23 days in Europe Itinerary

23 days in Europe Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in Europe Itinerary

Start: San Jose, Costa Rica
Fly:  14 h 30 min
1
Zurich, Switzerland
— 3 nights
Fly:  5 h
2
Barcelona, Spain
— 3 nights
Train:  2 h 45 min
3
Madrid, Spain
— 2 nights
Fly:  5 h
4
Paris, France
— 4 nights
Fly:  5 h
5
Venice, Italy
— 3 nights
Train:  2 h 15 min
6
Florence, Italy
— 3 nights
Train:  1 h 45 min
7
Rome, Italy
— 3 nights
Fly:  4 h 45 min
End: Zurich, Switzerland

3
nights
Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich ©
The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Explore Zurich's surroundings by going to Lucerne (Hofkirche, Mt Pilatus, &more). There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Lake Zurich, appreciate the history behind Hans Waldmann Statue, wander the streets of Old Town, and pause for some serene contemplation at Grossmunster.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Zurich road trip planner.

San Jose, Costa Rica to Zurich is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 7 hours traveling from San Jose to Zurich. While traveling from San Jose, expect little chillier days and much colder nights in Zurich, ranging from highs of 21°C to lows of 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) early enough to travel to Barcelona.

Things to do in Zurich

Parks Nature Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Lucerne
Find places to stay May 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Zurich ©
Lake Zurich
Mt Pilatus ©
Mt Pilatus
Lake Lucerne ©
Lake Lucerne

3
nights
Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona ©
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 parks, nightlife, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: pause for some serene contemplation at Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, don't miss a visit to Casa Mila - La Pedrera, get a taste of the local shopping with La Boqueria, and stroll around Parc Guell.

To see reviews, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Barcelona trip tool .

You can fly from Zurich to Barcelona in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Zurich in May: high temperatures in Barcelona hover around 25°C and lows are around 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Madrid.

Things to do in Barcelona

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Find places to stay May 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia ©
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia
Parc Guell ©
Parc Guell
Casa Batllo ©
Casa Batllo

2
nights
Madrid, Spain

Madrid ©
Madrid is known for its cultural and artistic heritage, lively nightlife, and a dynamic culinary scene.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Thu): see the interesting displays at Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, then don't miss a visit to Plaza Mayor, and then admire the masterpieces at Prado National Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Fri): walk around Casa de Campo, make a trip to Puerta del Sol, make a trip to Plaza de Oriente, then make a trip to Estacion de Atocha, and finally admire the natural beauty at Real Jardin Botanico.

To find more things to do, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Madrid trip planning app .

Traveling by train from Barcelona to Madrid takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Barcelona in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Madrid, with lows of 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can travel to Paris.

Things to do in Madrid

Museums Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Prado National Museum ©
Prado National Museum
Plaza Mayor ©
Plaza Mayor
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza ©
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

4
nights
Paris, France

Paris ©
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. There's much more to do: make a trip to Eiffel Tower, stroll around Luxembourg Gardens, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre, and explore the world behind art at Musee d'Orsay.

For where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Paris trip maker tool .

Traveling by flight from Madrid to Paris takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. When traveling from Madrid in May, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Paris: temperatures range from 20°C by day to 11°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Venice.

Things to do in Paris

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Palace of Versailles
Find places to stay May 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Eiffel Tower ©
Eiffel Tower
Louvre Museum ©
Louvre Museum
Musee d'Orsay ©
Musee d'Orsay

3
nights
Venice, Italy

Venice ©
Virtually unchanged for the last six centuries, Venice is actually a group of islands made famous by a series of canals, bridges, monuments, piazzas, and narrow pedestrian lanes.
Venice is known for historic sites, museums, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Canal Grande, admire the striking features of Doge's Palace, admire the masterpieces at Gallerie dell'Accademia, and snap pictures at Ponte di Rialto.

To see photos, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Venice trip planning app .

Traveling by flight from Paris to Venice takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Paris in May, with highs in Venice at 26°C and lows at 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Florence.

Things to do in Venice

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Find places to stay May 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Doge's Palace ©
Doge's Palace
Canal Grande ©
Canal Grande
Basilica di San Marco
Basilica di San Marco

3
nights
Florence, Italy

Florence ©
Considered a cultural, artistic, and architectural jewel of Italy, Florence is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.
Florence is known for museums, historic sites, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the masterpieces at Academy Of Florence Art Gallery, contemplate the long history of Basilica of Santa Croce, take in panoramic vistas at Campanile di Giotto, and take in nature's colorful creations at The Boboli Gardens.

To find ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Florence trip planner.

You can take a train from Venice to Florence in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. May in Florence sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a train to Rome.

Things to do in Florence

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Find places to stay May 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
M.G. Design ©
M.G. Design
Academy Of Florence Art Gallery ©
Academy Of Florence Art Gallery
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore ©
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

3
nights
Rome, Italy

Rome ©
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 plan includes some of its best attractions: steep yourself in history at Colosseum, admire the masterpieces at Galleria Borghese, make a trip to Spanish Steps, and explore the ancient world of Palatine Hill.

To find maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, use the Rome road trip planning site .

Traveling by train from Florence to Rome takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. Traveling from Florence in May, plan for a bit warmer nights in Rome, with lows around 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Rome

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

St. Peter's Basilica
Find places to stay May 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Colosseum ©
Colosseum
Trevi Fountain ©
Trevi Fountain
Pantheon ©
Pantheon

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