Europe is beautiful; it is rich; and, it is attractive. There is so much here that once could spend an eternity exploring its offerings and still not be done. However, the mechanics of one’s life do not allow for that, and often, we find ourselves in a situation where we only have a week to live our lives. But that does not mean that all hope is lost. This list identifies five excellent itinerary ideas and a few tips that will help you understand how to spend one week in Europe and maximize your sense of fulfillment.
1. London – Brussels – Paris
Although seven days in Europe are not enough to fully explore its offerings, London – Brussels – Paris is a one-week Europe itinerary that lets you get a big picture of the European experience.
Begin your one-week in Europe itinerary in London, the city of some of the most iconic landmarks and monuments in Europe. Therefore, plan to spend at least two days in the city, exploring its several attractions.
Since the city is home to over a hundred museums – the sheer number representing how excellently London can help you get an insight into the British and foreign histories and cultures – it makes sense to dedicate a day to museums and art galleries.
Make sure that you visit the British Museum, the National Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum to witness the range London museums possess. On the next day, you can visit other popular sites like Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey.
Two days in London and then you are off to Brussels by air, which would take you only an hour and a half. Although Brussels seems too modern and corporate to be attractive to visitors, it possesses elements that people gravitate towards.
From historical, archaeological sites, like Coudenberg Palace, to imposing architectural wonders like Notre-Dame du Sablon and Basilique Nationale du Sacré Coeur, the city has plenty to enchant you. Plan to spend two more days here, so that you can explore the city properly.
The last step in your itinerary is the classic French city – Paris. One needs months to experience this city alone – such are its attributes. However, if you plan carefully, you can make the last three days of your trip here very fulfilling. The answer to how to spend one week in Europe applies to Paris very well. Decide what in Paris matters to you the most. If you are here for art, prioritize art galleries like The Louvre more. If it’s architecture, then landmarks such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral and Eiffel Tower should be under your focus.
Best Travel Resources for This Itinerary:
Find the best flights, train tickets, or rent a car for your trip to London, Brussels, and Paris. Also, find the list of the best hotels in London, Brussels, and Paris to stay in. Need more ideas to add to your one-week, multi-city trip itinerary to London, Brussels, and Paris? Find top attractions and things to do in London, Brussels, and Paris in addition to what already mentioned here.
2. Amsterdam – Bruges – Ypres
Suppose you are looking to spend your time in Europe surrounded by super-friendly people and a gorgeous, bike-friendly neighborhood. In that case, the Amsterdam-Bruges-Ypres one-week in Europe itinerary is the best for you.
You should begin your trip from Amsterdam – the picturesque city of canals. The city has a unique cultural beat and offers some of the most rewarding experiences to its visitors. Plus, the town’s artistic and architectural scene is remarkably strong, with most attractions comfortably reached via bikes. Therefore, rent a bike for your stay here and cycle to the hidden gems.
The next stop in your itinerary is Bruges, which is easily accessible via rail and car from Amsterdam. Bruges is another fantastic destination and is often regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Bruges is referred to as an open-air museum, and for an excellent reason. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, for it managed to preserve its several hundred years old history. It is another city you can cycle through, so don’t forget to hop on to the opportunity.
Cycle through its Market Square, the best place to start your Bruges tour. Pedal by the city’s rich canal network, which leads you to some pretty interesting sites, like the Nuit Blanche building. Other popular destinations you must visit include Basilica of the Holy Blood and Belfry of Bruges.
After your time in Bruges, plan a day trip to Ypres, a fantastic town only an hour and a half away from Bruges. Being a World War site, Ypres is home to certain impressive and gloomy landmarks like battlefields and war cemeteries. If you want to lighten your mood, visiting the Menin Gate and Flanders Fields Museum will be an excellent idea.
Other Day Trips You Might Like:
Best Travel Resources for This Itinerary:
Find the best flights, train tickets, or rent a car for your trip to Amsterdam, Bruges, and Ypres. Also, find the list of the best hotels in Amsterdam and Bruges to stay in. Need more ideas to add to your one-week, multi-city trip itinerary to Amsterdam, Bruges, and Ypres? Find top attractions and things to do in Amsterdam, Bruges, and Ypres in addition to what already mentioned here.
3. Rome – Florence – Venice
The Rome-Florence-Venice combination is the most iconic combination of a Euro trip, allowing you to experience all Europe is famous for. It allows you the fantastic opportunity to explore world-famous art, ancient architectural marvels, and a unique vibe particular to them.
Start your itinerary from Rome. It goes without saying that Rome is one place that makes you feel like you are living your destination and experience. And it has to be that way. Its popular landmarks, like The Colosseum, Pantheon, and Roman Forum, are thousands of years old and still in remarkable shape. Exploring them transports you to the days of Roman glory and gives you an insight into what it was like to be one of the greatest human civilizations that ever lived.
You might also want to plan a day trip to The Vatican City, a haven for art and architecture lovers, while you are here. Its Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Vatican Museums are ideal spots to view some of the finest human-made creations.
After spending three days in Rome, it is time that you head to Florence, the city of art. Florence is another European destination that does not need an introduction. The name of Florence immediately conjures images of rich museums and art galleries, like the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia.
Spend your days exploring these sites in detail and absorbing every bit of art that you can. Other very popular attractions here include the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, another place that should definitely be on your list.
Conclude your itinerary by heading to Venice, where you will be spending the last two days of your trip. While the time may seem too short, you can still make the most out of it by participating in meaningful and rewarding activities. Riding the gondola through the canal is one of those activities. Venice cannot be separated from its canals, so you should feel the Venice experience by cruising in one.
Also, do not forget to visit St Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and St. Mark’s Square, each of which boasts excellent architectural displays that will leave you awestruck.
Best Travel Resources for This Itinerary:
Find the best flights, train tickets, or rent a car for your trip to Rome, Florence, and Venice. Also, find the list of the best hotels in Rome, Florence, and Venice to stay in. Need more ideas to add to your one-week, multi-city trip itinerary to Rome, Florence, and Venice? Find top attractions and things to do in Rome, Florence, and Venice in addition to what already mentioned here.
4. Naples – Sorrento – Positano
If you are looking for a trip that opens you to not only the world of wonders created by men but also the work of nature, then this is the perfect itinerary for you. These cities are cradled in the heart of nature’s pleasant side, so their ambiance is unbeatable.
The experience of being in Naples is like none other experiences you have ever lived. And to be honest, no other European destination prepares you even the slightest for the exuberance and vividness of this travel destination. Its people are loud, friendly, and boisterous, always up for activity and excitement.
Be a part of the crowds and visit iconic sites like the Catacombs of San Gennaro and Castel Ovo. If you feel like watching authentic theatre, head to Teatro di San Carlo, which is not only an impressive building but also hosts excellent plays.
Three days exploring Naples should be followed by two days in Sorrento, another landmark European spot renowned for its charm, ambiance, and coast! Begin your tour of the city by visiting the Old Town, a charming delight, always full of hustling activity. The spot is as Italian as a place can get, for it has retained many Italian traditions.
You should also consider spending some exciting time in Piazza Tasso, an area famous for never sleeping. Being the main hub of activity, it is renowned for its several cafes and restaurants, places you must stop and dine in. And of course, you cannot miss the Amalfi Coast. Soaking in the sun and lazing by the sea is an unmissable experience one could die for!
The last two days of your itinerary are to be dedicated to the cliffside village of Positano, an excellent way of concluding your vacation. Walking through the town’s famous streets is a rewarding experience, for the views are a fantastic spectacle to behold. The houses rise with the mountains and are colored in pastel colors, presenting an Instagram-perfect view. Visit Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii, which would provide breathtaking views, exciting adventure-based activities, and historical remains.
Best Travel Resources for This Itinerary:
Find the best flights, train tickets, or rent a car for your trip to Naples, Sorrento, and Positano. Also, find the list of the best hotels in Naples, Sorrento, and Positano to stay in. Need more ideas to add to your one-week, multi-city trip itinerary to Naples, Sorrento, and Positano? Find top attractions and things to do in Naples, Sorrento, and Positano in addition to what already mentioned here.
5. Paris – Bern – Bologna
If you feel that your perception of the continent and its countries is not as strongly positive as others, this is the trip you should embark upon. Paris, Bern, and Bologna complement each other greatly, with each city providing you with something that makes you fall deeper in love with Europe.
Close your eyes and think of Paris. What images does your mind conjure? The Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral? There is no surprise in this, for these are some of the most iconic destinations in town. They are popular (and are rightfully popular), for what they offer is unmatchable and cannot be competed with. The art collections, featuring top artists, like Vincent van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso, among others, and the monuments created by world-renowned architects make the city’s collections unique.
There is so much to see in this iconic city that you would need a good three days walking around and exploring to get some sense of this destination’s magnificence and glory.
The remaining four days of your trip will be divided equally between Bern and Bologna. Get on to a train or board a plane to get from Paris to Bern. As soon as you enter the city, you will be blown away by its sheer beauty. Built on a sandstone ridge and surrounded by the Aare, the setting cannot get more stunning than that.
You would want to begin your trip from the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site characterized by cobbled streets and arcade sidewalks. The area is populated by several shops, cafes, bookstores, and restaurants that ensure that you have a good time.
In addition to this, you would want to visit the Museum of Art, an impressive museum that hosts more than 51,000 exquisite pieces of art. Some of the most famous artists featured here, like Ferdinand Hodler, so you would not want to miss it. You can also visit Einstein’s residence and the Einstein Museum, places that will let you have an insight into the life of the Physics genius.
The key to the question of how to spend one week in Europe relies on spending your time as efficiently as possible. Therefore, it is advisable that you take a plane from Bern to Bologna, as you may be running out of time. Obviously, rushing through your in-city schedule is not a good idea.
After all, this historic capital of the Emilia-Romagna region of North Italy has so much to offer that you need to have ample time to scratch the surface. Although there are several unmissable spots in town, make sure that you keep walking through Piazza Maggiore, and exploring medieval ad Renaissance structures, like the City Hall, the Fountain of Neptune, and the Basilica di San Petronio on your list.
Best Travel Resources for This Itinerary:
Find the best flights, train tickets, or rent a car for your trip to Paris, Bern, and Bologna. Also, find the list of the best hotels in Paris, Bern, and Bologna to stay in. Need more ideas to add to your one-week, multi-city trip itinerary to Paris, Bern, and Bologna? Find top attractions and things to do in Paris, Bern, and Bologna in addition to what already mentioned here.
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Travel Resources for Planning a One-Week Trip to Europe
To make planning your one-week trip to Europe easier, we included some of our recommended travel resources below. You can search and find the best flights, transportation options, hotels to stay in, tours/activities, and things you can do in each destination during your trip.
Agoda: Search thousands of destinations around the world & quickly compare prices to find amazing deals on the best flights.
CheapOAir: You can find airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, and vacation packages all on one site!
Kiwi.com: What we like about Kiwi is the fact that they are able to create combinations of flight, train, and bus tickets and offer them in a single itinerary. Also, Kiwi has what they called “Nomad” which helps you find the best way of visiting multiple destinations, saving you time and money.
JetRadar: You can search and compare airfares from 726 airlines and dozens of travel agencies and systems.
Agoda: Agoda is one of the world’s largest online travel accommodation platforms with a network of over 2,000,000 vacation rentals and hotels worldwide.
Hotellook: They have more than 250,000 hotels in 205 countries, working with data from more than 10 online booking systems, such as Booking.com, Agoda.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, and others.
Bus: Flixbus: Very affordable (as low as $6) and convenient way to transfer between cities in Europe.
Bike Rental: BikesBooking (Bikes & scooter rentals)
Transportation Comparison: Omio (search, compare, and book tickets for buses, trains, and flights all in one site)
Tours & Activities:
TakeWalks (WalkofItaly): This is our favorite site for walking tours & day trips.
Tiqets: Great site for entrance tickets. It offers directly bookable, instantly available, and completely mobile tickets for museums, shows, and attractions all over the world.
Musement: They have good activities and tours in Italy and Spain, also many great day trips you can choose from.
GetYourGuide: A large number of tours, excursions, and other travel activities
Viator: The largest one. It has everything from tours, attractions, shore excursions, and private guides in over 2,700 destinations worldwide. It also has many transportations and transfers options and some unique experiences we didn’t find anywhere else.
Need help planning a one-week, multi-city trip to Europe?
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