Our Ultimate 1 Week Europe Itineraries
One of the top reasons we consistently hear for not being able to travel abroad is a lack of vacation days. And we get it, if you only have 2 weeks PTO and have to travel to visit family over the holidays and for friends’ weddings, those 2 weeks of PTO can go quickly. If you book wisely, however, you can maximize your PTO and use a maximum of 4 days to spend 9 days in Europe. How? Try to book so that your trip covers 2 weekends and lines up with a holiday you already have off, such as Fourth of July. You might spend a little more on your flight in doing so, but it gives you the ability to travel further on less PTO. This is how L managed to join our family in Greece last summer when she only had 4 PTO days left. Now, once you’ve figured out your vacation days, you might be wondering…where should I go to maximize my time off? We’re so excited to share with you Our Ultimate 1 Week Europe Itineraries *Keep in mind, that we recommend booking to include 2 weekends & 1 work week, which accounts for 9 days.
For the First-Timer: London, Paris, + Amsterdam
A classic, but for a reason. When L & I did our first Europe trip together (outside of our annual trips to Ireland) this was basically our itinerary. We absolutely fell in love and found it totally manageable to do in 1 week. The close proximity of these three cities to one another makes them easy to travel to, especially by train, and the cities are all filled with incredible sites to keep you occupied. It’s also perfect for first-timers, because all 3 cities have major airports which increases the chance of getting amazing flight deals. We’d recommend:
*All highlighted links in this post contain links to past itineraries that we’ve written in each city for a more detailed breakdown of where to stay, what to do, etc.
For the Honeymooners: Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast has dominated Pinterest Boards and Instagram Explore Pages for years now, and for good reason. Every picture leaves you envious and wondering how on earth a place as beautiful as the Amalfi Coast exists. I’m headed to the Amalfi Coast for a week over the summer with a friend, but each description, hotel, and picture has me wishing I was headed there with the boyfriend - it all looks so romantic! To reach the Amalfi Coast you can either fly into Rome and drive, or fly directly to Naples. Once you reach the Amalfi Coast, there are trains and ferries that are relatively inexpensive (~$8-25/pp) if you don’t want to drive, which can be treacherous and busy with traffic during the summer months. The Amalfi Coast also offers a great variety in activities from beautiful hikes to wine tasting to beaches, it’s the perfect place to spend a week celebrating your next chapter together! We’d recommend:
Ischia - 1 Day
Sorrento - 2 Days
Positano - 2 Days
Amalfi - 2 Days
Click here for an itinerary from Katie’s Bliss. We adore all of Katie’s travel guides + this is what Kelda used to plan her Amalfi Coast trip this summer.
For the Best Friends: Spain
Ever since I went to Barcelona 2 summers ago I’ve been dying to go back to Spain. The city was fun and lively, food and drinks were to die for & it’s left me thinking this would be the perfect place to return to next time I’m needing a girls trip. Spain also provides you with some of the best cities in the world for art and culture, while also giving you beaches and nightlife that are unparalleled. What more could you want for a week with the girls?? We’d recommend:
Barcelona - 3 days
Ibiza - 2 days
Mallorca - 2 days
For the Adventurer: Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is typically not the first region that comes to mind when one thinks of a European vacation. Eastern Europe, however, is the perfect place for the traveler looking to get off the beaten path. To start, we’d fly into Budapest. I first went there two summers ago and fell in love. It’s a very reasonably priced city (yay!) and the baths there are the perfect way to spend a summer day relaxing. From there, we’d take the train to Ljubljana, the capitol of Slovenia, before continuing on to Lake Bled on the way to Montenegro. This itinerary gives you a major city to fly into, but from there you get to explore a less touristy region of Europe that’s filled with beautiful scenery. We’d recommend:
Budapest - 3 days
Ljubljana - 2 days
Lake Bled - 1 day
Montenegro - 2 days
Don’t be afraid to be creative with your itinerary, either! Thanks to budget airlines like RyanAir and trains, traveling from city to city in Europe is fairly easy and inexpensive. Two summers ago when I was planning my trip, I looked on RyanAir to see where they were flying to and picked 3 cities that were most interesting to me. That led me to spend 2 days each in Barcelona, Rome, and Budapest. A conventional week long itinerary? No. Could I have maximized my time better? Absolutely. But those are the places that interested me at the time and so I went for it and had an incredible time!
What’s your favorite Europe itinerary??