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16 replies
1 Month in Europe (Oct 2008)
swill
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It has been a bit of a whirlwind in regards to what trip I am going to do this fall. I was originally planning on hitting just Croatia, but now my trip has been extended giving me enough time to do a real tour of Europe.

This is the path I was planning on taking. I am going to be there for about 4 weeks (maybe 5 weeks if I need to).

Quick overview:
Amsterdam (2 days)
Brugge (2 days)
Baden-Baden (1 or 2 days)
Munich (3 days)
Salzburg (1 day)
Venice (2 days)
Rome (2 days)
Florence (2 days)
Nice (or there abouts) (2 days)
Barcelona (3 days)
Paris (3 days)
Tours (1 day)
Amsterdam (2 days) (going kiting on this end)

This is basically 26 or 27 days… I would be traveling from around Oct 6th to the first week or so of November.

What do you guys think of my time layout. I may have to fit London in there for a couple days for work, but it would probably be at the end or there about and does not have to fit into this time frame.

Am I missing anything I should see? Are any of the places I am going overrated? I was thinking of trying to get to Interlaken, worth it? The date that I come back is a little up in the air still. Am I going to kill myself with this itinerary?

In terms of travel I am planning on getting a 15 travel day rail pass. I will try to get from Munich to Venice in the same travel day. Get to Salzburg in the morning and leave before 7pm so I can use the same travel day.

In terms of a backpack, I have a 33 liter pack that fits nicely and has a hydration chamber. I am probably going to following this packing list pretty closely. I am cutting it down a bit in terms of the sweaters, sweatshirts. I am going to take a shell, fleece, long sleeve t-shirt and a sweatshirt (oh and one of those plastic ponchos). It is going to be October after all, so I need to make sure I will be warm.
I also need to bring a laptop because I need to do a lot of travel writing…
I also will be bringing a digital camera, but it will be in its own bag…

Is my bag big enough? Any other suggestions?

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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swill
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Another option I am considering is to kill Rome and Nice to free up some more time and do the following instead.

Salzburg -> Trieste -> Venice -> Florence -> Torino -> Grenoble -> Nimes or Montpellier -> Barcelona

I would probably have to add a little more time in there because I currently have Trieste -> Venice -> Florence -> Torino -> Grenoble -> Nimes or Montpellier all happening in 8 days (if I was to use the same number of days).

Salzburg (1 day) -> Trieste (1.5) -> Venice (2) -> Florence (2) -> Torino (2) -> Grenoble (1.5) -> Nimes or Montpellier (1) -> Barcelona (3)

If I did this, I would probably try to take an night train from Grenoble to Nimes or Montpellier and again (like Salzburg) leave that same day so that I only use one travel day.

Not enough time in there? Is that change worth it? Would you change anything about that?

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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Cil
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Well, I hate to see anyone give up Rome.
And I love the south of France, and you would be going at what I consider to be kind of a nice time.
But I dunno. It really depends on what you want to get out of the trip. I am glad you are allowing for 3 days in Barcelona, I think you’ll like it. Sorry if I am not much help, maybe someone else can offer more solid advice.

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I never understood why people go on such whirlwind tours. With travel time, do you really expect to do anything besides just tick off that you have been places? With travel, less is more. Two days in rome? do you really want to “Cram” it all in? Three days in paris? if you plan on going to the louvre or versailles, then you need more like 4 or 5. Running this quickly, will you burn you out and you really see anything or get to know a place. why not stick to a smaller area?

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Well, the itinerary Swill gave was an overview.
With four or five weeks, I think he’s got enough time—I don’t think he’ll be cramming too badly.
Having said that, I would indeed give Rome more than 2 days, but for this trip, I think 3 in Paris is plenty.

swill
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Thanks for the feedback. I do have a few more days than what I have listed. I am planning on leaving Oct 6th and returning on Nov 5th, so that is 31 days. I currently have 28 days specified with the following itinerary. So i have 3 more days to spare. Which cities should I spend more time in?

Amsterdam (2 days)
Brugge (2 days)
Baden-Baden (2 days)
Munich (3 days)
Salzburg (1 day)
Venice (2 days)
Rome (3 days)
Florence (2 days)
Nice (2 days)
Barcelona (3 days)
Paris (3 days)
Tours (1 day)
Amsterdam (2 days) (going kiting on this end)

Also, there is nothing really special that I wanted to see in Nice, it is just on the way to Barcelona, so it got added. If I take out Nice I technically have 5 days to play with there. What would be the recommended path from Florence to Barcelona?

thanks…

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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mim
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Glad you put Rome back in there, Will. In fact, I would say add a day to Rome and make it 4. I know we talked about Nice, but not sure if it’s worth a stop — especially in the Fall. Also, honestly, I would skip Tours. I’m not sure if there’s anything specific you want to see there, but you might do better skipping it and day to Paris.

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

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swill
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i still have a couple days to spare, so more input would be helpful. really looking for a stop between florence and barcelona. still considering grenoble as i have heard good things about that area.

i could do 4 days in rome and 4 in paris. i would like to hit tours for the wine if possible, unless you all think that is unnecessary.

this would put me at 28 days if i took out nice, so i would now have 3 days in between florence and barcelona… ideas?

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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mim
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How about Monte Carlo between Florence and Barcelona? I have never been there so I couldn’t recommend much more, but I always to see it — never had a chance. While it’s expensive, I’m sure you’ll be able to find stuff on the cheap. As for Grenoble, I have never been there either so I can’t really comment too much on it.

If you’re going there for the wine, keep Tours in. Visit some wineries, you may even be able to find a winery bike tour. (just on a side not, I LOVE taking bike tours when I travel — you never get to experience all five senses as much as when you bicycle)

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

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keppiezbt
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how are you getting around? planes? trains? It would helpful to know. I agree with MIM. Add a day to Rome. then add one more to Paris.

swill
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i am getting a 15 travel day rail pass. i have to do a lot of writing, so the time on the train is not a real problem. i will be doing quite a bit of traveling over night i think.

Amsterdam (2 days)
Brugge (2 days)
Baden-Baden (2 days)
Munich (2 days)
Salzburg (3 day) – thinking of doing a day trip from here, maybe to the ice caves. first chance to relax a little bit since it is about 10 days into the trip with quite a bit of traveling. and i love mountains..
Venice (2 days)
Rome (3 days)
Florence (2 days)
Grenoble (3 days) – relaxing in the mountains before the last leg…
Barcelona (3 days)
Paris (3 days)
Tours (2 day)
Amsterdam (2 days) (going kiting on this end)

this may still need to be revised, but this is what i am thinking right now. i start off covering a lot of ground, but i ease it back a bit near the end. every 4 or 5 cities i schedule some chill time in the mountains recover a bit. i still only have 3 days in rome and paris, but that can still change.

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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Jennsrn
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I had 4 nights in Paris.. and I was EXHAUSTED by the time I was done… at the beginning of my trip I had 3.5 full days in Barcelona, and then in Paris.. and Paris was NOT enough time, and I way overdid it, and was exhausted… when I was at Versailles I walked the whole thing, but had to keep resting… I would def give 4 days in Barcelona and Paris- esp if you want to do a lot of photography. I took over 800 photos between those 2 cities… also, I took a lot of day trains, and was glad at the end.. i saw a lot of the country that way. Smile

i also agree with bike tours- I met up with a group doing one in Versailles, and after being in Versailles, I would say that would be a great place to do one- Versailles grounds are huge, and it’s the gardens and outskirts of versailles that i think are the most worth it, more so than the palace itself, and it gets tiring with all the walking. Smile Bike around too.. my next trip back i will do more biking in Europe I believe, it’s easier and faster than my walking lol.

My other feedback, mgiht mess everything up.. but going from Barcelona to Paris is a pretty big culture change. I had a hard time adjusting to the differences between Paris and Barcelona. Barcelona was very laid back, Paris was very fast paced, and it was intensified by the fact I went from speaking spanish (I’m pretty fluent) to no french.. and it was very hard for me in Paris after being in Barcelona. I told a friend I did Barc- Paris, and she told me to always do it the reverse… Paris is VERY VERY crowded with a ton of people, and quite tiring, and very fast paced.. I found Barcelona still crowded, but much more laid back… so if there is anyway to reverse it… i would consider doing so. Smile

Salzburg I did in a day, but I did a tour there… and wouldn’t recommend It. I would do 2 nights in Salzburg and give yourself time to walk around the city, and time to go into the mountains and lake region- gorgeous.

Just a warning… I just got back from EUrope, and spent the majority of time in Germany- and it was INCREDIBLY cold there, in Munich and Freiburg, much colder than usual… so just be prepared.. very cold and rainy when i was there. Smile Not sure what mountains you will be resting in.. but I went to Switzerland, and ran into snow!!!

i hope you have a great trip!!!! hope this helps, I only just went to Europe for the first time, so I am no expert.. but I know I was very very tired after Barcelona and Paris.. and my trip wasn’t even all that crammed, and I ended up taking out Vienna, and just staying with friends in Germany longer, cuz I got too run down, tired, and then with the severe weather change I got sick. So hjopefully this helps some. Smile

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That is really good feedback. Thanks for that…

I think my trip is being pushed a week, so it would actually be later than I was hoping. I have been thinking of reworking it a bit and only spend 2 weeks there this fall so I am not there for half of November and then try to get back there in the spring. Especially with your weather reports. Wink

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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Hey Will,
I’m sorry your trip got pushed back but hopefully you’ll still be able to enjoy some time over there. Just wanted to suggest to you that if you’re still looking for a stop between Florence and Barcelona, Nice was great! You seemed on the fence with it but I highly recommend it. Once you are there in Nice, travel along the French Riviera (Cannes, Monte Carlo, Antibes, St. Paul de Vence) is SO cheap!! I took a bus to Monte Carlo for 1 euro! Nice is very relaxing and a nice break between 2 major cities such as Florence and Barcelona. If you end up making it there and are staying in hostels, I HIGHLY recommend Villa Saint Exupery! Such a blast….don’t miss it Smile

Also wanted to make a recommendation in Paris. You said you may be looking to take a bike tour and also mentioned Versailles. There is a company called Fat Tire Bike Tours that offer numerous bike tours around Paris (both night and day…I loved the night one!!!) AND they also offer bike tours to Versailles! You hop on the train with your bike and then spend the day biking around Versailles….a great way to see it Smile Not sure if this is a seasonal thing but definitely look into it while you’re there…it can’t hurt! They have the best people working for their company too so it’s loads of fun. Hahaha and no I’m not advertising for them…just passing along a great experience of mine Smile

If I can help in any other way, let me know. I can recommend places to stay or things to see in a lot of places you’re going so just let me know! Smile

~Sally

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Thanks Sally… Ya I was totally on the fence about Nice. I didn’t really have any draws to it and I really didn’t know anything about it (more research ). If I do take this trip, I may put Nice back in instead of Grenoble since I don’t know if I want to freeze my butt off in the mountains in November. HaHa…

Also, great tip about the bike tour. I am sure there are a bunch of people who would be interested in that place. If you have a chance it would be great if you would add it as a Favorite Place so other people can find it when looking for stuff in Paris.

I will probably have more questions for you when I start to put together my ‘todo’ list in Paris. Do you have some other ideas for me that I must do while there? Is there a district or a specific place you would recommend I stay?

Thanks again… Smile

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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swill,

I second skrati18’s advice on southern France. Grenobls is a bit out of the way from Florence to Barcelona. Nice and environs (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region) would fit the itinerary perfectly. I would say a few days in Nice (or Antibes or Menton or Cannes) and a few days in Nîmes and/or Arles. Bare minumum: choose one of these two options (either Nîmes/Arles or Nice/Antibes/Cannes) for 2-3 days.


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swill
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My travel plans have been getting bounced around quite a bit. My travel dates and such have changed. My new itinerary is in this thread

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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