Architecture Trips in Europe

Architecture and Beer in Germany's Great Cities

Berlin beer glasses Hans-Peter Merten/German National Tourism Board
Fly into: Munich Fly out of: Munich
Total Duration: 6 days

This itinerary shows Germany's cities, and precisely what they have to offer. You'll tipple to your hearts content in the beer gardens of Munich, see the magnificent architecture of Dresden—much of it restored since the fall of communism—before finishing up in Berlin, the design center of Germany and home to many of its modern architectural masterworks.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • History
  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture

Best Beaches and Ruins of Turkey

Ephesus europeexpert /Fodors.com member
Fly into: Istanbul Fly out of: Istanbul
Total Duration: 12 days

Many people come to Turkey to see the stunning ruins, while others are drawn by the siren call of the beaches. This itinerary, starting and ending in Istanbul, will satisfy both, and you'll see some of the greatest preserved ancient sites in Turkey. Some happen to be nestled along beaches, and others are just a short detour from a boat ride and sunshine.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Archaeology
  • Beaches
  • Architecture
  • History
  • Natural Beauty

Best of Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales

Shakespeare's birthplace gary718/shutterstock
Fly into: London Fly out of: Edinburgh
Total Duration: 14 days

This itinerary has all that you need from a circuit of Britain. You've got the big city pleasures of museums, parks and shopping in London and Edinburgh, the smaller town vibes of Bath and North Wales, and some fine outdoor activities in the Lake District and the Cotswolds.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Great Drive
  • Shopping
  • Architecture
  • History

Best of France

Versailles garden michel mory/iStockphoto
Fly into: Paris Fly out of: Nice
Total Duration: 14 days

On this itinerary, you'll take in some of the top destinations in France. It's a perfect trip for first time visitors or those who want to sample the country. You'll spend time in big cities like Paris and Lyon, before heading south to soak up the sunshine of Provence and the Riviera.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture

Best Walks of England and Wales

Martindale British Tourist Authority
Fly into: London Fly out of: London
Total Duration: 10 days

This itinerary shows that there is some fine walking afoot in England and Wales. It starts in the Lake District, famous for its varied hikes and beautiful mountains, moves to the grand house gardens and rugged trails of the Peak District, and finishes on the ground of Wales' windswept castles. For travelers who like to take it slow, this trip is a fine way to explore distinctive British landscapes.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Architecture
  • Natural Beauty
  • History

Castles in Germany's Wine Country

Stolzenfels Castle Andreas Kaster/German National Tourism Board
Fly into: Frankfurt Fly out of: Frankfurt
Total Duration: 7 days

See the best of West Germany's castles with this itinerary. It starts in Koblenz's Festung Ehrenbreitstein and moves through the three castles in the St. Goar region and the academic treasures of Heidelberg, before finishing at the castle-hotel in Neckarzimmern, the Burg Hornberg. This trip offers some of Germany's best castles, with plenty of local wine to make the learning fun.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Architecture
  • Food and Wine

Central Europe by Train

Lazienki Park Tomasz Szymanski/shutterstock
Fly into: Budapest Fly out of: Warsaw
Total Duration: 10 days

This itinerary gives the flavor of Central Europe. There's plenty to see, including castles in Bratislava and Krakow, bathhouses in Budapest, and libraries in Warsaw. It's best and most easily undertaken by train.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Architecture
  • Shopping
  • Nightlife
  • Great Train Ride
  • History

Central European Art Capitals: Berlin, Dresden, and Prague

Prague Castle clu/istockphoto
Fly into: Berlin Fly out of: Prague
Total Duration: 8 days

This itinerary—ideal for train travel—hits three of central Europe's artiest capitals. You'll see the modern treasures of Berlin, the Baroque beauty of Dresden (Saxony's capital), and the time-honored splendor of Prague.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Great Train Ride
  • Architecture
  • History
  • Art and Culture

Classic Trips: Driving Germany's Romantic Road

Castle Neuschwanstein Yuri Yavnik/Shutterstock
Fly into: Frankfurt Fly out of: Munich
Total Duration: 7 days

This trip follows the Romantic Road, one of Germany's oldest tourist routes. Created after World War II to lure visitors, it includes sweeping vistas, fairy-tale castles, and ancient cathedrals—the most romantic sights of Germany on one car trip.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Great Drive
  • Food and Wine
  • History
  • Architecture

Classic Trips: England's Heritage Gardens and Stately Homes

Chatsworth House BrettCharlton/istockphoto
Fly into: London Fly out of: London
Total Duration: 12 Days

If there's one thing that England does best, it's splendid homes and the gardens that surround them. This itinerary starts in London's parks and palaces, moves through the suburb of Royal Tunbridge Wells for nearby treasure houses, heads to the cathedral of Salisbury and the magnificent manors of the Cotswolds, before finishing in the grand gardens and estates of the Peak District.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Architecture
  • Natural Beauty
  • Great Drive

Classic Trips: Helsinki to Moscow

St. Isaac's Cathedral Allen Furmanski/shutterstock
Fly into: Helsinki Fly out of: Moscow
Total Duration: 12 days

This classic northern trip starts in Helsinki's saunas and castles, then heads east to St. Petersburg. There you'll explore the Hermitage before traveling to the busy streets of Moscow, where the trip ends. Try this trip in summer, when the days seem to stretch forever. Both St. Petersburg and Helsinki have festivals celebrating the season.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • History
  • Architecture
  • Great Train Ride

Essential Finland: Helsinki to Lapland

Reindeer stedenmi/istockphoto
Fly into: Helsinki Fly out of: Helsinki
Total Duration: 10 days

Fixated on Finland? From dazzling design to ancient castles and unspoiled beauty, Finland has a lot to offer the adventurous traveler. Time your visit to catch the midnight sun in June.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Architecture

Essential Portugal: Lisbon and the North Country

Obidos, colorful building Jose Manuel-ITP
Fly into: Lisbon Fly out of: Lisbon
Total Duration: 11 days

This itinerary showcases some of the best that Portugal has to offer, at a relaxed pace. Start your journey exploring Lisbon, before heading north to discover hilltop towns, castles, and fishing villages. Burn off all the rustic food by hiking in the massive Serra da Estrela, and don't miss the port-making region before heading south again to Lisbon and back home.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Food and Wine
  • Architecture
  • History
  • Shopping
  • Nightlife

Essential Scotland: Castles, Lochs, and Whiskey

Loch Lomond sunset Abubakr Hussain/wikipedia.org
Fly into: Glasgow Fly out of: Glasgow
Total Duration: 12 days

Scotland's beauty can be rugged, mysterious, and sometimes stark, thanks to the country's famous lochs, craggy moors, and castles—all of which you'll experience on this comprehensive journey. Start in history-rich Edinburgh and head north to the St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf. Then take in the dramatic landscapes near Inverness and on the enchanting Isle of Skye. End on a high note with an invigorating walk around Loch Lomond before exploring the lively city of Glasgow.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Art and Culture
  • History
  • Natural Beauty
  • Architecture
  • Shopping

France with Kids

Eiffel Tower Carousel TEA/shutterstock
Fly into: Paris Fly out of: Paris
Total Duration: 8 days

Got kids? Then they—and you—will love this family itinerary to France. This trip is designed with their short attention spans and interests in mind. It has a good dose of fun, including a visit to Euro Disney, as well as just the right amount of time dedicated to museums and churches.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Food and Wine
  • History
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture
  • Museums

Greek Island Hopping

Mykonos street PixAchi/Shutterstock
Fly into: Athens Fly out of: Athens
Total Duration: 12 days

If you're looking for the archetype of the Greek islands—off-the-charts beauty, hedonistic nightlife, white-washed villages, and other-worldly sunsets—choose the Cyclades. Travel the waters from blue-domed Mykonos to Santorini's caldera, and discover off-the-beaten-path places where you can avoid the crowds and slip into the slow island way of life.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Food and Wine
  • Nightlife
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture

Highlights of the Netherlands and Belgium

The Hague's parliament GAPS/istockphoto
Fly into: Amsterdam Fly out of: Brussels
Total Duration: 11 days

This trip, true to its moniker, gives you all the best of the Netherlands and Belgium. Start among Amsterdam's canals, see the seaside by The Hague, and check out Rotterdam's busy nightlife. In Belgium, you'll see Brugge's medieval splendor, the artistry of Ghent, and the street life of Brussels before heading home.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • History
  • Food and Wine
  • Natural Beauty
  • Nightlife
  • Architecture

Ireland and Northern Ireland: Dublin to Belfast

Giant's Causeway, County Antrim kellyconlan/Fodors.com member
Fly into: Dublin Fly out of: Dublin
Total Duration: 9 days

Rugged, misty, and eerie: this trip takes in some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland's west and north. Kick off your trip in Dublin before heading west to Galway, then pay your respects to Yeats in Sligo. In Northern Ireland you'll combine hip city experiences with some of the most otherworldly natural landscapes; and who knows, you might even spot one of the "little people."

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Food and Wine
  • Architecture
  • Art and Culture
  • Natural Beauty

Ireland by Rail

Blarney Castle lfitz44/Fodors.com member
Fly into: Limerick Fly out of: Dublin
Total Duration: 10 days

Traveling Ireland by rail is one of the best ways to tour the country. There are no white-knuckle rides as you face large tour buses on narrow, winding roads (and not to mention the stress of driving on the left). You can just sit back, relax, and take in the brazenly scenic landscape while enjoying a picnic lunch on the train. Starting from Shannon, this itinerary hits some of the most popular sites in Ireland, from Limerick and Blarney Castle to the famed Ring of Kerry and Kilkenny, before ending your trip in Dublin.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Food and Wine
  • Natural Beauty
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture

Ireland's Greatest Houses and Castles

Romance and Intrigue at Lismore aggiegirl/Fodors.com member
Fly into: Dublin Fly out of: Dublin
Total Duration: 10 days

For an up-close look at the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous—antique style, nothing beats a visit to Ireland's stately homes and castles. Architecturally, they run the gamut from Gothic to Georgian. On this trip you'll see the largest private home in Ireland, as well as shockingly grand castles and country estates.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture
  • Food and Wine

Northern Spain: Tapas and Coastal Towns

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao aherrero/flickr
Fly into: Barcelona Fly out of: Madrid
Total Duration: 14 days

Starting in Barcelona and gently curving east, this itinerary showcases the highlights of northern Spain, along with Madrid. You'll explore fishing villages in San Sebastián and rocky beaches along the Basque Coast before hitting the museums of Bilbao. The trip winds down in Madrid, where you can tour the Prado and dance the night away.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
  • Museums
  • Architecture
  • Art and Culture

Norway's West Coast

Tromso anchored ship VojtechVlk/shutterstock
Fly into: Oslo Fly out of: Oslo
Total Duration: 12 days

This itinerary goes up Norway's famed west coast, all the way to the Europe's northernmost point. Fjords, bears, sea eagles, arctic cathedrals, and shipbuilding—you'll find it all on this wild voyage.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Architecture
  • History

Rhine River Cruise

Cologne river cruise Manfred Steinbach/shutterstock
Fly into: Amsterdam Fly out of: Zürich
Total Duration: 7 days

This tried-and-true river cruise itinerary takes you through a long cross-section of Europe. Touching the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland, it allows you to experience the Rhine's best, from the leafy canals of Amsterdam to the contemporary art mecca of Basel.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • History
  • Great River Cruise
  • Architecture
  • Art and Culture

Royal Iberia: Portugal and Spain

Sintra Castle Vinicius Tupinamba/shutterstock
Fly into: Lisbon Fly out of: Madrid
Total Duration: 13 days

Looking for a royal flush? This itinerary takes in royal themed sites in Portugal and Spain. You'll follow in the footsteps of kings, queens, and royal explorers, visiting castles, monasteries, and palaces. Start in Lisbon and Sintra before heading to Spain to explore Madrid, Segovia, and Toledo. It's not all palaces and churches, though; we've included plenty of cultural and food stops as well as the occasional nature break.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture
  • Food and Wine
  • History

Southern Spain: Flamenco, Art, and Architecture

Flamenco accompaniment TheNickster/flickr
Fly into: Madrid Fly out of: Madrid
Total Duration: 10 days

Kick off your trip in Madrid, where you can soak up the art at the Prado and get into the Spanish way of life. Then follow in the footsteps of El Greco to Toledo, before heading to Córdoba to explore its unique architecture. Catch a flamenco show in Seville before ending your trip with arguably Spain's greatest monument —the Alhambra palace in Grenada.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Architecture
  • Art and Culture
  • Food and Wine
  • History

Spain's Great Cities: Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville

Parc Guell Ruggero Franceschini/shutterstock
Fly into: Barcelona Fly out of: Madrid
Total Duration: 9 days

This itinerary takes you to three of Spain's greatest destinations: Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville. Each city has its own charm and attractions. You'll take in art museums and architecture, as well as superb cuisine—with plenty of time for breaks in parks or the beach. Best of all, these cities are linked by high speed trains.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • History
  • Architecture
  • Museums
  • Food and Wine

Switzerland Sampler: A First-Timer's Tour

Zermatt cable car ST/swiss-image.ch
Fly into: Zürich Fly out of: Geneva
Total Duration: 14 days

Try the Switzerland Sampler for a taste of this tiny country's wares. From cosmopolitan Zurich and Geneva to the quaint charms of Luzern and Zermatt to Bern's sleepy appeal, this itinerary gives you a good sense of what's to be seen here.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Shopping
  • Architecture

The Best of England and France

Blenheim Palace shutterstock
Fly into: London Fly out of: Paris
Total Duration: 14 days

On this trip, you'll experience some of the best churches, architecture, and mystical sights that England and France have to offer. Kick off the trip in London before seeing the great cathedral at Canterbury and Stonehenge. Then cross the English Channel and head to France, where you'll spend time seeing abbeys and grand châteaux, as well as spending time in Paris.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
  • Great Train Ride
  • Architecture
  • Art and Culture

The Best of England and Ireland

Salisbury Cathedral Rob Gale/flickr
Fly into: London Fly out of: Shannon
Total Duration: 14 days

Beginning in London, this trip highlights some of the quintessential attractions and cities in both England and Ireland. You'll see treasures ancient and new, from the Tower of London and the Roman spas at Bath to the Book of Kells and one of Ireland's liveliest cities.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • History
  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture

The Best of Scandinavia

Dalarna landscape Mikael Damkier /shutterstock
Fly into: Stockholm Fly out of: Oslo
Total Duration: 10 Days

This itinerary hits Scandinavia's top towns. Start in cosmopolitan Stockholm, then explore the folklore-heavy region of Dalarna. Finish the trip in Göteborg and Oslo, two of Scandinavia's prettiest coastal towns.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Architecture
  • Shopping
  • Art and Culture

The Best of Tuscany

Duomo rooftops in Florence Minerva_Bloom/Fodors.com member
Fly into: Pisa Fly out of: Pisa
Total Duration: 9 days

Cypress trees, vineyards, and rolling hills characterize this gorgeous region of central Italy. Wine and olive oil have been produced here for centuries, and they help make meals something special. On this road trip, you'll see lots of important art in Pisa and Florence, then wind your way through the scenic countryside of Chianti, ending up in Siena.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture

The Italian and French Rivieras

Menton, French Riviera Manfred Steinbach/shutterstock
Fly into: Milan Fly out of: Nice
Total Duration: 14 days

If you want to live the jet set life,or just see how the jet set live, this itinerary hits all the right spots along the French and Italian Rivieras. Starting in Italy, you can hike your way through some of the most spectacular cliff-top villages while taking in catch-me-while-I-swoon sea views (and occasional dips in the sea). You'll visit historic cities along the Mediterranean coast as well as smaller villages with nary a boutique in sight.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture

The Mezzogiorno: Southern Italy

Positano boats BostonGal/Fodors.com member
Fly into: Rome Fly out of: Rome
Total Duration: 10 days

"Mezzogiorno" means "midday"; it's the informal name given to southern Italy, a region where a blazing sun heats up villages (sometimes making it imperative to remain indoors during peak summer hours) and casts a commanding glow. This is a magical land whose "Renaissance" happened in the 13th century during the reign of Frederick II. A car is usually the best way to get around, as train service can be slow and erratic. A quick overnight in Rome kicks off this road trip. You then go south to the beautiful Amalfi Coast, after which you'll head to Puglia, known for its mysterious trulli and its phenomenal food. From Puglia, you'll turn back north to bustling Naples, and wrap things up with another day in Rome.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Architecture
  • Food and Wine
  • Beaches
  • Museums
  • Great Drive

Venice and Istria by Boat

Rovinj Old City Igor Plotnikov/shutterstock
Fly into: Venice Fly out of: Venice
Total Duration: 6 days

This itinerary covers the best of the Istrian region. Start in majestic Venice, then thread your way along the coast, seeing Roman ruins and soaring churches in the Croatian towns of Pula and Rovinj. This trip is easily done by ferry.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Architecture
  • History
  • Art and Culture

Venice and the Venetian Arc

Verona street Ljupco Smokovski/Shutterstock
Fly into: Venice Fly out of: Venice
Total Duration: 10 days

Venice truly is a city unlike any other. You can't begin to get a real sense of its unique beauty and complexity in a day or two—which is why this itinerary devotes four days to it. When you move away from the city, you'll continue to feel its influence in the "Venetian Arc," the swathe of northeastern Italy that was once under Venice's rule.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Architecture
  • Art and Culture
  • Food and Wine
  • Natural Beauty

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