History 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

Around the Eastern Aegean, from Athens to Istanbul

Samos fisherman easyshoot/shutterstock
Fly into: Athens Fly out of: Istanbul
Total Duration: 12 days

Many travelers tend to bypass the islands of the Northeastern Aegean in favor of glitzy party places like Mykonos and Santorini. They don't know what they're missing. The seductive islands hugging the coast of Asia Minor capture the essence of Hellenic culture and history, as well as provide an easy gateway to Turkish destinations such as the ancient Roman city of Ephesus.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Archaeology
  • Food and Wine
  • Beaches
  • History

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 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

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: Athens to Istanbul

Antiphellos Kas Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Fly into: Athens Fly out of: Istanbul
Total Duration: 13 days

Take in the best of Greece and Turkey by following this classic route. Beginning at, well, the beginning—antiquity, that is—you'll explore Athens's classic monuments. From there, traverse the Greek Islands, with stops in picturesque Santorini and glitzy Rhodes, before heading for Turkey's mainland. Ancient ruins and stunning views abound in Antalya and Cappadoccia and lead to your final stop, Istanbul.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Natural Beauty
  • Museums

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: 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: 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

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

Crete and the Dodecanese

Tsambika beach Valeria Titova/iStockphoto
Fly into: Athens Fly out of: Athens
Total Duration: 13 days

The southern islands of Crete and the Dodecanese are full of superlative experiences: a lost civilization, deep gorges, Crusader's castles, and isolated beaches. This itinerary will take you through all of them, beginning and ending in Athens.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
  • Archaeology
  • 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

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 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

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: Dingle and the Ring of Kerry

Horseback ride by the lakes Cork Kerry Tourism
Fly into: Cork City Fly out of: Limerick City
Total Duration: 8 Days

Most visitors come to Ireland for the green, the lush rolling hills, and the shimmering sea. This route, which starts along the Ring Of Kerry and winds up on the Dingle Peninsula, offers up some of the most dramatic scenery in Ireland, from picturesque villages and rugged cliffs to charming little towns where you can curl up in front of a fire and hear authentic Irish music.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Great Drive
  • History

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

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

Road Trip Around Ancient Greece

Delphi Ruins Istockphoto/ David Lewis
Fly into: Athens Fly out of: Athens
Total Duration: 12 days

What's better than a road trip to explore a country? In this itinerary, you'll be road-tripping around Greece and criss-crossing from Attica to the Peloponnese to explore some its top ancient sites. You'll see the ruins of sacred Delphi, where the Oracle once uttered its prophesies, the ancient theater at Epidauros that had room for over 14,000 people, and the city which was given to Achilles as a gift.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Archaeology
  • Food and Wine
  • History
  • Natural Beauty

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

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

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 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 Swiss Alps

Snowboarders with view of matterhorn Crans-Montana Tourisme/swiss-image.ch
Fly into: Zurich Fly out of: Geneva
Total Duration: 10 days

This itinerary will take you to great heights. From Mount Pilatus near Luzern to the Matterhorn, the Grindelwald, Mürren and Mont Blanc, this trip aims to be tip-top. Don't be afraid to slow down and enjoy the scenery as you travel from point to point, especially when moving from Lauterbrunnen to Zermatt and between Lausanne and Geneva.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • History
  • Museums

Turkey's Crossroads of Faith

whirling-dervishes Amer Kapetanovic/iStockphoto
Fly into: Istanbul Fly out of: Istanbul
Total Duration: 10 days

Turkey is a cultural crossroads where the world's major three religions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) have coexisted for centuries. It's not uncommon to see a mosque next to an ancient church or synagogue. On this trip, you'll explore some of the most important religious sites in Turkey. Keep in mind that Turkey's bus network is more comprehensive than its train network.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Natural Beauty

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

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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