Five Large Countries in Europe that are perfect for a two-week-long vacation — Letter to Sons

Doug Keating
5 min readApr 19, 2024


Congratulations, you’re going to Europe this year, 2024. The best news is that you have two weeks to spend there. With that thought in mind, I will share five large European countries perfect for a two-week vacation. Why did I add the word perfect to the title? Two weeks is the perfect time to spend in Europe coming from America.

Who should read this blog or watch the video?

I have designed this content specifically for anyone from North America who wants to spend two weeks in a large European country. In other words, you want to spend eight to fourteen days exploring a single large European country.

The criteria used to create this list

  1. I must have visited each country within the last decade. I don’t want any stale content.
  2. It is safe to visit. That eliminates Russia and Ukraine for obvious reasons.
  3. The country has to be considered one of Europe’s top ten largest countries.

Sample schedule for a week-long trip to Europe

Two weeks is a long vacation if you’re American like me. What should your schedule look like? Below is a sample schedule. In week one, you fly from America on Friday night and land in city number one on Saturday. You will spend three days there, including a day trip. Next, you will head to city number two. Once again, spend three days there. On that Friday, you’re going to travel to location number three. During week two, you will pick up the pace to see more of your chosen country. You will spend two days at locations three, four, and five. You will fly back on Friday and then take the weekend to recover. Why two days? You’ve been traveling for two weeks. You will be tuckered out. Give yourself a full weekend before going back to work.

Large European Country #1 — The UK

I will not go into great detail about each country. I have written about them in other blogs. I’m putting the UK first because this option is perfect for anyone who’s never been to Europe, especially Americans. You have a common language, and the culture shock is much lower. If you’re a history lover, this is an excellent choice.

Option #2 — Germany

Germany happens to be my favorite country in all of Europe. Also, I think Germany would be an excellent choice if you’ve never been to Europe. There are two other reasons to go. If you are a football fan, as in soccer, they are hosting the European Cup this summer. Second, if you love beer, you have to go to Germany. They have the best beer in the world.

Large European Country #3 — Italy

Italy is one of the most popular countries in the world to visit. Americans, in particular, love going here. The reason is that it is magnificent. Italy offers ancient history, famous cities, art, architecture, beautiful churches, delicious food, and wonderful wine. I could keep going, but I will stop here.

Option #4 — France

I love spending time in France and have been there many times. France offers world-class art, beautiful architecture, great food, and friendly people. For my fellow Americans, the French do not hate Americans. They do not like bad attitudes and rude tourists. Remember to say bonjour everywhere you go. I recommend spending a few days in Paris and going to the countryside. You will see how beautiful this country is. It is much more rural than most people expect.

Large European Country #5 — Spain

Spain is somewhat of a new find for me. I did not go there when I was young. I regret it. Spain is such a wonderful country to visit. It has beautiful beaches on the med, tasty tapas, friendly people, and many sights. I’ve been there twice in the last ten years, and I’m heading back again this year. That’s how much I like Spain.

One thing you may not like about these options

Let’s shift gears and discuss one thing you may not like about spending two weeks in these countries: It is impossible to see everything. What you see below is Rick Steve’s recommended itinerary for visiting Germany. It is for a three-week vacation, and you only have two weeks. Don’t run around too much. My recommendation is to pick a region or two, take your time, and enjoy your vacation.

Five best starting points for these countries

Let me finish this blog by recommending a starting point for each country.

I am Doug Keating, and this is my letter to my sons.

Originally published at on April 19, 2024.



Doug Keating

Leader and learner. husband and father. Novice blogger,, Founder of All The Way Leadership!