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marckd
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hello everybody!

this is my first post here, and I am looking for help from you

I am from Uruguay and I am planning going to Europe for the first time this year on June-July
I think I have a nice budget, like 100€ per day, and I can be there like around 50 days

the help I need from you, is to decide how much time should I spend in the citys I have chosen, and if you consider that I should skip one of the citys I have picked and replace it with another of your suggestion

for cheapest air ticket, I am going to Madrid, go all around Europe and coming back to Madrid, but I need to have a very good idea on how much time will all the travel take me, so I can book the return flight aswell Smile
inside Europe I plan to travel by train

the city list I have picked is this one (sorry, but it is in spanish, but I think you can understand it):
España Madrid
España Valladolid
España Burgos
Francia Bordeaux
Francia La Rochelle
Francia Nantes
Francia Rennes
Francia Saint-Malo
Inglaterra Portsmouth
Inglaterra Bristol
Inglaterra Liverpool
Inglaterra Manchester
Inglaterra London
Francia Paris
Bélgica Brussel
Holanda Rotterdam
Holanda Amsterdam
Aelmania Bremen
Aelmania Hamburg
Dinamarca Aalborg
Noruega Oslo
Suecia Stockholm
Suecia Goteborg
Dinamarca Copenaguen
Aelmania Berlin
Aelmania Dresden
República Checa Praha
Austria Viena
Hungría Budapest
Croacia Zagreb
Croacia Rijeka
Austria Graz
Alemania Munich
Suiza Zurich o Innsbruck
Italia Venezia
Italia Bologna
Italia Napoli
Italia Roma
Italia Genova
Italia Milano
Monaco Monaco
Francia Nice
Francia Montpellier
Francia Toulouse
Andorra Encamp
España Barcelona
España Zaragoza
España Madrid

if you can help me out on filtering and chosing how much time to spend on each city, I will really apreciate it!

thanks in advance

I am leaving from Uruguay with $8000 for 70 days
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augustin25
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You’ve made some interesting choices. Why did you choose Burgos, Valladolid, and Zaragoza? I’m not saying they are bad choices, as it is sometimes nice to see cities that aren’t the main tourist destinations, just curious. I’m not sure I’d go to Naples or Bologna, and would visit Florence instead of Milan.

clevelandbrown
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I prefer trains, too, as they are roomy and let you see the scenery and meet people. However, for a longer trip, you can save a lot of hours by flying.

My initial impression is that you have quite a few places to see, and not enough time to see them all. I like to take my time and we often stay a week or two in each place, but I think most people try to see places for a shorter time. But if you can’t spend at least two days in a place, it probably isn’t worth the stop. Remember, you lose almost a day each time you relocate, from packing and checking out, to riding the train, to finding your new quarters and checking in. I also like to stick a few unscheduled days in, because you often find something new to see, or want to stay a day longer than you planned.

I would suggest you tell us what your interests are. Whether you like art museums, or scenery, or antiquities, or athletic events can have a lot to say about where you will want to go. For example, you list Zurich. That is a great place to visit if you like art, and a pleasant city, but it is not near the mountains, which is what I think most people want to see in Switzerland.

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oldlady
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It looks like you’ve arranged at least part of your schedule to take the ferry from France to England. I’d take Eurostar, the chunnel train both ways. I’d take the train from St. Malo to Paris, then Eurostar Paris to London and London to Brussels. If you can find cheap leisure fares it won’t cost much more than the ferry and it will be a whole lot faster. IMO, the “ferry experience” isn’t worth the time and trouble.

marckd
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first of all, thanks for your quick replys

augustin25 wrote:
You’ve made some interesting choices. Why did you choose Burgos, Valladolid, and Zaragoza? I’m not saying they are bad choices, as it is sometimes nice to see cities that aren’t the main tourist destinations, just curious. I’m not sure I’d go to Naples or Bologna, and would visit Florence instead of Milan.

well, now that you mention them, Burgos is a small city but seems unreachable by train
Valladolid was just in the way (not really interested to go there just to meet another spanish city), and Zaragoza seems as a very interesting city to see, has an antique part from roman empire Smile
why not Milan?

clevelandbrown wrote:
I prefer trains, too, as they are roomy and let you see the scenery and meet people. However, for a longer trip, you can save a lot of hours by flying.

somehow I agree too, but by train I could save a couple of accomodations in some travels, also I picked the citys not to be so far away

clevelandbrown wrote:
My initial impression is that you have quite a few places to see, and not enough time to see them all. I like to take my time and we often stay a week or two in each place, but I think most people try to see places for a shorter time.

I agree too, that is why I am asking for help here !
I will try to stay at least 3 or 4 days in citys as London, Prague and Paris for example

clevelandbrown wrote:
I would suggest you tell us what your interests are. Whether you like art museums, or scenery, or antiquities, or athletic events can have a lot to say about where you will want to go.

well, I want to see a little bit of all
the scenary would be fitted on the train travels I guess
atheltic won’t be much to see, as it will be World Cup 2010 in South Africa Smile I guess the eyes would be focused there, but I would love to visit some horse race tracks
antiquities, museums and special buildings are very welcome to see

thanks again guys
hope hearing from you again

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DreamingOfItaly
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I can only comment on Italy. I would spend 4 nights in Rome (minimum 3, but I really recommend 4). Skip Milan and Naples. Bologna is a GREAT stop in Italy. You can probably just spend 1 night, but definitely splurge a little bit on a nice meal there because the food is truly fantastic (get tortellini alla bolognese!). I love Venice, so I consider it a must-see, and Florence is awesome as well.

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marckd
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thanks again!
wow, two people telling me to skip Milan, why is that? so bad? or just too equal to the other italian citys?

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oldlady
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Milan is a big, bustling financial and business center — lots of guys in fancy suits and Gucci loafers with cell phones. It’s expensive for a tourist and there aren’t, IMO a whole lot of things interesting for a tourist. Other cities in Italy have much more.

On the plus side, Milan is a transportation hub, so a day there may work into your plans very well and it’s worth a day. La Scala and the La Scala museum are interesting if you’re an opera buff. Davinci’s Last Supper is worth a peek if you can work out the logistics of actually seeing it. The cathedral is worth a least a picture of the unique exterior.

augustin25
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Some ideas for Spain: Avila, Segovia, and Toledo can all be done as day trips from Madrid. Avila is a walled medieval city, Segovia has a roman aqueduct (and other sights), and Toledo retains much of its medieval character, has museums and a nice cathedral. I went to Avila for the first time last summer and it’s a really scenic train ride. I actually stayed overnight; it was kind of nice to be there after dark when most of the tourists were gone, but you could just stay for the day.

If you want to stick with your current plan of heading north to France by train from Madrid then San Sebastian is a convenient choice. If you’re willing to change your plan a little I would consider some other options. If you put one flight into your itinerary you could fly from one of many places in Spain to London, do the English part of your trip, then take the Eurostar to Paris, head to Belgium, the Netherlands, etc and do the rest of your French stops between Italy and Barcelona. Sevilla is an option, but be warned that it can be quite hot during the summer. Another idea is to go to Cordoba, then Granada, and fly Ryanair to London for about 40 euros. Granada is a great stop for a couple of days, and I’ve heard good things about Cordoba as well. There’s also Galicia in northwestern Spain, with Santiago de Compostela or (L)a Coruña.

clevelandbrown
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I’ll just touch the places I know about recently.

Madrid has a famed art museum.

For the Netherlands, Rotterdam is a major port, but they do have a good museum. I’d probably spend part of a day there, then go on to Amsterdam. I would add The Hague as a day trip from Amsterdam, just to see the museum there. The Netherlands has an excellent museum pass that covers the whole country, so I would get one. Amsterdam has a number of museums well worth seeing.

For Paris, get the museum pass for national museums, which covers both the Louvre and D’orsey, and many other museums. The pass doesn’t cover the Marmottan, which has a wealth of Monets, but doesn’t seem to get much notice in the guidebooks, and is well worth seeing. I would also suggest a day trip from Paris. Most people suggest Versailles, and it is certainly a historic site, but seemed to me a monument to opulence. I would suggest instead visiting Monet’s garden at Giverny, where you can see the flowers and lily pond as he saw them.

Zurich has an excellent art museum, and the Behrle collection, but the collection is only open two days a month, so you have to arrange to be there on one of those days and make a reservation. We saw it, and it was well worth it, but they are hypersensitive about security, checking ids and having a guard follow you from room to room.

From Zurich I think you are going to Venice. Switzerland has some scenic trains, with panoramic cars, and high prices. However, they run on the same tracks as the less expensive trains, and I found the panoramic cars overrated. One of these scenic trains is the Bernina Express, from Chur to Tirano, in Italy, and it is a scenic wonder and one of the best train rides I have ever taken. My suggestion would be to take a regular train over the same route, enjoy the same scenery, and save some money. From Zurich buy a ticket to Tirano, passing through Chur. Take an early train, so you can see the scenery. From Tirano, it is about a 5 hour train ride to Venice. Venice has two stations, one on the mainland at Mestre (which is a lot less expensive a place to stay), and one on the island at St. Maria. For your arrival, use the station at St. Maria; when you step outside the station your first view of Venice will be one that many people remember their whole lives. I would spend at least one evening in Venice; it is a different place after all the cruise ship passengers leave.

I think the virtues of Milan have already been listed; I would add that it is a center of fashion, and draws some people because of that.

I would drop Milan and go to Florence instead. Spend a few days there basking in glorious art, architecture, and history. The Ufizzi museum is stuffed and crowded; We preferred the Accademia where they have Michelangelo’s David and some of his Slaves. The Opera museum behind the Duomo is also nice. They have tools and models from the construction of the Duomo, and some parts that have been replaced, including the original doors from the Baptistry, and a Pieta by Michelangelo abandoned near completion when the stone cracked, but which another artist repaired. Supposedly, the old man in the background is a self-portrait of Michelangelo.

You could visit Pisa as a day trip, or on your way to Genova. I think most tourists would visit Cinque Terre, a row of coastal villages in that area that is wonderfully scenic, instead of Genova.

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marckd
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thank you eurotripean fellows! Smile

you have convinced me on taking Milan off the schedule and adding Florence to it

and thanks for the advices! every comment you have made is helping me out on deciding this trip Smile

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I second a trip to Giverny to see Monet’s water lilies pond. It’s quite beautiful, and the gardens are wonderful too. His house is really quirky and neat as well (several rooms are done all in one color: butter yellow, robin’s egg blue, etc)

But I also thought Versailles was awesome (the palace is cool, but definitely “a monument to opulence” as cleveland stated), the gardens— very impressive, HUGE, and manicured almost like a maze— and other parts besides the palace are way more interesting than the palace itself (once you’ve seen one grandiose bedroom with ostrich feathers in the bedposts and great painted murals of greek gods decorating the entire wall and ceiling, you’ve seen them all). Marie Antoinette’s personal village was probably the most interesting to me.

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2008—Language study abroad in Paris, France
2009—Archaeological field school/dig in Lau, Fiji
2010— Birthday UK trip!
2011— Teaching English in South Korea
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marckd
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let me clear this up as I am not sure if I can find it on google maps
Giverny is really close to Paris, right?

[note from Don: marckd—remove the link from your signature]

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augustin25
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Giverny is close to Paris. Here’s some information about visiting:
http://wikitravel.or…