One quick and affordable way to visit Europe is to pick three big cities and devote no more than three days to each. For example, create a nine-day journey to London, Paris, and Rome: in these world capitals you can take advantage of some of Europe’s finest music venues, museums, pubs, and theaters. Best of all, many attractions are free of charge to visitors.
The London Trip
One of the world’s most vibrant cities, London offers great architecture, shopping, dining, and recreation suitable for a range of itineraries and travel budgets. To sightsee without breaking the bank, look for free activities across the city. You’ll find free exhibits in many of London’s best museums, including Tate Modern and British Museum. Travel between various attractions by public buses, which allow you to go practically anywhere in the city on one flat fare. Explore the streets of Soho and Chinatown on foot, photograph Big Ben from the ground, and check out some of the smaller markets around town to pick up souvenirs made by local artists. Dive into London’s lively pub scene, or hop a train to Brighton Beach to discover a seaside promenade lined by amusement arcades, nightclubs, and restaurants.
For more sightseeing ideas, take a look at this London itinerary.
The Paris Trip
A high-speed train can get you from London to Paris in less than three hours, leaving plenty of time for sightseeing on your first day in the City of Light. Start your tour by visiting the biggest cultural attractions, like Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, both of which feature free exhibits. Other budget-friendly things to do around Paris include exploring street and flea markets, where you can see how the locals live and shop. Alternatively, walk around Île de la Cité, a natural island in the Seine featuring cobbled streets and historical buildings. Discover the city’s nightlife on your own, or join a guided bar crawl catering to students and backpackers interested in attractions off the traditional tourist trail.
Look for more activities to add your trip planner by browsing this Paris itinerary.
The Rome Trip
The quickest way to journey between Paris and Rome is by airplane, but if you’re planning your trip on a budget, consider traveling by high-speed or overnight train. Once in the Eternal City, head straight for the big sights, like the Colosseum and Pantheon. Afterwards, you can turn your attention to some of the city’s offbeat places to visit, like Museum of the Souls of Purgatory. You’ll find plenty of admission-free indoor attractions in Rome, but if you need more outdoor activities for your itinerary, climb Spanish Steps, the widest staircase in Europe.
Check out this Rome itinerary for more nightlife and other sightseeing options.
The Whirlwind Europe Experience
If you don’t have time for a long continent-wide holiday, take a trip to London, Paris, and Rome. Create your own nine-day itinerary to these three cities to enjoy a brief but rewarding tour of Europe.