Julie Itinerary 75 Comments

With one week in Europe, you have an infinite number of possibilities for coming up with your “perfect” itinerary. Do you dream of visiting world-class cities like Paris, Barcelona, or Venice? Or would you rather hike the Alps, go on a scenic train ride, explore the beautiful beaches and coastal towns in southern Europe, visit fairytale towns and castles, island hop in Greece, or go on an unforgettable road trip in northern Europe?

There are an endless number of ways to plan a European vacation.

In this article we list 25 ways to spend one week in Europe. 25 itineraries are a lot to choose from, so at the end of this article we give suggestions to help you pick the best Europe itinerary for your traveling style and the season that you plan to visit Europe.

About These Itineraries

Before I start listing itineraries, there are a few important things to know, especially if this will be your first trip to Europe.

With seven days, you have enough time to visit two big cities or one big city with day trips. A road trip through one small region can also easily be done if you have one week in Europe.

With 7 days, you really only have six full days for sightseeing. These seven-day itineraries start on your arrival day.  If you arrive midday on the first day, what you get to see and do will be limited. And if you are arriving to Europe on a red-eye flight (for example, if you live in the United States or Canada), you will have to deal with some level of jet lag on day one (and maybe even day 2). Some of you will be rock stars and hit the ground running and have a great first day. But most likely, you’ll be groggy, tired, and yearning to take a nap.

I know that it is tempting to see as much as possible, but for each new city you add to your itinerary, you will lose roughly half a day in travel time. Sure, you can zip through five cities in seven days, but mostly you will be looking at the inside of a train and lose valuable time packing and unpacking.

The itineraries on this list strike a balance between being just busy enough that you get to do a lot in a short period of time, but not so fast as to feel like you are always in a race.

Here are 25 wonderful ways to spend one week in Europe.

One Week in Europe

25 Suggestions on How to Spend 7 Days in Europe

London & Paris

A visit to London and Paris is a classic European trip. Climb the Eiffel Tower, stroll up the Champs-Elysees, and visit the world-class museums of the Louvre and the British Museum. This is a great trip for a first-time visitor to Europe. Two of Europe’s grandest cities are easily connected by train, so this trip is easy to plan, can be done at any time of the year, and you will make some lifelong memories.
London and Paris
Day 1: Arrive in London
Day 2: London
Day 3: London
Day 4: London
Day 5: Train to Paris in the morning
Day 6: Paris
Day 7: Paris

Paris & Amsterdam

This is also a wonderful trip for the first-time visitor to Europe. In fact, this 7-day itinerary was our introduction to Europe over 10 years ago. Stroll the canals in Amsterdam, visit the world-class art museums in Amsterdam and Paris, and visit the amazing landmarks in Paris. It is easy to connect Amsterdam and Paris with the high-speed Thalys train and this itinerary works great in either direction.
Paris and Amsterdam
Day 1:  Arrive in Amsterdam
Day 2: Amsterdam
Day 3: Amsterdam
Day 4: Morning train to Paris
Day 5: Paris
Day 6: Paris
Day 7: Paris

Rome & the Amalfi Coast

There are many different ways to spend one week in Italy (you will see several in this post). Splitting your time between Rome and the Amalfi Coast is a wonderful way to spend 7 days in Italy. Start in Rome, where you will tour the Colosseum, explore the heart of Rome, and tour the Vatican. By train, travel to the Amalfi Coast, visiting Pompeii along the way. Then spend three magical days on the Amalfi Coast and Capri. Fly home from Rome.
Rome and Amalfi Coast
Day 1: Arrive in Rome
Day 2: Rome
Day 3: Rome
Day 4: Travel to Amalfi Coast, Visit Pompeii
Day 5: Amalfi Coast road trip
Day 6: Capri
Day 7: Sorrento, return to Rome in the evening

Florence & Tuscany

Spend one week in the heart of Italy. Florence is the art capital of the world, filled with some of the best art museums in Europe. It’s also a beautiful city to wander, with towers to climb, places to go shopping, and lots of gelato to eat. After you had your fill of Florence, journey into Tuscany. Stay in one of the small hill towns, the small city of Siena, or in a Tuscan villa. 
Florence and Tuscany
Day 1: Arrive in Florence
Day 2: Florence
Day 3: Florence
Day 4: Tuscany
Day 5: Tuscany
Day 6: Tuscany
Day 7: Tuscany, return to Florence or Rome for your flight home

Rome, Florence & Venice

This is a bit of a whirlwind, but it is possible to visit Rome, Florence, and Venice in seven very busy days. Fly into Rome, ideally arriving in the morning, in order to give yourself two days in the city. Take the train to Florence and then continue by train to Venice. This itinerary is perfect if you want to quickly visit three amazing Italian cities and you do not mind having a very busy and somewhat rushed schedule.
Rome Florence Venice

Day 1: Arrive in Rome
Day 2: Rome
Day 3: Rome
Day 4: Morning train to Florence
Day 5: Florence
Day 6: Morning train to Venice
Day 7: Venice

Barcelona with Day Trips

Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular cities to visit. There is a lot to do here, and it also makes a great home base to day trip to nearby towns. Plan on spending three full days in Barcelona. This gives you enough time to wander the Gothic area, visit Gaudi’s masterpieces (of which there are many), dine on tapas, and watch the sunset from a rooftop bar. Use the remaining days for day trips. Ideas include Montserrat, Girona, Costa Brava, Tarragona, and Cadaques.

Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona
Day 2: Barcelona
Day 3: Barcelona
Day 4: Barcelona
Day 5: Day trip from Barcelona: Montserrat
Day 6: Day trip from Barcelona: Girona
Day 7: Day Trip from Barcelona: Costa Brava

Portugal: Lisbon & The Algarve

Spend one week in Portugal, splitting your time between Lisbon and the beautiful southern coastline. Plan on three days in Lisbon, using one of these days to day trip to Sintra. Then rent a car and road trip along the Algarve coast. While here, relax on the beach, visit the fishing villages, see Benagil Cave, and explore the salt water lagoons.
Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon
Day 2: Lisbon
Day 3: Day trip to Sintra from Lisbon
Day 4: Drive to the Algarve
Day 5: Algarve
Day 6: Algarve
Day 7: Algarve, return to Lisbon in the evening

Switzerland: Lucerne & the Jungfrau Region

If you like the idea of visiting one of the most beautiful areas in Europe, look no farther. Towering mountains, alpine meadows, soaring cable cars, scenic walking trails, quaint villages and hamlets…this is the Jungfrau region of Switzerland. Put most of your time here (you could spend one week in the Jungfrau region and never run out of things to do), but it’s also worth adding a day to explore lovely Lucerne.
Day 1: Arrive in Zurich, travel to the Jungfrau region
Day 2:  Jungfrau region
Day 3: Jungfrau region
Day 4: Jungfrau region
Day 5: Jungfrau region
Day 6: Jungfrau region
Day 7: Morning train to Lucerne, explore Lucerne, sleep in Lucerne or near the Zurich airport

Austria: Vienna, Salzburg & Hallstatt

On this itinerary, explore three magical Austrian cities. You will start your trip in Vienna, home of the Hapsburgs, world class museums, the Opera, cafes, and delicious pastries. Next, take a road trip or travel by train to Hallstatt and Salzburg, two fairytale towns that sit almost side by side. Fly home from Vienna or Munich.
Vienna Salzburg Austria
Day 1: Arrive in Vienna
Day 2: Vienna
Day 3: Vienna
Day 4: Travel to Salzburg in the morning, visit Salzburg
Day 5: Salzburg
Day 6: Hallstatt
Day 7: Travel to Vienna or Munich

Germany: Munich & Bavaria

Bavaria is the southeast region of Germany. With the Alps to the south and idyllic towns dotting its hillsides, Bavaria is a beautiful and romantic destination. Start in Munich. Plan your visit for the end of September if you want to take part in Oktoberfest. Next, road trip into Bavaria. View the Alps from Germany’s highest peak at Zugspitze, tour Neuschwanstein, crazy King Ludwig II’s storybook palace, and learn about WWII history in Berchtesgaden.
Munich and Bavaria
Day 1: Arrive in Munich, travel to Berchtesgaden
Day 2: Berchtesgaden
Day 3: Drive to Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Day 4: Neuschwanstein
Day 5: Zugspitze
Day 6: Munich
Day 7: Munich

Ireland Road Trip

Take a road trip through the Emerald Isle. Start in Dublin and see the sights. Then drive out to the stunning western coast of Ireland, visiting the Rock of Cashel on the way. Walk along the Cliffs of Moher, drive the Ring of Kerry, dine on fish and chips, and enjoy Irish music and a pint of Guinness in a local pub. In the summer months, add a little adventure to your trip with a visit to Skellig Michael Island.
Ireland Road Trip
Day 1: Arrive in Dublin
Day 2: Drive to Killarney, visit the Rock of Cashel
Day 3: Ring of Kerry (Skellig Michael optional)
Day 4: Dingle Peninsula
Day 5: Drive to Doolin
Day 6: Cliff of Moher
Day 7: Galway, return to Dublin

Croatia & Montenegro

The Dalmatian Coast is one of the most beautiful shorelines in Europe. Stretching from Zadar in the north to Dubrovnik in the south, this stretch of coastline is home to dramatic scenery, breathtaking islands, and charming, walled towns. You can easily spend one week on the Dalmatian Coast, exploring the nooks and crannies of shoreline and the fairytale towns, but it is also worth a quick visit to Montenegro, a gem of a country that sits right beside Croatia.
Croatia Montenegro
Day 1: Arrive in Dubrovnik, drive to Split
Day 2: Split
Day 3: Hvar or Brac
Day 4: Dubrovnik
Day 5: Dubrovnik
Day 6: Kotor, Montenegro
Day 7: Kotor, return to Dubrovnik

Paris & the Alsace Wine Region

Combine two of France’s most top destinations into an unforgettable holiday. This is a wonderful way to spend one week in Europe if you love wine, are a foodie, or want a taste of the city and country life in France. Spend three magical days in Paris and then road trip along the fairytale towns in the Alsace wine region. Travel by high-speed train from Paris to Colmar and rent a car to explore the Alsace wine region. Return to Paris by train for your flight home.
Paris and Alsace
Day 1: Arrive in Paris
Day 2: Paris
Day 3: Paris
Day 4: High-speed train to Colmar
Day 5: Alsace wine region
Day 6: Alsace wine region
Day 7: Return to Paris by train

Norway: The Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands are one of the most stunning areas of Norway. This is where majestic mountains meet brilliantly white sandy beaches, fishing villages dot the coastlines, and hiking trails criss-cross their way through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Europe. If you like hiking, the great outdoors, or photographing stunning landscapes, this is one of the best ways to spend one week in Europe. Visit in the summer months to go hiking or the winter months to catch the northern lights.
Lofoten Islands
Day 1:  Arrive in the Lofoten Islands
Day 2: Lofoten Islands
Day 3: Lofoten Islands
Day 4: Lofoten Islands
Day 5: Lofoten Islands
Day 6: Lofoten Islands
Day 7: Fly to Oslo for your flight home

Poland: Warsaw & Krakow

With seven days, you have plenty of time to explore two of Poland’s most popular cities and take one or two day trips. You can visit these cities in either order, connecting them by train. In Warsaw, walk through the historic old town, sample Polish food, and get an eye-opening history lesson at several world-class museums. Krakow, with its large market square, colorful streets, historic sites, and abundance of amazing, budget friendly restaurants, is a favorite stop for many people on their tour through Poland. From Krakow, you have the option to day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau and/or the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

The French Riviera

The south of France…the land of beautiful coastal cities, glitzy beaches, vineyards, and one of the world’s best cuisines. It is a land of luxury, with yachts dotting the shorelines, fancy hotels in every city, and epic parties you read about in magazines. If you get your timing right, you may be able to see the Monaco Grand Prix or Cannes Film Festival. Spend all of your time on the French Riviera, using Nice as your home base to day trip to the coastal towns. Or, spend two days on a road trip to Provence.
French Riviera
Day 1: Arrive in Nice
Day 2: Nice
Day 3: Villefranch-sur-Mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Day 4: Monaco & Eze
Day 5: Antibes and Cannes
Day 6 & 7: More time in the French Riviera or two days in Provence with an overnight stay in Avignon

Scotland: Edinburgh & the Isle of Skye

This is one of our favorite itineraries for one week in Europe. Edinburgh is a small, easily walkable city. Climb a volcano, see where JK Rowling got her inspiration for the Harry Potter series, tour a castle, and learn all about whisky. The trip gets even better with a gorgeous drive through the Scottish countryside to the Isle of Skye. Explore the misty, rugged landscapes on the Isle of Skye, search for fairies, and dine on fresh seafood. If you are traveling with kids, they will love this trip.
Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh
Day 2: Edinburgh
Day 3: Edinburgh
Day 4: Drive to the Isle of Skye
Day 5: Isle of Skye
Day 6: Isle of Skye
Day 7: Isle of Skye, return to Edinburgh

Copenhagen & Stockholm

On this itinerary, explore two Scandinavian cities. Copenhagen, with its colorful buildings, fabulous food scene, and laid-back atmosphere, is a great city to visit on a European tour. Explore the city by bicycle. If you are traveling with kids, they will love a visit to Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Stockholm looks and feels like a wonderful blend of Paris, Prague, and Copenhagen. Stroll the photogenic streets of Gamla Stan, tour City Hall, and learn about the Nobel Peace Prize. During the summer months, a day trip through the archipelago to Sandhamn is a great way to see more of Sweden.
Copenhagen and Stockholm
Day 1: Arrive in Copenhagen
Day 2: Copenhagen
Day 3: Copenhagen
Day 4: Fly to Stockholm
Day 5: Stockholm
Day 6: Stockholm
Day 7: Day trip to Sandhamn, Sweden

Greek Islands

Who wants to go island hopping? Exploring the Greek Islands is a magical way to spend one week in Europe. To save time, you can fly directly to Santorini and start your island-hopping vacation here. There are many gorgeous islands to choose from, and with seven days I recommend picking three islands that are easily connected by ferry. Santorini and Mykonos are top picks for first-time visitors, but Naxos, Paros, and Ios also make the list.
Day 1: Arrive in Santorini
Day 2: Santorini
Day 3: Santorini
Day 4: Naxos
Day 5: Naxos
Day 6: Mykonos
Day 7: Mykonos

London & the Cotswolds

Spend several busy but memorable days exploring London. Once you have your fill of city life, road trip out into the English countryside and visit Stonehenge, Bath, and the Cotswolds.
Day 1: Arrive in London
Day 2: London
Day 3: London
Day 4: Stonehenge and Bath
Day 5: Cotswolds
Day 6: Cotswolds
Day 7: Return to London


Iceland…the land of fire and ice. This small country is one of Europe’s best outdoor destinations. Go on an epic road trip, see the northern lights, walk on a glacier, visit more waterfalls than you can count, journey into the unique landscape of the Highlands, stand on volcano, relax in a hot spring, or hike some of the most scenic trails in the world. These are all things you can do with one week in Iceland.
Day 1: Arrive in Iceland, visit the Blue Lagoon
Day 2: Reykjavik
Day 3: Golden Circle
Day 4: Landmannalaugar Day Trip
Day 5: South Coast of Iceland

Day 6: South Coast of Iceland
Day 7: South Coast of Iceland

Budapest, Vienna & Bratislava

With one week in Europe, you can explore two amazing cities in central Europe, Budapest and Vienna, and day trip to the smaller, underrated city of Bratislava. All three cities are connected by direct trains so planning your trip and getting around is a breeze. Fly into Budapest and fly home from Vienna. This itinerary works great in either direction.
Budapest Vienna Bratislava
Day 1: Arrive in Budapest
Day 2: Budapest
Day 3: Budapest
Day 4: Travel to Vienna
Day 5: Vienna
Day 6: Vienna
Day 7: Bratislava day trip from Vienna

Slovenia: Ljubljana & the Julian Alps

This small, mountainous country is one of Europe’s best outdoor destinations. Hike the Julian Alps, explore the karst caves, visit Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, and wander through lovely Ljubljana. This trip is perfect for families, hikers, and those who love a great road trip. Most of your time will be spent outdoors, either strolling along picture-perfect lakes and mountains, hiking in Triglav National Park, or exploring scenic gorges.
Day 1: Arrive in Ljubljana
Day 2: Ljubljana
Day 3: Day trip to Predjama Castle & Škocjan Caves
Day 4: Lake Bled
Day 5: Lake Bohinj
Day 6:  Vintgar Gorge
Day 7: Hike the Julian Alps

Berlin & Prague

Combine two world class cities with an unexpectedly amazing road trip. Start in Berlin, a diverse city filled with world-class museums, beautiful squares to wander through, and a huge collection of historical sites to visit. Rent a car and drive south to Prague. Along the way, visit the fairytale bridge called Rakotzbrücke and visit Bastei Bridge. End your one-week tour in the gorgeous city of Prague.
Berlin and Prague

Day 1: Arrive in Berlin
Day 2: Berlin
Day 3: Berlin
Day 4: Road trip to Rakotzbrücke and Bastei Bridge, sleep in or near Dresden
Day 5: Prague
Day 6: Prague
Day 7: Prague

Norwegian Fjords

7 amazing days in southern Norway…this is another one of our favorite ways to spend one week in Europe. If you like hiking, scenic drives, and beautiful landscapes, put this road trip on your list. Start in Stavanger, a lovely small town that is the perfect home base for two great hikes: Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten. Drive north to Odda and hike Trolltunga, a sliver of rock that looks like a troll’s tongue. Continue to Flam, where you can ride the Flamsbana to Myrdal, one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. And finally, end your tour of Norway in the colorful coastal town of Bergen.
Berlin and Prague
Day 1: Arrive in Stavanger
Day 2: Kjeragbolten
Day 3: Hike Pulpit Rock, drive to Trolltunga
Day 4: Trolltunga
Day 5: Flam (Norway in a Nutshell) Day 6: Drive to Bergen
Day 7: Bergen

Our Recommendations

25 itineraries are a lot to choose from. Here are our recommendations on how to spend one week in Europe, depending on your traveling style and interests.

First Time to Europe

If it is your first time to Europe, these are our top picks:

  • London and Paris
  • Paris and Amsterdam
  • Rome, Florence and Venice
  • Barcelona with Day Trips
  • Greek Islands

Big Cities

If you prefer to spend your time in world-class cities:

  • London and Paris
  • Paris and Amsterdam
  • Rome, Florence and Venice
  • Barcelona with Day Trips
  • Warsaw and Krakow
  • Berlin and Prague
  • Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava

For Families

For families, our top picks are:

  • Scotland and the Isle of Skye
  • Switzerland: Jungfrau region and Lucerne
  • Slovenia: Ljubljana and the Julian Alps
  • Iceland
  • Bavaria, Germany

For Couples

Whether it is your honeymoon or just a romantic getaway, we recommend:

  • The Greek Islands
  • French Riviera
  • Florence and Tuscany
  • Paris and the Alsace Wine Region
  • Paris and Amsterdam
  • Croatia and Montenegro

For Hikers

If hiking is your thing (like us), our top spots on this list include:

  • Norwegian Fjords
  • The Lofoten Islands in Norway
  • Slovenia and the Julian Alps
  • Scotland: Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye

With More Time

Can you swing another week off of work? For an epic trip to Europe, combine two of these one-week itineraries into a two-week holiday. Here are six great combinations:

  • One week in Bavaria with one week in Austria (Salzburg, Hallstatt & Vienna)
  • Norwegian Fjords with the Lofoten Islands
  • Scotland and Ireland
  • Croatia and Montenegro and one week in Slovenia (as a bonus, visit Plitvice Lakes on the drive between Slovenia and southern Croatia)
  • Visit Paris and the Alsace wine region then continue traveling south to Lucerne and the Jungfrau region of Switzerland
  • Combine Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava with Prague and Berlin

If you are looking for more great European itineraries and you have 10 days, read our post 10 Days in Europe: 10 Amazing Itineraries.

Are You Designing a Custom Europe Itinerary?

These itineraries make a great starting point for designing your own custom Europe itinerary. For more tips and tricks to help you plan the perfect itinerary, consider reading this article:

7 Things to Know When Planning Your First Trip to Europe

For more travel ideas, visit our Travel Itineraries page. Check out our detailed itineraries for Africa, Asia, Oceania, North and South America, and Europe.

One Week in Europe
One Week in Europe Itinerary

Photo Credits:

  • Colosseum (in post and as cover photo): prochasson frederic/shutterstock
  • Portugal: artem evdokimov/shutterstock

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Comments 75

  1. Avatar for Java Koch
    Java Koch

    Hi there! We are planning a trip late August with our 3 children, all in their 20’s. Would you recommend Croatia for 8 days or Brussels and another city?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Croatia in August will be visiting small coastal towns, maybe using the ferry to visit an island or two, dining on Mediterranean food, with the option to visit a place like Plitvice Lakes. It can be very hot in August (it was during our most recent visit). Brussels goes well with Amsterdam, Paris, or London. This trip would be all city sights, museums, etc. It could be cooler than Croatia, depending on the heat wave situation in Europe, which are becoming more frequent. Both are good options and it comes down to personal preference as to how you would like to spend your time. You could share these ideas and photos from this website and take a vote! I hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Irene
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We don’t have a separate 7 day itinerary written out for Rome Venice and Florence. However, we have a 10 day itinerary. You could modify it by taking out the Cinque Terre, which would get it down to 8 days. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Hillary

    I am looking at traveling to Rome and the Almalfi Coast at the end of May for about 7-8 days with my 4 college aged children. Would you consider heading to the Amalfi Coast right when we land in Rome to regroup and rest. And then do Rome on the way back so we don’t have to spend the night in Rome, then AC, and then back in Rome before we fly home? Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, that plan works very well. If you are arriving on a red eye flight, that first day isn’t usually very “productive,” so relaxing on a train ride or doing the short car ride (if you plan to rent a car) is good to do on that first day. Once you get to Rome, where your schedule could be busier, you will be well adjusted to the time. That is all assuming that you are coming in from outside of Europe. Even if you aren’t I still think making that one big travel day makes the end of the itinerary more pleasant. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Derald Jones
    Derald Jones

    We will already be in Norwich England and would like to plan a 6 day trip (guided tour) to Amsterdam, Spain and perhaps Italy. Anytime from June 11 – July 9

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      6 days isn’t much time to visit one city and two countries. With 6 days you can Amsterdam and a nearby city (Paris or Brussels work well) OR do Barcelona, Spain with day trips OR Rome and Florence or two other cities in Italy. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Divyaa

    Hi, I am visiting my sister who is staying in Frankfurt. And we want to plan a 7 to 10-day holiday together in the month of June. This is my first time in Europe, can you suggest some options? As of now exploring Austria as one. And 2nd option being Paris and something more.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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