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materialscongress Aug 24th, 2016 11:45 PM

3 days to spend in europe
Hi all,

I with my colleague will be traveling to Germany (First time abroad) to attend a meeting. We will have 3 days time to roam in Europe. We need suggestions in this regards. Please answer my questions below.

With Germany visa, it is possible to visit other countries in Europe with out applying for visa to any particular country? ( We are planning to visit France, Switzerland and Netherlands )

We will be arriving to Frankfurt on Sept 02 at 2:00 pm. We have meeting on Sept 05 and Sept 06. So we planned to cover Frankfurt and Berlin on Sept 3rd and 4th. And we have booked return flight on Sept 09 evening from Frankfurt. So we have 3 days time (Sept 7, 8 and 9) to roam Europe. Please suggest best places to visit. As I informed before our priority is France, Switzerland and Netherlands. We want to visit maximum countries possible and 2 or 3 best places in one country is fine for us. Sept 3rd can also be used to visit any countries mentioned above.

Regarding traveling in Europe, due to budget constraints, we are planing to roam by train. Any suggestions regarding rail pass ?

We are also seeking for any other miscellaneous suggestions and tips. Kindly help us.

Thanks in advance.

sparkchaser Aug 25th, 2016 12:26 AM

Your visa will get you into the other Schengen countries but I think you should just stay in Germany. Seriously. Visiting France, Switzerland, and Netherlands is doable but it is NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL.

My proposed schedule:

Sept 2 14:00 arrive Frankfurt. Take train to Berlin. (there is a 16:47 and 17:47 train that leaves from the airport to Berlin). Arrive around 22:30.

Sept 3: Berlin.

Sept 4: Berlin. Train back to Frankfurt.

Sept 5-6: Frankfurt meeting. See Frankfurt after the meetings

Sept 7: Train to Munich

Sept 8: Munich

Sept 9: Morning or afternoon train to Frankfurt airport. Leave that evening.

You can switch Munich and Berlin or go to Cologne or Hamburg instead of Munich.

If you really, truly want to make your France, Switzerland, and Netherlands idea work, then you need to go here and play around with timetables and destinations:

sparkchaser Aug 25th, 2016 12:35 AM

There is a train that leaves from Frankfurt to Amsterdam on Sept 6 that leaves at 19:29 and arrives in Amsterdam at 23:45. I picked the 19:29 train because I don't know when your meetings will be over and how long it will take you to get you and your stuff to the train station.

There is a train that leaves from Amsterdam to Paris on Sept 7 that leaves at 19:17 and arrives in Paris at 22:35.

There is a train that leaves from Paris to Zurich on Sept 8 that leaves at 18:55 that arrives in Zurich at 23:52.

There is a train that leaves from Zurich to Frankfurt Airport that leaves at 14:00 and arrives at the airport at 18:06.

What time was your flight? Don't forget you need to get there two hours early.

I hope I don't need to spell it out what a horrible idea this is.

burta Aug 25th, 2016 12:52 AM

I am usually very encouraging of people travelling in the manner they wish, but this is the craziest idea ever! You will spend so much time travelling from place to place and only have a day in each city, each of which is in a different country! If you want to get the flavor of a country at all, this is not the way to do it. With only three extra days, pick one country. This would preferably be Germany since you will be there already and there is lots to see. If you must, then pick just one more country and do one city there for your remaining time.

StCirq Aug 25th, 2016 02:27 AM

You simply don't have time to "roam Europe." You have 3 paltry days. You can't see 3 countries in 3 days - are you nuts? You can hardly "see" 3 countries in 3 weeks.

Stay in Germany. It's not as though there aren't myriad options for things to do there.

inspiredexplorer Aug 25th, 2016 02:48 AM

I agree with previous posters: you do not have time to visit 3 countries in 3 days.

SparkChaser's layout is a good skeleton. If France is really your top priority, you could take the train from Frankfurt to Paris (under 4 hrs) and spend your 3 days there. Any possibility to move your flight to fly out of Paris instead?

Judy Aug 25th, 2016 03:07 AM

Not sure where you are from but, is it possible to see your country in one day including travel?

Whathello Aug 25th, 2016 03:28 AM

I d recommend not to sleep and to get off at each train stop.
That way you can visit more countries in the way.
Ps : did you have a look at a map ?

traveller1959 Aug 25th, 2016 03:33 AM

>>As I informed before our priority is France, Switzerland and Netherlands. We want to visit maximum countries possible and 2 or 3 best places in one country is fine for us. <<

That would not be possible even if you had a private jet.

nytraveler Aug 25th, 2016 04:17 AM

Th eonly way to do what you want and have time to see even one major sight in each city is to hire a helicopter and bounce from one country to another at all hours of the day and night, with little sleeping and a huge expenditure of money.

Otherwise this is a nonsense.

Remember each country has a different culture, different language, different meal times and transit systems and you would be left with literally a few hours in each of the cities you visit. Europe no longer has a large number of overnight trains so in most cases you need to either waste daylight hours in travel or sit up in a train all night, perhaps changing trains 2 or 3 times in the middle of the night, to preserve daylight for sightseeing.

You are already in Germany. Either stay there and see a very few of the wonderful sights it has to offer or pick one (ONE) place and travel there and see a little bit of it. Switch your air tickets so you fly back from the second city and don't have to waste a whole day returning to Germany to fly home.

If you don't believe the advice you have ben given here go to the web site of the the german rail line, which has schedules for all of europe - - and put together a timetable for yourself that shows you how little tie you will have any place if you try to follow this mad whirl.

sparkchaser Aug 25th, 2016 04:42 AM

Just for the sake of argument, here is <b>OP's DREAM ITINERARY:</b>

Sept. 2 14:00 land at FRA

Sept. 2 14:20 deplane

Sept. 2 14:30 arrive at immigration queue

Sept. 2 15:30 clear immigration queue

Sept. 2 15:40 claim baggage and clear customs

Sept. 2 15:50 grab a coffee and a sandwich or pastry at any of the several bakeries there then head to the train station

Sept. 2 16:35 arrive at Frankfurt Airport train station Platform 7

Sept. 2 16:43 take ICE 122 to Amsterdam

Sept. 2 20:57 arrive Amsterdam Centraal. Walk to hotel (I went ahead and imaginary booked you at the Hilton Doubletree)

Sept. 2 21:07 arrive at hotel, check-in, go take a shower

Sept. 2 21:40 leave hotel to walk to red light district and grab some dinner on the way there or back then return to the hotel.


Sept. 3 7:00 Get up and get ready. Pack your stuff. Grab breakfast and checkout of hotel.

Sept. 3 8:00 Leave hotel and leave luggage there if they will allow it, else go to the train station and put your luggage into a locker.

Sept. 3 8:15 See as many of the following things as you can before 15:30: Sex Museum, Van Gogh Museum, Heineken Experience, Ann Frank House, Royal Palace, Maritime Museum, perhaps a return to the Red Light District (I won't judge you)

Sept 3 15:52: Are you back at the train station with your luggage? I hope so because your train to Paris leaves at 15:52.

Sept. 3 18:08: You arrive in Brussels for a 35 min layover. So you have enough time to walk out of the train station and take a photo of a peeing fountain statue and grab a quick snack if you'd like.

Sept. 3 18:43: Get on the train to Paris. Fall asleep for a bit and suddenly wake up not knowing where you are.

Sept. 3 20:05: Arrive in Paris (Gare du Nord). I went ahead and imaginary booked you at the Hotel Mercure Paris Terminus Nord because it is a 5 min walk away.

Sept. 3 20:10: Arrive at hotel. Check-in and go to room to clean yourself up and get ready for dinner.

Sept. 3 20:40: Leave hotel and go wherever the front desk recommends for dinner. Or perhaps a kind Fodorite will give you a place to eat. Drink a whole bottle of wine by yourself because hey you're in Paris. Go back to room and crash.


Sept. 4 8:00: Get up and get ready. Pack your stuff up. Check-out and take your luggage to the train station and put into a locker.

Sept. 4 8:30: Go have breakfast somewhere. I hear that it is just a croissant or pan chocolat and an espresso. So do that.

Sept. 4 9:00: Go see the following in whatever order you choose but be back at the train station by 17:00 so you can grab your train back to Frankfurt: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dam, The Louve, Sainte-Chapelle, the Grand Palace.

Sept. 4 17:00: Are you back at the train station with your luggage? I hope so. Your train leaves at 17:10.

Sept. 4 20:58: Arrive at Frankfurt train station. I don't know where your meeting is but I presume your hotel is near. Go there. Go to a FKK if you want (I won't judge you).


Sept 5: Meetings. Do whatever your local colleagues suggest. tell them that you can't hang out with them on the 6th.


Sept. 6: Meetings. I am going to assume that you will not free until 18:00.

Sept. 6 18:58: Your train to Berlin is leaving. Don't forget your luggage!

Sept. 6 23:06: Arrive in Berlin. I have imaginary booked you at the InterCity Hotel because it is right there. I suggest checking into the hotel and hunting down a Döner or Currywurst for dinner (you can thank me later). Have a beer or two and go to bed.

Sept. 7 8:00: Get up. Grab some breakfast and check-out of the hotel. See if they will hold on to your luggage else you will have to put it into a locker at the train station.

Sept. 7 9:00 You should be on your way to see as much of the following as you can: Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate, a piece of the Berlin Wall, Reichstag Building, the Großer Tiergarten, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Currywurst Museum, and whatever else you happen to see. If you had Currywurst for dinner, have a Döner for lunch but if you had a Döner for dinner last night, have a Currywurst for lunch. Be back at the train station by 16:30.

Sept. 7 16:30: Are you back at the Berlin train station with your luggage? Good. Your train to Zurich leaves in one minute!


Sept. 8 01:24: You train arrives in Zurich. What? You didn't want to go to Zurich? Too bad. You're in Zurich. Now, go check into your hotel (I imaginary booked you at the Hotel St. Gotthard because of its proximity to the train station). Sweet dreams!

Sept. 8 8:00: What? 8AM already? WTF? Get up, get ready, grab breakfast, and check out. See if they will hold onto your luggage and if not then put it into a locker at the train station.

Sept. 8 9:00: What You slept in? You bugger! Get your butt out of bed! You only have a few hours in Zurich. You can sleep when you are dead. Get up, get ready, grab breakfast, and check out. See if they will hold onto your luggage and if not then put it into a locker at the train station.

Sept. 8 9:30: So, you're in Zurich. Do you want to buy a watch? You can do that here. There's probably a watch museum or a memorial to neutrality during wartime or banking museum or something. You can see the Alps. That's cool. You can also pay like 20 Swiss Francs for a Burger King Whopper meal. You could get fondue. That would be cool. Just be back at the train station before 17:00.

Sept. 8 17:00: Your train leaves the Zurich train station for Frankfurt.

Sept. 8 21:08: Arrive in Frankfurt. Check into a hotel of your choice.


Sept. 9: Whatever your local colleagues told you about on the 5th or 6th that you didn't see and still want to see, go do that. Just remember that you need to be at the airport at least two hours before your plane departs.

See? Completely doable but think of all the wasted time on trains. And the extra costs of trains.

I don't think anyone here would recommend doing it but if you are hell bent on doing it, I just gave you the itinerary.

sparkchaser Aug 25th, 2016 04:44 AM

Strike that, you can do it. I believe in you!

kleeblatt Aug 25th, 2016 05:11 AM

You can do all this at Europa Park. There's a section dedicated to different countries in Europe. Europa Park is located in Rust and it's a fantastic amusement park.

Have fun!

sparkchaser Aug 25th, 2016 05:18 AM


traveller1959 Aug 25th, 2016 08:50 AM

Great job, Sparky!

I will nominate you for the "Most-helpful-Fodorite-of-the-year"-award!

suze Aug 25th, 2016 11:04 AM

As others are kindly getting at:

<we have 3 days time>

<to roam Europe>

<our priority is France, Switzerland and Netherlands>

You simply can't "roam" Europe or see 3 countries in only 3 days.

cheska15 Aug 25th, 2016 11:46 PM

sparkchaser you are brilliant. Although I do feel very tired reading the Iteniary. I have had to pour myself a third prosecco hoping it would look better. Now not sure if it is the Iteniary itself or the prosecco that makes this look awful.

Whathello Aug 26th, 2016 02:40 AM

Great post Spark.
You deserve a beer.

materialscongress Aug 26th, 2016 04:00 AM

Hey guys.. thank you very much for your comments and suggestions. Specially "sparkchaser", u r a cool dude. Thank you so much sparkchaser.

Our stay in Germany extended and now we will have time to roam from September 07 (from 1:00 pm) and until September 11 (till 11:00 am). We have return flight from Berlin on September 13. (Have another short meeting on September 11 at 1:00 pm). So can roam Berlin on 12th.

Please suggest us to travel Paris, Amsterdam and if possible, Zurich in the time period available.

We are very much exited about the trip and looking forward to visit the beautiful Europe for the first time.

Our idea is to visit as many countries as possible hoping in future we get more time to visit each and every country separately.

Thank you all.

traveller1959 Aug 26th, 2016 04:19 AM

Seriously, even with added time, it is impossible to visit four countries.

Amsterdam, Brussel (extended stopover on the way from Amsterdam to Paris), Paris will halfway work, but I would strongly recommend skipping Zürich. Is not in the league of Eurpean A-cities anyway. And you will not have the time to train into the Alps.

Then, fly from Berlin to Amsterdam and back from Paris to Berlin. It will save a lot of time. Search for budget flights which are often cheaper than train fare.

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