I'm planning to visit europe in july this year with my husband for about 3 weeks. I need help with my itinerary. Excluding travel days, I have about 16 days & i need help in revising the below itinerary for convenient yet backpacking like travel.
Places i would like to visit -
Netherlands/Belgium - 3 days
Paris - 2 days
Switzerland - 4 days (Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt)
Italy - 5 days ( Rome, Florence and Venice)
Austria/Czech Republic - 4 days ( Salzburg/Halasttat, Vienna & Prague)
We would like to skip the big/cosmopolitan cities, and rather admire the art/architecture, historic and scenic places.
You're trying to do too much in too little time. I'd tone it down a little bit and try and focus a little bit more. Given the travel times between each place you are going to be spending a lot of time on the trains as well which will eat into these itineraries.
Netherlands/Belgium - Maybe just Amsterdam for 3 days?
Paris - 2 days is a real push
Italy - If you can only spend 5 days there, might want to cut it back to just two of the three cities (I'd keep Rome and 3+ days there)
Austria/Czech - Either just do Salzburg/Vienna or just do Prague with maybe a day trip. Trying to do the two separate countries in 4 days will stretch you too thin.
You have alot of travel time to see those places! I'd suggest focusing in on one, or maybe 2 countries/regions and seeing more of it. You can easily spend 3-5 days in Amsterdam alone, nevermind Brugges or Brussels (in Belgium, of course). This is especially true if you want to see stuff that's a little bit off-the-beaten track and outside of the major cities, as you will need extra time to get there.
What main things do you want to see/do?
In 16 day your itinerary could actually be two. I can tell you, if you do not want to spend time in a big city, then at least 5 days+ is needed for Netherlands/Belgium alone. Brussels is great and 3 days is plenty of time, you can skip that and see, Antwerp, Bruge, and Ghent. This is still about 4 days for the one country. You could knock out 2 days in Holland, but let's be honest, you're not going to see much the day you arrive, so you should always add a day. You should think about spending more time in Italy, a train ride, will take you about 4 hours. And Austria and Czech it is a full days bus/train ride to either city. spending 4 days there would leave you almost no time to see anything. its okay you don't want to get the hustle and bustle of europe, but remember it's not a sprint, it's a marathon.
I agree that you're trying to do too much. To possibly put things into perspective, I took a 10 day trip (not including flights there and back) to Paris (2 days), Rome (4 days), and Prague (3 days). Then add in 1 full day for travel between the three. I had been to Paris before, but if I hadn't I would have tacked on two more days there. Overall the pace of my trip felt really good. It was busy, but not frantic, and I was able to do a lot in each of the three cities, while also having time to enjoy them. On the other hand I could have easily spent more time in each of them had I had it. Heck I could have probably spent 10 days in Rome and the surrounding areas
Also based on what you said you are interested in I'd do some research on possibly visiting Arles, France and either the Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
Best of luck!