13 Day trip to Europe

Jan 22nd, 2018, 06:05 PM
  #1  
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13 Day trip to Europe

We are traveling to Europe for 13 travel days in the spring. We are looking for some tips as to whether booking the airlines and rail directly is better than using a agent or a website that puts together a trip.

We plan on buying the major tourist traps Eiffel Tower, Colosseum, etc ahead of time and taking in the beautiful architecture on foot and winging it for everything else.

Based in the research we have done we have mapped out this itinerary, please advise if you think it's ambitous:

Day 1 -3 Paris
Day 4-travel in the morning, via plane to Venice.
Day 5-Venice and travel I the evening by train to Rome
Day 6 & 7-Rome
Day 8- morning flight from Rome to Barcelona
Day 9-Barcelona
Day 10-evening train to Madrid
Day 11, 12 & 13-Madrid(we have a family member at university)

We appreciate any help, suggestions and tips.
mycivic88 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2018, 06:10 PM
  #2  
 
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No reason to use a TA. For info on train travel in Europe see seat61.com and for budget airlines see skyscanner.com. I take it you are flying into Paris and out of Madrid.

However, your itinerary seems very rushed. I would sacrifice Barcelona and fly from Rome to Madrid. Split the time between Venice and either Paris or Rome. If you are flying from the US remember you will be jet lagged your first day in Europe.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2018, 07:13 PM
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Thank you for your reply. I want to drop Barcelona from the itinerary but wife wants to go, I convinced her to spend less time in Barcelona and dedicate that time to either Venice or Rome.
mycivic88 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2018, 09:05 PM
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mjs
 
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I too think your trip is very rushed. Three full days in Paris is not bad but if day one includes your arrival day it is too little time. I also think a day and a half for Venice is rushing it a bit and 2 full days for Rome is inadequate. Three full days in Madrid is fine. Definitely skip Barcelona and add a day to both Venice and Rome. This leaves you with one extra day if my calculations are correct to add to either Rome or Paris. Do you have 15 or 16 days for this trip? Easier to plan using nights with the understanding that a full day requires two nights.
mjs is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2018, 11:37 PM
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I agree - you are zooming all over a continent in a very short period of time and spending way to much time getting places instead of enjoying being there. The plans to visit Barcelona strike me as an absolute waste of time and energy. Spending less time there doesn't negate the fact that you're going to eat up valuable time getting there and back. Save it for when you can do it justice - watch a few videos instead; it will cost less and be less taxing.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 12:11 AM
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Since Barcelona is a "must," I would drop Italy altogether and use those days for Paris and Barcelona in whatever combination works best for your interests. Hopping around to 5 cities in 13 days is not really a holiday.
fourfortravel is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 09:13 AM
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Venice:
you will arrive at your hotel around 1pm and will have to leave it the day after around 5pm, that will give you a little bit more than 1 full day at Venice. It's feasible, but rather rushed.
neckervd is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 10:34 AM
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Are those 13 full days on the ground, meaning 14 nights in Europe, or is day 1 arrival day? If so, then it is not a full day of sightseeing. Is day 13 a departure day? If so, it does not count, and the trip is super rushed.
If you do have 14 nights (13 whole days), then it is rushed, but not absolutely terrible, time wise.

What is a problem is parts of days rather than whole days. The two bits of days you have allowed for Venice are not good. You do not have a whole day. Barcelona is broken up too. When you can wake up in a place, have breakfast and head out for a whole day, then nice dinner in the evening and back to hotel, you can see and do more in an enjoyable way. When part of one day is taken up with catching a flight or train, getting to a hotel, etc, it is tiring and eats up energy. Doing it at the end if the day also loses time getting to station, getting luggage and getting to hew hotel.

Look at seeing Italy first, then Paris, Paris to Barcelona, Barcelona to Madrid. Begin in Venice.
Sassafrass is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 11:54 AM
  #9  
 
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This trip would be a no-go for me. Two nights, city after city, no thanks. That would be too frustrating for me. I'd stay home. Seriously. Including your flights to/from, you'd be spending half your time and money in airports/ train stations. Do it if you want to, but my advice is to rethink.
shelemm is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 12:16 PM
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This itinerary is a bit ... hectic would be the nice word for it.

Less is more: consider cutting all of Italy and just going Paris-Barca-Madrid. You'll have more than enough to do in Barcelona and Paris.
BigRuss is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 12:19 PM
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Yes too much. But for trains - if going Paris to Venice consider taking overnight train which gives you a lot more time the first day (Thello ? Trains France-Italie - site officiel) but yes I'd do Paris and Spain or Paris and Italy - Spain seems a must - Italy and Spain would work too. Yes as thrusdayds says www.seat61.com says it all on booking your own online discounted tickets; for general info on trains I also like BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 12:25 PM
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You are spending nearly as much time packing, unpacking, transferring to airports and train stations, IN airports and train stations and moving . . . as you are being anyplace.

If Spain is a must then Paris and Spain -- that's it.

Assuming day 1 is arrival and day 13 is departure - you have 11.5 days is all (and probably some jet lag at the beginning). So even just Paris, Barcelona and Madrid will be a teensy bit rushed but certainly doable.
janisj is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 01:12 PM
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Well if Paris is no a must Italy for a few towns and Spain could work.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Well if Paris is no a must Italy for a few towns and Spain could work.
​​​​​​​Since the trip is this Spring -- I assumed you already booked flights in to Paris and home from Madrid and that the question >>whether booking the airlines and rail directly is better than using a agent or a website that puts together a trip.<< was just re the intra-Europe travel. If so Italy really doesn't fit.

BUT if you haven't booked anything yet -- then sure, you could drop Paris and do Italy and Spain (though 4 cities will still be a rush)
janisj is offline  
Jan 24th, 2018, 01:38 PM
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I booked into Paris and out of Madrid you realistically have one choice - Paris and Spain IMO too.
PalenQ is offline  

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