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22 days in Amsterdam, Germany, Austria and Switzerland

22 days in Amsterdam, Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Old Jan 31st, 2015, 04:49 PM
  #21  
 
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auto correct - rats! What do you plan to use cash for?
Kathie is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2015, 05:48 PM
  #22  
 
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Strongly suggest a couple of good guide books and determining what YOU rally want to see. IMHO the best guidebooks are the Michelin green guides - since they cover all major sights in detail, rank them by * in terms of importance (but what YOU like may differ) plus tell you how long it will take to see the various sights.

I happen to love Berlin - which has several wonderful museums and is good for at least 4 days (5 nights) as is Bavaria. Mad Ludwig created several "castles' - really modern palaces - Neuschwanstein the most famous since Disney copied it and helped spread it's fame. Franky I prefer some of his other palaces - but really also want to see some of the historic castles and palaces - of which there are several near/in Munich. Also - if you get to Vienna there are several real palaces there and in Switz (if you get that far there are a number of real castles - at Thun, Gruyere and the famous Chillon near Montreux.

I would spend some time doing this and then come back with a better idea of what you want to see and a draft itinerary that people can help with.

IMHO in the 21 days that you have I would do 4 or at most 5 cities - more than that and you would be spending too much of your limited time training aorund the countryside rather than actual sightseeing.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 06:22 PM
  #23  
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Hi All,

After considering your comments and suggestions, we have decided to drop Switzerland and Belgium and added some cities in Italy. Here is our planned itinerary and please feel free to put it your 2 cents:

Amsterdam - 3 nights
Frankfurt - 3 nights; with a stop over to see the Cologne cathedral. We're planning to take a daytrip to the Rhine Valley and another daytrip to Rothenburg or Heidelburg. Not sure which of these 2 will give us a feeling that we've been to an untouched German town.

Berlin - 4 nights with a day trip to Potsdam

Munich - 3 nights with a day trip to Neuschwanstein and another to Salzburg. Have noted that with a guided tour, the time spent on the actual site is rushed and very limited.

Milan - 2 nights. We want to see the Last Supper painting. Also doing a day trip to Turin to see the shroud.

Cinque Terre - 2 nights with a day trip to Pisa

Tuscany - 2 nights; planning to see Siena and probably another place. Can you recommend another place?

In our last trip, we already visited, Venice, Florence, Rome, Pompei and Naples just in case you are wondering why I skipped these.

I asked if we need cash. When we took the gondola ride in Venice, they only took cash. I also need cash to give some tip to the hotel person who will clean our room. Moreover, I read in another post that one has to pay in cash in a train station in Amsterdam.

Just some added questions:

1. We want to try some German beer. Would you be able to recommend one? Also, we want to experience having a drink in a German pub/restaurant that will give us some feeling that we are really in Germany and are enjoying what it has to offer.
2. Are there any food, drinks, places, etc. that we won't be able to read from doing our google search that you yourselves have had and had experienced and that you would highly recommend?

Thank you all again!
Jancen is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 12:49 AM
  #24  
 
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Jancen, you are still moving around way too much. Work this out with travel times and actual days that you will have to visit things, and work out the cost of moving around so much.

For example: check out of your hotel in Munich, travel to Milan (5 hours), check into hotel in Milan; that's most of that day gone. First night hotel Milan; one day to see Milan (book Last Supper tickets well in advance). Second night in Milan. When will you do that daytrip to Turin, which is a 4 hour round trip?

3 nights in Munchen gives you two full days. And one of those days you will visit Neuschwanstein, and the other Salzburg?
Why stay in Munchen at all?

Same thing in Frankfurt.

Getting from Milan to Cinque Terre: half a day. One night hotel: then go to Pisa for the day. Second night hotel, check out and move to Tuscany....

2 nights means 1 day of actually visiting a place. You will spend most of your 22 days in transport.

Get a map, and use www.rome2rio.com to figure out how long it will take to get from one place to the other, including your daytrips.
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 10:13 AM
  #25  
 
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I agree w/ Tulips . . .

>>Munich - 3 nights with a day trip to Neuschwanstein and another to Salzburg. Have noted that with a guided tour, the time spent on the actual site is rushed and very limited. >Milan - 2 nights. We want to see the Last Supper painting. Also doing a day trip to Turin to see the shroud.>Cinque Terre - 2 nights with a day trip to Pisa
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 10:17 AM
  #26  
 
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Munich has lots of beer halls - indoor and outdoor - in summer the Chinese Pagoda outdoor beer garden is just what you are looking for - in winter or anytime the Hofbrauhaus is world famous - yes lots of tourists but also many locals - German steins of that company's beer and the usual beer hall food - radishes too!
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 10:20 AM
  #27  
 
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You really need to lay this out day by day - not just a lst of places and a number of nights.

Next to each day list where you will wake up, what you will see or do, where you will travel to (and how long it will take based on times from bahn.de plus 2 hours, 1 at each end for getting to and fro hotels) and where you will sleep

If you will do this you will realize that you have double booked many days - or totally ignored how long it takes to get form one place to another.

TWO nights equal one day - not two days. You need to recalculate.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 12:14 PM
  #28  
 
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Do you have some special interest in modern mall architecture that makes Zeil special to you? If not, skip Frankfurt. Add that time to some other place. You can find high end shopping lots of places.

Your trip is not getting better, IMHO. It is getting more rushed with almost flyby stops. Traveling two to four hours each way to spend an hour or two sight seeing means your tiny bit of sight seeing is costing a great deal of money.

Try to spend nights in places you actually want to see.
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 12:46 PM
  #29  
 
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Frankfurt - 3 nights; with a stop over to see the Cologne cathedral. We're planning to take a daytrip to the Rhine Valley and another daytrip to Rothenburg or Heidelburg. Not sure which of these 2 will give us a feeling that we've been to an untouched German town>

There are zillions of 'untouched German towns - nobody visits them unless they have family but nothing is stopping anyone - chose a town on a map you'venever heard of and is not in any guidebook and go for it (and probably be bored). - No town with things of touristic interest is untouched.
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 02:16 PM
  #30  
 
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We're planning to take a daytrip to the Rhine Valley and another daytrip to Rothenburg or Heidelburg.>

Actually those are some of the most heavily touristed places in Germany.
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 06:49 PM
  #31  
 
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Your second itinerary is so different from your first, it is difficult to figure out what you really want from this trip.

Sometimes, something is so important to a person that they will go a long way to see that one thing, but do that too often and the trip becomes just a series of treks with lots of travel: train/plane/bus time and little sightseeing time. Your itinerary has that happening a half dozen times.

I suggest you pick two or three things or places that are super important to you, research what other interesting and beautiful places are near those and put a plan together that way.

An hour or so each way is ok for a day trip. Much more than that becomes an unreasonable use of time. Look at a good rail map and decide if a day trip is better or a linear trip with a couple of one nighters. Example: would it be better to do Turin as a day trip or just visit on the way to Genoa or Cinque Terre and not back track to Milan? I am sure it would be better to see Pisa on the way to Siena rather than day trip from CT. You could visit both Lucca and Pisa on the way to Siena or just Pisa and have the afternoon and evening in Sienna. Travel logistics are crucial for your planning.

Still say skip Frankfurt.

After Tuscany, what is your departure city?
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 09:50 PM
  #32  
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Earlier in my post, I mentioned that we are skipping Switzerland. The main reason is one of its main attractions, the Alps, is something somewhat similar to that we see in British Columbia and Alberta. We are 20 minutes away from 3 ski resorts, 2 hours from Whistler/Blackcomb and have been to Banff/Jasper and honestly, we are not too excited about seeing it. We added the northern part of Italy as perhaps, we can avoid criss crossing and just go east from Amsterdam then go south to Northern Italy thru Munich. I'm not too excited about Vienna either so we will also skip this but because of the short distance between Munich and Salzburg, we are planning to do a day trip there. The only reason we included Vienna on our 1st itinerary is because of the lower airfare if we will depart from there versus flying out of Switzerland or Germany. We now decided to include Milan, Turin, CT and Pisa because of a combination of wanting to see its major attractions as I mentioned in my earlier post. We just wanted to use Frankfurt as our base to go on a Rhine river cruise and a day trip to either Heidelburg or Rothenburg. Here, I'm not sure whether to skip Frankfurt and just head straight to Heidelburg and use it as a base to do the Rhine river cruise and take a day trip to Rothenburg.

In Italy, I don't know exactly how to plan our itinerary to be able to visit the places I mentioned. As Sassafrass mentioned, perhaps it makes sense to stop by Turin to see the Shroud of Turin on our way to Cinque Terre and then stop by Pisa on our way to Siena.

We don't know yet our departure city. Probably we'll use Pisa.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 12:12 AM
  #33  
 
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>>I'm not too excited about Vienna either so we will also skip this but because of the short distance between Munich and Salzburg, we are planning to do a day trip there.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 06:49 AM
  #34  
 
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The main reason is one of its main attractions, the Alps, is something somewhat similar to that we see in British Columbia and Alberta.>

Naw there is no comparison - I love the Jungfrau Region so so much - in summer - so many varied things to do besides climbing up to glaciers - lovely villages - boat rides on the lakes, etc.

As a ski resort yeh probably the same but very very different - a Swiss difference.
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