7 countries in 15 days, is it possible?

Old Oct 19th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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Aside from agreeing with the comments above regarding have 15 places you want to see in 15 days....I would suugest picking 3-5 places that are relatively close together (or at least neighbouring countries). For example: Vienna, Prage, Budapest - Vienna - barring the overnight train idea - you would lose a day for travel for each one. This would give you 4 days on the ground at each place plus 3 travels days between. Each are large cities with lots to do...and you can venture out of the city for a daytrip if you wanted. Then you could really say that you've been to a country as opposed to just one city.

Many of your locals are far apart but not necessarily far enough appart that you would get much sleep (if you were able to sleep anyway). Hostels can be a very inexpensive option but with two of you spliting the cost, don't rule out bed and breakfast and guesthouses. If you group your destinations closer together you will save money on transporation.

Other potential groupings on your list could be
Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck
or Frankfurt, Munich, Prague, Vienna
or Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence + maybe Rome

Of course lots of variety is possible if you utilized cheap within-Europe flights by Ryanair or Easyjet to hop say from Paris to Milan or Venice..then down to Florence etc (we have done a trip similar to that in fact Paris, Lake Como, Florence, Venice accomplished in 3 weeks plus two international flight days).

I recommend picking up some guide books and really narrowing your focus, learning about what else besides major capitals is around to see in any given country, then begin to carve an itinerary.

Best of Luck,
Naxos
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 12:02 PM
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Aduchamp - hopefully = IF she/he returns we may know
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 12:19 PM
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I understand the onus is on me.

On a more serious note, we travel with the idea that it is better to one country well than several poorly.

Unless circumstances dictate that you will never return to Europe, choose at most two countries and enjoy and appreciate them.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 12:36 PM
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Siri, how old are you? I ask because if you're young and have a ton of energy, you can probably do it.

My sister and I once visited London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Figueres, Barcelona, Pamplona, San Sebastien and Bilbao in the time you're talking about. We spent four days in Edinburgh (it was Hogmanay and we went on a bus tour of the highlands)... otherwise, we spent no more than 2 days in any place. And we had a BLAST.

Here were the differences: we rented a car in Spain so we wouldn't be beholden to train schedules. It was actually cheaper for us and pretty fun. Also, we slept in hotels. Unless you're really good at sleeping in chairs, night trains can become really expensive. Also, like an earlier poster said, a lot of your train trips are only a few hours long (e.g. Italy trips). Just do them in the morning and either pre-book cheap hotels/hostels to save time or go straight to the info booths at each train station to find someplace to stay.

Good luck!
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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I would certainly not try to see this many places in 15 days. Assume that you are going to return some day.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 12:56 PM
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I thought I'd add my whirlwind-tour experience just to give you an idea of how we did a similar sort of trip, ten years ago with Eurail passes. If I had it to plan over again I'd go different places, but it might give you an idea of how our trip was structured, at least. We started from London, at the end of a study abroad semester; you'd just fly into or close to your first city.

Took Eurostar to Brussels, then train to:
Koln - 2 nights/1 full day (as I said... skip it)
Heidelberg - 2 nights/1.5 days (I'd skip this too on a first trip - we had free lodging)
Munich - 1 night (just a stop en route; didn't do much sightseeing)
Lucerne - 2 nights/2 full days
overnight train to Florence
Florence - 2 nights/2 full days (saw Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, market one day; trip to Pisa and Uffizi second day)
Rome - 2 nights/1.5 days (Colisseum/Forum first day; Vatican/Pantheon second day)

Flew home from Rome.

As I said, I'd go very different places if I were planning the trip today. But I thought the trip was a pretty good pace for a 19-year-old's quickly paced European blitz. We saw enough of each place to get a good taste for it, but still accomplished our goal of visiting a lot of places. And we did things in an order that made sense geographically. (We were fortunate in that we'd already taken a trip to Paris during the semester.)
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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I would also suggest you get "open jaw" plane tickets to avoid having to backtrack. Look at a map, and chart a course that would perhaps start in Rome, lead north to Florence, Venice, etc., and fly home from your last stop, say Paris. Open jaw tickets may cost no more than round trip from a single city, and might save you a lot of money on train fares.

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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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jent - i just cannot fathom you having such a great time with that too fast itinerary but i did too at that age - i guess age makes a difference and also whether or not it's a once-in-a-lifetime trip or not.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 01:05 PM
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I would also suggest point to point 2nd class tickets rather than a Eurailpass. And the person who said overnight trains are a pain was correct. AND a lot of the distances proposed aren't that long. A 2* hotel is better than a train compartment shared with two unknowns any day!!
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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Palenque - it's definitely not a trip I'd plan now, ten years later! But everyone (including me) is getting the impression that the OP is pretty young, staying in hostels, all that, and that's what that trip was for me. It was fast, but it gave me a taste of what I did/didn't like, and we really did have a great time.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 01:18 PM
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I'm not sure why people keep telling the OP that they have to factor in a Vienna return and that they should consider open jaw tix... the OP said twice that they're flying into Vienna and out of Rome.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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I have a theory that our attention spans change as we age.

When I was 15, two hours in the same place felt like weeks. When I was in my 20s, I liked seeing a new city every day... I think I would've been bored if I'd had to come back to the same hotel night after night. That's changed now that I'm in my 30s... now I prefer at least 3 nights in a hotel. And I'm sure someday I'll want a 2-week base. But when I was (what I assume is) the OP's age, change was good.

As long as their plan isn't physically impossible (and I agree... shaving one or two cities off wouldn't hurt), why is it such a problem?
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 01:41 PM
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Out of Rome and back to Vienna to catch the flight home is the way I read the OP's itineray.

I have had family members take trips like this around Europe in a short amount of time..one just did this summer with the band he plays in. They had so much fun and being young and energetic they survived just fine.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 01:48 PM
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slangevar - I think this is the sentence that's giving that impression: "We will start our journey from Vienna and fly back home from Rome <i>(or actually Vienna since we fly Austrian Airline)."</i>

I agree, though - a quick pace isn't always a horrible thing. With some tweaking they could have a good trip. I just hope they haven't been scared off.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 02:43 PM
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slangevar: We are assuming the OP is flying out of Vienna -- because that is what the OP wrote . . . .

<i><blue>. . fly back home from Rome (or actually Vienna since we fly Austrian Airline).</i></blue>

It appears they are flying RT to/from Vienna, and flying from Rome to Vienna to catch their return flight.

PQ: Not to put words in her mouth, but the reason jent103's itinerary was even close to doable is because they spent 2 nights most places. They hit six destinations in 12 nights. That is fast - but not insane (meant in the <i>nicest</i> possible way)

That is entirely different from the OP's plan for <u>15 destinations in 15 days</u>.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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I would rather be the only woman on a freighter than take this trip.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 03:24 PM
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Sorry - assumed OP was doing something like I am in the winter... US to Amsterdam / Madrid to US (via Amsterdam). Looks like Austrian Airlines does that (US to Vienna / Rome to US (via Vienna).

To janisj - my sister and I did eight cities in 14 days and didn't feel hurried at all. If we'd been 19, I imagine we could've done up to 11. I know, it's still not 14 cities in 15 days, but someone adventurous, young and energetic could do it.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 04:39 PM
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Many thanks for all your valuable input. Most of you were wrong.. I am at the age of 52 but still love challenging. Due to time contraint and the fact that there are so many places in another part of the world that I would want to visit, that's why I started it this way. With your various insights, now I got the idea leaving with Vienna / Budapest / Prague / Salzburg / Innsbruck / Milan / Verona / Venice / Florence / Rome. Sound better, right?

Anyone would like to help me drawing itinerary (with type of transportation, recommended # of day(s) spent in each city and even its places to visit, you are most welcome. Night train is no longer preferred.

Again, thank you for your comment and input.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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Well you still have *10* cities in 15 days. Since it usually takes approx. 1/2 a day when you change locations (whether by train or plane) that leaves you exactly 1 day = 24 hours in each place you are visiting. so I guess it can be done, but that's hardly time to see much of anything, and a LOT of time & money spent moving around.

I'm not against an overnight train a couple times, if it makes sense, just not every night.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 05:00 PM
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Yeah, I did it "at that age," too. Don't remember a thing about it, really. What a waste of time and money.
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