This is it… the Best of Europe Mega Trip itinerary that is designed to give you a taste of the best Europe has to offer. This itinerary covers 18+ cities throughout Europe and will take a minimum of 60 days but could be extended to 75+ days if you travel a little slower. I’d err on the side of traveling slower; this is a two-month trip, so there is a good chance you’ll burn out if you’re not careful.
Of course, no itinerary is perfect, and there is never enough time to see everything, but this itinerary will give you a great foundation to pretty much see all the highlights. We tried to keep the travel distances fairly short in most cases, so you won’t be spending all your time on a plane or a train. Also, you may consider using a Eurail Pass for this trip—check out my Guide To Using Rail Passes in Europe to learn more.
Note: I used Rome2Rio to map my course and to get an idea of the travel times. The site also shows multiple travel options (trains, planes, buses, driving, etc.) and price estimates.
Ok, let’s get on with it…
Best of Europe Itinerary
London – Approx. 4+ days
London is a great introduction to Europe because it’s a perfect mix of foreign and familiar — plus, London is a huge airline hub, so it’s one of the cheaper places to fly into.
London also has loads of things to see and do, so you’re guaranteed to keep busy.
Paris – Approx. 4+ days
From London, I suggest taking the Eurostar train to Paris, but book your train early because tickets get really expensive if you wait until the last minute. The train journey takes a little over 2 hours.
There are also plenty of budget flights, but then you have to deal with all the annoyance of flying. The flight takes a little over an hour, but you still have to get to/from the airports, which will add at least an extra hour.
Note: Add a few days to your time in Paris if you want to venture out of the city to experience a few of the many day trip options Paris has to offer.
Lisbon – Approx. 2-3 days
As much as we love trains, we suggest booking a cheap flight from Paris to Lisbon as it will save you a lot of time (don’t worry, you’ll use trains for most of the journey). The flight is about 2.5 hours, but you should budget about 4 hours of total travel time.
Madrid – Approx. 3 days
From Lisbon, you’ll want to take an overnight train to Madrid. The train leaves around 9:30 pm and arrives in Madrid around 8 am. Flying will take about 4 hours when you factor in all travel time.
Barcelona – Approx. 3-5 days
Take one of the nearly hourly trains from Madrid to Barcelona — the journey will take about 2.5 hours.
If you plan on partying hard in Barcelona, you may want to budget for an extra day to recover on the beach.
Nice – Approx. 2-3 days
You can either fly or take the train from Barcelona to Nice. Flights will take just under 4 hours and the train will take almost 9 hours. If you have the time, you can break up the long train ride by stopping in Montpellier, France for a day.
Cinque Terre, Italy – Approx. 2-4 days (+1 full travel day)
Take the 6-hour train ride from Nice, France to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is a string of five centuries-old seaside villages situated on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. If you just want to see the views and do minimal hiking, you can get by staying around two nights — there’s a train that runs between all five towns.
If you want to hike from town to town at a relaxed pace, you might consider staying around three-four nights.
Florence + Tuscany – Approx. 2+2 days
Hop the train (3 hours) to Florence, which is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region. Spend about two nights exploring the city, but be sure to spend a few days relaxing in Tuscany’s gorgeous countryside.
Rome – Approx. 3+ days
From Florence to Rome, it’s a quick 1.5-hour train ride or about a 3.5 to a 4-hour bus ride. Rome is another one of those “must-see” cities that many people love. I’d spend at least three full days in Rome, but seeing it in five days might be more enjoyable.
Venice – Approx. 2 days
The train from Rome to Venice is about 4 hours. Most people see Venice as a day trip, but it’s probably better to actually stay overnight in this beautiful city. This is because the city is absolutely jam-packed during the day — it teeters on unbearable. However, at night and in the early morning, the city is nearly empty so you’re free to explore all the little side streets in peace.
Switzerland – Approx. 2-4 days (+1 full travel day)
From Venice, head up to Switzerland to get some fresh air and stunning mountain views. If you’re into outdoor adventure, then check out Interlaken. Lucerne is a great quintessential Swiss city. Zermatt is a good option if you want to be in the mountains. There are multiple great cities and towns in Switzerland. However, Zurich and Geneva both have a reputation for being a little boring and extra expensive.
Depending on where you go, the train will take around 7-8 hours.
Munich – Approx. 3-4 days (+1 full travel day)
Depending on where you are in Switzerland, Munich is about a 6-hour train ride away — Both Swiss and German trains are excellent, so the ride is quite nice.
There are multiple nice day trips from Munich — like the fairytale-esque Neuschwanstein Castle and the Austrian city of Salzburg (which also makes a nice place to stay for a night or two if you’d like).
Vienna – Approx. 2-3 days
Hop aboard the train for a 4-hour ride from Munich to Vienna.
Budapest – Approx. 3-4 days
The train from Vienna to Budapest (aka, “The Paris of the East”) is around 2.5 hours. We’d recommend staying at least three nights, especially if you like to party.
Kraków – Approx. 2-3 days
Take an overnight train from Budapest to Kraków and you’ll arrive around 8:35 am.
Prague – Approx. 3-4 days
Take another overnight train from Kraków to Prague (which arrives around 6:30 am).
Berlin – Approx. 4+ days
From Prague, Berlin is about a 5-hour train ride. You may want to add an extra day or two if you’re big into all-night dance clubs because Berlin is home to the best nightlife in the world.
Amsterdam – Approx. 2-3 days
Amsterdam is about a 4-hour flight from Berlin (or a 7-hour train ride).
If you’d like, Amsterdam is a good place to end the trip because the airport is a major international hub. If you want to see a little more of Europe, another option is to continue your trip to Dublin to spend a few days traveling around Ireland. The flight to Dublin is about 4.5 hours. Another option is to fly up to Scandinavia to visit Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen.
Total Trip Length 57 days – 75+ days
Doing this itinerary in 57 days is doable, but it will feel a little rushed — you definitely shouldn’t try this particular trip in fewer than that many days. Pushing it closer to 75 days or longer will give you a little more breathing room, and it will let you spend a little extra time in major cities before moving on.
You’re also well under the 90-day limit that you can stay in the Schengen area, so you won’t have to worry about visas.
And, of course, you can always tweak this itinerary to add/subtract destinations from your trip.
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Thanks For Reading! — James