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1st time in europe (need help with my itinerary)

1st time in europe (need help with my itinerary)

Mar 2nd, 2008, 08:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1
1st time in europe (need help with my itinerary)

I am originally from America and have been visiting Israel for a while. I'm now planning a (hopefully) month long trip throughout europe. I have very little experience traveling, and this will be my first time traveling alone and planning a trip for myself, I'l be flying from Israel to europe to start my trip.
I'm not sure if my itinerary is realistic. Any suggestions of what to add, remove, or rearange would be greatly appreciated!
I have around $4,000 and am trying to make my money stretch to allow me to see most of western europe. I'm planning on taking 2nd class trains most of the way around europe and will be staying in hostels.
-----WEEK 1------------
Tel Aviv - Israel
leave from the Ben Gurion Airport //
Rome - Italy
2 days //
Frlorence - Italy
2 days //
Venice - Italy
1 day //
Milan - Italy
1 day //
-----WEEK 2------------
Swiss Alps - Switzerland
2 days //

Train into the Swiss Alps to Interlaken; stay in the Lauterbrunnen Valley
Alps Appreciation Day: Spend the day enjoying the hiking and high-mountain scenery.

Munich - Germany
1 day //

Bacharach - germany - rhineland
1 day //

Rothenburg - Germany
1 day //
take a tour and sightsee

Berlin - Germany
2 days //
-----WEEK 3------------
Amsterdam - Netherlands
2 nights //
(stay in the nearby town of Haarlem) ?

Brussles - Belgium
1 day //

London - England
2 days //

Paris - France
2 days
-----WEEK 4------------
1 Day (france still) //

Versailles - France
1 day //

Arles - France
1 day //
Barcelona - Spain
2 days //
Madrid - Spain
2 days //

theconartist is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
Personally this looks like the "Battan Death March" of Europe.

Week one's not TOO bad.

After that it just gets crazy. You are spending way to much time "getting from point A to point B.

Italy is not an efficent country. Do either Milan or Venice. One day in each is not worth the effort it's going to take (and I love Italy, but it's just not incredibly efficent LOL!)

I would probably skip that detour to London.

Spend an extra day in Paris and Brussels.

Skip Arles. What's the point for one day?

Pick either Barcelona or Madrid. Stay a few days. You can take day tours out there.

Hopefully someone else has some ideas because I think the Germany section looks bad too, but I haven't done much touring there....
CarolA is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,046
just a few points:

How badly do you want to see ALL of Western Europe on this trip? You're moving around a lot, staying at most 2 nights in one city. You'll lose a lot of time (and money) traveling so much and leave you little time to actually see each city. I'd suggest you concentrate on maybe 2-3 countries rather than 8 countries in 4 weeks.

Even if you travel 2nd class train, tickets still add up a lot when you move around so much.

You might consider taking the coach (Eurolines) for some of these journeys instead of train. Eurolines sometimes is cheaper.

Good luck.
yk is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 09:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 90,966
What is missing from your itinerary is travel time from place to place!

When you say "1 day" you need to also allow time for getting there & then leaving to travel to the next place. So "1-day in Milan" is barely a half day... as it will take you 3 hours coming from Venice by train to arrive, then on the other end an all-day train ride to get into Switzerland. Etc. Etc.

For a more accurate picture of how this will really work, I suggest you look up & put the # of hours of the train rides, in between each of the places on your list.

suze is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,021
I would scratch Versaille and add the day to Paris.

Why Arles? (Not that I don't like this town, but just curious)

I agree that you would be moving too much.

If you are young and plan on traveling in Europe again (ever), cut the number of destinations roughly in half. Do daytrips, perhaps.

enroute is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 09:30 AM
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Posts: 3,037
I totally understand wanting to see as much of Europe as possible, but I agree with the others- if you move cities every day or two for four weeks you'll exhaust yourself in no time and will end up seeing much less of each place than if you slowed down.

Four weeks is a wonderful amount of time, you can definitely see a lot in four weeks. But I would suggest you cut down on your itinerary.

Right now you've got Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, France, and Spain. That's eight countries in 4 weeks. To start off, you might want to think about cutting the number of countries in half- one week per country. What are your "must sees"? And what is your total number of nights (better to think of terms of nights, not days)

Assuming you have 28 nights, I would probably want to spend at least the following amount of time in these cities:

Rome-5 nights
Florence-3 nights
Venice-3 nights
Paris-5 nights
London-5 nights

That takes up 21 nights of your 28. With the remaining 7 nights, I would choose between Switzerland/Germany, Netherlands/Belgium, or Spain.

This still involves a lot of moving around, and is more than I myself would tackle, but everyone is different and some people prefer fast moving trips.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 10:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,118
Hi T,

Put put it as gently as I can, 'the "Battan Death March" of Europe' is too kind.

Go to www.bahn.de to see how long it takes to train from place to place.

In addition, each time you change venues you lose 1/2 day.

If you are planning to sleep on trains between cities, I can tell you my own experience at about age 20; after 2 weeks, I was so exhausted that all I can remember is a group of folks standing around me in a train station wondering if I was drunk, stoned or sick.

Do rethink your plan: 4 weeks - 6 major venues, tops.

ira is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,155
You have 18 changes of lodging location. It takes at least half a day, if not more, to make such a change. More time than you imagine is taken up with packing your bag, checking out of lodging, getting to train stations/airports, traveling, getting to the next lodging, checking in, and so forth.

So, from your one month trip, you're losing at least 9 days to the nuts and bolts of traveling from place to place--probably more time than that for some of these connections.

Food for thought
ellenem is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,155
There's always the possibility that the screen name of the OP has special meaning . . .
ellenem is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 10:40 AM
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Posts: 90,966
I dunno, ellenem, pretty detailed itinerary to be a joke.

suze is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 11:01 AM
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Posts: 45,650
Nuts, just nuts. You need to pare this down by about two-thirds.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 11:28 AM
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Posts: 63,252
I am pretty sure this is a troll. (sorry if I'm wrong and do come back and clear that up) -- But a first-time post, tell tale screen name, and 19 locations in 28 days.

If it is not a troll, then theconartist - you have to re-think everything about your itinerary.

As mentioned, every time you move from one city to the next you lose between 1/2 and nearly 1 full day just to travel/relocating to a new hotel. So right off the top you will need to deduct 10-12 days from your sightseeing time.

Apres_Londee gave you a good recommendation for a basic itinerary . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
With some thought, it's not too bad, actually.

I've gone from Frankfurt to Munich in one day with stops in Wurzburg and Rothenburg o.d.T. I've also gone from Brussels to Amsterdam in one day with stops in Bruges, Gent, Antwerp. On another trip I went to Bologna, Florence, Siena, Padua, Venice in about four days.

I don't think you need to allocate one day to Milan or Rothenburg o.d.T. or Brussels -- but I guess it depends on what you want to see. I spent probably 2-3 hours in Rothenburg o.d.T. and it was plenty for me. Milan is also not a high priority unless you're very interested in art or fashion. On a trip like this, I may just stop to see "Last Supper" and that's it.

With Brussels, again, I don't think it's necessary to spend one day there. Stop and see Grand'Place and move on.

And I don't know if you need to allocate one day to Versailles either. 1/2 day is probably sufficient on a trip like this one.

I've saved you a few days. I think you need to add Greece to this itinerary. By the way, one of my other trips was NYC-Athens-Tel Aviv in about 3-4 days (with stop in Paris).
111op is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 04:21 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,021
I was wondering about the name too.

What's the deal, theconartist?
enroute is offline  

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