11 days in Europe Itinerary

11 days in Europe Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in Europe Itinerary

Start: Cape Town, South Africa
Fly:  12 h 30 min
1
Istanbul, Turkey
— 2 nights
Fly:  3 h 15 min
2
Budapest, Hungary
— 2 nights
Bus + Fly:  4 h 45 min
3
Prague, Czech Republic
— 2 nights
Fly:  5 h
4
Paris, France
— 2 nights
Fly:  5 h 15 min
5
Rome, Italy
— 2 nights
Fly:  17 h 15 min
End: Cape Town, South Africa

2
nights
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©
A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Tue): admire the striking features of Dolmabahce Palace, admire the striking features of Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), then take in the spiritual surroundings of Sultan Ahmed Mosque, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Galata Tower. On the next day, get engrossed in the history at Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), then hunt for treasures at Kapali Carsi, then admire the landmark architecture of Basilica Cistern, and finally get engrossed in the history at Topkapi Palace.

To see reviews, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Istanbul trip itinerary planning site.

Cape Town, South Africa to Istanbul is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from South Africa Standard Time to Eastern European Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. When traveling from Cape Town in November, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Istanbul: temperatures range from 17°C by day to 17°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can travel to Budapest.

Things to do in Istanbul

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 2:
Highlights from your plan
Hagia Sophia Museum ©
Hagia Sophia Museum
Topkapi Palace ©
Topkapi Palace
Sultan Ahmed Mosque ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque

2
nights
Budapest, Hungary

Budapest ©
You might consider the city of Budapest, divided by the Danube River into two distinctive cities--Buda and Pest--to be essentially one large World Heritage Site.
On the 3rd (Thu), contemplate the long history of Halaszbastya, steep yourself in history at Matthias Church, then examine the collection at House of Terror Museum, then appreciate the history behind Hősök tere, and finally get a sense of history and politics at Hungarian Parliament Building. On the next day, take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent Istvan Bazilika), admire the landmark architecture of Dohány Street Synagogue, then admire the masterpieces at Hungarian National Gallery (Magyar Nemzeti Galeria), and finally snap pictures at Szechenyi Chain Bridge.

To see more things to do, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Budapest trip site.

You can fly from Istanbul to Budapest in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Istanbul to Budapest due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Istanbul in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Budapest, with lows of -1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to travel to Prague.

Things to do in Budapest

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Halaszbastya ©
Halaszbastya
Hungarian Parliament Building ©
Hungarian Parliament Building
Matthias Church ©
Matthias Church

2
nights
Prague, Czech Republic

Prague ©
Prague lures millions of tourists each year with its World Heritage-listed medieval city center--a labyrinth of narrow lanes, bridges, cathedrals, and palaces overlooked by a thousand-year-old castle.
On the 5th (Sat), step into the grandiose world of Prague Castle, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Vitus Cathedral, then don't miss a visit to Prague Astronomical Clock, and finally snap pictures at Charles Bridge. Keep things going the next day: take a stroll through Lesser Town, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Staromestske namesti, and then get engrossed in the history at Jewish Museum in Prague.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Prague visit planner.

Traveling by flight from Budapest to Prague takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 5°C in December, and nighttime lows around 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Paris.

Things to do in Prague

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Staromestske namesti ©
Staromestske namesti
Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge
Prague Castle ©
Prague Castle

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Mon): appreciate the extensive heritage of Île de la Cité, steep yourself in history at Eiffel Tower, then admire the landmark architecture of Arc de Triomphe, and finally admire the masterpieces at Louvre Museum. On the 8th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in nature's colorful creations at Luxembourg Gardens, admire the masterpieces at Musee d'Orsay, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre.

For where to stay, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Paris tour itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Prague to Paris takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Prague in December: highs in Paris hover around 9°C, while lows dip to 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can travel to Rome.

Things to do in Paris

Museums Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Eiffel Tower ©
Eiffel Tower
Louvre Museum ©
Louvre Museum
Musee d'Orsay ©
Musee d'Orsay

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Wed): explore the ancient world of Colosseum, get to know the fascinating history of Piazza Navona, steep yourself in history at St. Peter's Basilica, then delve into the distant past at Pantheon, and finally ponder the design of Trevi Fountain.

To find photos, ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Rome route planning website.

Getting from Paris to Rome by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Traveling from Paris in December, you will find days in Rome are somewhat warmer (16°C), and nights are about the same (4°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Rome

Historic Sites

Side Trip

St. Peter's Basilica
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Colosseum ©
Colosseum
Pantheon ©
Pantheon
Trevi Fountain ©
Trevi Fountain

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