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Advice about destinations for my first trip to Europe?
abby12490
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I’m 22 years old and this upcoming trip is going to be my first time in Europe EVER. I am female, interested in history, rich culture, going out a few nights (I’m not a huge party animal but would go out for some drinks), getting lost exploring side streets, visiting local shops and cafes, etc. This is my itinerary so far:

Depart from USA > London, Paris, Barcelona, Monaco, Nice, Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, then back to London for flight home

I am planning on spending about a month over there and am definitely planning on making more visits in the future. However, I’m having a difficult time deciding where to go (the above itinerary has been changed numerous times…) I am obsessed with visiting England, France, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Spain, and eventually Croatia, but I don’t want my first trip to be incredibly spread out so that I’m only spending 2-3 days at each location. I want to get a good feel for each country, which is difficult to do in only a month.

I know I definitely want to see London and Paris this time around. The thing about visiting both is that I want to see more in England and in France than just the two cities (for England- Manchester, Liverpool, Oxford, Wales, Bath, for France- Versailles, Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux, Annecy, etc.) so I feel like I’m missing out.

Also, I am somewhat unsure about Amsterdam, Bruges, and Brussels on my list. I’ve heard they are wonderful places but at the same time, I don’t have a burning desire to experience any of those 3 places.

Would it be wise to concentrate on one or two countries for each separate visit, and my next trip around could tackle one or two more countries? And if so, could someone recommend a better/different itinerary for me? Maybe throw in some places I haven’t considered that are easily accessible? Thanks Smile

I am leaving from BOSTON, MA, USA with $3500 for 22 days
London, Paris, Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, London
clevelandbrown
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I like to stay in one place at least a week (we usually rent an apartment) and see everything in the area. The exception is when we stay in a small village. For example, we will be staying in Brugge a week, but I think there is not enough there for a week, so we will day trip to Antwerp.

Amsterdam is rich in culture, with great museums and a rich history. Being there in the spring to see the tulips blooming is memorable. You can easily daytrip to the Hague (more great museums, and on the same museum pass as Amsterdam) and Haarlem and Delft.

I suggest you keep Amsterdam and look into buying an open jaw (multiple destination) air ticket, flying into London and returning home from Amsterdam. It will give you more time to see things, and the cost is comparable to a round trip.

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Totes McGoats
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My Suggestion is that you make a slight modification to your itinerary.

I’d start in London, then go from there to Amsterdam, either via train, or plan (BA has flights for $88 right now from LHR-AMS.

Then use your railpass to get from Amsterdam – Bruges – Brussels – Paris – Nice – Monaco – Barcelona

Then, I’d fly from BCNLHRBOS.

So, your itinerary would look like this:

Flight1:
1 BA 238L (Insert Date here) BOSLHR SS1 815AM 735PM *

Flight2:
2 BA 428S (Insert Date here) LHRAMS SS1 725AM 940AM *

(RAIL PASS) Amsterda-Bruges-Brussels-Paris-Nice-Monaco-Barcelona

Flight3:
3 BA 475S (Insert Date here) BCNLHR SS1 405PM 525PM *
4 BA 239O (Insert Date here) LHRBOS SS1 730PM 940PM *

This is an open jaw air ticket, into amsterdam and back from Barcelona, with a stopover in London on the way in. Ticket ends up running you about $1150 bucks.

It will be cheaper than taking the train under the Channel round trip. Plus you then don’t have to backtrack a bunch during your trip.

other than that, sounds like a super trip! I would suggest keeping Amsterdam, Brussels, and Bruges, all three cities are great.

As far as including Italy,Greece, or Croatia, I think it’s for a different trip…. 29 days won’t be enough time to cover it all.

Amsterdam, is my 2nd Favorite city in Europe behind Prague. It’s a must-see.

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Have you purchased your plane ticket? As Cleveland suggests, an open Jaw flight (use the multi-city option on search engines) will save significant time and probably money over going back to London to catch your flight home. I would group London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels (do you have a specific reason for wanting to visit Brussels?) and Brugges at the beginning of your trip. All are well connected by fast and frequent train service and you could work out whatever order seems best, although visiting Paris last to take advantage of the high speed train to Nice would be my choice. Stay in (or near) Nice and visit Monaco as a day trip, then fly to Barcelona. Catch your flight home from Barcelona.

Your list include Croatia — that would be the last place, after Paris and London, that I’d cut. Think about cutting some of the top 10 tourist haunts of Western Europe and spending some time in Eastern Europe.