2 week europe itinerary

Jun 1st, 2018, 03:52 PM
  #1  
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2 week europe itinerary

2 WEEK EUROPE ITINERARYHey!

My boyfriend and I are planning to travel to Europe for the first time. We are flying into Paris on June 14 (Bastille day), and are flying out of Paris on June 28. During our two weeks, we are hoping to travel to London, Rome, and Venice. We want to cover many places, but not so much that more than 1/3 of our time there is just dedicated to transportation. We're in our early 20's so we're ok sleeping overnight on a train and we'd also like to do a little clubbing. Also were looking to branch off from Paris and London briefly to escape the summer crowds, but I'm not sure if there's enough time. We were thinking of breaking down the days as such:

PARIS (5 days) fly to..
LONDON (5 days) fly
ROME (2) train
VENICE (2) overnight train
Fly home from PARIS

or

PARIS (5 days) overnight train to...
VENICE (2) train
ROME (2) fly
LONDON (5 days) fly
Fly home from PARIS


Any suggestions?
thanks in advance!

Last edited by cjaay; Jun 1st, 2018 at 03:57 PM.
cjaay is offline  
Jun 1st, 2018, 04:14 PM
  #2  
 
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just random comments . . .

In version #1 it makes no sense to fly from Paris to London. It is faster, easier, and usually as cheap or cheaper to take the Eurostar train. It is city center to city center with no schlepping to/from the airports.

In both versions -- the two night stops are essentially rest stops. Two nights nets you one day. One day in Rome is essentially useless.

It is unfortunate you booked R-t in/out of Paris. Open jaw would have been better. IMO/IME you should pick two of the cities (three if you must)
janisj is offline  
Jun 1st, 2018, 04:56 PM
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Cjaay,
Your route is unfortunate mistake that people make, who are traveling for the first time to Europe. It's a much larger place that might seem, and traveling from place can be exhausting and more time consuming than you might think. French rail strikes will hopefully be over by then, but it did impact our day trips out of Paris. It sounds like you already have booked your flights, but if you have not, consider flying in to London and out of Paris. If you are committed to in/out of Paris, you can take a train to London, and go back and forth that way.

We just returned yesterday from 2 weeks, flying into London, Eurostar to Brussels, train to Bruges for a day, and on to Paris for a week. Flew out of Paris. Just an FYI, it was very warm in Brussels and Paris, in the 70s and 80s, with high humidity. So in June, be prepared for some heat.

Since you are in your 20's, you are likely to return to Europe for a future visit. To maximize your enjoyment this trip, keep it simple. With day trips from London and Paris cities, you will have plenty to keep you busy for two weeks. Get a book on towns/cities near London and Paris and you will be so tempted to explore them.

Consider skipping Venice and Rome this time. Save Italy for another time when you can spend your entire time there, trust me, you will fall in love.
Calabria62 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2018, 06:03 PM
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Overnight Thello train Paris-Venice v.v. can be very cheap if you want a place in a couchette if booking early enough to get those limited discounted tickets at www.thello.com - Yes Eurostar trains between London and Paris are best way to go between those cities' centers - but in scenerio 2 you may want to fly from Paris to London airport - book Italian trains at Acquista il biglietto con le nostre offerte - Trenitalia and again early bird bookers get the cheaper worm - but discounted tickets are usually train-specific and non-changeable and often non-refundable so be sure of dates but can be hugely cheaper than waiting till there to buy tickets. www.eurostar.com for Eurostar bookings. See www/seat61/com for explicit advice on booking your own discounted train tickets online - general train info like what to expect on overnight trains www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts.

And yes take a day from both London and Paris IMO and see Rome for 4 days - could do day trip to say Pompeii or other places.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 1st, 2018, 08:40 PM
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No -- do not take any days from Paris or London (assuming you keep London in the plan). You barely have any time in either one. You don't have 5 days if you mean five nights in each. 5 nights = 4 days. 4 days for the largest city in Western Europe by miles -- with hundreds of great things for 20 somethings. And Paris needs more time too because you arrive probably jet lagged so your arrival day may be a loss.
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Jun 1st, 2018, 08:53 PM
  #6  
mjs
 
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You do not have as much time as you think. If you arrive on the 14th and leave on the 28th you have about a half jet lagged day on the 14th than 13 full days. You than lose about a half day each time you move so you are down to 11 full days. Consider doing just London and Paris with some day trips. Alternatively pick one extra destination in which case I would fly on your arrival day in Paris to lets say Rome for your first stop. Stay Rome 14th-15-16-17, fly to London on the 18th and stay the 18th, 19th, 20th, 21, 22, 23 than train to Paris on the 24th to stay 25th, 26, 27th and fly out the 28th. Depending on what time of day you move will give you little less or more time in each destination. If you fly in the evening from Rome to London on the 18th you will have 3 and almost a 4th day in Rome, and if you train to Paris in the early morning on the 24th it will give you 3 full days and almost a 4th day in Paris. This type of schedule also minimizes your jet lag day by using it as one of your transfer days as you did not open jaw your flights to/from Europe.
mjs is offline  
Jun 1st, 2018, 10:56 PM
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mjs makes a good point re placing all the Paris days at the end. You need to be in Paris the evening before your flight home anyway. So put all the Paris days together at the end. That will eliminate one extra hotel change.
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Jun 2nd, 2018, 01:33 AM
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Overall, you're planning too much in too short a time, as detailed above.

Do not fly from Paris to London. Take the Eurostar, but expect to pay a whole lot because you have waited until the very last minute for tickets (assuming you are traveling THIS June). Flying makes no sense at all.

I would forget Italy on this trip and use the extra days to take daytrips from both Paris and London - the possibilities are endless. If you must include Italy, I agree you should barrel on through Paris and fly right to Italy the day you land, spend a (very) few days there, then get back to Paris and lump your final days there.

I guess we'll have to assume you already bought plane tickets, but if by chance you haven't it would be wise not to buy RT tickets to Paris, but rather into Paris and out of your last stop. These are called open-jaw or multi-city tickets (NOT two one-way tickets) and should not cost much more than a RT ticket, especially if you consider the costs and time of backtracking to where you land.

June 14 is not "Bastille Day" (which is known in France as La Fête Nationale or Le Quatorze Juillet). That's July 14.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2018, 08:59 AM
  #9  
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Sorry that was a typo- the trip will be from July 14-28 so a month later. Taking the Eurostar makes sense between Paris and London, will be doing that thank you. I was worrying that it was too much to cover. Perhaps it would be a good idea to skip either Venice or Rome, or both.

Thank you PalenQ for all of the links and everyone else the advice is gold for me right now with no experience.

For the flight out to Europe, we are departing at 6PM from washington DC, where we will sleep on the plane as much as possible to minimize the weirdness of the time change, and will be landing in Paris at about 7AM.
cjaay is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2018, 09:21 AM
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>>where we will sleep on the plane as much as possible to minimize the weirdness of the time change, and will be landing in Paris at about 7AM.<<

Don't count on much if any sleep. Are you flying Business class with the lie-flat beds? If so you might get some sleep. But in coach it is crowded/cramped/uncomfortable. In any case 'weirdness' is pretty much a given. And it makes for a VERY long day on arrival. Immigration, fairly long jaunt in to Paris and to your hotel, probably not able to get in to your room yet, leave bags, wander around, return to the hotel, check in, unpack/settle in, dinner and fall into bed by 9 or 10PM.

Just plan on day one being low key, low energy, no heavy sightseeing.
janisj is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2018, 09:58 AM
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<<we will sleep on the plane as much as possible to minimize the weirdness of the time change>>

That's what everyone would like to think. I don't suffer as much from jetlag as some, particularly on long-hauls going west to east, but I was still in a fog after 2 pm the day I arrived in Europe, even after 200 or so trips. It was worse going longer distances than the East Coast to Europe. Unless you are unusual, your first day will basically be shot. But don't succumb to the sometimes overwhelming urge to nap - walk around, get as much sunlight as you can so stay outdoors, take it easy, stop to hydrate periodically, have a light dinner, go to bed around 10 pm, and you should be fine the next day. At least that's what worked for me.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2018, 01:09 PM
  #12  
 
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Yes always try to stay up till late evening - try not to nap on arrival at hotel - best way to re-set body clock like St-Cirq and jan say. Some say melatonin helps sleep but studies are mixed on that.
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Jun 2nd, 2018, 01:21 PM
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Disagree with no nap. I sleep for three or four hours the first afternoon, get up and eat dinner on local time and go to bed at my usual 11:00 to midnight. Am synced the next morning. But everyone is different and needs to find what works for them.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2018, 03:54 PM
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Again thank you all so much, each of your input is seriously saving me in some way- you're all amazing.

I know melatonin works for me in situations where I otherwise would not have been able to k.o. so this might help on the flight there. Noted, will not sleep on arrival. We will also most likely be staying entirely at airbnb's.

Seems that the majority says that 4 places is too much, so maybe only visiting Paris and London with day trips away will do. Also realized that the flight back home is at 10AM on the 29th. Here's a plan:

July 14-19: Paris (arrive 7AM), train by Eurostar to London $70, 7AM-8:30AM on the 19th
July 19-25: London, train by Eurostar to Paris $100, 5PM-8PM on the 25th
July 25-29: Paris, train to CDG airport late on 27th and stay at airbnb near airport. Depart 10AM for U.S. on the 29th

With Rome (not really considering this at this point, but worth putting out there. Curious about thoughts on this):

July 14-19: Paris (arrive 7AM), train by Eurostar to London $70, 7AM-8:30AM on the 19th
July 19-24: London, fly with ryanair $126, 4:10-8PM on the 24th
July 25-27: Rome, fly Air France $109, 6:10PM on the 27th
July 27-29: Paris, train to CDG airport late on 27th and stay at airbnb near airport. Depart 10AM for U.S. on the 29th
cjaay is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2018, 04:24 PM
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>>We will also most likely be staying entirely at airbnb's. <<

Likely not in Paris. The vast majority of any sort of short term rentals in Paris are illegal. ONLY book if the listing displays the city registration number. Quite a few now do but a tiny fraction of the total listings. If they don't have the registrations number (and it will be prominently displayed if they have one) it is illegal.
janisj is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2018, 05:44 PM
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cjaay -
You can see London, Paris, and Rome, as long as you plan it well.
Don't split up Paris like that, you will just waste your time. You don't want to stay clear out at CDG, it's an hour out of the city. You'll spend your last two days traipsing back and forth. Not a fun way to end your lovely trip.

Arrive in Paris 7AM Then fly to Rome the same day You'll be at the airport already, and too tired to do much of anything else. Trust me. You always think you will sleep and there's always a crying baby, someone snoring really loud, friends yacking, etc. You'll be more crammed into the airplane than ever before. Try to rest, but don't count on much sleep. Enjoy Rome. Throw a coin in the Trevi to assure you'll be back
Then fly to London, you'll love it. SO much to do.
Then train back to Paris from London, city center to city center, stay IN Paris, head home after having loads of fun

This limits your travel time to/from the airports, and only three Airbnb check in/outs. You want to spend as little time with all that fuss as you can.

Watch out for the London Airport choices. Check here to see time and cost of transfers: https://www.londontoolkit.com/accomm..._transfers.htm
If you really want to stay in Paris first because of Bastille day, stay Paris, fly to Rome, fly to London, train back to Paris afternoon/eve of the 28th, stay overnight at airport hotel, you'll be in place to head home in the morning. Frankly, I'd head to Rome and skip the Bastille Day crowds. Tourist sites will be closed, and maybe take the whole weekend off, too.

btw - We stayed in a lovely HomeAway apt in Paris in Sept. It was in the Latin Quarter, close to the Metro, nice kitchen, elevator. Never saw the owner, but the apt was great, paid through HomeAway, no need to wire or have loads of cash.
mowmow is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2018, 06:16 PM
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<<July 19-24: London, fly with ryanair $126, 4:10-8PM on the 24th>>

If you must. Just be aware of Ryanair's odious reputation and insanely strict baggage rules. I live in Europe and refuse to fly Ryanair any longer - makes for miserable travel IME.

Make sure those airbnbs in Paris have legit registration numbers.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2018, 08:05 PM
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>>Make sure those airbnbs in Paris have legit registration numbers. . . . as well as HomeAway or VRBO or Paris Perfect etc. No matter where a property is listed it must have the reg. # to be legal.
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Jun 3rd, 2018, 04:16 AM
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I like mowmow's itinerary including Rome - you have just about enough time to squeeze one Italian city into your trip, and as you can't hope to see everything in either London or Paris in the time you've got, if you have a real hankering to see Italy, I would go for it.

Ending in Paris would also be my choice as spending your last day travelling back to Paris just to stay near the airport seems such a let down.
annhig is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2018, 06:31 AM
  #20  
mjs
 
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It is unfortunate that you are making your arrangements so late as this makes your costs higher. I too do not fly Ryan air but do fly Easyjet quite often. There is a 1040 AF direct flight from CDG to FCO with arrival 1245 which would probably work for you but it costs $467. Booking a couple of months out would have cost you about $150-$200. Could fly out of ORY for cheaper but you would need to RER or bus to ORY. Easyjet flight at 1235 and Vueling flight at 1505 would cost you less than $200. Do not stay at CDG before your flight home. Changing places to stay wastes time and money.
An alternative to consider if you want to do Rome is to to change your sequence. Fly CDG to LGW London on Vueling at 1045 for $49 on your date of arrival. Than fly London to Rome and Rome to Paris. Flying out of one of the secondary airports in London like Luton or Stansted would get you flights around $100 on Easyjet etc. to Rome and flying out of Rome to ORY should get you fares in the low $100 range.
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