3 Weeks in Central Europe Itinerary

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I’ve always been kind of scared to travel around Central Europe because of its reputation for being expensive. Now that I finally visited this region of Europe, I can attest that it’s true – not only it’s expensive, but it’s actually very expensive.

I’ve travelled to Scandinavia, which is already known as a costly destination, but Central Europe is different. To be fair, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria are the three high-cost countries here. While Poland, Czechia, Hungary, and even Germany are reasonable,.

However, it’s so worth it though. The train rides around the Alps, the beautiful scenery, great beer, and overall experience, it has to be visited at least once in your life.

Central Europe is one of the regions stretching from the Baltic Sea to the north of the Adriatic. It has some of the world’s oldest and most well-preserved cities, including Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Geneva, Ljubljana, Munich, Prague, Vienna, Warsaw, Krakow, and Hamburg, among others.

Aside from that, Central Europe is very rich in heritage and has tons of languages because of the different countries comprising the region.

Central Europe consists of countries that tourists would be interested in seeing. This comprehensive itinerary is for 3 weeks in Central Europe and will guide you into clusters of lands next to each other, as well as the activities and tourist spots to enjoy.


4 images - lake in switzerland, thermal bath of Hungary, downtown Prague, and old houses in Germany - 3-Weeks in Central Europe Itinerary

Before we proceed with the list of tourist destinations in those countries, let’s first discuss transportation in Central Europe. Just like with the rest of Europe, getting around isn’t hard at all as tons of public transport is available. You can get around by train, bus, plane, or rent a car.

Perhaps, you might want to consider travelling around Western Europe for 3 weeks during this trip or spend 3 weeks in South Europe.

When is the best time to go to Central Europe

Depending on what you plan to do, Central Europe could be a great place to spend your 3-week holiday any time of the year. If you want a proper beach holiday, you probably shouldn’t go to Central Europe. Enjoy your 3-week vacation in Italy or 3 weeks in East Europe where beaches are desired.

For winter, Central Europe is an incredible destination. If you want to do some skiing during your 3 weeks in Central Europe, you can head to the skiing capital – Switzerland. If that’s not within your budget, Czechia and Poland also have great slopes.

I like going during spring, just before summer, or just before autumn. During this time, the crowd is smaller, and the accommodations and flights can even be cheaper.

Getting around

Travelling by train is the most scenic way to travel in this region. When planning to ride a train, it’s better to book online. You can opt to buy point-to-point tickets if you’re just planning on a short trip, but if you’re travelling across multiple countries, getting a rail pass is better.

Travelling by bus is the cheapest option, but there’s a chance that you might sit on cramped seats and get off the bus for an inspection when crossing borders. 

If you prefer freedom of your time, renting a car and driving on your own is best. A summer road trip in Switzerland is such a scenic experience. If you go to Germany, you are probably curious about driving on the famous no-speed limit autobahn road.

If you’re heading to famous tourist destinations, book at least a month in advance, especially during peak season, which is the summer.

Language and Currency

The countries in Central Europe speak different languages except for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, which share the language of Deutch (however, different accents should be expected). All countries in Central Europe use Euro, while Switzerland uses the Swiss Franc.

Communicating in Central Europe is pretty straightforward. Most people, especially in big cities speak English. The only time you probably have to pull out your translation app is when you are in rural parts and need to ask for directions.

The road signs might be in the local language if you are driving a rental car. Simply ask a local if you need some help.


A travel visa is easy as well. If you are from North America, some parts of Latin America, Oceania, and Asia – you can enjoy a 90-day visa for free. If you need to apply for a visa, you will get a Schengen visa valid in all EU states and other non-EU countries, including Switzerland.

Although Europe is open to tourism in general, each country has their own entry requirements and policies. Some might request that tourists be fully vaccinated, while others allow non-vaccinated to follow specific protocols.

The same goes for wearing a mask. Some places might still require you to have your mask on while in public places while other countries have removed this mandate.

Other travel tips

Here are some quick tips on tools you might need when planning your itinerary for Central Europe. These are the websites I usually use when booking accommodation, renting a car, finding great tours, and more:


Click the icon on the top right to enlarge the map. Credit: map data: Google


Now that you should know all the basic things about travelling to Central Europe, let’s dive into two travel itineraries. You can follow this as you wish, get some insight, and create your own 3-week travel itinerary.

If you always have dreamed of visiting the Alps, heading to Central Europe is one of the best ways to explore this region. The Alps stretch from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and also Italy. Visiting in the winter means you can go skiing. You can hike the Alps if you visit from late April to mid-October.

When it comes to other parts of Central Europe, are you familiar with Wes Andersen’s The Grand Budapest Hotel? It is a fantastic film with surreal cinematography and a setting that is actually modelled on the Grand Hotel Pupp in the Czech Republic.

TIP: There’s also a 7-day tour for central Europe featuring Germany, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, and Switzerland. It leaves from Frankfurt, which is perfect if you have limited time.

Itinerary #1: Germany, Poland, Czech Republic

2 images - trees with bent trunks and Neuschwanstein castle - 3-Weeks in Central Europe Itinerary

The first triad country for a 3-week vacation in Central Europe is Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic since they are all neighbouring countries. It is easy to travel from one country to the other. 

Germany and Poland have some beaches for those who love the heat or are fond of taking a dip, but Czechia is landlocked.

Week 1: Germany for 7 days

I’m sure that you’re excited now that we’ve unveiled the first triad countries, and you’ll even be more excited once you read about some of the exciting things about Germany. Starting with food, this country has more than 1,000 varieties, so foodies wouldn’t run out of sausages to sample. 

Oktoberfest originated in this country and is a must-attend event for beer lovers. There are more than 20,000 castles in this country. There’s so much to explore. If you have been to Germany before or you don’t enjoy big cities, there are a lot of German cities that you can visit and still want the whole German experience minus the crowd.

You can also read our itinerary for 3 weeks in Germany if that’s the only place you want to visit during your trip.

Must-see places in Germany:

Week 2: Poland for 7 days

Poland is the fifth most populous member state and has the sixth-largest economy in the EU. It currently has 17 UNESCO world heritage sites filled with WWII history and medieval architecture. So much so that you’ll feel as if the time has turned back.

The best way to get to Poland from Germany is by train. You could also ride the bus or fly, which is the fastest but most expensive option. 

Must-see places in Poland

Week 3: Czech Republic for 7 days

The Czech Republic or Czechia, has the most castles in Europe and is the seventh safest country to live in the world. It also has the largest ancient castle; its most popular sport is ice hockey. What I love most about the Czech Republic is the capital city Prague.

This city offers the classic European experience; cobbled stones, castles, tasty beer, and yummy dishes. All without spending too much compared to Germany or Austria. Once you finish exploring all the historical sites of Czechia, don’t forget to treat yourself to a nice dinner (or two!) at one of the best restaurants in Prague.

Coming from Poland, start your trip to Ostrava or travel all the way to Brno and spend 3 days, then finish your trip in Prague and spend 4 days. Just like the transportation from Germany to Poland, the most recommended form of transport from Poland to Czech is via train or bus. Other options include driving a car rental or flying.

Must-see places in Czechia:

Itinerary #2: Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary

2 images -giant ferris wheel of Austria and lake in Switzerland - 3-Weeks in Central Europe Itinerary

The second cluster of countries for your 3-week holiday in Central Europe are Austra, Slovakia, Hungary, and Switzerland.

The winter months in these countries are from December to February, so the perfect months to travel to these countries if you want to enjoy the snow and do some snow-centric sports and activities are from late December to late February. 

Week 1: Switzerland and Austria for 7 days

3 weeks in Central Europe is simply incomplete without visiting stunning Switzerland. It is a mountainous country with numerous villages, lakes, and the high peaks of the Alps. That’s why the perfect mode of transportation when getting around this country is by train so that you’ll get a chance to take in all of the scenic routes.

It is also home to two of the world’s most liveable cities, Zurich and Geneva. Here’s a more detailed Switzerland itinerary for 7 days.

Another country on this list is Austria. This country is also mountainous, like Switzerland. And along with Switzerland, they form what people call the neutral core of Europe. Austria has the world’s oldest zoo in the world and is well-known for its mountain railways and trains. 

Must-see place in Switzerland and Austria


Austria: Get a hop-on, hop-off bus ticket for Vienna to travel around easier, if you enjoy exploring on your own, get the Vienna Pass to must-see places in the city.

Week 2: Slovakia for 7 days

2 images - thermal baths of Hungary and Devin Castle of Slovakia - 3-Weeks in Central Europe Itinerary

Slovakia is a country filled with historical cities, enchanting castles, and wine-growing valleys. This country has the highest wooden altar in the world, the Basilica of St. James, which is located in the town of Levoca. You can also find the tallest cave column here, called Krásnohorská cave. Both of these became UNESCO world heritage sites. 

For art lovers, they have the second-largest collection of Andy Warhol’s works. The recommended mode of transportation to get to Slovakia from Austria is through riding a bus. Aside from that, you can also board the train, drive a car rental, or use rideshare.

Must-see places in Slovakia:
  • Bojnice Castle
  • The Blue Church
  • Bratislava – bus tour or walking tour
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Dobsinska Ice Cave
  • High Tatras
  • Devin Castle – join a tour
  • Slovak Karst National Park

Week 3: Hungary for 7 days

Hungary is a landlocked country where the world-famous city of Budapest is located. It has a cityscape filled with neoclassical buildings, castle hills, and other architectural landmarks. It is one of the oldest countries in Europe, founded in 895.

Budapest has the most thermal springs in the world, ideal for those who want to unwind and relax. The recommended option to travel to Hungary from Slovakia is via train. Other than that, you can also ride a bus, drive a car or use rideshare.

Must-see places in Hungary
  • Danube Cruise – Night Cruise or Day Cruise
  • Buda Castle
  • Szechenyi Thermal Bath – full-day spa tour
  • Lake Heviz
  • The Great Synagogue – book a tour
  • Anna Cave of Miskolc-Lillafüred
  • Hungarian Open-Air Museum
  • Eger Castle
  • Visegrad Royal Palace
  • Basilica of Esztergom


You’re now familiar with the various tourist destinations in Central Europe. But before we end this article, I want to provide you with some tips when going to central Europe, especially for first-timers.

First, make sure that you check if visas are required for each country because while some of them don’t, there are still some that require them, and it might ruin your 3- weeks in Central Europe vacation plan.

Next is to travel during the off-season because that’s when accommodations are less expensive and you can also avoid crowds. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes as you’ll do a lot of walking if you want to explore scenic cities.

I hope that you found these itineraries for 3 weeks in Central Europe holiday helpful in creating your own itinerary.


Discover Central Europe's rich history and culture, from Prague's Old Town to Vienna's palaces. Sample Budapest's thermal baths and Munich's beer gardens. Don't forget the scenic Alps and enchanting castles. via @threeweektraveller