36 days in Europe Itinerary

36 days in Europe Itinerary

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Route & dates

36 days in Europe Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg, South Africa
Fly:  14​h
1
Rome, Italy
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
2
Barcelona, Spain
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h
3
Lisbon, Portugal
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
4
Dublin, Ireland
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
5
London, United Kingdom
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
6
Paris, France
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
7
Brussels, Belgium
— 3 nights
train:  2​h
8
Amsterdam, Holland
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
9
Prague, Czech Republic
— 3 nights
10
Vienna, Austria
— 3 nights
11
Budapest, Hungary
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
12
Istanbul, Turkey
— 4 nights
Fly:  13​h 30​min
End: Johannesburg, South Africa

3
nights
Rome, Italy

Rome ©
Aptly nicknamed the Eternal City, Rome is the birthplace of the Roman Empire, one of the world's greatest civilizations ever.
Rome is known for historic sites, nightlife, museums, classes, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: delve into the distant past at Colosseum, steep yourself in history at Palatine Hill, admire the masterpieces at Musei Capitolini, and pause for some serene contemplation at Church of St. Louis of the French.

For traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Rome trip planning website .

Johannesburg, South Africa to Rome is an approximately 14-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Johannesburg to Rome, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In December, Rome is cooler than Johannesburg - with highs of 16°C and lows of 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Barcelona.

Things to do in Rome

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Vatican City
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Colosseum ©
Colosseum
Pantheon ©
Pantheon
Trevi Fountain ©
Trevi Fountain

2
nights
Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona ©
Barcelona, the country’s second-largest city, is a cosmopolitan urban center known for its throbbing youthful energy and stellar architecture.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Tue): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Barcelona Cathedral, wander the streets of El Barri Gòtic, then pause for some serene contemplation at Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, and finally appreciate the history behind Casa Batllo. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Wed): appreciate the history behind Casa Mila - La Pedrera, stroll around Parc Guell, and then admire the masterpieces at Museu Picasso.

To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, use the Barcelona online vacation planner .

You can fly from Rome to Barcelona in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In December, daily temperatures in Barcelona can reach 17°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can travel to Lisbon.

Things to do in Barcelona

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia ©
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia
Parc Guell ©
Parc Guell
Casa Batllo ©
Casa Batllo

3
nights
Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon ©
Built on seven hills, Lisbon has experienced a renaissance in recent years, making it the cultural star of Portugal.
Change things up with a short trip to Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra (about 36 minutes away). There's lots more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, pause for some photo ops at Padrao dos Descobrimentos, take a stroll through Alfama, and contemplate the long history of Belém Tower.

To find other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Lisbon day trip tool .

You can fly from Barcelona to Lisbon in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Barcelona to Lisbon. December in Lisbon sees daily highs of 18°C and lows of 8°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Dublin.

Things to do in Lisbon

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Quinta da Regaleira
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos ©
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
Belém Tower ©
Belém Tower
Lisbon Oceanarium ©
Lisbon Oceanarium

3
nights
Dublin, Ireland

Dublin ©
A history spanning over a thousand years, vibrant nightlife, and a mix of Georgian and modern architecture make Dublin a popular European tourist destination.
Dublin is known for historic sites, museums, nightlife, parks, and breweries & distilleries. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: steep yourself in history at Guinness Storehouse, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, shop like a local with Grafton Street, and see the interesting displays at Kilmainham Gaol.

To find ratings, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read our Dublin route builder site .

You can fly from Lisbon to Dublin in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or take a bus. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Lisbon in December, with highs in Dublin at 10°C and lows at 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) early enough to travel to London.

Things to do in Dublin

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Guinness Storehouse ©
Guinness Storehouse
Kilmainham Gaol ©
Kilmainham Gaol
Temple Bar ©
Temple Bar

3
nights
London, United Kingdom

London ©
Vibrant and noisy, London is one of the world’s leading cities, an international capital of culture, education, fashion, music, finance, trade, and politics.
London is known for museums, nightlife, historic sites, shopping, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the world behind art at National Gallery, don't miss a visit to Coca-Cola London Eye, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Paul's Cathedral, and take an in-depth tour of Natural History Museum.

To find photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the London online journey planner .

You can fly from Dublin to London in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and train. In December in London, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to take a train to Paris.

Things to do in London

Museums Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
National Gallery ©
National Gallery
Tower Bridge ©
Tower Bridge
Natural History Museum ©
Natural History Museum

3
nights
Paris, France

Paris ©
A beautiful and romantic city fit for any itinerary, Paris brims with historic associations and remains vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design.
Paris is known for museums, historic sites, nightlife, shopping, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the long history of Eiffel Tower, admire the masterpieces at Louvre Museum, appreciate the history behind Arc de Triomphe, and admire the striking features of Centre National d'Art et de Culture George Pompidou.

For where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Paris trip app .

Getting from London to Paris by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Central European Time (CET) is 1 hour. In December, plan for daily highs up to 9°C, and evening lows to 3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Brussels.

Things to do in Paris

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Eiffel Tower ©
Eiffel Tower
Louvre Museum ©
Louvre Museum
Musee d'Orsay ©
Musee d'Orsay

3
nights
Brussels, Belgium

Brussels ©
The allure of the multi-cultural capital, Brussels, stems from its mix of political intrigue, artistic influence, historical significance, and a thriving social scene.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Brussels: Bruges (Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan & The Markt). Next up on the itinerary: make a trip to Grand Place, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule), ponder the world of politics at Justice Palace (Palais de Justice), and examine the collection at Musical Instruments Museum (MIM).

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Brussels journey planner.

You can take a train from Paris to Brussels in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 7°C, and evening lows to 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) so you can take a train to Amsterdam.

Things to do in Brussels

Museums Theme Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Bruges
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Grand Place ©
Grand Place
The Markt ©
The Markt

2
nights
Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam ©
Known as one of the greatest small cities in the world, Amsterdam charms visitors with its cool and cozy atmosphere.
On the 25th (Fri), explore the world behind art at Rijksmuseum, walk around Vondelpark, and then explore the world behind art at Van Gogh Museum. On your second day here, admire the masterpieces at Museum Het Rembrandthuis (Rembrandt House), then take an in-depth tour of Anne Frank House, then hunt for treasures at Albert Cuyp Market, and finally indulge your thirst for a good beer at Heineken Experience.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read Amsterdam holiday planner.

Traveling by train from Brussels to Amsterdam takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. In December, daytime highs in Amsterdam are 9°C, while nighttime lows are 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Prague.

Things to do in Amsterdam

Museums Historic Sites Breweries & Distilleries
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Anne Frank House ©
Anne Frank House
Van Gogh Museum ©
Van Gogh Museum
Rijksmuseum ©
Rijksmuseum

3
nights
Prague, Czech Republic

Prague ©
Prague lures millions of tourists each year with its World Heritage-listed medieval city center--a labyrinth of narrow lanes, bridges, cathedrals, and palaces overlooked by a thousand-year-old castle.
Prague is known for historic sites, nightlife, museums, fun & games, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: snap pictures at Charles Bridge, find something for the whole family at Thrill Park - Prague's Horror Theme Park, wander the streets of StaromEstske namEsti, and get engrossed in the history at Jewish Museum in Prague.

For maps, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Prague online attractions planner .

You can fly from Amsterdam to Prague in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Amsterdam in December, with highs in Prague at 5°C and lows at 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to travel to Vienna.

Things to do in Prague

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Prague Castle ©
Prague Castle
Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge
StaromEstske namEsti ©
StaromEstske namEsti

3
nights
Vienna, Austria

Vienna ©
The cultural, economic, and political center of the country, Vienna has developed from its early Celtic and Roman roots into a medieval and Baroque city, with an old town that was designated a World Heritage Site in 2001.
Vienna is known for historic sites, museums, nightlife, zoos & aquariums, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the historical opulence of Schonbrunn Palace, get a sense of history and politics at Rathaus, browse the exhibits of Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial, and see the interesting displays at Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read Vienna online holiday planner .

You can fly from Prague to Vienna in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 5°C, and evening lows to 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Budapest.

Things to do in Vienna

Museums Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Belvedere Palace ©
Belvedere Palace
Schonbrunn  Palace ©
Schonbrunn Palace
St. Stephen's Cathedral ©
St. Stephen's Cathedral

3
nights
Budapest, Hungary

Budapest ©
You might consider the city of Budapest, divided by the Danube River into two distinctive cities--Buda and Pest--to be essentially one large World Heritage Site.
Budapest is known for historic sites, spas, nightlife, museums, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the landmark architecture of Hungarian Parliament Building, examine the collection at House of Terror Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent Istvan Bazilika), and admire the masterpieces at Hungarian National Gallery (Magyar Nemzeti Galeria).

To see other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read Budapest day trip tool .

Traveling by train from Vienna to Budapest takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Budapest are 3°C, while nighttime lows are -4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Istanbul.

Things to do in Budapest

Historic Sites Museums Fun & Games
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Halaszbastya ©
Halaszbastya
Hungarian Parliament Building ©
Hungarian Parliament Building
Matthias Church ©
Matthias Church

4
nights
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©
A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Istanbul is known for historic sites, museums, shopping, nature, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get engrossed in the history at Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), admire the striking features of Dolmabahce Palace, browse the eclectic array of goods at Kapali Carsi, and delve into the distant past at Basilica Cistern.

For reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Istanbul trip planning website .

You can fly from Budapest to Istanbul in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and train. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time to Eastern European Time is 2 hours. When traveling from Budapest in January, plan for somewhat warmer days and warmer nights in Istanbul: temperatures range from 10°C by day to 10°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Istanbul

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Topkapi Palace ©
Topkapi Palace
Sultan Ahmed Mosque ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque

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