European Vacation Planning

Plan Your European Vacation with Our Maps and Charts

Europe is a very popular tourist destination. In general, more tourists go to Southern/Mediterranean Europe than any other place in Europe. Western Europe follows, then the ever growing Central/Eastern Europe follows before Northern Europe, which attracts half the international tourists than Western Europe.

The most visited countries in order are France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Below is a map of the Europe states. Europe now includes 51 independent states.

map of european states

Western Europe

Since western Europe and the Mediterranean are the most popular, let's zoom in and see Western Europe with some compelling cities to visit marked on the map.

map of western europe
Western Europe

The yellow countries on the map use the euro as currency, the green states use the local currency, although in countries like Switzerland you can use the euro in many situations.

Now the map is beginning to take shape. You see cities you've read and dreamed about, or, in the case of Naples, Italy, you've developed an unfounded loathing for. You might be very surprised.

Relative Cost of Living in European States

Still haven't figured out where to go? Maybe you are a high flier, and would pick a couple of classy, expensive places to vacation. Or your pocketbook is nearly empty and you're looking or cheap. No matter. The chart below shows relative costs of each European State, with the United States thrown in for comparison purposes. The Czech republic is the reference point @ 100. So if you bought a burger for one dollar in the Czech republic, you'd pay $2.72 for it in Swizerland. The data has been extracted from

  • Switzerland 272
  • Iceland 257
  • Norway 222
  • Ireland 205
  • Denmark 197
  • France 190
  • United States  185
  • Luxembourg 185
  • Netherlands 179
  • Finland 177
  • Sweden 177
  • Germany 156
  • Belgium 154
  • Austria 150
  • Italy 148
  • Spain 136
  • Portugal 121
  • Greece 119
  • Cyprus 118
  • Latvia 113
  • Croatia 110
  • Estonia 104
  • Russia 103
  • Slovakia 101
  • Hungary 98
  • Serbia 86
  • Romania 82
  • Macedonia 75
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina 73
  • Moldavia 66
  • Ukraine 65

A Classic Itinerary, The Grand Tour

This Classic remake of the "European Grand Tour" makes a fine 2 to 3 week vacation, especially if you've never been to Europe before.

Fly into London because it's closer to the US, Then take the Eurostar train to Paris for three or four days, then head south for a few days in France's culinary capital Lyon before heading to Venice, Florence and Rome, Italy's big three. These are some of Europe's greatest cities, they're not particularly expensive, and they'll all hold your attention for at least three days--although the original tourists, the Eglish elites of the 17th and 18th centuries who beat that path stayed for a year or two on the tour, learning language, architecture, geography, and culture.

  • London to Paris: 2.5 hours
  • Paris to Lyon: 1 hour 58 minutes $80 - $95
  • Lyon to Venice, Italy: 8 hours 33 minutes, including transfers. $107 - $140
  • Venice to Florence: 2 hours 5 minutes $30 - $50
  • Florence to Rome: 1 hour 32 minutes $30 - $50
map of the grand tour of europe

Favorite Regions in Europe

These Places are on the beaten track for a reason

Provence & the Luberon

The good things in life come together in the southern French region: celebrated food and wine, perched villages, monasteries and ancient churches, and a fine light that attracted artists and artisans.

The most well known bit of Provence is the Vaucluse, which includes the Luberon, made famous in part by the books of Peter Mayle. But that's not all there is to see!

provence window


From artistic Florence to the magical towers of San Gimignano, this is the place tourists flock to in Italy.

Discover this region and its little-known historic territories like the Lunigiana and Garfagnana by using the button below. 

san gimignano tuscany

European Itineraries

Get a Trip Planned for You

Amsterdam to Italy

North to South Though Europe

By train or car, see some of the best destinations in Europe, from the Netherlands through Germany, Switzerland, and ending up (if you wish!) in the Lake Region of Italy.

amsterdam house

Destination: Heidelberg

Don't miss this university town.

There are some great towns along the castle road, and one that stands out is Heidelberg, with its romantic castle, humongous wine barrel, and those awesome views along the Neckar river.

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