2 week europe trip,please help

Mar 2nd, 1999, 12:55 PM
  #1  
Brian
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2 week europe trip,please help

HI my girlfriend and I are planning a trip to europe leaving dec 26 1999 and plan on staying for 2 weeks. We know for sure we want to hit london, amsterdam(a must that new years is spent here),paris, madrid, barcelona, and various italian cities as well as some other cities throughout the trip. WE plan on takeing a train for most of the trip. Any tips, ideas, or helpful information we should know whould be greatly appriciated. Also any ideas on the best route to take would be great. Thanks for your help.
 
Mar 2nd, 1999, 02:38 PM
  #2  
elvira
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First things first, get yourself a big map of Europe AND the train routes (Eurail can help you there). Circle the cities you want to visit; you'll begin to see a pattern. Now go to the Internet http://mercurio.iet.unipi.it/home.html and start plugging in from and to and get an idea about times and how long the trips take.
I plan 3 to 4 trips a year for the Travelling Loons, and each trip takes several months of preparation (I'm responsible for 4-6 women, so I make hotel reservations, train reservations way ahead. You could probably knock off a couple of months if you don't plan as stringently as I do). You will need to make reservations ABSOLUTELY for the days up to and including New Year's. My understanding is that almost every large city in the world is booked solid. Get on the stick NOW.
I use Rick Steves' books, Let's Go guides and Michelin guides; I get books from the library and start making lists of the cities/places I want to visit, then what's to see in each. This is a process that's time consuming and arduous. Rick Steve's Europe Through the Back Door has pre-planned itineraries if you don't feel like hassling with it....
 
Mar 2nd, 1999, 05:47 PM
  #3  
David
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Major advise. Slow down. You listed six cities, not to mention unnamed cities in Italy. If you can beam betweeen cities and skip Italy, you only have a couple days in each of those you named. Chose one country for a two week trip. London, Paris, Rome, each deserve at least five days each, and you will only start to see them in that time. Europe will still be there next year.

If this is the first trip, I would suggest London. No language problems. Lots of shows at night. There is an endless amount to do. And you can take a lot of day trips to Stradford, Bath, Oxford, or any number of places.

 
Mar 2nd, 1999, 05:47 PM
  #4  
David
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Major advise. Slow down. You listed six cities, not to mention unnamed cities in Italy. If you can beam betweeen cities and skip Italy, you only have a couple days in each of those you named. Chose one country for a two week trip. London, Paris, Rome, each deserve at least five days each, and you will only start to see them in that time. Europe will still be there next year.

If this is the first trip, I would suggest London. No language problems. Lots of shows at night. There is an endless amount to do. And you can take a lot of day trips to Stradford, Bath, Oxford, or any number of places.

 
Mar 2nd, 1999, 06:32 PM
  #5  
Christine
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You said Amsterdam is a must for New Years. I have not heard that. Are you saying this because it has such a "party" atmosphere? I'd recommend Paris over Amsterdam for the new year - its a lot more romantic, and the French are famous for gathering in front of Notre Dame near midnight. If you're going to concentrate on London, paris, and Amsterdam, there is a train ticket you can buy, often called the "Capital Explorer" that will take you from London-Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam-London. its around $200 a person. SInce you only have two weeks and are going to depend on trains, you may want to consider it. David had a good idea with starting with London and going on the daytrips to Bath, Stratford, etc. If you have never been to Europe before (which I'm assuming since you are hoping to see so much in so little. sorry if I'm wrong), England is a great place to spend some time since there are so many "typical" European things there. For instance, there are tours you can take from London that will take you to Stonehenge, Salisbury and Bath and back to London all in one day.

Good luck with your plans. I know how tempting it is to do everything at once. If you really are serious about hitting paris, london, amseterdam, madrid, barcelona and italy, all in two weeks you may want to take a look at "Let's Blow Through Europe." It even throws in Germany to your two weeks.
 
Mar 2nd, 1999, 10:01 PM
  #6  
lynn
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Hi Brian -

As recent addition to the "European Traveller" list, I believe Christine's suggestion about the Capital Explorer train ticket is exactly what you should do.

We just did 10 days in Europe last September. We did (1) day in Brussels (that's where we flew in), (6) days in Paris, and (3) days in London; and that was pushing it.

Mind you, I wouldn't change how we did. I got a flavor of 3 places and now we're going back at the end of the month to spend some more time in Paris and possibly, if finances go right, we'll be back in Brussels in May.

Ideally, we would have done Paris-London-Brussels-Amsterdam but 10 days wasn't enough. I think 2 weeks would be just about right to BEGIN to get a flavor of each city. Also, I would spend a good 5 days in Paris and Brussels only needs 1 1/2, there isn't much there.

Side note: PACK LIGHT!!! You'll thank me later.

Good luck!!
 

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