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16 replies
itinerary help! 2 weeks western europe
sonny202
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Hi,
Me and my wife both 25 plan to visit europe on August. we plan to see Amsterdam,Brussels,Paris, Milan, Rome, piza, munich,and back to amsterdam. spending 1-2 days in each city and taking overnight trains.
I need your advice where to guide me with a good itinerary, and which place is worth staying more, or less. BTW I am passing switzerland in train, do you think its a good idea to take day train. I have heard its a great view.
Thank you.
Any tip is greatly appreciated.

jdsully8
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if it were me, i would either go to half the places you want to go to or make your trip twice as long and go to all of them. also, you might not be able to take that many overnight trains since you can get around europe so much, so you might have to spend some of your day time on the train. good luck.

gbtlj
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I agree with jdsully8, 7 cities in 14 days is a bit much. You will be extremely tired from travelling so much. Everyone will give you different suggestions, so heres mine.

I would never plan a trip where everynight you are on a night train. You are not always guaranteed a good nights rest (person next to you snooring). My friend went last year and because their carriage was packed, they couldn’t put the beds all the way down so they ended up sitting upright for 10 hours.

Also maybe consider an openjaw flight where you may fly into Amsterdam and out of Rome. With your short trip time, that may save travel time.

I think about 4-5 days per city is good (depending on the city, and including travelling). So a 14day trip could be 3 or 4 cities depending on how far the cities are apart and the method of travelling.

For a rough example for you:
Day 1 – Flying. You loose 1 day travelling.
Day 2,3 – Amsterdam
Day 4 – Travel Amsterdam to Paris on Thayles train. Train is about 4.5 hours. Bypass Brussels and go directly to Paris. Nothing to see/do in Brussels (Bruges is beautiful).
Day 4,5,6 – Paris / Versaille
Option 1) Day 7 – Night train from Paris to Pisa – (est 10 hours), OR
Option 2) Day 7 – Flight to Pisa (est 1.5 hour)
Day 8,9,10 – Pisa (Though I would pick Florence over Pisa Smile)
Day 10 – Train from Pisa to Rome (est 2.5 hours).
Day 11,12,13 – Rome
Day 14 – Fly out of Rome. (Many flights from Rome back to the USA leave before noon).

Just my 2c Smile

sparks
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switzerland on a day train? is that all u can manage?
dont do it!
u will weep!
my g/f did and she just about jumped out of the train …
all she has for her album is a couple of pics with her gazing wistfully out of the window clutching a toblerone choc bar..
unless ur from the canadian rockies…then switzerland, in my opinion, is heaven on earth

but i agree with all here..cut down the number of cities…get to know each one a bit better..
i have also rushed thru places when i was younger..and its not worth it…i have gone back to many but i do wish i had spent more time the first time when i was single and kidless…
ur going during the peak …really busy …really hot..thats going to be taxing..u could well wipe urself out and not absorb as much
have a look at some travel brochure itineraries…they have some excellent routes u can follow
close in on a tighter loop of regions or do the open jaw as gbtlj suggests
theres just too much travelling as it stands and rememeber that its not just the travelling time..its the getting to the station etc..the waiting…its not touring time..and psychologically its daunting to be on the move all the time..carrying ur packs in the heat…
three full days in each city is what id be aiming at
perhaps concentrate on italy?
venice florence/pisa as day trip rome maybe duck down to naples to go see pompeii isle of capri and sorrento?
if ur really set on these places
then id do
amsterdam two days
skip brussels
three days paris ( more!)
havent been to milan so cant comment
florence (instead of pisa two days.one for florence ..one day trip out to pisa
rome three/ four days fly home
it is so nice to be able to stay put for a while and have a base rather than moving all the time
good luck ..have fun

sonny202
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Thank you all for your suggestions.
SPARKS, actually I am from Canadian Rockies, Calgary, Canada. I knew its kind of crazy to go to all these cities but I just couldnt rule out any of them. I cant set an openjaw flight since I am taking a charter flight, and its only got direct to amsterdam.
I will rearange my itinerary based on your advice.

sparks
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lucky lucky u >..calgary!!!
i wonder how canadians perceive the beauty of the alps
(the italian dolomites are great too)
consider visiting new zealand and australia one of these days and see how it compares to ur own sweet sweet homeland!
have a wonderful time both of u !!

nivid
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I agree that it’s too much for such a short trip. I know it’s hard to rule some places out, but i’ve had to do it twice. So, whenever I make my 3rd trip back to Europe, i’m going to make sure I see those places that have been left behind the first 2 times around.

quote:i wonder how canadians perceive the beauty of the alps

Sparks, I was amazed by the Alps, and I think I could have stayed there forever. I may be Canadian too, but I live on the opposite side of the country from the Rockies (it’s mostly flat and hilly). I’m making my first trip out there in less than 2 months!!!!!! I really can’t wait.

sparks
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ur going to the rockies, Nivid?
id be interested to hear how u feel about them after switzerland..
i spent more time in canada than i did in switzerland but i sti ll cant decide where id rather be..theyre my twin loves!!
sonny, if the train trip is all u can do thru switzerland ..do it..just so u know what people are raving about!

Adeelie
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I am just going to preface this by saying that everyone has very specific opinions on what constitutes a Europe 101 trip, as you seem to be doing. My travel philosophy (and I think most experienced travelers will agree) is to NOT try and pack in too many things. Like people said, you end up spending most of the time traveling, and in the end, it’s all a blur because you were in too many places for too short a time. I agree with gbtlj’s itinerary suggestion. However, I have found that getting cheap flights out of Paris (gbtlj suggested taking a flight from Paris to Pisa or Florence) is nearly impossible. Good luck if you can find one, I never could, and it was very irritating because I found myself taking the Eurostar to London more than once just to get a cheap flight on Ryanair or Easy jet to get to other parts of Europe. Paris to Pisa is a very long train ride (and expensive). I would suggest:

Amsterdam (you could also fly into Paris instead, see which city is cheaper to fly into, generally more flights fly into Paris, so you might find a better deal flying there first)
3 days in Amsterdam, including a daytrip to Delft
Paris 4 days
London (via Eurostar) 4 days
Pisa/Florence (via either Ryanair or Easyjet, I can’t remember which one) 3 days, incuding a half day to Fiesole. Florence is tiny, but there is a lot to see, but you’ll spend a full day just waiting online at the Ufitizi (buy tickets in advance, especially if you’re going in August)

Pisa is a 30 miunte city, you see the leaning tower, and then you take the train right to Florence.

And just remember, in August everyong is doing the exact same thing that you are, so expect lines everywhere and make sure you pace yourself becuase it will be hot too!

Have a great trip!

p.s.
Next time, try and go just one month later. It makes a huge difference.

sonny202
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OK, I finally found an open jaw with reasonable price. I will arrive at Frankfurt on August 2nd, and return from Amsterdam on 19th.
I plan to spend 4-5 days in Italy and 4-5 days in France (Paris). I really can’t make up my mind, because the more I read the forum, the more places I like to visit. So please help me. In Italy which is the best itinerary? 3 days Rome and one day in Pisa and Florence (if possible) ? shall I rule out Milan? Also in france, shall I make a stop in Nice or just spend 4 days in Paris. Like I said, I have to be in Delft (Netherlands) on 14-16 after that I have 2 more days. What is the best city or place to visit in Netherlands?
Thank you ALL for your great help.

alluries
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Hi First time we (4)are going to europe for 8 days. what is the best way to see these places ——- France, England, italy, switzerland. I am flying from LAX to London. Departs from london. Pleasew suggest me the economical and fast way to see these places

nivid
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quote: ur going to the rockies, Nivid?
id be interested to hear how u feel about them after switzerland..
i spent more time in canada than i did in switzerland but i sti ll cant decide where id rather be..theyre my twin loves!!

Yeah sparks, i’m heading to the Rockies around the end of June/1st of July. It will be my first time on the West side of Canada. I really love mountains, and I never ever see them where I live. Hence, my love for the Alps.

I’ll let you know what I think of them when I return. I love the Swiss Alps soo soo much, so the Rockies are gonna have to be good to compare. It’s good that i’ll be in the Rockies around the same time of year that I was in Switzerland, so i’ll be able to compare them directly.

gbtlj
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Sonny,

Considering that your trip time (outside of Netherlands) is
August 3 – Aug 13 (10 days), I suggest you keep your trip down to 2 maybe 3 cities/areas. Anything more will be cumbersome and a lot of travelling.

Milan is a very industrial city, I’d scratch it.

How do you plan to travel between cities (train, plane, etc)? Example, Frankfurt to Rome is about an 14 hour train ride.

What sort of things do you like to do / see? This information can help people suggest places to go.

sparks
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Nivid..watch The Edge b4 u go…. u know the movie with anthony hopkins and one of the baldwin bros and aussie elle macpherson and the poor ole bear?… it was filmed in banff national park…it was on us tv one night after i got back from canada..it was so good to see the scenery again
(sorry this thread should be moved to another ‘booth’ lol)
ok back to Sonny…
frankfurts not a happening place but i guess if its the only way out for u take it
4-5 days in italy…id do the rome thing for three and florence one and fit in pisa
pity u cant squeeze in venice cos thats a city that really will stand out on its own but ur spreading urself thinly as it is

might as well do paris thoroughly ..base urslef there and do ur daytrips…chance to really absorb it all

streeeeeeeeeeeeeesssss fullllllllllllllllll aint it!!!!!!

nivid
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quote:Nivid..watch The Edge b4 u go…. u know the movie with anthony hopkins and one of the baldwin bros and aussie elle macpherson and the poor ole bear?… it was filmed in banff national park…it was on us tv one night after i got back from canada..it was so good to see the scenery again
(sorry this thread should be moved to another ‘booth’ lol)

Will do Sparks

I agree this is just a little off topic, but what are ya gonna do?

sonny202
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Sparks
Stressful? This is crazy. I am thinking about a good itinerary for 10 days and the more I think the more I get confused.

GBTLJ,
Thanks for the advice. Ok, Milan ruled out. so here is what I have in mind
2 August Arrive in Frankfurt
3or 4 Aug Fra-Rome by air
base in Rome for
day trips to pisa and florence (dont know the train ticket price)
8 Aug Rome- Paris by air
stay in Paris til 13th
day train to amsterdam, where I will stay for a few days and return.
How is it?
I checked the air fares and it looks pretty cheaper than buying a rail pass and reserving the trains. less stress full too.
I realy apreciate your advice and help.
Thanx

nivid
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Sparks,

I bought my ticket last week, and i’ll be off to the Rockies in about a month and a half. I’ll make sure I get lots of pics, so I can show them off to ya.