80 Answers To an Impossible Question About What To See in Europe

Confession – I’m a sucker for the “If you could only visit X…” threads. The unnaturally forced restrictions make for conversations in which people passionately defend their choices, and what results often seem to be threads filled with interesting insights and information.

And so it is that I stumbled upon a TravBuddy thread started by hmac91 in which she presents the following dilemma regarding her upcoming European vacation:

In the summer, my mom and I are planning on visiting Europe, we’ve been trying to go since I was in high school but the timing never worked out, and we’re only visiting 3 countries for a total of 2 weeks.


I’ll be 24 by the time we go and while I am interested in the history of these places, I’m dying to try the food, see the cities, and see landscapes. I also would prefer these countries to be quite different from each other since I can only visit 3.


I think I’ve narrowed it down to France and Germany, or at least France, so what other 1 or 2 countries do you think are must-sees?

At first glance you might think, “Her request is too vague to offer a good reply. Europe it too big, there are too many places of different character to narrow it down in this way.” You would be both absolutely correct, and based on the number of thoughtful and thought-provoking replies, absolutely incorrect.

At the time of this writing, the thread contains nearly 80 posts – despite hmac91 having announced her final decision in post #52:

I think I’ve made my decision though..2 major countries, rather than 3 cause you all are right, it would be too many, too quickly. Italy for Burano, and mainly Venice and Rome; France for Paris and a day trip to Giverney, then stopping in Germany to see Neuschwanstein, in no specific order. This way I see the typical touristy sights but also see some of what I think would be major highlights.

Of course, this announcement doesn’t stop others from submitting their top three choices. And now that she has her plan, well, there are plenty of great suggestions as to what she should see in each location and in between destinations.

All in all, this is a great discussion. If you haven’t been to Europe the thread is just loaded with great ideas of places and things to see. And if you have, it is loaded with suggestions to argue against – and plenty do.

Read the thread in its entirety: Top 3 countries in europe to visit? Only 3!

Europe” by Caitlin Regan. CC BY 2.0.


  1. With Avios at your disposal the 3 countries don’t have to be that close as long as one of them is a hub (London, Vienna, Berlin, Madrid etc)

  2. Wow it’s hard to do “Europe” in 2 weeks for sure. I would do Rome for like 4 days, Paris for 4 days and something in either Germany or maybe London for the remaining days. It will be easier to focus on the large cities as you can see more sights in a concentrated area. Also time of year is a big factor. If going in the Summer months the tourist will slow you down. If going in Winter I would try to stick to more Southerly areas and large cities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.