40 days in Western Europe Itinerary

40 days in Western Europe Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Zurich, Switzerland
— 3 nights
Fly
2
Bruges, Belgium
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Brussels, Belgium
— 4 nights
Train
4
Paris, France
— 5 nights
Fly
5
Nice, France
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Lisbon, Portugal
— 4 nights
Fly
7
Madrid, Spain
— 2 nights
Fly
8
Barcelona, Spain
— 4 nights
Fly
9
Rome, Italy
— 5 nights
Train
10
Florence, Italy
— 2 nights
Fly
11
Vienna, Austria
— 3 nights
Fly

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Zurich, Switzerland

— 3 nights

Big Small Town

The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Zurich is known for nature, historic sites, and museums. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: explore the world behind art at Museum Rietberg, buy something for everyone on your list at Hauptbahnhof, don't miss a visit to Bahnhofstrasse, and explore the activities along Lake Zurich.

To find more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Zurich trip itinerary builder.

Sydney, Australia to Zurich is an approximately 24.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to Central European Standard Time (CET), which is usually a -9 hour difference. Traveling from Sydney in January, things will get colder in Zurich: highs are around 5°C and lows about -1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) to allow enough time to fly to Bruges.

Things to do in Zurich

Neighborhoods · Museums · Parks · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 4:
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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.
On the 5th (Wed), make a trip to The Markt, see the interesting displays at Choco-Story - The Chocolate Museum, then sample the tasty concoctions at Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan, then contemplate the waterfront views at Minnewater Lake, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Belfry of Bruges.

To find other places to visit, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Bruges road trip planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Zurich to Bruges takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 7°C in January, and nighttime lows around 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to drive to Brussels.

Things to do in Bruges

Nature · Parks · Museums · Breweries & Distilleries
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Brussels, Belgium

— 4 nights

Capital of Europe

The allure of the multi-cultural capital, Brussels, stems from its mix of political intrigue, artistic influence, historical significance, and a thriving social scene.
Brussels is known for historic sites, museums, and nightlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: make a trip to Grand Place, see the interesting displays at Belgian Comic Strip Center, contemplate the long history of St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule), and get engrossed in the history at Museum of the City of Brussels (Musee de la Ville de Bruxelles).

To see traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Brussels trip planner.

Traveling by car from Bruges to Brussels takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 5°C in January, and nighttime lows around 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can catch the train to Paris.

Things to do in Brussels

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Paris, France

— 5 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.
Take a break from Paris with a short trip to Palace of Versailles in Versailles, about 48 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: admire the striking features of Louvre Museum, shop like a local with Champs-Elysees, walk around Luxembourg Gardens, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Montmartre.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Paris vacation tool.

You can take a train from Brussels to Paris in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 8°C in January, and nighttime lows around 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) to allow time to fly to Nice.

Things to do in Paris

Side Trip

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Nice, France

— 2 nights

Nissa la Bella (Nice the Beautiful)

Well-known for the beautiful views of its famous Promenade des Anglais waterfront, Nice is an ethnically-diverse coastal port city on the French Riviera and the fifth most populated city in France.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Sat): examine the collection at Musee Matisse, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedrale Saint-Nicolas a Nice, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Vieille Ville. Keep things going the next day: take some stellar pictures from Colline du Chateau overlook, then make a trip to Place Massena, then explore the world behind art at Musee d'Art Moderne Et d'Art Contemporain, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Le Jardin Exotique d'Eze.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Nice route site.

Traveling by flight from Paris to Nice takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Paris in January; daily highs in Nice reach 15°C and lows reach 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) to allow enough time to fly to Lisbon.

Things to do in Nice

Museums · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks

Side Trip

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Lisbon, Portugal

— 4 nights

City of Seven Hills

Built on seven hills, Lisbon has experienced a renaissance in recent years, making it the cultural star of Portugal.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Lisbon: Sintra (Quinta da Regaleira & Park and National Palace of Pena). There's lots more to do: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Lisbon Oceanarium, take in the spiritual surroundings of Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, make a trip to Belém Tower, and admire the masterpieces at Museu Nacional do Azulejo.

To see where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Lisbon online journey maker.

Fly from Nice to Lisbon in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time to Western European Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect a daytime high around 17°C in January, and nighttime lows around 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to fly to Madrid.

Things to do in Lisbon

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

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Madrid, Spain

— 2 nights

Cultural Capital of Spain

Madrid is known for its cultural and artistic heritage, lively nightlife, and a dynamic culinary scene.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): take a stroll through Gran Via, then stroll around Parque del Retiro, then admire the masterpieces at Prado National Museum, and finally take an in-depth tour of National Archaeological Museum of Spain. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Puerta del Sol, steep yourself in history at Plaza Mayor, then steep yourself in history at Royal Palace of Madrid, and finally examine the collection at Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Madrid day trip app.

You can fly from Lisbon to Madrid in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Lisbon to Madrid, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Lisbon in January; daily highs in Madrid reach 12°C and lows reach 2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) to allow enough time to fly to Barcelona.

Things to do in Madrid

Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:
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Barcelona, Spain

— 4 nights

Jewel of the Mediterranean

Barcelona, the country’s second-largest city, is a cosmopolitan urban center known for its throbbing youthful energy and stellar architecture.
Barcelona is known for historic sites, parks, and nightlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: pause for some serene contemplation at Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, admire the striking features of Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, explore the world behind art at Museu Picasso, and don't miss a visit to Casa Mila - La Pedrera.

To see traveler tips, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Barcelona driving holiday app.

Getting from Madrid to Barcelona by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Traveling from Madrid in January, things will get somewhat warmer in Barcelona: highs are around 17°C and lows about 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to Rome.

Things to do in Barcelona

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Rome, Italy

— 5 nights

Eternal City

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, and museums. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: explore the ancient world of Colosseum, get engrossed in the history at Musei Capitolini, explore the world behind art at Vatican Museums, and ponder the design of Trevi Fountain.

To find reviews, maps, and other tourist information, use the Rome online driving holiday planner.

Traveling by flight from Barcelona to Rome takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Barcelona in January, plan for a bit cooler nights in Rome, with lows around 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to catch the train to Florence.

Things to do in Rome

Side Trip

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Florence, Italy

— 2 nights

Birthplace of the Italian Renaissance

Considered a cultural, artistic, and architectural jewel of Italy, Florence is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.
On the 2nd (Wed), appreciate the extensive heritage of Piazza della Signoria, take in panoramic vistas at Campanile di Giotto, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, get a sense of history and politics at Palazzo Vecchio, then make a trip to Piazzale Michelangelo, and finally take in the views from Ponte Vecchio. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the masterpieces at Florence Academy of Fine Arts, contemplate the long history of Basilica of Santa Croce, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Piazza del Duomo, and finally contemplate the long history of The Baptistery of St. John.

To see reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Florence trip itinerary maker app.

Getting from Rome to Florence by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. February in Florence sees daily highs of 14°C and lows of 5°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to fly to Vienna.

Things to do in Florence

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Vienna, Austria

— 3 nights

City of Dreams

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, and nightlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: explore the historical opulence of Schonbrunn Palace, admire the masterpieces at Albertina, contemplate the long history of Belvedere Palace, and pause for some serene contemplation at St. Stephen's Cathedral.

To see traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Vienna day trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Florence to Vienna takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Florence in February, things will get little chillier in Vienna: highs are around 5°C and lows about -1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) so you can catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Vienna

Museums · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks
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Switzerland travel guide

4.7
Bodies of Water · Mountains · Specialty Museums
Immerse yourself in a snow-capped mountain wonderland in Switzerland's serene Alpine setting. See the world-renowned Matterhorn, Switzerland's second-highest mountain at 4,478 m (14,962 ft) tall, or zoom down the mountains on toboggan, ski, or snowboard. In the warmer seasons hike around the rolling green hillsides covered with pine trees and picturesque aqua blue lakes. Luxurious cities dotted with cozy wooden chalets and colorful flowerbeds balance quaintness with first-class cultural offerings. Indulge in the country's opulence of milk chocolate, cheese fondue, and keg-carrying St. Bernard dogs.

Belgium travel guide

4.2
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.

France travel guide

4.3
France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for decades, and geographically, it is one of the most diverse countries in Europe. Its cities are holiday hot spots and contain some of the greatest treasures in Europe, its countryside is prosperous and well tended, and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the French Alps, as well as the castles of the Loire Valley, Brittany, and Normandy. The country is renowned for its gastronomy, particularly wines and cheeses, as well as its history, culture, and fashion industry.

You'll find that the French people are very polite and may react coldly to you if you forget this. You might be surprised as you're greeted by other customers and the proprieter when you walk into a restaurant or a shop. Be sure to take your sightseeing off the beaten path in France. Besides the famous Eiffel Tower and the chic resorts of the Côte d'Azur (French Riviera) you'll find many places to visit in the form of museums filled with fine art, crafts, and archaeological relics, wonderful medieval villages and castles, diverse national parks, and local shopping direct from artisans themselves.

Whether you're touring the Christmas Markets or going skiing during winter, viewing the springtime influx of color in Provence, sunbathing on the Mediterranean coast in the summer, or watching the fall foliage against the backdrop of the châteaux in the Loire Valley, you're sure to find just the right place to be. Spring is a time when the tourist attractions are just starting to expand their hours, but it may still be cold in the mountainous regions and the north. Summer is the busiest time in France with the longest hours for many museums and attractions, but it's often when you will experience the most crowds. Winter in France is filled with winter carnivals, Christmas Markets, and of course, skiing. Fall is a time to celebrate the release of Beaujolais nouveau wine in November, as well as experience Nuit Blanche, a day in October when major attractions, museums, galleries, parks, and swimming pools remain open all night.

Portugal travel guide

4.2
Landmarks · Castles · Beaches
Small in size but rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, Portugal features contrasting landscapes that include long beaches, lush vineyards, verdant valleys, and rolling hills dotted with tiny settlements where old traditions still prevail. The country's serene interior, often overlooked by foreigners, remains largely unspoiled by mass tourism and offers visitors a chance to discover this less-trodden part of Europe at their own pace. Ripe for leisurely adventures on foot or by bicycle, Portugal's fertile countryside boasts well-preserved medieval castles and outstanding wineries, producing some of the world's finest ports. The country's cities offer a lively culinary scene known for its many award-winning restaurants, topping the itineraries of foodies from around the globe.

Spain travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Churches · Landmarks
A colorful country known for its relaxed lifestyle, vibrant nightlife, excellent food, and world-famous folklore and festivals, Spain boasts a huge number of World Heritage Sites and other spectacular places to visit. It also deserves its reputation as a beach vacation destination; the Western edge of the Mediterranean Sea is home to some of the world’s top beaches. But Spain’s geography is so much more than just soft, sandy shores. Its landscapes are as diverse as its people, ranging from lush meadows and snowy mountains to huge marshes and sprawling deserts. The countryside bursts with unspoiled villages of timeless beauty and old-world charm, as well as vast and varied nature preserves.

Italy travel guide

4.6
Landmarks · Ruins · Beaches
Italy is a land of high fashion, fine art, exquisite architecture, luxury sports cars, outstanding cuisine--and an insatiable taste for "la dolce vita." It's also home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites in the world, making it an ideal place for your next holiday. The country boasts a varied landscape of mountain ranges, alpine lakes, and coastal towns, so it's no wonder travelers often refer to it as the bel paese (beautiful country). With so many places to visit, visitors often have a difficult time planning their itinerary. The smaller villages each feature a distinct character and a blend of architecture, art, and cuisine. In the country, you'll find countless archeological sites dating back to Roman times and beyond. The country's cities and seaside resorts are cosmopolitan powerhouses with museums, galleries, restaurants, shops, open-air markets, and pedestrian-friendly historic areas.

Austria travel guide

4.5
Situated in the Central European Alps, Austria combines an alluring bundle of elegant urban architecture, cultural centers, and dramatic landscapes. This German-speaking country of 8.5 million residents is known for its rich history, dating back to the Hapsburg Empire, as well as its art, music, and scenery. Along with the neighboring country of Switzerland, Austria serves as the winter sports capital of Europe and is home to some of the continent's most popular ski resorts. This landlocked nation draws visitors from across the globe to its mountains, historical villages, and culturally rich cities. Experience trekking in the Alps one day and drinking regional wine at a crowded pub after a day of sightseeing in the capital Vienna the next.