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3 Month Europe Itineray -- please critique :)

3 Month Europe Itineray -- please critique :)

Old Feb 19th, 2017, 01:55 PM
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3 Month Europe Itineray -- please critique :)

Hey all,

I'm going backpacking through Europe for 3 months this upcoming summer. Can you please critique the itinerary and let me know what you think? Are the nights sufficient to experience the cities? I don't have a hard deadline, but the budget is $10-15k while staying in hostels.

Thanks & much appreciated

Barcelona – 8 nights
Lucerne – 2 nights
Zurich – 2 nights
Munich – 4 nights
Salzburg – 2 nights
Venice – 4 nights
Florence – 7 nights (Tuscany 2 days)
Cinque Terre – 3 nights
Rome – 7 nights
Naples – 3 nights
Athens – 4 nights
Istanbul – 4 nights
Budapest – 5 nights
Krakow – 4 nights
Prague – 4 nights
Berlin – 4 nights
Amsterdam – 4 nights
Bruges – 4 nights
Paris – 7 nights
London – 6 nights
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Old Feb 19th, 2017, 03:05 PM
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If budget is an issue, cut out your time in Switzerland - the most expensive country in Europe. And I can't imagine spending 4 nights in Bruges - cut 1 or 2 nights from there. That would allow you to add more time to Paris and London, both cities you could spend weeks in and not run out of things to see and do.
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 01:10 AM
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Times look fine but it's a list of cities. Do you not want to see the villages and countryside?
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 01:15 AM
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Also I wouldn't travel all the way to Greece and Turkey only to visit one city in each country. If you can't stay longer I would probably save these countries for another time.
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 03:06 AM
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great advice above, Bruges for 4 nights (i'd tear my head off)

Munich for 4 nights!

Zurich for 2 will hurt the wallet badly. Zurich is just not the place to visit Switzerland for, the place to go is the countryside so pick a little place or avoid completely.

Budget, I'd work on E30 a night for hostel and E30 for food a day (helps if you eat local food only and lots of veggie, booze only if it comes for free which will do if you buy your main meal at Lunch M-F where you see the signs)
Travel lets plant E50 each move
So E60*90
+ E50*20 moves
=6400 then you just have to fly here and pay for museums etc

Anyone else on the budget?
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 03:49 AM
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Sounds reasonable to me. And neither could I stomach 4 nights in Bruges. In fact, I'd divvy up the 8 days allotted to Amsterdam and Bruges so as to include at least a couple of: Ghent, Antwerpen, Rotterdam, Brussels.

I'd also dump Zürich. And as a general rule, yes, get out of the only-cities mode and go see some countryside.
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 04:02 AM
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If you want to go to Switzerland skip the cities and head for the Interlaken area.

I can't imagine going to Greece just for Athens. There are loads of islands, and a lot to see on the mainland.

The Cinque Terre is apparently VERY crowded these days. The Amalfi Coast will be crowded too, but if you are going to Naples I would visit the AC in preference to the CT.

I wouldn't want that long in Florence or Bruges.

Read seat61.com for info on train travel and rail passes.
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 04:25 AM
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Barcelona is popular (maybe too much so), but eight nights seems excessive to me.
I agree with dreamon. Consider visiting the countryside and villages. You'll be welcomed, and you can kick back and view something other than city and other tourists.
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 06:20 AM
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Yup with all those trains some kind of railpass would be a great deal - perhaps 15d/2mo Eurail Global Pass - youth pass if under 26- even better deal - in most (but not all) countries just hop on any train anytime. For great stuff on trains and passes yes www.seat61.com is superb as are www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Overnight trains can be used to traverse long distances and also save on cost of accommodation.
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 08:07 AM
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Your itinerary to me is a disaster. First, you are allowing no time at all for travel between places. Every time you write 2 nights in a place you are talking about only spending 1 full day in that place. Each time you move, you lose most if not all of a day doing so.

What you have come up with is a 'list ticker's list' of places. You can say you were phsyically in each place but you will not be able to say that you saw or did much in most of them.

You've listed only cities and as some have noted, a country does not consist solely of cities. To see much of any country you need to also visit towns and villages.

Travel should be based on your interests, not just a list of places you have heard of and so put on a list thinking you should visit them. What are you actually interested in seeing and doing in each of these places you have listed? What are your specific interests in each place? Do you know?

Three months is a decent amount of time to have but if you waste it moving 20 times, you will in fact see and do little anywhere. You need to consider that the less you move, the more you will be able to see and do in the places you do spend your time in. With 3 months, I would not plan on moving more than once a week and preferably even less than that. It is not a race and there is no prize for the quantity of places you go through. Your list is a typical first timer's bad idea of what to do in my opinion.

Even if you slow down and move no more than once a week, you are also making the mistake of covering too much ground and too many countries. I am going to guess you are American, Canadian or Australian perhaps. You think in terms of large distances between places of interest. In Europe it is the exact opposite. You need only go a short distance to another place of interest and even an entirely different country!

You could spend your entire 3 months in France or Italy or Spain o or Greece, etc. etc. and still not see all there is of interest in one country. If you just can't see spending 3 months in one country then think about perhaps spend a month in each of 3 countries. You have listed around 13 countries!

My advice to you is to think smaller, much smaller in terms of how many places you will have time to visit and to not just limit your time to cities. I would suggest you scrap your entire list and instead, start by listing your interests whatever they are. Then look for what places suit those interests. Do not make the rookie mistake of listing cities and then looking for what might interest you in each. That's backasswards thinking.

Tell us what you are interested in seeing/doing. Or tell us that you are only interested in ticking a list that you can then go home and say to people, 'I've been to A through Z, ain't I something.'
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 08:50 AM
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Times look fine but it's a list of cities. Do you not want to see the villages and countryside?>

With 7 days in places like Florence it is easy to day trip by train or bus to many such places - like the iconic hill towns of Tuscany -Siena being one of many easy to reach.
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 08:56 AM
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Just to clarify, when I wrote "sounds reasonable to me" I was referring to bilbo's budget suggestions, not the itinerary as a whole, which, while I wouldn't call it a disaster, would certainly never work for me...even with daytrips, because the OP hasn't planned enough time for daytrips in most places.
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 10:21 AM
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I don't think it's a disaster at all and I don't think it's necessary to spend a week in every place. This trip is clearly about exploring fairly widely and I did the same thing when I was young. Now I would probably cover less territory in order to explore a narrower area more intensively but that doesn't mean the OP has to agree with that. And sometimes it's fine to go to a place and find out what it's all about when you get there, without having a firm reason for wanting to visit beforehand. The first time I went to Europe there were very few guidebooks available and certainly no internet and I had few preconceptions about what I wanted to see - and we had the best time ever! There's lots of valuable advice already been given but I think the plan needs tweaking, not throwing in the bin. Consideration of how to move from A to B to C (using sites like bahn.de, rome2rio and skycanner) would certainly be useful, even if you decide to wing a bit when you get there.

OP, don't get discouraged but play with your itinerary, perhaps with a view to assessing some of the further flung destinations and what day trips might be available from the cities you've chosen.

As has been said by others, Europe is a large, hugely varied and densely packed area of wonderful places to visit. Three months is a fabulous space of time to have but you'll still need to be selective and not spread yourself too thin. For my own holidays (which I now plan a lot more than I used to), a crucial element which I try to consider is mixing up cities, towns, villages, beaches, lakes, rivers, mountains, etc and a range of activities such as museums, art, hiking, cycling, famous sights, eating, and most importantly, doing absolutely nothing when I feel like it. That's what makes me happy.
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 10:44 AM
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Actually I too find the OP's itinerary fine - lots of days in many places - Switzerland though needs more time or no time at all - Lucerne is neat but Zurich is just another nice large city - I'd head for Interlaken area and experience the Alps at their most awesomeness. Lots of nice hostels in Interlaken and Grindelwald and lots of young backpackers there. A place like the legendary Balmer's Auberge is a great place to stay:

http://www.balmers.com/

Staying in a hostel like this can be a trip in itself!
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Old Feb 20th, 2017, 11:33 AM
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I don't think it is a "disaster" but I don't see any allowance for the time it takes to go from one place to the next.

With 20 cities on the itinerary, you need to subtract at least 10-20 days from your overall amount for transferring place to place.

Also if budget is a concern, the more you move about, the more it's going to cost.

As a way to approach it, I would take you list and cross off at least 5 stops. Choose the ones that are of least interest &/or ones that are the hardest to get to &/or geographically the furthest removed from the rest.

I'm not against an all-cities tour, because that is my preference as well. I'm just not real big on small towns and the "countryside" myself.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2017, 07:26 PM
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Thank you for all of your input!

I have never been to Europe before, or done much traveling. This itinerary was created by simply jotting down all the cities & countries that I would like to visit. This itinerary was created on rome2rio and it looks very doable.. am I underestimating the traveling? Trying to make the most of 3 months.

The plan is do a day trip in every other city, and take night trains wherever possible. Most people say to base yourself in one city and do day trips from there to see the "countryside" & smaller towns. Does that still apply to longer trips (i.e. 3 months)?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2017, 07:40 PM
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While rome2rio can be an OK starting point, you should NEVER, ever rely on it without further checking. Just because sometimes there is a bus from A to B does NOT mean there will be a bus on the day you want at a time that works for you.

If you are taking trains, read seat61.com, as I posted above, and for schedules use bahn.de, not rome2rio (which will send you to another rail site in any case). There are only a few night trains left, as day trains have gotten faster and faster. You should also check skyscanner.com for cheap flights for longer legs.

Of course the advice to base and do day trips still applies, but not all cities are good candidates for that.

Have you read any guidebooks? Because if not, you need to go off and do that before you plan any further. You might start with "Europe through the Back Door" and Rough Guide's "First time Europe" before progressing to country guidebooks.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2017, 08:38 PM
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>>I have never been to Europe before, or done much traveling.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2017, 09:02 PM
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If you have not already, get a copy of Let's Go.
http://tinyurl.com/jpdvja2

It is all about what you are trying to do here.

It will be an adventure, no matter what.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2017, 10:39 AM
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Plus all that travel is EXPENSIVE.>

Eurail Global Pass would make it affordable- either 3-straight months or cheaper Flexipasses-if under 26 the youth pass can be especially economical.

My first trip to Europe whilst in college also went all over - not quite as long or as wide-ranging as OP but less days in many stops- I enjoyed the travel part as much as the destinations- but maybe for a first trip a month or so less and fewer long stops.
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