18 days in Europe Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe visit planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Istanbul, Turkey
— 4 nights
Fly
2
Geneva, Switzerland
Drive
3
Annecy, France
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Paris, France
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Bruges, Belgium
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
— 3 nights
Fly

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27
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31
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12
13
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Istanbul, Turkey — 4 nights

Queen of Cities

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.
Kids will enjoy Hagia Sophia Mosque and Basilica Cistern. The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sultan Ahmed Mosque, admire the landmark architecture of Dolmabahce Palace, stop by Ortakoy, and take an in-depth tour of Galata Tower.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Istanbul road trip planning tool.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Istanbul is an approximately 8-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Dubai to Istanbul. Traveling from Dubai in December, expect Istanbul to be cooler, temps between 7°C and 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to catch the flight to Geneva.
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Find places to stay Dec 23 — 27:

Geneva, Switzerland

Capital of Peace

Geneva brings the world to one small city with a huge expat population and the highest number of international organizations in any one city.
To see more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Geneva trip planner.

Fly from Istanbul to Geneva in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Istanbul to Geneva is minus 2 hours. Expect slightly colder evenings in Geneva when traveling from Istanbul in December, with lows around 0°C. On the 27th (Tue), you're off to Annecy.
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Nightlife · Museums · Parks · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:

Annecy, France — 3 nights

Venice of the Alps

The canals is in Annecy helped earn the medieval town the nickname the Venice of the Alps.
Attractions like Oxygene Ski & Snowboard School La Plagne and Musee de la Resistance et de la Deportation de l'Isere make great kid-friendly stops. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Annecy: Grenoble (Musee de Grenoble & Room Escape Games) and La Plagne (in La Plagne-Tarentaise). There's lots more to do: explore the activities along Lake Annecy, take in the views from Pont des Amours, and don't miss a visit to La Vieille Ville.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Annecy journey planning website.

Drive from Geneva to Annecy in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Geneva in December, you will find days in Annecy are a bit warmer (10°C), and nights are about the same (-1°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) to allow time to fly to Paris.
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Parks · Nature · Museums · Winter Sports
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:

Paris, France — 2 nights

City of Light

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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Fri): step off the mainland to explore Île de la Cité and then pause for some serene contemplation at Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre.

To see other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Paris itinerary planner.

Fly from Annecy to Paris in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Annecy in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Paris, with lows of 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) to allow time to take a train to Bruges.
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Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:

Bruges, Belgium — 2 nights

Venice of the North

The medieval town of Bruges centers around a canal, and the architecture of its historical district has made it a World Heritage Site.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sun): appreciate the extensive heritage of Ghent City Center, then explore the galleries of Gravensteen, then explore the activities along Minnewater Lake, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Belfry of Bruges. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Historic Centre of Brugge, stop by Chris Vos Original Shoes, see the interesting displays at Historium Brugge, then see the interesting displays at Choco-Story - The Chocolate Museum, and finally don't miss a visit to The Markt.

To see other places to visit, photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Bruges driving holiday site.

Take a train from Paris to Bruges in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In January, daily temperatures in Bruges can reach 7°C, while at night they dip to 1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Rotterdam.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Nature · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:

Rotterdam, The Netherlands — 2 nights

Manhattan on the Maas

Located in the South Holland province, Rotterdam is one of the Netherlands' most lively cities, as well as one of the largest trading ports in the world.
Attractions like Efteling and Euromast make great kid-friendly stops. There's much more to do: take in the exciting artwork at The Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery, see the interesting displays at Kijk-Kubus, get to know the resident critters at Rotterdam Zoo, and pause for some serene contemplation at Nieuwe Kerk.

For traveler tips, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Rotterdam trip planner.

Traveling by car from Bruges to Rotterdam takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Rotterdam are 7°C, while nighttime lows are 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Amsterdam.
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Theme Parks · Shopping · Museums · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:

Amsterdam, The Netherlands — 3 nights

Venice of the North

Known as one of the greatest small cities in the world, Amsterdam charms visitors with its cool and cozy atmosphere.
On the 6th (Fri), admire the masterpieces at Rijksmuseum, see the interesting displays at Anne Frank House, and then explore the world behind art at Van Gogh Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Sat): contemplate the long history of Museum Het Rembrandthuis, then admire nature's wide array of creatures at ARTIS, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at De Duif.

To find where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Amsterdam sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Rotterdam to Amsterdam in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In January in Amsterdam, expect temperatures between 7°C during the day and 1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Sun) to allow time for the flight back home.
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Museums · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 8:

Belgium travel guide

4.3
A small country packing a big punch in terms of tourist attractions, Belgium sits at the crossroads of Western Europe, its cities soaked in history and famed for their lively arts, fashion, and dining scenes. Although it advertises itself simply as "A Food Lover's Dream," this country of just 11 million people boasts a rich architectural heritage, world-famous breweries, pristine natural areas, and touching memorials marking major battlegrounds from both World War I and World War II. Put the country's elegant cities of Brussels and Bruges at the top of your itinerary, but don't forget that Belgium's less-explored countryside offers dense forests, rolling hills, and lush valleys.
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