8 days in Europe Itinerary

8 days in Europe Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Europe Itinerary

Start: Dublin, Ireland
Fly:  4 h 30 min
1
Brussels, Belgium
— 2 nights
Train:  45 min
2
Lille, France
— 1 night
Train:  3 h 30 min
3
Cologne, Germany
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 45 min
4
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
— 2 nights
Fly:  4 h 30 min
End: Dublin, Ireland

2
nights
Brussels, Belgium

Brussels ©
The allure of the multi-cultural capital, Brussels, stems from its mix of political intrigue, artistic influence, historical significance, and a thriving social scene.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Thu): explore the galleries of Atomium, then make a trip to Grand Place, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule). Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Fri): see the interesting displays at Musical Instruments Museum, then examine the collection at Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, then ponder the world of politics at Justice Palace (Palais de Justice), and finally see the interesting displays at Manneken Pis.

To find photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Brussels trip itinerary planner.

Dublin, Ireland to Brussels is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and train; or do a combination of ferry and car. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Central European Time (CET) is 1 hour. December in Brussels sees daily highs of 7°C and lows of 2°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) to allow time to take a train to Lille.

Things to do in Brussels

Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Atomium ©
Atomium
Grand Place ©
Grand Place

1
night
Lille, France

Lille ©
On the Deûle River near the Belgium border, Lille has a very active cultural life as France's fifth-largest metropolitan area and the fourth-largest urban area with a large college student population.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Sat): admire nature's wide array of creatures at Lille Zoo, stop by Boutique Rose de Coton, then take a stroll through Vieux-Lille, and finally admire the masterpieces at Le Palais Des Beaux Arts de Lille.

For ratings, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Lille holiday planner.

Getting from Brussels to Lille by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 9°C, and evening lows to 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can drive to Cologne.

Things to do in Lille

Zoos & Aquariums Parks Shopping

Side Trip

Rose de coton
Highlights from your plan
Lille Zoo ©
Lille Zoo
Le Palais Des Beaux Arts de Lille ©
Le Palais Des Beaux Arts de Lille
Vieux-Lille ©
Vieux-Lille

2
nights
Cologne, Germany

Cologne ©
Though Cologne famously contains 12 Romanesque churches, the city's top prize remains its landmark Gothic cathedral.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Sun): enjoy breathtaking views from Rhine Tower, then snap pictures at Hohenzollern Bridge, then explore the world behind art at Museum Ludwig, and finally admire the striking features of Cologne Cathedral. Keep things going the next day: find something for the whole family at Phantasialand.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read Cologne itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Lille to Cologne takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and flight. Expect a daytime high around 9°C in December, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can drive to Amsterdam.

Things to do in Cologne

Theme Parks Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Phantasialand, Rheinturm
Highlights from your plan
Phantasialand ©
Phantasialand
Cologne Cathedral ©
Cologne Cathedral
Museum Ludwig ©
Museum Ludwig

2
nights
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam ©
Known as one of the greatest small cities in the world, Amsterdam charms visitors with its cool and cozy atmosphere.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Tue): admire the masterpieces at Rijksmuseum, then explore the world behind art at Van Gogh Museum, and then get engrossed in the history at Anne Frank House. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Begijnhof, sample the tasty concoctions at Heineken Experience, then stroll through Vondelpark, then have fun at Museumfoto, and finally take a stroll through Red Light District.

For more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Amsterdam holiday planner.

Drive from Cologne to Amsterdam in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and flight. December in Amsterdam sees daily highs of 9°C and lows of 3°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Thu) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Amsterdam

Museums Historic Sites Breweries & Distilleries
Highlights from your plan
Anne Frank House ©
Anne Frank House
Van Gogh Museum ©
Van Gogh Museum
Rijksmuseum ©
Rijksmuseum

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