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Planning your own solo travel journey through the UK and Europe? Here I recap my entire UK and Europe itinerary. 10 weeks, 13 countries and one person = the trip of a lifetime.
Planning my UK and Europe itinerary was both the most fun and most stressful part of my trip. It’s such a privilege to be stressed about picking the best places to visit in Europe, right? When I left Canada, I had my first month planned in the UK and Europe. After that, I basically mapped my route a couple of weeks beforehand. In the end, it was such a fantastic trip.
It could have gone in a few different directions (I was contemplating Portugal and Spain), but I believe it worked out just as it was meant to. Because if I did go to Spain, I would have missed Lake Bled, and we all know how much of a life highlight that was. So if you’re in the same position and trying to plan a solo Europe trip, here’s my 10-week Europe itinerary.
I will continue to update this post as I publish more on my Europe itinerary but don’t forget to check out my packing list suggestions in the meantime.
My Ireland & UK solo travel itinerary
London to Bristol (five nights)
My UK solo travel itinerary begins in Bristol. I flew from Vancouver to London and then got a bus directly from London to Bristol, where I spent a few days with my dad’s cousin. I got to see the main Bristol sights, and we visited both Bath and the Cotswolds. This is such a beautiful part of England. I highly recommend you check it out.
Related posts: The best Bristol day trips
Dublin (three nights)
The next stop on my Europe itinerary was Dublin. I took a 1.5-hour flight from Bristol to Dublin on a teeny Aer Lingus plane. In Dublin, it was easy for me to get a bus to the city centre and walk five minutes to my hostel. Read my posts below for more information on what I got up to in Dublin.
Where to stay in Dublin: Abbey Court Hostel
Cork (three nights)
There are several buses and trains departing daily from Dublin to Cork, but I chose the train for this particular journey. My hostel was about a 10-minute walk from the station and I found Cork to be a very walkable city. I also did a half-day trip to Cobh, which is a 30-minute train ride away. Although a lot of people skip Cork when visiting Ireland, I really enjoyed my time there.
Where to stay in Cork: Sheilas Cork Hostel (probably my least favourite hostel of the trip).
Related post: My weekend guide to Cork
Galway (three nights)
I got a bus from Cork to Galway, which is another compact city you can easily walk around and see most of the best sights in a day. Don’t miss out on doing a Cliffs of Moher day trip while based in Galway too.
Related post: Cliffs of Moher day trip
Belfast (three nights)
To get from Galway to Belfast without a car, I had to get a bus to Dublin and then another bus to Belfast. It was one of my longer travel days, but I am so glad I visited Belfast. I did a Giant’s Causeway/Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge day tour and a political walking tour in Belfast too, which I booked through Irish Tour Tickets when I arrived.
Where to stay in Belfast: Vagabonds Belfast
Glasgow (three nights)
Then it was onto Scotland. Instead of flying, I decided to get a ferry from Belfast to Scotland, and then a bus from the terminal in Cairnryan to Glasgow. It was another long travel day, but the ferry was so comfortable, I’d do it again. I did a Highlands tour with Rabbie Tours while in Glasgow and it was one of the best days of my trip. I fell in love with Scotland immediately.
Where to stay in Glasgow: Euro Hostel (cheap private rooms).
Edinburgh (three nights)
Oh, Edinburgh, how I loved you so. Please add Edinburgh to your 10-week Europe itinerary or your UK solo travel itinerary. It’s absolutely beautiful and so walkable. It’s also less than 1.5 hours from Glasgow by bus.
Where to stay in Edinburgh: Kick Ass Greyfriars
London (three nights)
I would return to London four times on this trip and I didn’t mind at all. It’s such a fantastic solo travel destination with too many things to do. Even after nearly a week of exploration, I still have plenty of places on my London bucket list.
Where to stay in London: Wombats Hostel
Here are my top tips for travelling alone in Europe
My Europe itinerary
Brittany (four nights)
Okay, on to my mainland Europe itinerary. Firstly, I got the Eurostar from London to Paris, and then the regional train service to Brittany. Stepping off the train into my first non-English speaking country of the trip was both nerve-wracking and exciting. But stepping off a train into Paris is also just magical. I headed to Brittany to visit my mum’s cousin, who lives in a beautiful home in the French countryside. It was every bit as amazing as it sounds. We went for coastal walks, visited the local markets and ate some amazing French food.
Paris (four nights)
Can it even be a Europe itinerary without Paris? I loved the time I spent in Paris, as I visited different neighbourhoods every day and ate a variety of pastries every morning. I also think Paris is a great place for solo travellers, as the metro is easy to use, people speak English (even if it’s begrudgingly) and there’s so much to do.
Where to stay in Paris: Le Village Hostel
Related post: My solo travel guide to Paris
Brussels (three nights)
Belgium was a surprise addition to my 10-week Europe itinerary. What was even more surprising is that I visited twice within the month. I decided to get the bus from Paris to Brussels (before getting the bus to Amsterdam) and I am so glad I did. Not only did I stay in one of the nicest guesthouses imaginable, but I also ended up spending most of my time with a couple of girls in my dorm room. We did a day trip to Bruges and it was a very fun weekend. I pretty much exclusively used FlixBus on this trip as well.
Where to stay in Brussels: Captaincy Guesthouse
Related post: Things to do in Brussels
Amsterdam (four nights)
When I first visited Amsterdam 10 years ago, I thought it was a wild place. But fast forward a decade and my opinion of Amsterdam has completely changed. Today, I found Amsterdam to be this really beautiful and hip city with friendly locals, amazing architecture and so much good food. It’s also one of the best solo travel destinations in Europe, so definitely add Amsterdam to your 10-week Europe itinerary.
Where to stay in Amsterdam: Generator Amsterdam
Prague (four nights)
I fell in love with Prague when I first visited, so I knew I wanted to return on this solo Europe trip. This time I flew with Easyjet from Amsterdam to Prague, which ended up being relatively inexpensive. I also caught up with an Australian friend and a couple I met in Vancouver while in the city. The things I love about Prague include the food, the architecture, the attractions and how cheap everything is. Prague and Zagreb are tied for the cheapest places to visit in Europe.
Where to stay in Prague: Sophie’s Hostel (Highly recommend. Their female dorm was basically an apartment).
Related post: My Prague solo travel guide
Vienna (three nights)
Vienna is another place I had visited on my previous Contiki trip around Europe way back in 2007. It didn’t impress me much back then, but I thought I would give it another go on this solo Europe trip. I got the train from Prague to Vienna, for something different. Guys, Vienna still underwhelms me. It’s expensive and there isn’t a lot to do compared to other European cities. If there’s one thing you do in Vienna, eat one of the bigger-than-your-head schnitzels at Figlmüller. While I was in Vienna, I did do a day trip to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. This was such a great day and a quick journey. I recommend doing a free walking tour around Bratislava. It allowed me to see a lot of the sights in a limited amount of time.
Where to stay in Vienna: Wombats – The Naschmarkt
Related post: My day trip from Vienna to Bratislava
Budapest (four nights)
Another FlixBus ride later, I was in Budapest. It was at the top of my list of places to visit in Europe and it did not disappoint. There’s a surprising amount of attractions in the city. I did two free walking tours and spent an unhealthy amount of time at the Christmas Fair. You must try langos when in Budapest.
Where to stay in Budapest: Wombats (again)
Related post: My weekend guide to Budapest
Zagreb (two nights)
Another day, another country. I decided to have a bit of a stopover in Zagreb before heading to Slovenia. This was one of my longer bus journeys at five hours. As it turns out, Zagreb is a cool city. It’s cheap and there’s plenty of things to keep you entertained for a day or two. Seeing the rest of Croatia is now high on my bucket list and I hope to make it there on my next solo Europe trip.
Where to stay in Zagreb: Dots Hostel
Related post: 24 hours in Zagreb
Ljubljana (four nights)
The final new stop and new country on my 10-week Europe itinerary were Slovenia. Man, am I glad I visited this stunning country. Firstly, doing a day trip to Lake Bled was one of the best days of my life. Secondly, Ljubljana is a very walkable and pretty city. You probably only need a couple of days in the city to see the major sights too.
Where to stay in Ljubljana: Vila Veselova
Related post: A breakdown of my Lake Bled day trip.
More Europe itinerary tips and advice: my favourite hostels across the UK and Europe and my top tips for staying in hostels.
Revisits on my Europe itinerary
From Ljubljana, I flew to Brussels again with WOW Air and stayed at the same guesthouse for three nights. I then got the Eurostar back to London and spent four more nights there as well, seeing all of the Christmas sights and lights. Finally, I headed back to Bristol to pick up the rest of my life (a.k.a my second suitcase) before I flew out of London to Singapore and then home to Australia.
My 10-week Europe itinerary is all about slow and solo travel
As I was working part-time on the road, writing for The Culture Trip, I didn’t want to be constantly moving from one place to the next. After doing only three nights in most places around the UK part of my trip, I decided I needed at least four nights in the places I visited in mainland Europe. This was the best decision for me, as I got to slow down and see a lot more of each city. I was at risk of burning out, which is not what you want when spending over two months in Europe. But I say adapt this 10-week Europe itinerary to suit your own personal travel style.
I also skipped Italy and Germany, two popular European countries, as I had visited them 10 years ago. I wanted to focus more on seeing countries in Eastern Europe I hadn’t been to previously, like Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia.
My visual 10-week Europe itinerary
Finally, I made this quick Google Map as a reference as well, if you wanted to visualise my Europe itinerary instead.
What an adventure! I hope this guide helps you plan your own UK and Europe itinerary.
I know just how difficult it can be planning a trip to Europe and choosing between Paris and Portugal or Venice and Vienna 😉. If you’re looking for more solo travel inspiration, don’t forget to check out my guide to my favourite solo travel destinations around the world. There are just a few European inclusions!