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-   -   10 European Cities in 3 weeks (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/10-european-cities-in-3-weeks-834883/)

christiana_ako Apr 9th, 2010 02:12 AM

10 European Cities in 3 weeks
 
Is it craziness to plan a Euro Trip for 3 weeks, see 10 cities every 2-3 days?

I'm travelling from May 29 - June 19 to these cities
Milan-Venice-Cologne-Amsterdam-Brussels-Brugge-Paris-Madrid-Barcelona-Rome

I need useful tips on places to go, clothing, rail passes and getting around.

Thank you!

travelfan1 Apr 9th, 2010 03:15 AM

You asked! I think it's crazy considering the cities you have listed. You'll spend a good portion of your trip just traveling between destinations. Are you trying to cross cities off of a 'must see' list? I leave in two weeks for a 17 day trip and we're not leaving Italy.

What is in each of your destinations that makes you want to travel there?

Slow down a little instead of doing an amazing race...but that's just my opinion.

isabel Apr 9th, 2010 03:20 AM

Yes of course it is. Twenty days and ten cities is only two days each, not counting travel between. So essentially you'd be spending just about half your vacation traveling. Certainly possible but most people would not find it at all enjoyable. You would probably find yourself frustrated that you'd get somewhere and then have to leave again without time to see anything. And travel between cities is more tiring than sightseeing so the whole vacation would be completely unrelaxing.

I'm not a "slow" traveler - I do like to move around on most trips, and I find nothing wrong with one or two night stays - as long as they are mixed in with longer stays. But your plan doesn't make sense - you are literally all over the map. At most I'd pick three areas/countries. Then you can do more than one city in each if you want. If you haven't bought your tickets yet then do open jaw - don't fly both into and out of Italy. Put it at one end. Of the cities you mention (I've been to all of them) Milan and Cologne have the least interesting sites so I would drop them. A week split between Rome and Venice with a day trip or two to smaller towns is good. Then I pick either Spain or Belgium/Amsterdam for a week, and then a week in Paris. Most people on this board will tell you even that is too much (and I agree but I'm trying to consider your original plan).

lmhornet Apr 9th, 2010 03:21 AM

Do you think that the world is your mother? Get off your lazy behind and do your own reseach.

If people want information about a specific place or plan, that's one thing. But it's amazing thew number of similar posts that appear on these boards. People unwilling to putout the energy required to read a book or do a simple search expect everyone else to spoon feed them answers to everything. The only thing worse is people who respond to such posts and reinforce their their laziness.

christiana_ako Apr 9th, 2010 03:37 AM

travelfan1, i feel like this is once in a lifetime chance to go to Europe so I want to grab the chance to see everything. too much right? I guess I can cross out Milan and Brugge.

The more days I spend in a city, the more I get lazy to go around. I only want to see the best spots, anyway.

I wish I had more time like you!

flanneruk Apr 9th, 2010 03:48 AM

You're unlikely to get many useful replies about this question. There's a strong Fodorist Correctness lobby that will just tell you you're crazy, without spending a second wondering what and why you're trying to do.

Far more useful than asking this question, I'd suggest you do the following:

1. Sketch out your detailed timetable by train, using www.bahn.de
2. For journeys over 200 miles, do the same by cheap flights, using www.whichbudget.com
3. Make sensible assumptions about how long it'll take to get to and from airports and railway stations, and to wait for bags.
4. Having done this: ask yourself whether you can see what you want to see comfortably (you've decided you want to see Brussels. So you must have some idea why. And if it's just to gawp at the Mannekinpiss, 10 minutes is more than sufficient). If not, prune.
5. At that point, you'll have an itinerary you're comfortable with - and that's the only opinion that counts. Now come back for advice about specifics.

Ask a specific question here, and you'll get useful advice Ask something that invites unsolicited opinions about how to organise your life and you'll decide your mother in law is a quiet, self-effacing, mine of positive joy by comparison.

christiana_ako Apr 9th, 2010 03:50 AM

Hi Isabel. My aunt lives in Cologne so I really have to go there. I only bought my plane ticket JED-ROM-JED and the rest is up to me if I want to stay in one place. I would conisder your advice, I'm staying 5 nights in Paris, 3 nights each in Rome and Barcelona, 2 nights on the rest of the cities that require 2-3 hours train travel. I'm not bringing a lot so I can travel easily. Now I'm considering crossing out another city! :) Thanks!


Hi Imhornet, thanks for your email but you didn't have to be rude. One or two tips will do from a fellow traveller. Don't think I don't do my own research.

christiana_ako Apr 9th, 2010 03:57 AM

Hi flanneruk, I will visit the sites you gave. I don't see the importance of seeing the Mannekinpiss, there are so many like that in Manila. I can even see it live.

I really like your response! Thanks :)

And from now on I would be more specific with my topic and questions. ^_^

ira Apr 9th, 2010 04:24 AM

Hi C,

You are making the usual newbie mistake of trying to do everything in one rushed, harried, exhausting and overwhelming visit. It is an itinerary laid out by a tourist agency.

3 weeks will allow you to see 3 major destinations and enjoy them.

>Milan-Venice-Cologne-Amsterdam-Brussels-Brugge-Paris-Madrid-Barcelona-Rome<
At leat you know to make a circle. :)

I suggest Italy (Venice, Florence, Rome) or
Paris and France (Paris and either Burgundy, Alsace, Dordogne or Provence) or
Spain or
Germany.

Enjoy your planning.

((I))

Aduchamp1 Apr 9th, 2010 04:29 AM

If the question, is "Am I doing too much?" the answer is yes without reading it.

Like the others think of a max of two countries.

mamcalice Apr 9th, 2010 04:55 AM

Since you already have your tickets into and out of Rome, and must visit Cologne, I suggest the following:

Look into an economy flight from Rome to Cologne and go there first. Then visit Amsterdam and Brussels, on to Paris for several days, Barcelona then Italy for the rest of your time. It is still a lot of travel but your flight schedule makes it difficult to avoid that. Look into economy flights from Rome to Cologne, Paris to Barcelona and Barcelona to Venice.

Next time, seek advice first and we will suggest an open-jaw arrangement which will save travel time.

adrienne Apr 9th, 2010 05:13 AM

<< I want to grab the chance to see everything >>

You won't see very much with this itinerary. I don't think you've considered that it takes at least a day to get acclimated to a major city and the time you'll spend getting turned around and lost. There's also the time getting to and from train stations and packing and unpacking.

But everyone travels differently and some people don't mind going to a town/city and not seeing very much as long as they can say they've been there.

Where to go in each city depends on your interests. There's no point in people giving you a list of sights as you may not be interested in them. I'm wondering why you want to go to these specific cities if you don't know what there is to see once you get there.

MFNYC Apr 9th, 2010 05:52 AM

Definitely do what Flanneruk suggests. Flying may be a better option, and there are definitely cheap flights within Europe. Some of those train rides are LONG. Barcelona to Rome for one. My daughter and friends did a 6 week trip last summer and visited 7 destinations. Even at that, they wished they could have spent more time in some of the places. They ended up mostly flying because the train options didn't work well with their itinerary. They did use the train a couple of times.

You really need to look at a map, look at the websites suggested and take the advice of others here. Cut back you destinations to no more than 5.

Michel_Paris Apr 9th, 2010 05:53 AM

Flanneruk has the logical way of looking at it. Plot it out precisely.

Train #123 9:42AM, arrive Amsterdam 11:38...taxi to hotel, arrive 12:15.....leave hotel at 8:30 Am to get to train station for 9:15.

I think you will find that a lot of time is spent 'going' and less than you thought 'seeing'. This means moving on, even if you find one city fascinating, because your train and hotel in the next city awaits.

I'm more of a "being in" than "seeing" a place. But if this is your only foreseable trip for a while....

LSky Apr 9th, 2010 06:40 AM

Imhornet, thanks for the chuckle.

iris1745 Apr 9th, 2010 06:44 AM

LSKY; Imhornet is more like a 'hornet'.

bratsandbeer Apr 9th, 2010 07:02 AM

My suggestion would be to skip Madrid and Barcelona.

Arrive in Rome - no not stay overnight.
You can find a cheap flight to Amsterdam from Rome - try www.kayak.com

Amsterdam 3 nights
Brussels with a day trip to Brugges 3 nights
Cologne via train 2 nights
Paris 3 nights
Night train to Venice 2 nights
Milan 2 nights
Florence 2 nights
Rome 3 nights.

Palenque Apr 9th, 2010 07:26 AM

I need useful tips on places to go, clothing, rail passes and getting around.>

Without pontificating on just how much you should do in 3 weeks, save to say it's the kind of itinerary that i love - moving around on trains is my bag and i think if you axed Spain no one could say it was too ambitious - well some of the Fodorgarchs deem you must stay weeks in places like Paris or Rome or not go at all - anyway for great info about trains and railpasses i always highlight these spiffy sites: www.ricksteves.com; www. seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com - download the latter's free, and superb IMO, European Planning & Rail Guide that has rail itineraries for each country. I love to take overnight trains where you can relocated literally from one end of Europe to the other overnight and also digest flanneruk's advice about mixing in some flights from long-haul legs. As for railpasses for wide-ranging multi-country rail trips some kind of Eurailpass makes sense and gives you the ultimate flexibility to change course as you go along.

danon Apr 9th, 2010 08:35 AM

"You won't see very much with this itinerary. I don't think you've considered that it takes at least a day to get acclimated to a major city and the time you'll spend getting turned around and lost. There's also the time getting to and from train stations and packing and unpacking.

But everyone travels differently and some people don't mind going to a town/city and not seeing very much as long as they can say they've been there."

Absolutely agree.
I take carry on luggage only, take taxis from and to most airports and train stations, have already been to all but two of the mentioned cities, and would still not attempt follow the OP's timetable.
Travelers often concentrate on nights in a location; what is more interesting to me is a day time and how much of it is spend at train station, airports, checking in and out, unpacking..etc. and how much time is left for seeing (huge) cities like Paris, Rome and Madrid.

jubilada Apr 9th, 2010 09:09 AM

<The more days I spend in a city, the more I get lazy to go around. I only want to see the best spots, anyway.>

In my experience, getting what you call lazy in a city is a great way to really experience it, what life is like there. So maybe it would be fun to give yourself this opportunity in one of the cities, Paris for example has a great feel. Just a thought.
What for your are the "best things"?. Art, architecture, food, history/
If you make such indications we can better advise.


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