Europe is a picturesque holiday destination with so many countries, cities and regions brimming with different cultures. The best part? It’s all easily accessible by car, making it perfect for a road trip between some iconic cities. Don’t forget to give the accelerator a rest and enjoy the bikes of Amsterdam, the river and park walks in London, and the Berlin tram line. Europe looks stunning in the sunshine, so pick your favorite wheels and hit the road.
There’s no better way to kick start your European summer adventure than in London. With five airports in and around the city and an international train station, it’s a breeze to reach this world-famous city.
Park your car and get off the beaten path—you’ll catch all the iconic landmarks as you travel by foot and tube. Head to East London—the wonderfully graffitied home of the hipster hangout, Shoreditch. With unique shopping and dining experiences as well as some great pubs and bars, you’ll fill a day if not a weekend. Bookmark Brick Lane, Spitalfields Market and Boxpark, then find a rooftop bar like the new cocktail lounge Golden Bee and take in a great view of the city.
The drive from London to Paris will take you about 6 hours (sans snack breaks) with a short trip across the English Channel—either by a leisurely ferry ride, or by loading the car onto a train for a speedy 35-minute crossing through the Eurotunnel. Traveling through the northern regions of France, you’ll have gone from the one of the most famous cities in the world to the most romantic.
Paris is as beautiful as you hoped it would be—especially in the summer. Once you’ve hit all of Paris’ hot spots, take a breather and relax at Monet’s garden in Giverny, a 90-minute drive outside the city. Another great summer attraction is the spectacular Versailles, less than an hour’s drive from the city center. Stroll around the extraordinary gardens and spectacular palace, a World Heritage Site since 1979.
Continuing your road trip, pack up the cheese and wine you smuggled from Paris and head to Amsterdam, a 5 hour drive away. Stop off and stretch your legs with a walk around the cobblestone streets of the Flemish influenced French city of Lille, which borders Belgium. Lille is known for its beer, architecture and local dishes like waffles and moules-frites (mussels and fries).
Amsterdam is home to our first European hotel, Kimpton De Witt, surrounded by beautiful canals and homes with their own unique personalities. Leave the car parked—with around 250 miles of bike paths, this city is the perfect place to cycle around to enjoy the sunshine. Spend an afternoon canal-side at one of the city’s great bars with a pair of sunglasses and a cool drink, and relax for a few hours.
Just over 400 miles east of Amsterdam is Berlin, and if you want to get your adrenaline pumping, find a route that takes you on the German Autobahn. These German highways have no federally mandated speed limit, but an advised speed of 81 mph.
Renowned for its art scene and buzzing nightlife, Berlin is as trendy as it gets. Make sure you finish off your day of touring with a glass of wine or a large stein on one of the city’s many rooftop terraces like Amano Bar or Monkey Bar and watch the German city come to life at night.