England, Belgium, France, Netherlands
London, Paris, Brussels, Ghent, Rotterdam, Delft, Amsterdam, Bruges
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Parisian neighborhoods emanate elegance and subtlety, while in London you are confronted by grandeur and beauty on every corner. Historic Belgium will take you back in time with cobbles and city squares, while the Netherlands places you on the water in beautiful old cities packed with treasures. On this handcrafted 10-day Europe trip, you will explore four very different destinations to connect cultures and experience the notable highlights of each. High-speed trains make it possible, and exclusive...
London - Afternoon Tea and Crown Jewels
London will bring a quick smile of delight to your face with its red double-decker buses and phone boxes, and its black Hackney cabs all along the streets. It will seem that everywhere you look there is something iconic, including the gray clouds that are often hanging low in the sky. Central London is where may of the best-known attractions are found, and the area is surprisingly compact as it only takes twenty minutes to walk from Westminster Abbey and Big Ben to Trafalgar Square. You will be staying in Central London, so all of this is yours to explore. But first, you will relax, and no better way to recover from a flight than a spot of afternoon tea.
A tiered cake stand will come out, packed with sandwiches cut into triangles, scones with clotted cream, dainty cakes and other sweet treats. Tea is served almost ceremonially as you choose from a wide variety of brews. The setting is opulent, a hotel wing that has been a place for afternoon tea since the royals used to come here. After enjoying every minute of your introduction to England, you can hop down the street to the Tower of London just as all the day visitors are leaving. Down darkened corridors and through heavy doors you will go to a private viewing of the British crown jewels, where the bright sparkles are best captured when there is nobody else around.
London - Customized Highlights of London
Look around the Palace of Westminster, and there is no end to the artistic flourishes. Neo-Gothic corridors are lined with sculpted ceilings and polished wooden fittings while ornamental doors lead to chambers only used once or twice a year. The lavish halls are used for lords, and in the cafeteria, you will find politicians drinking coffee over the River Thames. It is one of Britain’s most significant buildings, and it is usually closed to the public, except for a small handful of daily visitors who can explore on a private tour. You will even be able to go inside the Robing Chamber where the Queen gets ready, as well as Augustus Pugin’s Chamber of the House of Lords.
Your guide will then customize your afternoon based on your interests. There is far too much in London for just a few days, yet it is the range of highlights that will most impresses. Stay central for famous sights, head east for more grit and to explore the more recently gentrified neighborhoods, travel west for old London glamour, go north for a relaxed afternoon amid glorious surroundings, or go where the cool kids now hang out in South London. When your trip to Europe is privately guided, you can decide on the day with the help of your guide.
London - The Castles of Southern England
Across Southern England, you can find old wealth on display as the architecture and styles remain unchanged, and many significant art collections have stayed private. At Hampton Court Palace you can walk in the footsteps of early 16th-century Henry VIII, while in Runnymede you can travel further back in time to when the Magna Carta was signed. Windsor Castle is the grandest of them all, the tour taking you from majestic state apartment to the miniature details of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. You will step behind the red rope to see parts of Windsor usually closed to visitors before returning to London and a final night in England.
Paris - Cruising the River Seine
It is fastest to travel by train to Paris, and you can go from city center to city center in just over two hours, arriving in a city that revolves around the Seine. Inhale the aromas if Paris as you arrive, dramatically different than they are in London. Listen to the romantic language and check out the streets, and delight in how boulangeries, or French bakeries, are so prominent on every street corner. Everyone knows Parisian art for the Louvre, but it is often the Musee d’Orsay that really takes the breath away. Take a tour with an art historian, tracing the most important era in French art history from 1848 to 1914. You will gaze upon the world’s most abdundant collection of Impressionist art, and experience so many of the famous names like Renoir, Rodi, and Monet.
Your enjoyment of the artistic feeling of Paris will continue as you step out onto the streets of Central Paris. While the Eiffel Tower is the city’s symbol, it is an older 19th-century style that mostly prevails. To appreciate this architecture, you can walk the neighborhood where you are staying, checking out small restaurants and cafes, and then cruise the River Seine at dusk. First travel towards the tower, amazed by how many famous Parisian buildings are located on the river. As the Eiffel Tower slowly turns its silhouette, you will travel back, dinner being served as a band plays, and lights shimmer softly along the banks.
Paris - Paris Food Tour
The beauty of Paris is alive in the vernacular as it is something you experience through everyday sights and sounds as you are immersed in Parisian life. Behind the famous monuments is a city of untold treasures, and the best way to get around many of them is in a vintage Citroen 2CV. This old-timer vehicle can access the mazy streets, cover good distance, but be slow enough for you to really appreciate what is going on around you. You will be off to explore Saint-Germain and Montmartre, along with another two neighborhoods and a stop in Laduree tea room to refuel. If that still seems a little fast paced, then you can slow down even further during the afternoon. Explore the same neighborhoods, just on foot, with your local guide taking you to small bistros and markets, showing you the finest of Parisian culinary treats.
Ghent - The Modern City
Less than two hours away, and another country will unfold. You will now be in Belgium, your first-class train journey across rolling green pastures to the remarkable flatness of the lowlands. Brussels is a unique city, with the scent of money and corporate life possibly overwhelming when you are on vacation. Secure your baggage at the station and spend two hours in the city, hearing its stories and admiring the mix of architecture. You will also have lunch here, at a restaurant that is known as one of the finest in Western Europe.
Culture, landscape, style, and architecture will shift dramatically after your 40-minute train to Ghent. Church bells tell the passing of time here as streets of townhouses suggest a medieval era. People play piano on small squares, and you are in the heart of an old Flemish city, and there are not any vehicles, just a few boats going down the canals. So walk without a map, explore to your heart’s content, and continue to exclaim how different it all is on this side of the border.
Bruges - The Home of Chocolate and Beer
Ghent is a lively medieval city, partially due to its large university, while Bruges feels like a living museum. A local historian will take you around, across a maze of cobbles to glorious sculptures from a time of wealth, as Bruges was once a very significant port. Most of the city is now rather quiet but the main square bustles with life thanks to the host of cafe and restaurant terraces. Seven hundred years ago, Bruges was the capital of beer. It still is, with over 1,000 Flemish brews to try, each with their own glass. You will tour a brewery and then a chocolatier to taste how the city has made its reputation for something sweet as well.
Delft - Canals and History
Just like two days ago, today you will travel from new to old. A private guide will take you to Rotterdam, a city decimated in World War II and then rebuilt with weird and wonderful architecture. They really innovate here, like cubist houses, strange giant gnomes, and artful clusters of glass. There is nothing too innovative about Delft, but it is old-world Holland at its best. Canals run alongside cobbled, pedestrian streets while two ancient churches hang high above everything else. Townhouses are cute and charming, with distinctive roof shapes that tell you when they were built. It is all very relaxed here, just like in Bruges, even if the experience remains very local. You will get a good idea about Dutch culture as most people only visit Amsterdam, which is very different to the rest of the country, and then spend your evening on the main square, as picturesque a place as any in Western Europe.
Amsterdam - Art and Heritage
Train journeys are beautiful in Europe, and you will take your seat in first class and watch the country roll by. From Delft to Amsterdam, you will cut across the famous Dutch flower fields with great expanses of colorful tulips visible from mid-March through April and sometimes May. Small towns whizz by, and by traveling on the train, you will get a glimpse of each with further memories to help build your impression of the country. From France to Belgium to the Netherlands, you will start to recognize how the towns have a consistent style exclusive to the country you are in. So even though this Europe trip has only been ten days, you will have covered a large amount of ground.
Arrive in Amsterdam, and the privately guided tour is two-fold. The Van Gogh Museum has more of the artist’s works than anywhere else, so you can track his artistic journey from formative years to masterpieces. Consider visiting the Rijksmuseum as well for a chance to explore a greater variety of Dutch and Flemish painters. Move next to spend some time wandering the streets of heritage, cruising the canals and crossing the bridges to discover an inner city that has not really changed in 400 years. Of course, the shop fronts are different and the tourists are modern, but the architecture and style have been superbly preserved.
Amsterdam - Free Time Before Departure
This last day will be left free so that you can see a little more of Amsterdam before your departure. The shopping is good, the museums are excellent, but you might also choose for a relaxed morning in Vondelpark. When the time is right, you will be transferred privately to the airport for your outbound flight.
- Tour Paris in a vintage Citroen 2CV for a great way to get into small neighborhoods and then contrast your driving with a River Seine dinner cruise experience
- Wander the cobblestones streets of Ghent and Bruges, fabulous Flemish cities from a very distant time
- Discover the castles of Southern England, from the glamour of Windsor to the rugged heritage of Hever
- Get to know Amsterdam by walking the city’s mazy canal-side streets
- Enjoy a private tour of the Palace of Westminster and a private viewing of the British crown jewels
- Discover the home of chocolate and beer as you visit breweries and artisans in Bruges
- Relax in Delft, the first Dutch capital an ideal place to slow down while still enjoying the local culture
- Marvel at art in Musee d’Orsay then compare it to Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
- Travel on high-speed trains, saving time so you can fit four countries into ten days
Europe packs an enormous amount of cultural differences into a relatively small geographical region. Cross a border, and everything seems to change: landscapes, language, food, people, history, architecture, and atmosphere. You will feel as though you are somewhere entirely new, even if you only traveled for an hour between destinations. This handcrafted 10-day Europe trip will hop to four countries and showcase some of the most distinctive places on the continent. Although you will mostly be staying in the cities, travel by high-speed train will reveal more of the countries and help you fit them all into ten days. This is an ideal trip for those that are new to European travel with a combination of world-famous highlights alongside exclusive experiences handpicked just for you.
London is the perfect place to start, famous for so many reasons and overflowing with incredible attractions. Touch down and relax with a spot of afternoon tea for the best way to come around after a flight. In the evening, see the crown jewels in the Tower of London without any other people around, and then wake the next morning and continue with more private and exclusive experiences as you tour the Palace of Westminster before your guide customizes an afternoon to your interests. Get out onto green rural pastures the following day to visit castles across Southern England, including Windsor Castle, the family home of Queen Elizabeth.
Zoom through the channel tunnel by train, the Eurostar to Paris much faster than flying. Check into your hotel in an old, central neighborhood, and you will likely gasp at how different it all feels in comparison to London. A River Seine dinner cruise is excellent if you haven’t been to Paris before, as it will show you most of the famous sights and all of the life along the river without you needing to leave your seat and enjoying a fantastic dinner. Move next to take a Citroen 2CV tour through the streets, the tiny car great for getting into mazy neighborhoods. It would not be a stay in Paris without a focus on food as well, so head out with your guide in the afternoon to taste and sample throughout bistros and markets.
Paris to Brussels is less than two hours by train, rolling French farmland replaced by pastures in the lowlands. Take a quick tour of Brussels with your local guide before continuing by train to Ghent, a far more atmospheric city to spend the night. Walking the cobbled streets can make you feel as though you are in a medieval century, with church bells ringing and city squares full of life. Bruges is even more beautiful, although it’s more like a museum piece than a lived-in city. Spend the next day here, checking out the heritage along with what the city is truly famous for--chocolate and beer.
Move to your next country on day eight, and your private guide will drive you to the sights of Rotterdam before an afternoon and evening spent in Delft, the first Dutch capital. The city is fully pedestrianized, an old enclave of canals, churches, and cobbles. Like Bruges, it is a great place to relax and take it slow, especially after big cities like London and Paris. Amsterdam is less than an hour away, and you will end your 10-day Europe trip in the famous Dutch capital, where Van Gogh provides one attraction and the canal-side streets quite another. As with all of the destinations on this trip, opportunities abound, and everything will be curated based on your interests and preferences. Don’t take just our word for it - consider reading some of our travelers’ reviews of Europe, and see how you can customize your own dream vacation.
$3,115 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
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- 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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