A 20-City Step By Step Guide For The Perfect European Itinerary

We aren't expecting the people reading this to have magically saved up the thousands of dollars required to depart on a trip such as this, but it's fun to suspend your disbelief if only for a minute or two, and it's even more fun to think about the endless possibilities that the continent of Europe holds. It's big, it's bright, and travelling around it isn't all too difficult.

Because of that, we've decided to formulate a 20-city plan that will allow you to see the biggest and the brightest attractions from top to bottom. Due to the practicality of it all, we've limited the majority of the trip so that it doesn't include too many Eastern countries. They're still fantastic in their own right, but for the sake of this adventure, a few cities have been sacrificed.

Nobody will ever be able to truly explore every single corner of the world and more specifically Europe, but you should give it your best shot during your time on Earth. Oh, and just so you know, we've arranged for these imaginary journeys to take place via car, train, bus and flight, depending on which is the most convenient.

That's the beauty of travelling around Europe - it doesn't matter how you want to get around, because pretty much every single conceivable method is possible. So whether you're reading this in the States or in Ukraine, you can sit back and enjoy as we take you through the best places Europe has to offer.

P.S: Yes, this would probably take over a month for you to do properly, so you'd best book some time off work.

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20 Edinburgh - The Brighter Side Of Scotland


We're going to kick things off at the tipping point of the United Kingdom, in order for you to experience everything that the island has to offer (sorry Ireland, we'll include you next time). Edinburgh is arguably the best location in all of Scotland, and it highlights the history associated with the nation as well as the modern-day culture.

Glasgow may be more well known but Edinburgh is the perfect destination for a getaway, and for a trip as hectic as this one, you're going to want to chill out a little bit before things get too crazy. It's not too loud and it's not too quiet, so it's pretty much ideal.

19 Manchester - The Social Hub

Via: Visit Manchester

It's no secret that Manchester is the social hub of the north, but that can probably extend to the entire country. From music to great food to diversity, MCR has it all and so much more. It doesn't get anywhere near as much attention as the capital down south, but that shouldn't detract you.

In fact, nothing should. The heart of Manchester beats stronger than most cities around the world, and we aren't just saying that for the sake of it. There's architectural brilliance to be found on every corner, and on top of that, you aren't going to find too many places with as good of a sporting pedigree.

18 London - Rule Britannia

Via: Visit London

While MCR and LDN aren't all too different from one another, there's no denying the tourism figures. From Big Ben to the Wembley Stadium to the West End, you'll never be short of things to do and sights to see in London. Even the underground is quite exciting, although that depends on your personal preference.

You'll be able to travel between the two in a matter of hours, and it won't even cost you all that much. It'll set you up perfectly for your first non-UK visit of the trip, too, with London being another fine representative of a city that refuses to let anyone beat it down.

17 Paris - Cultural Perfection

via:Going Chic

The title of this entry, 'cultural perfection', may seem a little bit over the top to some people - but to us, it really isn't. France isn't a perfect country by any means, and Paris has had its fair share of problems, but does that make it any less mystical or breathtaking? No.

You can arrive at Gare du Nord within a few hours of hopping on the Eurostar at St Pancras, confirming Paris as one of the most accessible cities in the world. You won't be able to avoid being swept up in the fun and splendour of the city, and you'll be begging to go back for more.

16 Brussels - Beauty & Chocolate

Via: Media Consulta

Belgium is an incredibly small nation that often doesn't receive the kind of plaudits that it deserves, and that's a shame. It's another city that you'd be able to travel to within just a few hours, it's not all too expensive, and it fits all the charm of Paris and the excitement of Manchester into even smaller boundaries.

The political side of things may not tickle your fancy, but the fantastic brews and the incredible chocolate just might. It's not a city that's all too lively in comparison to some of the others on this list but it should certainly be appreciated all the same, especially if you want to get the most out of it.

15 Amsterdam - Fun For Young And Old

via:The Telegraph

When you think of Amsterdam, the odds are that you're going to think about some late night activities that don't exactly appeal to everyone. Beyond that, though, you'll find a desperately underrated city that isn't just great to look at but is also great to explore.

It gives you the chance to test out your cycling skills as you bike around town, there are a variety of both fun and serious museums to have a look at, and there are plenty of sporting activities too. So the next time you rush to conclusions, make sure you don't judge this book by its cover.

14 Berlin - History Beckons

Via: Lonely Planet

We're taking a slightly longer trip this time to Berlin, which is a journey you can either make by car, train or plane - depending on how you're feeling and what your finances are like. The German capital provides you with a complete change of pace, and on a trip like this, that's probably a good thing.

The history that you'll uncover here will probably seem a little bit daunting and slightly terrifying at times, but that's the intended effect it's supposed to have. You'll be able to see just how far Berlin has come and how far the Germans have come, all the while being able to enjoy the city's newfound purity.

13 Oslo - Norway's Focal Point

Via: World Travel Guide

In what could well be your first flight of this European adventure, we're heading all the way up north to Oslo in Norway. In what is considered to be a notoriously expensive city, don't panic, because as long as you play your cards right you'll still be able to churn out an affordable trip.

Plus, everything that seems a little bit too much is more than worth the price of admission. The country as a whole is absolutely gorgeous and while the many cruises and boat trips will be able to inform you of that, the city of Oslo itself is as enjoyable and unassuming as the rest of Scandinavia.

12 Stockholm - Swedish Seclusion

Via: Visit Stockholm

While the title of 'Swedish seclusion' may confuse you a little bit considering we're talking about a fairly large European city, let us explain. Sweden may be a busy place and it may be thriving in many areas, but in Stockholm, you'll feel like you're a million miles away from anyone or anything else - in the best possible way.

You'll find yourself walking for hours on end, just admiring everything that you see around you. The reason that sounds a little bit cheesy is that it is, and sometimes, you need to allow yourself to get a bit carried away with things like that. Let go, and just enjoy the process.

11 Copenhagen - Danish Delight

Via: Lonely Planet

Copenhagen isn't quite as expensive as its Scandinavian neighbours, which automatically gives it something of an advantage. Hitting all three of these big cities in one trip allows you to compare and contrast between them, which is one of the main reasons why we wanted to include the trio in this particular journey.

The Danes are a great bunch and Copenhagen is a phenomenal place to visit if only to walk down the Nyhavn or try out Tivoli Gardens. There are new experiences to be found around every single corner, and funnily enough, that's not something that can be said of every other entry.

10 Gdansk - Pure Polish Brilliance

via:About Eastern Europe

When you're sat by the waterfront eating a traditional Polish meal with a Tyskie to go alongside side it, and you've paid a third of the price that you would back in your home country, you'll start to understand why we value Gdansk as such a tremendous city.

The country of Poland as a whole is brilliant, but Gdansk, in particular, is well worth the flight from Denmark. We simply had to include one of their cities on this list and it could easily have been Wroclaw, Krakow or somewhere else, but Gdansk gets the nod courtesy of the scenery alone.

9 Prague - Non-Stop Entertainment

Via: Travel + Leisure

Get ready for something that's a little bit 'faster' so to speak in the form of Prague. We're continuing on with cities that are quite cheap with this particular section of the trip, meaning that you'll be able to save up a decent amount of money to spend on the final few legs.

That doesn't mean you won't still be able to enjoy Prague Castle or the Old Town, because you will. You'll likely run into a few stag or hen parties as you make your way through the city, but that's all a part of the fun. Nothing can ever really prepare you for a place like this, and that's what is so wonderful about it.

8 Budapest - The Pinnacle Of Excellence

Via: WeLoveBudapest

If you take what we've put about Prague and multiply it by three or four, you've got Budapest. From Buda Castle to the thermal baths to Gozsdu Udvar there are a million and one things to do in this city, and you'll need to head back three or four more times to even get close to experiencing them all.

Budapest is completely different to anywhere else on this list, and it serves as a great place for people who want to be kept on their toes whilst also wanting some quiet time to walk around the city. It doesn't matter what kind of mood you're in because Buda has something for everyone and while that may sound like a stereotypical tourism advertisement, it's the truth.

7 Bratislava - Understated & Underrated

Via: Visit Bratislava

Some Americans reading this won't even know the country that Bratislava belongs to (Slovakia for reference), let alone the city itself. With less than 450,000 residents you'll find yourself with a lot more room than you usually would on one of these trips, and that can only be a good thing.

It's a short ride over from Budapest on the train, it's cheap, and it's really easy to walk around. Weekend breaks are extremely underrated in every single corner of the globe, and if you want Europe in a nutshell, then visiting Bratislava would be a solid move all around.

6 Vienna - Calm & Tranquil

Via: Big Bus Tour

Sometimes you don't want the hustle and bustle of some of these other cities, and we completely understand that. So when you hit up Vienna, you don't need to worry about all that, and instead, you can just chill out with the best hot dog you'll ever eat and some of the finest pieces of architecture you're ever likely to find.

As the title states, Vienna is calm and tranquil and gives you an insight into just how beautiful Austria really is. It's one of those crazy countries that also features some of the best skiing facilities and conditions in the world, so if you want to throw an additional visit in there, go check out Salzburg.

5 Munich - The Other Side Of Germany

Via: Evening Standard

You experienced Berlin earlier on in the trip, and now, you can see what it's like on the other side of the coin. For argument's sake, we're going to pretend like this trip has fallen right in the middle of Oktoberfest, in which case, there's no better place on the planet to be than Munich.

The central square alone will keep you occupied for days on end and once you've found yourself a half-decent Oktoberfest hall, then all bets are off. If you aren't the brew type then that's fine, because it'll give you even more time to enjoy the culinary delights of the city.

4 Rome - Experience The Capital

Via: Lifehacker

You can't end your big European journey without hitting up Italy, and while we may have missed out a few other big countries like Portugal, there's no real comparison when it comes to variety. You've got the Colosseum, you've got the sunshine, you've got the culture, and you've got the Italian food. What's not to love?

This would only be a quick one-night stopover but that wouldn't impact your experience, especially when you see what's coming up next. There are other cities that are worthy of a place on this list in Italy, but Rome really is one of those 'tick off the bucket list' kind of locations.

3 Bologna - The Real Italy

Via: Harvard Business Review

That's right: it's time for some serious food consumption. While other places offer up some great dishes you'll find nothing quite as pure as Bologna, which combines the Italian countryside with a dash of city life perfectly. It's very chique and very old-school, but that kind of 'change of pace' is much needed.

A short break is all that's really required in this instance, but it's still going to be something that you'll want to mark down on the calendar. As you come to the end of this exhausting yet exhilarating adventure, sometimes, you need to take it down a notch or two.

2 Barcelona - Simply Breathtaking

Via: Travel Massive

According to this writer, Madrid is good, Barcelona is better. It really is that simple.

Spain provides you with an escape from everyday life with the often blistering heat serving as a reminder that you're on a holiday, but at the same time, Barca has that real 'city vibe' that makes it feel so special.

You've got the Nou Camp if you're a sports fan and the variety of beaches if you aren't, with everything else sandwiched in between. It's the final major stop on your trip and it's going to be one to remember, especially if you head on down to La Rambla.

1 Bordeaux - A Fitting Conclusion

Via: STO Events

To finish off the experience of a lifetime, we're taking you back to the heart of France where you'll be greeted with the always romantic and always charming Bordeaux. There's nothing too fancy or extravagant about it, but it encapsulates everything that makes the country so desirable.

You don't need to know your whites from your reds to enjoy the finer parts of Bordeaux, because all you need to do is look around and appreciate your surroundings.

It doesn't matter where you're from, as you'll be heading home with a smile on your face one way or another.

Europe, eh? Isn't it just the best.

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