7 Day Europe Itinerary – How to Plan an Epic Trip

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Traveling throughout Europe is an incredible experience, and one that everyone should plan on doing especially if you are considering visiting this continent for the first time. Whether you are intrigued by the prospect of seeing Big Ben in London for the first time, or perhaps enjoying a romantic walk by the River Seine in Paris, the opportunities to explore Europe are endless. From weekend getaways to longer stays, a trip to Europe should be carefully planned to ensure you are maximizing your time. While we tend to focus on maximizing weekend getaways, we want to share our thoughts on how you can prepare the ideal 7 day Europe itinerary, and perhaps you will be inspired to book a trip in the near future.

barcelona

How to plan a trip to Europe for only 7 days? It’s a million dollar question, and one that can be extremely challenging and particularly daunting for those that are infrequent travelers. Thanks to the wonderful platforms and technology that we have readily available at our fingertips, this experience is much easier than you may first think.

london

Thanks to the amazing public transportation system, cheap flights, and other ways to get around Europe, exploring a variety of European destinations in a short time is certainly feasible. Click here for details on creating optimal travel plans between destinations to ensure you are ready to go with your dream European trip!

While our recommended itinerary is only a suggestion, our number one tip that we will always reiterate during any trip planning is to allow time for spontaneity. You could easily be forgiven for wanting to cram everything there is to see in Europe in a short time, but the reality is you have to be realistic about what you can accomplish.

lisbon

Before we take a look at some suggested week long itineraries exploring some of the spectacular landmarks and sights in Europe, we want to provide you with some of our best tips on planning this type of an adventure. As always, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments as to what you believe to be an optimal 7-day itinerary across Europe, along with any additional tips and tricks that you have found to be beneficial.

berlin

7 Day Europe Itinerary

Before you start thinking about possible itineraries, take a few minutes to think about the answers to the following questions:

  • Are there any “must-see” destinations on your bucket list that you need to ensure are on this itinerary?
  • Do you have a preference over how you connect between destinations (e.g. do you prefer to travel by train, flights, rental car etc.)?
  • Is your focus to see highlight attractions that are infamous to the location, or do you want to look “off the beaten path” to enjoy local experiences?
  • How ambitious are you in terms of how much you wish to see inside one week?

While you don’t need to have 100% concrete responses to each of these, having a few ideas will enable you to develop a much more efficient itinerary that works for your travel style. There is no right or wrong answer to planning a European week-long itinerary, but the better you plan, the more enjoyable the experience will be!

luxembourg

How to Begin Planning an Itinerary?

Ok, so you have established the basic answers to the above questions and you are ready to start planning. Take a dart and throw it against a map and see where it lands in Europe! Maybe not the most data-driven decision but for the truly spontaneous travelers out there, perhaps that’s the best approach. Alternatively, and what we believe to be better recommendation, would be to look at your starting point.

amsterdam

If you are traveling to Europe from another continent, your initial flight into a major European hub will likely determine how the itinerary will take shape. Whether it’s London, Paris, Frankfurt, or Milan, there are endless options to start your journey. You may even find a nation’s “second city” to be a better alternative, so be prepared to shop around and consider all your options.

Once you determine your starting point, map out 2 or 3 locations you don’t want to miss. From there, you can start building out a daily schedule of attractions, landmarks, and of course, those local hidden gems that truly creates a memorable experience in Europe. With so much rich history, heritage, and culture, you have to be willing to uncover some of these lesser known gems in order to truly appreciate the inherent beauty of this continent.

san marino

Spontaneity vs Strict Schedule

Creating an itinerary can frequently lead to people thinking this is a strict schedule that you must follow in order to make the most of your trip. Careful planning of the itinerary actually allows for some spontaneity and flexibility which alongside the organization of the initial schedule will create an even better experience during your visit to Europe.

swiss alps

An example of this would be if you are planning a 7-day trip and want to visit three destinations. You could consider spending two days in each, and then allow for one additional day to either add a smaller location en route to the next location, or perhaps you will find that 48 hours in a city (which in most destinations will be true!) is simply not enough to barely scratch the surface and you can spend an additional 24 hours there.

Our Favorite 7-Day European Adventures

The options are endless and the opportunities to explore Europe in 7-days create so many thoughts in our minds because it’s a ideal timeframe to explore a couple of your favorite destinations. While we want to emphasize that if you are able to add more time, this will enhance your trip even more, we realize that building at most a 7-day adventure is frequently what many people can afford both in terms of budget and time constraints.

swiss alps

Admittedly, we have several favorite itineraries that we have experienced in Europe across the period of 7-days (or less in some cases).

England, France and Belgium
Day 1 & 2 - London
Day 3 & 4 - Paris
Day 5 & 6 - Brussels

The above schedule allows you to spend an extra 24 hours in one of the above cities, or perhaps you will be inspired to take a day trip to Stonehenge, Normandy, Versailles, or other iconic location in one of these countries.
Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Germany
Day 1 - Zurich
Day 2 - Strasbourg
Day 3 - Luxembourg
Day 4 & 5 - Frankfurt
Day 6 & 7 - Berlin

An action packed itinerary that combines a blend of iconic cities, with some lesser known "second cities" but equally spectacular with plenty of historic landmarks to visit.
Switzerland, Austria and Czech Republic
Day 1 - Geneva
Day 2 - Swiss Alps
Day 3 - Zurich
Day 4 & 5 - Vienna
Day 6 & 7 - Prague

While many itineraries will frequently showcase a countries spectacular urban landscapes, we think the above itinerary offers a nice blend of rural beauty with the journey through the Swiss Alps being one of the most incredible anywhere in Europe. Whether you opt to rent a car, or in our opinion the best option, take the train, this is an unforgettable experience you won't want to miss!

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Chris Boothmanhttps://abritandasoutherner.com
Chris Boothman is the co-founder of A Brit and A Southerner. Born near Manchester, England, Chris moved to USA in 2006 where he soon after met his wife and travel partner in crime, Heather. They have since embarked on an amazing journey of travel as they challenge others to follow in their paths of working full-time but also being able to travel frequently! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Chris at [email protected]

4 COMMENTS

  1. I am grateful for the tips on how to save money on flights and accommodation. This is important to me, as I am on a budget.

    I am excited to start planning my trip to Europe!

  2. This is such a helpful and comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to visit Europe in a week. You have covered some of the most iconic and beautiful destinations in the continent and given some practical tips and suggestions for each day. I appreciate how you have balanced the time between sightseeing, relaxing and enjoying the local cuisine. You have also included some stunning photos that make me want to book a flight right now. Thank you for creating this amazing itinerary and sharing your experiences with us. You are a wonderful travel blogger! πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ

  3. I think it is a good idea to make the most of the big flight costs across the ocean by seeing multiple countries. We did England, Spain, Gibraltar the first time. Second time Switzerland, Italy, France.

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