7-Day European Road Trip Itinerary
If you’re feeling stuck or unproductive at work, there’s a fun and exciting cure for that. Did you know that taking a break for a well-deserved holiday can actually boost productivity? Taking a vacation will give you a chance to relax and get away from the things that stress you out. When you get back, you’ll find that you have the energy and enthusiasm to take on those challenges at work. Even if it’s just for a few days, having a break can do wonders! So, how about you take a week off and go on a 7-day European road trip? Here are some awesome destinations to consider!
European Road Trips from UK
How many days are enough for a European road trip? Well, you’d be surprised at the numerous places you can see and experience in just one week. It’s true that seven days is quite short if your goal is to reach all European destinations. Remember, we’ll do our best to make this a stress-free road trip, so it’s not about how many cities or countries you can visit in a week but the quality of your holiday experience. If you’re scratching your head, asking, “How do I plan a road trip across Europe?” Don’t worry. We got you.
Day 1-2: London to Brussels
For this road trip through Europe, we’ll start in London. London itself is among the best European cities, but if you already live there, then, of course, you’d want to see other exciting places. The first destination is Brussels, Belgium, where travellers can stay for up to 90 days visa-free for British citizens. A road trip to Brussels is 371 kilometres or about a four- to five-hour drive. Keep in mind that once you reach continental Europe, you’d have to switch to driving on the right side of the road.
What to do in Brussels?
Visit La Grand-Place
La Grand-Place is Brussels’ central square and is surrounded by awe-inspiring 17th-century structures. It’s one of the most beautiful places you can visit while in Europe, so don’t miss your chance to experience it. Every two years, during the even years, the Brussels Flower Carpet is held around mid-August during Assumption Day. From Thursday to Sunday, a carpet-like tapestry made from over a million colourful begonias is laid out on the square.
Go on a Chocolate-tasting Tour
Don’t leave Brussels without going on a chocolate-tasting tour. Belgium is famous for its chocolates, so you know you’ll be having a grand time going from one chocolate shop to the next, tasting all those bars, truffles, ganache, and more! Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and also bring water. The delicious chocolate plus the picturesque neighbourhoods of Brussels will undoubtedly make you fall in love with the city.
Walk around Mont des Arts
Mont des Arts translate to “hill of arts.” After all those chocolates you’ve tasted from the tour, you might want to walk around a bit. The best place to do that is the Mont de Arts, where you can visit the National Archives of Belgium and the Royal Library, check the current art installations on display or just walk around the lovely gardens there. Everywhere you look, you’ll certainly experience beauty.
Day 3-4: Brussels to Paris
After visiting the Belgian capital, our next destination is Paris. From Brussels, the fastest route for this road trip to Paris is the A1. The distance between these two cities is around 315 kilometres, so expect to drive about four hours before reaching your destination. Make your drive more enjoyable by listening to your favourite music or podcasts. If it’s your first time visiting Paris, know that finding good parking spaces might be a bit of a challenge. So you may want to research a bit about where to park in the city and how much it costs. Try using a European road trip planner to make this task a lot easier.
What to do in Paris?
L’Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower
Visiting Paris won’t be complete without seeing its famous landmarks like the L’Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. They’re just 30 minutes away from each other on foot. Walking around the City of Light is the best way to experience this place. If you love learning French history, you’ll definitely appreciate the L’Arc de Triomphe, which is a monument honouring those who have sacrificed their lives during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The Eiffel Tower, of course, is culturally and historically significant, being the centrepiece of the 1889 World’s Fair and a symbol to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution.
Go on a River Seine Tour
If you want to see Paris and just have a relaxing time, take a break from driving and consider going on a River Seine tour. The tour begins around the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower, so once you’ve visited that famous landmark, you may want to rest your feet and enjoy a one-hour boat ride through the city. Be sure to make the most of the tour. You’ll find that everywhere you look, it’s just stunning and magnificent. This includes the bridges you’ll pass under, like Pont d’Alexandre, Pont des Arts, and Pont Neuf. You’ll also see the Île Saint-Louis and Île de la Cité, which houses the Notre Dame de Paris.
Visit the Louvre
For art lovers, it would be a sin to go to Paris and not visit the Louvre. This art museum is the biggest in the world, so as much as you’d want to see everything, it’s best to choose the three collections you want to see the most and spend a couple of hours or half a day there. If you really want to cover all the works displayed in the Louvre, you’re going to need more than a week. In fact, you should set aside around 200 days if you want to see all 35,000 works of art. And that means just 30 seconds for each piece! Don’t worry. You can always promise yourself to come by the Louvre whenever you’re in Paris. That might take off some of the frustration.
Day 5-6: Paris to Zurich
Driving to Zurich from Paris covers around 661 kilometres. Be ready to drive for six to seven hours if you want to reach Zurich fast. However, that might not be very enjoyable, so plan your stops so you can rest and eat, stretch your legs, and top up at a refuelling station or charging point.
What to do in Zurich?
Explore the Wonders of Kreis 5
Kreis 5 is also known as the Zurich West or Industrieqartier, an area that used to be full of abandoned warehouses. Today, Kreis 5 is famous for that off-the-beaten-track feel. Its most famous attraction is the Viadukt, which is a stretch of restaurants, shops, and bars that have been constructed into the arches of the viaduct of an old railway running from the bank of Limmat river to Hardbrücke station. Visit Frau Gerolds Garten for the Saturday market during summertime or the fondue tent during winter. Rosso is also a favourite among locals and tourists. Have a gastronomic experience while enjoying the industrial feel of Kreis 5.
Discover the Historic City Centre Altstadt
Better find a parking spot before entering Altstadt because it’s a pedestrian-only area. You won’t regret it, though. Walking around this historic city centre will allow you to discover so many shops, restaurants, bars, and more. Visit the churches of Grossmünster and Fraumünster while you’re there, and appreciate these Romanesque structures that date back to the 13th century. Niederdorf is a district within Aldestadt that you should also visit, especially if you want to experience Zurich nightlife.
Go Shopping at Bahnhofstrasse, or not
Got cash to burn? Go all out at Bahnhofstrasse! This is the most expensive shopping strip in the world, where you can buy Prada, Gucci, Armani, Cartier, Tiffany, and other luxury brands. Sure, the ultra-rich might be the only ones who can mindlessly spend thousands on one item, but this doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some window shopping, right? If you feel you have a tendency for compulsive shopping, it might be best to avoid this place altogether. Beautiful things can be unbelievably pricey, and it could be extremely difficult to say no to that irresistible dress or purse or watch that screams, “Buy me!”
Day 7: Zurich to London
Now that we’ve come to the end of your 7-day European road trip, it’s time to drive back to London. It’s going to be a 924-kilometre drive or around 11 hours, so plan your stops and be sure to rest whenever you feel tired or sleepy.
When planning your trip, perform all safety checks on your car to avoid any breakdowns along the way. And make sure you are fully covered by your insurance. In case you’re still looking for the best car for your road trip through Europe, check out this article for our top picks! 👍