Here is a suggested travel itinerary that takes you through two of Europe's top countries, Germany and Italy, and offers a stop in one of Europe's best cities, Amsterdam. Our suggested itinerary can be done in two weeks, although more time is always better.
The itinerary you see on our map takes you through the heart of Western Europe. You'll experience the liveliness of Amsterdam, the best of western Germany, Switzerland, and Italy's lake region. The itinerary can be followed easily and efficiently by train, although driving is always an option.
This is a great trip in spring and fall. I've done it in November, and there's lots of snow in the alps at that time. If you're doing it in early summer, I'd start in Italy and head north as things warm up.
Amsterdam: 3 days, with optional trip to Utrecht or Haarlem.
Cologne: 2 days with optional trip to Dusseldorf, Germany's Fashion capital.
Baden-Baden: Relax, spend a day or two in the baths, or discover Karlsruhe or Freiburg.
Basel, Switzerland: Spend two days on the boundaries between France, Germany and Switzerland. Have a great meal at an historic guild hall. Basel Travel Information
After Basel, you'll have a decision to make. You can take the Bern route and stop a few days at Stresa, on the shores of Lago Maggiore, or you can head over to Lugano in the Italian-speaking Ticino Region of Switzerland and go on to Lake Como.
In Amsterdam, you should plan to fly into Schiphol airport. In Italy, the closest international airport is found outside of Milano, Malpensa Airport. Malpensa is very conveniently located for visitors to the lake region.
You can also start in the middle of the itinerary, at Frankfurt airport.
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