There are so many magnificent cities in Europe! When pondering a trip to this wonderful continent, if often requires much research and thought before making a decision as to which of these destinations to visit. With our Jewels of Europe Tour, you don’t have to single out just one or two destinations. We’ve combined 9 of the continent’s most treasured cities in this tour we call “The Jewels of Europe.” It won’t take long to see why!
Begin with a visit to London – England’s exciting capital city. You’ll stay for two nights, during which time you’ll enjoy a number of local experiences including High Tea at a posh London hotel, a chance to see a musical in one of the city’s West End theaters, and a full-day private sightseeing tour, which will include an indoor tour of famous Windsor Castle as well as Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, Harrods, Tower Bridge, the London Eye, the City of London, the HMS Belfast, the Royal Parks, and plenty of off-the-beaten-track places you might not experience on a regular tour.
Next you’ll head to Paris, the City of Lights. Travel by rail to this wonderful, eclectic city, where your first experience will be a nighttime Paris Illuminations Tour. The next day, you’ll enjoy a half-day small group tour of the Versailles Palace and Gardens as well as free time for exploring on your own. End your 3-night stay in Paris with a sobering trip to Normandy and the battlefields of World War II. Visit the Pointe du Hac, the Caen Memorial, Juno Beach, and – of course – Omaha Beach.
Depart Paris by rail and head to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. This family-friendly city will be your home for the next two nights. Explore via a half-day tour to Delft, where they make that famous blue pottery; The Hague, the city that seats the Houses of Parliament; and Madurodam, a model of a Dutch town at 1:25 scale. Amazing!
From Amsterdam you’ll travel to Brussels, Belgium by train, arriving in enough time to enjoy a leisurely afternoon. Stay for two nights. On your first full day, you’ll take a fun Brussels City Tour, which will allow you to see the city’s most famous sights including the world-famous Grand Place (City Hall), St. Michael’s Cathedral, the Atomium, the Congress Column, and the Chinese Pavilion. Also visit the Place Royale, the old Palace of Nations, and the buildings of the European Parliament.
Take the train from Brussels to Frankfurt, Germany for a 2-night stay. The fifth-largest city in Germany, Frankfurt is continually ranked high for quality of living and is the cultural and economic center of the Rhineland region. The German city with the most skyscrapers, it’s a lovely combination of ancient and modern, situated on both sides of the Main River. While there, enjoy a river cruise of the Rhine Valley, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll love the castles, villages, and vineyards along the way and will do a little wine tasting as well. There will also be plenty of time for shopping on this full-day excursion.
Upon leaving Frankfurt, travel by train to Munich for a 2-night stay. You’ll have time at leisure to explore the city and will also travel to nearby Dachau for a small group tour through the former World War II concentration camp and memorial. Today, Dachau is a pilgrimage site for people of all faiths who wish to honor the dead and learn more about the atrocities of World War II.
The next leg of your trip takes you to Vienna, Austria. Vienna, once home to Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn, is one of Europe’s most prolific musical destinations and is also known for its stunning architecture and wonderful culinary offerings. Board the MS Vienna for a Grand Danube River Cruise, where you’ll view some of the city’s most significant buildings from the water. The following day, embark on a 2.5 hour city tour, featuring the opportunity to view such sites as the Schonbrunn Palace, the Ringstrasse, St. Stephan’s Cathedral, and many others. Hear about the city’s rich musical heritage and admire the amazing architecture. At night, you’ll attend a concert of music by favorite native son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Depart Vienna for magnificent Florence, Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance. During your 2-night stay, enjoy free time to explore the city, visiting such attractions as the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Museum, the Duomo, Uffizi Square, the Ponte Vecchio, the Ancient Forum, and Ghilberti’s stunning “Gates of Paradise.”
Be sure to save time to shop for leather goods, handmade paper, and boutique clothing. You’ll also take a side trip to Pisa to visit the famous Leaning Tower and other local attractions.
End your trip with a 3-night stay in Rome. Begin your visit with a private half-day tour of the Colisseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill including a stop at the Arch of Constantine. The next day, you’ll be thrilled by a chance to participate in a scholar-led tour of the Vatican, including the extensive museums as well as the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Complete your visit with the half-day Best of Rome walking tour, where you’ll ooh and aah over some of the city’s most famous sites including the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and Piazza Navona. Bellissima!
Day 1 Arrive in London, enjoy high tea and a West End musicalDay 2 Full-day London city and Windsor Castle tourDay 3 Depart for Paris, evening Illuminations of Paris tour
Day 4 Half-day Versailles tour
Day 5 Full-day tour to Normandy and World War II beaches
Day 6 Arrive in Amsterdam, afternoon at leisure
Day 7 Half-day tour to Delft, The Hague, Madurodam
Day 8 Arrive in Brussels, afternoon at leisure
Day 9 Brussels city tour
Day 10 Arrive in Frankfurt, afternoon at leisure
Day 11 Day tour on the Rhine
Day 12 Arrive in Munich, afternoon at leisure
Day 13 Trip to Dachau Concentration Camp and memorial
Day 14 Arrive in Vienna, afternoon Danube River cruise
Day 15 Vienna walking tour, evening concert
Day 16 Arrive in Florence, afternoon at leisure
Day 17 Private tour of Pisa and Leaning Tower
Day 18 Arrive in Rome, afternoon Ancient Rome tour
Day 19 Scholar-led Vatican tour, Best of Rome walking tour
Day 20 Depart for home