Planning Your Itinerary: Best Schengen Cities to Visit

Crop anonymous couple travelers in summer clothes checking location in paper map while walking in unknown city

When it comes to exploring Europe, the Schengen Area offers a wealth of diverse destinations. With 26 member countries allowing seamless travel across their borders, planning an itinerary can be an exciting yet overwhelming task. To help you make the most of your trip, we’ve curated a list of the best Schengen cities to visit. Whether you’re drawn to historical landmarks, vibrant culture, or stunning landscapes, these cities have something for everyone. So, let’s dive in and discover the top destinations to include in your Schengen adventure!

Historical Gems: Prague, Vienna, and Rome

Photo of Colosseum During Daytime

For history enthusiasts, few cities can rival the richness of Prague, Vienna, and Rome. These three destinations boast a treasure trove of historical sites, architectural marvels, and captivating stories.

Prague: Known as the “City of a Hundred Spires,” Prague’s medieval old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander through the enchanting cobblestone streets, visit Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and the Astronomical Clock, and soak in the city’s Gothic and Baroque charm.

Vienna: With its imperial grandeur, Vienna is a city that effortlessly blends the past with the present. Marvel at the opulence of Schönbrunn Palace, explore the historic center of Innere Stadt, visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and indulge in Viennese coffee culture while enjoying a slice of Sachertorte.

Rome: As the eternal city, Rome is a living testament to the glory of ancient civilizations. Stroll through the Roman Forum, marvel at the Colosseum, and immerse yourself in the artistry of Vatican City, home to the awe-inspiring St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.

Cultural Delights: Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam

Exterior of small Dutch houses situated on canal shore in sunny spring Amsterdam

If you’re seeking vibrant cultural experiences, Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam are sure to captivate your senses. From art and architecture to cuisine and nightlife, these cities offer an immersive cultural feast.
Paris: Known as the “City of Lights,” Paris is synonymous with romance, art, and fashion. Explore iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Indulge in the city’s culinary delights, stroll along the Seine River, and lose yourself in the bohemian charm of Montmartre.

Barcelona: With its unique blend of Catalan culture, Barcelona exudes a vibrant and eclectic atmosphere. Admire the architectural wonders of Antoni Gaudí, including the magnificent Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Explore the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter, savor delicious tapas, and relax on the city’s beautiful beaches.

Amsterdam: A city of picturesque canals, historic buildings, and artistic heritage, Amsterdam offers a laid-back yet vibrant atmosphere. Visit the world-class museums like the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, take a canal cruise, explore the charming neighborhoods of Jordaan and De Pijp, and soak in the lively ambiance of Dam Square.

Natural Beauty: Reykjavik, Interlaken, and Santorini

Landscape of a Poppy Field and Mountains in the Background

For those seeking breathtaking natural landscapes, the Schengen Area is home to several stunning destinations. Reykjavik, Interlaken, and Santorini showcase the diverse beauty of Europe’s natural wonders.
Reykjavik: The capital of Iceland, Reykjavik is a gateway to otherworldly landscapes. Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon’s geothermal waters, explore the Golden Circle route with its geysers and waterfalls, and embark on a mesmerizing Northern Lights tour.

Interlaken: Nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Interlaken is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Engage in adrenaline-pumping activities like skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and paragliding. Don’t miss the awe-inspiring views from Jungfraujoch, the “Top of Europe.”

Santorini: This Greek island is famous for its stunning white-washed buildings, blue-domed churches, and dramatic caldera views. Explore the picturesque villages of Oia and Fira, relax on the unique black and red sand beaches, and witness breathtaking sunsets over the Aegean Sea.

FAQ: Planning Your Itinerary – Best Schengen Cities to Visit

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h4″ question-0=”What is the Schengen Area?” answer-0=”The Schengen Area is a zone comprising 26 European countries that have abolished passport and other types of border control at their mutual borders. This allows for seamless travel between member countries.” image-0=”” headline-1=”h4″ question-1=”How many cities should I include in my Schengen itinerary?” answer-1=”The number of cities you include in your itinerary depends on the duration of your trip and your personal preferences. It’s advisable to allocate a few days to each city to fully explore and immerse yourself in its attractions.” image-1=”” headline-2=”h4″ question-2=”How do I choose the best cities to visit in the Schengen Area?” answer-2=”Consider your interests and the experiences you seek. Are you interested in history, culture, or natural beauty? Research the highlights of each city, read travel blogs, and gather information to help you make an informed decision.” image-2=”” headline-3=”h4″ question-3=”Do I need a visa to travel within the Schengen Area?” answer-3=”It depends on your nationality. Citizens of certain countries may enter the Schengen Area visa-free for a limited period. Others may require a Schengen visa. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit for specific visa requirements.” image-3=”” headline-4=”h4″ question-4=”How should I plan my itinerary to optimize my travel experience?” answer-4=”Start by identifying the cities you wish to visit and their proximity to each other. Consider travel time between destinations and factor in rest days to avoid exhaustion. Prioritize your must-visit attractions and allocate sufficient time for each. It’s also essential to consider the seasons and weather conditions in each city.” image-4=”” headline-5=”h4″ question-5=”Can I visit multiple countries within the Schengen Area during one trip?” answer-5=”Yes, you can visit multiple countries within the Schengen Area during one trip, as there are no border controls between member countries. Ensure that you comply with the visa requirements and any entry restrictions specific to each country.” image-5=”” headline-6=”h4″ question-6=”How should I plan my budget for a Schengen trip?” answer-6=”The cost of your trip will depend on various factors such as accommodation, transportation, dining, and activities. Research the average costs of each city, set a daily budget, and allocate funds accordingly. It’s also a good idea to account for unexpected expenses and have some extra funds as a contingency.” image-6=”” headline-7=”h4″ question-7=”Are English language skills sufficient to navigate through these cities?” answer-7=”In most popular tourist areas, English is widely spoken, especially in hotels, restaurants, and attractions. However, it’s always helpful to learn a few basic phrases in the local language, as it can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.” image-7=”” headline-8=”h4″ question-8=”Is it recommended to book accommodations and activities in advance?” answer-8=”It’s generally advisable to book accommodations in advance to secure your preferred options, especially during peak travel seasons. Booking activities in advance can also help you save time and ensure availability, particularly for popular attractions or guided tours” image-8=”” headline-9=”h4″ question-9=”Are there any specific safety considerations while traveling in the Schengen Area?” answer-9=”The Schengen Area is generally considered safe for travelers. However, it’s always important to exercise common sense and take necessary precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings secure, and follow any local safety guidelines or advice provided by authorities.” image-9=”” count=”10″ html=”true” css_class=””]

Remember to check the latest travel advisories and guidelines from your home country’s government before embarking on your trip to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

When planning your Schengen itinerary, consider the historical, cultural, and natural wonders that these cities have to offer. Prague, Vienna, Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Reykjavik, Interlaken, and Santorini are just a glimpse of the vast array of destinations awaiting you. Customize your trip according to your preferences, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through some of Europe’s most captivating cities. Bon voyage!