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Europe without Shuster

cityfan
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this is the girlfriends and I’s first euro trip together (I had visited normandy once with a guide group) and I know our trip is over encumbered as is so was hoping for some pro advice as to what to cut where to stay longer.

We will be backpacking and budget travelling with probably the global eurail which gives consecutive travel days.

NOTE we will be staying with a friend in Braunschweig, Germany and he will allow us to stay for a week and will take us around northern and mid germany.

Any all advice is appreciated as the stress is mounting

oldlady
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You’re right, this is way too rushed. Things to think about….

Do you have to do a loop? A multi-city flight would save at least a day and might not cost any more. Try flying into someplace in northern Europe and returning from somewhere in southern Europe. See our “cheap flights” for help.

IMO, a global, consecutive day railpass is usually not the best financial choice (although it may be for this too-much-time-on-the-train whirlwind. Look at a select pass for Germany, France, Benelux, Switzerland, Italy and point to point tickets. Ask your friend in Germany about cheap options for train travel.

Possible cuts….

1. Zurich: It’s not in the alps and it’s a city — is that why you included a stop in Switzerland? You’ll need more time if you want to get into the Alps.
2. Visit Either Spain or Italy, not both. My choice would be to cut Spain as it’s more “out of the way” so involves more travel time.
3. Cut one of the major stops in the North — Paris, London, Amsterdam or Brugges.

cityfan
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Thank you for your hasty reply! We do need to do the loop as the tickets are already booked. We have decided to cut out Madrid and Bilbao, as well as, London, but may add Bordeaux. We’ve decided to keep Zurich as we’re avid hikers and would love to hike the regions south of Zurich before we head out to Venice.

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Looks a lot better….

I would add at least 1 more day to Rome — 2 if you want to do a day trip to Pompeii or the coast.

Do you have a specific reason for Marseilles? I’d stay on the Riviera (Nice, Cannes or perhaps cheaper Antibes, Cagnes sur Mer or St. Laurent du Var) or in the Alps Maritime (Vence, St. Paul, La Gaude, St Jeannet) or farther into Provence (Aix, Arles). Marseilles has it good points (good Art museum, great food and wine) but it’s one of the world’s largest freight ports, not necessarily a great tourist visit and there a options for great art museums and great food and wine all over the area.

You will go back through Paris from St. Malo to Brugges, so depending on what you want to see and do, you might be able to do it as a day trip from Paris —avoiding hauling your gear and spending time cycling into, checking out of, and orienting yourself to the neighborhood for one more hostel/hotel.

cityfan
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I guess marseille wasn’t the right choice of places to indicate wanting to see the French Riviera, I had read cassis France had beautiful scenery but I’m sure we can make a day trip out of that from Cannes sur mer, Pompeii is another brilliant addition! Each day leaves the excitement mounting!