Planning the Route & Itinerary | Europe 2016

They say that sometimes the planning is almost just as fun as the trip itself, and I have to say that I whole-heartedly agree. I recently was researching some smaller picturesque European cities, and I instantly fell in love with their charm. I began dreaming of exploring quaint towns such as Rothenberg ob der Tauber, Cesky Krumlov, Hallstatt, LucerneBasel, Colmar, and Bruges.  These cities are what has inspired me to get back to Europe, and so I decided to build my backpacking itinerary around them. I easily pictured myself wandering aimlessly through the cobblestone streets, sitting outside of little cafes, and taking cruises through the endless rivers and canals. These were the things that fueled my wanderlust and the reasons for which I chose these specific towns to be the focus of my trip.


This itinerary is of course just a rough draft. I’m sure some changes may be made, but theoretically, this is how I plan to spend my 3-4 weeks in Europe next fall.

My Backpacking Europe Itinerary:

Day 1: Flight Departs from Chicago
Day 2: Arrive in Frankfurt > Travel to Rothenburg ODT
Day 3: Rothenburg ODT
Day 4: Travel to Prague (6 hours via train)
Day 5: Prague
Day 6: Prague
Day 7: Travel to Cesky Krumlov (2 hours via shuttle)
Day 8: Cesky Krumlov
Day 9: Travel to Salzburg (3 hours via shuttle)
Day 10: Salzburg (Daytrip Hallstatt)
Day 11: Salzburg
Day 12: Travel to Zurich > Interlaken
Day 13: Interlaken
Day 14: Interlaken (Daytrip Lauterbrunnen/Wengen)
Day 15: Interlaken (Daytrip Lucerne)
Day 16: Travel to Basel for Day Trip > Arrive Late Evening in Colmar
Day 17: Colmar (and/or Strasbourg)
Day 18: Colmar (Alsace Region Wine Tour)
Day 19: Colmar (and/or Freiburg)
Day 20: Travel to Paris (3 hours via high-speed train)
Day 21: Paris
Day 22: Paris
Day 23: Travel to Bruges (2.5 hours via train)
Day 24: Bruges
Day 25: Flight Departs Brussels > Arrive in Chicago

I am beyond excited for this! It’s like living a dream. Just as a disclaimer, I don’t believe that this itinerary is perfect and I’m not even sure if there is a “perfect” itinerary out there. What I do believe is that your itinerary should reflect your personal interests and your travel style. What inspires you to travel? What kinds of things make you want to just get up and leave now? The places you are drawn to are not coincidence, and those are the places you should focus on. Don’t feel you have to include a certain city just because everyone else is if it’s not your cup of tea. Even more importantly, don’t pass up a place just because someone may tell you it’s not as worthy as someplace like Paris. What’s important is that this is your adventure, your dream, your wanderlust. That’s all it should ever be about.

Featured Image Photo Source

If you have any thoughts or questions regarding my itinerary, comment below or feel free to submit a contact form. I’m always excited to chat with you about your adventures!


13 thoughts on “Planning the Route & Itinerary | Europe 2016

  1. kalliah says:

    Your itinerary sounds great! My fiancé and I are going to Europe this September for our honeymoon.. I can not wait!! I totally agree planning is almost as fun as the trip itself.. Looking forward to reading furthers plans and revised itineraries for your Europe trip. 😀


    • Fernweh Travels says:

      Hi Kalliah, how exciting! Europe will be such a lovely place for your honeymoon, where will you be going? No matter where, you certainly can’t go wrong 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, and congrats on your upcoming wedding!

      Liked by 1 person

      • kalliah says:

        We went to Europe in 2013 and loved it so we’re planning to visit a few of the places we loved last time, London, Amsterdam, Paris & Munich, and then heading to some new places, Zurich, various locations along the south coast of France, Barcelona & Madrid. We’re so excited for both the wedding & the trip!


  2. Bonnie says:

    Ok. Now that I have that. Are you seriously going to take off and do such a cool trip? Jealousy here. I mean, very jealous. Seeing the world is awesome. All the different cultures. There so much out there to see! You go girl!


    • Fernweh Travels says:

      Yes, for sure! It’s always been a dream of mine. My original plan was to take a backpacking trip to Europe the summer after undergrad but that obviously didn’t end up happening. So lately I’ve been thinking about it and decided I just needed to go! I talked to Matt and he’s all for it, I told him it’s just something I have to do or I’ll regret it someday. I have so many cities on my wishlist in Europe, I figured going for 3-4 weeks at a time made more sense than me taking a bunch of separate trips over there. I can only handle so many 8+ hour flights haha. So yeah, I’m planning to go September 2016. Still a year and a half away but I know it’ll go fast. I need time to save, lots of time to plan. I think I would be ready to go a year from now, but I really wanted to go in the fall, much better weather than spring/summer. I just miss traveling so much, I can’t wait to go back!


  3. theemilyk says:

    Sounds great! The hardest part will be waiting 18 months to go! Ahh! I couldn’t wait that long haha but I did Europe a few summers ago and the smaller cities where I had no real plans or expectations were the ones that usually left me with the best memories because you are discovering things for yourself, not letting a guidebook do it for you! Which guidebooks are great too (not knocking on guidebooks) but when you find something special on your own it’ll always stand out to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fernweh Travels says:

      Thanks for stopping by my blog! The wait is always the worst haha. I can’t believe it has already been 3 years since my last visit to Europe, I miss it! I have a few small trips in the meantime to hold me over 🙂

      I’m so glad to hear that you loved exploring the smaller cities! I’m really excited to have a trip with some flexibility so that I can wander at my leisure without many plans or commitments.


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