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First time in Europe for young adults, need itenerary
lawgrad411
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Hello,

I am very fortunate to be able to travel to Europe for two weeks in mid August this summer. I will be going with a group of four 24 year old guys. Unfortunately we are rookies and have no idea which cities to check out. We are looking for roughly a 3-1 ratio of major cities and rustic towns, respectively. We are also looking for cities with both daytime activities and a solid night life. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

luv_the_beach
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lawgrad,

Let’s start here:

Are there any countries that already spark your interest? Your questions are very vague. Any particular regions, countries, cultures that you feel drawn to? Maybe Eastern Europe? Central Europe? Mediterranean Europe? Nordic Europe? UK/Ireland?

And what daytime activities do you have in mind? Beach? hiking? sightseeing? Surfing? Windsurfing? scuba diving?

Rustic towns can be found in any country, and nightlife can also be found anywhere. As a general rule of thumb in Europe, the further north you travel, the earlier bars and restaurants close. The further south, the later things close, the later people have dinner, the later people go out, etc.


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lawgrad411
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Thanks for the reply.

Some of the cities that we have tossed around thus far have been Zurich, Florence, Bremen, Prague, Copenhagen, and possibly somewhere in Croatia. Ideally we would like to check out central, eastern, and nordic Europe, but I realize that may not be possible. It’s a bit difficult to gauge how many cities a group can visit comfortably within a 15 day period.

As for daytime activities, we would probably like a 1/2 mix of outdoorsy activities (beach, hiking, biking, snorkeling, festivals, etc.) and sight seeing (museums, castles, tours, etc.).

Thanks again for your help.

oldlady
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15 days means about 5 cities — that’s the absolute max if the 15 days includes your flights to/from North America (which can kill 2 1/2 days) or you try to cover a lot of geographic territory — as is definitely the case with your list of cities. Copenhagen could easily kill a day getting there and a day getting to your next destination. The same is true for any locale in Croatia. Two days in transit for maybe a day visiting a place??…. Even a short flight takes nearly 5 hours when you figure time to get to/from airports and check-in/security time. A midday flight can kill the whole day.

Why Zurich? It’s not in the Alps, so not that great for outdoor activities (although the parks are nice) and IMO it’s only a mediocre city on the museums, castles, tours side.

luv_the_beach
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oldlady, where do you see his itinerary?


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oldlady
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Luv: Lawgrad’s reply to your post had a list of cities. It was still in the “approval queue.” I think the first two posts from any new member have to be approved by a moderator/administrator before they show up. As a moderator it showed up in my view of the thread, so I couldn’t tell that it was still in the approval queue. I’ve now approved, so do you see it now?

luv_the_beach
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Oh wow, yeah I see it now.

His post originally didn’t appear between mine and yours, but it’s there now.

Lawgrad: I agree with oldlady. If Zurich is the one and only destination you’ll visit in Switzerland, then you’re ripping off Switzerland. Outside of Switzerland, the country is thought of as just towering mountains…but a good portion of northern Switzerland is just hilly and even flat. That’s the part of Switzerland where Zurich is located.

For two weeks, I concur with OL that you’re attempting too much.

Croatia, BTW, has both Central European and Mediterranean flavours, and if you’re interested in both of these, you can get them in a single country. Since Croatia geographically sort of wraps around Bosnia, you may want to research that country too, see if it catches your eye. But to get started, you’re gonna have to pick a maybe 2-4 countries (depending on their geographic size and compactness). Germany’s a big one. Croatia’s not big, but it’s not compact either.

Another thing you can do, is pick 2-3 countries that are not near each other, and schedule one flying day between these two regions (and remember as OL pointed out, even a 2-hour flight can take all day). For example, you can spend maybe 6 days in Croatia, fly on the 7th day to Stockholm (since you mentioned the Nordic countries, if that interests you), and spend the other 8 days getting a taste of Sweden and perhaps neighboring Norway or Denmark, then fly home.

Just reduce the number of countries you visit, and be realistic about getting around, and spending decent time in each country. And study a map, and use this website as a planning tool. You can look up train schedules all over Europe, and get a taste for how long it takes to get from one place to another. Different city-pairs will require different amounts of time (depending on distance, geographic hurdles [mountains, bodies of water], and whether it’s a high-speed train or conventional train). BTW, for English, go to the top right of the website, and change the country from “Deutschland” to “USA” or “UK/Ireland”.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat