16 days in Central Europe Itinerary

16 days in Central Europe Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Central Europe Itinerary

Start: San Francisco, United States
Fly + train:  18​h 45​min
1
Zermatt, Switzerland
— Few hours
train:  4​h
2
Lucerne, Switzerland
— 2 nights
train + Fly:  5​h 30​min
3
Ljubljana, Slovenia
— 1 night
Fly:  2​h 45​min
4
Vienna, Austria
— 3 nights
5
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Prague, Czech Republic
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h
7
Gdansk, Poland
— 2 nights
Fly + subway:  16​h 45​min
End: San Francisco, United States

few
hours
Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt ©
Best known as home the Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt serves as a chic ski resort town of the Swiss Alps.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): get great views at Gornergrat.

For other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Zermatt driving holiday planner .

San Francisco, USA to Zermatt is an approximately 19-hour combination of flight and train. You can also do a combination of flight, bus, and train; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and train. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Central European Time (CET), which is usually a 9 hour difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to catch the train to Lucerne.
Find places to stay May 5 — 6:
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Gornergrat ©
Gornergrat

2
nights
Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne ©
In north-central Switzerland, Lucerne represents a small city boasting a well-preserved old town.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Mon): snap pictures at Chapel Bridge, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Lucerne, then appreciate the history behind Lion Monument, and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt Pilatus. On the 7th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Titlis.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Lucerne using our trip planner.

Traveling by train from Zermatt to Lucerne takes 4 hours. Expect a daytime high around 65°F in May, and nighttime lows around 48°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can travel to Ljubljana.

Things to do in Lucerne

Parks Nature Winter Sports

Side Trip

Mount Titlis
Find places to stay May 5 — 7:
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Mt Pilatus ©
Mt Pilatus
Mount Titlis ©
Mount Titlis
Lake Lucerne ©
Lake Lucerne

1
night
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana ©
The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana melds German, Mediterranean, and Slovenian culture and history.
On the 8th (Wed), snap pictures at Tromostovje and then explore the fascinating underground world of Postojna Caves. Here are some ideas for day two: step into the grandiose world of Predjama Castle and then hike along Vintgar Gorge (Soteska Vintgar).

For more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Ljubljana day trip site .

You can do a combination of train and flight from Lucerne to Ljubljana in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle. In May, daytime highs in Ljubljana are 68°F, while nighttime lows are 47°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can travel to Vienna.

Things to do in Ljubljana

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Postojna, Vintgar Gorge (Soteska Vintgar)
Find places to stay May 7 — 9:
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Postojna Caves ©
Postojna Caves
Predjama Castle ©
Predjama Castle
Vintgar Gorge (Soteska Vintgar) ©
Vintgar Gorge (Soteska Vintgar)

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 museums, parks, historic sites, nightlife, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, get engrossed in the history at Kaiserliche Schatzkammer, learn more about the world around you at Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum), and admire the landmark architecture of State Hall of the Austrian National Library.

To see more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Vienna trip maker website .

Fly from Ljubljana to Vienna in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. In May, daily temperatures in Vienna can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 50°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Cesky Krumlov.

Things to do in Vienna

Museums Tours Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 9 — 12:
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Albertina ©
Albertina
Wine Tours & Tastings

2
nights
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Cesky Krumlov ©
Known around the world for its medieval castle, Cesky Krumlov offers the chance to experience the charm of a small European city seemingly frozen in time several centuries ago.
On the 13th (Mon), step into the grandiose world of The State Chateau of Hluboká, then get to know the fascinating history of Historie mesta Ceský Krumlov, then get outside with Vltava Sport Service, and finally explore the historical opulence of Cesky Krumlov Castle. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Tue): contemplate the long history of Trebon Exhibition House, then don't miss a visit to Town Hall Trebon, and then get outside with Outdoor Krumlov.

To see photos, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Cesky Krumlov trip planner.

Traveling by car from Vienna to Cesky Krumlov takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 67°F in May, and nighttime lows around 48°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Prague.

Things to do in Cesky Krumlov

Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Trebon, The State Chateau of Hluboká
Find places to stay May 12 — 14:
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Outdoor Krumlov ©
Outdoor Krumlov
The State Chateau of Hluboká ©
The State Chateau of Hluboká
Vltava Sport Service ©
Vltava Sport Service

2
nights
Prague, Czech Republic

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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Wed): don't miss a visit to Franz Kafka Monument, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and then indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour. On the 16th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy breathtaking views from Castle District, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kostel sv. Mikuláše, then take in the exciting artwork at Lobkowicz Palace, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Spanish Synagogue.

To see photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Prague travel planner .

Drive from Cesky Krumlov to Prague in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. May in Prague sees daily highs of 64°F and lows of 48°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to travel to Gdansk.

Things to do in Prague

Tours Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay May 14 — 16:
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Food Tours
Castle District ©
Castle District
Franz Kafka Monument ©
Franz Kafka Monument

2
nights
Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk ©
Although its history goes back a thousand years, Gdansk represents one of Poland's most modern urban centers, its thriving economy boosted by a lively tourism sector.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Bazantarnia Park and Mennonite Cemetery. Change things up with a short trip to Malbork Castle Museum in Malbork (about 56 minutes away). Next up on the itinerary: hike along Rezerwat Ptasi Raj, make a trip to Dluga Street (ul. Dluga), take a stroll through Old Town, and get engrossed in the history at European Solidarity Centre.

To see more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Gdansk travel planning website .

Traveling by flight from Prague to Gdansk takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. In May, plan for daily highs up to 63°F, and evening lows to 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Gdansk

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

Malbork, Rezerwat Ptasi Raj, Bazantarnia Park, Sopot Pier
Find places to stay May 16 — 19:
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Bazantarnia Park ©
Bazantarnia Park
Sopot Pier ©
Sopot Pier
Malbork Castle Museum ©
Malbork Castle Museum

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