11 Days: France- Italy- Switzerland

Feb 17th, 2013, 06:25 PM
  #1  
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11 Days: France- Italy- Switzerland

My friend and I will be travelling through France-Italy-Switzerland in mid to late May for 11 days. We are flying into Paris and out of Zurich. At this time we would like to spend 2 days in Paris, Cinque Terre, and Florence. We also would like to visit Interlaken, Nice, and Venice. I should also note that we are young adults, we plan to travel via Eurail and stay at hostels. Does anyone have recommendations of cities, duration of stay, etc? Or any general itinerary ideas?
keowwc is offline  
Feb 17th, 2013, 06:47 PM
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Too many sites for the number of days. Start looking at guidebooks oriented toward your age group and style of travel.
Michael is online now  
Feb 17th, 2013, 08:14 PM
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Get guide books, maps, and chart the trip. you can't do all of this in the short time allotted.
StCirq is offline  
Feb 17th, 2013, 11:56 PM
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With 11days (does this include your flight days? If yes,you really only have 9 days on the ground) choose no more than 3 locations. As you are flying into Paris and out of Zurich, I would pick Paris, somewhere near Zurich an one other location. You need to factor in time to change locations and time to actual see the cities you are visiting.
jamikins is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 12:09 AM
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I think at this stage, it is best to grasp how much time moving around takes away from each destination. Use www.bahn.com and plug in your proposed destinations. For example, if you plug in Nice to Vernazza, you will get 6 hour trips. How many of these do you care to do in 11/9 days?
greg is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 09:45 AM
  #6  
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Okay I think we have figured it out, we are no longer visiting Nice instead we are doing an overnight train from Paris to Monterosso. We are staying 2 days in Cinque Terre then taking an early morning train to Pisa which is an hour away staying there for 2 hours bc really, there is nothing else to see in Pisa. We will travel to florence and spend essentially 3 days there before traveling to Venice for a day. Then travel to Lucerne for two days and do the hour train from Lucerne to Zurich and catch our flight.

Any suggestions of things to do and see in these cities? I lived in Paris for a summer so I'm good on Paris.
keowwc is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 11:11 AM
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Have you accounted for the crowds at major sights? Have you made advance reservations - so you can see a sight on schedule - rather than spend 2 or 3 hours standing on line to do so - as with the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Sorry - you still haven;t allowed for how much time you will spend getting from one city to another. (A 2 hours train ride means you will spend at least 4 hours from leaving on hotel to checking in at the other).
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 11:38 AM
  #8  
 
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I should also note that we are young adults, we plan to travel via Eurail and stay at hostels>

For lots of great info on European trains and railpasses and alternatives to them like online discounted tickets (which however are generally non-changeable nor refundable and which often must be booked weeks early to get as they are sold in limited numbers - normally I may not recommend a railpass to you but since you are under 26 you can get a Youthpass and those can be very cost-effective. But even that may not be good for you as the cheapest passers - the Eurail Select Pass no longer has France as an option - France having pulled out as of Jan 1, 2013 - so you probably are best in locking yourself into the online discounted tickets or even buying as you go along.

Even a few days in Switzerland however a Swiss Pass can be good - again a youthpass if under 26 - covering not only trains but lake boats, city transit, postal buses and giving free entry to 400+ Swiss museums - for lots on Swiss trains check out www.swisstravelsystem.com and for trains in European in general www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.seat61.com (latter has good info on online discounted tickets - for France from www.voyages-sncf.com and Italy www.trenitalia.com. For Switzerland strongly look at the Swiss Youthpass.
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