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travel connect western europe


travel connect western europe

" The team overall was amazing in arranging our Ramadan umrah trip in 2024. Going during this peak period is known to be a real challenge but alhamdulillah, they made the experience a smooth one with their professional team in Singapore and in Saudi. The pre-trip had prepared us greatly with the right gear and tips to take note. Special regards to Ustaz Nafis for teaching us many things before the trip with classes and meetups. During the trip, our guides, Ustaz Syed Hassan, our group team leader l, took care of us throughout the trip, with our travel needs, umrah plans and informatics about many historical places with religious insights. Ustaz Amin, who was our Saudi local guide, had great expertise in the local land, 13 years with travel connect, protected and guided us amazingly too. The trip made us into family like no other, going through the challenges there was a special kinship. Would definitely recommend them. Looking forward to future trips with them for other occasions too. If you want to travel with confidence, travel right, I feel travel connect here is a gem, they know their stuff well, they know how to take care of their customers. As a young couple who does more free and easy trips, this experience was and eye opener in enjoying guided ones that I truly felt worth the time and money for. Keep it up travel connect! I forsee they will do very well in the future insyaallah. "

travel connect western europe

" Alhamdulillah, our journey to Jordan, Palestine and Egypt was smooth and simply incredible! Our group leader, Ustaz Syed Hassan was very accommodating, friendly and very generous (buying water/paying for porters for the jemaahs) without asking for any returns. Ustaz Syed also ensures that we had the best experiences that he could gave, together with our local tour guide for each country; Jordan - Mr Kamal, Palestine - Mr Hisham, And Egypt - Mr Ibadul Rahman. Ensuring our safety in each country while learning about each country cultures and history. I thanked each of the tour guide for their amazing explanation on Islamic values and histories as well as bringing us to amazing places. TravelConnect are blessed to have all these amazing people as their tour leader/guides. These 12 days journey was truly remarkable and worth the experiences. I pray that me and my family will be able to join and have Ustaz Syed Hassan as our tour leader again in the future; be it for wisata trips or for umrah. Allahumma Amiin! "

travel connect western europe

" Grp Umrah 11H 21Feb24 Alhamdulillah our first umrah went smoothly and peacefully. All of this was made possible because of the careful planning and execution by Travel Connect and in particular Haji Kaaba and Ustaz Sonhaji who were always there and available to help and guide us along from the moment we arrived at Changi and till we arrived safely back in Singapore. The itinerary for the whole umrah was, MasyaAllah, near perfect as it gave us sufficient time to do our ibadah collectively as a group as well as individually while at the same time allowed us more than enough time to do our shopping both in Makkah and Madinah. This was also made possible because of the hotels that we stayed in. For Makkah, it was the Al Safwa Royale Orchid Hotel which is literally 1 minute away from Masjidil Haram and 30secs away from all the shopping and food(since they're all located on the lower levels of the hotel). To be honest navigating through the maze of all the shops and eateries could be a challenge even for an ex-Survivor champion unless you have someone like Haji Kaaba around who helped in not only navigating through the labyrinth but also and more importantly getting the right price for the right quality of things that you are looking for. And as for Madinah, it was the Maden Hotel which is located conveniently about 5 minutes away from Masjid Nabawi and with plenty of shops all around. Again with the tireless help from Haji Kaaba guiding you around the area, you'll always get the best deals for your shopping. All in all, throughout the short journey to Makkah and Madinah, everything seems daunting and tiring for a novice like my wife and me but, Alhamdulillah with Haji Kaaba and Ustaz Sonhaji around, everything became easy and less tiring, Alhamdulillah. From Ustaz Sonhaji's kind and guiding voice through the recitation of doas and his patience explanation of all the historical facts of places that we visited to Haji Kaaba's constant encouragement and cheerful conversations, everything became almost effortless and smooth. Therefore and hopefully, if you are reading this and like me it is your first time performing umrah, I hope that, InsyaAllah when He invites you, you will consider Travel Connect as your choice, and if so then please ask for Haji Kaaba or Ustaz Sonhaji to be your guides. "

travel connect western europe

" Dear *Travel Connect*, I'm writing to share my recent Umrah experience with you from February 7th to 17th, 2024. It was truly a journey of self-discovery, filled with both highs and lows. While I acknowledge that I faced some personal challenges during the trip, I wanted to express my sincere gratitude to your team, especially Ustaz Nafis and Haji Jumat, for their unwavering support and guidance. Ustaz Nafis, your kind words and encouragement during my emotional moments meant the world to me. Thank you for going the extra mile to console me even when you were back in Singapore. Your compassion truly helped me navigate a difficult time. Haji Jumat, your dedication to ensuring everyone's well-being, especially during the hotel check-ins, was commendable. Your attentiveness and genuine care made the experience much smoother and more enjoyable for everyone. I also wanted to publicly apologise to my wife, fellow Jemaah members, and Ustaz Ali Zainal Abidin for my emotional outburst during the Umrah. I understand that my behaviour was unacceptable, and I deeply regret any hurt or inconvenience it caused. Looking back, I realise that certain external factors contributed to my emotional state. However, that doesn't excuse my actions. I take full responsibility and am committed to learning from this experience. Despite the challenges, I am grateful to have completed the Umrah during the blessed occasion of Isra' Mi'raj. It was a powerful and transformative experience that I will cherish forever. Thank you once again for your excellent service and support throughout this journey. I appreciate your understanding and professionalism. Sincerely, Noor Hamzah "

travel connect western europe

" 12D Venice + Balkan Trip 19 Feb to 1 Mar 2024 It was a very good experience for both my husband and I. We had a good time through out the whole program. The journey was smooth from day 1 till end. The program was specially curated and the local guide Erma was very friendly, knowledgeble and patience in providing answers to all the questions asked. Thumbs up and 5 star given to our tour leader Puan Ramlah who was very engaging, sporting, experience and managed the group well. From not knowing anyone on the first day we made many friends after the trip and became close like family. Many thanks to her initiatives. A shout out also to our driver Mr Emir who was very helpful, patience and skillful. His driving skill and sense of direction through out the trip were excellent. We felt safe having him around as our driver. Thank you TravelConnect for the initiative and gave us this opportunity and experience to see the world without having to worry about food and anything else. This trip will not be our last and will definitely come back and look forward to many more places to visit in future. InSyaAllah. "

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Europe , Western Europe

50 best places to visit in western europe.

Top 50 Places to Visit in Western Europe

It may not be the most budget-friendly areas of the world to travel, but there’s no doubt Western Europe holds some serious treasures that have to be explored at least once in a lifetime.

And here’s the best 50 that I think you should visit!

A mix of flagship cities chock full of history, as well as beautiful natural landscapes where you can hike, ski and soak in the views, I’ve tried to include a medley of slightly predictable and iconic destinations (perfect if it’s your first time visiting Europe), along with some wilder and less-visited gems too.

And let’s not forget that, as with all boundaries, the concept of Western Europe is fluid – with a combination of southern as well as northern, islands as well as countries, being thrown in the offering here.

I’ve broken the list down by country, so you can easily navigate them, but it’s all up for debate!

So why not check out my list of the 50 best places to visit in Western Europe and then leave your own recommendations or disagreements in the comments box at the end of the article – I’d love to get your input!

Oh and if you want to start planning how to get between these top destinations I list, don’t forget to use , my one-stop shop for finding the best travel deals across boat, train, bus or plane.

Related Posts

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France, Strasbourg, Cathedral

So we kick off this list with the mighty France!

From coast to mountains, history to wine, this large country packs a mean old punch, mostly thanks to the diversity of its regions…

Coming in at number 1 on this list of the best places to visit in Western Europe, it has to be Paris.

France’s capital and the city of love, it’s impossible not to be bowled away by this incredible city, which can literally leave you feeling like you’re walking through a movie set at times.

Check out my list of the best things to do in Paris on a budget here , but don’t miss the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe or the Sacre Coeur.

#2 Mont Blanc & The Alps

And from France’s largest city to its largest natural landscape, there’s no question the towering giant of Mont Blanc has to be seen to be believed.

The highest mountain in the Alps and the EU, the epic 170km Tour Du Mont Blanc is one of the best hiking experiences there is to have in Western Europe.

In fact, it’s often named one of the top 10 hikes in the world.

Now I know it crosses through Italy and Switzerland too, but I’ve put it under France just for the ease, ok?!

And if you fancy heading to this glorious area in winter too, then I highly recommend the Alpine resort of Morzine-Avoriaz. Also great for cycling in the summer,  read all about my time learning to ski there in this article .

#3 Alsace Region

Over in the east of France, the beautiful region of Alsace, which straddles the German border, is like something from a fairytale.

Ancient and incredibly well-preserved Medieval towns, that look like something out of Disney movie (in fact I think Beauty and Beast was based in one of these towns), are surrounded by epic vineyards that make some of the country’s best wine.

Cycling through the wineries to taste the amazing produce, whilst enjoying the chocolate box appeal and Christmas market glory of the Alsace towns, should not be missed.

The capital of the region, Strasbourg, is also a gorgeous place in Western Europe to explore, not least for its spectacular Cathedral, which is the 6 th tallest church in the world.

Learn more about visiting Strasbourg Cathedral and this city, in the complete guide I wrote.

#4 Normandy

And now we move to the north of France and one of the most culturally distinct regions of the country, Normandy.

Famous for its D-Day landing beaches as well as the epic island monastery of Mont St Michel, don’t miss Normandy for the cider and cheese it produces either!

This part of France is ideal for road tripping, as remote villages and a rural way of life can leave you feeling a sense of freedom and slower pace of existence that it’s often hard to grasp in this part of the world.

And now we move off mainland France to the beautiful island of Corsica – a stunning Mediterranean destination, which boasts beautiful nature and more epic hiking.

Swim on pristine beaches, explore hilltop villages or hike the wonderful but arduous G-20 trail (which has you walking the length of the island and camping in mountain huts over 2 weeks) – the choice is up to you!

#6 Verden Gorge

And last on this France section is one of my favourite places to visit in Western Europe when it comes to natural beauty.

Yes, the Verden Gorge – France’s deepest gorge situated in central Provence – is a huge natural playground of turquoise waters, soaring limestone cliffs and pine forests, where you can hike, swim, bird watch, road trip or kayak as much as you want!

Spain, Madrid, View

And now we move southwards and head onto Spain – a hot land of lazy lunches, dazzling cities, beautiful beaches, remote mountains as well as siestas and fiestas!

The Spanish capital is often overlooked by travellers to Spain, but I definitely rate it as one of the best places to visit in Western Europe.

3 days is a great amount of time to explore the historic parts of this city and its many parks and colourful bars, as well as day trip outside the capital too.

Learn more in my ideal Madrid itinerary .

#8 Barcelona

Next up, it’s Spain’s most popular city, the beguiling Barcelona.

Situated in the north of the county, on the coast, in the fiercely independent Catalan region, this Gaudi-infused metropolis combines amazing beaches with incredible architecture and a lot of fun!

Check out my guide about how to visit Barcelona a budget for more ideas.

#9 Mallorca

And now we head back to another island (look I’m an island girl, so I’ve always got a soft spot for them) and although there’s a lot to choose from when it comes to Spain – all those Canary ones for starters – I’ve gone with one of the Balearic Islands on this list.

But don’t think it’s all brits abroad and inclusive resorts if that’s your fear!

Nope, Mallorca has definitely had a revamp of late and the natural attractions, hiking and black sand beaches of this destination certainly make it stand out!

Here’s my 13 top tips for travelling to this gem of an island.

#10 Valencia

An absolute dead-cert on this list of the top places to visit in Western Europe, Valencia is a treat of a Spanish city.

With an amazing ambience and architecture that seamlessly combines the old and the new, Valencia is a living, working and breathing city that’s very much alive.

It’s ideal weekend break material too, with a nice beach thrown in if you want a mix of city and coast.

#11 Andalusia Region – Seville, Granada, Ronda, Cadiz

And last on this Spanish section, it’s the formidable region of Andalusia!

Now I know it’s a bit of a copout, but I honestly couldn’t choose between the destinations in this region, so I decided to put them all together.

Yup, called it!

From the amazing cities of Seville and Granada to the epic beaches and kitesurfing opps of Cadiz, this whole region is a feast for the culture vultures, active adventurers and strong sightseers among you.

Get involved with this ideal 10 day Andalusia itinerary I put together.

Portugal, Porto, River Sunset

And now we move to Portugal on this list of the 50 best places to visit in Western Europe.

A country that’s wildly underrated in my opinion, not least because it’s one of the cheapest in the region!

Come on, find me someone who doesn’t fall in love with Lisbon?!

Chockfull of great tiles, progressive vibes, beautiful day trips, delish food and gorg rooftop bars, this city is impossible not to fall in love with.

Ride the trams, marvel at the Torre de Belem, visit Sintra and get lost amongst the street art and ceramic shops – it’s all there for the taking!

Discover my list of the top 21 things to do in this fabulous capital here .

Next up, it’s Portugal’s second city and the one to head for if you’re into wine and bridges!

The perfect complement to Lisbon, this small and manageable destination makes an excellent short break too.

Cruising the river here, exploring the historic districts, eating your weight in Pasteis de Nata and visiting that insta-famous library – Livraria Lello – are just some of the treats that lie in store!

Check out my list of the top 17 things to do in this city here .

#14 Madeira

Ok, yes we’re back to the islands, but trust me, if you go to Madeira you’ll see why it’s on this list.

Authentic traditional culture, spectacular hiking, delicious wines and a relaxed atmosphere ooze from this island, which also boasts beautiful volcanic beaches, natural swimming pools, quaint hilltop villages and some spectacular lookouts… what’s not to love?!

Check out my list of the top 21 things to do in Madeira here .

And finally, we reach Lagos.

Situated on the Algarve coast, in the south of Portugal, Lagos is the perfect spot for budget and solo travellers, with tons of hostels and fun beach days meaning meeting people and making friends is easy.

And with your new friends, exploring cliffs, enjoying boat rides, kayaking, wandering the old town, swimming and SUP-ing are just some of the things you can get up to!

If you’re looking for some seaside time in Western Europe, this place certainly gets my vote!

Malta, Gozo, Harbour

Is Malta western Europe?

It is for the purposes of this list!

Gozo is a small island in the Malta archipelago and for everyone I know whose visited this country, Gozo is the one they prefer.

Chock full of history, and with far less of the package tourists than the main island, this spot is ideal for those looking to get away from crowds a little.

Salt pans, cliffs, diving, hiking, beaches and temples are just some of the treats that lie in store here; they absolutely make it one of the best places to visit in Western Europe in my opinion.

Belgium, Bruges, the Burg

And now we move north, up the map to the country of Belgium.

A small country sandwiched between France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg, Belgium is home to the EU and a wide variety of languages!

It’s an old classic, but it still charms the crowds, yes Bruges is probably the flagship city in Belgium’s tourist crown and gets crazy busy with visitors at most times of the year, but especially in the summer holidays and the lead-up to Christmas.

A small historic city, Bruges can easily be enjoyed in a weekend when you can wander the cobbled streets to your heart’s desire as you eat your weight in waffles and drink high-strength beer like there’s no tomorrow.

Except there is a tomorrow, so please drink responsibly!

The kingpin attraction is the Bruges Belfry, but you can discover more things to do in this city, care of this handy Bruges travel guide I wrote.

The Netherlands

Top 10 Free Things to do in Amsterdam

And just next door to Belgium, it’s the Netherlands, home to the tulip, the clog, the windmill, the no-gear bike and several other stereotypes.

#18 Amsterdam

One of my favourite cities in Western Europe, I know Amsterdam can be something of a stag-do, stoner space, but it’s also a wonderful city full of vibrant culture, beautiful canals, some great museums and lots of history.

I find it endlessly charming (once you move beyond the tacky red light district) as well as effortlessly laidback.

In the summer it’s a truly gorgeous spot.

Learn more in my perfect guide to 72hrs in Amsterdam .


Finland, Lapland, Glass Igloos at Sunset

And continuing north into the coldest and, let’s be honest, most expensive part of Western Europe, here’s my list of those top places you need to visit in Scandinavia…

#19 Copenhagen

The Danish capital is probably most famous, kind of weirdly, for its Little Mermaid statue, a tribute to the famous author Hans Christian Anderson.

But you also shouldn’t miss the Tivoli Gardens, Rosenborg Castle or the colourful buildings in Nyhavn in this city.

#20 Stockholm

And now we nip across to Sweden for the next destination on this list of the best places to visit in Western Europe.

Stockholm’s Old Town is the heart of the action, dating back to the 1200’s, but the Royal Canals and Palace, stack of museums and huge City Park are also great attractions.

A cool city, both in terms of climate and atmosphere, Stockholm should certainly not be missed.

#21 Gothenburg

And moving on to Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg can easily be visited in a day, perhaps as part of a short detour from Germany when it’s quickly reached by ferry.

Once there, don’t miss the cafes, canals and street food in this cool, waterfront city, which can easily be enjoyed on foot.

With far less tourist crowds than the capital of Sweden, Gothenburg also feels wonderfully authentic.

Use the very handy Gothenburg Pass to visit the top attractions in this city for less.

#22 Norwegian Fjords

If you’ve ever even looked at travel content on Instagram in the last few years, it’s likely you’ve seen a good few pictures of the Norwegian Fjords… and who can blame those photographers?!

About as epic and dramatic as it gets in Western Europe, hiking and boating around these glacial-eroded valleys is the bees’ knees, to put it politely.

There’s too many fjords to list them all here, but the most popular are Geirangerfjord, Aurlandsfjord, Nærøyfjord, Lysefjord, Romsdalsfjord, Nordfjord, Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord, and Trollfjord.

They cover a large area, so you’ll need to pick your fjord before you set out!

And located in fjordland, Bergen is probably a place you’re likely to find yourself when exploring these epic natural scars.

Norway’s second city, after the capital Oslo, Bergen is a quiet, cute and quaint place filled with traditional houses and a UNESCO-listed ancient wharf dating back to the 12 th century.

It’s the perfect base in this part of the country and a must-visit Scandinavian destination.

#24 Finnish Lapland

And last but least for this Scandinavia section, you can’t miss Finnish Lapland.

The stuff of festive fables, this destination is famous for its northern lights spectacle, which can be seen during the winter months of this northern Arctic region.

Learn about the indigenous Sami Culture or go summer hiking in this otherworldy location, whose unique features span both the human and natural landscape.

Learn about how to visit the notoriously expensive area of Finnish Lapland for less here .

Greece, Athens, Acropolis

And from the north to the south, now we move to Greece.

Divided from much of Western Europe by the Balkans, I’ve still decided to include Greece in this because it’s treasure are just too great to miss out!

Seat of the ancient world and home to more ancient sights than you can shake a stick at, the massive capital of Athens is a must-see destination for history buffs everywhere.

The Acropolis is top of the list of course, but eating, drinking, museum-ing, watching the changing of the guard and enjoying the street art also make for a great city that combines the old and the new.

Learn more about experiencing Athens the local way in this post .

#26 Meteora

Totally different to Athens, but certainly a hit favourite when it comes to places to visit in Western Europe, Meteora is an epic rock formation in central Greece.

It is home to one of the largest and most precariously built collection of Orthodox Monasteries and is a UNESCO-listed destination.

The nearby towns of Kalambaka and Kastraki are the most common places to stay for those who want to visit these rock-top perched religious buildings or who want to enjoy rock-climbing in this unique landscape.

#27 Ionion Islands

And of course, I couldn’t get through this list and not mention at least some of the Greek Islands… the hard part is choosing which ones!

Which is why I lumped for a group of islands to try and spread the love, because there’s no doubt these magical drops in the ocean take some beating.

There are 7 main Ionion Islands, as well as heaps of smaller ones; the most famous of which is probably Zante, but all are magnificent.

Cyprus, Lyhnos, Breakfast

This Mediterranean island is such a delight.

Forget resorts and packed beaches, there’s a lot more to see here, especially if you get off the beaten track or into the mountainous centre.

#28 Nicosia

Europe’s last divided capital, Nicosia provides travellers with an incredibly unique experience as you can cross, on foot, between the northern and southern parts of this island.

Learn about the history that divided Cyprus, check out the political street art, as well as the green line still manned by UN peacekeepers, and revel in the differences and similarities in the 2 cultures that span this city.

#29 Protaras

If you’re looking to get a dose of the med while in Western Europe, it’s hard to go beyond Cyprus in my opinion, which fuses its beaches and food with Greek influences and even a slight detection of the Middle East – after all, Lebanon is just a stone’s throw away.

More chilled out and less-resorty than some of the more well-known destinations in Cyprus, Protaras boasts a glorious beach and the amazing Cape Greco Forest National Park on its doorstep – complete with lovely walking trails and dramatic clifftop views.

Fig Tree Bay – and the smaller coves around here – offer some of the most glorious coastal experiences in this region of the world.

If you do head here, I strongly recommend hiring a car so you can get around.

Just read my post on everything you need to know about driving in Cyprus first.

Austria, Lake, Town

The land of mountains, castles and classical music, Austria is a grand old master in Western Europe and should not be missed, especially if you’re into hiking, architecture, coffee or all 3!

It’s a touristy classic, but it still packs a mean punch, yes Vienna is about as full of historic palaces and amazing architecture as it gets in Western Europe.

Don’t miss out on the Opera, the coffee culture or any of the grand and stately buildings.

If you’re moving onto Eastern Europe, check out this post about how to travel from Vienna to Budapest .

#31 Salzburg

Known as a city of culture, and full to the brim with churches, this small city nestled in the foot of the Alps can actually be visited in a day if you’re short on time….

… and it’s well worth it!

The home of Mozart and the staging of several Sound of Music sights, the old town here is UNESCO-listed and much of the original Baroque architecture remains wonderfully intact.

The ancient fortress in Salzburg, which dates from 1077, dominates the city and shouldn’t be missed for the views and museums.

#32 Hallstatt

And from Salzburg, you can then enjoy several day trips in the surrounding area, the most popular of which is probably to Hallstatt.

Another insta-famous town with definite fairytale feels, the lakeside setting and historic features of this destination make it very touristy.

But come on, when you see how pretty this place is, it’s probably a price worth paying!

Ireland, Landscape, Sheep

And now we move onto the Emerald Isle, that is the beautiful land of Ireland.

Home to some epic landscapes, strong cultural identity, great cities and brilliant pubs, road tripping this country is the best way to take it all in, trust me!

The country’s capital, Dublin makes a perfect weekend break, when the full fun-force of this city can be felt.

Aside from the number of bars and brilliant leprechaun inspired souvenirs, you can’t miss Dublin Castle, the Cathedrals, Phoenix Park and, of course, the many streets and venues filled with live music.

A harbour city on Ireland’s west coast, Galway is certainly one of the top places to visit in Western Europe thanks to its historic squares, winding streets and Atlantic ocean charm!

Although it doesn’t contain a huge number of tourist attractions, it’s the feel of the place that makes Galway special – a destination where you can soak in the real culture of this country around every corner.


Switzerland, Alps, Lake

We move back into mountain territory now as we journey on to another great Alpine destination – the one and only (and very expensive) Switzerland.

Whichever way you look at it, this country is not one for those with small pockets, but splurge for a few days and the hiking, skiing and scenic opportunities of this place are second to none.

#35 Lucerne

It was hard to choose the best places I recommend visiting in Switzerland, but first up I’ve settled on Lucerne, simple because of its lakeside setting, amazing Medieval architecture and snow-capped backdrop.

Gosh this is starting to sound familiar now isn’t it!

A mecca for snowboarders, there’s more good mountains around here than you can shake a ski pole at.

Which, it turns out, is quite a lot.

#36 Interlaken

Situated between 2 lakes in the middle of the county, Interlaken is the epicentre of outdoor activities with so much glorious nature around, it would be kinda rude not to take advantage!

Epic train rides through this dazzling landscape, as well as boat tours, hiking, waterfall trips, castle sightseeing and cave days all combine to absolutely make this one of the top places to visit in Western Europe.

Germany, Berlin, East Side Gallery

And now we move onto a country that’s a personal favourite among mine in Western Europe, seemingly against the odds.

Not having the mainstream draw of coast and cuisine in the same way France, Spain and Italy do, Germany is, nevertheless, a completely underrated travel destination in my opinion and here’s why…

The coolest capital in Europe, if not the world, anything goes in Berlin which is why it’s so effortlessly fun.

Small on big attractions, except perhaps the museums and Brandenburg Gate, this capital is big on the small things – fun and frolics!

Discover the best ways to visit Berlin on a budget here .

#38 Hamburg

Up in the north of Germany, Hamburg is a historic, harbour city that’s very popular and pretty.

Full of canals and great street, art, you can enjoy sunsets over Lake Alster here before you enjoy the nightlife at Sternschanze.

Next up on this list of the best places to visit in Germany (which I found very hard to keep short btw), it’s Munich – the capital of Bavaria in the south and home to the famous Oktoberfest.

I’d actually avoid visiting the city at this time if I were you (controversial I know, but there it is) and instead plan your trip for either the spring or summer to enjoy the historic centre, the wealth of museums on offer, the food markets and, of course, a beer hall or 3 at their best!

Learn how to visit Munich on a budget here , or check out my top 21 things to do in the city here .

#40 Black Forest

And now we move on to the west of Germany, where the beautiful Black Forest region provides some of the country’s top hiking as well as thermal spa experiences.

Personally, I loved the student city of Freiburg best – wonderfully green and with a lovely, youthful atmosphere, this very relaxed, small city is the perfect base if you want to explore more of the region via 4 wheels, 2 wheels or 2 feet.

The university city of Heidelberg is also an excellent option in this area.

Sicily, Zingaro Reserve, Beach

Oh come on, you didn’t think I could get through this list of epic spots to travel to in Western Europe and not mention Italy did you?

Well, if you did, you’d be wrong because, yes, like just about everyone else on the face of this earth, I love this country!

Here’s my top picks…

The capital of the county and so full of iconic giants it’s hard to keep track, you just have to go to Rome at least once in your life and that’s that.

Pantheon was my fav FYI.

Don’t miss the Vatican either.

Also. Avoid the summer – very hot, too many tourists and a lot of mosquitoes.

Get more top tips for seeing Rome, without the crowds and spending a fortune, here .

#42 Florence

Next up it’s Florence, a city in the north of Italy, which you can combine with Pisa, Luca, Cinque Terre and even Milan if you have the time and good fortune.

Home to the amazing Duomo Cathedral and most famous of Art Galleries, the Uffizi, Florence is a must for culture vultures and Italian lovers everywhere.

Next we head to the south of Italy and to an amazing region that is still a little under the tourist radar.

Postcard-pretty, with a gorgeous coastline, stunning towns, amazing food and history galore, you’ll need at least a week to just scratch the surface of all there is to do in Puglia.

But with the diversity and views it offers, it’s undoubtedly one of the best parts of the country to enjoy.

#44 Positano

And talking of the Amalfi Coast, I really thought this guy deserved his own mention on this list, so here he is, with Positano coming in at number 45.

Complete with pebble shoreline, pastel-coloured houses and stunning hiking trails that lead along the coastline, this is a popular destination certainly lives up to the hype… if you don’t mind a few crowds!

And last but not least from this Italy section, we come to Sicily – the wonderful island at the foot of the county that promises glorious weather, fab beaches and coastline, as well as a range of amazing historic sights, hiking opps, sensational food and a bit of volcano action thrown in for good measure…

… what’s not to love?!

Learn more in this perfect 1 week Sicily itinerary and this list of the top 20 things to do in Sicily .

United Kingdom

England, Windsor, Castle

And finally, we make it to the nation grouping of my homeland, the good old UK.

It may be rainy and grey a lot of time, but trust me, after a recent staycation year in and around this fabulous island (thanks corona) I’ve got to say, the UK is certainly much more impressive than I’d perhaps ever realised…

… I’m being serious!

If you want to know why, then check out my list of the top 50 things to do in the UK here .

Of course, we have to get London in here.

One of the world’s greatest cities, full of amazing things to see, do, eat, visit and learn, there’s no question London is about as diverse and dazzling as it gets.

You could easily spend a week here just exploring the best free things to do in London , and that’s before you even start getting to the top day trips from this city as well.

#47 Gower Peninsula

Done with England for now, we move to the next nation in the UK and that is Wales.

Again, stunningly beautiful in a way I never knew or appreciated until the pandemic forced me to explore closer to home – at least you were good for one thing rona! –  Wales is a triumph.

From Snowdonia National Park to the Brecon Beacons , Pembrokeshire to the Wye Valley, there’s so many epic Welsh places I could have put on this list it’s not funny.

But I settled for the Gower Peninsula.

Combining coast with cliffs, epic walking, cute villages and great hunks of ancient myth, there’s nowhere quite like the Gower!

Here’s my guide to camping in this epic part of the UK.

#48 Scottish Highlands

And yet another country in the UK – yes I know, it’s a confusing situation – Scotland in the north packs another mean punch if you’re into epic, wild remote landscapes as well as some top views and great hiking.

The highlands here are hard to beat for all of the above, plus the odd castle and whiskey tasting experience thrown in.

Road tripping the Scottish North Coast 500 is a bucket list beauty, as is climbing Ben Nevis. Learn more about my experience of doing this here .

#49 Lake District

Now we return to England for our penultimate entry on this list of my fav places in Western Europe and it goes, of course, to the amazing Lake District.

Having inspired many an artist, poet and writer, the Lake District is about as wild as it gets in merry old England and the mostly bleak weather that hangs out here only adds to the fun.

Yes, that’s right, you’ve got to embrace it all if you want to get under the skin of this place.

Thanks to the camping and hiking opportunities here, there’s no question this part of England is absolutely one of my top destinations for budget travellers in the UK .

Don’t miss hiking Helvellyn, Scarfeel Pike or Catbells during your time here!

#50 Channel Islands

And finally, we make it to my homeland more specifically – the group of islands in the English Channel that are technically part of Great Britain but also independent jurisdictions in their own right.

I know, as if it wasn’t baffling enough with Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, she goes and throws in another curveball. Tch.

Anyway, I digress, the Channel Islands straddle the divide of England and France bringing parts of both of these countries together and also adding their own unique flair.

My home island of Jersey is the biggest, but Guernsey and Alderney also deserve mentions, as does my all time favourite of Sark – a tiny island without cars!

Yes, it’s really as weird and old school down here as it sounds, in an absolutely brilliant way of course!

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The Top 50 Places to Visit in Western Europe

And there you have it, my mega list of the 50 best places to visit in Western Europe.

Which have you visited and which were your favourites?

Which have you still got to cross off your list and which ones are near the top?

Tell me all in the comments box below…

travel connect western europe

Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie adventures the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile

4 thoughts on “ 50 Best Places to Visit in Western Europe ”

travel connect western europe

Often I read about Lagos, Portugal as the place to be for young people. It’s like this sentence is copied every time in travelguides since the 1970’s. I wonder or people actually visited it. It’s not much different from other places along the southern coast. For surfing you need to go north of Lisbon and the beach is outside town on the other side of the harbour, what makes it a hike of many k’s. Don’t get me wrong Lagos is beautifull and worth a visit, but it’s not what they tell you it is. Once I encountered here a Canadian girl, who made Lagos her first stop on her travel around the world in wintertime. She got so depressed the she wanted to return home.

travel connect western europe

Hi Elwin, thanks for your feedback and sorry to hear you’re not such a great fan of Lagos. It would be super to know the names of any beaches north of Lisbon that you recommend… especially as I’m heading that way soon myself! Best wishes and happy travels, Steph 🙂

travel connect western europe

Amazing and very interesting blog, really well written, please keep on writing blogs like this.

Thanks Elena, will do! Best, Steph 🙂

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Van Gogh Museum

This wonderful museum traces Van Gogh's life and artistic development via the world's largest collection of his work. More than 200 canvases are on…

The Long Walk, the pathway leading to Windsor Castle is 2 1/2 miles long.

Windsor Castle

Windsor & Eton

The world’s largest and oldest continuously occupied fortress, Windsor Castle is a majestic vision of battlements and towers. Used for state occasions, it…

Newgrange Megalithic Passage Tomb

County Meath

Newgrange is one of the most remarkable prehistoric sites in Europe, famous for the illumination of its passage and tomb during the winter solstice sun…

Picnic in Vondelpark in afternoon light.

Attracting over 12 million visitors per year, Amsterdam’s favorite playground is the green expanse of Vondelpark, with its 116 acres (47 hectares) of…

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Cité de l’Espace

The fantastic space museum on the city's eastern outskirts brings Toulouse's illustrious aeronautical history to life through hands-on exhibits, including…

February 13, 2018: Queue of people waiting to enter the Anne Frank museum house, with a passing tour boat on the canal.

Anne Frank Huis

Western Canal Ring

Visiting the Anne Frank Huis is one of Amsterdam's most profound experiences. Tragically, of the 107,000 Jewish adults and children deported from the…

Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey

The West End

A splendid mixture of architectural styles, Westminster Abbey is considered the finest example of Early English Gothic. It's not merely a beautiful place…

Rijksmuseum with tulips in Amsterdam..NOTE: dated image - "iamamsterdam" sign has been removed from outside museum.


The Netherlands’ top treasure house, the Rijksmuseum (pronounced ‘rikes’), is among the world's finest art museums. With over 1.5km of galleries, it packs…

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Head to Western Europe with a Eurail Pass and be amazed by how much you can see by train on a single vacation. This travel itinerary takes you to famous cities, including Paris, Geneva, Munich, Berlin and Amsterdam. Check out world-class monuments in Paris, admire the dramatic mountain ranges of the Alps as you travel by train between Geneva and Interlaken, and be charmed by Amsterdam's canals. A truly exciting Eurail adventure!

Cities visited in this trip:

Paris, france, geneva, switzerland, interlaken, switzerland, innsbruck, austria, salzburg, austria, munich, germany, berlin, germany, amsterdam, the netherlands, bruges, belgium.

Start your journey by clicking here or on the map on the right

Western Europe

Paris is a city loved the world over, and for very good reason. The capital of France has a multitude of must-sees, and as cliché as it may be, the Eiffel Tower (tour Eiffel) is top of the list. Dedicate half a day to roaming around the Louvre , the most visited art museum in the world and set eyes on Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Once you’ve had your artistic fill, find a spot along the Seine and absorb the charisma that dances through this beautiful city. Escape the hustle and bustle of Paris on the peaceful grounds of the Père Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père-Lachaise). Many renowned artists and authors were laid to rest here, including The Doors’ singer Jim Morrison and celebrated writer Oscar Wilde. Montmartre – the city's highest point–is another calm place offering spectacular views over Paris. Drop into the Sacré Cœur (Basilique du Sacré-Cœur) while you’re there.

Sacré Cœur, Paris, France

From Paris to Geneva

Travel time:

Gare de Lyon


Welcome to Geneva, one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities and home to international bodies, the United Nations and International Red Cross , the offices of which can be visited. Do a spot of retail therapy on the Rue de Marché, where Switzerland’s best-loved brands may tempt you to part with your money. Catch breathtaking views of Western Europe’s tallest mountain Mont Blanc (15770ft / 4807m), visible from the city center. Most special of all is the French-styled old town with its winding roads and café terraces laid out. And let’s not forget that Geneva is home to Europe’s largest glacial lake, with the French and Swiss Alps punctuating this stunning backdrop. The scenic train route around the lake offers fantastic views of this spectacular part of Switzerland. Eurail pass holders get free boat rides around Lake Geneva with CGN boat services – just show your pass.

Lake Geneva

From Geneva to Interlaken

Bern, switzerland.

Bahnhof Bern

Interlaken Ost

Interlaken is Switzerland’s (and perhaps Europe’s) adventure-sport mecca, where anything goes - from world-class snowboarding and skiing pistes to paragliding and skydiving above the sparkling Brienz and Thun lakes  or plunging through white rapids aboard a raft. The Jungfrau Railway* chugs its way to the Jungfrau mountain , which towers dramatically over the town. Once you get there, you'll be rewarded with mind-blowing views of the mountain giants Jungfrau, Eiger, and Mönch. * You'll get a discount on this private railway attraction with your Eurail Pass.

Breathtaking views at Interlaken

From Interlaken to Innsbruck

Bahnhof Bern

Zurich, Switzerland

Innsbruck Hbf

The first thing you’ll notice on stepping out of Innsbruck train station is the mountain vista that surrounds the entire Austrian town. The old town is the city’s beloved center, dressed in bright-coloured medieval buildings and home to the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) – an intricately-detailed gothic balcony. For great views of the Tyrolean capital, you’ve got plenty of options – take the Hungerburg Funicular up the mountainside, or visit the Bergisel Ski Jump Stadium, where you can also take in views of the jump used in the 1976 Winter Olympics. Alternatively, take the sightseeing bus to Ambras Castle,  perched up on the Innsbruck mountainside. For the adrenaline junkies, there are heaps of adventure sports to partake in, come snow or shine.

Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof), Innsbruck, Austria

From Innsbruck to Salzburg

Salzburg Hbf

Salzburg, Austria’s gem of a city, was the birthplace and home to Mozart. Check out the 2 fascinating museums dedicated to the city’s prodigy, both of which he once lived in. Wander aimlessly through the old town and step back to a period of magnificent architecture and riches. From atop the Hohensalzburg Fortress, enjoy enchanting views of the city and the Salzach river as it radiates through the city. A trip to Salzburg wouldn’t be the same without joining the Sound of Music Tour , taking you on a whistle-stop tour of the film’s key locations, passing the snow-capped mountains, sprawling green meadows and crystal blue lakes of Salzburg’s Lake District. You’ll also be let into the facts and fiction of the Von Trapp family as portrayed in the Hollywood movie.

Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg

From Salzburg to Munich

München Hbf

Munich, set in the heart of Bavaria, is Germany’s third-largest city. Visit during Oktoberfest, and you’ll be in for a treat during this traditional Bavarian beer-drinking festival. Held annually, this is Germany's most famous festival, attracting more than 5 million people. The city itself is centered around Marienplatz , the main square and the life and soul of the city. Visit the Munich Residence (Münchner Residenz), once the royal palace to the Bavarian monarch—marvel at the Renaissance, baroque, rococo and neoclassical styles of decoration. Once you’ve fed your artistic taste buds, it’s time to join the locals at the Hofbrauhaus – one of Munich’s oldest breweries. This famous beer-drinking hall can hold up to 3,500 revelers. Try not to be intimidated by the 1-liter glasses – known as a maß.

Scenic view of the church at Marienplatz, Munich, Germany

From Munich to Berlin

Perhaps Europe’s coolest capital, Germany's Berlin, is famous for its underground subcultures and alternative attitude while surrounded by remnants of a dramatic past. To get your head around Berlin’s part in the Cold War, visit Checkpoint Charlie – once the official crossing point between East and West. There are also a number of World War II bunker tours, including detailed accounts of the events that unfolded there.

Berlin is home to an eclectic bunch of artists, musicians and many on a journey of experimentation and discovery. There’s an array of art galleries and exhibitions across the city, including the Berlinsche Gallery, with a permanent collection from local artists dating back to 1870, covering a broad spectrum of themes and periods. Come night, decadence and hedonism is in full flow throughout Berlin’s underground scene.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany

From Berlin to Amsterdam

Reservation needed:

Reservation optional

Amsterdam Centraal Station

Amsterdam may be small for a capital, but there’s plenty of reason to stop there. Visit the Van Gogh Museum and journey through the works of the famous Dutch painter, or explore the Rijks Museum with its display of Dutch art from the Golden Age. Another must-see is the Anne Frank Museum – step inside the Secret Annex that was the home and hiding place of the Jewish girl and her family for over 2 years during World War II. It’s a city famous for its seedy Red Light District lined with coffee shops, but don't be tricked into thinking that Amsterdam is one-dimensional. Wander through the cobbled canal-side lanes and stop off at one of the traditional Amsterdam brown cafés (bruin café) for a local beer, or head to the Nine Streets (Negen Straatjes) for a spot of retail therapy in the hip and trendy stores. The city is best explored on foot or by hiring a bicycle.

Canals of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

From Amsterdam to Bruges

Brussels, belgium.


If you’ve got just a short time in Belgium, then the medieval town of Bruges should be your main focus. The location of movie hit, In Bruges, the city is every bit as enchanting as it appeared on screen, minus all the drama that unfolded, of course! Ascend the 366 steps of the Belfry – the medieval bell tower – an iconic symbol of the city.

The well-preserved centre of Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s easy to see why, once you take a stroll through quaint narrow lanes and alongside romantic waterways. Once you’ve seen all there is to see, reward yourself with a Belgian beer on a sunny terrace or stop off to buy some hand-made Belgian chocolates to take back with you.

Scenic of the medieval houses and bell tower, Bruges, Belgium

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The Ultimate Western Europe Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

A trip to Europe is a great idea for first-time travelers.  This part of the world has a well-developed tourist trail with reliable transportation links, plenty of accommodation choices, and numerous activities and entertainment options to suit a variety of travelers.

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Western Europe offers just enough challenges to keep the trip fun and adventurous without being overwhelming for those traveling for the first time. All it takes is a little bit of research, some planning, and a big sense of adventure to make the most of your first trip to Europe!

Over the last eight years, we’ve visited many of Europe’s major cities, so it’s no surprise that when it comes to the ultimate itinerary for first-time visitors, we have a few recommendations.  Here’s a roundup of our favourite cities that we think are worth putting on your Europe itinerary for your first-time visit .

Europe Itinerary: Sprawling Parisian streets. Paris. France. Europe

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Whether you’re flying to Europe from North America or Oceania, London will most likely offer the   cheapest flights  in and out of the region. If this is your first trip to Europe, take advantage of these great deals and  put London top of your itinerary .   London  offers a plethora of activities to satisfy even the pickiest traveler.

the ultimate europe itinerary

Take in the Major Sights

Don’t miss the big attractions, like  Buckingham Palace ,  London Eye,   Piccadilly Circus ,  Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and St Paul’s Cathedral.  The best way to see the sights that interest you is to download a self-guided London walking tour map. This way you can go at your own pace and take as many photos as you like, without feeling pressured to match the pace of a guided tour.

To see as many of these popular attractions as possible, you might want to split your tour into two parts. Buckingham Palace can easily take half a day, especially if you decide to check out the stunning architecture of Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, which are within short walking distance of the palace. The  Tower of London , the  London Eye , and the iconic  Tower Bridge are about an hour’s walk from Buckingham Palace, so it’s worth either catching a ride to a starting point or just saving those sights for another day instead of rushing to visit all the destinations in one day.

Europe Itinerary: London, England

Experience London Culture

Culture vultures will love London’s selection of  world-class museums and art galleries,  shopaholics will enjoy checking out  London’s amazing markets , and foodies will go crazy for the  city’s multicultural restaurants and street food finds .

Visit London Museums

The famous  Madame Tussauds  wax museum is a fun spot to visit, and history buffs or maritime aficionados will enjoy  Cutty Sark , a historic sailing ship that has been preserved and converted into an interactive museum.

If art museums are more to your liking, the  National Gallery  has over 2,600 amazing works from the 13th century to present day. You’ll see artworks by Leonardo da Vinci, Monet, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt, and admission is free! While you’re in the city center, you can walk to  Trafalgar Square  and watch the street performers in  Covent Garden ’s cobblestone plaza.

The National Gallery London

Go on a Literature and Theatre Tour

For fans of classic literature, the  Charles Dickens Museum  is a fantastic hidden gem. Located in Charles Dickens’ former home on Doughty Street, this museum has over 100,000 items related to the author, including manuscripts and personal items. The home is laid out as it would have looked while the author lived there, like a time capsule!

There is no shortage of theaters in London, but Shakespeare fans should definitely visit  The Globe Theatre . A reconstruction of the original theatre that burned down in 1613, this venue offers tours and has regular showings of Shakespeare’s plays. A trip to The Globe is as close as you’re ever going to get to seeing The Bard, so don’t miss it when you visit Europe.

If you are looking to take a couple of tours around London, these are the ones we recommend:

  • Classic London 3.5-Hour Bike Tour : Take a morning bike ride through central London and visit some of the city’s iconic sights in an eco-friendly way.
  • State Rooms at Buckingham Palace : A trip to London would be incomplete without taking in the wonders of Buckingham Palace. This tour gives you a closer look at life as a Royal, and the chance to marvel at some of the amazing treasures.
  • Jack the Ripper Walking Tour : Journey back in time for a spine-chilling (and fun!) evening to discover the dark side of Jack the Ripper’s London.
  • Climb The Roof of The O2 Arena : Become an urban mountaineer and get a uniquebird’s eye view of the city with a climbing tour of the O2 Arena.

Europe itinerary: Tower Bridge, London

Planning the London Portion of Your Europe Itinerary

Time Needed : Three to five days, although you can easily spend an entire week in London and feel like you didn’t get a chance to see everything.

Where to Stay in London

West End or Bloomsbury if you want to be  near attractions  and  entertainment options . Kings Cross, Euston, and Camden are  more popular with backpackers exploring the alternative side of London. We try to stay in eco-friendly accommodation as much as possible during our Europe trip. 

Eco-Friendly Hotels in London: 

  • Wesley Hotel  is the first hotel in the UK to receive the Social Enterprise Mark for its sustainable practices. They are  located 15 minutes from King’s Cross Station, Camden Market,  and other famous attractions. The onsite restaurant relies on locally sourced ingredients and offers a variety of vegan options 
  • The Cavendish  is an award-winning eco-hotel, located a mere  10 minutes walk  from Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Conveniently located just a few minutes from the Piccadilly Tube Station, The Cavendish is the perfect home base for your visit to London. 
  • citizenM is situated in the heart of London and offers spectacular views of the river Thames, The Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London. The Tower Hill tube station is about a minute away, so you can easily get around London.

No Europe trip itinerary would be complete without Paris. Located  a quick 2.5-hour train ride from London ,   Paris  offers visitors some of the most iconic sights in the world, like the  Eiffel Tower,  the  Champs Élysées , the  Louvre , and the  Arc de Triomphe.

This city of high fashion, glamour, and arts is also known for amazing food, wine, shopping, and entertainment options. Of all the major cities on the continent, Paris is among the most walkable, making it a perfect destination for those who visit Europe. 

We recommend exploring Paris on foot, getting lost on its streets, and losing track of time while people watching in cafés along the way. Don’t miss the Sacré-Coeur  and a chance to check out the  Montmartre District , home of the  Moulin Rouge , street artists and performers, bohemian apartments, and tiny cobblestone streets.

the ultimate europe itinerary

Have a Garden Picnic

Paris is home to some of the most beautiful public gardens in the world, and a must-see for any trip to Europe. Located in the heart of Paris, the famous  Luxembourg Gardens  is the perfect place for a stroll and a picnic. If you plan on visiting the Louvre, the Jardin des Tuileries is just down the street from the museum. While not as popular as the Luxembourg Gardens, the lovely Jardin des Tuileries will be a welcome refreshment after the Louvre.

Luxembourg Gardens Paris

Take a Day Trip to the Loire Valley or Champagne Region

A visit to France wouldn’t be complete without a day in the country’s gorgeous countryside. To get to the Loire Valley, it’s about a 3-hour train ride from Paris, but it’s much easier to join a guided tour. This guided tour  provides transportation, a guided tour of three UNESCO-listed castles in the Loire Valley, and a wine tasting in Amboise.

With this   guided tour ,  Champagne lovers take a day trip to learn about bubbly at the source, sample several vintages, and tour historic sites in the region. You’ll take a guided walk through a vineyard, where you’ll learn about the specific grapes suitable for Champagne, tour the abbey where Dom Perignon lived in the 17th century, and visit with vintners for a demonstration of the production process. 

If you are looking to take a couple of tours around Paris, these are the ones we recommend:

  • Evening at the Moulin Rouge : Feel the bohemian spirit with a show and glass of champagne at the Moulin Rouge.
  • Secret Paris 3-Hour Bike Tour: Get off the beaten track and ride away from the usual tourist spots on this 3-hour bike tour. Your tour guide will take you to the  hidden gems of Paris to see street art, markets, and more.
  • Dinner in 58 Tour Eiffel : Make a trip to the Eiffel Tower even more special by  having dinner  in ‘58 Tour Eiffel’ before taking the lift to the top to look out over the city that never sleeps.

The Louvre. Paris. France. Europe

Planning the Paris Portion of Your Europe Itinerary

Time needed:  two to four days, or longer if you love art, high fashion, and glamour Getting here:  Fly for $45 USD, take a 2.5-hour train for $60 USD, or take an overnight bus for $30 USD.

Where to Stay In Paris

Stay in the Montmartre District, if you want to be in  close proximity to entertainment options . The 19th and 13th arrondissements offer lots of great options, too.

Eco-Friendly Hotels in Paris: 

  • Hotel Gavarni  is the first independent hotel in Paris to receive the European ecolabel for its sustainable practices. This boutique hotel is conveniently located just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower and a quick bus ride from the Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre.
  • Hidden Hotel  is a contemporary hotel near the Champs Elysees. The hotel’s furniture is made largely from  organic farming materials  like stone, wood, linen, and leather. Hidden Hotel is part of Green Globe, the first global environmental certification program designed specifically for the travel and tourism industry. The hotel is within walking distance to a few places away from the tourist crowds, including the elegant  Parc Monceau , and the  Paris Fashion Museum .
  • For a  slightly cheaper option,  the   Solar Hotel is a good choice for its eco-friendly nature, clean rooms, and value for money. Perks include free bicycle rentals and organic breakfast, plus a garden onsite that is open to hotel guests. Luxembourg Gardens, The Louvre, and Eiffel Tower are all a short walk or bike ride away, making Solar Hotel a great starting point for your adventures in the capital city.

While many travelers associate   Amsterdam with great parties and smoky coffee shops, there’s a lot more to the Netherlands’ capital than that. The city is full of museums, architecture, and art.

It’s also one of the most  eco-friendly stops on your Europe trip itinerary.  It’s extremely easy to explore on foot or to enjoy on two wheels. 

In our opinion, the  Van Gogh Museum  and the  Anne Frank House  are a must, as is the Leidseplein, which is the center of Amsterdam’s entertainment scene and home to nightclubs, movie theatres, concert venues, casinos, and the ubiquitous coffee shops.

Amsterdam: the ultimate europe itinerary

Enjoy the Free Sights

If Amsterdam makes it onto your Europe trip itinerary, don’t skip the city’s amazing outdoor spaces. Located southwest of the city center and just west of Museum Quarter,  Vondelpark  is the largest urban park in Amsterdam. The park is full of paths, sculptures, and greenspaces, making it the perfect spot for a morning coffee or lunch picnic. 

Architecture buffs will enjoy Amsterdam’s  Canal Ring  area. Dating back to the 17th century, this half-moon of canals is a UNESCO World Heritage Site lined with historic buildings, restaurants, shops, and bars.

If you are looking to take a couple of tours around Amsterdam, these are the ones we recommend:

  • Amsterdam Walking Tour: The Fascinating Story of Anne Frank : This guided walking tour is a must for anyone with an interest in history. Learn about the city during WWII and see it through the eyes of Anne Frank.
  • Henri Willig Cheese Tasting Tour with Wine : Enjoy a  45-minute cheese tasting  sampling 5 different kinds of cheese while sipping on delicious red wine or specialty beer.
  • Tour of the Dutch countryside : If you are planning to spend at least 10 days in Europe, you can afford to spend a little more time in Amsterdam and  take a road trip to the windmills ! A guided day trip to the water lands is a great way to get a break from the crowded streets of the city. 

Europe itinerary: Amsterdam

Planning the Amsterdam Portion of Your Europe Itinerary

Time needed:  Two to four days Get there:  Take a  1.5-hour flight from Paris  for under $55 USD, a  3-hour train ride from Paris  for $57 USD or take an even cheaper overnight bus.

Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Stay in The Old Centre and the surrounding areas , so you can be  a short walk away  from the  main sights  and  shopping  and  entertainment  areas.

Eco-Friendly Hotels in Amsterdam:

  • WestCord City Hotel  for its central location and its impressive sustainable practices. Conveniently located within five minutes of Dam Square and Kalverstraat, this hotel is at the heart of Amsterdam. 
  • For a  slightly cheaper option  choose the   Conscious Hotel Vondelpark . This uber eco-conscious option is perhaps  among the greenest group  of hotels in Amsterdam. Guests are offered rental bikes and a daily vegetarian breakfast buffet prepared with organic produce. They have a few locations around the city including the   Conscious Hotel The Tire Station ,  and   Conscious Hotel The Westerpark .
  • Qbic Hotel WTC Amsterdam  is an  affordable quirky eco-hotel in the downtown core. This hotel is a 15-minute bus ride to Museum Quarter, where you can easily spend a day wandering around the  Van Gogh Museum , the outstanding  Rijksmuseum , and the  Vondelpark .

Europe Itinerary: Double room at Qbic Hotel in Amsterdam. Photo by Qbic Hotels.

Best known for its  historical associations, lively nightlife, street art,  and an  abundance of museums ,   Berlin is a fascinating city to visit on your first trip to Europe. This historical hotspot is famous for the   Berlin Wall , offers great nightlife,  and is one of the most eco-conscious cities in Europe.

the ultimate europe itinerary

Don’t Miss the Main Sights in Mitte

The city centre and historic district of Mitte are home to several of the most famous attractions in Berlin. You can easily spend half a day walking through the historic district, visiting the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Holocaust Memorial, the Berlin Wall Memorial, and more sights significant to the city’s history.

where to stay in berlin

See the Famous Street Art of Berlin

To explore the alternative side of the capital city, head to the Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain districts. Here, you’ll see the East Side Gallery and Museum, a kilometre-long stretch of the former Berlin Wall that is now covered in murals, including the famous piece of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing. For a more in-depth experience and a chance to see some hidden gems, consider a guided walking tour  of Berlin’s street art.

If you are looking to take a couple of tours around Berlin, these are the ones we recommend:

  • Tempelhof Airport: Hidden Places – Guided Tour : This 2-hour walking tour will take you down into the underground bunkers and tunnels beneath the city exploring the secret and off-the-beaten-path gems.
  • Berlin: 3-Hour Segway Tour : Ditch the bus tours for a more sustainable 2-wheel tour of the city! You’ll glide past  Berlin’s most famous monuments , learning and having fun as you go.
  • Mitte Culinary Food Tour : This 3-hour tour will prove to you that Berlin is more than just German sausage! 

Neue Kirche, Berlin. Germany

Planning the Berlin Portion of Your Europe Itinerary

Time needed:  Two to four days. Check out our 3-day Berlin itinerary here .   Get there:  From Amsterdam,  take an overnight bus  for about $28 USD, a 6.5-hour train for $45, or a two-hour flight for around $65 USD.

Where to Stay in Berlin

Stay in Mitte to be close to  major sights  and  attractions  or the  artsy areas  of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg if you want to experience the best of Berlin’s nightlife.

Eco-Friendly Hotels in Berlin: 

  • Hotel Bleibtreu Hotels  eco-focus is on using sustainable products – so all of their cleaning products are chemical free and their restaurant uses  locally sourced healthy ingredients ! The hotel is a short walk away from public transportation hubs, making this a convenient home base for your visit to Berlin.
  • Scandic Berlin Kurfuerstendamm Hotel  is located in the  main shopping district  of Berlin, and   Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz Hotel is in the trendy Kreuzberg district. They have both won a number of awards for their sustainability efforts, including the prestigious Green Globe award .
  • For a slightly cheaper option check out the   Circus Hostel . This unique hotel is loved for its sustainable practices, and location close to Mitte. Dorm beds or private rooms are available. The hotel offers rental bikes, and it’s just a short walk from the Rosenthalerplatz U-Bahn Station. For a night in, Circus Hostel has an onsite microbrewery and a quirky museum dedicated to David Hasselhoff. 

Europe Itinerary: Reception at Circus Hostel. Photo by Circus Hostel.

Germany’s diversity grants it two spots on your Europe itinerary.  For a taste of true Bavarian culture , check out the picturesque town of   Munich . Visit the  English Garden,  hang out in the  Marienplatz , and see the  Old Town Square alive with street performers. You can also check out  München’s Viktualienmarkt , climb to the top of  St. Peter’s Church  for amazing views of Munich, and take part in the world-famous  Oktoberfest  in September.

If you are looking to take a couple of tours around Munich, these are the ones we recommend:

  • Day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle : If you’re traveling to Europe for the first time you may have dreams of Disney-type castles surrounded by enchanted forests, and day trips like this one are a must for your itinerary. It’s just a 2 hours train or coach ride from Munich and the journey itself will make this the ultimate Europe trip.
  • Munich Segway Tour : For a fun way to explore the city take a 2.5-hour guided Segway tour. An experienced guide will take you to visit Konigsplatz, the historic town hall square, the English Garden, Museums, and the State Chancellery.
  • Scavenger Hunt through the Old Town : A great activity for those on a Europe trip with the family and is another fun and novel way to discover the city and see its most interesting sights.

Europe itinerary: Munich, Germany

Planning The Munich Portion of Your Europe Itinerary

Time needed : Two to four days Get there:  From Berlin, take an  overnight bus  for around $30 USD, a  6-hour train for under $25 USD, or a one-hour flight for $165 USD. 

Where to Stay in Munich

Stay in the city centre to be within walking distance from  Marienplatz  and the  Viktualienmarkt food market . Or choose one of the less touristy   neighborhoods to stay in Munich . 

Eco-Friendly Hotels in Munich: 

  • Hotel Metropol  is conveniently located within a short walking distance of Old Town and Munich Central Station. Focused on sustainability, Hotel Metropol offers guests a breakfast buffet full of delicious food prepared with ingredients from Upper Bavaria and nearby organic farms.
  • The Derag Livinghotel  is  next to the Viktualienmarkt food market . They are very environmentally conscious and offer well-appointed, clean rooms that use renewable energy sources. The Reichenbachplatz Tram Stop is a 2-minute walk away, linking you to popular sights. 
  • A slightly cheaper option is the   Novotel München City . They have a long list of green credentials and offer soundproof rooms at a central location. The hotel is a 20-minute walk from the heart of Munich or a 5-minute ride by subway.

Prague  is considered to be  one of the most unique, romantic, and beautiful cities in all of Europe . Make sure you leave enough time on a Europe trip itinerary for this Bohemian gem! 

Visit Staromestske Namesti

Famous for its unique medieval architecture, the historic city center is home to famous attractions like  Prague Castle,   Charles Bridge , the  Old City Hall , and the famed  Astronomical Clock.  Founded during the 12th century, this square in historical Prague is lined with stunning baroque architecture, restaurants, and galleries. 

If you visit the city during the holiday season, be sure to check out the famous  Christmas Markets  held here every year. This is the largest of Prague’s Christmas markets, and it’s just beautiful to see at night.

If you are looking to take a couple of tours around Prague, these are the ones we recommend:

  • Communism and Nuclear Bunker Tour:   Excellent choice for  history buffs . Enjoy a tour of Prague’s communist past.
  • Prague Ghost Tour: Dark Shadows of the Old Town:   If you like stories of ghosts and ghouls, give yourself a fright with this 2-hour walking tour.
  • Half-day trip to Kutná Hora and Ossuary from Prague:  See the weird and wonderful Church of All Saints, decorated with more than 40,000 human bones.

the ultimate europe itinerary: Prague

Planning The Prague Portion of Your Europe Itinerary

Time needed:  Two to four days Get there:  From Munich, take a  five-hour train for just $25 USD or a 4.5-hour  bus for $25 USD. Depending on the time of year, you’ll pay around $120 USD for a 1.5-hour flight that will take you from Munich to Prague.

Where to Stay in Prague

Stay in the city centre or in the Lesser Town (Mala Strana), the historical centre of the city.

Eco-Friendly Hotels in Prague: 

  • Adria Hotel  for its sustainable practices and location right in Wenceslas Square. Here historic  charm meets modern amenities . The hotel is less than 1 km away from Old Town Square, so you can easily reach the Astronomical Clock and other sights on foot.
  • For a slightly cheaper option, the   Mosaic House is a nice choice. This carbon-neutral hotel is a part hostel as well.  The hotel is a 15-minute walk from the Old Town Square, and close to attractions in the modern city like the Prague Botanical Garden.
  • Aurea Legends  is a sustainable boutique hotel housed in one of Prague’s many historic buildings. The hotel is just a short walk from the most popular sights in Prague and steps away from restaurants and cafes.

Europe Itinerary: Common area at Moasic House in Prague. Photo by Mosaic House

Rome  is one of the most important  centers for art and history in the world, and it’s chock-full of bucket-list sights and attractions. Its  historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site , and the city is famous for its millennia-old churches, grand ruins, lavish monuments, elaborate statues, and graceful fountains. 

Lovers of food, art and history, beauty and love itself should put Rome on their Europe itinerary. Of all the European countries, there is no comparison to the romance of this beautiful city. If you have to be selective with your itinerary, make sure to visit Italy.

If you are looking to get the most out of Roma in your short time in the city, consider taking a couple of tours. These are the ones we recommend:

  • Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s : We’re not necessarily fans of museums but there are some that are the exception and this is certainly one of them!
  • Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour : Discover the  ancient past of this great city on a 3.5-hour walking tour and skip the queues at the most popular sites.
  • 4-Hour Food Tour by Night : You’ll sample some of the best food on your Europe trip to Rome, so it’s worth dedicating a whole evening to this great culinary experience
  • 1-Day Rome Tour : Perfect for those on a tight timeframe. This 1-day walking tour will take you straight to all the best sights and allow you to skip the queues.

Europe Itinerary: Rome, Italy

Planning The Rome Portion of Your Europe Itinerary

Time needed:  Two to four days Get there:  From Prague, take an overnight train to Rome for about $50 USD. At 15 hours, it’s a pretty long train ride so if you’d rather save time, consider a  1.5-hour flight for $55 USD or less. 

Where to Stay in Rome

Staying near the Termini train station  is one of the most popular neighborhoods to stay in while visiting Rome since it makes it easy to get in and around Rome during your time there. However, there are a couple of other   neighborhoods in Rome  to consider.

Eco-Friendly Hotels: 

  • President Hotel for its sustainable practices, central location, and amazing breakfast which features Italian classic cuisine. The hotel is a little over a kilometre away from the  Coliseum , Palatine Hill, and the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum .
  • DVE Suite Rome  is located  close to Termini train station, and the Coliseum . The hotel is steps away from the Monti district, a historic section full of medieval alleys full of boutiques and trattorias away from the crowded tourist spots. They honour a series of policies to operate their business sustainably.
  • Foro Romano is a sustainable boutique hotel just a few metres from the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus. Other sights, like the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, and the Palazzo Venezia are about a 15-minute walk from the hotel. If location is your top priority, you really can’t go wrong with Foro Romano

Europe Itinerary: Double room at DVE Suites. Photo by DVE Suite Rome.

Barcelona  is full of culture, incredible food, markets, museums, rich history, and great nightlife. It makes for a great last stop on your whirlwind Europe itinerary. 

Soak up the sun on  Barcelona’s gorgeous beaches , enjoy street performers and cafés on La Rambla, shop at the markets,  admire  Gaudí’s modernist architecture,  and spend the nights enjoying  Barcelona’s lively nightlife .

If you are looking to take a couple of tours around   Barcelona , these are the ones we recommend:

  • The Ice Bar Experience : If the heat of the city is getting too much, then cool down with a trip to the Ice Bar.
  • Barcelona Main Sights by E-Bike : Explore Barcelona’s sights with a local guide during a 2.5-hour electric bike tour. You’ll discover the  history of the Gothic Quarter  and visit some of the most iconic landmarks.
  • Montserrat Monastery & Natural Park Hike : If you still have some energy left at the end of your ultimate Europe trip, then we recommend a  half-day hike to   Montserrat  to visit the Abbey . If you’re lucky, you’ll also get to hear the famous boys’ choir.

Europe Itinerary: Barcelona

Planning The Barcelona Portion of Your Europe Itinerary

Time needed:  Two to four days Get there:  From Rome, take an hour and a half flight for $30 USD.

Where to Stay in Barcelona

Stay in the  old city  to be in close proximity to sights and attractions or  along La Rambla .

  • Arts Hotel  for its incredible views of Barceloneta Beach, and its sustainable practices. The hotel houses a contemporary art collection and a two Michelin-starred restaurant. 
  • The Eco Boutique   Hostal Grau  is a wonderful choice for its beautiful rooms. This modern, family-run hotel is steps from the Modern Art Museum and Placa Catalunya.
  • If you are willing to share a room,   Twentytu Hostel  is an  affordable green option . In fact, they have one of the greenest properties in Barcelona and were one of the  first hotel properties  in Barcelona to apply green technology. The hostel also offers rental bikes, and guided tours for groups.
  • Mas Salagros Eco-Resort  is technically just outside the city limit, but definitely worth a mention. This  luxurious resort  has earned the label of 100% sustainable. The resort offers cooking classes and fragrance workshops, both using organic produce and aromatics grown onsite. 

Mas Salagros EcoResort

Give Yourself Time to be Flexible

Follow our recommendations above  for a three to five-week Europe itinerary . Plan your route ahead of time, but give yourself a little bit of flexibility when it comes to the number of days in each city. You never know which one of these amazing European cities will  steal your heart , making you linger for a few extra days.

Krakow, Poland

Get Off the Beaten Path

If time permits and you’re looking to extend your stay in Europe, consider going  off the beaten path  and paying a visit to non-capital cities in Europe. We have a whole host of ideas on our   Europe destination page .

While they might not get as much attention from travelers as the capital cities do,  they pack a punch  and offer some  unique experiences  that will make your Europe trip that much more exciting.

Brighton Beach on a cloudy day. England

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Oksana & Max St John

2 thoughts on “the ultimate western europe itinerary for first-time visitors”.

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European countries are amazing to visit. One needs to be careful as its not same as other countries.

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My wife and I are excited for the vacation we’ve booked in Europe to Spain and definitely we will go to the Canary. Gran Canaria is one of our eyeing place for our 1st stop 🙂 There so many thing we want to do from a page we’ve read

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Western Europe | Anything and everything you could want in a European vacation!

If you're longing to visit romantic Western Europe, there is a wonderful selection of vacations that will delight you. Iin Paris, ascend the famous Eiffel Tower and visit imposing Notre Dame Cathedral. Why not stroll along the vast hallways and artistic wonders of the Louvre Museum? You might enjoy wine tasting in St. Emilion, admire the 2,000-year-old aqueduct at Pont du Gard, visit Lourdes, or breathe in the enticing aromas of a flower market in Nice. These are some of the regions most popular cities and world-famous landmarks.

If your Western Europe vacation dream plans include discovering quintessential Holland and Belgium, there is a superb selection of vacations can help that dream come true! Enjoy the vibrant flower bulb fields of South Holland and Keukenhof Gardens in the spring, or the Anne Frank House. You can take a tour to functioning windmills, sample artisan-crafted cheeses, and enjoy an included canal cruise in fabulous Amsterdam.

The perfect vacation when you want to experience traditional Western Europe is designed by our Vacation Experts to be exactly what you want it to be. All major cities offer guided sightseeing.

You can take a canal cruise in Amsterdam and visits to St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum in Rome, and Michelangelo's David in Florence.

Enjoy a high-speed Eurostar train ride between London and Brussels and a high-speed TGV train ride from Nice to Paris.

Other options could be a romantic Rhine cruise, a private boat transfer in Venice, scenic drives through the Black Forest, the Swiss and Tyrolean Alps, Brenner Pass, and more. An overnight stay at the Côte d'Azur will give you the opportunity to visit Monte Carlo.

Wherever, and however you travel on your dream vacation through Western Europe, our Vacation Experts will make sure it is everything you want it to be - truly a stress free vacation experience and a travel ream come true!

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How To Spend 10 Perfect Days In Western Europe (A First Timer's Itinerary)

Have a memorable first visit to Western Europe by visiting four countries in just ten days with this epic itinerary that starts in Paris.

  • Start the adventure in Paris, France with dinner in the picturesque Montmartre neighborhood and a picnic under the Eiffel Tower.
  • Explore Brussels, Belgium by visiting the Grand Palace, indulging in Moules Frites for lunch, and taking a food tour and chocolate-making class.
  • Continue the journey in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, by wandering along the canals, visiting the historic windmills in Zaanse Schans, and trying Dutch delicacies like cheese and stroopwafels.

Deciding where to go in Western Europe for a first-time visit can be intimidating because there are so many fantastic cities in a concentrated area. Some travelers may focus on Southern Europe and meander through Italian cities like historic Rome or charming Venice. In contrast, others might want to see Lisbon in Portugal and then relax on the beaches of Barcelona. Some people prefer to explore places in Europe that are off the beaten track .

With ten days, it’s impossible to see it all. But travelers who want to make epic memories on a European inter-railing adventure will love this itinerary that takes them to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. Visit four countries in Western Europe in just 10 days in a first-timer friendly itinerary.

Travelers who have a full two weeks to explore Western Europe may want to extend this itinerary to include four days in London at the beginning (take the high-speed train from London to Paris and then continue with the route outlined below). Or, they can extend the itinerary to visit Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmö, Sweden from Hamburg at the end.

10 Day One: Arrive In Paris

Travelers from the United States and Canada are likely to find that Paris is one of the cheapest cities to fly into when visiting Western Europe, so it’s a great place to start the adventure! Check into the hotel or Airbnb and then head to the picturesque Montmartre neighborhood for sunset and dinner.

  • Country: France
  • Highlight of the Day: Dinner in Montmartre

9 Day Two: Eiffel Tower And Seine River Cruise

On the first full day in Paris, travelers should start the day with a cup of coffee and pastries at a street-side café. Then, go to a local grocery store to purchase picnic foods for lunch. Have an unforgettable lunch under the Eiffel Tower. This is a romantic option for couples!

  • Highlight of the Day: Picnic at the Eiffel Tower

In the evening, board a cruise with dinner on the Seine River.

8 Day Three: The Louvre And City Walking Tour

On the next full day in Paris, it’s a must to visit Paris’ art museum, The Louvre . This is where the famous portrait of the Mona Lisa is located . Travelers visiting in the off-season (not during the summer months) are more likely to have a peaceful, less crowded experience in the Louvre.

  • Highlight of the Day: Seeing the Mona Lisa

After visiting the Louvre, join a free city walking tour.

7 Day Four: Travel To Brussels

It’s time to leave Paris on day four and head to neighboring Belgium. The train ride to Brussels is just 1.5 hours from Paris. Upon arrival, travelers should explore the Grand Palace , take some photos of the city’s incredible architecture, and then locate Moules Frites for dinner (maybe with a pint of beer!)

  • Country: Belgium
  • Highlight of the Day: Eating Moules Frites for Lunch

Related: 9 Great Reasons Belgium Should Be On Your Next Itinerary

6 Day Five: Food Tour And Chocolate-Making Class

With one full day to explore Brussels, make the most of the time by booking a food tour in advance. Spend the morning and midday on a tour of the city, trying Belgian cuisine like waffles and rabbit stew.

In the afternoon, book a chocolate-making class for a chance to learn about and try traditional Belgian chocolates .

  • Highlight of the Day: Trying Belgian Waffles and Chocolates

5 Day Six: Travel To Amsterdam (Exploring Jordaan)

On day six, travelers depart Brussels and take the train two hours north to the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam . This vibrant city is picturesque, especially in the trendy neighborhood of Jordaan. This is a great area to stay for convenient exploration of the city, and there are many options for cheap accommodation .

  • Country: The Netherlands
  • Highlight of the Day: Wandering next to the canals

Related: Beyond Amsterdam: These Dutch Cities Are Worth Visiting

4 Day Seven: Day Trip To Zaanse Schans And Shopping In Negen Straatjes

Take a day trip to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam to see the historic windmills that are so iconically Dutch. The green wooden houses and windmills are located in the town of Zaandam, just 20 minutes outside of Amsterdam.

Upon returning to the city, visit the Negen Straatjes (nine streets) neighborhood to explore the boutiques and do some shopping.

  • Highlight of the Day: Seeing Dutch Windmills

3 Day Eight: Dutch Food Tour And Cheese Tasting In Gouda

Gouda is a beautiful Dutch city approximately 1 hour from Amsterdam by train. Located in the province of South Holland, it’s popular because of the cheese market there. It’s the perfect day trip from Amsterdam and a great place to do a cheese tasting.

Upon returning to Amsterdam, do a food tour to try some Dutch delicacies like bitterballen, kroketten, dropjes, poffertjes, and stroopwafels.

  • Highlight of the Day: Trying Dutch Delicacies

Related: Hamburg, Germany: Your Essential Weekend Itinerary

2 Day Nine: Travel To Hamburg (Concert At The Elbphilharmonie)

On day nine, it’s time to journey into the final country of the trip. Arrive in Hamburg after a 5.5 to 6-hour train ride from Amsterdam. Check-in at the hotel or Hostel in Hamburg before grabbing dinner.

Then, go to the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in the evening for an unforgettable musical performance.

  • Country: Germany
  • Highlight of the Day: Beautiful evening concert performance

1 Day Ten: German Food Tour And City Walking Tour

On the final full day of the trip, take a walking tour of scenic Hamburg to appreciate the top sights and learn about its history. It’s also a great opportunity to take an afternoon food tour to learn about German cuisine.

  • Highlight of the Day: Trying German cuisine

This 10-day Western Europe itinerary is only the beginning of a thrilling European adventure, but it's enough to see the main sights and get a feel for European travel.

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Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

How Much Does it Cost to Travel Western Europe?

The famous Eiffel Tower towering in Paris in front of a large field of green grass

Europe . Prices vary greatly depending on how far north, east, south or west you travel. After all, Europe is huge with multiple visa zones and multiple currencies.

For 45 EUR, you can get a private room in parts of Greece .

For that same price in Paris , you may get a 16-person dorm room.

You can get delicious and cheap street food in Berlin for under 10 EUR, but even a casual sit-down meal in Austria can cost around 25 EUR and it can easily double that in Norway !

And one of the most asked questions I get is, “How much does it cost to travel to Europe?”

Well, that always depends on where you are going. You can’t paint Europe with a huge brush. It’s a diverse place.

So, today, I want to talk about traveling around Western Europe (think Eurozone countries plus Switzerland and the UK) and how much money you need to visit those destinations.

Table of Contents

How Much Do Things Cost?

How to save money in western europe, so, what’s a good daily budget in europe, get your in-depth budget guide to europe.

The historic skyline of Madrid, Spain at sunset

Accommodation – In most Western European countries, expect to pay 25–45 EUR per night for a dorm room and 75-100 EUR for a private double room in a two-star budget hotel. (Though in Greece and Portugal, you can find dorm beds for 15–20 EUR per night and private rooms in budget hotels for 40-55 EUR.)

In England, prices are usually around 20–30 GBP per night for a dorm room and private rooms in two-star hotels and guesthouses for 50-60 GBP.

Food – Food costs vary as widely as accommodation costs. Throughout Western Europe, you can find small shops, street food stalls, or food trucks where you can get sandwiches, gyros, kebabs, slices of pizza, or sausages for between 3-7 EUR. Cheap meals (think a fast food combo meal or takeout from a Chinese restaurant) cost 9–12 EUR, while restaurant meals at casual, traditional eateries cost around 15–25 EUR.

Nicer establishments cost 30 EUR and up. A pint of beer is 2-5 EUR, a glass of wine is 2-7 EUR, a cappuccino is 2-5 EUR, and cocktails range from 6-14 EUR. You can cook your food for a week for around 45-65 EUR.

Transportation – The easiest way to get around Europe is by train, as they connect every major part of Europe and can be cheap if you book them in advance. High-speed trains, though, can easily cost 85-100 EUR or more.

Try to get the regional or slow trains for cheaper prices (slow domestic trains taking 4-6 hours can cost around 25-45 EUR). If you’re going to be hopping around a lot by train, consider getting a Eurail pass . The rise of cheap airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet, and Transavia has made flying around Europe in a hurry really cheap. For flights, expect to pay around 30-50 EUR if you book in advance.

Buses are the cheapest option for long-distance travel, with prices as low as 5 EUR if you book in advance (otherwise expect to pay 15-30 EUR for a journey of 2-3 hours).

Transportation around most cities is usually only 2–5 EUR for a metro or bus ticket. Most places offer daily unlimited public transit passes for around 10 EUR.

Activities – Most museums start around 10-14 EUR. Half-day tours generally cost 25-35 EUR (such as a 2–3-hour bike tour) while full-day tours (such as a wine tour) cost 65–100 EUR. Prices vary drastically per country (costs are much higher in capital and popular cities compared to smaller ones and in rural areas), so it’s hard to give a good general cost of this budget item.

Berlin TV tower set against the cityscape in beautiful downtown Berlin, Germany

Here are my tips on saving money based on my eighteen years of experience:

Picnic – Europe has a lot of tiny shops, farmer’s markets, and supermarkets where you can buy premade sandwiches or ingredients to make your own. Buy some food, eat outside, and watch the city go by. It’s a cheaper and more enjoyable way to eat.

Eat local – Not into picnicking? That’s OK, there are other ways to save money on food. Eat at local sandwich shops, pizza parlors, Maoz, Wok to Walks, or at outdoor street vendors. Avoiding restaurants and eating at a lot of the local “grab ‘n go” places will give you a taste of the local cuisine at a much cheaper price.

Stay with a local – Hostels can add up really quick in Europe. If you don’t have any friends you can stay with, consider using the service Couchsurfing , which lets you connect with locals who will let you stay with them for free.

Fly Cheap – If you know where you’re going and a train won’t do, try to book flights early. You can often get 15-25 EUR fares from many of the discount airlines. Just make sure that the airport they fly into isn’t too far out of your way, as sometimes transportation from the secondary airport sometimes negates the savings from using the budget airline itself.

Also, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay to check your baggage on these cheap flights. It costs about 25-39 EUR for one checked bag. Travel carry-on only to avoid this added cost.

Drink less – Alcohol can really add up. Hit happy hour or pick and choose when you party. Hostel bars are a good place to get cheap drinks, or you can buy your alcohol at the supermarket. Partying your way across the continent will destroy your bank balance in no time.

Take the free tours – One of the great things about Europe is that you can find free walking tours in all the major cities. They can be a great way to see the city attractions, learn some history, and get your bearings without spending any money. Almost every city in Europe has a free walking tour available. Your hostel or the tourism board will have details!

Just note that even though these tours are advertised as “free,” always be sure to tip your guide something at the end — that’s how they earn a living!

Camp – If you’re traveling with a tent, you can pitch it in the plentiful campgrounds across Europe for around 10-15 EUR per night. A very good camping service specific to Europe is Campspace , which allows you to pitch a tent in someone’s backyard for free or a nominal fee (around 5-15 EUR). All of the garden owners have profiles that tell you what services and facilities they offer.

In some countries (such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland) it’s even legal to camp for free as long as you follow some basic guidelines.

Get a rail pass – Eurail Passes have saved me hundreds of dollars when I used them. If you are traveling far distances and through many countries, they are a great deal. Here’s more information how to pick a Eurail pass .

Get a city tourist card – Local tourism offices issue a tourist card for all their attractions, tours, and restaurants. This card gives you free entry and substantial discounts on all the attractions and tours in a city, free local public transportation (a huge plus), and discounts at a few restaurants and shopping malls. They save a ton of money. If you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing, get one of these cards.

Rideshare – Hugely popular and widespread in Europe, I did this to get around Switzerland, France, and UK. BlaBlaCar, the biggest website, connects drivers and riders and lets you get around much cheaper than a bus or train. Moreover, this way is amazing for getting off the highways, seeing more the countryside, and meeting locals. It’s money-saving and much more exciting (and faster) than taking the train or bus!

Take the bus – While not as comfortable or fast as trains, budget bus companies like Flixbus can take you across the continent on the cheap. You can rides for as little as 5 EUR. A route from Berlin to Munich is about 25 EUR, while Paris to Bordeaux can be as low as 10 EUR. Longer routes, like Amsterdam to Copenhagen start at around 47 EUR.

Hitchhike – Hitchhiking in Europe is very safe, and I’ve met a number of travelers who have done it (I traveled this way in Bulgaria and Iceland). Some countries are very supportive (Romania, Iceland, Germany) while others may be a bit more time-consuming (Italy, Spain). HitchWiki is the best website for hitchhiking info.

Travel in the off or shoulder season – June-August is the most popular — and thus most expensive — time to visit Europe. You’ll find crowds and higher prices across the continent during this time. If you have the flexibility, avoid this period and the sky-high accommodation and flight prices that come with it.

Get free flights and hotel stays – Even better than cheap is free! Collecting points and miles has enabled me to get more free flights and hotel stays than I can count. It’s easier than you think to get started (and we’ve got a ton of resources to help you too).

House sit – Like Couchsurfing, by house sitting you’ll get a free place to stay – just keep in mind that this sharing economy platform comes with a significant amount of responsibility as you’ll be taking care of someone’s home and pets. But if you love animals and don’t mind exchanging some of your time each day to care for them, you can stay in great places across Europe (and especially the UK), where house sitting is only growing in popularity.

A beautiful vista overlooking the coastline of Santorini, Greece

On a mid-range budget of 175-225 EUR, you could get a private room in an Airbnb or a two-star budget hotel, eat out for most meals, enjoy some happy hour drinks, and do some paid activities like museums and visiting famous attractions.

On a more upscale budget of 325 EUR per day, you can stay in nicer hotels, eat at sit down restaurants for every meal, drink more, and do more expensive paid activities like wine tours.

A trip to Western Europe can cost a lot of money. It’s never going to be a cheap area of the world to travel but with some smart money management and by following the tips in this post, Western Europe can become at least an affordable place to visit. Plan ahead, control your costs, and you can visit without breaking the bank — and without missing out on all the region has to offer

Get Your In-Depth Budget Guide to Europe!

My detailed 200+ page guidebook is made for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guides and gets straight to the practical information you need to travel while in Europe. It has suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on and off the beaten path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, safety tips, and much more! Click here to learn more and get your copy today.

Book Your Trip to Western Europe: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • Safety Wing (for everyone below 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
  • Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Europe? Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Europe for even more planning tips!

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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Greek island wanderer.

A well balanced trip that gives a taste of 3 contrasting islands. Travelling in April proved to be an ideal opportunity to see a different side to Greece - quieter...

I rarely give ten out of ten, but this came close. The sun shone every day, I slepped well and didn't put on weight. The walks were just right, leisurely as it sai...

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This was a trip that stimulated all the senses, from the wonderful colours of the wildflowers on the walks and the blues and whites of the pristine villages we pas...

Great mix of walking, sightseeing & relaxing!

I've been on several Exodus trips and this was definitely up there as one of my favourites. All three islands were beautiful and very different from each other, t...

Great trip!

Very good in spite of unseasonable weather for September. High winds cancelled ferries for several days. As a consequence we stayed only one night on Paros and mis...

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Europe’s 7 Best Hubs for Connections

Best European Hubs

Caroline Costello

Caroline Costello's travel accomplishments include surviving a 2 a.m. whitewater rafting excursion in the Canadian wilderness, successfully biking from Dusseldorf to Cologne without a map, and gaining access to a covert pizza speakeasy in New Orleans.

Caroline is an active member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). Her work has appeared on USA Today , the Boston Globe ,,, ABC News, TODAY Travel, and, among other publications.

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For passengers coming from North America, reaching most European cities involves a connection. Plan yours in a well-served, easy-to-navigate airport, and it’ll be a cinch to make it to your final destination. We weighed volume, number of direct flights from North America, Skytrax ratings, frequency of delays and cancellations, and general awesomeness to compile this list of super European hubs for connecting flights. Here are seven airports on the Continent and in the U.K. that will help you get on your way fast and easy.

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Dublin Airport, Ireland

Dublin Airport, Ireland

Service: All U.S. legacy airlines operate direct flights from the States to Dublin, as does Aer Lingus. From Dublin, you can connect to more than 100 destinations on the Continent.

Ease: This is a smaller hub, with just two terminals, so it's unlikely you'll get lost here. There's no train connecting Dublin city center to the airport, but it's very easy to take the bus into town. Dublin Bus costs €10 round-trip for the six-mile ride to the city.

What We Love: Cheap flights—and flights that depart on time. There's Aer Lingus, based in Dublin, which offers very competitively priced transatlantic fares. Additionally, travelers can find budget-friendly connections from Dublin to dozens of European cities via discount airline Ryanair. And according to 2012 departure data compiled by , Dublin has one of the lowest rates of flight cancellations out of the 40 most popular European airports.

Keflavik International Airport, Iceland

Keflavik International Airport, Iceland

Service: Reykjavik's Keflavik is not one of Europe's busiest airports, but it's steadily becoming more popular. Sixteen airlines operate there during the summer high season, with Delta and Icelandair offering direct flights from the U.S.

Ease: Since it's a small airport, it's not difficult to travel between terminals. And it's a cinch to go from the hub to Reykjavik and back again. For about $16 each way, take the Flybus from Keflavik to Reykjavik, which takes 40 to 50 minutes.

What We Love: With Icelandair , travelers en route to Europe or North America can book an overnight (or multinight) stopover in Reykjavik at no additional fee. Spend a day soaking in the Blue Lagoon and then head to your final destination. From Reykjavik, Icelandair connects to more than 20 European locales.

Frankfurt Airport, Germany

Frankfurt Airport, Germany

Service: Germany's busiest airport is a major hub for connecting flights throughout Europe, with direct service from the U.S. via American legacy airlines plus major international carriers Lufthansa, Singapore, and Condor. As the 11th busiest airport on the planet, it connects points around the globe.

Ease: This mega-airport is highly rated on Skytrax, with an overall score of four stars, including four for ease of use and public transport.

What We Love: Frankfurt's Great to Have You Here! program features newly installed rest areas with comfy chairs, updated bathrooms, play areas for kids, and even a Visitors' Terrace , from which flyers can watch plane activity.

Munich Airport, Germany

Munich Airport, Germany

Service: Four airlines offer direct flights from the U.S. to Munich: United, Delta, Lufthansa, and US Airways. And the airport saw record traffic numbers last year, with 38.4 million flyers passing through in 2012 (a 2 percent increase over the year before). Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners account for 37 percent of Munich's traffic, so it's an excellent hub for Star Alliance members.

Ease: Munich Airport has excellent four-star Skytrax ratings for ease of use and ground transport.

What we Love: It's great for globetrotting kiddos. A survey from Skyscanner found that Munich airport was the world's most family-friendly hub. Thank (or blame) airport attractions like the newly updated Kinderland , where families can actually have scheduled birthday parties. Why not hold your kid's next shindig at the airport?

Heathrow Airport, England

Heathrow Airport, England

Service: All of the U.S. legacy airlines operate direct flights to Heathrow. And it's no surprise: Heathrow is the world's third busiest airport and the busiest hub in Europe. Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Air New Zealand, and Kuwait Airways also offer direct service from the U.S. to London.

Ease: Heathrow has a high four-star ranking on Skytrax . Passengers give the U.K. hub four-and-a-half out of five stars for ease of use.

What We Love: Shopping! Heathrow was named the world's best airport for shopping in the 2012 Skytrax World Airport Awards. If you're flying on British Airways, you'll transfer through Terminal 5, a newly renovated part of the airport that is the largest freestanding structure in the U.K. There are world-class stores and restaurants at T5, including a Tiffany & Co., a Harrods, and even a Gordon Ramsay restaurant.

Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands

Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands

Service: Amsterdam sees more than 51 million passengers annually and was the world's 16th busiest airport in 2012. It's also Europe's fifth largest passenger airport, connecting travelers to 260 destinations worldwide. Five airlines operate direct flights from the U.S. to Schiphol: Delta, United, US Airways, KLM, and Dutch airline ArkeFly.

Ease: Schiphol has a four-star ranking on Skytrax, including four stars for ease of use and meet-and-greet facilities.

What We Love: Schiphol has plenty of passenger perks, from an art museum to pay-per-use showers . Best of all, it takes about 20 minutes to get from the airport to downtown Amsterdam, so you can easily trek to the city to explore during a long layover.

Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport, France

Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport, France

Service: This is Europe's second-busiest airport. Air France, naturally, is based here. Fly directly from the U.S. to Paris on the French airline, legacy airlines, Air Tahiti Nui, or XL Airways. You can get almost anywhere in Europe via Charles de Gaulle. And budget travelers can hop on low-cost airlines like EasyJet or Flybe to jet on the cheap.

Ease: Sprawling, frenetic Charles de Gaulle is notoriously difficult to navigate; as one of the world's busiest airports, the hub made it onto this list due to sheer volume. (Its Skytrax ratings are poor.) But it is relatively easy to get from Charles de Gaulle to various destinations in France. Via the TGV station at the airport, visitors can travel directly to more than a dozen places in the country.

What we Love: Free stopovers. With Air France or KLM , travelers can stopover in Paris (plus other European cities) for a few nights on the way to their final destinations.

And although travelers love to complain about flying through Charles de Gaulle, statistically, the hub has a lower rate of flight cancellations than the majority of other major European airports.

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Traveler’s Guide: What You Should Know When Touring Western Europe

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The ongoing global pandemic has brought the travel and tourism industry to a grinding halt. Tourists, solo travelers, digital nomads and other adventurous individuals had to stay at home, observe social distancing and refrain from doing any kind of leisure travel.

The situation this 2021, however, is improving. According to a survey published by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), two-thirds of global destinations are open to some form of tourism . This means that you won’t have to necessarily cancel your dreams of having a memorable vacation this year.

Western Europe: A Quick Overview

Cordoba, spain, sintra, portugal, bruges, belgium, by sharing a ride, never bite off more than you can chew, try local food, learn how to use the restrooms.

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Western Europe is a region that’s farthest from Asia. This large region consists of several European countries, including France, Spain, Andorra, Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Lichtenstein and Luxembourg. Some of the mentioned countries attract millions of tourists every year.

Take France as an example. Before the pandemic hit, this Western European nation was the most visited country in the world . The French capital, Paris, was a hit for foreign visitors with more than 30 million tourist arrivals a year — more than any other city across the globe.

Whether you’re an experienced globetrotter or a first-time traveler, the cities and other destinations in Western Europe have the power to thrill. You’ll come across tourist attractions that have lasted through centuries.

Another great thing about Western Europe is its excellent tourist infrastructure. You can travel between and in each of the nations comfortably, allowing you to enjoy your holiday without undue stress.

Cities and Destinations to Visit in Western Europe: Our Recommendations

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Western Europe is a huge region. If you’re traveling to this area for the first time, you’ll want to visit the beautiful capital cities. This means putting Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin in your itinerary.

Touring these Western European capital cities, however, has its drawbacks. Even if they are popular, some cities can be overrated. What’s more, there’s more to Western Europe than just the capitals.

Long story short, the major Western European cities are worth the detour for the tourist attractions they have to offer, but you shouldn’t make them your go-to destination. Consider checking out the off-the-beaten-path places, as well.

If you’re wondering about the best places to travel in Western Europe, look no further. When creating your trip itinerary, consider adding these destinations to your places-to-visit list:

Travel styles vary from one person to another, but many enjoy easy tours of interesting places, delving into old bodegas, tasting savory dishes and checking out architectural wonders. In Cordoba, you’ll find amazing food, architectural sites and other places of interest.

One of the unique tourist attractions of this city is the Mezquita , a former mosque that serves as an example of worldly and seasoned Islamic culture. Today, the Mezquita is a Christian cathedral that overlooks the heart of Cordoba and attracts travelers into its spectacular embowed interior.

Apart from the Mezquita, Cordoba has a great town center. Nearly everyone visiting there will wander around for a few hours or even every day. Shops, bars and restaurants are the centers of social life in this Western European destination.

Tucked between the mountains and the sea, Sintra is a naturally blessed city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. What makes this place so appealing to visitors are the misty woodlands, alluring gardens and gleaming palaces that are both historically rich and filled with natural beauty.

You’ll fall in love with the cultural attractions that Sintra has to offer — although you may want to visit this place outside the peak season. The picturesque residences along with the magnificent ancient fortifications attract tourists in droves during summertime.

Many refer to this medieval Western European city as the “Venice of the North” due to its narrow and long canals. Exploring Bruges is like walking in some kind of fairytale land. The canals look lovely and the buildings perfectly complement the waterways. These elements produce a picture-perfect scene that looks like a Hollywood fantasy film (or a perfect romantic getaway ).

That’s not all. Bruges’ whitewashed homes, buzzing market squares, historic churches and cobblestone lanes make this Western European destination Instagram-worthy.

This loveliness, however, comes with a price. This city tends to get crowded, as many tour the place during daylight hours and depart by sundown. If you want to get the most out of your stay in this fairytale-like destination, stay overnight. You’ll enjoy the beautiful floodlights and emptiness at dusk.

Getting Around Western Europe

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Foreign tourists have plenty of ways to explore the many destinations of Western Europe. A few of these options are the following:

You can get around Western Europe by hopping on a plane. If you’re on a budget, you could fly with low-cost airlines operating flights across the entire region. Wizz Air, easyJet and Ryanair are a few of the low-cost carriers (LCCs) that you can take, as they allow you to book cheap flights .

Traveling by plane is ideal when you need to go to a Western European country that’s not a neighbor of your current location. A couple of examples include Andorra to Switzerland and Germany to Spain.

If you’re looking for an alternative to flying, you could travel around Western Europe by bus. This is a great option when you keep in mind that this particular region isn’t that big at all.

Traveling by bus is a perfect option for budget travelers. Transportation companies, such as FlixBus and Eurolines, provide several itineraries throughout Europe. A bus ticket from Paris to Berlin costs less than a train ticket.

Buses, however, take a while to get to your destination. If you’re on a budget (and are a fan of slow travel ), consider this travel option.

If you want to enjoy the scenery as your travel, choose this option. Trains in Western Europe offer different classes. You could pay for First Class or go on a budget and select Economy.

What’s more, you can select between a slow and a fast train. France, for instance, gives you the option to ride the slow but affordable Réseau Express Régional (RER) and the fast but expensive Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV).

When touring several countries across Western Europe, consider buying rail passes. These will save you money when you travel by train across several countries.

Ridesharing services are becoming popular in many European countries. BlaBlaCar, a global long-distance carpooling service, is a good option if you want to meet locals as you travel.

Many tourists use ridesharing to go from one place to another within a country. If you’re touring Western Europe as a group, this travel option is a great way to split the costs of a trip.

Tips When Traveling to Europe for the First Time

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Traveling to Western Europe, as well as to other regions of the continent, can be both a blessing and a curse. Going to this destination unprepared or uninformed could tarnish the beautiful memories of your trip. You can avoid this from happening by taking note of these travel tips:

First-time travelers to Western Europe tend to cram every possible major tourist attraction in their itinerary. They create unrealistic plans, such as visiting the Eiffel Tower, partying in Berlin, skiing in Switzerland, checking out the Alhambra in Spain and gambling in Monte Carlo — all in a matter of days.

Don’t let FOMO kick in.

When crafting your itinerary for this trip, give yourself time to relax. The last thing you want is to move around Western Europe like a headless chicken.

The food in Europe is varied, rich and deeply intertwined with the traditions and culture of a country. You’re missing out on a lot if you fail to actively seek out local delicacies. So dine at a local restaurant instead of heading to fast food chains.

Many restrooms in Europe charge a fee when you use them. Paris, for instance, has public toilets that require coins to enter. So, make sure you keep coins in your pocket. They’ll come in handy, especially when you need to pee.

Once the global coronavirus crisis has subsided, make sure you include Western Europe in your travel bucket list. So start saving money and begin planning a fun and memorable trip itinerary to this part of the globe.

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Backpacking Europe: Itinerary Advice From an Expert

Backpacking Europe can be life-changing experience. Check out this guide to learn how to plan the perfect trip and see a sample itinerary.

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Backpacking Europe can be a life-changing experience. The diversity of languages, architecture, and cuisine is enough to keep culture vultures happy for months while history buffs will swoon every time they turn a corner! Traveling through Europe as a form of enlightenment and self-discovery has been popular since the 17th century when the well-heeled would travel to places like France, Germany, Greece, and Italy to become more cultured and learn more about history and art (and according to historical records, engage in some pretty risqué behavior!). 

Not much has changed since then except that we’ve traded steamer trunks for backpacks, and boats and carriages for airplanes and trains. Traveling through Europe has also become much more accessible to people around the world thanks to budget airlines like RyanAir and EasyJet.

Discover the world with Let’s Roam .

Here at Let’s Roam, we believe travel is one of the best forms of education! That’s why our team of travel experts has written destination guides, must-see lists, and travel articles to help you plan your trip. We’ve also got hundreds of app-based scavenger hunts that will introduce you to destinations all around the world!

How to Plan the Ultimate European Backpacking Trip

Below you’ll find itinerary advice for your European adventure. This will take you to some of the most famous places in Europe as well as some off-the-beaten-path destinations!

Important Things to Ask Yourself

Before you start planning your European itinerary, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself.

What is your budget?

This is probably the most important thing to figure out before you start planning your trip. It often dictates how long you can travel and where you can go. There are some parts of Western Europe such as Switzerland, Sweden, and Norway that are painfully expensive. Meanwhile, some places in Central and Eastern Europe still offer great value for your money.  

If this is your first time traveling, you may want to stick with some of the Western European countries as they are generally easier to navigate your way through. If you’re traveling on a tight budget, this means that you may have to have a relatively short trip. However, if you are a more experienced traveler, going to places like Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia can help your money stretch longer. 

It’s all about finding a balance between how much money you have to play with and the destinations that you can go to. While it sounds a bit complicated to figure out, don’t worry. It’s actually easier than it sounds and we are here to help guide you through it!

How fast do you want to travel?

The next question you need to ask yourself is how fast you want to travel. Everyone travels in different ways. Some people only have two weeks and want to see as much as they can. Others want to take it a bit more slowly and only visit a handful of locations. For anyone lucky enough to have more time to travel, you can always mix it up a bit and travel quickly for a few days as you hop from place to place, and then slow it down and stay in the same destination for a week. 

When you’re considering your travel speed, you should really keep in mind what your endurance is. It is much easier to go hard out for a few days than doing it for a few weeks. Like anything in life, if you try to do too much for too long, you’re likely to burn out. 

What type of travel experience do you want to have?

This question ties in quite closely with the two above but with a slight differentiation. This is where you want to start thinking about what you want to get out of the trip. Do you want to visit as many museums as possible? Do you prefer to have your own culinary adventure where you focus on eating at different restaurants, taking cooking classes, or simply trying new foods? 

How much cultural interaction do you want to have? Do you want to have plenty of time to spend hanging out in bars or cafes with locals? Do you want to attend local Meetup or Couchsurfing events? These types of activities are just as important as sightseeing, but they do take time and should be scheduled accordingly.  

For example, if you plan on going out to a famous bar or having a night out on the town, don’t schedule an 8:00 a.m. city tour. While it’s possible to do it, trust me. You don’t want to! 

Let the Planning Begin

Love it or hate it, planning is one of the most important aspects of having a fantastic adventure! Backpacking Europe can be very expensive if you aren’t careful. Having a plan in place can help you save a lot of money. It can also keep you from having to backtrack frequently to go back to things you may have missed.

Before you do any of the steps below, check the expiration date on your passport. Keep in mind that most countries won’t let you in unless your passport is valid for at least six months after your arrival date. This is extremely important. If your passport is not valid, you will need to get a new one before leaving.

Expert tip: If you see your passport is getting close to expiring, you may want to consider renewing it at an American embassy or consulate in one of the European cities you plan on visiting. It often takes as little as two weeks to get a new one compared to the atrocious waiting times if you apply in the United States. You simply need to drop off your application and pick up your passport when it’s ready. They let you keep your existing passport in the meantime so you can still travel on it until you get the replacement. 

Step 1: Do plenty of research.

Have you ever gone somewhere and only realized that there were some really fun things to do there once it was too late? It’s pretty disappointing, right? Now imagine having that feeling over and over again. This is why it is so important to do research before you get to a destination.

Some of you may be rolling your eyes as you read this knowing that you want to play it by ear rather than having an itinerary packed full of sightseeing. That is perfectly okay! That is how I tend to travel. However, this doesn’t mean you can skip out on the research step. Trust me, I know this firsthand!  

If you’re the type of traveler who wants to see some of the more off-beat places in a city, then head over to Atlas Obscura. This fantastic website lists the eclectic or kooky attractions in a destination that most other travel guides tend to ignore. This is what many hard-core travelers use when they want to see something unique or interesting. Also, please, please, please don’t rely solely on social media to research a location. Instagram photos posted by influencers are almost always heavily edited. The attractions rarely look like they do in the photos and you are bound to be a bit disappointed. 

Are there any day trips that look interesting?

When you’re researching a destination, make sure to not only look at what there is to do in the destination itself but also whether there are any day trips that you would like to do from there. Most of the major tourist areas of Europe will have organized day trips to other touristy areas or you may be able to get there on your own via public transport. 

For example, many people who visit Krakow also want to go to Auschwitz. Many tour companies offer expensive day tours to get there. However, there are also public buses that will take you there. The two experiences are very different and will suit different types of travelers. 

What are prices like in a destination around the time you want to go?

When you’re doing your initial research, don’t forget to take a quick peek at accommodation websites like, HostelWorld, or Airbnb to see how much the hotels or hostels are around the time you want to go. This can have a major impact on how much time you end up spending in a city.  

For example, you may want to use Munich as a base to explore Bavaria and are thinking about taking a train there from Milan. Accommodation in Munich is normally quite pricey even in the off-season and can be extremely expensive during the summer and Oktoberfest. In this case, you may want to take an overnight train between the two cities to save on accommodation costs. This means you either have to cross your fingers so you hit the ground running or you schedule a pretty easy first day there.

Step 2: Create a rough itinerary.

Hopefully, your research has given you a list of destinations that you want to see. At this point, it’s really helpful to save these on Google Maps as a way to see the geographical layout of your desired destinations. If there are any major outliers that would be nice to see but aren’t that important, you may want to cross them off your list early on. This will likely save you some logistics-related headaches later.  

On the contrary, if there are any destinations that are pretty far away from everywhere else that you are desperate to see, this is the time to do more research to see what lies between that and the closest destination. You may find that there are a few interesting things to check out on the way. This usually helps make the side trip feel a bit more worthwhile. If you are traveling long distances to get there, it also is a good way to break up those distances a bit. And who knows, you may end up finding some wonderful new places!

Expert tip: When you’re putting together your itinerary, make sure to leave yourself enough time to enjoy yourself! I know, I know. This is easier said than done when there are so many great things to see and do. When I was a novice backpacker working my way through Europe in the early 2000s, I used the Lonely Planet as a checklist and would visit every single attraction that they wrote about. This was extremely ambitious and exhausting, but on the plus side, I learned just how cool botanical gardens are!  

Looking back, this marathon sightseeing has largely been forgotten. What I remember are the moments that I spent hanging out with new friends in the hostel, interacting with locals, and the overwhelming feeling that the world is opening up around me. If you move too fast, you may miss out on these experiences, which quite frankly, are just as important as seeing the sights. 

Step 3: Start booking tickets and hotels.

Now that you have a pretty decent idea of the places that you want to visit and the amount of time that you need in each place, it’s time to start making a few bookings. This doesn’t mean you need to plan every step of your journey. In fact, we recommend that you don’t actually do that. However, it’s time to book the “big ticket” things. This includes stuff like your flights from your home country to Europe, flights between European destinations, and accommodation in places that are very likely to sell out in advance. Try to book accommodation with free cancelation policies in case your plans change, even if it means paying a little bit more. This way, you have a guaranteed place to stay but still have some flexibility if needed. 

Expert tip: When you’re booking your flights, always double-check what airports you are flying in and out of. Some European airports are very far from the cities that they serve which can eat up a lot of time and cost a lot in ground transport getting to the city center.  

Expert tip #2: Before you book a bunch of train tickets, which generally isn’t necessary anyways, get an idea of how much your expected train tickets will cost. Compare this to the price of a Eurail Pass to see if it ends up being cheaper. Eurail Passes cost a set price and allow you to use the European train network for a set period. You can get them for certain European countries or regions and if you plan on traveling quickly across large distances, they may save you a lot of money.

Expert tip #3 : If you’re planning to travel through Germany, check what train passes they have available. Deutsche Bahn, the national train network, offers regional passes that allow you to travel on the local trains for a ridiculously low price. These rail passes don’t include the InterCity trains, but they are perfect for anyone wanting to move slowly through the country as they can be used almost like a hop-on-hop-off train ticket. 

Step 4: Prepare your packing list.

As the departure day for your big backpacking trip through Europe comes closer, it’s time to prepare your packing list. Try as hard as you possibly can to pack lightly with just a carry-on. Ideally, this will be a backpack. There are a few reasons for this. First off, wheeled suitcases do not do well on cobblestones. Secondly, it is much easier to get on and off trains, buses, airplanes, and other forms of public transportation with a carry-on backpack than a big suitcase. Third, it will save you a ton of money in baggage fees.

While this idea may be painful to some people, it’s worth it. Unless you’re a famous influencer making millions off of your Tik Tok account, you simply don’t need to have a bunch of flashy outfits with you. Instead, bring a few timeless items such as black jeans or leggings, a few dresses, and some nice shirts or tank tops. 

Find different ways to layer your clothes so that it looks like you’re carrying more clothes with you than you are. And, whatever you do, don’t forget to bring a brightly colored sarong with you. That handy piece of cloth can be used as a scarf, blanket, towel, beach cover-up, or even a dress if you’re creative. 

Try and leave a little extra space in your carry-on bag in case you see anything that you love during your travels and want to take home with you. If you can’t figure out how to fit it all in with room to spare, watch a few YouTube videos to see how other people pack for a backpacking trip. You can also invest in some packing cubes to see if they help. You can normally buy them on Amazon, at home goods stores, or anywhere where you normally buy luggage.

Step 5: Head off for your European backpacking extravaganza!

Woo-hoo! The big day has finally come and it’s time to hit the road! Before you head to the airport for your flight, do one last check to make sure you have your passport that is valid for at least six months, your wallet, backup credit cards and ATM cards, a reusable water bottle, and U.S. dollars for emergencies. 

This is also the perfect time to download the Let’s Roam app . This app gives you access to all of our fun-filled scavenger hunts which are a great, budget-friendly way to learn more about a destination! 

The 21st Century Grand Tour

Okay, now that we’ve covered all of the logistics of backpacking through Europe, now is the fun part! Below we’ve included a sample itinerary that you can use as a pseudo-Europe travel guide for planning your backpacking trip. 

Rather than breaking down what you should do each day, we’ll leave that up to you! Instead, we have focused on the logistics of getting from one place to another. We have also created itineraries that allow you to easily connect Western Europe, Central Europe, and Eastern Europe if you’re lucky enough to travel for months on end and want to see as much as possible! 

Expert advice: If you’re traveling for longer periods, pay attention to where you will be at certain times of the year. Most experienced travelers will avoid Western Europe during the summer which is their peak tourist season. On top of that, much of Italy effectively shuts down in August when everyone goes on their summer breaks to the seaside. 

As mentioned, if this is your first Europe trip, we highly recommend sticking to Western Europe. One of the cheapest and best-connected airports to fly into Western Europe from the United States is Amsterdam, so we’ll start the journey there! Most of the itinerary is expected to be done by train travel, but there are a few times when you have to take a bus between destinations.

Countries included:  Netherlands, Belgium, France, Andorra, Spain, Portugal, Italy , San Marino, Austria, Czech Republic, and Germany

Stop 1: The beautiful city of Amsterdam is the perfect place to spend a few days getting over jetlag and preparing for your big backpacking trip. Nearly everyone in this canal-laden Dutch city speaks English which makes it very easy to get your bearings, especially if you’re a first-time traveler to Europe. 

Stop 2: From Amsterdam, you can take a train to Antwerp in northern Belgium. Known as the Diamond Capital of the World, Antwerp boasts striking Flemish Renaissance architecture. Your sightseeing starts as soon as you pull into the breathtaking Antwerp Central Train Station. From there, you can wander around the cobblestone streets, grab your first Belgian beer in Belgium, and check out the interesting, and very historic, Diamond District.

Stop 3: The next stop is Bruges. This charming little city is famous for its canals, cobblestone streets, and medieval architecture. The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site so this is something you don’t want to miss. It is a very touristy town though so you may find it hard to escape the crowds.

Stop 4: From Bruges, it’s an easy train ride down to the iconic city of Paris . With sights like the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees, the Louvre, and the Seine River, Paris certainly doesn’t need an introduction. Nearby, the glittering palace of Versailles stands as a testament to the ostentatious wealth and power of the French monarchy before the French Revolution. 

Stop 5: After exploring Paris, it’s time to grab a train to Bordeaux , France’s wine capital! This is where you can try some of the best wines in the world straight from the source. The gorgeous walled city of Bordeaux offers the perfect place to base yourself while you explore the nearby vineyards. 

Stop 6:  Once you’ve had your fill of wine and medieval buildings, it’s time to visit a new country! Andorra is a teeny-tiny country squished between France and Spain. It’s a popular skiing and hiking destination. There isn’t a huge amount to do here otherwise, but it would be a shame to miss another country when you are so close! 

Stop 7: From Andorra, you can get a bus to Barcelona . Home of the fantastical Gaudi architecture, a beautiful coastline, and vibrant nightlife, this is another place where you will probably want to spend a few extra days to give yourself enough time to eat, drink, and be merry!

Stop 8: As the capital of Spain, Madrid boasts some of the country’s most impressive buildings, great museums, and fantastic shopping. It is a city of grand boulevards and manicured plazas, which makes it feel very different than Barcelona. Spend a few days exploring the city and then plan on hitting the road again.

Stop 9: Porto is a gorgeous city located in northern Portugal. Well-known for being the birthplace of Porto wine, the city is home to gorgeous architecture, narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses, and a robust culinary scene. This is one of the least expensive touristy hotspots in Western Europe, so this is also a great opportunity to splurge! The best way to get from Madrid to Porto is by bus which should take around 6-7 hours. 

Stop 10: Lying just a few hours by train south of Porto, the capital city of Lisbon is a photographer’s dream come true. The hilly streets and iconic street cars provide the perfect props and backdrop for some amazing photos. Meanwhile, the vivacious nightlife will leave you dancing until the early morning! Don’t party too hard though as this is a great place to do a free walking tour of the city. 

Stop 11: After you’ve enjoyed all that Lisbon has to offer, you can make your way south to the Algarve coast. Here, you’ll find a handful of historic towns and a long sweep of beautiful beaches. The biggest city in the region is Faro and this is likely to be your first stop before you head to one of the nearby beaches. 

Stop 12:  The southern Spanish city of Seville is located less than a three-hour bus ride from Faro. Seville is the largest city in the region of Andalusia, which was once occupied by the Islamic Moors. Here, you’ll find a fascinating mix of Moorish, Christian, and Jewish architecture which gives you an in-depth look at Spain’s long, and very diverse, history. This was also where flamenco got its start, making it a good place to catch a dance show. 

Stop 13: From Seville, you can either travel by train, bus, or plane to Marseille , France. There are many cheap flights running between the two countries so this is likely to be the most budget-friendly option. Marseille is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe and is now one of the most multicultural cities in the country. This is the perfect opportunity to try food from all over the world before hopping back on the train to travel further along France’s Mediterranean coastline. 

Stop 14: While there are plenty of lovely towns and cities to visit in southern France, one destination that you shouldn’t miss is Monaco. Famous for its casinos, glitz, and grandeur, the itty-bitty country of Monaco is one of the wealthiest places in Europe. A stop there gives you a taste of how the other half live. 

Stop 15: From Monaco, you can head over to Nice. Located at the foot of the French Alps, this is a large city that somehow feels small. The old town is charming and the Mediterranean Sea waterfront can easily compete with some of the most popular beach cities around the world. It was once a summer refuge for the well-heeled in the 19th century. Today, it’s a popular beach destination and a lovely spot to get your feet a little wet!

Stop 16: Time to head to your next country—Italy! The journey from Nice to Cinque Terre National Park is a little complicated and will probably require one or two train transfers. However, once you see the colorful villages perched high on the hills of the Mediterranean Sea, it will feel like it was all worthwhile! The best way to travel between the villages is by hiking along the ancient goat trails that have been used for centuries.

Stop 17:  Once you arrive in Pisa , one of the first things you should do is head straight to the famous Leaning Tower to get some Instagram-worthy pics. You can then either spend the night in Pisa or hop right back on the train for the short ride to Florence. 

Stop 18: As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, Florence packs a lot into a relatively small place. During the Renaissance, this was the home of some of the world’s biggest artists, architects, intellectuals, and scientists. The love of art and culture still lives on today, and this is the ideal place for all the art history buffs out there! Florence also serves as a good base to explore some of the towns of Tuscany, so make sure to allocate some extra time here!

Stop 19: The ancient city of Rome holds some of the world’s most important architectural wonders including the Coliseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum as well as “modern” gems like the Trevi Fountains and the Spanish Steps. This is another destination where you may want to hang out a bit, getting your fill of wine, pizza, and pasta!

Stop 20: From Rome, it’s just a couple of hours by train down to Naples. The city itself feels a bit rough and ready so you probably don’t want to spend a huge amount of time there. However, it does serve as an ideal base to visit the ruins of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. These cities were destroyed in 79 A.D. when Mount Vesuvius erupted. They now serve as a haunting reminder of what Mother Nature is capable of. Pompeii and Herculaneum can be reached via a local train from Naples. 

Stop 21: As you make your way back north from Naples, it’s time to add another new country to your list—San Marino. Another teeny-tiny place, San Marino is completely encompassed by Italy and is an interesting town to wander around for a few hours or even spend a few days in. You can get to San Marino by bus from the cute beach city of Rimini. 

Stop 22: From Rimini, you can continue north to Venice . This breathtaking city is unlike any other in the world thanks to its series of interconnected canals that turn the city into a series of islands. Venice has been used as the backdrop for countless movies, books, and TV shows, and there are even replicas of it in Las Vegas and Macao. However, nothing quite beats seeing it in real life!

From Venice, you can either continue east along the coast to Slovenia to start heading south towards Croatia and the amazing Balkan region or head north towards Switzerland and Austria. 

Stop 23: Heading north from Italy, Innsbruck is the first major Austrian city you will reach. This is another great destination for hiking if you’re craving some outdoor activities. There are even free walking tours of the Alps if you want to tackle a small hike without having to figure out the logistics yourself.

Stop 24: From Innsbruck, take the train for a few hours to Salzburg . Famous for being the birthplace of Mozart and the filming location of the Sound of Music , this gorgeous city is surrounded by mountains and has amazing Baroque architecture. While you can see most of it in a day or two, it’s a good idea to allow yourself a bit more time, especially if you want to join one of the day tours to the Sound of Music sights! 

Stop 25: Just a few hours from Salzburg, you can reach Munich . It’s the capital of Bavaria and home to some of Germany’s best lager. Its historical center boasts Neo-Gothic architecture and the Hoffbrauhaus as well as many interesting museums including the Deutsches Museum which is the largest museum of science and technology in the world. 

Stop 26: From Munich, you can easily catch a train to Prague , the capital of the Czech Republic. This is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe thanks to its impressive collection of Baroque and Gothic architecture. Although it’s nowhere near as cheap as it used to be, Prague still offers pretty decent value for money compared to France, Spain, or Germany, so this is another chance to splurge a bit on food and beer! 

Extension option #1 : If you want to continue heading east, Budapest, Hungary, is a relatively short train ride away and is well worth the detour! You can even stop in Bratislava, Slovakia, on the way. From there, you can head to Romania and further into the Balkans.

Extension option #2: You can also head into Poland from Prague. Some of the highlights of the country include Wroclaw, Krakow, and Warsaw.

Stop 27: If you don’t have the time, money, or energy to do one of the extension options, the next stop is Berlin . Germany’s capital city is renowned for its museums and edgy culture. This is a city where anything can happen! While you’re there, make sure to visit Checkpoint Charlie and view the remains of the Berlin Wall. These stand as an important reminder of the division of Germany between East and West and how far they have come.

Stop 28: When you’ve gotten your fill of Berlin, it’s time to start making your way toward Frankfurt . This is one of the country’s biggest and most important cities, and it serves as an airline hub for flights back to the U.S. There isn’t a huge amount to see in Frankfurt, but you can continue your journey from there.

So, are you ready to roam?

We hope this guide has given you a good start on planning your European backpacking trip! As always, we would love to hear your feedback, and please let us know if there are any tips, tricks, or destinations we may have missed. 

If you want to read more great information about any of these destinations, make sure to check out the Let’s Roam Explorer blog . This blog features hundreds of destination guides, must-see lists, and travel articles that can help you plan the perfect adventure. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the things that you need to think about when backpacking Europe are the season that you are going in, what accommodation options there are, and what your budget is.

It’s definitely worth backpacking in Europe! The beautiful architecture, amazing museums, sprawling parks, and charming cobblestone streets have been drawing people to Europe for centuries.

You can backpack Europe on the cheap by staying in hostels, doing app-based scavenger hunts, traveling during the off-season, and taking buses or local trains instead of the faster inner-city trains.

Some of the best places to backpack in Europe include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. If you’re an experienced traveler, you may also want to consider the Balkans or Eastern Europe.

The amount of money you spend while backpacking Europe depends on how you like to travel. You can stay in hotels, hostels, or by Couchsurfing or take planes and buses which all have very different costs.

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Train & Rail Tours in Western Europe

Relax and admire breathtaking views in Western Europe only accessible by train journey. With 107 Western Europe train tours lasting from 1 days up to 30 days, you're sure to find a railway carriage with your name on it on a route that will leave you speechless.

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107 train tour packages in western europe with 949 reviews.

Glacier Express & Porsche 911 Rail & Drive Experience Tour

  • Train & Rail

Glacier Express & Porsche 911 Rail & Drive Experience

Barcelona to Berlin (15 Days) (11 destinations) Tour

  • Sightseeing

Barcelona to Berlin (15 Days) (11 destinations)

Paris to Barcelona: Tapas & Train Rides Tour

Paris to Barcelona: Tapas & Train Rides

Mediterranean Express: Rivieras & Railroads Tour

Mediterranean Express: Rivieras & Railroads

Hey is anyone going on the Mediterranean Express trip on 8th September, looking to get to know my fellow travellers a little before I arrive! :)

Western Europe Group Rail  Tour (18-35) Tour

Western Europe Group Rail Tour (18-35)

The tour was really well organised and took all the stress out of all the transfers and finding trains etc. The hostels were all clean and helpful and any issues were sorted very quickly . My tour leader Tom (aka Liam Payne) was super helpful and knowledgeable about the areas (best places for food etc) . Great sense of humour too haha
  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Highlights of Italy Tour

Highlights of Italy

Nice trip, our group leader (Lorenzo) knows many good local restaurants, and took good care of everyone. The itinerary is just perfect, not too fast nor slow, we have ample time to explore each city.

Whole of Europe Group Rail Tour (18-35) Tour

Whole of Europe Group Rail Tour (18-35)

I had the most amazing time with great people. The whole experience was so easy we just got taken from city to city and got to see so much. It was really hassle free. Travelling by train is what really made it so comfortable and easy, then the hostels were all really nice too and the activities fun too. Great value for money and will definitely book again. Lovely people.

Contrasts of Switzerland (8 Days) Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

Contrasts of Switzerland (8 Days)

Had an amazing time in Switzerland and met new wonderful friends. Trafalgar did a great job. Everything was organized and safety was top priority. Will travel with Trafalgar again.
  • €100 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Italy By Train Tour

  • Christmas & New Year

Italy By Train

Our tour included a 2 day rail pass for Cinque Terre for a party of four, but it turns out what we received was only good for one day. We found this out when our tickets were checked by an official from TrenItalia. As a result we were each fined 55 Euros, plus we were required to purchase a ticket back to La Spezia. I have contacted Wingbuddy, but their after sales service is abysmal. They appear to be seriously understaffed. They no longer answer the phone for existing reservations, and they don't accept voicemail messages. As a result you need to send them an email, and it typically takes several days to get a response. This incident happened on Sept. 19, and as of Oct. 1 it has not been resolved. To date, I have received one email that says this will require investigation. While the rest of the experience was good, the poor customer service makes me very hesitant to recommend them.

Milan to Amsterdam Rail Tour Tour

Milan to Amsterdam Rail Tour

Rail touring was a new experience for us and some aspects of it were great, like not being so confined as in a coach. But it was a little more stressful with boarding times and platforms and negotiating our way around stations. There was also a lot more luggage handling and walking with luggage at speed in crowds, which was not something we liked. We also were disappointed that the tour program was not closely adhered to when the opportunities were there to do it. There was also some confusion about dinners and optional inclusions. We felt that the tour leader was not ready Au gait with the task

Train tours Italy: Venice, Florence, Rome, Sorrento by train Tour

Train tours Italy: Venice, Florence, Rome, Sorrento by train

Tour of Italy by high speed train was a wonderful experience. Our tour guide, Melena, was fabulous. We would travel with her again! Well planned out group tours and free time for individual activities. Traveling by train between the cities was the perfect way to go.

Scenic Switzerland by Train Tour

Scenic Switzerland by Train

Great organized your with excellent guide, 1st class train travel and good selection of hotels

London to Budapest by Train (Summer, 15 Days) Tour

London to Budapest by Train (Summer, 15 Days)

Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre & Venice in 7 Days Tour

Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre & Venice in 7 Days

Overall for a budget tour, this was a great tour. The tour guides were very knowledgeable. The accommodation was clean and spacious. The included meals were delicious. My only criticism is that there was not enough free time in Cinque Terre considering how much travel time was required.

Eco-Comfort - Tour Of Italy By Train Tour

Eco-Comfort - Tour Of Italy By Train

Amazing tour! We had a great time
  • €50 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

What people love about Train & Rail Tours in Western Europe

Great experience! Well organized, the group activities were super fun, and I had the opportunity to meet amazing people from all over the world.
The tour itself was amazing! A lot of value for money. The tour guide did seem to be a bit annoyed at us at the end when we wanted to get transport back to the hotel, after walking over half a marathon. This is notable considering a few members had lower body injuries/ health concerns. Other than that, I really loved my trip. I made friends for life, memories I’ll cherish for years

Travel Styles

  • Best Train Travel Companies
  • Family Trip to Europe Itineraries (From 1 to 3 Weeks)

International Versions

  • Deutsch: Westeuropa Zugreisen
  • Français: Europe de l'Ouest : Circuits train et rail 2024/2025
  • Español: Tren y ferrocarril Circuitos en Europa Occidental
  • Nederlands: Trein & spoor Rondreizen in West-Europa

travel connect western europe

US Secretary of State Forced to Take Lengthy Road Trip After Boeing Jet Breaks Down in Europe

S ecretary of State Antony Blinken was forced to make an impromptu road trip across much of Western Europe on Wednesday when his Boeing jet broke down in France.

The news is the latest headache for Boeing , which has seen its aircraft experience mechanical malfunctions that have terrified travelers all year.

In one instance last month, the wheels literally fell off during takeoff in San Francisco – at least one of them.

Bloomberg reported Blinken was in Paris, where he showed his support for Ukraine and also expressed a desire to see Israel’s war against Islamic terror contained to fighting only Hamas in the Gaza Strip .

But following a meeting with French leaders on Wednesday, Blinken was set to depart from Paris on his government-owned and U.S. Air Force-maintained Boeing jet for a meeting in Belgium with the country’s NATO allies.

The jet was not fit for travel, Bloomberg reported, and so other accommodations had to be made.

According to the outlet, Blinken was forced to drive from the French capital to Brussels by car.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s latest European tour hit a speed bump in Paris on Wednesday when his official plane broke down, necessitating an hours-long drive to Brussels.

— Bloomberg (@business) April 3, 2024

The trip is roughly 200 miles.

According to Bloomberg, the issue with Blinken’s jet was vaguely reported to have been a “mechanical issue.”

It was unknown early Thursday morning whether the issue had been remedied and it was safe for the State Department head to make a flight back across the Atlantic Ocean to Washington.

Additionally, according to Bloomberg, the jet in question was reported to have been “an older model of the Boeing Co. 737.”

If the aircraft is dated, any issues with it likely are not related to those that have been reported on newer company models, such as the recently grounded Boeing 737 MAX .

But the optics of a stranded American diplomat in Europe will do little to help Boeing out of its current issues, which have led to doubts about whether company-made planes are even safe to fly on.

2024 has been a headache for the iconic aircraft manufacturer as its fleet of jets has experienced problem after problem .

None of those has been fatal to date, but Boeing jets have been grounded for issues related to everything from landing gear to improperly sealed doors.

BREAKING: Alaska Airlines plane makes emergency landing in Portland, Oregon after window blows out in mid-air.

Several items, including phones, were sucked out of the plane when it suddenly depressurized. Everyone is safe.

— BNO News (@BNONews) January 6, 2024

The MAX fleet was grounded for weeks to begin the year while even older models have experienced major issues .

As Newsweek noted, Wednesday’s mishap in Paris was not even the first time Blinken had been held up by a Boeing jet this calendar year.

The secretary of state was scheduled to depart from Switzerland and head back to the United States on Jan. 17 in a company airplane, but he was delayed when that aircraft experienced “an issue relating to a possible oxygen leak.”

Neither Boeing nor Blinken commented on Wednesday’s grounding of the State Department’s 737.

Johanna Geron - Pool / AFP / Getty Images

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Staircase in Olin Library

  • Awards and Adventures

The 2024 Winners of the Newman Exploration Travel Awards

Washington University Libraries are thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s Newman Exploration Travel Fund Award .

The NEXT Award program is intended to support Washington University students, faculty, and staff who wish to explore this vast world. Travel is a valued means to expand one’s horizons and inspire growth, excellence, and innovation while pursuing both personal and professional goals.

A total of eight applicants won the 2024 NEXT awards. Awardees include undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff members.

Undergraduate student winners

travel connect western europe

Ava Giere is an Arts & Sciences student, majoring in comparative literature and political science with a minor in English. She will travel to the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, and Estonia to do a comparative study of their democratic structures and systems of governance.

Antoinette Manteau is majoring in the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology program and history with a minor in architecture. She will visit Quebec City in Canada and regions in France to explore French-speaking communities globally, from two perspectives: minority French speakers in majority English areas and minority non-French speakers within primarily French–speaking areas.

graduate student winners

travel connect western europe

Muad Al Juhany is studying in the JSD program at the School of Law. He will travel to American cities with Arabic names such as Medina, Ohio, Mecca, California, and Cordoba, California, among other places. Al Juhany’s project aims to document and critically assess the impact of Arabic names, symbols, and cultural practices on selected U.S. cities’ social and cultural identities.

Tyler Cargill is a PhD candidate in Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering. He will travel to various places in Tanzania and Kenya to reconnect with the Swahili language and explore the historical production and reconceptualization of textiles by East Africans.

Faculty winners

travel connect western europe

Stan Braude, professor of biology and environmental studies, will visit Oxford and Cambridge, and other places in the UK, tracing the journey of Frederick Law Olmstead, who is known as the father of landscape architecture and crafted the first plan for the WashU campus in 1895. Braude will explore England’s parks, gardens, and university campuses to understand Olmstead’s aesthetic, which will inspire the design of green spaces around the new Arts & Sciences building west of Olin Library.

Jennifer Colten is a photographer and senior lecturer at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. She will travel to the Republic of Georgia to study and photograph ancient darbazi dwellings and the surrounding landscapes to illuminate their significance through history and the present day.

staff winners

travel connect western europe

Madeleine Frank is a science writer in the Department of Biology. She will explore American landscapes for a book project.

Katelyn McConnell is a project manager in the Office of the Provost. She will travel to different cities in Germany to understand their history and impact on her grandmother’s life and experiences before she immigrated to America.

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Travel Vaccines and Advice for Western Europe

Passport Health offers a variety of options for travellers throughout the world.

Western Europe is one of the most popular destinations for travellers throughout the world. The cuisine of Paris, history of Rome and beaches of Barcelona are just some of the draws. But, many travellers don’t realize the health risks that can occur as part of European travel.

Passport Health offers immunizations, medication and personalized healthcare for your trip to Western Europe and beyond. See our What Vaccines… section to learn more.

Countries in this region include:

What Vaccines Do I Need for Western Europe?

The PHAC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for travellers to Western Europe: hepatitis A , hepatitis B , typhoid and rabies .

Some routine vaccinations are also recommended, this includes: measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) , tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) , influenza , chickenpox , shingles , pneumonia , meningitis and polio .

Vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, mumps and pertussis have become increasingly more common in Western Europe. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date before travel.

See the tables below for more vaccination information:

What Are the Entry Requirements in Western Europe?

Currently, tourist visas are not required for any country in Western Europe. But, passport validity can vary by country. Make sure your passport has at least six months before expiring before leaving for your trip.

Embassy information for each country is available on its own destination advice page.

Travelling to Another Destination?

Travelling outside of Western Europe? Learn more about your destination with our full compliment of destination advice pages!

  • Afghanistan
  • American Samoa
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Burkina Faso
  • Canary Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Cook Islands
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Dominican Republic
  • Easter Island
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Liechtenstein
  • Madeira Islands
  • Marshall Islands
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norfolk Island
  • North Korea
  • North Macedonia
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Pierre-et-Miquelon
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • South Korea
  • South Sudan
  • Switzerland
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Wake Island
  • Western Sahara

On This Page: What Vaccines Do I Need for Western Europe? What Are the Entry Requirements in Western Europe? Travelling to Another Destination?

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