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One month in Europe itinerary. My 2018 trip

In this post, I want to share with you the one month in Europe itinerary from my last trip. I’ll tell you what worked for me, what went well and what I would change. I hope you can take inspiration to plan your own itinerary for your trip.

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Which countries I visited

First of all, it’s not a trip that includes a large number of cities and countries. If you have read my previous posts you know that I don’t like quick visits and to try to cram several cities in one trip.

Even at the speed at which I travel, it’s quite tiring and stressful, just trying to use the time (and money) wisely in each place. So I usually reduce each trip to a couple of nearby countries.

This time I focused on visiting Portugal, with some days in Paris and some cities in Spain. This one month Europe itinerary is very similar to the one I did on my first trip, so I will also mention some places I visited on that occasion.

one month itinerary in Europe 2018
Map of my route. Image from Google Maps©

I almost forget to mention, that I was actually a little more than a month in Europe. A total of 36 days so if you decide to do this route, you can spend less time in each place.

One month in Europe itinerary

Arriving to Europe at Brussels

I made my arrival in Europe at Brussels airport in Belgium. I took the flight from Cancun, Mexico from the airline TUIfly. (You can check my opinion of this airline here.) From the airport, we took the train to go to the Brussels Nord Station as we’d travel by bus.

I bought my return flight with the same airline (departing from Brussels) so we wanted to start at the furthest point of this trip. In this case, it would be Granada, Spain.

First stop: Granada, Spain.

So we took a bus to Madrid from Brussels because the Eurolines company had a very good price (€ 50 per person). The trip took a few … no, many hours. So, the truth, I don’t recommend to make the trip until there by bus if you find another option.

By the way, a tip about Eurolines. If you are going to buy a ticket online to or from Spain, check out and not, for some reason, it seems cheaper there. Or compare the prices in both sites to find the best one.

A short video I recorded in Lisbon bus station
Eurolines bus in our  one month in Europe itinerary
Eurolines bus we took to go to Madrid

We had reasons to go there first, so when we found that cheap bus we took it. To plan your one month Europe itinerary you can start by visiting a city near the airport you arrive at.

This post might interest you: Pros and cons of traveling around Europe by bus

On my first trip, we also went to Granada, but we didn’t make this long trip. We also did a one month Europe itinerary but first, we stayed for 3 days in Paris. Then we traveled to Amboise where we stayed for two days. Then we traveled to Bordeaux where we didn’t have a very good experience (read about my experience here), then Madrid and finally Granada.

On this trip (2018) we made a stopover in Paris, at the Gallieni station. There we had to change buses and wait a couple of hours so we went to get something for dinner.

After a long trip, in which we slept most of the time to not feel it, we arrived in Madrid to the estación Sur or Méndez Álvaro. There we took the bus to Granada from the company Alsa.

South bus station in Madrid Mendez Alvaro
Madrid bus station

Route through Portugal

After spending 5 days in Granada we traveled to Lisbon. By the way, from Granada, you can use the time to visit cities such as Baeza or Córdoba. They are very close and it’s easy to reach them by public transport.

There is a night bus from Alsa that goes from Granada to Lisbon. I consider it’s convenient because you can sleep and save a night’s lodging. Of course, it arrives around 6 a.m. to Lisbon and can be somewhat exhausting.

We made a bus change because they took us to catch the bus in a van. So we had to wait on the road for the Portuguese bus to arrive. The driver waited with us until we boarded the bus although we were only about 5 persons. In our first trip and first one month in Europe itinerary, the procedure was the same.

transport to Lisbon in my one month in europe itinerary
This van took us to catch the bus to Lisbon

In Lisbon, we stayed 7 days that flew by too fast. We did a day trip to Sintra and another day we spent it in Óbidos. Both very beautiful towns and close to the Portuguese capital

You can spend about 3 days in Lisbon and if you want to make day trips then one day for each city. At least Sintra is a must and if you have time, also visit Óbidos and other nearby towns.

You can include Sintra in your itinerary if you visit Lisbon
Include Sintra in your itinerary when you visit Lisbon

We had already visited Sintra on our first trip, but there is so much to see and do that we decided to go again. It’s located only half an hour by train from Lisbon. Check out this article to find out everything you can see one day in Sintra.

From Lisbon to Porto

And the other famous city in Portugal that we could not miss was Porto. The trip from Lisbon to Porto was the most comfortable we had because it only lasted 4 hours. We took the bus from the company Rede Expressos that connects many Portugal cities very well.

In Porto, we stayed for 8 days which turned out to be little time, especially because we had very rainy weather. We did day trips to Guimarães, Braga, and Coimbra (all well connected by train) so we had 5 days to explore Porto.

Porto was included in my one month in Europe itinerary
Porto, Portugal

Porto is very beautiful, I loved it and I could have stayed more days without getting bored. But when we travel so far it’s obvious that we want to make the most of the time. Spend at least 2 days in Porto, 3 is better and add one more day for each city if you want to do day trips.

Coming back to Spain

After Porto, our next step in this one month in Europe itinerary was to return to Madrid. By the way, we spent Christmas in this city.

We spent 5 days in Madrid in this one month in europe itinerary
on the way to Madrid

We stayed 5 days in Madrid, even though we had been here before on our first trip. In Madrid, there is a lot to see and do. 5 days was not much time and we didn’t do any day trip

From here you can visit Segovia and Toledo, to which I still owe a visit as it was not possible on this trip. If you want to make these day trips then at least stay 5 days in Madrid. If you are not going to do any trip and you don’t visit museums, then 3 days will be enough to see everything without haste.

On my first trip we stayed for 4 days, but on both trips, we took some (or much) time to go shopping (oops). Time flew by in Madrid but it’s impossible not to buy (so it’s not my fault, guys).

Madrid is a great destination to include in a one month in Europe itinerary
Gran Vía in Madrid, the main shopping avenue

Last stop: Paris

It was not in our plans to visit Paris on this trip, but… we had to improvise. A few days before the celebration of New Year we didn’t get accommodation anywhere else 🙁 (book in advance !!)

The route to come back was almost the same as the one at the beginning. We took a Eurolines bus from Madrid to Paris. In Paris, we stayed 5 days which under normal conditions would be enough but … traveling in winter… it was not enough.

in Paris, there is a lot to do but if you are short of time in 3 days you can see (from outside) the most famous monuments of the city. If you want ideas of what to see in Paris check out this post or this one.

The advantage of Paris is that it’s very easy to get there because it’s well connected by plane, train, and bus. This is the third time that I include it in my one month in Europe itinerary and I imagine it will not be the last.

Paris was our last stop in this one month in Europe itinerary
Paris was our last stop

Good and bad of my one month in Europe itinerary

In Paris, we took a Flixbus bus that took us directly to the Brussels airport. We arrived at the airport at 3 in the morning and we had to wait since the flight would leave at 10 in the morning. Tiring but convenient to not pay for one more accommodation’s night

After this experience, I would advise you to look for cheap flights for long distances trips. Unless that you want to experience the adventure (it will also give you stories to tell). It’s also better to visit cities or countries near each other so you don’t have to travel very long distances.

I hope you will be inspired by my experience with this one month in Europe itinerary to plan your own trip. If you have any questions or comments, leave it in the section below.

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Tags : BrusselsbusdaytripEurolinesEuropeFlixbusGranadaLisbonMadridParisPortugalTUIfly

The author LaCarteVintage


  1. Great recap. Yes definitely check for cheap flights next time. I dont think buses are the best option in Europe. Ill always try for flights and trains.

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