2 Week European Vacation

Travel Forums Europe 2 Week European Vacation

  • 1
  • 2
Last Post
1. Posted by rahron (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I'm planning a trip to Europe. I've been to most substantial western European cities and a few central/eastern cities, but haven't experienced Europe in 9 years, except for London. My new wife has been to cities in England, also Paris and Rome. We want to encounter European culture, e.g., architecture, music, art, cuisine, etc in distinct/unfrequented cities.

Please supply a list of countries/cities for me to build an itinerary around. We have 2 weeks to explore in the month of June of this year.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1526 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

>We want to encounter European culture

There is really no such thing as 'European culture'. Each and every European country, whether it is in the European Union or not, has its own culture, behavioural norms, history, music, foods and usually its own language as well. It would be very easy indeed to spend a fortnight exploring any one European country whilst still avoiding the capital and visitor hotspots.

Without knowing exactly which countries you've visited or..most importantly.... how you intend to travel around it is very difficult to advise. It would also help if we knew whether you want to make a round trip or a one-way trip.

There a a zillion options and I haven't got time to list even a fraction of them. Here are just a few:

The island of Ireland:

Belfast then car to explore the Causeway Coast, Derry and Sligo, into the Republic for Connemara, the west coast to Cork, the east coast, the mountains of Mourne, Newry and back to Belfast.


Puglia: Bari, Brindisi, Lecce, Taranto, Matera, Trani and more........

Emilia-Romagna: Bologna, Ravenna, Ferrara, Cremona, Modena and more....

Lombardy: Bergamo, Iseo, Lovere, Brescia, Lecco and more......


With a car: Start from Ljubljana, visit Bled and Bohinj, drive via the Jeruzalem wine road to Ptuj then either

a) go into Croatia and visit Zagreb, Rijeka, Opatija before returning to Llubljana via Piran and possibly Koper.

b) go into Austria via Maribor and visit Graz, Klagenfurt and Villach before returning to Ljubljana.

c) go into Italy via Trieste and explore e.g. Treviso, Bolzano, Vicenza, Padova, Verona and a myriad of other towns and villages.

Estonia,Latvia, Lithuania

Tallinn, Tartu, Riga, Ventspils, Kaunas, Klaipeda and more.....

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Mar-2019, at 11:35 by leics2 ]

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5492 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

"Unfrequented" cities makes for a bad combination with looking for worthwhile cultural sights, since those naturally attract a lot of visitors.

Still, based on time of the year and what you've seen so far, you could look at northern Europe.
Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn would make for a great two week trip; there's plenty to keep you occupied in those cities for 3-4 days each, lots of culture, some obvious parallels due to shared history, but also lots of new influences as you move from city to city so that you'll keep seeing something new in each destination. Chances of good weather in June should be really good, so you'll see those cities at their very best.

You could also do a tour of smaller German cities, almost all of which tend to be very worthwhile to visit for 2-3 days each; Stringing some of my favorites together in a geographical order that makes some sense (though check for yourself if it actually does given train connections), you could fly into Berlin, and do a subset of: maybe Leipzig, Göttingen, Kassel, Düsseldorf, maybe Aachen, Mainz, Würzburg, maybe Stuttgart, and fly out of either Frankfurt or München. There tend to be a lot of outdoor music festivals and other cultural activities over the summer even in small and medium sized cities (not certain if that already starts in June though).

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Mar-2019, at 12:37 by Sander ]

4. Posted by rahron (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your input.

If practical, a round trip would be ideal, depending on cost versus an open jaw ticket. One, two, maybe three countries look to be best for our time and budget, which is $6K.

I've been to several cities in England and Italy. Plus Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Lisbon, Porto, Frankfurt, Vienna, and Prague.

Getting around depends on efficiency of time and logistics versus cost. Probably a combination of car, train, and air.

5. Posted by 55vineyard (Budding Member 106 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

It's been a few years but we really enjoyed our visit to Lienz, Austria, a bit off the beaten path and we got to drive the Grossgluckner Road to get there. In fact, Austria was my favorite of the three areas we visited including mostly Bavaria, Austria including Innsbruck and the Traunsee, Lienz, and we also visited Klagenfurt (but stayed in Velden I think) down near the border. We also spent a bit of time in Lucerne and Lugano. I liked Lugano better although there was a nice museum in Lucerne.

6. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1332 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

If heading north a combination of Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki and St Petersburg would work well, and if you preferred not to drive would be easily done by public transport. You could fly to Riga and spend four days there, and if you were happy to hire a car you could stay an extra day to visit the beautiful palace of Jelgava. You could then catch the bus to Tallinn, a pleasant four hours or so. Tallinn also merits at least four days. From there you could catch the ferry to Helsinki - I've never been but I understand a couple of days are enough. Finally take another ferry to St Petersburg - stunning architecture and if you arrive by ferry you are permitted to stay up to 72 hours without the need for a Russian visa. You could then ferry back to Tallinn and get the bus back to Riga if you want to make it a round trip. If that's a bit much to pack into two weeks, and it might be, you can skip Helsinki and go straight from Tallinn to St Petersburg.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Mar-2019, at 12:44 by ToonSarah ]

7. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1526 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

All the Italian suggestions I made can easily be done by rail.

Northern Ireland and the Republic have a limited rail service but decent long-distance bus services. It would be possible to visit all the places I mentioned, perhaps with the exception of the mountains of Mourne, using a combination of long-distance and local buses.

If you have only visited England perhaps you might consider the other three countries which form the UK: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Post 8 was removed by a moderator
9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1654 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Tourists are out in full force by June so you may have company no matter where you go. Colmar, Strasbourg and Munich would give you a nice variety and a bit of both France and Germany.

Enjoy your trip.

Post 10 was removed by a moderator