48 days in Western Europe Itinerary

Susan Peters
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Lisbon, Portugal
— 7 nights
Train
2
Porto, Portugal
— 5 nights
Fly
3
Barcelona, Spain
— 4 nights
Train
4
Avignon, France
— 6 nights
Train
5
Annecy, France
— 3 nights
Bus
6
Lausanne, Switzerland
— 2 nights
Train
7
Murren, Switzerland
— 4 nights
Train
8
Bern, Switzerland
— 2 nights
Fly
9
Nantes, France
— 1 night
Drive
10
Saint-Malo, France
— 4 nights
Drive
11
Bayeux, France
— 3 nights
Train
12
Paris, France
— 5 nights
Fly

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Lisbon, Portugal — 7 nights

City of Seven Hills

Built on seven hills, Lisbon has experienced a renaissance in recent years, making it the cultural star of Portugal.
Let the collections at Fundacao Amalia Rodrigues Casa Museu and Medeiros e Almeida Museum capture your imagination. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Palácio Nacional da Ajuda and Electricity Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Lisbon: Praia dos Pescadores (in Ericeira), Baleal Beach (in Peniche) and Igreja de Santa Maria (in Obidos). The adventure continues: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of St. Anthony, explore the historical opulence of Castelo de Palmela, see the interesting displays at Museu da Marioneta, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Ribeira Beach.

Plan a Lisbon trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Chicago, USA to Lisbon is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You'll lose 6 hours traveling from Chicago to Lisbon due to the time zone difference. In May in Lisbon, expect temperatures between 75°F during the day and 55°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) to allow time to fly to Porto.
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Porto, Portugal — 5 nights

Unvanquished City

Called "Oporto" by many, the city of Porto along the Duoro River lent the country and Port wine their names.
Let the collections at Biscaínhos Museum Garden and MMIPO - Museu da Misericordia do Porto capture your imagination. Igreja do Bom Jesus da Cruz and Matriz Church will appeal to history buffs. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Porto: Barcelos (Museu de Olaria & Igreja Matriz de Barcelos), Vila do Conde (Nau Quinhentista & Capela de Nossa Senhora da Guia) and Braga (Igreja de Santa Cruz & Igreja da Misericordia de Braga). Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Lapa, examine the collection at Estacao Litoral da Aguda, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and do a tasting at Pocas Vinhos.

To see reviews, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, read Porto trip website.

Fly from Lisbon to Porto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Lisbon in May, expect nights in Porto to be about the same, around 52°F, while days are slightly colder, around 68°F. On the 15th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can fly to Barcelona.
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Barcelona, Spain — 4 nights

Jewel of the Mediterranean

Barcelona, the country’s second-largest city, is a cosmopolitan urban center known for its throbbing youthful energy and stellar architecture.
Take a break from the city and head to Camino de Ronda and Fishing Charters & Tours. Let the collections at MEAM Museu Europeu d'Art Modern and Reial Monestir de Santa Maria de Pedralbes capture your imagination. Explore Barcelona's surroundings by going to Colonia Guell Gaudi Crypt (in Santa Coloma de Cervello) and Lloret de Mar (Parochial Rectory, Modernist Cemetery, &more). There's lots more to do: wander the streets of L'Eixample District, admire the masterpieces at Gaudi Exhibition Center, get engrossed in the history at Museu d'Història de Catalunya, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Plaça de Sant Felip Neri.

For reviews, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Barcelona online trip builder.

Traveling by flight from Porto to Barcelona takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. The time zone changes from Western European Standard Time to Central European Standard Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. May in Barcelona sees daily highs of 71°F and lows of 57°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to fly to Avignon.
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Avignon, France — 6 nights

City of Popes

An ancient town center surrounded by medieval ramparts, Avignon is a major city of Provence and a Mediterranean city in the Vaucluse department on the left bank of the Rhône River.
Explore hidden gems such as Wine Safari and Musee du Petit Palais. Visiting Ile De La Barthelasse and Gorges de la Nesque will get you outdoors. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Avignon: Vieille Eglise (in Bonnieux), Eglise St-Vincent (in Les Baux de Provence) and Roussillon (Ecomusee de l’ocre, Eglise Saint-Michel, &more). And it doesn't end there: get engrossed in the history at Musee Lapidaire, make a trip to Place Crillon, delve into the distant past at Les Antiques, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Synagogue de Cavaillon.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Avignon driving holiday site.

Fly from Barcelona to Avignon in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. May in Avignon sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 53°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Annecy.
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Annecy, France — 3 nights

Venice of the Alps

The canals is in Annecy helped earn the medieval town the nickname the Venice of the Alps.
Step out of the city life by going to Water Taxi Annecy and Ile des Cygnes. Appreciate the collections at Conservatoire Art et Histoire and Maison de la Galerie. Explore Annecy's surroundings by going to Chambery (Hotel de Cordon, Eglise Notre Dame du Rosaire, &more) and Sanctuaire Notre Dame de Myans (in Myans). And it doesn't end there: step into the grandiose world of Chateau de Duingt, get outside with YAKAPEDALER, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Eglise Saint-Francois, and walk around Parc Charles Bosson.

To see maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Annecy day trip app.

Drive from Avignon to Annecy in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Avignon in May, expect Annecy to be slightly colder, temps between 65°F and 46°F. You'll have a few hours on the 28th (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling to Lausanne.
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Lausanne, Switzerland — 2 nights

Swiss San Francisco

Lausanne contains several distinct neighborhoods, each offering a different side of the French-speaking Swiss town.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sun): step into the grandiose world of Palais De Rumine, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Rue de Bourg, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Esplanade de Montbenon. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: pause for some serene contemplation at St Martin's Church, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Eglise Notre-Dame, delve into the lush surroundings at Sauvabelin Forest, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Eglise de Saint-Sulpice, and finally step into the grandiose world of Chateau de Vufflens.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Lausanne trip builder.

You can drive from Annecy to Lausanne in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can take a train to Murren.
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Murren, Switzerland — 4 nights

With a population of just 450 people, Murren brings to life an authentic Swiss mountain village.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Lotschentaler Museum and Artilleriewerk Faulensee. Escape the urban bustle at Gimmelwald - Tanzbodeli and Schwimmbad Merligen. Explore Murren's surroundings by going to Spiez (Schloss Spiez & Spiezer Rundwanderweg), Lotschental Valley (in Blatten) and Classic Walk Along the Lotschberger Southern Approach (in Steg-Hohtenn). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Blumental Panorama Trail, trek along North face Trail, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at The Monch, and make a trip to 007 Walk of fame - Schilthorn.

To find reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Murren holiday maker website.

You can take a train from Lausanne to Murren in 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Bern.
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Bern, Switzerland — 2 nights

City of Bears

The capital and political center of Switzerland, Bern sits on a peninsula formed by the U-shaped River Aare.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Sat): ponder the design of Mosesbrunnen, examine the collection at Kindermuseum Creaviva, examine the collection at Klingendes Museum, don't miss a visit to Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen, then ponder the design of Simsonbrunnen, and finally admire the local landmark of Zahringerbrunnen. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Magdalena Hermitage, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chapelle de Lorette, then pause for some serene contemplation at Kirche Scherzligen, then view the masterpieces at Thun-Panorama, and finally don't miss a visit to Obere Hauptgasse.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Bern travel route builder tool.

You can take a train from Murren to Bern in 2 hours. Another option is to do a combination of train and bus. In June, plan for daily highs up to 75°F, and evening lows to 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) to allow enough time to fly to Nantes.
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Nantes, France — 1 night

Venice of the West

Regarded as an art and history city, Nantes is called the Venice of the West.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Mon): tee off at Golf De La Marionniere, see the interesting displays at Musee de l'Imprimerie, look for gifts at Le Temple du Jeu Nantes, then wander the streets of Place Graslin, then explore the world behind art at Musee d'Arts de Nantes, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Basilique Saint Nicolas.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Nantes trip site.

Traveling by flight from Bern to Nantes takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. June in Nantes sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 54°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can drive to Saint-Malo.
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Saint-Malo, France — 4 nights

Once the feared base of pirates and heavily fortified against Norman attacks, today's coastal Saint-Malo is one of the top tourist draws.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Musee Jacques Cartier and Mausolee du Mont d'Huisnes. Escape the urban bustle at Pointe du Decolle and Longchamps Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Megalithiques du Champ des Roches (in Pleslin-Trigavou), Porte du Jerzual (in Dinan) and Chateau du Guildo (in Crehen). There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Tour Bidouane, take some stellar pictures from Cabane Vauban, pause for some serene contemplation at Eglise Notre Dame du Cap Lihou, and surround yourself with nature on Francois LAMOTTE d'ARGY Guide de la baie du Mont-Saint-Michel.

For maps, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Saint-Malo trip itinerary site.

Drive from Nantes to Saint-Malo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. When traveling from Nantes in June, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Saint-Malo: temperatures range from 67°F by day to 52°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Bayeux.
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Bayeux, France — 3 nights

Most travelers take a trip to Bayeux to see the famed tapestry depicting the legendary Norman Conquest from the 11th century.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Around Europe Battlefields Tours Day Tours and Liberators Museum - Normandy 1944. Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery and Eglise Saint-Patrice de Bayeux will appeal to history buffs. Change things up with these side-trips from Bayeux: Caen (Museum of Fine Arts of Caen, Eglise Saint-Pierre, &more). Next up on the itinerary: explore the different monuments and memorials at Cementerio Militar Jerusalem De La Commonwealth, enjoy the sand and surf at Juno Beach, pause for some photo ops at D-Day Monument, and don't miss a visit to Reporters Memorial.

To see traveler tips and more tourist information, you can read our Bayeux vacation maker site.

Traveling by car from Saint-Malo to Bayeux takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In June, daily temperatures in Bayeux can reach 69°F, while at night they dip to 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can go by car to Paris.
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Paris, France — 5 nights

City of Light

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.
Get some cultural insight at Philippe-Chatrier Court and Left Bank (Rive Gauche). Appreciate the collections at Memorial De La Shoah and Musee National des Arts Asiatiques - Guimet. Change things up with these side-trips from Paris: Moret-sur-Loing (in Moret-sur-Loing), Fontainebleau (Evasion Canine & Fontainebleau Forest (Foret de Fontainebleau)) and Basilique de Saint-Mathurin (in Larchant). There's lots more to do: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, get to know the fascinating history of Triumphal Way (Voie Triomphale), take a stroll through Quartier Montparnasse, and examine the collection at Musee Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Paris tour builder.

You can drive from Bayeux to Paris in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. In June, daily temperatures in Paris can reach 74°F, while at night they dip to 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) to allow time to fly back home.
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