Elizabeth is an experienced traveler and writer with bylines in several popular travel publications. She currently co-owns a small digital travel publication and spends her free time writing, taking photos, and traveling.
Have an extra day in your European itinerary to plan a breathtaking yet unique day trip?
Unleash your wanderlust with our handpicked selection of 11 great European day tips that will have you exploring enchanting castles, savoring delectable cuisines, and uncovering destinations you never knew existed. These bite-sized adventures are the passport to unforgettable memories.
Discover the magical town of Sintra, where pastel-hued palaces emerge from lush forests like something straight out of a storybook. Visit the iconic Pena Palace, an architectural masterpiece perched on a hilltop with panoramic views. Then, wander through the whimsical Quinta da Regaleira, an enigmatic estate with hidden tunnels and a mesmerizing inverted tower.
While Rome might be a big letdown, you can hop on a boat to the mesmerizing island of Capri, where the azure waters beckon you to a day of pure bliss. Explore the dazzling Blue Grotto, a sea cave glowing with ethereal blue light, then take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets lined with boutiques and cafes. Don’t miss the chance to savor limoncello, the famous lemon liqueur, in the land where it was born.
Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
Step back in time as you wander through the cobbled streets of Český Krumlov, a fairytale town nestled in the Czech countryside. Its medieval castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting picturesque gardens and stunning vistas of the Vltava River. Lose yourself in the Old Town’s vibrant atmosphere and soak in the artistic spirit that has inspired countless creatives.
Escape to Toledo, a magical day trip from Madrid, where history whispers through the cobblestone streets. Gaze at the stunning blend of Moorish, Jewish, and Christian architecture, a testament to centuries of cultural coexistence. Traverse the labyrinthine lanes, stumble upon a hidden masterpiece by El Greco, and savor traditional marzipan sweets. As sunset bathes the city in golden hues, you’ll understand why Toledo is called the “City of Three Cultures.”
The Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom
Embark on an epic journey through the rugged landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and witness breathtaking lochs, misty mountains, and ancient castles steeped in history. Brave the legendary Loch Ness, and if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of the elusive Nessie. Nature lovers and history buffs will find their perfect playground here.
Prepare to be enchanted by the medieval allure of Bruges—Marvel at its remarkably preserved architecture, including the iconic Belfry and the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Cruise along picturesque canals, discover hidden alleys, and indulge in heavenly Belgian chocolate. Bruges is a timeless gem waiting to be explored.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Unleash your inner adventurer at Plitvice Lakes National Park, a true masterpiece of nature. Wander along wooden pathways that snake through a series of terraced lakes and cascading waterfalls. The vibrant colors of the park’s flora and fauna are a photographer’s dream, making a visit here akin to immersing yourself in a living, breathing work of art.
Zaanse Schans, Netherlands
Escape to the Netherlands’ countryside and dive into a storybook world at Zaanse Schans. Windmills dot the landscape, and historic wooden houses create a charming atmosphere. While exploring the local area, you can witness traditional craftsmanship, from clog-making to cheese production, offering a delightful taste of Dutch culture.
Unravel the mysteries of the ancient world at Delphi, a UNESCO-listed archaeological site in Greece. The sanctuary of Apollo and the Oracle await your discovery, where you can marvel at the breathtaking mountainous landscape as you immerse yourself in the realm of myths and legends.
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Prepare to be awestruck by the geological wonder of Giant’s Causeway, where hexagonal basalt columns create a surreal seascape that looks like it belongs in a fantasy novel. What can you do here for a full day? Stroll along the cliff-top trails and take in the raw beauty of the North Antrim Coast.
Loire Valley, France
Wine lovers, prepare to immerse yourself in the grandeur of the Loire Valley, a region known as the “Garden of France.” From the elegant Château de Chambord to the romantic Château de Chenonceau, each castle tells a unique story of history and architecture. Uncover the opulence of French nobility on this unique day trip filled with majesty and lots of great wine.
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Best 16 Utah Vacation Spots
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5 Waterfalls in Zion National Park For A Fabulous Day Out
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