Amsterdam, Paris, and Barcelona are three world-famous European capitals that can be enjoyed entirely with ten days in Europe. With three nights in each city, you can discover the iconic sights, uncover the local neighborhoods, and take a day trip to incredibly nearby highlights. Handcrafted for first-time city lovers coming to Europe, this tour is all about the beautiful history, artistic legacy, and most authentic local scenes as you experience three very different cities and countries on your...
Amsterdam – Walking and Cycling the Charming Old City
Amsterdam is easy on the eyes as narrow canals form a spider’s web through the old city, each flanked by narrow townhouses and lanes made from cobbles. Churches jut above the skyline, their bells competing with the tinkle of bicycles. House doors open onto the water, reminders of when everyone traveled by boat. Amsterdam is not a big city, and the old city center – everything inside the grand canal – is easy to get around on foot, by bicycle, or on the water.
Land in Amsterdam and you will be transferred to your hotel that is on the water, a small boutique place kindling the romance of yesteryear travel. Your arrival day is flexible, and your guide will show you around, either on foot or by bicycle if you wish. A short boat cruise is best for gaining a city overview, and then later in the evening you will need to be on foot, the narrow streets too crowded for anything else. A handful of attractions can be visited should you wish, ranging from the Ann Frank House to the Heineken Museum. It’s best not to prescribe the itinerary too much on your first day, so your local guide will tailor a route dependent on your interests and your energy.
Amsterdam – Best of the Art and Parks
Amsterdam – Day Trip to Delft and Rotterdam
Paris – Walking and Cruising the Seine to see Famous Parisian Highlights
Paris – Best of the Art and Cobblestone Neighborhoods
Paris – Day Trip to Versailles or Champagne
Barcelona – Getting to Know the Heart of Catalonia
Barcelona – The Best of the Modernist Architects and More
Barcelona – Day Trip to Montserrat and Rural Catalonia
Barcelona – Departure
- Marvel at the architectural legacy left behind by Gaudi and Catalonia’s other Modernistas
- Cycle and walk the canal-side lanes of old Amsterdam, where there is so much to admire on every corner
- Spend the day in either Versailles or Champagne, feasting your senses on the history
- Explore the highlights of old Barcelona, including Barrio Gotic and Montjuic
- Uncover Amsterdam’s artistic legacy, Rembrandt and Van Gogh followed by some downtime in the city’s beautiful parks
- Get to know iconic Parisian monuments, from Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower
- Take a day trip to Montserrat and listen to its monastery’s morning choir song, before experiencing more of rural Catalonia
- Discover the famous art of Paris, visit its charming cobbled neighborhoods, and learn all about chocolate
- Embrace the old-world atmosphere of Holland’s first capital by visiting Delft, then change the pace with time in nearby Rotterdam
Bicycle bells will provide the soundtrack on the narrow canal-side lanes of Amsterdam, while aromas of chocolate and coffee guide you through local Parisian neighborhoods and the al fresco cafe culture dominates the evenings wherever you are in Barcelona. Of course, the sights are different, and it is almost impossible to juxtapose Amsterdam’s architecture with Gaudi’s cathedral or Paris’s Montmartre. But these are not just cities with sights, however famous those sights may be. These are cities with soul, and destinations that will excite each of your senses. For while the Eiffel Tower or La Sagrada Familia may initially attract you to Europe, you will soon find a piece of each city that feels instinctively like you.
Find yourself walking in small neighborhoods, and you will find places that reflect what you like with cafes, corners, shops, and small nooks where you could sit forever and watch the world in Paris. The same happens in Amsterdam and Barcelona. You cannot visit any of these cities for the first time and miss out on the iconic attractions, but spend three days in each, and you can combine legendary sights with places you will uncover just for yourself. For while these three cities are among the most visited on the planet, there is always something very personal about them.
Your three days in each city will follow a similar pattern. Spend your first day exploring the city slowly, either on foot or by bicycle, getting to know the historical central areas. The second day in each will focus on iconic cultural and artistic highlights, and then on your third day, you can include a tour to nearby destinations so that you can gain a wider appreciation of the country. Daytime exploration is privately guided and flexible, while the evenings are free for the best time to find your own favorite part of the city and watch everyone roll by. Of course, each of these major cities could deserve more time, as three days is never going to be enough to experience it all. But three destinations in ten days means your vacation is not rushed, and still includes many dozens of highlights.
Amsterdam is charming and old-world, a superb introduction to Europe. Traveling around the city is quick, and you can easily get around everything by bike or by tram. Rembrandt and Van Gogh are among the highlights, while your day trip will take you to another city of canals, Delft, Holland’s first capital. Take the high-speed train to Paris, and you will both walk and cruise the Seine for a simple way to experience the majority of the city’s most iconic attractions. The next day will be all about the local Parisian neighborhoods and the unmissable art, and then the following day, you can choose Versailles or Champagne.
Fly to Barcelona next, and its old central quarter will allow you to relax along the Mediterranean. The following day is dedicated to Gaudi and the Modernist movement, and your day trip is to Montserrat and rural Catalonian villages. Local guides will provide recommendations for the evenings, but it is really over to you. Take a walk, see a neighborhood, check out a restaurant or café, as it is on atmospheric city evenings that you are most likely to find a piece of Europe you want to pick up and take home. And the best thing about these three cities is that everyone finds their own special place, somewhere in Europe that is instinctively you. Consider learning more about our travelers’ favorite European travel activities by reading their Europe travel reviews.
$3,345 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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