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Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, London, Rome, Amsterdam

Madrid > Paris > London > Amsterdam > Rome > Barcelona in 3 weeks. Doable?

I'm traveling to Europe in August. I will be there for 21 days. Is this doable and what are the best places to visit? (ex. museums, night clubs, bars, etc.)

8 Answers

top answer by
Austin from St. Louis

Ya I think that's totally doable. You'll have to move fast so I'd advise doing a lot of research on each city before you go so that you can make sure your not wasting time searching for things to do while you're there.

Paris - you should def check out The Louvre. You could spend days there but on Friday nights people under 25 get in for free so that's a great time to check it out. Also paris has a bike system where they have bike stations all over the city and you just rent the bike while you use them. I would def use this. 

Barcelona - I rented a moped and that really helped us see the whole city. You should try and go to a Barcelona game. the night life here is great, there are some great bars and clubs down by the beach. 

London - is famous for their cocktail bars so I would check out a few. great sight seeing.

Hope this helps a little. the more research you do the better your trip will be. Have great time

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. The Louvre (attraction)
  3. Barcelona (city)
  4. London (city)
4 thanks

answered by
Erin from Brooklyn

Totally doable if you just spend a few days in each place - go for it! I don't think I can condense a full city recommendation round-up here, but check out (for Paris specifically) and (I write this with a friend and we've written quick-hit guides for Paris, London, and Amsterdam).

Hope that is helpful!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Taylor from Pennsylvania

Hi César,

Your trip is doable, but for me personally I would probably cut out one of those cities (maybe Amsterdam and save that for a different time).  There are so many things to do in Paris, London and Rome, really all of those cities you mentioned, that I would rather add a day to each of those and cut out one from the list.  Also, I don't know if your itinerary is set in stone, but I think logistically it would make more sense to go from Madrid to Barcelona and then to Paris.  You can take the AVE, the high speed train, from Madrid to Barcelona and be there in about two hours.  Flights from Barcelona to Paris should also be fairly cheap.

As far as what to do, I can give you some tips for Madrid.  In Madrid there are a million things to do.  The nightlife is incredible although in August a lot of locals are probably not around because they are on vacation somewhere else.  If you like museums go to Museo del Prado (free hours 6-8PM) and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía(free hours 7-9PM).  The Royal Palace of Madrid is also cool to see.  The grounds are pretty and if you want to do a tour of the museum you can too.  The Almudena Cathedral is right next door so people will tend to visit them together.  If you're interested in churches, that's a good one to see.  The Parque del Retiro is also worth going to visit.  It's nice to walk around, you can row boats and just enjoy people watching.  I also like the Parque Oeste because it has a cool Egyptian temple in it (Templo de Debod).  There is also a great view of the Palacio Real right near the Templo de Debod and it's nice to take photos there.  The neighborhoods of Malasaña (fun, hip, a lot of young people) and La Latina (more posh, good tapas) are fun to visit and get something to eat or go out for drinks.  You should go to San Jinés to eat churros con chocolate.  It's not far from the Puerta del Sol.  Plaza Mayor is also a good place to see and the Mercado de San Miguel is right near there and that is a nice spot to try some Spanish food.  I really like grabbing tapas and walking around Calle Huertas (not far from Sol).  If you're a soccer fan, then you can go visit the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.  The list goes on from there, but those places are enough to get you started.

Enjoy your trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Museo del Prado (attraction)
  2. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (attraction)
  3. Royal Palace of Madrid (attraction)
  4. Almudena Cathedral (attraction)
  5. Parque del Retiro (attraction)
  6. Templo de Debod (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Gary from Scottsdale

Sure, doing it is not a problem with the great rail service in Europe, putting ours to shame.  

I wonder why you are going from Rome back to Spain for your trip home, when it would be easier and probably roughly the same cost to fly back from Rome? You would save a couple of days and be able to see more, unless your desire is to also see places in northern Italy and along the southern coast of France, both of which are certainly great, but may be too much to do adequately in your time. I did a similar trip last year over 5 weeks, starting in Rome and flying back from Dublin.  

My most valuable asset on that trip was the European rail timetable app. If you have a 3 week Rail Pass, which you definitely should get before you leave, rail service is so simple, you just get on the train. If you have a second class ticket, which is perfectly good and comfortable, you just sit anywhere in the second class coaches. Very often I would leave my hotel, across from the rail station, 15 minutes before the train pulled out. which it does on time, so never be late. I would also buy a cheap phone there with a SIM card. They are sold in kiosks in every train station. 

I would also download street maps of the cities you plan to visit. They are a great help, and if you have internet connection all the time getting around is a breeze. People are very helpful in every country, and many speak some english, so don't be afraid to ask for help.  

Unless you need to, don't take expensive taxis, the metro systems and bus systems every place you go are great. And relatively easy to figure out. it is a great way to see the city, and you can always figure out how to get back to where you started. That's part of the adventure. 

Do yourself a favor and take a credit card that has a chip in it. you can't buy Metro passes with a regular American credit card in most places, so you'll need cash. And what a great time to go now with the Euro so cheap. 

Speaking of money, here is one big warning. Never change your money in one of the walk in cash places that are seemingly on every corner. Trust me on this one. The service fee they take is huge.. Go to banks, or the easiest is just to use your credit or debit card at a bank atm, which are also prevalent. you don't need a chipped card to do that. 

Lodging. I stayed in hostels, B&Bs, rooms through Airbnb, and 2 star hotels across from the train stations. There are always 2 star hotels across from the train stations, there to serve traveling businessmen on a budget. 

I never made a reservation other than the first days in Rome at a hostel. But then I went in April which isn't a big tourist time. never had any problems at any place I stayed. If you do use Airbnb, find out how easy it is to get to the place on public transportation. I stayed in one place in an Amsterdam suburb that was a mile walk. 

if you plan on going to museums in Rome or Paris, be sure to get a museum pass, which you can get either here or there. Be sure to do this! The lines for major attractions like the Louvre, Saint Peters, and many others are horrendous. 

Finally, pack light! if possible everything should be wash and wear that will dry overnight. Be sure to test that. There are laundromats, and Airbnb rooms generally have washer/dryer privileges. But it is just easier to take a couple of shirts and pants and underwear. Of course, take good socks and broken in walking shoes.  

Security. Be sure to take either a money belt or, the thing I used most, was one that hung around my neck inside my shirt. Never had any trouble at all with security issues. Just stay alert. 

Have fun.

2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Cristina from Brussels

Make sure you book your flights in advance otherwise you might be surprised by the prices. If you decide to fly with cheap companies like Ryanair, make sure the airport is close to the city. Sometimes they advertise a destination but the airport is in a neighbor city. Like this you can lose a day just traveling.

2 thanks

answered by
Roxanne from Montreal

Personnaly, I think it is too much.  You have to deduct one day for travels between cities and I would do 3 to 4 days in each cities.  There is so much to see and do in every cities. Read on each one and focus one one or two theme otherwise you'll never have time for everything.

2 thanks

answered by
Jan from The Hague, Netherlands

Yes that's doable, Europe is not that large. It can be done by car, by train or by plane. Just search for The main attractions in Wikipedia and you'll have seen The most important sites.

Also Nice is to check Anthony Bourdain on YouTube! He has a series of programs on where and what to eat under the heading 'No Reservations'. Tapas, Antipasti, and whatever in each city in Spain

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Spain (country)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
peppino from Amsterdam

I say yes because optimal time for a European capital is 1 night and 2 days. 

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