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Backpacking Europe
MoonMan
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I am 19 years old and plan to backpack Europe this winter by myself. I will probably leave around early January from New Jersey. My plan is:
London 4 days
Paris 4 days
Bruges 3 days
Amsterdam 7 days
Berlin 4 days
Prague 4 days
Vienna 4 days
Munich 4 days
Zurich 4 days
Milan 5 days
Florence 7 days
Naples 5 days
My question is will I be able to do this using $10,000USD max as a budget? I will most likely buy a Eurail pass to get from place to place, and plan to stay in hostels everywhere I go.

I am traveling for 80 days
London, Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Munich, Zürich, Milan, Florence, Naples
Requesting help with Hostels, Budget, Food
oldlady
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The is very doable on a backpacker budget of around $7,500.

Basic Budget for your 55 or so days:

Airfare: Look for around $800 for off season from East Coast, but you might end up closer to $1,000
City to City transportation: (rail pass plus point- to-point train tickets, the occasional bus and perhaps a cheap flight or two) $150 per week or around $1,200 Spend some time deciding which combination of railpass, flights and point to point tickets is best.
Daily living: $75 to $100 per day so $4,000 to $5,500 That’s hostels, buses and subways for local transportation, admission fees, laundry, food from markets and street vendors with the occasional low end cafe or pub meal, some beer and wine, but not much serious partying.

Why Zurich (or any Swiss city) instead of seeing the Alps? Why Naples instead of Rome? I assume you’re into opera and classical music? Otherwise, why such long stays in Milan and Vienna?

MoonMan
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I wasn’t including airfare in that budget just because I have that covered already. I didn’t consider the Alps but now that you say that I actually might. The main reason for Zurich is because of the Zoological Garden and the Botanical Garden because I want to major in Biology and those two seem to have a lot of relevance to the subject. I have already spent some time in Rome and would like to see as much of Italy as I can (I am Italian). As for the long stays in Milan and Vienna, this itinerary isn’t set in stone yet, I will probably end up spending the most time in London or Florence just because I have always dreamt of going to both of them. I want to spend as much time in Europe as I can afford.

But thank you for your answer, you got me thinking about some pretty cool stuff now that I should be able to fit that in my budget. Will definitely look into the Alps Smile

I am traveling for 80 days
London, Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Munich, Zürich, Milan, Florence, Naples
Requesting help with Hostels, Budget, Food
clevelandbrown
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My feeling is that rail passes are best for those people who never spend more than a day, perhaps two, in any place. Those who, like you, will be spending longer will probably save by buying point to point tickets. I would take the time to look up the cost of point to point tickets (the German rail site is good for this: http://www.bahn.de/p…) and compare that to the cost of a rail pass. Some prices for next year may not be posted, but current prices should give a good idea. Buy second class tickets; the people in second class are friendlier and more likely to give you advice if you ask.

I like Zurich; it has some good art and architecture. Switzerland is expensive; Switzerland in the Alps in Winter is especially expensive as it is high season for skiers. If you want to see some Alps from Zurich, take a train to Chur, then up to the Arosa ski area. Its not the greatest view of the Alps, but is convenient to Zurich and that train up to Arosa is a great mountain ride.

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Madrid, Toledo
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Feicht
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Well, I swear by rail passes, personally. Even if you don’t actually end up saving money (somehow), it is still really convenient and keeps you from having to wait in long lines in train stations in countries where you may or may not be able to adequately communicate with the service people. I’ve done it both ways, but I am always smacked across the face with how much it actually costs to buy tickets when I DON’T have a rail pass.

But my general rule of thumb is: if you will be taking 3 or more night trains, it is worth it. That pass instantly turns a $170 train trip into $30. So even if you’re paying around $300 for a 5 day select pass or something, if you use it for all night journeys and buy point-to-point for the rest, you end up saving a lot of money.

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
oldlady
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One roundtrip in an “expensive” country can make a railpass pay. Standard fare for roundtrip Paris to Nice is about the same as a 5 day, 3 country (adult saver) select pass. That’s 3 “free” days of rail travel. If you aren’t able to take advantage of special fares (and it’s increasingly difficult to take advantage of specials if you don’t have a European issued credit card) the RIGHT railpass can save significant money.