Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

10 days in Europe - itinerary advice needed!

10 days in Europe - itinerary advice needed!

Old Aug 24th, 2013, 09:46 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
10 days in Europe - itinerary advice needed!

Hi all!

I am planning a 10-day trip for the end of September/early October. My itinerary currently looks something like this:

Fly into Copenhagen and spend 2 days/2 nights there, then fly to Berlin and spend 2 days/2 nights there, fly to Brussels and take a train or bus to Bruges, spend the day and night in Bruges, then from Bruges I would like to spend a day and night in Luxembourg but am unsure of transportation. From Luxembourg I want to go to Geneva, then take the golden pass to Interlaken and spend the night there, then onto Lucerne for a night, then Fussen and Salzburg, then end in Vienna.

I realize this is ambitious, but I would really like to get a glimpse at all these places. I am not trying to see Brussels or Geneva, they are just ways to get to Bruges and Interlaken/Lucerne. Any advice on how to improve my itinerary and on traveling between cities would be greatly appreciated!
cr888 is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2013, 10:19 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Too heavy for me to suggest anything except miss Luxembourg and go straight to Geneva. Why not take the overnight train from Bruges, you need as much time as possible to do all that you have planned.
davwhite is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 05:28 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What you have outlined is a 2.5 to 3 week trip. You do not have 2 days anywhere - you have not allowed for travel times - and will have 1 or even a part of 1 day in each place.

Frankly this is a tour of the train stations and airports of europe - nothing more.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 08:11 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 12,404
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree that this itinerary is much too ambitious.

Have you taken into account the time that you will spend checking out of your hotel, getting to your next destination, checking in, etc.?

I'd at least skip Luxembourg.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 08:46 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 493
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Let me be subtle about this cr888, your plan sucks.

Let me ask you a question. What do you want to get out of your time? Is it to make the most of your time in terms of seeing/doing things or is it to check off as many names as you can?

The common phrase people use is 'I want to see as much as possible.' The operative word in that sentence is 'much'. The word 'much' is not synonymous with the word 'many'. But many people seem to confuse those two words when it comes to planning travel.

The way to see/do as 'much' as possible is to spend your time IN places, not in BETWEEN places. In travel, less is always more. Move less, see/do more.

With 10 days I would not suggest trying to visit more than 3 places including your arrival and departure points. It is of course your time to use wisely or waste as you wish.
Improviser is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 08:53 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,457
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree, you haven't allowed for travel time, and that will be fatal to this itinerary unless you only want to set foot in these places so you can say you were there.

You can economize time between Copenhagen and Berlin by taking the night train, and I'd recommend it, as you have no time to spare. There's a direct train that leaves at 18:46 and gets in at 6:38.

Your flight from Berlin to Brussels will take half a day (at best) by the time you get to the airport, get checked in an hour or more ahead of your flight, fly, then get from the airport to Bruxelles-Midi station, where you will still have an hour on the train to Bruges. That's even if you get a very early flight. So you'll have only a half day (at best) and an evening in Bruges, and it will be time to leave.

It's 4.5 hours by fastest connection to Luxembourg, so once again, half a day gone.

From Luxembourg to Geneve, it's 7 hours by fastest routing with multiple train changes, and that's if you leave at 5:42 - an earlier start than I would make. With that early of a start, you should have time for the Golden Pass in daylight, but if you want to leave at a more reasonable hour - say 7:30 - you won't be in Geneva until 3:15, making that a dicier proposition.

Then you run into trouble getting to Fussen, since it's 5:50 between Luzern and Fussen. I assume your aim in going to Fussen is to see King Ludwig's castles, but I don't see that being possible when you aren't able to start until 1:00 or later (if you leave Luzern at 6:10 and skip lunch).

It's 4 hours to Salzburg, so once again, a bit less than half a day there.

Then 2.5 hours to Vienna.

I hope the problem has now become quite evident to you. You will be hard-pressed (or find it impossible) to see the major sights when you will have only half a day or less in places. And, you will be spending more than a third of your time in transit to other places. Moving around that much is also expensive. Is that much travel time and expense a good use of your precious vacation time and money?

I don't think skipping Luxembourg will fix your problems. I would drop Fussen, or else I would skip Vienna and fly home from Munich.
artsnletters is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 08:55 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,457
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just to be clear, I would skip both Luxembourg and Fussen.

Or I would skip Bruges and Luxembourg.
artsnletters is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 09:32 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,276
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glimpse is the right word!! Silly itinerary, and actually, why choose some of these places to "glimpse". Have you glimpsed other places in Europe? I'm feeling a tug here.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 10:11 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi cr888,

mm - I think you'll have gathered that this gets the thumbs down from everyone here.

so let's be positive - what can we rescue from the ideas you've got?

first question - are your flights booked? if so, we'll need to work with flying into Copenhagen, and out of Vienna [presumably, but who knows with an itinerary like this?]

if not, 3 places [into one and out of another, with one place in between] would be the max I'd go for.
annhig is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 10:31 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Again and again a similar itinerary consultation pop ups. On one hand I appareciate the
Interest in traveling all over , visiting many places on the other hand I have to wonder
how difficult it seems for some travelers to prioritize .
May be it is our culture? ....lack of geography knowledge? .....
May be I am missing something ,in such a limited trip why would anyone be interested in spending one day and night in Luxemburg, no disrespect , but unless is something personal I cannot figure it out.
Although we live in a culture with so much technology at the tip of our hands it seems there is a lot of disconnection from reality.
Graziella5b is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 10:42 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,348
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
When you recalibrate everything - which you must do - you need to factor in that 1 night in a place doesn't equal 1 day, and 2 nights doesn't get you 2 days.

For instance your first stop in Copenhagen -- two nights. You will have a small part of one day that will be mostly eaten up by recovering from jet lag/transfers/checking in/just acclimating and an early night. Then you'll have the 2nd day free - but probably still tired.

Then your 'one day' in Bruges is really a couple of hours. You have to pack up, get to teh airport, check in early, fly to Brussels, train to Bruges, find your hotel -- and have time for dinner. That is about it.

So start over . . .
janisj is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 11:06 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For train info - great sites IMO - www.seat61.com (great info on discounted tickets that however often must be booked weeks/months in advance to secure as they are sold in limited numbers and often cannot be rrefunded nor changed; www.ricksteves.com and www.siwsstravelsystem.com - even a few days in Switzerland can make a Swiss Pass or Swiss Card or Half-Off Card wortwhile (www.swisstravelsystem.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 03:30 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are also overnight trains between Copenhagen and Berlin and Berlin and Brussels (or at least GermanY) to consider - saves time and the cost of a hotel - air takes a half-day minimum as janis points out - and if you threw those two train trips in a Eurail Select Saverpass may become more than cost effective and save if go allb by rail and not flying - unless you of course get some super-duper cheap flight.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 05:15 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 265
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
++ Graziella5b! I am amazed how anyone can even consider doing 6 countries in 10 days. And many times the 10 days include the day they leave home to the day they return home. No offense cr888, you are most certainly not alone, but its like a broken record around here.
Toucan is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2013, 06:07 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,014
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think it was far easier in some ways to plan a reasonable trip before the Internet, and when most people were educated to read maps (including scale, which is a concept that seems to have passed over at least a couple of generations), understand geography and, well, just READ.....guidebooks, travel histories, and the like. Everyone nowadays thinks they can just go online, book an airfare, and tool around like crazy to this place and that. We're not getting better at planning travel, we're getting worse and worse the more technology we have.

Back in the days when you pinned a huge map of Europe on your wall and put push-pins in to the places you wanted to travel to, and knew the scale of the map and the distances between them, and read the books that told you what there was to see there, and consulted Cook's train tables, it was actually a lot easier and more sensible. Now everyone wants to toodle around everywhere in a heartbeat, as though travel were like tweeting or texting and just moving from this place to that in a heartbeat.

Add to that the sad situation of education in America and it's a recipe for disaster. European and Asian kids have a far better grip on the realities of travel.
StCirq is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2013, 07:57 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
and the echo St Cirq's salient IMO observations the plethora of travel options on trains and planes within Europe now makes it even more taxing - trying to pin down the cheapest train ticket which means it must be booked in stone months in advance - whereas before if you were traveling more than a few long trains some kind of railpass was the automatic panacea where you could hop on and off any train anytime - now in some key countries railpass holders need seat reservations before boarding and in France at least it may even be impossible many times to use a pass on TGV trains as passholder seats are strictly limited in number, etc.

Oh well just call me a Luddite but bring back simplicity!
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2013, 08:11 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,350
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
StCirq...I agree wholeheartedly.

New travelers would do themselves a huge favor by spending the $4.99 on a giant Europe Map and some pushpins, as their very first planning tool.

The planning phase for our three month trip around Europe involved a giant map and pushpins, colored highlighters and paper lists. Yes it sounds like a very antiquated way to plan, but it worked wonderfully.

Preliminary planning this way allowed me to see the groupings of places, the distances etc. The Loire and Dordogne were no longer just names in a book, they were an exact locations in France, relative to Paris. The Mosel and Rhine weren't just two rivers in Germany, they were a 1/2 day travel between them etc etc.

Without a real map to see these things you have no real perspective as to the distances and time involved to get from here to there. Here in the US we always hear how small the countries in Europe are and how you can pop between countries with ease, as if you were going from state to state here. I think this is taken the wrong way and many interpret it incorrectly: thinking you can hop from country to country in a matter of an hour or two.

The internet is an invaluable tool for planning, but only after you review a map and gain a real understanding of the distances involved.
michele_d is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2013, 08:14 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well I am a semi-Luddite. But I find many online tools helpful - once you have an overall idea of the scope of a trip.

But agree you do need to start with a map, details on distances and travel times and some clue as to what you wnt to see/do in each place.

I think part of the problem is to people from a rural area or small town the concept of it taking 45 minutes or an hour to get from one side of a city to another is very foreign. They are used to hop in a car and be anywhere in 5 minutes. And if you haven;t flown - and are unfamiliar with the check-in, security, screening, waiting, landing, taxiing, treking through terminal, waiting for luggage, etc - you may think a 2 hour flight takes 2 hours - instead of 5 or 6.

I always reco people take a look at the Michelin green guides. Yes, they are dense and detailed (why I love them) but they also give you the time needed to see a sight - so you know it's 3 hours and not 30 minutes unless you just want to walk past the front.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2013, 08:19 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,276
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
St.C. What a great comment. And I have often recommended "get a map and connect the dots" to posters. And what you described is exactly how we did our trips!! Trip down memory lane.
But now it IS fun to plan (realistically) with the internet--and guide books also.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2013, 09:30 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sadly it looks as if the OP has disappeared, never to benefit from our great advice!
annhig is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information