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A Month in Western Europe on a Budget?

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Hi all,

This is really more of a hypothetical, get-an-idea sort of post, as I don't plan on going to Europe until November 2011 at the earliest. I'd just like to get a general idea of costs and suggestions. Any help will be really appreciated!

I'm a student, so as you can imagine the budget is pretty tight. I plan on going with my partner for a European Winter. He's never been out of Australia, whereas I lived in Switzerland for 8 years. The places he really wants to visit are Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and London (London is more of an "eh" thing. If we can fit it in for cheap, then sure, but otherwise we don't really mind). I'd really like to go to a couple of nice places that I haven't been to before as well; I'm thinking places like Bruges, Neuschwanstein and places in France. Another thing I'd really like to do is spend a good week or so in Switzerland (specifically Zurich, Geneva, maybe Jungfrau). I'd like to be in Zurich for a few days to catch up with old friends so that's something else to factor in.

So, my main few questions are:
1. When is the best time to go for a snow experience while not being ridiculously priced (I'm guessing Christmas time is pretty expensive)? As we're both uni students, our holidays run from mid-November until mid-February, so anytime there would suit us.

2. How long should we spend in each destination? How many days does it take to explore Amsterdam, Bruges, Berlin, various places in France? Or where else do you suggest we go?

3. I've been investigating Eurail passes and am trying to figure out if they're worth it. The Eurail Global pass is valid for 30 days of travel, but we're not going to that many different countries. The Eurail Select only allows up to 10 days of travel in 4 countries (Benelux, Germany, France, Switzerland). Would 10 days be enough to see everything we want to see? Can you get around many places on foot? Or would point-to-point tickets be cheaper?

4. Can you backpack around Europe in Winter? I.E. can you fit enough changes of warm clothes into a backpack?

And most importantly, how much should we expect to pay to backpack (for me this means staying in hostels, but splurging on Disneyland and a few nice dinners) around Western Europe for a month?

Sorry for the immensely long post!

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