This week, a Brit and an Italian put their heads together to come up with the best London to Rome itineraries, with options for both overland and using internal flights. These itineraries span from 2-8 weeks. The longer you have, the better, or course, but we would recommend at least 3-4 days in each city.
If you are arriving from the US or the Middle East, London is extremely well connected with frequent direct flights to Dubai and numerous trans-Atlantic flights daily. London is ideal for a long weekend – we recommend 3-4 nights at least. It’s a great destination to start your Euro-trip!
London to Rome via Paris and Barcelona, with Internal Flights
This 2 week Europe trip itinerary hits the four main European cities of London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome, but it is a tight schedule and includes internal flights. You need to be prepared to cram and so this is not ideal for the slow traveller or anxious flier.
Day 1-4 will be spent in the English capital of London. Don’t miss the main sights including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Tower of London. The two must-see Churches are St Paul’s Cathedral and West Minster Abbey.
You will have time for one day of sightseeing, one day of Museums and one day of shopping. If you are a fan of World History, visit the British Museum or the V&A. If you are an art lover go for the National Gallery or the Tate.
On your shopping day, do head to Oxford Street and Harrods, but don’t miss out some of the quirkier and alternative shopping streets and markets. Explore Covent Garden, Camden Market and Portobello Road.
If you are a Harry Potter fan, take a day for the Magical London walking tour or the Harry Potter studio tour!
Paris is just around the corner – jump on the Eurostar from St. Pancras International (3 hours max) to spend days 5-7 in the city of Lights and Love. Visit the Eiffel Tower, Arch de Triomphe, the Louvre and Champs Elysee. Walk up to Monmartre for a fantastic view of the rest of Paris. Don’t forget a Seine River cruise and a visit to Notre Dame. Notre Dame unfortunately suffered a fire recently, but is sure to be back in good shape soon. La Fayette Gallery is the most luxurious place to buy a Bulgari or Armani gift for your partner!
It’s a flight to Barcelona next! Remember to allow flight time in your itinerary.
Day 8-10 Barcelona – Explore Las Ramblas with painted streets and cool pubs and bars where you can grab a small beer (la cagna) and listen to Flamenco. Barcelona is full of green areas with tall palms – be sure to find the mammoth statue in the beautiful Parc de la Ciutadella. People everywhere with headphones and rollerblades or bicycles make it clear that you’re in a place where being eco-friendly is a popular approach! If you’re an artist or simply an art lover, head to ‘Park Guell’ (Gaudi) and ‘Casa Batllo’ to get your fix of Gaudi. And of course, don’t miss La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s famous Cathedral.
From Barcelona, fly direct to Rome!
Rome is the Capital of Italy and the biggest Italian city. The face of the city is still very old. The Colosseum is the most iconic place and a nice starting point to your sight seeing! Also, don’t miss the Trevi fountain.
Visiting Rome approaching from the centre is the best going soon to via del Corso and Spanish Square, Trinita’ dei Monti, and Piazza del Popolo. Relax in Pincio park where you can see the Vatican from the highest point. Piazza Navona and Pantheon are unmissable places perfect for a romantic dinner.
Santa Maria in Trastevere is a residential area next to the Tevere river where bars, restaurants and nightlife can be found. For the last 4 or 5 years the nightlife is developing into the residential and less touristic place. San Lorenzo quarter is full of restaurants and not far from Termini Station.
London to Rome Overland via Switzerland – 2 Week Itinerary
Doing four main countries in Europe within just two weeks will require stamina and energy! But it is possible to do London, Paris, Zurich, Milan and Rome in two weeks. As mentioned earlier, it’s not recommended to try to see more than 4 or 5 cities. You can do bus tours that cram even more than this in, but you don’t enjoy the city or spend time soaking up the culture as you spend most of your time on a coach!
Day 1-3 London – Follow a condensed 3 days in London using the advice from itinerary 1 and also in this link. Get a late train on Day 3 or an early train on Day 4 for Paris from London St Pancras.
Day 4-5 Paris – Condense your sightseeing in Paris into two days by heading up to MonMartre and then seeing the Moulin Rouge on Day one and then Notre Dame or the Louvre with a Seine River cruise on day 2. You need to be ready to travel to Zurich on day 6.
Day 6 – Travel Paris to Zurich – Train travel Paris to Zurich – this is one of the longer train journeys on the trip , but can be done on the high speed trains in about 6-7 hours.
Day 7-8 Zurich – Stroll down Bahnhofstrasse, the main shopping street lined with high end shops and cafes. Then head to Lidenhof hill – the historic centre of Zurich. There are two beautiful Churches in Zurich that you should definitely make the time to see – Grossmünster 12th Century Cathedral and the Fraumünster Church was was built in the 11th Century on the site of a former aristocratic women’s abbey. Head to the Swiss national Museum for Swiss history, crafts and furnishings.
Day 9 Travel Zurich to Milan – We have scheduled a full day of travel in the itinerary, but if you get an early fast train (approx 3 hours journey time) you will have the afternoon in Milan to start exploring.
Day 10 Milan – It’s ideal to spend a couple of days in Milan, but if you are pressed for time and covering a lot of ground like in this itinerary, it is possible to see the key sites of Milan in a day. Don’t miss the Milan Duomo (Cathedral) and Sforzesco Castle – a medieval fortress housing artistic treasures. If you have some time left for shopping in Milan, you can visit Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an ornate 1800’s shopping arcade.
Day 11-14 Rome – On day 11, take the 3 hour (approx) train journey from Milan to Rome, where you will gorge on pasta and pizza and see the main sights, starting with the Colosseum.
London to Rome Overland in 6 Weeks
If you have 6-8 weeks to spend in Europe, you can enjoy some fabulous additions to your itinerary including Brussels, Luxembourg and Lichtenstein. You can also add some fabulous Italian cities including Bologna and Florence. All of these cities are connected by train and bus.
- Day 1-5 – London (England)
- Day 6-10 – Brussels (Belgium) (possible day trip to Bruges or Ghent)
- Day 11-12 – Luxembourg
- Day 13-16 – Paris (France) (possible day trip to Versailles)
- Day 17-21 – Zurich (Switzerland)
- Day 22-23 – Lichtenstein
- Day 24-27 – Milan (Italy)
- Day 28-29 – Bolognia (Italy)
- Day 30-35 – Florence (Italy) (possible Day trip to Sienna)
- Day 36-41 – Rome (Italy)
If you want to cut this trip down to a one month itinerary, you can choose which cities to cut out. Miss out maybe the optional day trips to Bruges/Ghent and Siena, and then maybe miss out Lichtenstein or Luxembourg. Or you can simply pair down the Italian cities. There is also the option of doing a city every 3 days, but it’s not recommended as you don’t have time to enjoy and relax.
Do you have a generous two months to spend on your journey from London to Rome? Add in a day trip from London to either Cambridge or Oxford. You’ve no need to choose between Bruges or Ghent in Belgium – you will have time to do both. You may also be able to add in an extra France stop such as Lyon, or even a German city such as Cologne or Munich. Alternatively, you can stick to the above itinerary and spend more time in each cities, which is a great option if you prefer slow travel.
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