 I found after exploring much of Europe, to see better history, buildings, parks, scenery etc, is to get away from the cities and find the true heart of each country. However, first timers, these are good plans BUT make sure you come back for some more European fun 🙂
One visit to Europe is never enough, Dabik.
Although I agree with you to start with the more popular cities in your first ever trip to Europe and to make sure that all the cities you’re visiting are geographically close to each other (and you’ve grouped them out perfectly), I also think that visiting only the bigger cities in countries like Switzerland, Austria, Greece don’t give you a real flavour of what the country is about. For example- going to Athens and not Santorini would be something I’d not recommend at all! Or going to Zurich and Lucerne but not Interlaken. Having said that, if one wants to focus only on the bigger cities and not venture to the smaller towns and villages, then these itineraries make perfect sense!
Of course, Medha. Visiting only the bigger cities will barely touch the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. These itineraries are intended for first time visitors to Europe and it is implied the subsequent visits would be necessary to really get the feel of many of these countries.
Your itineraries certainly highlight the diversity of Europe. There are so many different countries to visit it’s hard to choose! One of the things I love about Europe is that no matter where you go, there’s history, culture and cobblestone streets to discover. Hmm, I think I’m due for another trip to Europe soon!
That is so true, Christina. I love everything about Europe!
I am a big fan of itineraries! I have created several I want to follow. Sometimes, an itinerary does not work for one particular year but then it is feasible later. From your list, I want to do Northern Europe and the Berlin-Dresden-Wroclaw. I am with you on staying 3-4 days on a city. I do not like to rush places.
Planning is part of the fun when you travel, isn’t it?
I love your recommendations! I’d love to go and visit Europe one day and this guide will come in very handy. Indeed 2 weeks is such a short time to see the entire continent, but good to know that you can still see as much as long you plan well (especially considering the geographical location and transportation availability).
I didn’t realize you haven’t been in Europe, Marvi. Hope you’ll get there soon. You’ll love Europe, I promise!
I haven’t been to Europe for five years so I am very excited to be heading there this fall. Great tips – we’ve already used a few – booked hotels in the city center or air bnb’s and are traveling off-season a bit but I hope to utilize more when I’m there.
I hope you are going to have a great trip, Jill.
Great idea’s, even for a European. We need to discover more things close to home.
Well, if you live in Europe you probably have visited all these places, Wendy.
Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields
What a useful post. I think those of us who travel frequently forget that there is a lot of basic stuff we just take for granted.
So true, Lyn.
I have spent quite a bit of time in Europe but I still have so much to see. I would love to do your Balkans roadtrip, I haven’t been to that area yet.
The Balkans make one of the best European itineraries, Anisa. You should definitely do that road trip.
These are all great ideas. Isn’t it such a gift to be able to spend two weeks exploring?? We love to spend 3 days in cities so we know where we want to return… I also love to pair big cities with smaller towns, too. It’s a great to experience both sides of the coin in the same country. I would love to do your Balkan itinerary! Those places all just look beautiful!
I love exploring smaller cities too, Sara. However, for first time visitors it’s always better to start with the more popular sites.
Great tips for first-time visitors, especially if you have only two weeks. I wish I’ve been to all the destinations you covered … if we could only travel when I was still living in the middle of it ;).
Yep, I hear you! I have the same frustration, Emese.
Great advice for first time travelers! We did a similar trip, to your first itinerary, when we went to Europe the first time. Ours was London, Paris, Munich, and Amsterdam. I have to agree that giving yourself 3-4 days in each place is ideal. I ended up feeling like I didn’t see much in London, because we were only there for two days of our trip. Thankfully, we were able to return to London for a longer period later.
As I live in Prague – kind of a center of Europe. It’s pretty easy for me to do this short trips and I think I visited more than half of this cities. I like how you group them in smaller trips by three. I just have to visit the Baltic states and Balkan… hopefully next year. Thanks for your tips
It’s much easier to do these trips when you live in Europe, Thomas. The challenge is for people who travel there from far away.
What a great itinerary you’ve put together, Anda! You’ve hit up all the best cities and I also recommend 3-4 days in each city!
I’m glad you agree with me, Lolo. Now that you live in Europe it’s much easier for you to see all these other smaller cities on week-end trips.
I think two weeks is a great intro and taster for Europe. Europe is addictive and by the end of those two weeks you’ll already be planning on which areas you want to concentrate on for your next visit. I agree that you should spend three to four days in each city in order to get comfortable and enjoy the feel of the city.
Hahaha, you are so right that traveling to Europe becomes addictive. Everybody I know wants to return there to see more.
Great tips, Anda. Your suggested Itineraries are perfect – it’s difficult to fully experience a destination when you try to do and see too much!
Good to hear from you, Priscilla. I know you just came back from a trip to Europe. Hope it was fun.
Good to hear from you, Priscilla. I know you just came back from Europe. Hope you enjoyed your trip.
Anda looking for a 14 day itinerary first time in Europe. This is for my 25 Anniversary. Looking to bring my 3 daughters ages 25/22/20. Also looking to invite my in laws 65/72. My wife is first generation born in the states from Hungary. My 72 year old father in-law has a bad ankle is there scooters to rent or would it be a pain in the butt to travel everywhere with it. Also ball Parker cost per person along with either plane or rail tickets to hop around
This looks like a multi-generational reunion and a great celebration. Since your wife is of Hungarian descent, you might want to take a trip to Central Europe that would include Hungary as well. I think all of you are going to love Budapest! You could probably do Prague, Vienna, and Budapest and spend at least 3 days in each of these big cities. There are also a few side trips that you can take around them. I wrote extensively about these three destinations, in case you need some ideas on things to do, places to stay and eat in each one of these cities.