Your Europe itinerary: 14 routes to explore the continent

Dre Roelandt

written by
Dre Roelandt

updated 10.06.2024

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. You'll find that the best Europe itinerary is one that allows time to explore, relax, and take in the sights. Here's a collection of our favourite routes in Europe.

1. Britain and Ireland

This two week itinerary will take you through England, Northern Ireland and Ireland. Start in London, on day one. Explore iconic sights like Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London on day two. Then, head to Dublin for a change of scenery.

You’ll spend day three exploring O'Connell Street, Trinity College, and more, capped with a lively evening at Temple Bar. Day four takes you to Belfast via Newgrange Passage Tomb and St. Peter’s Cathedral, followed by natural wonders like Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and Giant’s Causeway on day five.

Meander through charming towns like Sligo and Westport on days six and seven, discovering Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey. Day eight brings a visit to Galway's Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher.

Continue with a stroll through Killarney National Park on day nine and scenic drives along the Ring of Kerry on days ten and eleven. Wrap up with visits to the Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle on day twelve before bidding farewell to Dublin. Read more.

Ireland is must when visiting Europe © Shutterstock

2. France and Switzerland

This 10 day itinerary will take you through France and Switzerland. On the first day, Paris welcomes you with open arms, with a tour of the Eiffel Tower and a stroll through the vast Champ de Mars. On the second day you’ll explore the Louvre's treasures and the timeless beauty of Notre-Dame Cathedral.

On the third day you’ll visit the Loire Valley, where the grandeur of Château de Chambord awaits alongside delightful local wine tastings in a charming chateau. On the fourth day, you’ll explore Bordeaux's lively city, followed by a blissful coastal escape to Lacanau or Cap Ferret on the fifth day.

The sixth day brings sun-soaked relaxation on the Côte d’Azur, and unwinds in Nice. The seventh day is spent in Monaco before a returning to Nice for seaside dining.

The eighth day is spent with scenic riverside strolls in Lyon, while the ninth day transitions to Zurich for exploration of its Old Town. Finally, on the tenth day, you’ll have free time Zurich before jetting home.

Chateau de Saumur, Loire Valley, France © Alexander Demyanenko/Shutterstock

Chateau de Saumur, Loire Valley, France © Shutterstock

3. The Netherlands and Belgium

This 9 day itinerary will take you through the best of the Netherlands and Belgium. Day one kicks off as you touch down at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Once you've settled in, it's time to hit the water with a Canal Cruise, soaking in the city.

Rise and shine on day two for a morning exploration of Amsterdam, followed by a guided tour of must-see spots like the Heineken Experience and the ice-cool XtraCold Icebar.

Day three brings countryside bliss with a scenic tour to Zaanse Schans, Volendam, and Marken. Get ready to fall in love with those picturesque Dutch landscapes!

Next stop: Brussels. Day four treats you to a smooth ride to your hotel, where you'll kick back and relax.

Indulgence is the name of the game on day five, with sweet visits to the Belgian Chocolate Village and a hoppy Belgian Beer Tasting in Brussels.

Days six to eight are spent in Ghent. Dive into its history with a walking tour, hop over to Bruges for a day trip, and soak up some leisure time in this charming city.

Wrapping up on day nine, bid adieu to Ghent with some final exploration before your ride back to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Read more.


The best Europe itineraries will hit Brussels © Shutterstock

4. Germany and Austria

This itinerary will take you through the best of Germany and Austria.

Begin your journey in Munich on the first day. On day two, hop on a morning train to Salzburg for a private walking tour. Explore St. Peter’s Monastery, Mozart House, Mirabell Gardens, and the Baroque Old Town. 

Day three is all about relaxing in Zell am See after another train transfer. Day four? Your call—relax or dive into optional activities in Zell Am See.On the fifth day, journey to Kitzbühel by train for more leisure time or extend your stay in Zell Am See.

In Kitzbühel on day six, explore Innsbruck during a transfer to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, stopping at hotspots like the Golden Roof and Swarovski Crystal Worlds. 

Days seven to eight are spent in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, including a must-see at Neuschwanstein Castle on day seven. Wrap it all up on day eight with a ride back to Munich airport. Read more.


Munich Christmas market: a great stop on your European trip  © Shutterstock

5. Spain and Morocco

Pack your bags for this itinerary across Spain and Morocco in just five days.

Touch down in Madrid on day one, where you'll dive straight into stops at the Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral, Plaza Mayor, and Puerta del Sol, capped off with a feast at a local tapas joint.

Day two kicks off with more of Madrid at the Prado Museum and Retiro Park before hopping a high-speed train to Seville. Check into your hotel and soak in the sights of Seville Cathedral and Giralda tower, topped off with a fiery flamenco show and dinner in Santa Cruz.

On day three, it's off to Morocco. Discover the wonders of Tangier, from the Kasbah to mouthwatering Moroccan cuisine. Day four brings a market frenzy in Tangier before cruising to Chefchaouen for some serious photo ops amidst its iconic blue streets and a classic dinner.

Wrap it up on day five with a final wander in Chefchaouen before heading back to Tangier to catch your flight home or continue further into Morocco.

If you're planning a trip to Spain, don't miss our Spain itineraries and information on how to get there


Seville is great from a Europe trip © Shutterstock

6. Italy

This itinerary is an excuse to check off those Italian must-sees with a whirlwind tour of Rome, Florence, and Venice. Day one starts in Rome with a Vatican and Sistine Chapel visit, followed by a stroll through Centro Storico hitting up gems like the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps. Don't forget to refuel with a tasty lunch before hitting the Galleria Borghese.

Day two is all about Rome's ancient vibes—early birds catch the Coliseum and Forum Romanum. On day three, catch a train to Florence and spend the afternoon soaking in the Arno River scene and crossing the iconic Ponte Vecchio.

Day four is Florence central—hit up those top museums and churches. Take a scenic detour to San Gimignano for some Tuscan charm on day five.

On day six, hop a train to Venice for a leisurely afternoon of getting happily lost in its maze-like streets and canals. Wrap it all up on day seven with visits to the Doge's Palace and a leisurely stroll in St. Mark's Square. Read more.

Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower in Florence © Shutterstock

Florence, Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral © Shutterstock

7. Slovenia

On this 7 day itinerary, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the treasures of Slovenia. Touch down at Ljubljana Airport on day one. Once you're all settled, hit downtown Ljubljana for an evening stroll and local cuisine.

Day two kicks off with a hearty breakfast, followed by a stroll with a local guide to check out the city's hotspots at your own pace. On day three, bid farewell to Ljubljana as you journey towards the Slovenian Coast, visiting the enchanting Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle along the way, and enjoying an authentic Slovenian lunch before arriving in Portorož. 

Day four is dedicated to exploring Piran with a walking guide followed by some free time in Portorož and a sunset wine tasting in Slovenian Istria. Day five takes you on a trip through the Soca River Valley, exploring landmarks like the WW1 German Charnel House and Kozjak waterfall before landing in Bled.

Day six is all about Lake Bled—Pletna boat rides, Bled Castle visits, and a jaunt through Vintgar Gorge. Wrap it up on day seven with a departure from Ljubljana Airport. Read more.

Bled Lake, Slovenia © Jost Gantar

Lake Bled in Slovenia © Shutterstock

8. Balearic Islands island hopping

Set sail for a week of Balearic bliss, hopping from Mallorca to Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera.

Start in in Palma de Mallorca on the first day, exploring historic gems like Palma Cathedral and the Royal Palace of La Almudaina. Wind down with a stroll through the Old Town for dinner. 

On day two, soak up panoramic views from Bellver Castle and check out Valldemossa's Royal Charterhouse. Day three is spent in Sóller, nestled in the UNESCO-listed Serra de Tramuntana.

Day four brings you to Ibiza—hit up Dalt Vila's historic spots before diving into the island's famous nightlife. On day five, it's beach time in Ibiza, plus a ferry trip to Formentera's crystal-clear waters. 

On day six you’ll make your way to Menorca for a taste of Mahón's history and cuisine. Finally, on day seven, soak in Ciutadella's beauty and relax on its tranquil beaches. Wrap it up with a farewell dinner, cherishing the serene vibe of Menorca.

Sant Antoni Sunset, Ibiza, Balearic Islands

Sant Antoni sunset in Ibiza © Shutterstock

9. The Balkans

This Balkan itinerary begins with the first day spent in Bucharest.

Day two sees you exploring the coastal gem of Constanta, with a half-day guided city tour taking you through its charming old town. Try the local seafood at a local restaurant or unwind at your hotel.

On day three, you’ll cross into Bulgaria via Vama Veche, stopping for some fun in this lively Romanian destination before exploring Balchik palace and its enchanting gardens.

Days four to six are a beach lover's paradise at Sunny Beach, where you'll soak up the sun and explore nearby treasures. Highlights include a half-day excursion to Nessebar to sightseeing in Burgas. You can also spend these days exploring Sozopol, Beglik Tash, and the UNESCO Heritage site of the Madara Rider.

Wrap up your journey on the seventh day with a return to Bucharest. Read more.

Palace of Parliament and fountain on Piata Uniri, Bucharest, Romania

Palace of Parliament, Bucharest © Shutterstock

10. Greece 

On this week long trip, you’ll get to discover the best of classical Greece. Touch down in Athens on day one, immersing yourself in over 3,000 years of history. After transfering to your city centre accommodation, dive into Athens' lively ambiance at your leisure.

Day two starts with a guided tour through Syntagma Square, the iconic Acropolis, and the charming Plaka district, concluding with dinner and an olive oil tasting in Kolonaki.

On day three, you’ll hop in a car from central Athens to uncover the ancient wonders of Epidaurus and Nafplio, passing through the Corinth Canal and exploring historic sites like Epidaurus's Ancient Theatre and Nafplio's picturesque Syntagma Square.

Days four to five will lead you to Olympia, where the Temple of Zeus and a vineyard tour await. Venture onward on the sixth day to Delphi, followed by an overnight stay in Meteora, where Byzantine monasteries perch on towering cliffs.

Experience Meteora on the seventh day before returning to Athens for a final day of exploration, culminating in a transfer to the airport for your journey home. Read more.

Acropolis, Athens © Shutterstock

The Acropolis on top of Athens, Greece  © Shutterstock

11. Poland

This five day Poland itinerary starts in Warsaw, where you’ll begin by delving into the city's past at the Warsaw Old Town and the immersive Warsaw Uprising Museum. On day two, you’ll bask in the greenery of Łazienki Park and marvel at the imposing Palace of Culture and Science.

Next up, Kraków awaits on day three, where UNESCO-listed treasures like the Old Town and majestic Wawel Castle beckon. Here you’ll explore the poignant history of the Jewish Quarter before day four leads you to Oskar Schindler's Enamel Factory Museum and a serene riverside walk along the Vistula.

Cap off your adventure on day five with a half-day excursion to the extraordinary Wieliczka Salt Mine before bidding Poland adieu. 

Ready for your trip? See our other Poland itineraries for inspiration.

Poland makes for a great stop on a European itinerary © Shutterstock

12. Portugal

This seven day itinerary covers the most essential spots in Portugal.Touch down at Lisbon International Airport on day one, where you'll have the freedom to wander the vibrant streets of Lisbon at your own pace. 

Day two brings a private half-day tour, unveiling Lisbon's cultural treasures like Liberty Avenue and Alfama Quarter, culminating in a mesmerising Fado Show brimming with local music and cuisine.

After breakfast on day three, set off on a full-day escapade along Lisbon's breathtaking coastline, exploring Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais, and Estoril before returning to Lisbon. 

On day four, hop on a journey to Porto, making a scenic stop at the Serra do Bussaco Mountain Range to visit the Carmelite monastery, then enjoy a leisurely afternoon in Porto.

Days five to six invite you to immerse yourself in Porto's allure, from private tours to strolling through Mercado do Bolhão. Opt for a scenic Douro Cruise of Six Bridges on day five before bidding farewell to Porto International Airport on day sevenRead more.

Colourful Sintra, Portugal palace Palácio da Pena © Shutterstock

The best Europe itinerary stops at Sintra © Shutterstock

13. Turkey

This week long itinerary will take you through Turkey’s best travel gems.Touch down in Istanbul and settle into your city hotel on day one, where you'll have time to explore the bustling streets. Day two begins with a full-day tour of Istanbul's Old City, showcasing iconic landmarks like the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar, with lunch options to sample local cuisine. 

On day three, fly to Cappadocia for days of adventure amidst rock-carved churches and optional hot air balloon rides. 

Day four takes you on a scenic journey to Pamukkale via Konya, stopping at historical sites along the way. 

Spend days five and six exploring Pamukkale's natural wonders before transferring to Kusadasi. Your trip concludes with a day tour of Ephesus Ancient City on the final dayRead more.

 Uchhisar fortress and colorful hot air balloons flying over Pigeon valley in Cappadocia, Turkey © Shutterstock

 Cappadocia hot air balloons © Shutterstock

14. Czechia and Hungary

On this eight day itinerary, you’ll be taken through fairytale Czechia and Hungary, starting on day one with a flight to Prague. Take this moment to unwind and prep for the days ahead. 

Day two kicks off with a guided tour, leading you through Prague's storied past, from Gothic alleys to grand Baroque edifices, including must-sees like Prague Castle and the Astronomical Clock. Then, embark on a delectable four-hour food tour, savoring Czech delights and uncovering charming cafes. 

Day three is a full-day jaunt to Cesky Krumlov, unveiling its fairytale castle and the captivating Egon Schiele Art Centrum. On day four, delve into Kutna Hora's eerie Bone Church and the majestic Church of St. Barbara before returning to Prague. 

Transitioning to Budapest on day five, you'll explore Bratislava en route, settling in for the Budapest leg for days six and seven. Highlights include a private guided stroll through Budapest and a day trip to the scenic Danube Bend. 

Wrapping up on day eight, bid farewell as you head from Budapest Airport homeward, cherishing the memories of your Central European escapade. Read more.

Czechia is a fantastic stop © Shutterstock

Planning the best Europe itinerary

You can skip the hours and hours of research it takes to create the perfect itinerary and instead allow us to handle the details. Our tailor made trips are designed by local travel experts, and are completely customisable. We handle the planning and booking, and offer support while you are on your trip 24/7. See some of our existing itineraries for inspiration. 

Looking for more ideas for your holiday? Also explore our guide to the best beach destinations for holidays in Europe.

Dre Roelandt

written by
Dre Roelandt

updated 10.06.2024

Dre Roelandt is originally from the United States but lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Dre is a freelance writer and artist with a passion for travelling. They are an in-house Content Editor at Rough Guides.

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