12 days in Europe Itinerary

12 days in Europe Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Europe Itinerary

Start: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Fly:  13​h 45​min
1
Lisbon, Portugal
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h 45​min
2
Istanbul, Turkey
— 1 night
Fly:  6​h
3
Rome, Italy
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
4
Florence, Italy
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
5
Paris, France
— 2 nights
Fly:  14​h 30​min
End: San Juan, Puerto Rico

2
nights
Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon ©
Built on seven hills, Lisbon has experienced a renaissance in recent years, making it the cultural star of Portugal.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Cabo da Roca and Castelo dos Mouros. Visit Quinta da Regaleira and Castelo de S. Jorge for their historical value. Go for a jaunt from Lisbon to Sintra to see Park and National Palace of Pena about 44 minutes away. There's lots more to do: wander the streets of Belém Tower, take in the spiritual surroundings of Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Basilica da Estrela.

For more things to do, ratings, photos, and tourist information, go to the Lisbon road trip planning site .

San Juan, Puerto Rico to Lisbon is an approximately 14-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and flight. The time zone changes from Atlantic Standard Time to Western European Time, which is usually a 4 hour difference. While traveling from San Juan, expect slightly colder days and colder nights in Lisbon, ranging from highs of 28°C to lows of 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Istanbul.

Things to do in Lisbon

Historic Sites Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Sintra, Cabo da Roca
Find places to stay May 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos ©
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
Cabo da Roca ©
Cabo da Roca
Quinta da Regaleira ©
Quinta da Regaleira

1
night
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©
A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Mon): take an in-depth tour of Topkapi Palace, then explore the world behind art at Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), and then enjoy breathtaking views from Galata Tower. On the next day, delve into the distant past at Basilica Cistern, contemplate the long history of Historic Areas of Istanbul, take an in-depth tour of Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sultan Ahmed Mosque, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Ecumenical Patriarchate, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Suleymaniye Cami .

To find maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Istanbul day trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Lisbon to Istanbul takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. You'll lose 3 hours traveling from Lisbon to Istanbul due to the time zone difference. In May, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Rome.

Things to do in Istanbul

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay May 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Historic Areas of Istanbul ©
Historic Areas of Istanbul
Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque

2
nights
Rome, Italy

Rome ©
Aptly nicknamed the Eternal City, Rome is the birthplace of the Roman Empire, one of the world's greatest civilizations ever.
On the 20th (Wed), admire the striking features of Pantheon, contemplate the long history of St. Peter's Basilica, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santa Maria in Trastevere, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Catacombe di San Callisto, and finally explore the ancient world of Colosseum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: make a trip to Vatican Museums, appreciate the extensive heritage of Piazza Navona, then contemplate the long history of Roman Forum, and finally explore the ancient world of Palatine Hill.

For reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Rome trip itinerary maker .

You can fly from Istanbul to Rome in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern European Time (EET) to Central European Time (CET), which is usually a -2 hour difference. In May, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Thu) so you can take a train to Florence.

Things to do in Rome

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Vatican City
Find places to stay May 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Pantheon ©
Pantheon
Colosseum ©
Colosseum
St. Peter's Basilica ©
St. Peter's Basilica

2
nights
Florence, Italy

Florence ©
Considered a cultural, artistic, and architectural jewel of Italy, Florence is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Fri): admire the masterpieces at Uffizi Galleries, admire the masterpieces at Chiesa e Museo di Orsanmichele, get to know the fascinating history of Piazza del Duomo, take in the spiritual surroundings of Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, then get to know the fascinating history of Piazza della Signoria, and finally make a trip to The Baptistery of St. John. Keep things going the next day: take in panoramic vistas at Campanile di Giotto, then explore the world behind art at Pitti Palace, then get great views at Piazzale Michelangelo, and finally examine the collection at Academy Of Florence Art Gallery.

To find ratings, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, use the Florence road trip app .

You can take a train from Rome to Florence in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. Traveling from Rome in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Florence, with lows of 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can travel to Paris.

Things to do in Florence

Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore ©
Gallerie Degli Uffizi ©
Gallerie Degli Uffizi
The Baptistery of St. John ©
The Baptistery of St. John

2
nights
Paris, France

Paris ©
A beautiful and romantic city fit for any itinerary, Paris brims with historic associations and remains vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Sun): explore the galleries of Louvre Museum, pause for some serene contemplation at Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre, and then explore the different monuments and memorials at The Paris Catacombs. Here are some ideas for day two: take a stroll through Île de la Cité, steep yourself in history at Eiffel Tower, and then pause for some photo ops at Arc de Triomphe.

For photos, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Paris trip itinerary planner .

Fly from Florence to Paris in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. While traveling from Florence, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Paris, ranging from highs of 20°C to lows of 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Paris

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Find places to stay May 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Louvre Museum ©
Louvre Museum
Eiffel Tower ©
Eiffel Tower

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