Europe is one of the world’s best destinations for culture, sightseeing, and beach holidays. Unfortunately, there is just too much to see on a single trip. But a 2-week Europe itinerary can give a good taste of it.
There are plenty of options and places to visit in Europe in a 2-week itinerary but which choices stand out the most? Which European 2-week itinerary allows you to visit the most countries and really explore the regional makeup of the continent?
It’s difficult to choose, we know. And you probably want to see and do as much as possible, so creating a 14 days Europe itinerary seems like a daunting task. Don’t panic, we are here to help and share with you 3 of our favorite travel itineraries for Europe in 2 weeks.
We’ve gathered 3 regions, or better say 3 themes, creating unique and, in our opinion, the best 2 weeks Europe itineraries. They will allow you to experience different sides of Europe, dive into their unique history, culture, gastronomy, and natural beauty. The itineraries use the most popular cities in each region as a base, from there you can do day trips to beaches, medieval towns, and historic sites.
Are you ready to start planning your 2 week trip to Europe?
2-week Europe itinerary Ideas
Coast to coast in Iberia: Lisbon to Barcelona
Time needed: 2 week
Best time of year to visit: May
Method of transport: Road/rail or air
Iberia is one of the best spots to enjoy sun, sea, and sangria and is home to both Spain and Portugal. It is a wide and diverse area with beautiful beaches, mountains, forests, and even a small desert.
Remember if you’re a Canadian traveler visiting Spain from 2022 onwards you’ll need an ETIAS for Spain before you arrive. This will let you into the country and explore anywhere in the 26 nation Schengen area during your trip.
For this 2-week Europe itinerary, you’ll start in Barcelona, the capital of the Catalonia region and a favorite for world travelers thanks to its beaches, restaurants, and cultural activities. From there you can explore the region as there are plenty of what to do around and outside Barcelona.
After enjoying everything this incredible European city offers, you can easily make your way to the national capital of Madrid.
Madrid is a great place to see Spain away from the coasts and get a glimpse into the history and customs of the country and urban city life. It’s also a great spot for foodies who can enjoy real tapas that often come free with a drink purchase. Don’t forget to visit Toledo, the former Spanish capital that is only one hour away from Madrid.
From Madrid, it’s a 10-hour overnight train to Lisbon or a shorter 1-hour flight if you’re in more of a hurry. This brings you to your final destination, the hilly but majestic capital of Portugal.
Lisbon may be the biggest city in the country but it has a much more relaxed vibe compared to many capitals. This is also a superb place to try seafood like cod, squid, and the city’s emblematic sardine.
It’s also chocked full of history and beautiful sights – such as the famous yellow trams, St George’s Castle and a bit further from the city center is the Belém neighborhood, worth visiting. And add to your itinerary a visit to Sintra, one of the best day trips from Lisbon. It’s the perfect endnote to an Iberian excursion.
Scandinavian cruise: Oslo to Stockholm
Time needed: 2 week
Best time of year to visit: June-August
Method of transport: Boat and rail
A lot of people forget how interconnected Scandinavia is. Luckily for travelers, however, this relative proximity makes it simple to visit all 3 capital cities in the region in a 2-week Europe itinerary.
First up is Oslo the capital of Norway. The city is easily explored on foot with local sights like the Viking Ship Museum and plenty of options for fjord cruises to help fill your time here. Another interesting city to add to your European itinerary is Bergen, 6 hours by train from Oslo.
From here it’s an overnight boat ride down to Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital. This is currently one of the best cities for restaurants in the world, and there are also world-famous sights like the Little Mermaid, the Carlsberg Brewery, and the Nyhavn waterfront.
On the last leg of the journey, it’s just a 5-hour ride from here to Stockholm the capital of Sweden. This archipelago is home to many great historic sights such as the Royal Palace (or Sveriges Kungahus) and City Hall (Stadshuset). And incredible museums that will fill up your days with culture, fun, and unique experiences.
It’s also well worth taking a boat tour while you are here to really take in the 14 islands that make up the municipality.
If you plan to do this 2-week European itinerary by train, we have the best guide for you. Here is our post about how to travel around Scandinavia by train, be inspired, and discover which rail pass is the best for you.
Central Europe sightseeing: Prague to Budapest
Time needed: 2 week
Best time of year to visit: April – June
Method of transport: Road/rail
The Budapest-Vienna-Prague itinerary is a famous 2 week trip in Europe, but our version has one more stop and starts in Prague. Central Europe is full of ornate sights and Prague is the perfect place to start on this tour of them.
From the statue-lined Charles Bridge and picturesque Prague Castle on the hill overlooking the beautifully preserved Old Town Square, there is a huge amount of history and culture to explore in the city. There are also many interesting day tris from Prague, like going to the charming town of Český Krumlov, hiking at the stunning Bohemian Switzerland National Park, or going to Pilsen to try Cezch’s traditional beer.
Once you finish with Prague and region, you’ll need to take a 4-hour train to get to Vienna. However, once here, you’ll see why it is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
The once imperial capital of the Austrian Empire is home to beautiful gardens, wide boulevards, and fantastic river walks along the Danube. There’s also plenty of reminders from its empire heyday with the Hofberg, St Stephen’s Cathedral, and Schonbrunn Palace all open to explore and admire.
From here, it’s another short train ride of about 3 hours to Bratislava from Vienna. Bratislava isn’t too big so you’ll only need a shorter stay here, but it’s a stop you won’t want to miss. Sights like Bratislava Castle and Micheal’s gate are well worth the time.
For the final stop in Budapest, you’ll have to take a 2-hour train from Bratislava to arrive in Hungary’s capital. This charming city is an excellent finale to the experience with breathtaking attractions that are just asking to be Instagrammed such as Hero’s Square, Buda Castle Hill funicular, and the Great Market.
Last but not least, no matter where you stop on this 2 week Europe itinerary, try the goulash. It is amazing in each of these locations.
Practical travel tips for your European 2-week itinerary
Europe is a continent where things change quickly and no one region is the same. In the three itineraries we’ve suggested, you’ll get a different perspective of European life no matter which you choose.
To plan the ultimate European trip you need to consider a few things: season, transportation, accommodation, and what you want to see or visit.
Plan your itineraries for Europe according to the seasons:
Depending on which season you will be traveling to Europe, 2 week itinerary can give you plenty of time to see and do a lot, especially in Summer and Spring when the days are longer. When planning your itinerary for Summer keep in mind that this is the busiest season for many European capitals. This means more tourists and higher prices. But it’s also the best time to visit beach destinations like Spain and Portugal.
If you are planning an itinerary for Winter, you will have fewer hours of daylight to be outside and some attractions might close early or are fully closed. On the other hand, Central Europe and Scandinavia in winter are magical.
Plan the transportation for your 2 week trip to Europe in advance
There is no surprise that flight prices are cheaper in advance, the same happens for trains across Europe. If you like to travel by train, here is a super guide to travel around Europe using the Eurail Pass (pros and cons of Eurail train travel).
Yes, you can get a last-minute deal, but the odds are small. Planning your transportation in advance will help you keep the costs of your 2 weeks in Europe down, especially if you are coming from another continent and want to find cheap flights to Europe. Also, it will save you time, as you won’t have to worry about searching and booking anything during the trip.
For travelers who want to spend 2 weeks around in Europe with open plans, my suggestion is to at least do some research before traveling. That way you will know the routes, possible connections, where to buy the tickets and the average prices for flights, trains, ferries, and buses.
You will find a lot of companies and websites offering travel/transportation services in Europe on our Travel Planning page. Use it as a guide to organizing your ultimate European trip.
For day trips or to explore the destination beyond the city center, you can use the local or regional trains. Most of the European destination has a train station located in the city center and offer high-speed train services, what make easy to explore a region in a couple of days.
Also, keep in mind that during the high seasons, Summer and Winter, everything tends to be booked in advance. Be smart and save your place by booking your transportation at least a couple of weeks before your trip to Europe.
Book your accommodation in Europe in advance
Accommodation can be a fairly easy topic or a very complicated one. It wall depends on your style of traveling, budget, and your plans for 2 weeks traveling in Europe.
In general, we would recommend booking your hotel or hostel in advance, especially during high seasons or in popular destinations. But if you are the type of last-minute guest, then keep in mind that you might not find the perfect option, but you will definitely find a bed to sleep in.
We share our tips and tricks on how to find the best deals on hotels and how to book the perfect room for any trip (Europe or worldwide) in this Accommodation Guide. Read it and bookmark it for your future trips.
What to do, see and visit in Europe in 2 weeks
This is the most complicated part of planning a 2-week Europe itinerary. We shared a few tips on what to do and see in the itineraries above. However, If you want to know more about all the things to do in each city/country, click on their names and you will be direct to the travel guides. There you will find the city highlights, what to do, where to stay and eat, plus how to get around and travel budgets.
An important note: most of the attractions located in the countries we mentioned offer advanced booking, and some even have the skip the line ticket. Be smart and book all your entrance tickets in advance, and even your tours. By doing so you will save time, and avoid missing the best sights due to full capacity or restrictions.
If you are unsure which countries and major cities you want to add to your 2-week European vacation, we have tons of inspiration for you. Visit our Destination Page and you will find all European countries we have visited. Click on them to read the guides and blog posts. I can assure you, it’s pure wanderlust.
Another tip is to have a look at Eastern Europe or Baltic countries, you can create some incredible two weeks travel itinerary through those regions.
Now it’s up to you to decide your favorite way to see Europe in 2 weeks itinerary. Have you tried any of these journeys yourself or do you have any questions about one of the destinations? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.
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