3-ish Countries in 3 Weeks?

Old May 26th, 2016, 11:47 PM
  #1  
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3-ish Countries in 3 Weeks?

I recently turned 18 and will be travelling to Europe over the summer for three weeks alone. I plan to stay in hostels, living the backpacking life and want to keep an open schedule for flexibility. On the other hand, I'm also concerned that keeping an open schedule may make it very difficult for me to find lodging in popular tourist destinations. This is my itinerary as it exists right now:

-Arrive in Paris in the morning on June 28

- 3 nights in Paris (I'm not particularly interested in France, but figured I might as well check out Paris)

-Travel to Geneva, Switzerland. 4 nights in Switzerland (hopefully travelling around the country (I'd appreciate suggestions)).

-Travel to Venice, Italy, 3-4 days

- Travel to Rome, Italy, 4 days

-Travel to Florence, Italy, 3-ish days

-1-2 days unaccounted for

- July 18 travel to Paris

-July 19 morning flight home.

I decided to go on this trip quite spontaneously and thus don't have a detailed itinerary and I'm very unsure about what I should go and do. I would appreciate any and all advice you can give me.

Thank You!
Fortalimor is offline  
Old May 26th, 2016, 11:59 PM
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I think your itinerary is sensible. If you want ideas on what to see/do, then you need to tell us about your interests and what you do not want to see/do.
sparkchaser is offline  
Old May 27th, 2016, 03:17 AM
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Why do you want to go back to Paris for the flight home? Have you already bought the flight tickets? If you can get flights into one city and out of another it will save some time.

A map of Italy will show you that doing Venice - Rome - Florence will mean backtracking a bit. Venice - Florence - Rome would be better, especially if you are travelling from Switzerland to Italy.
anyegr is offline  
Old May 27th, 2016, 03:30 AM
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That is a good point. OP could fly into CDG, see Paris for a few days then bug out of France to places more to their liking. The extra day gained from not going back to Paris could be added to the unaccounted for days and then go to Naples or Milan or even Sicily. Then leave from Rome.
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Old May 27th, 2016, 05:40 AM
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Since you are under 26 check out the bargain Eurail Youthpasses - good sources for understanding the European rail system - www.ricksteves.com; www.seat61.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - check the latter's online European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of suggested rail itineraries.
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Old May 27th, 2016, 06:08 AM
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Switzerland is very, very expensive, especially in the cities. If you can afford to go there, I would suggest heading for the Lauterbrunnen valley and seeing some mountains, rather than the cities.

You are traveling at the beginning of high season to some of the most visited places in Europe. If I were you I would check hostel availability right now. Also, three weeks is not much time, why waste some of it looking for somewhere to stay?
thursdaysd is offline  
Old May 27th, 2016, 06:34 AM
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Agree if you do not yet have flights bought definitely do open jaws (called multi-destination on flight sights) and avoid wasting tim and money returning to Paris.

As for reserving hostels - they are not all the same. Some are in city center and some are far distant - making you spend a lot of time and money going back and forth. Also some are very pleasant and safe and some are gritty (for lack of a better word - with lots of problems with theft and drugs - serous drugs).

Definitely look now to see what is available where you want to go - and I think you will find some already sold out.

Plus get a couple of online or hard copy student guides for much more info on traveling on a budget.
nytraveler is offline  
Old May 27th, 2016, 09:14 AM
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Let's Go Europe is a great guide to have along - very objective reviews of hostels so you can tell the gritty ones from the better ones.
PalenQ is offline  
Old May 27th, 2016, 12:05 PM
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Join Date: May 2016
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Let's Go's reviews were pretty reliable from what I remember, but I haven't used it in the last several years myself. You can also check a review site like Hostelz for hostels.

For Switzerland by the way, Geneva is pretty but very expensive and not a ton to do. You would probably love Interlaken (and you can visit Grindlewald and other towns in that area while you're there if you have time).
fitmachine is offline  
Old May 27th, 2016, 01:27 PM
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Balmer's Hostel in Interlaken's quanit Matten section is legendary as a watering hole for younguns from all over the world - more than a hostel - a night club too and organizes adventure thrills like paragliding I believe"

http://www.balmers.com/
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