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30 Day Europe Itinerary - Any Suggestions?

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Dec 12th, 2015, 10:40 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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30 Day Europe Itinerary - Any Suggestions?

Hello Fellow Travelers!

Newbie here hoping to get some advice on an upcoming trip that I'm planning. I'll be in Europe for 30 days, including flights, in late June early July. I have a tentative itinerary planned, but would love any insight you might have. I did a "fast paced" trip last summer and loved it - 4 destinations in 16 days. This time I'm hoping to make it to 7 (listed below).

I'm wondering about the route - Does it make sense to start in Paris and end in Amsterdam (considering weather and other logistics)? Any suggestions on the destinations?

Paris 4 nights (I've visited once before)
Madrid 5 nights
Budapest 4 nights
Vienna 2 nights
Prague 4 nights
Berlin 5 nights
Amsterdam 4 nights

I plan to fly between Paris/Madrid, Madrid/Budapest and Berlin/Amsterdam and train between the rest.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Jessica
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Dec 12th, 2015, 11:00 PM
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The only comments I would make are:

Your itinerary is all cities - is that okay with you?

I find I get more out of visiting fewer countries/regions each trip rather than running around a lot: different languages, customs, systems, environment all make it harder to understand where I'm visiting. I like the sense of starting to understand how things work, no matter how superficially. I have a sense that your itinerary is a bit like a bee in a bottle but I assume that you've chosen these cities because they have particular appeal to you.

Flying is a PIA and not at all relaxing, in my view. Plus it soaks up a lot of time for each journey.

As for order: how about Paris - Amsterdam - Berlin - Prague - Vienna - Budapest - Madrid? Only one flight needed then (Budapest to Madrid).

I haven't been to all the cities you mention but I'm sure they each have a lot to offer. Enjoy your holiday.
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Dec 12th, 2015, 11:22 PM
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Take a night off Prague and add it to Vienna.
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Dec 13th, 2015, 03:13 AM
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Looks good to me, I might take a night off Berlin and add to Vienna. Madrid is a bit of an outlier and I might drop it and add something else maybe Strasbourg or Brussels.
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Dec 13th, 2015, 07:27 AM
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Where are you coming from? Have you bought your plane tickets yet?

If not, you can do an open jaws ticket into one city out of another. Open jaw tickets, called multi-city on airline web sites, should cost about the same as round-trip tickets, saving you the time and money spent backtracking.

I agree with dreamon. I prefer trains. If you fly, you must get out to an airport, get there early, endure the discomfort of planes, then upon arrival, get yourself into your new city.

Trains go from city center to city center, with spacious, comfy seats and big windows giving you a view of the countryside flowing by. And a toilet at the end of the car.

You've listed cities only. Look into day trips you can take from those cities. Like Toledo and/or Segovia from Madrid. Or Leipzig or Dresden from Berlin.

Enjoy the planning!
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Dec 13th, 2015, 07:51 AM
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I second dreamon with his comment it's all cities. And capitals as well. Given that's what you want, his advice on route and train is sound. As mimar points out, flying involves the transport to and from the airport, checking in, luggage belt and all the rest. Up to 5 or 6 hours a train isn't much slower, and always more comfortable. Buying your tickets well in advance, saves you a lot of money.
Try to do some day trips instead of hanging around in the city. From Madrid the Escorial is a good outing, taking one of those »Cercania« trains.
Vienna has a lot to offer, also very unusual things like the Karl-Marx-Hof.
Consider not staying in Amsterdam, but in nearby Haarlem. Much, much nicer and only 15 mins away on very frequent trains.
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Dec 28th, 2015, 12:13 AM
  #7
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Wonderful advise. Thank you all! I apologize for my late reply. I'm new to posting and didn't realize I had gotten responses! I very much appreciate them.

I will certainly take your advice dreamon, Mimar, and tonfromleiden on taking the train instead of flight when at all possible. I see what you mean with the time/stress difference. Great point!

I think it's worth it to cut Madrid and save Spain for another trip entirely. I agree with you bilboburlar that it seems to be an outlier and the farthest to travel. Also, I really like the idea of day trips to get a better feel for the area.

I have not yet purchased my tickets. I'll look into the open jaw tickets to see if that will work for me. I'm coming from Seattle, Washington U.S. I'm thinking of flying into Paris and out of Budapest now to avoid any backtracking.

My new route looks like this:

Paris 5 nights/4 days
Day trip (undecided destination)
Amsterdam/Haarlem 5 nights/4 days
Day trip (undecided destination)
Berlin 4 nights/3 days
Stop in Dresden on the way to Prague
1 (shorter) day/1 night
Prague 4 nights/3 days
Vienna 5 nights/4 days
Day trip to Linz (I have a friend there)
Budapest 4 nights/3 days

Do you all recommend spending 5 nights in Berlin or 5 nights in Vienna?

Please let me know any thoughts you have on the new route. Thanks!
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Dec 28th, 2015, 01:25 AM
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You may find that flying out of Madrid is cheaper than flying out of Budapest - if its enough to cover the cost of a one way flight from Budapest to Madrid, Madrid is no longer that much of an outlier.

If that doesn't put Madrid back on the table for you I like your new itinerary with a couple of comments;

I would make Berlin 5 nights, taking one from Vienna or Budapest. I think there is much more to do in Berlin depending on your interests, of course. You could consider travelling Prague - Linz - Vienna and eliminating the need for a day trip to Linz too. Prague - Linz is 4:50 hours and Linz Vienna is 1:16 hours. Prague to Vienna is 4:02. You could be in Linz by 12:24 from Prague.
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Dec 28th, 2015, 09:52 AM
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Like Aramis, I'd add the time to Berlin. If you get sick of Berlin city centre (which has a humungus park in the middle which can get to be a pain to get around) you can always head off to the country and maybe even the lakes to the north or maybe even Lubeck for a day out.

Good to see Haarlam in the mix, staying there can be cheaper and the train station is lovely
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