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Day 1 - 3 - Milan, Italy

  • Land in Milan and rent a car from the airport - Check-in at Westin Palace, Milan

  • Kick-off with a free walking tour to get the typical touristy sights out of the way

  • Visit Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper - The best way to visit this masterpiece is to book an interactive tour with Leonardo Milano which includes a fun, informative re-enactment of the Last Supper painting in an art gallery. The workshop also provides general insight into Da Vinci’s life and his work; this definitely heightened the experience when we saw the actual Last Supper mural itself at the Santa Maria delle Grazie church

  • Shop at  Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shopping arcade - great place to buy luxury handbags!

  • Book a San Siro stadium tour - home to Inter-Milan and AC Milan clubs

  • Check out the shows at  Teatro alla Scala Opera house or just take a tour inside

  • If you are into fashion, check out if Roberto Capucci’s exhibition is going on

  • Enjoy a morning espresso at one of the cafe’s in front of the gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral - Head to level 7 of la Rinascente cafe to view of the cathedral from the top, it’s also a good place to buy local spicy olive oil and chocolates

  • Visit the Navigli district in the evening, dine at Officina 12 restaurant

Day 4 - Turin, Italy

  • Check-out early morning from Milan and start driving to Italy’s off-the-radar city Turin

  • Visit Palace of Venaria - The Turin equivalent of Versailles

  • Head to The Chapel of the Holy Shroud which is believed to have the same shroud (linen sheet) as one mentioned in the Gospels that was used to wrap the body of Jesus Christ in the Sepulchre

  • Enjoy some amazing coffee at Turin’s historic cafes at Piazza San Carlo, one of the main squares of Turin. Turin is also the Italian capital of chocolate

  • For the Da Vinci fans, Turin also hosts Leonardo da Vinci’s self-portrait and his Codex on the Flight of Birds at Biblioteca Reale

  • Head to the Museo Egizio - an Egyptian archaeology museum if you want to check-out Egyptian antiques and 'Book of Death' papyrus scrolls

Day 5 & 6 - Geneva, Switzerland

  • Head from Turin to Geneva which is approximately a 3 hour drive

  • Our main reason to stop at Geneva was to visit CERN - the European Organization for Nuclear Research - CERN is home to several physicists and engineers probing the fundamental structure of the universe and is also where the world wide web was created by Tim Berners-Lee

  • Book a guided tour for CERN at least two weeks in advance - The guided tour of the 27 km LHC - the world's largest particle accelerator is absolutely fascinating (all guides are actually scientists who work there, which adds to the overall authenticity of the tour)

Day 7 - 9 - Interlaken, Switzerland

  • Check-out from Geneva and drive to Château de Chillon en route to Interlaken

  • Explore the beautiful Jungfrau region - We didn't take the popular Interlaken train instead drove to the highest accessible point by vehicle Grindelwald, a beautiful village which embodies what we ever pictured Switzerland to be is a great place to make your base for 3 nights

  • Note that there are live webcams at the Interlaken station which you can see to decide if you want to take the train to the Jungfrau peak or not. If may not be worth it if the weather is bad at the peak.

Day 10 & 11 - Zurich, Switzerland

  • Drive to Zurich from Interlaken making a stop at the picturesque town of Lucerne - Enjoy a homemade Luzerner Chügelipastete (a veal and mushroom puff pastry pie) at the family run tavern Wirtshaus Galliker

  • Check-in at Hotel Adler Zürich which is a great way to enjoy the medieval charm at Zurich's Old Town - Swiss Fondue at the hotel and nearby restaurant Le Dezaley is an added bonus!

  • Drive to Uetliberg Mountain for great Zurich city views

  • Stroll along the sleek storefronts of Bahnhofstrasse - make sure you have the signature macarons called "Luxemburgerli" at Sprungli cafe

  • Try some authentic Swiss cuisine at Restaurant Zeughauskeller, their signature dish Zürcher Geschnetzeltes served with Rösti is delicious!

  • Explore Lake Zurich, Grossmünster church, Fraumünster church and more

Day 12 - 14 - Munich, Germany

  • Leave early from Zurich and drive to Neuschwanstein Castle which is nestled in the Bavarian Alps near the town of Fussen, this fairy-tale castle served as the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle; definitely worth a taking a guided tour to enter the castle

  • Head to Munich and check-in at Westin Grand Hotel

  • Make sure you try the local dish - Wiener schnitzel at Augustiner Keller beerhall

  • Take the free walking tour which starts every day at 10:40am at Marienplatz

Day 15 & 16 - Salzburg, Austria

Day 17 & 18 - Return to Milan stopping by Liechtenstein

  • Time to start driving back to Milan from Salzburg and complete the loop

  • You can either stretch and drive for 8 hours or spend a night in the tiny country of Liechtenstein

  • We ended our trip in Milan with a dinner date at Il luogo di Aimo e Nadia restaurant, one of the most memorable dining experiences - Simple ingredients, carefully selected combinations resulting in a delectable 7 course meal was the best way to reminisce over all the exciting beautiful places we had explored!

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duration

18 Days

MONTH

JANUARY

SEASON

WINTER

TRANSPORT

SELF-DRIVE

Personally we’ve always felt that the best way to see Europe is to hire a car and drive to different cities crossing the seamless international borders. If you are in mood for a road trip and don’t mind a relatively on-the-move holiday, then here’s a 18 day cross-country itinerary for Europe for your reference.

West Europe

Itinerary