7 Week Europe Itinerary Help

Feb 24th, 2014, 07:06 PM
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7 Week Europe Itinerary Help

Hi. I am a 23 year old female traveling to Europe for the first time this May/June with my husband. We really want to travel all of Europe, so tried to start in some areas that might keep the costs down for this trip. Here is what I have mapped out so far. I would appreciate any comments about the locations chosen, number of places, places that we should opt to see over those chosen, etc etc.. We enjoy outdoors activities, art, theater, architecture & history, food & alcohol, nightlife, so really a good mix of everything.. We plan on traveling by train, but are open to other suggestions. We already have flights in and out of Milan.

1- Arrive in Milan at 1030: Sights
2- Milan: The last supper, Duomo
3- Milan - Cinque Terre : Boat tour of the islands
4- Cinque Terre: Hike between the villages
5- Cinque Terre: Inland hike & beaches
6- Cinque Terre - Lucca - Florence: Stop to bike around the wall & eat in lucca
7- Florence: Duomo, Piazzale Michaelangelo
8- Florence: Uffizi, Acadamia
9- Florence- Siena
10- Siena- Venica: Grand Canal tour
11- Venice: St. Marks Basilica, Doges Palace
12- Venice: Visit islands
13- Venice - Piran
14- Piran - Bled: Skocjan Caves, Predjama Castle
15- Bled: Castle, hiking
16- Bled: Island
17- Bled
18- Bled - Zagreb
19- Zagreb - Plitvice Lakes: Hike
20- Plitvice Lakes: Hike
21- Plitvice - Budapest
22- Budapest: Castle hill, Ruin pubs
23- Budapest: Great Market, City Park, Baths
24- Budapest: Parliment
25- Budapest
26- Budapest: Day trip to the Danube bend
27- Budapest - Vienna: City tour
28- Vienna: Palaces, Wine trip
29- Vienna
30- Vienna
31- Vienna - Cesky Krumlov
32- Cesky Krumlov - Prague: City tour
33- Prague: New town
34- Prague: Old town, Jewish quarter
35- Prague: Little quarter, Castle quarter
36- Prague
37- Prague - Rothenburg: Nights Watchmen tour
38- Rothenburg
39- Rothenburg - Nuremburg
40- Nuremburg
41- Nuremburg - Fussen
42- Fussen: Castle tours
43- Fussen - Salzburg: Sound of Music tour
44- Salzburg
45- Salzburg: Day trip to Berchtesgaden/Konigssee
46- Salzburg - Munich: City tour
47- Munich: BMW Welt & Plant
48- Munich: Dachau, Night train to Milan
49- Milan
50- Catch morning flight home
ncabeen is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 08:06 PM
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No stop in Ljubljana?
Andrew is online now  
Feb 25th, 2014, 01:35 AM
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It looks like you're staying overnight in Siena. It's only an hour from Florence so you might want to take a day trip and stay as late as the bus service allows. Siena used to be a sleepy town but no longer with lots of day trippers so it's best in the evening. The bus is better from Florence as it takes you to the city walls; the train station is a ways from town, not really walkable.

Day 16 - Bled Island is the size of a postage stamp; it's only a few yards wide with a church. You could walk around it in a few minutes. You won't need the entire day for this so you might want to consider a bus to somewhere else in the area.

Day 26 - day trip to the Danube bend - if you're taking a boat be prepared for complete boredom. I took a boat from Budapest to Szentendre and it was the longest hour and a half of my life with ugly scenery. I returned on the train; it took a half an hour and was so much better.

You have scheduled a decent amount of time in each location and your trip is not too rushed which is good. That allows for some down time, wandering around rather than rushing from sight to sight which can be very tiring. You have a good mix of cities and smaller towns.

Have fun!
adrienne is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:26 AM
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Andrew- We are planning on stopping in Ljubljana on our way from Bled to Zagreb, but will probably only be able to wander around for a couple hours. Would you recommend taking a day off Bled and using it to spend more time in Ljubljana?
ncabeen is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:31 AM
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This is a perfect candidate for open-jaw tickets. There's no reason to have to return to Milan for a flight home.
StCirq is online now  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:38 AM
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Ljubljana is a delightful town with beautiful architecture. It sparkles at night especially. But there aren't tons of things to do there in terms of significant museums etc. (There are some good museums but they don't rate on a lot of European itineraries if you know what I mean.) So it doesn't necessarily require lots of time to see. You can stroll through it in a few hours, maybe stop in one of the museums, and be off, depending on your interests.

Personally, I think Ljubljana a much better place to spend an evening than Bled, which is beautiful during the day and a great base for exploring the area but not much of a town in itself. Ljubljana has a much greater variety of restaurants and feels very social (a college town).
Andrew is online now  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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StCirq: This is a perfect candidate for open-jaw tickets. There's no reason to have to return to Milan for a flight home.

Sounds like they already have the Milan flights booked.
Andrew is online now  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:46 AM
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Oh...not paying close attention today. Missed that.
StCirq is online now  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:50 AM
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We do already have milan flights booked. We were able to get them at such a cheap price that it made taking the train back worth it.

Andrew- Have you ever been on any of the outdoor adventures in Bled? I have seen there are a few companies that lead hiking/water sport trips, but am not sure if it would be worth the time and money.
ncabeen is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:52 AM
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I'd also add that in terms of Slovenia at least, you can rent a car for a few days (if you are 23, I'm not sure how much trouble you might have renting a car in Europe?). You can get from Piran to Bled to Ljubljana all by public transportation but having a car would make it much easier to get around and greatly expand your ability to see things. In 2011 I rented a car in Ljubljana, drove to Bled, explored the area and day tripped to Bohinj, drove through the Julian Alps over the Vrsic Pass, then down into the Soca Valley and on to Piran where I dropped off my car (in neighboring Portorož). You could do the opposite direction.

I normally prefer taking the train (or bus when necessary) around Europe but do rent a car when it makes sense for short periods. I found driving in Slovenia to be very easy and fun, though by default you'd be renting a manual shift car not an automatic.

In fact...if you wanted to expand your trip a bit to include a night or two in Istria, Croatia (which I haven't yet visited but plan to), you make your way to Istria, maybe stay in the town of Rovinj, pick up a car in Croatia, then drive your Slovenian itinerary, swing back to Plitvice Lakes, then drop the car in Zagreb and on to Budapest by train from there. (Look at Rovinj on a map - it's not too far from Piran and Slovenia.) And you might catch a ferry from Venice directly to Rovinj across the Adriatic.

Picking up a car and dropping it in the same country (either Croatia or Slovenia) will avoid an expensive drop-off charge. And it will help avoid some delays getting around. (You have a day of backtracking from Plitvice to Zagreb and then on to Budapest which could be a very long day of buses and trains, but it's just a two hour drive from Plitvice back to Zagreb.)
Andrew is online now  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:56 AM
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ncabeen, I didn't take any paid excursions in Slovenia - all self-guided. I'm sure some people here have and might comment. You could also search the Europe forums for Slovenia and various keywords.

You can read my trip report for Slovenia by clicking on my name and finding it in my profile.
Andrew is online now  
Feb 25th, 2014, 10:37 AM
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I live in Central Europe and explore this area exclusively by public transport. We recently went from Piran to Ljubljana by bus (quite easy).... Then on to Zagreb, then home to Budapest. I think the order you might want is Piran, Ljubljana, Plitvice, Zagreb, Budapest (assuming public transportation).

Personally, I would stay in Lublijana and day trip Bled. Also, we very much enjoyed Zagreb and spent 2nights and one full day.

And as much as it pains me to say this, I would pull days out of Central Europe and slow down the Italy part of the trip.

I am not sure it could take one and a half hours to Szentendre? (Maybe Visegrad). We ride our bikes to Szentendre in an hour. In any event, I have never understood people's fascination with chugging up the Danube. My favorite Danube bend town is Vac. And of course, we take the train.

In any event, enjoy. It appears to be a wonderful trip.
JulieCallahan is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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Excellent itinerary!

In case you get tired of traveling with luggage so much, you might want to utilize day trips to many of these places.

For example:

-base in Florence, day trip to Siena

-base in Munich, day trip to Salzburg and Fussen/castles (which we did and is totally manageable). Also Munich is just a wonderful city with great ambiance.

-base in Nuremberg and day trip to Rothenburg

But you're young, so if you can manage the luggage, you'll have a great time either way!
pempem is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 12:32 PM
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JulieCallahan, I didn't mean to suggest that it's difficult to get between Piran, Bled, and Ljubljana by public transportation in Slovenia, only that having a car greatly expands your opportunity to explore the area (western Slovenia) beyond those key places. For example, I drove from Ljubljana to Bled via Skofja Loka, and I found the drive from Skofja Loka to Bled through the hills breathtakingly beautiful. I stopped probably six times to get out and take pictures or check out monuments, etc. And driving through the Vrsic Pass into the Soca Valley I stopped numerous times to explore or hike. You can't do these things in a practical way if you are using public transportation.

But if you are going say Piran - Ljubljana - Zagreb? That's super easy by bus and train - no need to have a car.
Andrew is online now  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:08 PM
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Hi Andrew... I am making no judgement on car vs. public... Just the fact you can do this by public. Sometimes, I find it hard to get public transport info in this region. This is a nice region to have a car should that be an option. My husband and I have not driven a car in two and a half years. It has become a bit of a game with us.

And we did consider adding the Plitvice area on our recent trip But if you are using public transport, I think she may have the order wrong. The best connections I found were Piran, Ljubljana, Plitvice, Zagreb (I think).
JulieCallahan is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:12 PM
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Ok ... I broke down and looked at a map (Gesh, that would have helped sooner)... I also think Banska Bystrica is a nice option. This route is much more scenic than the west. The roads are a snap vs. mountain roads in Colorado.
JulieCallahan is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:33 PM
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Oops... I am an idiot (obviously )... Ignore that last post. Trying to help someone else with Slovakia!...
JulieCallahan is offline  

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