If you have the time, combining multiple destinations into a multi-city trip is an excellent way to see more of a culture and save travel costs at the same time. Instead of expensive international flights, hop on a plane, boat, train or car and make the short trip between nearby destinations for a multi-city vacation.
This way of traveling is easiest in Europe, where train rides and flights between major cities are short and inexpensive. Enjoying multi-city travel on other continents is more complicated, but not impossible!
Planning a Multi-City Trip
Many multi-city travel companies plan trips that center on a theme, such as food-, wine- or architecture-focused destinations. Whether your vacation is centered around a certain type of attraction or not is completely up to you.
To further cut transportation costs, book any flights throughout your trip as if each destination city is a layover. Researching multi-city flights can be complicated, so use a travel agent to help you find the best options for your trip.
Plan to start your multi-stop trip near a major airport. This makes it easier to find transportation from your starting location to the first destination on your itinerary and travel to your next stop.
Here are some of the best multi-city vacations:
London, Edinburgh and Dublin. With centuries of history, royal attractions, charming accommodations and plenty of ways to get between these major cities, this multi-city trip is a crowd-pleaser. There are dozens of smaller, welcoming towns surrounding these larger cities as well.
Lisbon, Barcelona and Paris. These beautiful cities are filled with food, drinks, museums, parks, beaches and iconic must-dos. After these three cities, extend your trip by heading north to Amsterdam and Copenhagen or south to Milan and Rome.
Venice, Florence and Rome. Italy offers some of the best multi-city vacations. Take time to wander through these ancient cities, all of which offer distinct neighborhoods and attractions. There are plenty of smaller towns, vineyards and hiking that make excellent day trips from each of these cities.
Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Stunning churches and government buildings, mountaintop views, world-famous music and more await in Central Europe. Once you’ve reached Budapest, the romantic coast of Croatia is only a three-hour flight away.
Bali, Gili and Ubud. Explore the beautiful Indonesian islands of Bali and Gili. Beaches, waterfalls, forests and museums greet visitors, who can dive in to adventurous outings like surf lessons, or take it easy with yoga classes.
Dubrovnik, Kotor and Mostar. Explore the Old Town’s vibrant streets, restaurants, local music and stunning views throughout Croatia and Montenegro. Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina hosts attractions including the Old Bridge, Old Mosque, the Blagaj monastery and beautiful shops around the Old Town.
Ghent, Bruges and Brussels. Enjoy a multi-city vacation in Belgium, where these three cities are just a short and inexpensive train ride from each other. You’ll find remarkable medieval architecture, a beautiful waterside, local boutiques and enticing bars and restaurants.
Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns. The coastal attractions and varying landscapes inland make Australia an adventure-filled vacation. When traveling from North America or Europe, reaching Australia usually requires multiple lengthy flights, so it makes sense to extend your stay into a multi-city trip. You can also plan for a stop in New Zealand, perhaps in Auckland.
Rio de Janeiro, Iguazú, Bueno Aires and Santiago. If you’re up for a lot of travel between cities, this South American itinerary is for you. Most tours won’t include a stop in Iguazú, but the gorgeous falls are worth adding a few days to your trip.
Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu. Each of these Peruvian destinations is distinct; Lima offers a mix of modern art and culture, while Cusco boasts Incan ruins and vibrant neighborhoods.
San Jose, Arenal, Monteverde and Montezuma. This is less of a multi-city vacation and more of a multi-destination vacation. Costa Rica is known for its eco-tourism and adventurous tours, so visits to volcanoes, rain forests and beaches will be excellent.
San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Journey up California’s iconic Highway 1 to take in relaxed San Diego, glitzy Los Angeles, hip San Francisco and the scenic coast and national parks in between.
Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Amsterdam. Start your vacation in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, exploring its history, culture and colorful scenery. Make your way to Reykjavik, Iceland for incredible views of the Northern Lights before you head to one of Europe’s most artful and cultural cities.