Art and Culture Trips in Europe

7 Days of Design in Denmark

Tivoli Gardens gary718/Shutterstock
Fly into: Copenhagen Fly out of: Copenhagen
Total Duration: 7 days

Start with the museums and chic shops of Copenhagen, then move to Kolding, home to Denmark's preeminent design school. Finish in Billund, where a visit to Legoland shows just how much fun design can be.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Shopping
  • Art and Culture
  • Nightlife
  • Museums

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 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

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: Austria and Switzerland

Innsbruck column Austrian National Tourist Office/ Diejun
Fly into: Vienna Fly out of: Zurich
Total Duration: 13 days

The hills are alive in this itinerary! Experience the charms of Vienna and Zurich along with the classic mountainside towns of Innsbruck, Interlaken, and Luzern. The route is easy to follow by rail.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Art and Culture
  • Natural Beauty
  • History
  • Great Train Ride

Classic Trips: Germany and France

Colmar traditional houses Avner Richard/shutterstock
Fly into: Munich Fly out of: Strasbourg
Total Duration: 14 days

To satisfy your deepest craving for Old World atmosphere, this itinerary explores the picturesque and beautiful provinces that straddle the border between Germany and France. From the Bavarian capital of Munich, we head west through Heidelberg and Baden-Baden's old-fashioned German castles and spa. Then to Strasbourg, an irresistible mix of medieval houses and modern Parliament buildings. Finish by tippling your way down the Alsatian Wine Road.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture
  • History

Danube River Cruise

St. George statue, Bratislava Klearchos Kapoutsis/flickr
Fly into: Budapest Fly out of: Vienna
Total Duration: 12 Days

Though the cities in this jaunt have changed affiliations and nations more times than you'd care to count, they're all united by the blue Danube. This itinerary—perfect as a river cruise—starts in vibrant Budapest's baths and shops, moves to Bratislava's castles and wine bars, through the Baroque highlights of Linz and Dürnstein, before ending in the coffeehouses and museums of Vienna.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Art and Culture
  • History
  • Great River Cruise

Discover the Italian Renaissance

Ferrara Cathedral detail seraficus/istockphoto
Fly into: Milan Fly out of: Rome
Total Duration: 11 days

The Italian Renaissance, a golden age of art and culture, celebrated beauty, innovation, and mathematical proportion. You can read it in Dante, see it in Michelangelo, and be engulfed by it when you walk into a Renaissance church. This tour highlights key Renaissance sites and masterpieces in eight different locales, including the major cities of Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, as well some more remote, less frenetic destinations.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture
  • 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 from North to South

Provence pink wall Muriel Lasure/Shutterstock
Fly into: Paris Fly out of: Paris
Total Duration: 10 Days

It would take a lifetime to explore all that France has to offer, but this itinerary highlights some of the key regions. Kick off your trip in Paris, to take in the architecture, art, and food. Then wend your way south to Dijon and visit the vineyards of Burgundy before stopping in Provence to see the landscape that inspired Van Gogh. Finish your trip sunning yourself along the French Riviera, exploring the big cities and remote villages. Finally, make your way back to Paris before flying home.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture
  • History
  • Beaches

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

From Copenhagen to Stockholm, Including the Danish Riviera

Cruise boat Jorgen Schytte/VisitDenmark
Fly into: Copenhagen Fly out of: Stockholm
Total Duration: 11 Days

Scandinavia's big cities may draw the tourists, but the locals head out of town to explore the region's countryside nearly every weekend. This itinerary splits the difference, taking you to cosmopolitan Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens and island-hopping through Stockholm with a taste of Danish castles and the northern European beaches of Zealand and Gotland.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Art and Culture

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

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 Italy and Switzerland: The Lakes to the Mountains

Lake Lugano, Ticino Schweiz Tourismus/swiss-image.ch
Fly into: Milan Fly out of: Zürich
Total Duration: 15 days

Italy's and Switzerland's Alpine regions are some of the most magical destinations in Europe, and this trip takes you to the best lakes and mountains in the area. You'll crisscross between the two countries, exploring lake-side towns and islands, as well as postcard-perfect mountains and valleys.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Food and Wine
  • Natural Beauty
  • Art and Culture

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

Prague and the Best of the Czech Republic

Spa in Karlovy Vary Pavel Kosek/shutterstock
Fly into: Prague Fly out of: Prague
Total Duration: 9 Days

The name says it all: the Czech Republic's finest offerings in one itinerary. Start in Prague's evocative side streets and smoky pubs, then head to Kutná Hora's ossuary and Český Krumlov's Renaissance castle before finishing at one of Karlovy Vary's healing spas with a shot of mineral water (or herbal liqueur, both considered medicinal). From beer to bones, you'll sample Bohemia's best on this trip.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • History
  • Art and Culture
  • Food and Wine

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

Seine River Cruise: Paris to the Normandy Beaches

Rouen Cathedral clodio/istockphoto
Fly into: Paris Fly out of: Paris
Total Duration: 7 days

This week-long river cruise will take you through Paris, the Ile de France, and Normandy. Along the way you'll see such historic places as Monet's home of 40 years, Joan of Arc's final resting place, and the World War II landing beaches at Normandy. Each stop is along the Seine, so it's perfect as a river cruise—or of course the trip can be driven instead.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • History
  • Art and Culture
  • Great River Cruise

Southern Germany: Munich to Frankfurt

Rothenburg ob der Tauber Rothenburg Tourismus Service/German National Tourism Board
Fly into: Munich Fly out of: Frankfurt
Total Duration: 14 days

This trip focuses on the best of Germany's southern region. From the bustling beer gardens of Munich to the financial buzz of Frankfurt, along the way you'll see the old-fashioned pomp of Augsburg, the scholarly focus of Heidelberg, and the perfectly preserved streets of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

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

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

Sweden Above the Arctic Circle

Snowmobile driver mikeuk/istockphoto
Fly into: Stockholm Fly out of: Stockholm
Total Duration: 6 days

This trip lets you see what Sweden's far north has to offer. Start with the cosmopolitan delights of Stockholm, then head north to learn about the Sami people. The region hosts popular outdoor activities in summer and winter.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Art and Culture

The Best of Central Europe: Prague, Vienna, and Budapest

Prague Old Town Nikada/istockphoto
Fly into: Prague Fly out of: Budapest
Total Duration: 9 Days

These are the pillars of Central Europe. Prague is the centerpiece, beautifully preserved, walkable, and full of mysterious cobblestone side streets. Vienna is the stately big brother, officious, Hapsburgian, and old-school, from the desserts to the Opera. Budapest is still the scruffy upstart, 20 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the vibrant nightlife and traditional bathhouses make it the most foreign and inscrutable of the three.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • History
  • Art and Culture
  • Great Train Ride

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 Good Life in Northern Italy

Villa Monastero in Varenna on Lake Como Ann Forcier/Fodors.com member
Fly into: Milan Fly out of: Milan
Total Duration: 10 Days

No one has mastered the art of living well as successfully as the Italians. This itinerary highlights locales in northern Italy that are dedicated to pleasure, from a luxurious lakeside getaway to gorgeous wine country to a cliff-lined seacoast. The trip is proof that you can have a wonderful Italian vacation without seeing one Renaissance masterpiece or setting foot in a cathedral—though there are plenty of opportunities to do both if you want to.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

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

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

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

Vienna to Salzburg: Mozart, Picturesque Towns, and the Wachau Valley

Hellbrunn Nikita Rogul/shutterstock
Fly into: Vienna Fly out of: Munich
Total Duration: 11 Days

This itinerary gives the best of what Austria has to offer—and some bonus Bavaria. After Vienna, head west through the gingerbread towns of Dürnstein and Bad Ischl, then to Salzburg, Mozart's birthplace and stomping grounds, and finally to Munich's beer gardens and Bavarian beauty. From classic operas to lemon sponge cake and cathedrals, you'll get a real taste of Hapsburgian grandeur.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • History
  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture

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