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markat16 Jun 29th, 2014 01:06 PM

3 college students, 2 weeks in Europe: Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague
Hi there,
I'm a college student studying abroad in Dublin this coming semester, but before I start school, two friends and I will be traveling around Europe for about two weeks. We've decided to visit Rome, Venice, Vienna, and Prague.

We arrive in Rome on the morning of August 20th and leave Prague on the evening of September 1st (trip total: 12 nights, 13ish days). We're thinking 3 nights in Rome (3.5 days), 2 nights in Venice (2.25 days), taking an overnight train to Vienna, where we'll spend 3 nights (3.5 days) and 3 nights in Prague (3 days). We'll take trains to get from city to city, but we're considering taking the bus from Vienna to Prague. We'll be staying in youth hostels.

None of us have been to Europe before, so we don't really know what to expect. If any experienced Europe travelers have opinions/suggestions about the following (or anything else you'd like to say), feedback would be greatly appreciated!

1. Booking train transportation ahead of time
2. How long to stay in each city
3. Ways to be frugal
4. How much to pack (e.g. how many/what size suitcases? Or just a backpack?)

These are just some things I've been wondering about. Any suggestions, comments, and opinions are welcome!


nytraveler Jun 29th, 2014 07:36 PM

Sorry - you actually have 10 full days for activities - the other days are spent getting to and being jetlagged and returning from. (It does take 2 night to make one full day.)

And getting to 4 places will take a significant part of 3 days - so you have 7 days and 4 places - really rushed.

I would cut back to 2 or 3 and get to see a little more in each place. Remember each country has a different language and culture, a different way of doing things, different local transit systems and you have to locate and figure out getting to and from a different hotel each time.

I know you want to see everything but I think you would end up seeing not much of any place. This is one of those times less is actually more.

spaarne Jun 29th, 2014 07:43 PM

Your question is way too general. A book could be written to guide you. But the book is already written - "Europe on a Shoestring" by the Lonely Planet folks. For an introduction to trains see For packing, get a 22" roller and a small shoulder tote. To be frugal, stay in hostels, eat in cafeterias, and walk.

StCirq Jun 29th, 2014 07:45 PM

What spaarne says.

live42day Jun 29th, 2014 08:16 PM

I am helping my boys plan a two week trip to Europe and we are finding that on and we can find hotels with good reviews in good areas for the same price as hostels in some cases. (e.g. Amsterdam) .

You need to just look at the different sites and compare locations and reviews. I always look on not only the hostlebookers reviews, and etc reviews but trip advisor as well. Don't look at any reviews from anyone who only gives one review, I usually only give any notice to people who have 10 or more reviews on different places.

We are also booking trains on line. The earlier you do this the less expensive. We are using Bahn because of where they are going.

less is better when it comes to packing. My husband and I just did three months in Europe followed by three months in South American and only had a 20 inch suitcase and small day pack each. You don't need much, just make sure that everything you bring goes with everything you bring.
remember that you will be lifting these on trains, up to the overhead space sometimes and dragging them down cobblestone streets if you choose a rolling suitcase.

In Prague we just booked them into the Hostel Prague Tyn. We did not stay here last fall, but went to the buffet indian vegetarian restaurant next door a few times, (very inexpensive and tasty) and saw a lot of young people from this hostel.

The reviews are good but the location can not be beat. Prague is a wonderful walking city and this hostel is right in the middle of everything. Lots of young people there, if you stay off the main square you can find inexpensive restaurants and cafes.

markat16 Jul 16th, 2014 07:42 PM

Thanks for the tips, everyone! As spaarne pointed out, it was a really general post--I probably should have split my questions up into multiple posts, but I do appreciate the responses. The tips about how much to pack and eating at cafeteria type places are especially helpful. As is the advice about booking hostels, live42day. Again, thank you for the feedback.

ashwinb Jul 18th, 2014 08:40 AM

Prague has a lot of cheap places to eat, you dont even have to go to cafetarias. The naschmarket at Vienna has good moderate priced food. The Ritchie's hostel has a good location in Prague,a so does the Wombat's in Vienna. The Prague card gives a students discount, which is a good deal. Buses are quite cheap in this area, check studentagency.

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