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May Euro trip help!!-- Rome, Barcelona, Figueres, Dublin, Galway!
Lyndseyxx
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Hey! So I’ve been dying to do a Euro Trip. I spent the majority of last winter scouring travel books, sites, and anything else I could get my hands on. I decided upon a handful of places to hit in May. I get off from college the 2nd of May and am willing to travel up until the 24th or so.

I was leaning more or so the 8th to the 23rd (dates can be flexible).

Would it be plausible to hit Rome, Italy first. Then fly to Barcelona to spend time there and take a day trip to Figueres to see Salvador Dalí`s museum. Then I would fly to Ireland to see friends from the summer who live there. I would like to fly into Galway then but if Dublin is cheaper, I`d gladly take that route as well.

Any recommendations/tips/feedback concerning my travel plans would be much appreciated! I am an 18 year old girl with a bit of european traveling experience. I am fairly fluent in Spanish…. unfortunately not so much in Italian!

thanks!

Lyndsey

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mim
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That’s a lot of flying, but doable, I guess. Check prices as you might be spending a lot of money on flights.

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Ravidel
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Hey Lyndsey,

If Rome, Barcelona and Ireland (somewhere specific-ish) are the three places you’re interested in, then that’s what you should go for! As mim says, that’s a fair amount of flying… assuming you don’t mind the flying itself, just understand that each flying day of travel is basically a write-off (not completely, but that’s how I would plan). But yes, check flight prices… www.skyscanner.net is great for this.

May I ask why you’re thinking of not leaving until the 8th? Personally, I would leave as soon as possible… a large part of the expense is getting over to Europe so you might as well maximize your time there (assuming you’re not already in Europe).

Anyway, check out skyscanner for flight prices and play around with different dates and different destinations — sometimes it’s a lot cheaper to fly somewhere nearby then train to where you want to go.

Lyndseyxx
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Thanks so much for the comments!!!!

I ended up flopping the trip around. I cannot leave until the 13th now because my friend isnt out of college until the 10th. Is this still an ample amount of time, in your opinion, for me to see the destinations I have set out but not be frustrated?

From Rome to Barcelona I will be taking a ferry (Grimaldi ferries) so that would be a night or so.
Only from Barcelona to Ireland will I be flying

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oldlady
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So you have 10 days (perhaps as few as 8 if your 10 includes your Transatlantic flights) and are trying to hit 3 widely scattered countries? Frustrated will be an understatement.

clevelandbrown
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You might consider including a stop at Cadaques with your visit to Figueres to see Dali’s home; it is as interesting as the museum. That makes for a fairly long day-trip. Train to Figueres and bus to Cadaques; we were there in January, when the winter schedules didn’t work with the train, so we took a tour, which turned out to be pretty good.

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Lyndseyxx, would it be possible for you to fly out say on the 5th or 6th, and have your friend meet up with you in Barcelona a week later? It’s really not feasible (in my opinion) to do Rome, Barcelona and Ireland in 10 days (less including inter-country travel). Just a thought…

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The other thing you might want to ask… is it really worth doing this trip at this time still? I obviously know nothing at all about your financial situation, nor how much the cost of your overseas flights are, nor if you’d have any other opportunities to travel in the not-to-distant future — so these are things you need to ask yourself. But at least from Canada, the flight over to Europe is usually a big chunk of the cost of the trip (and the shorter the trip, the bigger the chunk it is), and it’s something I probably wouldn’t do unless I knew I had a few weeks to spend in Europe. Is there time at the end of summer you could go? Forget what everyone says about not traveling in July/August… from personal experience, it’s nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be.

Anyway, I’m not trying to discourage you if it’s something you think would be worth it for you. Just giving you another consideration… good luck!

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The only true days I would be flying would be the flight to Rome, the flight to dublin, and the flight to america. I found cheap one way flights to each place and wont spend over 1,200 for transportation even with ferry included.

Ive loads of friends all over Ireland so transportation and getting around there will be the cheapest considering I`ll be staying with most of them and they have cars.

Rome will definitely be the most expensive so I didnt want to spend alot of time there. I know its virtually impossible to see the entire city—i just want to touch on the main parts.

Id have three nights in Rome and catch a ferry mid day on the 17 to barcelona. Enjoy the ferry/cruise for the night which is Grimaldi Ferrys and then get into Barcelona and stay for 5 nights with a flight some time to Dublin ireland on the 23rd which shouldnt be a lengthy flight at all. Then I would float around ireland until the 29th when id fly home.

Is it really that absurd? I`m concerned hah

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Lyndseyxx
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sorry changed my dates around from the 13th to the 29th (possibly the until the 30th) of May

that added a few days onto my trip to incorporate traveling days

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Haha yeah, I (and I think oldlady) were working under the assumption that you were still coming back on the 23rd. So 13th-23rd (especially given travel time) would be pretty absurd for what you had planned. Based on that updated info, I’d just say a couple of things:

  • Rome isn’t THAT expensive (in fact, compared to North America, it’s still incredibly cheap), unless you plan to stay and eat at higher end places (in which case anywhere is expensive). If your reason for not staying in Rome longer is cost, I would highly, highly recommend revising your itinerary and staying longer. Rome is an absolutely amazing city (at least I thought so), especially in comparison to…
  • Barcelona. If there are specific things in Barcelona/Spain that you’re interested in or want to see, then ignore me Smile. I went to Barcelona for 3 nights because I heard tons of people rave about it… I never saw the appeal. I thought the party scene was very bland (I actually found Rome had a better party scene ) and I had no personal interest in the art and architecture of Barcelona. Like I say though, that’s me, so completely ignore me if there’s something you know appeals to you!
  • In terms of flight times (say Barcelona – Dublin), it’s not just the length of the flight, it’s also the transit time to and from the airport, the amount of time you have to arrive early at the airport, waiting for your baggage (unless you don’t have to check it), etc. Similarly, ferries can (and often are) delayed by a bit, there’s travel time to and from the ports, etc. Your itinerary is certainly doable, but you shouldn’t count on doing too much during those travel days.
  • Finally, make sure 5 days in Ireland is enough for you. I know for me, more than anything else, time with friends absolutely flies by. If these are people you have a lot of fun with, you might regret not spending more time with them. Again, just a thought Smile
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Do you have any recommendations for Rome? I`m more than happy to take any advice or critiques! I`m actually a fairly big art junkie & happened to find a Barcelona bike tour So looking forward to that! Its true I would love to spend more time in Ireland,,,but Ive been there before! I feel like I`d be skimping myself if i cut more time to be in Ireland versus places I have never been. I was in Ireland for st patricks day last March and visited everyone then! My main target for Ireland is Galway since I have yet to visit my friends there on the west coast.

I will definitely take your recomendatiion to spent a bit more time in Rome! I`d assume you`d think I should maybe cut my stay a little shorter in Barcelona. I do plan on studying abroad in Spain so getting around spain in the future shouldnt be a problem (:

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I absolutely love Barcelona, but I would probably drop a day there and spend it in Rome. I don’t see two flights within Europe to be a big deal, and I would much rather grab a morning flight from Rome to Barcelona than spend so much time in transit. I’ve landed in Barcelona, gotten my bag, and been at my hotel in less than an hour.

Lyndseyxx
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Mkay so drop a day in Rome and instead of taking a ferry, take a flight from Rome to Barcelona to save time? Won`t it take awhile to go through customs again from Rome to barcelona or would it be the same as the ferry?

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Yeah, I’d give Rome an extra day. You won’t have to clear customs again.

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As for suggestions for Rome, I’m definitely not an expert, but I just found the city fascinating. There are tons of “famous” things to see, the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, Spanish Steps, the Vatican, and a bunch of Plazas whose names I can’t remember. Everything is absolutely breathtaking (and again, I’m not a person who raves about everything).

A couple specific suggestions I’d make:

  • Plan a day for the Vatican and take a guided tour. I’m not much of a tour person, I think it was the only guided tour I did in 2.5 months in Europe, but it was absolutely worth it. Oh, and climb up the dome – the postcard view is worth it.
  • Get up eaaaarly one day (I think I was going by 4:30am, maybe 5am… as long as its daylight) and walk around. There was nothing quite like having Trevi fountain, the outside of the Pantheon, or the outside of the Coliseum almost to myself. Plus, if you end up at the Coliseum, you can go in and wander around before it really gets crowded.
  • Go wander around the outside of the Coliseum at night (anytime after sunset). It’s beautiful to see at night and is also relatively un-busy.
  • WALK around. After you’ve walked somewhere the first time, the subway is okay… but the core of Rome isn’t that big and there’s something awesome at every corner.
  • The unofficial Rome pub crawl is a LOT of fun (in fact, I thought it was much better than the rather famous Amsterdam pub crawl) if that’s your scene at all. It seems quite sketchy at first since it’s all hush hush because pub crawls were banned in Rome. But a lot of fun. Swim in one of the fountains (illegal) after if you’re feeling up to it.
  • Google “Top 10 things to do in Rome” for other suggestions… there’s soooo much to do Smile

Hope that helps a bit!

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In Rome, we found St. Peters and the Vatican Museum to be extremely crowded, to the point where you had to fight to get close enough to the Pieta to see it. The Sistine chapel was also very crowded, but if you take a seat on the benches around the edge and wait a bit, you get a good view; it appeared most people just walked through, bumping into each other since they were all looking at the ceiling.

Michelangelo’s Moses, by contrast, was almost alone. It is in another church named, if I recall correctly, St. Peters. It’s well worth finding. San Pietro in Vincoli, I just looked it up.

We also enjoyed some of the Piazas (Navona was nice) and Campo de Fiori.

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Lyndseyxx
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Ravidel that sounds fabulous!

I have been doing quite a bit of research on things to do in Rome and you`ve definitely confirmed atleast 4 things I was planning on doing/seeing ALTHOUGH I had no idea about the Rome pub crawl? Is that organized through anything or are there merely many little bars/pubs up against one another.

I am fairly tempted to get into the trevi fountain….Shakira did it! haha

But it seems there are more things to do in Rome than Barcelona?
Im considering just adding another day or two onto my trip so I dont have to cut time in any country Smile

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ALSO, I do speak a decent amount of Spanish but I speak NO italian whatsoever, other than a few words that I`d assume most Americans would know.

Was it difficult getting around Rome being a native English speaker knowing no italian, this said assuming you`re in the same boat as me without any italian!

I do plan on learning some key phrases since languages are something that click with me and even if I cant answer their questions, the people will know what I need/want/am thinking!

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You will have no trouble getting around Rome in “English only.”. Knowing a few phrases is a nice and polite thing to do and you may get better, more pleasant service. However, you could easily navigate tourist Rome in English without ever uttering a single word in Italian.

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The Rome pub crawl won’t be advertised really because, like I say, pub crawls are technically banned in Rome (or at least that’s what I was told when I was there). That doesn’t mean you’re doing anything illegal — just the people organizing it. Depending on where you’re staying (do you have a hostel chosen?), they’ll probably know about it there.

It’s very similar to the more well known Amsterdam/Prague pub crawls. You pay 20 euros, go to a bar for a couple of hours of all you can drink (in Rome they had drinking games, body shots, etc. going) and then they take you to a couple of clubs (usually you get a free shot at each club). I was in Rome for 5 days and actually went on the pubcrawl twice… both times were awesome. I was there in high season, so I’m not sure what the numbers were like in May, but there must have been 100+ people each night. Of course, all of these people are backpackers, so this definitely isn’t a cultural experience… is a TON of fun though.

I did have more fun doing that then the party scene in Barcelona. I found that Barcelona was exactly like Toronto (where I live now), except Barcelona parties from 2-7 instead of 10-2. (Oh, and Barcelona clubs you’ll end up with people smoking on the dance floor and burning you with cigarette butts.)

Oh, as to your other question, I don’t speak any Italian and I got around Rome absolutely fine. If you’re from a city with a subway or used a subway system in any major city, you’ll have no problem at all navigating the Rome one. And other than some subway hopping, I was able to walk everywhere else I wanted to go.

This is also really cheesy, but another possibility if you’re looking for things to do/see in Rome.. read the Da Vinci code (Dan Brown) if you haven’t already. Don’t take it seriously, obviously, but many of the places in the book are pretty cool/worth seeing (I didn’t pay to go in, but I liked walking around Castel Sant’Angelo).

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I’m going to Rome and Barcelona this summer as well, and I was wondering what hostels you guys would suggest. Also, thanks for all the info Ravidel, it’s nice to get suggestions from a fellow Torontonian Smile

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I ended up staying at a hostel in Rome by the train station — was decent enough, but I’m sure you can find something better.

You can pretty much count on any hostel on http://www.famoushos… to be a well-equipped, great atmosphere party hostel. I can vouch for Kabul hostel in Barcelona, which is where I stayed. And if I was to go back to Rome, I’d probably take my own advice and book Alessandro Palace (NOT the Downtown one) from that site.

If you’re looking for something other than a party hostel (say, in a specific location, or you want some time to wind down, etc.), www.hostelz.com is my favourite site. Usually the reviews/ratings are fairly accurate.

Ryfela, you should keep me updated on what your itinerary is for this summer. I’m doing a Scandinavia/Central/Eastern Europe trip this summer, so I’ll be in Czech Republic, Austria, Budapest and Croatia… maybe we’ll have some overlap.

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Yea, the famous hostels are good, I stayed at the St Christopher’s in Edinburgh and it was great. I keep hearing about the Kabul hostel in Barcelona, I’m defiantly going to check it out.

Hostelz.com is great for reviews I totally agree, it’s nice to see reviews from both hostelworld and hostelbookers.

I’m most likely my “Eurotrip 2012” route in my signature so anytime there’s some overlap we can meet up.

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clevelandbrown wrote:
You might consider including a stop at Cadaques with your visit to Figueres to see Dali’s home; it is as interesting as the museum. That makes for a fairly long day-trip. Train to Figueres and bus to Cadaques; we were there in January, when the winter schedules didn’t work with the train, so we took a tour, which turned out to be pretty good.

I second this advice.

Don’t just make this trip about museums. Part of the Spain or Mediterranean experience is the towns, the architecture, the squares, the coasts, the way of life, the sounds, the feel of the place.


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