30 Days in Europe 2017

Old May 11th, 2015, 05:35 PM
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30 Days in Europe 2017

I am planning a backpacking trip for my honeymoon in 2017! We would like to spend 30 days in Europe and were wondering when the best time to go would be? Our main goal is to become immersed in the culture of each area we visit and to see some romantic sites along the way.

We were thinking of following this route:
-Brussels (I wanted to add Belgium as I am told they have wonderful bike routes and I have a bit of a chocolate obsession but if there is another city that would benefit from more time we are flexible with adjusting our destinations).
-Berlin (Not sure if we should try to fit this in or skip it?)
-Zurich (We were also thinking we could consider skipping Zurich if our schedule was too tight)

Any suggestions? Not sure if this is a little over eager or not. I was also thinking the schedule may work better if we start in Paris and end in Barcelona. Any routes that would work better that hit many of these destinations?

Any help would be much appreciated!
Hilary2567 is offline  
Old May 11th, 2015, 06:03 PM
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You have listed 10 cities/regions and only have a month. You will use up between 1/2 and a full day every time you move so out of 30 days you'd really only have about 23 or 24 days for 10 places -- then subtract the flight days and your arrival day (usually a jet lagged fog) you are down to abot 20 days free for seeing/doing. So w/ 2 days per place it doesn't leave much/any time to 'immerse in the cultures' anywhere.

This should be a honeymoon, not a forced march.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 07:04 PM
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I'd probably start in Berlin and go clockwise through your destinations. I'd drop Zurich. It's not particularly stop-worthy, especially since you have plenty of German-speaking destinations already (if you want Swiss, go to the alps). I'd also ditch Barcelona; it's just dangling there geographically compared to the other cities on your list.

A few itinerary tips for a long trip like you are planning:

-- Build in about a 3-4 day rest break in the middle of your vacation. Pick a beach or a mountain hide-a-way where the only thing to do is read, sleep, drink, and do what newlyweds do.

-- If you want immersion, shoot for a minimum of 3 days at each stop.

-- Add one or two rural towns. There's so much more to Europe than its big cities and big cities, no matter how great, grate on the nerves after a while.

-- Consider night trains or flights within Europe to save travel time.

-- Check dates for concerts, festivals, sporting events, and other such events you may want to see (or to avoid).

-- Enjoy the planning stage! It's half the fun!
Edward2005 is offline  
Old May 11th, 2015, 07:47 PM
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Over eager? Yep. Definitely a first timer mistake. We've all been there though. 'Immersion' will not happen at this pace. You will barely get your bearings and then you will be off to the next location. Why the rush? Pick six locations for five days each. This will really equate to about four days. A nice amount of time for a taste of each place. Time to relax and explore more than just the tourist locations. I agree about mixing in smaller towns with larger cities.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 08:36 PM
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With only a few days, a person can race around from one sight to another, and still perhaps remember some of what they saw.

The longer the trip, the more you can, and need, to slow down so you can absorb, and later remember, what you saw.

A few fast paced days leaves you tired, but a month of fast paced days leaves you burned out.

Your best memories just might be tubing down the river in Prague (if you take the time) or relaxing in a park in Paris with cheese, bread, fruit and wine or sitting for the evening in a vine covered terrace at the back of a cafe in Vienna or finishing out a late night at a cafe in Florence, drinking wine and comparing travel notes with fellow artists traveling around Italy. If you slow down and are lucky, you may meet someone local who takes you on a special walk, or even home with them for tea. Some of those are things I remember from travel 40 years ago. These things can't be rushed.

This is very personal, so not necessarily for everybody, perhaps not for you, but my best travel memories are not sights I have seen, but experiences I have had.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 08:59 PM
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I agree - slow down - especially for a honeymoon! remember that to get three days in a place, you will need to spend four nights there. I'd start by cutting all of the places you mentioned being willing to cut, plus cat Barcelona. That would leave you with:


That would give you 4-5 nights for each place. That is enough to learn your way around, absorb some of the local atmosphere. It's less time than I would like in each of these places, but as your first trip, it might be fine for you.

Look carefully at these destinations - are these the places that call to you most? You can choose different places, but try to keep them in the same general area to minimize travel time. And you don't have to visit this many places to have a fabulous trip, you could cut a city or two and have more time in each place.

As far as chocolate is concerned, Paris is as good a chocolate city as Brussels. Indeed, the winner of our "best chocolate in Brussels" task was Pierre Marcolini, a French chocolatier.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 11:21 PM
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If you are in Vienna you should check out Bratislava. It Is cloSe.really close you can make a day trip. There is also great daily train service from Vienna to Bratislava. I know a lot of people over look Bratislava but it is amazing place. If you go to the historic center of the city you will not regrat it. In the center by the ruins of the city wall is a great small wine bar with a great selection of wines from around Slovakia. Also everything is very affordable. I will post pics of the wine bar later. Also Budapest is close cheap and very romantic. Check out my personal blog with great pics of Budapest.Wayfaring Blissfully http://waybliss.blogspot.com/
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