Day trips are the perfect escape from the everyday life! Whether taken in the summer, fall, winter, or spring, day trips are sure to spark adventure and allow reprieve from the mundane.
While studying in London, day trips were my favorite activity. They allowed me to escape the stress of school and responsibilities while giving me just enough adventure to subdue my rampant wanderlust. Below are a few suggestions for day trips to take around Europe!
Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy
This dying city is a remote destination but well worth the drive. Visitors in the summer get the full experience of Italy tourism: crowds, heat, gelato. While Civita is remote, it is becoming a more and more popular tourist destination and is one I suggest for the bucket list! Located a short distance from Orvieto (which also makes a great day trip!), visitors park in the neighboring town of Bagnoregio and walk to Civita via footbridge. The Etruscan town is home to about ten or fifteen year round residents and countless cats. The views of the hill town and from Civita itself are mind boggling as visitors grasp the erosion the town is located atop. Visit Civita di Bagnoregio for a chance to feel transported straight into a travel magazine!
Chateau de Fontainebleau, located outside Paris, France
One of the largest French royal chateaux and the only to be inhabited for seven centuries, Fontainebleau is full of rich French history and architecture. While the chateau proves somewhat confusing to get to from Paris, it is worth the hassle! While Versailles overflows with tourists, visitors to Fontainebleau get a quiet tour while transported back in time. In the fall, the leaves on the 130 acres show off their colors and the air is crisp with the memory of monarchs who once traversed the palace grounds.
A short train ride from London, Brighton is probably not one of the first cities tourists think to visit in the winter. The cool mist of ocean water and the crunch of rocky beach beneath feet allows for relaxation from the hustle and bustle of big city London. Visitors have the beach to themselves and can wander through the resting rides on Brighton Pier. Surrounded by whirling bright lights and loud noises in the summer, travelers are offered a different view of the pier in the winter. I recommend warming up over high tea and visiting the Brighton Pavilion before catching a late train back to the city!
Keukenhof Gardens, the Netherlands
Also known as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof is a short bus ride from Amsterdam and boasts the most tulips anyone has seen in their entire life. The garden, more like a large park, is filled to the brim with every color of tulip imaginable. Spring is the only time of year that the tulips bloom, and it is a very short window. Plan to visit late April or early May for the best blooms! Keukenhof is easy to get to, the airport has booths that sell round trip bus tickets and entrance to the park. The bus leaves from the airport and visitors are dropped at the entrance to the tulip wonderland. Make sure to pay attention on the bus as the route passes fields and fields of endless blooming tulips!
Day trips are fun, but can also be long and taxing. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making a short trip:
- Make sure to wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking most of the day!
- Pack a snack in case you get hungry but cant stop to eat a meal, granola bars or nuts are great snacks high in protein! I also always take a water bottle to carry with me, as I never know where the day will lead.
- Wear/pack layers. In the fall I make sure to pack a scarf in my purse and always keep a rain jacket or umbrella on hand no matter the season!
As summer ends and fall begins, we hope this list of day trips provides a source of inspiration to keep traveling no matter where you are!