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jared825 Jan 12th, 2016 01:37 AM

20 Days in Europe - Will This Itinerary Work?
Hi, everyone! I'm planning a trip to Europe with a few friends (3 total) for late May - early June and we are planning on being there for about 20-21 days. I've made a preliminary itinerary and I'm wondering if I can get some sort of feedback on what you guys might think will work, what I can fix, and suggestions about the order. We also can't decide between Amsterdam or Dublin. We each chose a "go to" country/city (Rome, Athens, Paris) and decided on a 4th (Berlin) and 5th country/city (Amsterdam or Dublin - arrival destination we still cannot decide on) together. Here's the itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Amsterdam or Dublin
Day 2: Amsterdam or Dublin
Day 3: Amsterdam or Dublin
Day 4: Travel to Berlin
Day 5: Berlin
Day 6: Berlin
Day 7: Berlin
Day 8: Travel to Athens
Day 9: Athens
Day 10: Athens
Day 11: Travel to Rome
Day 12: Rome
Day 13: Rome
Day 14: Rome
Day 15: Travel to Paris
Day 16: Paris
Day 17: Paris
Day 18: Paris
Day 19: Travel to Amsterdam
Day 20: Return to U.S.

bilboburgler Jan 12th, 2016 02:59 AM

It's doable, and...

Book an open jaw flight so into one country out of another, prices may be cheaper and it saves on back tracking

Have you estimated the amount of time you will be traveling, especially on planes. Not only an environmental issue but the shear time wasted. I might look at Amsterdam train to Paris, Fly to Rome, fly to Greece, Fly to Berlin home.

Actually if it were me I'd drop Athens and keep Dublin but most of all keep Amsterdam.

These are all capital cities, any idea why, for instance Hamburg is pretty good or Stuttgart,

So I think the take-aways are open-jaw and why capitals?

StCirq Jan 12th, 2016 03:09 AM

Athens is a big outlier. I'd drop it. And I surely wouldn't book RT tickets into and out of Amsterdam if you're planning to roam the entire Continent. You're gping to waste valuable time and $$$ backtracking.

And as noted, don't you want to see some countryside? Why all capital cities?

nytraveler Jan 12th, 2016 04:51 AM

Without knowing what you major interests are it's hard to organize this - except to say that you have a lot of diverse places in only 19 days. How many museums, cathedrals and castles do you want to see. Do you want to do any hiking or biking or adventure sports. What about fine dining versus picnic with premade sandwiches or food from a market. Is shopping important - and is that big budget designers or just random tschotckes/window shopping?

Definitely fly open jaws - into your first city and home from your last - to avoid wasting time and $ making a giant circle. These are called multi-destinatiton flights and you can find them on any search engine.

I would drop Athens and definitely include Amsterdam - but agree that you have not allowed any time for transit from one place to another (at least a 1/2 day each time) which will cut significantly into your sightseeing/activity time.

postpositive Jan 12th, 2016 06:43 AM

I've never been to Dublin but I'd choose Amsterdam :)
But Berlin is an absolutely right decision! For me this city is something special and it's not expensive over there. you can live in any part of that and you'll never be bored!

bilboburgler Jan 12th, 2016 07:19 AM

postpositive, welcome to Fodors.

traveller1959 Jan 12th, 2016 09:08 AM

I would keep Athens, even add a day (for a daytrip to Delphi). For European history Greece is absolutely important.

The archeological sites are breathtaking.

Gretchen Jan 12th, 2016 09:16 AM

Well, yes, Athens/Greec IS wonderful but not for 2.5 days.
No to Dublin, yes to Amsterdam. It's "out there" for this kind of trip. Do England and Ireland on another jaunt.

There is a sort of "drive by" quality to your trip--see the capitals tour.

postpositive Jan 12th, 2016 10:37 AM

bilboburgler haha thank you! let's celebrate!)

StCirq Jan 12th, 2016 12:20 PM

I agree with Gretchen, as usual. Athens is astounding, but for 2.5 days not so great. I've been to Greece a couple of times and it took me a couple of days each time to deal with basic logistics, even though I had studied the language and could speak exremely ridimentary Greek.

PalenQ Jan 12th, 2016 12:38 PM

Amsterdam over Dublin for logistical reasons as Gretchen says and also Amsterdam is one of most beautiful cities in Europe and lots of great museums and nightlife that attracts younger Europeans from all over. You can take trains and even overnight trains between some of your stops - you are not taking enough trains to even consider a railpass - for lots of great train info: - great info on discounted tickets you can get for your Amsterdam to Berlin trip and in Italy; for general info - and

Sassafrass Jan 12th, 2016 01:18 PM

You have allowed whole days for travel, so I think you have estimated days just fine. However, it is a lot of time spent in travel, time you are not sightseeing or experiencing anything.

So, I would also drop Athens and hold off on Greece until you also have time to see some of the islands.

Use those days to see some smaller towns or special places close to those major cities already on your list. There are many options.

You could easily use those days to see other places in Italy - Florence with day trips to Siena or other beautiful small cities, or Venice, or Pompeii and some of the Amalfi Coast.

You could add them to Paris and do some day trips, or head to another place in France for three or four days.

Or, add them to the Netherlands or Belgium or to Germany or Austria.

Definitely Amsterdam over Dublin. Save Dublin when you can visit a bit more of Ireland.

You have a great start.

crefloors Jan 12th, 2016 01:48 PM

Don't you think that most people want to see the cities they've heard so much about, especially if they have never been to Europe before? The Poster didn't say whether it was a first trip or not, but on a first trip, that's what I would do.

The second trip and so on, see other areas, although I would always find time for a few days in Paris. :)

traveller1959 Jan 12th, 2016 01:49 PM

Seems that some Greece-haters are here on the forum. Is there a relation to the economic crisis that has been settled so nicely by Angela Merkel?

Whathello Jan 12th, 2016 02:23 PM

I disagree on Athens.

Last time we were there, we stayed only 2 days in Athens and 1-2 days touring (Delphes etc).
We all loved it and it gave us a taste for coming back.

traveller1959 Jan 12th, 2016 02:43 PM

If your time is extremely limited, one day would even be enough to catch the main attractions of Athens. The Acropolis, the two theatres, the Pnyx, Areopagus, the Agora, the fantastic Temple of Hephaistos are so close that you can visit all these sites, where philosophy and democracy originated, within one morning. And in the afternoon, you visit the National Archeological Museum.

For the second day, a trip to Delphi is most rewarding. Delphie is the most mythological sites of all - the centre of the ancient world -, it is breathtakingly scenic on the slope of the mountains, and there you have a magnificent theatre, a stadium, temples and an excellent museum.

So, just two full days in Athens will give you the opportunity to see two sites which have been so influential for Western culture and are still oustanding beautiful.

suze Jan 12th, 2016 02:54 PM

Amsterdam instead of Dublin.

Make your last city Rome or Paris and fly home from there (don't backtrack to Amsterdam).

Shave of a day or two off somewhere so you have more days for Greece. Or skip it and add the days to the others.

Gretchen Jan 12th, 2016 03:28 PM

Ummm, no Greece hater here--quite the contrary. but it is SO much more than Athens. It is for this poster, an expense to get there, then as others say, get oriented. The islands just sshould not be missed for the 'real' history of Greece.
What I have often suggested to people visiting Greece, go to the national museum, then go to the islands and then come back and truly appreciate the treasures in the museum.

If your time is extremely limited, one day would even be enough to catch the main attractions of Athens.
Athens' greatest hits!!! very wry LOL

nytraveler Jan 12th, 2016 05:07 PM

The problem with Athen is that it isn;t near the others - they would have to fly and even one full day in Athens would take basically 3 days out of their trip.

bilboburgler Jan 12th, 2016 11:39 PM

nothing against Greece, in fact you could put together a great Dalmatian coast, Italy in the South, Greece and Turkey route but on this trip it is a bit of an outlier.

Merkel; least bad option. :-)

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