2 weeks in Europe - itenerary help

Jan 22nd, 2017, 01:30 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2017
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2 weeks in Europe - itenerary help

Hi this is our first time traveling to Europe from the US & would like to know the best place to arrive either London; France or Italy. We have only 2 weeks to travel & we would like to see the most of it via high speed train. We'll purchase a Global Pass ticket. Can we use this same ticket transfering from one country to another like 3 nites London to 2 nites Amsterdam; 2 nites France & 2 nites Italy. Our itenerary would be:
LONDON we would do a sightseeing tour to the Stonehenge, the Bath, visit Windsor Castle, visit St. Paul's Cathedral & Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, visit the British Museum, watch the changing of the guards.
AMSTERDAM - we would like to travel to the Zaan Region sto see the windmills, wooden clog shoe factories, det to taste Dutch farmer cheese, visit the Delft factory & visit Hollands famous miniature town Madurodam.
FRANCE - visit the Vaux le Vocomte Castle, Palace Versailles, Notre Dame Cathedral, Eifel Tower, Louvre Museum, Champs Elysees.
ITALY/ROME - Pisa, visit Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basillica, Vatican Church, Temple of Hadrian in Piazza di Pietra, Santa Maria Church underground cryp in Via del Corso, Corinthian Columns, Santa Maria Via Lata, Trevi Fountain, Closseum, the Spanish Steps, Temple of Julius Caesar; Nero's Circus Mazimus chariot stadium.
if we still have time we would like to visit Barcelona too
so please help us w/ our itenerary any suggestions would be highly appreciated. thanks
suef is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2017, 02:03 PM
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Two weeks = 14 days.

Days One and Two are taken up by travel to Europe - you usually arrive in the morning, by the time you find your lodgings and freshen up, and go back out to avoid taking a nap and getting your sleep habits “turned around”, Day 2 is otherwise pretty useless. (Stay up until after dinner time, be tough on yourselves. Walking is best.)

Day 14 is departure day, you usually get back to the US that same calendar day (a very long day...).

Leaves 11 days in Europe.

You want to relocate London-Amsterdam, Amsterdam-Paris, Paris-Rome.

Each of these trips takes up at least a half-day door-to-door if you make an early start.

Leaves nine full days for actual sightseeing. Can you see that something will have to give?

I would suggest that the “something” is Rome (Pisa is not near Rome), leave it for another trip, Rome is too huge, too far, too time-consuming to fit into this trip.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2017, 02:16 PM
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Forget the Global Pass and instead teach yourself about the bargain point-to-to-point train tickets throughout Europe - www.seat61.com.You need to buy well in advance for the cheap tickets.

You barely, if even, have enough time to visit your main destinations, so forget Barcelona. You need to study up on the actual time it will take you to transfer from one place to another.

The Changing of the Guard is a hopeless waste of time. You don't need a cheese factory to eat good cheese in Amsterdam - every other store sells cheese (and it's not great cheese). Pisa is a waste also, but given your very short timeframe, I would ditch Rome, which is huge and takes some time to get to know and navigate, and maybe spend a couple of nights in Florence and surrounding areas.

Buy open-jaw tickets, into one place and out of another. RT tickets will cost the same but also cost you in backtracking - boredom and unnecessary costs.
StCirq is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2017, 02:26 PM
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Limit yourself to London, Paris and Amsterdam for the reasons given above. Fly to London, take the high-speed Eurostar to Paris, and the high-speed Thalys from Paris to Amsterdam, from where you fly back home.
Even limiting yourself to these three destinations you'll find your time is not enough to enjoy all the attractions they have to offer.
No pass, but buy your tickets well in advance with the respective rail companies, following the advise of www.seat61.com
tonfromleiden is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2017, 02:32 PM
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Definite NO to any railpass for your plans- not even close- don't even cover London to Paris -check www.eurostar.com for that.

Amsterdam to Paris best by Thalys train -www.thalys.com - do like St-Cirq says and book cheaper tickets as far in advance as possible.

Yes your time in Amsterdam is only two nights -can't even do justice to Amsterdam let along Delft, Den Hague and Zaanse Schanse.

For lots on European trains check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2017, 02:46 PM
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How many nights will you actually have for this trip? Its really not possible to do justice to your destinations with the time you seem to have. Three nights in London for example only gives you two full days. A trip to Bath and Stonehenge alone takes up a very long day and Windsor will take up a half a day. Forget Barcelona and drop one other destination. Rome is the obvious choice as its further away from London and Paris and Amsterdam and Rome takes more time to visit for most people than Amsterdam. You also do not need a Pass as others have noted.
mjs is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2017, 06:45 PM
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I appreciate all your reply. We're leaving the US of a Friday afternoon if no delay hopefully arriving London hopefully Sat. AM like michelhuebeli said, check-in at the hotel & start our tour maybe by Hop on Hop Off around the city for the rest of the day -spend 1st nite … Day 2 Sunday go to The Stonehenge, Bath & Windsor via group tour & this will definitely take all day round trip - spend 2nd nite. . . . Day 3 Monday might get the chance to see Buckingham Palace St. Paul's Cathedral & Tower of London like StCirq said ***skip the changing of the guards. . . . so thats 2 nites . . . take the train late PM to

***take Thalys?
Amsterdam - Delft, Den Hague and Zaanse Schanse this is in our bucket list although theres not much to see . . . Tue/Wed so maybe spend 1 -2 nites or maybe take the nite train to

*** take Thalys? or Eurostar?
Paris/France might spend 2 nites Thurs/Fri. Pisa is along the way to Rome might as well stop take pictures & move on to Rome spend the rest of the 2nd week there. . . . depart Italy/Rome to the US on Sunday back tob work Monday . . .

*** take Eurostar >
Were not the shopping type we can skip the malls, we can pack our lunch/lite-dinner, were not taking any boat rides. We just need to see the hiightlights of Europe. Were more concern on the hassel of train rides & transfers. . . . We can take a couple of hop on hop off bus tours on our extra time or pay etra for group trips. . . .

so that cut down our itenerary skipping out Barcelona (Sagrada Familia). . . .we'll still have time???

more info & suggestions will help thanks
suef is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2017, 07:05 PM
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I still don't think you have timed this out as meticulously as you need to do.

The Paris and the Pisa mentions have me worried. You barely set foot into Paris. Forecast your exact moves from arrival train station to hotel to departure train station, assess what sightseeing targets you have in mind an how you will reach them, and yo'll see that it amounts to, well, not very much at all.

Rome just can't fit in there.

This calls for a detailed study of the timetables and the routes. The fast trains Paris-Rome don't go through Pisa.

And so it goes - your plan is still unrealistic and wastes time, money, and - worst - kills your expectations.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2017, 07:17 PM
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>>Day 2 Sunday go to The Stonehenge, Bath & Windsor via group tour & this will definitely take all day round trip<<

Bad BAD idea IMO!!! You will be jet lagged and lucky to be up by the 0'dark thirty time the tour bus leaves. Then you will likely doze most of the trip. just a bad deal all around.

You will have 1 and barely a half day in London. Huge waste of time and money.

You do not have time for everyplace you want to visit.

1 or 2 nights is at least 2 or 3 nights too few for Amsterdam, Delft, Den Hague and Zaanse Schanse

There is no over night train from Amsterdam to Paris.

You would do better taking the train from London (minimum 5 nights) > Paris (minimum 3 or 4 nights) > Amsterdam and leave your trip at that.

>>we can take a couple of hop on hop off bus tours on our extra time<< what 'extra' time? You don't have enough time for Italy as it is.
janisj is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2017, 07:47 PM
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Yes, you are still trying to cover too much. And the way you plan to do so is not optimal. The Hop On Hop Off buses are not a good use of your time - you'll spend much of the bus ride stuck in traffic. You'll see nothing. if you want of visit various places in London, take the tube; in Paris take the metro.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2017, 03:48 AM
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You're still not seeming to understand the realities of being on the ground when you're actually there. Everything takes longer than you are imagining. Hop On Hop Off buses are a complete waste of time for people trying to rush around. You say you won't take any boat rides, but in actuality they are FAR better than HOHO buses for getting a glimpse of the sights.

Be realistic. Spend 5 nights in London (your Day 2 is just horrible), take the train to Paris for at least 3 nights, then to Amsterdam for whatever you have left, and call it off. You won't miss what you don't get to see.
StCirq is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2017, 06:39 AM
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Your itinerary is completely unrealistic for the time you have. You may be able to cram in half of the sights you want to see, but you won't even have time to explore them properly - just check them off a list and move on. IMHO, that's not the best way to enjoy these places. I would limit myself to two cities, three max if you absolutely must. Give London the most days as you'll need time to adjust (jet lag).

Do you already have your flights? Are you flying into London and out of Rome? If so, I'd recommend several days in London, then take the Eurostar to Paris for a couple of days (which, in my opinion, shortchanges this amazing city), then fly from Paris to Rome for your final couple of days.

If you don't already have your flights and feel like you must do three places, start in London, move on to Paris, then Amsterdam and fly out of there.

Europe is larger than you think. Travel between cities takes longer than you can imagine. Bouncing between sights takes time. There may be ticket lines, security lines, etc. to go through. You need time to eat and sleep as well. Dial it back and you'll have a much better time.
LMGSONIC is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2017, 08:53 AM
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I agree with the others that you are unrealistic about how your are planning your trip. How many days do you to spend in Europe that are not your arrival and departure days? You lose at least half a day traveling between locations and jet lag can take a day or two to recover from which is why I suggest spending a bit longer in London.

You have listed more things you would like to do in Rome than in any other location so it seems Rome is your first priority. I would chose to visit Rome and one or two other locations, depending on how many days you actually have free to sightsee.

Your trip might look something like:
Monday: depart US
Tuesday: arrive London, 1/2 day sightseeing
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: London
Saturday: Stonehenge & Bath trip
Sunday: depart London for Amsterdam, 1/2 day sightseeing in Amsterdam
Monday, Tuesday: Amsterdam & surroundings
Wednesday: depart Amsterdam for Rome, 1/2 day sightseeing in Rome
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: Rome
Sunday: fly back to US

This is still a really tight trip but at least you would have time to see a few places in each location.
KTtravel is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2017, 01:17 PM
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I like KT travel's plan except I would drop Amsterdam as well for this trip. London and Rome, plus a little bit of the surrounding countryside of each.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2017, 02:36 PM
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Pisa is not actually on the way to Rome. You would have to change trains in Florence to get there, and then go back to Florence to get to Rome. There are a few direct slow trains from Pisa to Rome, but with a schedule like yours, I don't recommend slow trains.

If I were you, I'd fly from Paris to Rome. It will save you a lot of time versus taking the train. There is an overnight train from Paris to Milan, but getting to Rome from Milan would eat up most of the morning. Besides, it's not a very comfortable train.

I would split your time as follows:

Four nights in London, with a day trip to Stonehenge. I wouldn't recommend trying to fit in Bath and Windsor as well. Maybe one of them. If the tour includes all three, some of it's just going to be a drive-by.

Two nights in the Netherlands. The number of things you want to see there would require four or five nights, though. You could maybe see Amsterdam, Delft and the Hague, if you get there early enough to see a bit of Amsterdam on the day you arrive.

Three nights in Paris
Three nights in Rome

You won't have time to see all the things you want to see in each place, so you'll have to cut some of that as well. In Rome, I'd advise you to skip either the Vatican Museums (where the Sistine Chapel is located) or the Colosseum. Both are exhausting visits, and you'd have trouble fitting anything else into the same day.

The Temple of Hadrian is now a bank. You can see the portico (outside) with the Corinthian columns, but they're not in good shape. S. Maria in Via Lata has limited opening hours, mostly in the afternoon. The crypt and Roman excavations below are open from 4 to 7 PM, closed on Mondays.

The Temple of Julius Caesar is in the Roman Forum; you can only see it from the outside. A single ticket covers the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, and also the Palatine Hill, which is reached from inside the Forum. A visit to this area could easily last all day, and so could the visit to the Vatican area.

The Circus Maximus is now a grassy field. It existed long before Nero's time, and I associate it more with the great fire of Nero's reign than with his chariot races. (The fire broke out there.) I don't think it's worth your time going there, when you have so little time. You can see it from a certain spot on the Palatine Hill. Good luck finding the spot, though. The last time I was on the Palatine Hill, a few days after this past Christmas, I had to ask three people, all employees, before I found someone who could tell me how to get to the exit on Via San Gregorio. Even that person was just able to make a vague wave, and say, "It's over that way." There were no signs pointing to this exit from where we were, near the Palatine Museum. There are not enough signs at all in either the Roman Forum or on the Palatine Hill.

The Spanish Steps and the crypt under S. Maria della Concezione are two other places I think you can skip without missing much.

You mention Corinthian columns as a separate thing to see, but there are Corinthian Columns outside the bank/former Temple of Hadrian.
bvlenci is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2017, 04:08 PM
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suef, You have a wildly unrealistic amount on your itinerary.

If you cut all of Italy/Rome and don't add Barcelona, you still have plenty for a two week trip.

Or if Italy is more important, then cut London/Amsterdam or France altogether.
suze is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2017, 04:13 PM
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>>If you cut all of Italy/Rome and don't add Barcelona, you still have plenty for a two week trip.

Or if Italy is more important, then cut London/Amsterdam or France altogether.<<

That --
janisj is online now  
Jan 24th, 2017, 01:33 PM
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thanks for all your input im able to get some ideas & a lots of information from this forum & hoping to read more . . . . . I just want to share something to everyone here . . . when the kids were in middle school we traveled 7 states in the US for 9 DAYS driving my mini van w/ 3 kids 3 adults - 06/25 - 07/03 2000

CA took hwy 1 along the coast stoped at Drive Tru Tree in Klamath then Bandon onto OR at grandma's house.
OR - Crater lake; Roseburg Museum & Parks
ID - Craters of the Moon & caves1 m hike; Camas; St Anthony Reservoir
WY - Yellowstone Park watch the Geysers; Grand Teton Jackson Hole ride
tram to the top of the Mt the kids played on the snow
UT - Flaming Gorge Dam; Moab Delicate Arches Nat'l Park 2m hike the
kids loved it; Bryce Canyon soo awesome kids hike down bet the
canyon; drive along hwy 12 passing Red canyon & Mt Zion not really
much to see
CO - Dinosaur Nat'l Museum; Colorado Nat'l Museum; Mesa Verde spruce
tree houses of the native settlers this is awsome too worth the hike
AZ - Nat'l Bridges Mnt; Glen Canyon Dam; drive along Route 66; Grand
Canyon Nat'l Park, Hermits Rest; Hoover Dam & Lake Mead kids love
to feed the fish AZ border end in LV NV to grandma's house

we have Golden Eagle Pass for all the Nat'l Parks & spend at last 1 nite in some states.

we all enjoyed this tour, stop at some important historical palces & highlights took lots of picture, had a couple of hikes & walking; use rest area, eat along the way kids love Mc before now no more & off we go.

so for those fast face travelers you can try this.

suef is offline  
Jan 24th, 2017, 01:39 PM
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>>& spend at l[e}ast 1 nite in some states.<<

One whole night? I have no words.

You are now officially on your own . . .
janisj is online now  
Jan 24th, 2017, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,154

Yes, you traveled to many different states on that U.S. trip, but all your stops were in the same country.

Since you have never visited Europe before, every time you change countries you will have new procedures to learn--different ways to purchase tickets, navigate unfamiliar stations, ride transportation, cross the street, order food, make purchases and identify the correct currency--and some of it in languages unfamiliar to you. It will take longer to do ordinary things because they are no longer ordinary for you.

Of course, you know best how your family will enjoy the places and pace you choose.
ellenem is offline  

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