— travel inspiration for small budgets and big dreams —

travel inspiration for small budgets and big dreams


What do you do if you’ve got 18 days in Europe and want to see a little bit of everything?

See a little bit of everything!

7 countries, 9 cities in 18 days. (Well, it’s actually 5 countries, 1 city-state, and 1 principality, but the latter two are technically countries, and “7 countries” somehow makes it a bit easier to justify the price of the plane ticket.)

Specifically, this itinerary will take you to France (Paris and Nice), Italy (Rome and Venice), Germany (Munich), the Netherlands (Amsterdam), and Belgium (Brussels, but only for a few hours), plus the Vatican City and Monaco (also only a couple of hours). It definitely won’t let you live like a local — for that, you should spend all 18 days in only 1 or 2 places. Instead, this itinerary is more like taking the tourist bus on your first day in a new place: it lets you get a glimpse of each place of interest, and from those initial glimpses, you can decide where you would like to spend more time next time.

Here’s the 18-day itinerary I followed back in 2014:

© Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains
© Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains

Favorite moments from the trip:


If you’ve only got 10 days in Europe, try this itinerary instead.

Happy travels!

7 countries in 18 days: A sample European itinerary
Created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. 

22 Responses

  1. OMG you only had 18 days and you went to the magical Burano! I can hardly believe it. So many people miss Burano, don’t even know it’s there, and I think it is one of the best things about Venice.
    I love the way you put your itineraries together in that graphic way – so easy to follow.

  2. aww, I love that photo where you are picking tulips… now I see it was taken in Amsterdam… I should have guessed 🙂
    what will your itinerary include this year? 🙂
    Tagalog is how you refer to the language you speak, right? I’ve never known that, love learning new things… 🙂

    1. Yes! Tagalog is our national language…well, the national language is actually “Filipino” which is supposed to be a mishmash of the all the major languages in the Philippines but is really over 90% Tagalog. The people in the capital (Manila) speak Tagalog. In the island where I live, though (Cebu), we have our own language, which is called Cebuano, and that’s mostly what we speak around here. In fact, I’m probably better at English than at Tagalog! The Tagalog people actually make fun of us Cebuanos because we tend to speak Tagalog with a hard accent. 😀

      Do you have many languages/dialects in Bulgaria too?

      1. No worries we are in awe of Cebuanos speaking good English. 🙂 🙂
        Question.. should i take the sleeper train from Paris to Rome or fly instead? Airfare is around 4k php and im going on a solo travel. Also i havent decided if i will go do Nice or Venice.

      2. He he. 🙂 Personally, I would take the sleeper train just because trains are so much less of a hassle than planes. Trains can be more expensive than planes but if you book early enough, the difference won’t be so much, especially considering you won’t have to pay for another night at the hotel, and you save time. You can get more info here: — I think you’re supposed to take the sleeper to Milan then change there for a high-speed train to Rome.

        Nice is beautiful and I liked it there, but if you’re short on time, it’s not something you will spend the rest of your life regretting that you skipped. Venice is the very definition of touristy, but that’s for a reason — it’s a very beautiful place and I would really recommend visiting at least once. If you have time while you’re on Venice, try going out to Burano island, it’s only a short boat ride away (get a vaporetto pass), there are less people (compared to the main areas of Venice anyway), and it’s very picturesque.

        Have a great trip! 🙂

    1. I’m sure you guys can do it! I actually didn’t even dare to dream of Europe before, and then there was a ticket sale, and we bought tickets on an impulse, tapos save save save na lang, cramming ug save, halos wala na jud laag para maka-save. 😀

    1. Hi Ayesha,

      I don’t think there is just one best time to go to Europe. It depends on what you want to see and experience. If you’re planning to go, perhaps you can make a list first of countries you want to visit, and then research their usual calendar to figure out when to go. For example, if you want to see tulips in Amsterdam, you might want to go there when the Keukenhof garden is open. It really depends on what you want.

      As for budget, here are two articles that might be able to help answer your question:

  3. This is just WOW! I’m planning to go in March next year. Sundon naku ni imong itinerary. Pero mga pila ang nagasto nimu the whole trip excluding plane tix. Thanks!

    1. Hi Ralyn! Wow, excited na ko para nimo! Di na ko ka-remember exactly how much we spent pero mga 100k+ jud to kay we went to a lot of cities. Also, gi-hinay-hinayan to nako ug bayad ang mga expenses, like this month I would book one hotel, then next month another hotel, then next month palit ko train tickets in advance, para dili kaayo bug-at, but mao nah di na nako ma-keep-track ang expenses. 😀 Sometimes sad mas maayo di na lang i-keep-track para dili kaayo sakit hunahunaon hehe! But anyway, for planning purposes, these articles might help you with budgeting:

  4. gay! just want to ask, if passing by a city but not staying there for a night (you arrive morning but will be taking, say, a late afternoon train to another city) where mabilin ang luggage? any idea? hahaha 🙂

    1. Hi Gea! Sorry karun lang naka-reply! Many train stations have lockers/luggage counters that you can rent for a period of time and there are also some hostels that, for a fee, will let you leave your stuff with them even if you’re not a guest. You can try Googling the specific city, and you’ll usually find info in the TripAdvisor forums.

    1. Hi Lorraine! Check this site out — — it’s my go-to site for everything to do with trains. Particularly for European countries, seat61 will tell you where best to book. It will usually be in the website of the national rail company of each country. Good luck!

  5. Hi, I am glad to hear that your also a cebuana.. i am cebuana too..just curious, unsay language gi use sa embassy pag interview nimo when you applied for Schengen Visa? thanks..

    1. Hi Charlyn! Last nakong try ug interview kay pag-2011 pa to sa French embassy, English ra man kay Pinoy ra man ang tig-interview. Pero most of the time karun kay dili na man mag-interview, naa ra’y company na tig-accept sa imong documents (usually VFS or VIA) then kasagaran based na lang jud sa imong documents ang ilang decision. Panagsa na lang na tawgon jud ka sa embassy for interview. 🙂

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