Unforgettable Europe in 3 Weeks: Your Essential Guide to Must-see Cities and Hidden Gems

If you’re planning your Europe itinerary for 3 weeks, here’s the ultimate Europe itinerary that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Trying to create the ultimate Europe itinerary for 3 weeks is a tough job, something for the experts. Better yet, for someone who has been to all those places and can advise you on where to go and what to see.

So hello there, I’m Julia, and I have been to all these places in Europe (and much more) I am one of the few travel experts around that will be able to guide you while planning an unforgettable experience that will last forever in your memories. This is not an exaggeration.

If you’re planning your first trip to Europe and have about three weeks to spend on holiday, you want to create for yourself the best possible Europe itinerary. As a Europe travel expert and as someone who has seen most of these places, I’m about to spill the beans and tell you some things not a lot of travel agencies and famous bloggers want you to know about your first trip to Europe. 

What do you want to see during your Europe itinerary?

This is not my first blog about how to plan a trip to Europe or my first European itinerary. In fact, I drove in most European countries and did most of the continent by car multiple times. By the way, if you need to rent a car in Europe, always check the reviews.

And the one conclusion I’ve come to time and time again is that Europe is a big place, and it has so much to offer that you should know what you’re looking for before you start looking for it.

What I’m trying to say is that Europe has something for all of us, but we all want and like different things, so there will not be one true Europe itinerary that will fit all kinds of travellers. 

That’s why I highly encourage travellers to decide on what they want, and it doesn’t have to be a place or type of place. It could be a vibe or a feeling, the weather, culture, history, or anything that feels important to you.

Fortunately, You can get almost anywhere in Europe in a matter of hours, so creating a European itinerary that includes a bunch of cities from different countries will not be that extreme. 

We all travel differently

But before you attempt to create that Europe itinerary for your three weeks holiday in Europe, try to decide on some of the following topics:

  • What do you want to see? Cities, towns, villages, landscapes, nature, rivers, mountains, sea, the ocean, etc.
  • Do you have any specific weather you prefer? Hot, cold, spring temperatures, cloudy weather, etc. 
  • What are your preferred activities? City sightseeing, hiking, water sports, extreme sports, etc. 
  • Are you looking for a certain vibe, something that inspires you or what kind of place brings you joy? 

I’ve said many times before that travel destinations are about the way they make us feel, and therefore, there isn’t a one size fits all type of touristic destination or a favourite place we all share. And that’s a good thing. 

For instance, I dislike crowded cities and tourist places, and I prefer to stay away from them. As much as I would like to see a certain spot, if it’s too crowded, I know for a fact that it will ruin it for me. And at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that I enjoy myself and recharge my soul with positive vibes. 

So please take a few moments to try to visualize and feel what you would expect to see, and then you will be better at creating a Europe itinerary that suits your personality and travel style. 

But that doesn’t matter I wouldn’t give you a base to start planning your itinerary. You can take it as it is, as this is my personal recommendation for a 3 weeks Europe itinerary, but feel free to adjust it to better suit you. 

Because the ultimate goal of travelling is to find places and hidden spots that spark our souls, and we all spark differently. 

europe itinerary 3 weeks
Here’s me in Cyprus at Aphrodite’s Rock. It’s my quest to finish visiting all European countries. And I’m almost there.

Tips for travelling to Europe

Before you go, check out these insider tips that’ll have you exploring like a savvy local during your Europe 3 weeks itinerary. Buckle up, ’cause here we go!

  1. Early bird saves your budget: Book your hotels in advance! Scoring a sweet deal on accommodations in Europe is a piece of cake if you’re on the ball. Don’t sleep on it, or you’ll be stuck shelling out the big bucks.
  2. Bunk like a boss: Hostels are the best choice for budget-conscious wanderers. You’ll save a pretty penny, and hey, you might even make some fab new friends along the way. Check out Generator Hostels (they’re in multiple European cities) or St. Christopher‘s Inns for a bangin’ good time.
  3. Bus it, baby: Euro-trains might be all the rage (check out RailEurope for deals), but let’s be real: buses are where it’s at for the wallet-watchers. FlixBus and Omio have got your back, offering cheap tickets that’ll have you zipping across borders without breaking the bank. Check out other ways to travel cheaply in Europe
  4. The world’s your oyster (card): Public transportation is a Euro-dream come true. Each major city has a city card that most often includes unlimited public transport and entrance to the most popular touristic attractions. Grab a city card (like London’s Oyster or Amsterdam’s OV-chipkaart) to save some dosh on local transit, and ride the rails like a true Euro-pro.
  5. Chow down like a champ: Skip the tourist traps and hunt down local markets, street food vendors, and hole-in-the-wall joints for mouthwatering grub that won’t cost an arm and a leg. And for this, you’ll need to get away from the city centre or around popular attractions. Foodies, rejoice!
  6. Freebie Frenzy: Europeans love to make the most of their vacay time, and that includes taking advantage of the tons of free attractions. Scope out free walking tours, museums, and galleries to give your wallet a much-needed breather. Some cities have a day of the month when museums are free (Yes, that’s Paris!)
  7. Night owls unite: Europe’s nightlife is absolutely legendary, but it can get pricey. Pre-game with some cheap supermarket booze, and then hit up bars with killer happy hour deals to party the night away without draining your bank account. And in most places, drinking on the street is legal.  
  8. Pack like a pro: Keep your luggage light and versatile. Research all the best apps you need for your first-time travel to Europe. And don’t forget a power adapter for those pesky Euro outlets! Check out here what to pack for your Eurotrip. 
  9. Learn the lingo: Europeans appreciate a traveller who makes an effort with their language. Pick up a few key phrases, and you’ll be winning hearts and scoring local tips left and right. 
  10. Carpe diem: Embrace spontaneity, and don’t be afraid to change plans on the fly for your 3 weeks Europe itinerary. You never know what hidden gems you might stumble upon when you let your Euro-adventure take the wheel.

3-week Europe itinerary 

Day 1-4: Arrival in London, United Kingdom

London is one of the most famous cities in the world, and it has a lot to offer. While it isn’t a personal favourite, I can’t say it should be overlooked because it has some of the most iconic places on Earth. 

Europe itinerary 3 weeks London

Also, London is a major Europe transport hub (check out flights here), so you will most likely find plenty of flights from your country to London. After you arrive in Europe, you can book your flights using low-cost carriers such as Ryanair or EasyJet. 

On the first day, settle in, adjust to the new time and take it easy. 

Also, there’s plenty to see in London besides the popular streets, such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the British Museum, and Westminster Abbey. London is a huge city, so there will be more places to see and experience to try than you will have time and energy for. I recommend deciding on a couple of things and then simply going with the flow. 

Some of the nice things to do in London include:

  • Take a ride on the London Eye for panoramic city views
  • Explore vibrant neighbourhoods: Camden, Notting Hill, and Shoreditch
  • Attend a West End theatre show
  • Day trip to Stonehenge and Bath

Day 5-7: Paris, France

If and only if this is your first time in Europe, then yes, go to Paris. You can simply travel from London to Paris via Eurostar train (get tickets on RailEurope). It’s easy and convenient. But if you’ve been to Paris before, I would say to skip it and visit some European hidden gems instead. 

3 weeks in europe itinerary paris

There’s plenty to do in Paris on your first visit, and some of the most popular activities include:

  • Visit famous attractions: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Arc de Triomphe.
  • Enjoy a Seine River cruise
  • Explore Montmartre, Marais, and Latin Quarter neighbourhoods
  • Visit iconic museums: Musée d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou
  • Taste authentic French cuisine at a local bistro (it will not be cheap)
  • Day trip to Versailles Palace (it’s closed on Monday. Don’t ask me how I know.)

For many, Paris is the essence of Europe, but I disagree. It’s nice, but there’s much more out there. I am including Paris on this Europe itinerary for 3 weeks because I know there’s a big demand for this tourist destination, but I urge you to reconsider. Most of the time, Paris is overcrowded, expensive for most of us, and not very clean. Once you get out of Paris, you might find lovely places, but only if you have the time. 

Disclaimer: As someone who has travelled extensively in Europe, Paris is simply not that great. Yes, it is home to the great Louvre Museum (and a few others) and the iconic Eiffel Tower. But unless you’re travelling to take photos for your Instagram or to make your friends jealous, then there are other places that you must visit in Europe before you take a second trip to Paris. I am afraid the internet might cancel me if I say I dislike Paris, so I won’t say it. 

Day 8-10: Amsterdam, Netherlands

You can travel from Paris to Amsterdam via RailEurope. After all, the best way to experience Europe is by train, especially if you can afford it. If not, we’ll always have Ryanair, which basically flies everywhere in Europe. 

Amsterdam Europe itinerary 3 weeks

Once you get to Amsterdam, don’t miss out on a canal cruise and a visit to the major sites, Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and Rijksmuseum. To soak in the spirit of Amsterdam, check out the Jordaan neighbourhood, Vondelpark and canal district (that was my favourite thing to do). Amsterdam has a huge culture around biking, so if you can ride a bike, rent one to explore the city. If you want to see more, spend a day trip to discover traditional Dutch villages. I recommend checking out Zaanse Schans, Volendam, and Marken. 

Obviously, Amsterdam is famous for its nightlife, which you can experience in Leidseplein or Rembrandtplein.

Day 11-13: Berlin, Germany

You can easily get from Amsterdam to Berlin via RailEurope. Prepare to explore the most multicultural city of the entire continent.

How to miss your Train in Berlin  Europe itinerary 3 weeks

Berlin is unlike anything else you’ve seen or will see again anywhere in Europe. I fell in love with it the first time I travelled to Berlin.

And I have loved it ever since. Berlin is the kind of place you travel to because you want to feel the creative vibe and the freedom that comes with it. It’s about music, clubbing, flea markets, and an alternative lifestyle.

No matter how many blogs I write about Berlin (and I have quite a few guides), I can never fully translate how this city makes me feel. It’s hectic, new, and yet familiar. 

Ok, so once you get into this alternative vibe, you need to see the historical sites in Berlin, such as the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag Building, the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie. Get a bike (I like Donkey app) or a day ticket for public transport.

Then make sure to see a few of its different neighbourhoods. Explore the vibrant neighbourhoods of Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, and Prenzlauer Berg. If you’re into museums, you’ll probably need a day to discover all the museums on Museum Island. Check out my blogs on Berlin’s culture and life in Berlin after the wall fell.

And if you have more energy, then Berlin’s nightlife and club scene will keep you up all night. You simply can get bored in Berlin. I would suggest a day trip to Postdam, but I’m not sure you can do all this in just 3 days in Berlin. 

Day 14-16: Prague, Czech Republic

Travel from Berlin to Prague via RailEurope or bus. Prague is only a couple of hours away, so this day will not be completely wasted. 

Europe itinerary 3 weeks Prague

On the same day, you’ll have time to explore the Old Town and Charles Bridge. You can end the day at a traditional restaurant where you can taste Czech cuisine.

On the second day in Prague, head over to Prague Castle. Get the ticket that includes the four attractions (you’ll see there’re a bunch of places within the castle that require additional tickets, but that will be enough). However, for the best view, do visit the Lobkowicz Palace, which has a balcony that overlooks the entire city. My personal favourite place in the city. 

Prague is one of my favourite cities in Europe, and I’ve been there so many times, I lost count. Some of the things you should not miss in Prague are: 

  • evening cruise on the Vltava River (get Prague Boat tickets online here)
  • Go up in the Astronomical Tower
  • Visit the Jewish Quarter and Lennon Wall
  • Day trip to Kutná Hora or Český Krumlov

Day 17: Milan, Italy

Get a Ryanair and arrive in Italy. No trip to Europe is complete without a trip to Italy. There’s no place on Earth like Italy. And you will finally understand people’s fascination for Italy. 

Europe itinerary 3 weeks milan italy

Ah, Milan! This Italian fashion capital is a must-see for any Euro-tripper. Start by visiting the jaw-dropping Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano), a true Gothic masterpiece.

Then, stroll through the posh Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II for a taste of luxury shopping or a cheeky espresso. Catch a glimpse of da Vinci’s iconic Last Supper at the Santa Maria delle Grazie, and don’t miss out on the contemporary art scene at the Fondazione Prada.

Lastly, get your fill of culture at La Scala Opera House or catch a football match at the iconic San Siro Stadium. Milan’s got it all, from haute couture to historic gems!

Day 18-21: Rome, Italy

It can’t come as a surprise that all roads lead to Rome, right? 

Rome Italy Fontana di Trevi Unforgettable Europe in 3 Weeks: Your Essential Guide to Must-see Cities and Hidden Gems

I know I said that I’m not the kind of person to like big and crowded places, but Rome is a special place. I believe this is the most beautiful city on Earth, and I hope to visit it again as many times as possible. 

Rome is simply amazing, and you will not have enough time to see it all in only a couple of days, but you can try. 

Of course, you should not miss historical sites such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Pantheon. And then you’ll need at least half of a day, but probably more, to explore the Vatican City, where you’ll find the famous St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museum. 

Of course, you shouldn’t miss the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps. 

And eat as much pasta, pizza and gelato as you possibly can. 

Day 22: Departure from Rome

Unfortunately, this is it for the Europe itinerary for 3 weeks. Check out of accommodation and head for the airport.

By now, you should have tons of memories from all these European experiences. But now you also know that Europe has so much more to offer. This 3-week Europe itinerary is barely scratching the surface of European culture.  

What else can you add to your Europe itinerary?

If you decide to spend more time in Europe, here’s what I recommend:

  • Napoli, Italy (best pizza ever)
  • Greek cities (Thessaloniki or Athens) and, of course, the Greek islands (Santorini, Paxos, Zakynthos, Milos or Crete, just to name a few)
  • The underrated part of Europe – Eastern Europe. Think about making a road trip to Bulgaria, Bucharest and a mountain hiking trip to Romania and, of course, Budapest, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. 
  • Once things get settled, I do encourage you to visit Ukraine – I loved Odesa, Kyiv and Lviv
  • Poland is a huge country, but you shouldn’t miss Krakow, which is simply stunning. 
  • The Baltic countries are worth their own road trip, or probably around two weeks. If you don’t have that much time, try at least to see Riga, the capital of Latvia, because you’ll be blown away. 
  • Scandinavia is a trip on its own. These countries are all huge, but you can easily see Helsinki on a day trip from Tallinn, and then the Stockholm archipelago is within reach by ferry. And since you’ve made it this far, the fjords in Norway aren’t like anything you’ve seen before. 
  • Spain is always a good idea, Barcelona is on the pricier side, but Madrid, Valencia and Seville are some of my favourites city on the peninsula. If you make it more south, Check out Gibraltar, as this is the only place on the continent to see wild monkeys. 
  • And the southern region of Portugal is only hours away by car from Spain. Check out Algarve; it’s probably the best place in Europe to see cliffs by the Ocean.  

This Europe itinerary for 3 weeks can be customized according to personal preferences and interests. It is advisable to book accommodations, RailEurope train tickets, and popular attraction tickets in advance.

Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a travel expert, blogger, engineer, freelance copywriter, and a curiosity-driven personality. She sees travel as the ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth, and that's the main topic of her blog, Juliasomething.com.

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