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Itineraries for an epic month in Central Europe

Seasonal itineraries for an epic month in Central Europe

Central Europe has so much going for it.

Everything is reasonably cheap, there are an abundance of transport options making it super easy to get around… throw in some spectacular scenery and the fact that many of the destinations aren’t as crowded and touristy as their Western counterparts, and what other reason do you need? You basically have to go there.

But how do you see Central Europe in only a few weeks?

If you already live in Europe then you are welcome to ignore my suggested itineraries as I’m sure you can just hop over for a few city breaks throughout the year, but for those of us that are on the opposite end of the globe (it’s a nasty 24 hour trip from Australia) I’m going to suggest a few month-long itineraries and base them on the season you plan to travel.


Innsbruck 8Winter in Innsbruck, Austria

great spots to stop

There are plenty of destinations you could add in if you have the time. Here are some places that will give you an incredibly awesome time in Central Europe.

Austria – Vienna, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Innsbruck

Czech Republic – Prague, Cesky Krumlov

Germany – Berlin, MunichCologne, Dresden, Heidelberg, Nuremberg, Frankfurt

Poland – Warsaw, Kraków, Wroclaw

Slovakia – Bratislava

Slovenia – Ljubljana, Lake Bled

Switzerland – Zurich, Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt, Bern

Wroclaw 16Wroclaw, Poland

How to get around?

Rail – one of the best ways to get around Europe. The Eurail website has a great map with average train travel times. You can also use the Deutsche Bahn (German rail network) website to search your routes.

Bus – another common method of transport in Central Europe, especially in and around Germany. See my post on intercity bus travel in Europe for more info.

Flight – If the distances are too great, you can fly between destinations. This might be the best option if you’re on a tight schedule.

Heidelberg, GermanyHeidelberg, Germany

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

See my comprehensive post on our costs of backpacking through Europe for details on the average prices of hostels, transport, food, and sightseeing.


Best itineraries

Europe Itinerary Summer

Recommended Summer Itinerary
(Countries visited: 6)

This itinerary will take you to some of the best places to hang out in the warmer months, where you can spend your days relaxing in beer gardens and dining outdoors. It also avoids the cities that get overly crowded in peak season, so use the extra space to appreciate your surroundings!

  • 5 nights Berlin
  • 2 nights Wroclaw
  • Cesky Krumlov day trip
  • 5 nights Vienna
  • 4 nights Ljubljana
  • 5 nights Munich
  • 4 nights Zurich
  • 2 nights Heidelberg
  • 3 nights Cologne

Europe Itinerary Autumn

Recommended Autumn/Fall Itinerary
(Countries visited: 7)

Shoulder season is the best time to visit the major cities so this itinerary includes many of the popular stops. You’ll see a great range of fall foliage in many of these leafy locations.

  • 5 nights Prague
  • 3 nights Kraków
  • 4 nights Budapest
  • 5 nights Vienna
  • 4 nights Ljubljana
  • 4 nights Munich
  • 2 nights Lucerne
  • 2 nights Heidelberg
  • 2 nights Dresden

Europe Itinerary Winter

Recommended Winter Itinerary
(Countries visited: 6)

If you want to see some serious snow, this itinerary will take you to the best places such as Innsbruck and Zermatt which are great locations for winter sports. The major tourist stops will be much less crowded this time of year so take advantage of this season to drink some warm mulled wine while you explore the Christmas markets.

  • 5 nights Berlin
  • 4 nights Prague
  • 3 nights Kraków
  • 4 nights Budapest
  • 4 nights Vienna
  • 2 nights Innsbruck
  • 2 nights Zermatt
  • 4 nights Munich
  • 2 nights Nuremberg

Europe Itinerary Spring

Recommended Spring Itinerary
(Countries visited: 5)

Spring is the best time to visit the popular stops such as Prague and Salzburg as they’ll be much less crowded than in peak season. This itinerary will also take you by pretty floral displays in smaller cities like Lucerne and Nuremberg.

  • 5 nights Berlin
  • 5 nights Prague
  • Cesky Krumlov day trip
  • 3 nights Salzburg
  • 4 nights Ljubljana
  • 2 nights Lucerne
  • 5 nights Munich
  • 3 nights Nuremberg
  • 3 nights Cologne

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Ashlea Wheeler

This post was written by Ashlea, a colourfully clothed and excitable vegetarian who loves photography and exploring the world. Find out more about me.

15 Responses to “Itineraries for an epic month in Central Europe”

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      It’s definitely super expensive if you stick to Western Europe and hang out in the tourist areas, but generally the further East you go the cheaper it is, which is why Central Europe is great! 😀

      Reply
  1. Erika

    This is so great! I’ve always found that different cities can be a completely different experience depending on the time of year so I love that this is organized by season. Brilliant.

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks Erika! I think it makes a huge difference what time of year you visit a place – the crowds, the flora, the sights, and the food can all change depending on the season.

      Reply
  2. Iida-Emilia

    I’ve visited almost every of those cities but still I am dreaming about an interrail in central europe. I don’t know eastern europe that well, so I think I’m heading there. Maybe next summer I’ll do this, if I don’t have to work all the time 🙂

    Reply
  3. distance monk

    Central Europe is great and I love that you have laid these itineraries out. CE gives you that flavor of the old Iron Curtain for sure in Berlin and Warsaw but still manages to ooze the romance that everyone is looking for in Europe with Germany, Austria and Slovenia. Winter may be cold, but the christmas markets always warm us up. Great post!

    Reply
  4. Jennifer Avery

    This is super helpful! We are on our way to Europe for the summer and I’m bookmarking all your Europe posts – this will be especially handy. Thanks Ashlea! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Ooh wow, that’s awesome Jen! Let me know if there’s anything in particular I might be able to help with. When are you guys going over? Back to Canada first or heading straight there from Asia?

      Reply
      • Jen

        Eek sorry I just saw this upon re-visiting this post! I’m not sure whether we’ll be Canada or Australia bound. We may get our permanent residency sooner than I thought, so might jump back to Aus first to validate it 🙂

        Reply
  5. jim h

    We are doing some of your iten. We fly into Budapest and then travel to Ljubljana then on to Vienna, etc.
    My question is was the train the best way to go between those three cities. I could not find airline that did that route cheaply.

    Reply

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