The question above is one that I am asked a lot because I, A) love to travel & B) live in Europe. While I love living in Manchester, I am also mindful it’s not on the top of people’s list when planning a trip to Europe and that’s perfectly ok.
It’s exciting to see that travelers’ appetite to explore the world has come back stronger than ever post the pandemic and I’m here for you!
Whether you are visiting for the first time or returning to explore new countries and cities in Europe, below are the top questions I’m asked and my answers based on my experience of living and traveling through Europe. I also include suggested Europe travel itineraries that are packed with travel planning tips to help you make the most of your time in Europe.
Top Europe Travel Questions
|Q: When’s the best time to fly to Europe?||A: I’d say September. You can guarantee you will still get good weather and it’s cheaper since it’s after the peak summer season. The other time I would suggest is in the spring (April/May) right before summer season begins.|
|Q: What are the top cities/countries to visit?||A: The top cities/countries to visit in Europe are;|
|Q: What itinerary would you recommend if visiting Europe for the first time?||A: Depends on what you want. See “Questions To Ask Yourself” below with suggestions based on your answers.|
Questions To Ask Yourself
|1. Do you want to visit 1 country and do multiple cities in one country?|
Yes – Go to “Option 3” below.
No – Go to “Option 1” or “Option 2” below.
|2. Do you want to visit multiple countries but only visit 1 city in each country?|
Yes – Go to “Option 1” or “Option 2” below.
No – Go to “Option 3” below.
|2. How many days do you have for your trip? |
TIP: Keep in mind that with a trip of 8 days including travel time, this translates to 6 days since 2 of those days you will be flying.
1-8 days total (including travel) – Go to “Option 1” or “Option 2” (“Option 3” can be tailored to be 1-8 days by cutting out cities from the trip.)
8+ days – Go to “Option 3” (“Option 1” or “Option 2” can be tailored to be 8+ days by adding extra days in each country which will allow you to take more time in each country or visit more cities in each country.)
Travel Planning Tip: If you are hoping to visit either Italy or Spain then I would group these together and replace Day 2-3 in Barcelona, Day 4 traveling to Italy, Day 5-6 in Italy and Day 7 traveling back to Spain to catch your flight home on Day 8.
|Day 4||London (2 hour train on Eurostar)|
|Day 7||Brussels – Day Trip (1.5 hour train)|
|Day 4||Brussels (1.5 hour train)|
|Day 5||Extra day in either Brussels or Luxembourg.|
|Day 6||Luxembourg (3 hour train)|
Option 3: One Country // Italy // Car Road Trip
Below is an example of a 2 week itinerary that includes travel and visits only 1 country. I’d recommend renting a car to ensure you maximize on time and aren’t restricted based on train/bus times. (See more tips for this type of trip at the end of this travel itinerary.)
Travel Planning Tip: This can easily be created for other countries mentioned above by identifying what cities you want to visit in the country and using google maps to map the best route.
|Day 3||Naples (2.5 hour drive from Rome)|
|Day 4||Rome (2.5 hour drive from Rome)|
|Day 6||Florence (3 hour drive from Rome)|
|Day 8||Venice (3 hour drive from Florence)|
|Day 10||Option 1: Pisa/Florence (3.5 hour drive from Venice to Pisa then 1.5 hour to Florence) I would recommend staying in Florence for the night. |
Option 2: Florence (3 hour drive from Venice)
|Day 11||Florence to Rome (3 hour drive to Rome)|
Bonus Italy Travel Tips:
- I would start with Naples and then work my way up. This will allow you to have days you don’t have to drive as this will help you actually enjoy places.
- I would keep in mind that if you visit in the spring, say around Easter time, Rome will be crazy busy since the Vatican is there.
- Getting up early will be key if you want to maximize your days. If you can get to places around 10am-11am, would be the most ideal, as this way you have a good chunk of the day to explore.
- Use the toll routes in Italy as these cut a lot of driving time.
- Pisa is where the leaning tower of Pisa is. A nice 1/2 day trip as there isn’t anything else that really stands out or worth seeing in Pisa. (This visit can also can be scrapped depending how travelers are feeling. Kids, for example, can only take so much moving around)
Know that there are many possible combinations of cities, countries and type of trips you can create but hope this Europe Travel Guide helps you plan your own visit to Europe. If you still need help brainstorming more, contact me here.
Lastly, be sure to check out my “Book Your Trip” section for cost savings and the best travel deals all under one place. This includes accommodations, trains, cars, tours and activities, etc. in Europe.