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Help needed to plan itinerary
shelaug04
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Hello,

We are a group of 2 friends and we plan to travel to Europe from April – May, 2011. A total of about 25-30 days.

I needed some help to figure out where were the best places to go to and how best to travel around.

I need to start of in Paris and from here will be traveling to a place called – St. Paul-Les-Dax, as i have some relatives here and will be spending about a week with them, so my trip actually begins after this.

I want to first go to Spain (Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga & Madrid), then onto Italy (Rome, Vatican City & Milan), then move to Switzerland (Zurich), then onto Germany (Munich, & Hamburg), then to Amsterdam and then back to Paris to catch my flight back home.

Can someone tell me if such a trip is feasible, and if yes:

1. What is the best way to travel between the cities mentioned
2. Since these are the most famous places, i know of, should i add some other destinations to the itinerary that you think is worth visiting
3. I have a budget of about $150-$170, per day (excluding to & fro Airfare). Should this be enough?
4. I have allotted between 2-4 days per city. Is this enough?
6. Is it feasible to rent a car for a month and then drive to all these locations? (over the budget mentioned)
5. Can i visit all the countries mentioned if I have a Schenegan visa? I am from India.

Thanks and any other information/tips/suggestions that someone could provide would be really helpful.

Thanks,

Sheldon

I am leaving from New Delhi, India with $6000 for 35 days
Paris, Dax, Barcelona, Valencia, Málaga, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Zürich, Munich, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Itinerary, Nightlife, Sights
vanogtrop
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This trip is doable but you will have a couple long train rides. Not too bad if you use the Night trains. Your biggest problem is getting from Spain to Italy. by train to get from Barcelona to Milan runs 13-20hrs I have heard people recommend flying there but I don’t know too much about flights. You could possible instead of Zurich switch it for another place in Southern France on the way to Italy also would recommend switch Madrid and Barcelona to make it easier to get out of Spain

Here is an idea on train times:
Paris to Dax: 4.5hrs
Dax to Madrid: 9hrs (during daytime Hrs)
Madrid to Malaga: 2.5 – 3hrs
Malaga to Valencia: 5 – 5.5hrs
Valencia to Barcelona: 3 – 4hrs
Barcelona to Milan: 13 – 22hrs
Milan to Rome: 3 – 3.5hrs
Rome to Munich: 11.5hrs (Night Train)
Munich to Hamburg: 5.5hrs
Hamburg to Amsterdam: 5 – 6hrs
Amsterdam to Paris: 3hrs

If you stick your chunk of days for Paris in between Spain and Italy it is easier to catch night trains out of Spain into Paris and then Paris into either Milan or Rome. Also think about Venice instead of Milan from what I have heard not much there. I have heard the same thing about Zurich. There are better places to visit in Switzerland then Zurich

I would suggest maybe cutting a few places out and adding days to others as only having 2 days in places makes no time to really be in the cities with the amount of train travel you have to do.

Renting a car won’t make much sense as you might get into issues with driving through all the countries or get charged a lot to take out of the country, Some cities are not car friendly, Amsterdam being one of them.

All of these countries are in the Schenegan Area and you should not have any problems there.
If there is anything else feel free to ask as many questions are you need answered

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Paris, Salzburg, Kraków, Berchtesgaden, Vaduz, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bruges, Paris
clevelandbrown
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I would look into an open-jaw, or multiple destination, air routing. If you flew into Paris and flew home from Amsterdam you could save some time, and often the pricing is competitive.

Since most of your destinations are major cities, I would not rent a car, as keeping one in the city is costly and you can get around better on public transportation.

I like to spend more time in major cities, but many people like to see more cities in less depth.

I would fly for some of your longer steps, such as Spain to Italy, to save time. But the discount airlines often have limits on how much baggage you can take, with high costs if you have more. I don’t know if there is a ferry from Barcelona to Rome; it would be slow but more direct than a train.

Milan is more a business city than a tourist city, but if you are interested in fashion, it is a fashion center. My suggestion would be to substitute Florence or Venice for Milan. I like Zurich but it is not in the mountains if that is what you want to see. No major city in Switzerland is in the mountains, but some, such as Lucerne, are near enough to day trip into the mountains. If you routed from Venice (or Milan) through Tirano and Chur to Zurich, you would pass through the alps and have a very scenic train ride.

Perhaps if you said what types of things interest you, scenery, food, history, art, etc., we could offer more suggestions.

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oldlady
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I agree with Clevelandbrown about Milan and Zurich. Milan is OK for a day if you aren’t “cathedraled-out” by the time you get there, but there isn’t much reason for longer unless: 1) it’s opera season and you’re into opera 2) you’re into VERY high end shopping or 3) you really, really want to see DaVinci’s Last Supper and, because of the difficulties involved, can’t manage it in one day.

I found Zurich very edgy and uncomfortable — but it’s been a long time since I’ve been there.
shelaug04
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Thanks for the information, chaps…

welll, going by popular review and seeing that i am not into high end fashion, i think i am going to skip Milan and plan on some othert city!!!! Any ideas?

I looked up some infomration on the web and i think it would be better to simply fly from Spain into Italy… let’s see how this one goes… Smile

will keep updating as and when thgings fall in place…

Thanks again for the help, fellas!!!

I am leaving from New Delhi, India with $6000 for 35 days
Paris, Dax, Barcelona, Valencia, Málaga, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Zürich, Munich, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Itinerary, Nightlife, Sights