6 week itinerary (basic) in Europe

Sep 28th, 2009, 03:55 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1
6 week itinerary (basic) in Europe

Hi guys!

Love the site, a lot of great information to be found that's for sure.

I'm looking at going to Europe for 6 weeks, for the first time. Can't really go any longer due to work and study, but 6 weeks should be plenty for a first time with intention to go back at least one more time.

I have a vague itinerary which hasn't really mapped out what I will do in each country, but more just needed for advice on how to get to places.

London (UK) - 8 nights
Berlin - 5 nights
Athens - 7 nights
Rome - 8 nights
Barcelona - 6 nights
Paris - 8 nights

I've had a look on Skyscanner and it looks like airfares are a great deal to get between these major cities.

The main places of interest outside of the main cities listed we would travel to are Manchester (family), Greek Islands (3/4 nights), Madrid, Cinqe Terre, Venice and MAYBE Nice, Munich or Madrid. Will also look into day trips from the major cities.

Anyone with any thoughts?
kangaroo19 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2009, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,404
Hi kangaroo,

Well, if your trip to Europe is intended to be mostly a "Capitol Cities of Europe Tour", then you're on the right track.

However, I honestly don't think this will give you a very good trip.

I would pick 2 countries next to each other and spend your 6 weeks getting a more rounded experience. Cities, museums, churches, shopping + countryside, scenery, wine, meeting people!

I would hate to just go to all the major cities and not see anything more.
Dayle is offline  
Sep 28th, 2009, 06:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 665
Kangaroo19, your original list of cities seemed very do-able. The additional locations seem like they might stretch you thin, although Madrid would be accessible from Barcelona and Manchester is obviously an easy trip out from London.

If you click on my name above (cferrb) you'll find some notes from when I was planning a 5-6 week trip two years ago.

Our experience with Italy was that if you're in Rome I would add in Florence and not Venice. It's an easy trip to Florence, and there's enough to see in that area without getting as far afield as Venice.

I bought a really big map of Europe (I think it's a Michelin) and put it up on a wall. I then put little Post-It tabs on all the places that were on my wish list. I was then able to add and take off tabs as my trip became more focused. My big question was whether we would go to Spain or not. As I rethought and rethought the trip we were able to get Spain in, and I am eternally glad that we did.

Have fun planning!
cferrb is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 12:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
Hi Kangaroo - There are budget airlines in Europe which operate between most - if not all - your destinations.

The best place to find them for each route is

(Easyjet, for example, are one of the biggest)

Hope this helps ...

Steve_James is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 01:15 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,760
If using any budget airline watch out for things like extra taxes to be added to the headline price and low luggage allowances. Also some fly to airports out side of the destination city.
With the information given the plan seem good.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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With six whole weeks one thing to keep in mind is that you can't go at the same pace the whole time that you would if you were doing say, six one week trips. But with that in mind, lots of people do one week trips to any given country so you really could do what you are proposing. It can include a mix of some small towns.

For example - in England you can base in London for a week and do two or three day trips (there are tons of easy possibilities, do a search here on "London day trips").

Then move to the next country. Your initial list was six countries and for six weeks that sounds good. Try not to move more than twice though in any given week. In other words, in Spain you could do Barcelona and Madrid but don't try to also add in several more towns. I've done three different trips to Spain and still haven't seen everything, you do have to pick and choose.

Keep in mind that each time you move, either by train or air, you loose at least a half day sightseeing. And after a couple of weeks you'll get a little tired and need a couple of days of "vacation from your vacation" - a day or two to just chill and not sight see. But then you'll get a second wind. I've never done six weeks at a time but even in a month this happens. But by the time I have to go home I'm sorry its over and would like to stay another few weeks.
isabel is online now  
Sep 29th, 2009, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,457
My daughter and 2 friends took a similar 6 week trip this summer visiting all those places you mention plus Prague. The only mistake I think they made in their palnning was to fly in and out of London instead of doing an open-jaw (fly into 1st city and out of the last). They did this budget style. The first half they stayed with family friends of 1 of the girls, and the rest was hostels. Last minute they had to rebook a greek island because the hostel originally booked (in Santorini) had to close due to illness so they needed to find an alternative on short notice.

They flew into London, and took the Eurostar to Paris upon arrival. From there is was Paris > Barcelona > Rome/San Felice Circeo > Athens/Ios > Berlin > Prague > London > home. They did not do any day trips outside of these main cities. The ferry to Ios was overnight so they didn't need to book a room for those nights.

They flew between most locations, either easyjet, aegean air or ryanair. They did not have any major problems with these airlines. They took a train between Prague and Berlin. That and the Eurostar were the only trains they took. Some of these airlines use airports that aren't the most convenient to the city, so you may want to consider that when choosing a budget airline. The whichbudget.com website, mentioned by steve-james is quite useful in comparing the air options. They used public transportation in cities and to get to cities from the airports as much as possible. My daughter's Lets Go Europe book also proved invaluable.

They did not feel overly rushed, but did enjoy several days on the beach in Ios, afer having visited 3 major cities. It helped re-energize them for the remainder of the trip.

I think you should focus on those cities you mention in your vague itinerary, and include an island in that 7 day timeframe in Athen. A few days in Athens is more than enough (it was my daughter's least favorite place).

Granted my daughter and her friends are energic 20 year olds on the trip of their life, and their interests may be different from yours, but they did cover a lot of territory, saw some really interesting places, visited many great museums (my daughter's an art major), and still had time to relax and take it all in.

Enjoy planning! It's half the fun.
MFNYC is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:46 PM
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Posts: 20,586
I would pick Venice over Florence.
Michael is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 10:10 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,266
I'd also pick Venice over Florence. It is not a day trip from Rome, though. Assuming you are a fellow Aussie, I'd fly Emirates into Venice, and fly home from wherever your travels take you.

The arrival in Venice is a total knockout, the biggest change from Aus that you could imagine.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  

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