2 Weeks in Europe – 10 Excellent Trip Itineraries

travel around europe in 2 weeks

If you’re planning a 2-week trip to Europe and need some itinerary ideas for your vacation, you’ve come to the right place. As someone born and raised in Europe, I can give you some good advice when it comes to my home continent. 14 days may sound like a long trip, but not on this incredibly diverse continent. With so many attractions, sights to see, and cultures to experience, your 2 weeks vacation in Europe will go by in the blink of an eye!

How to Plan a Perfect Europe Trip Itinerary

If this is your first time in Europe, you probably have quite a few places on your Europe bucket list. Without knowing anything about you or your interests, I can only give you basic, generic advice. Below is a list of 10 suggested itineraries for a 2-week trip to Europe. The itineraries are grouped according to the different European regions. However, you can choose any combination from the cities listed here, according to your tastes and interests.

Best Western Europe Trip 2-Week Itinerary

• London, Paris, and Amsterdam

These three cities have more than enough to keep you engaged for 2 weeks. You can easily spend the entire two weeks in Paris if you were to visit all its amazing churches and museums. London, Amsterdam, and Paris are among Europe’s greatest cities and enjoy perennial popularity, despite the many problems they have been facing lately. I think they are worth seeing at least once, even though they are always crowded.

images for 2 weeks in Europe Itinerary: Paris, London, Amsterdam

You have excellent direct flights, trains, or bus connections between all three. There are overnight trains between Lisbon and Madrid that run daily, departing at 11:34 p.m. and arriving in Madrid at 8:40 a.m. Also, there are direct flights, trains, or buses from Madrid to Barcelona.

• Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona

All these Iberian cities are packed with culture, culinary delights, and incredible landscapes. They are easy to reach from most major airports around the world. Although you could easily spend two weeks in Spain alone, visiting other historical places like Toledo or Cordoba, for instance, I suggest including Portugal in your European itinerary as well. Lisbon, its capital city, is not only very romantic and cultured but also quite inexpensive. Book this private walking tour of the highlights of Lisbon and enjoy the history of this city.

Two weeks in Europe itinerary idea

• Rome, Florence, and Venice

These are three of Italy’s most captivating and rewarding cities. If you like archaeology, you’ll love Rome! Florence and Venice are also very charming cities, although quite different from Rome. If you prefer to spend your time in one single country, this combination is one of the best itineraries for a 2-week trip to Europe. Italy has a wealth of archaeological sites, most of which are concentrated in relatively compact areas. These three cities also have excellent train, bus, and plane connections (buy your ticket on omio.com).

images for a 2-week trip to Europe itinerary in Rome

Sicily is another great place in Europe where you can easily spend 2 weeks. There are so many archaeological sites and beautiful towns in Sicily to add to your list! I promise that you won’t get bored if you choose to spend your entire European vacation on this island. Palermo alone can easily justify a 10-day Italy itinerary. You have good bus connections between cities, but Sicily is best explored by car. You can choose to visit the nearby Malta if you go to Sicily.

Central Europe 2 Weeks Trip Itinerary

Central Europe is becoming increasingly popular. 30 years ago, cities like Prague, Budapest, Dresden, or Wroclaw were largely unknown to the world traveler. But after the fall of communism, Central Europe experienced a strong cultural and tourist revival.

• Prague, Vienna, and Budapest

These three capitals have it all: beautiful architecture, fascinating history, packed concert calendars, and delicious food. For those who want to tour Central Europe, this trip itinerary is perfect. Traveling by rail is the best way to go between these three, as distances are relatively short. You can buy tickets at the station right before the train is scheduled to depart.

• Berlin, Dresden, and Wroclaw

Combining the cosmopolitan Berlin with the phoenix-city of Dresden and the picturesque Wroclaw will give you a great understanding of what makes this part of Europe so fascinating. You have direct trains between all these cities.

• Zurich, Lucerne, Lugano, and Milan

You can never go wrong with Switzerland and the northern part of Italy! Cities like Lucerne, Zurich, Lugano, and Milan have stunning scenery, art museums, old cathedrals, historic palaces, and more charm than you can imagine. However, they are not very big, so 2-3 days in each one would most likely be enough. The best way to move between these cities is by rail. Switzerland is famous for its top-of-the-line panoramic trains, so you can choose to travel from Lucerne to Lugano aboard the Gotthard Panorama Express. You can also take the same route on a non-panoramic train if you want to avoid paying the mandatory reservation fee.

Northern Europe 2 Weeks Itinerary

• Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen

These three cities are definitely in a league of their own. Although they can’t compete with Rome’s historic sites or with the charm of Paris, Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm have stunning architecture, world-class museums, and some of the best shopping and dining in Europe. If you plan to spend your 2 weeks’ vacation in Northern Europe during the summer months, this trip itinerary is your best bet. While the rest of Europe is boiling hot, Northern Europe enjoys much cooler temperatures and longer days in summer.

• Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius

I can’t mention Northern Europe without including a tour of the Baltic capitals. The Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania weren’t even on the map when I was growing up. But like many other European countries that lived in the shadow of the Soviet Union until the ’90s, they have enjoyed a true renaissance in the past years. If you want to travel somewhere your friends haven’t even heard of, you should visit the Baltic capitals. Plus, these are among the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.

South-Eastern Europe – 2 Weeks Trip Itineraries

The Balkan Peninsula is the most culturally diverse in Europe. This region also has an extremely varied topography. Bordered by the Adriatic and Ionian Sea to the west, the Aegean Sea to the south, the Sea of Marmara to the southeast, and the Black Sea to the east, the Balkan countries are stunningly beautiful. There are so many great destinations in South-Eastern Europe that it’s difficult to decide which ones to include in your trip itinerary. Here are two suggestions:

• Athens, Istanbul, Bucharest

If you plan to build your itinerary around these three cities, you could spend 3 days in Athens, 7 days in Istanbul, and 2-3 days in Bucharest. Or you can choose to spend your entire 2 weeks’ trip to Europe by visiting just one country. We did that last year and took a road trip in the Peloponnese. It was an unexpected success, it was pleasant, and we had a great time there. Peloponnese is one of the less-explored parts of Greece, but it is so beautiful that you won’t believe it. It has plenty of beach towns, some of which are nicer and more sophisticated than the ritzy Greek islands, like the beach town of Nafplio. Countries like Greece, Turkey, or Romania have plenty of amazing sites to keep you entertained and engaged for 14 days.

Athens, Istanbul, Bucharest itinerary

The best way to travel between these 3 countries is by plane. Between Istanbul and Athens, you can use Pegasus Airlines (a budget airline), and between Istanbul and Bucharest, you can use Turkish Airlines.

• Ljubljana, Split, Dubrovnik, Kotor

These four cities will take you through three of the most beautiful countries in the Balkans: Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro. The best way to travel between these cities would be by car or by bus, as there are no train connections between Split and Dubrovnik. For those who want to rent a car to drive through the Balkans, I recommend this 14-day Balkans road trip itinerary. If you have a car, you can extend your itinerary to some other points of interest in this region.

How to Plan a 2 Weeks Trip to Europe

Being born and raised in Europe, I always get asked these two questions: when is the best time to go to Europe and what is the best itinerary for a first-time visit to Europe. My answer is always the same: it depends on what you want to do in Europe and how much time you can spend there.

If this is your first time in Europe and all you have is 14 days, there are a few things to consider before deciding what to add to your list:

• Keep your travel plans simple

Most first-time visitors to Europe are determined to see as much as possible on that first trip. Keep in mind that Europe is a big and diverse continent. There is a lot to see everywhere you go. Fitting all your bucket-listed locations into a 2-week trip to Europe is nearly impossible.

• Start with the most popular cities

Your first trip to Europe is not the best time to go off the beaten path. I recommend sticking to the big cities, even though they are more crowded. Major European cities have it all: top-notch museums, beautiful architecture, great restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife. Besides, they are big transportation hubs and are cheaper for flying in and out of Europe.

• Choose to visit places that are close to each other

The closest major European cities are at least two hours apart, whether you travel by car, by train, or by plane. Transit between cities takes at least half a day, if you consider the time you need to check out of one hotel and check into your next one. Therefore, you won’t be able to do much sightseeing on the day you travel.

• Plan to spend at least 3-4 days in each city you visit

While it’s possible to cover more than half a dozen countries in your 14 days in Europe, just running between destinations doesn’t mean you actually visited them! If you want to see at least the major sights, you should plan to spend a minimum of 3-4 days in each city you visit.

• Book an open-jaw ticket

If you plan on touring a specific region or doing a multi-destination trip, you can often save a lot of time and money with booking one.

Once you’re further along in your planning process, you can use our Travel Resources page for the best deals on airfare, accommodations, and local guided tours.

• Rent a car only if you are planning to travel outside the big cities, where parking is expensive and difficult to find. Nonetheless, sometimes renting a car will save you a lot of time and is obviously more comfortable. We usually use Discovercars when we travel in Europe.

Tips for Spending 2 Weeks in Europe

• Book accommodations in the city center. Hotel rates are higher in the city center, but it’s worth paying the extra dollars if you can afford it. You’ll save time and money on transportation.

• Use Hotel Alternatives. AirBnB or VRBO for lodging instead of booking hotel rooms, especially if you travel in a bigger group. They are a much better deal and have beautiful apartments all around the world. For the same price, you would pay for an average hotel, you could rent an entire apartment.

• Don’t exchange money at the airport. Airports, train stations, or tourist areas have the worst exchange rates. But if you look for an exchange office outside these areas, your hard-earned money can go a way longer way. If no exchange booths are around, use the ATM machines throughout the city.

• Consider using public transportation. Driving a car in Europe is an expensive and inconvenient complication. None of these European cities were built with cars in mind, so the roads are crowded and full of restrictions. Rather than worrying about parking fees, one-way streets, and pedestrian zones, consider using public transportation during your 2 weeks in Europe.

• Travel by train or use budget airlines. Train travel through Europe is one of the best ways to see the continent. The rail network is extremely developed, and train service is very reliable. For longer distances, flying one of the many European airlines is also a great option. There are over a dozen budget airlines in Europe that fly anywhere on the continent for unbelievably low prices. They charge extra for seats and luggage, but even so, you can fly for as low as €30-40/one way.

• Dress comfortably. Dressing comfortably when you travel to Europe is very important, but avoid looking like a tourist. Not sure how to blend in with the locals? Read my guide about how to dress like a European. Buy the best shoes you can afford. I can’t stress enough the importance of wearing comfortable shoes while traveling in Europe. Many of the old European cities are still paved with cobblestones which are very rough on your soles.

• Travel off-season. Everyone wants to travel when the weather is stable, but summers can be brutal in Europe: big crowds, expensive accommodations and airfare, busy trains and public transportation, and very hot. The best time to visit Europe is in fall or in spring when temperatures are milder, and there are fewer crowds. December is also a very popular time of year to visit Europe, when most European cities dress up for the holidays.

• Get acquainted with the European lifestyle. Most travelers to Europe expect to encounter cultural differences, yet when confronted with them, they are always caught off guard. I wrote a very detailed post about what will surprise you as a first-time visitor to Europe. These are very useful tips that you will need before traveling to Europe.

A Final Note

This guide is a good resource if you intend to visit Europe independently. However, if you prefer an organized tour, there are plenty of great tours of Europe to choose from. Hope the itineraries above gave you some idea of how to travel Europe in 2 weeks. And if you like a place you saw, make a plan to return and explore it more in-depth. Two weeks in Europe will not be enough to see this magical continent.

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