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A little over a month in Europe What are the best places to see

A little over a month in Europe What are the best places to see

Sep 28th, 2013, 11:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 8
A little over a month in Europe What are the best places to see

I am going to Europe for about 33 days in August of 2014. I am not looking to spend too much time in any one place but rather see as many places I can that will give me enough time to see the main sites as I will be back at a later date to spend more times in places I like. Basically it will be a trip to get Aquainted with diffrent areas and get the most out of a month long vacation to Europe. I plan on traveling mainly by plane from city to city sometimes using the train. Anytime I travel I like to be on the go but like to have some relax time to soak in the culture. As for what I like I am not big on shopping or party citys but rather I like seeing architectural buildings such as ruins, castles, gothic cathedrals, beatuiful beaches and landscapes, unique towns, lots of culture and love great food. Any suggestions on where to go. I have did some research and these are the places I found most apealing for various reason. Is there better places you would recommend that are off the beaten path then what I have listed or what places would you recommend I skip. I am trying to narrow it down to the most vital places without spending more then 3-4 days in each place or less. I do not need any advice on hotels just areas to visit. Any ideas would be greatly appriciated.

This is a list of places I have narrowed it down to
Ireland 2 days

England 3 days

Rome 3 days
Venice 2 days
florence 2 days
naples 1 day
portofino 1 day

athens 3 days
santorini 2 days
meteroa 1 day

Paris 3 days
Champagne 1 day

Barcelona 3 days

Berlin 3 days
bavaria 1 day
rothernberg 1 day

Vienna 2 days
syrin_karma is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 12:14 AM
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 327
Hmmm.... Hard to begin. For what you like, I would scratch Dublin. I was dissappointed, but my party city son loved it.

And you are moving way too fast - I would take off Greeece - a fantastic country but too far removed from the core of your trip. You just don't have the time.

Also, Naples 1 day and Portofino 1 day is silly. I would cut those off.

If I were to add stops, I might try to fit in the south of France and personally, I would add Amsterdamn - a city I love and much easier to get into and out of than Greece.

If you plan to fly all this, I would only plan to about day 15 - which is about the point where you will blow your brains out. I'd personally tighten it up considerable geographically and take a combo of trains and planes.

And, in general, I find any stop of 1 day to be a bad idea.
centraleurope is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 12:23 AM
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Thanks so much for your input. Greece for me is a must as I really want to visit Athens and Santorini which I would be willing to get rid of some of my other destinations to do this. Everytime I plan a vacation anywhere =)) I am always on the move to so many places. I was thinking of Amsterdam too but was not sure what it had to offer. My must places are Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Athens and Santorini.
syrin_karma is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 12:25 AM
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You can't be serious. I have travelled to all these places and it took me years . You won't be able " to get acquainted " with all these place in one month . Why not cut down the list and do each stop better. So much of your time will be travelling , hopefully without delays, traffic jams, cnx flights etc. Which areas are you really interested in? Your no. 1 , wish list?
huddoshols is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 12:34 AM
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huddoshols my main places of interest are barcelona, paris, rome, venice, athens and santorini.
syrin_karma is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 01:03 AM
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i think it is a bit whirlwind..

maybe you should base yourself in more central locations and do daytrips out from a base town rather than move around so much
you lose sooo much time each day with the plane travel and even trains require you to be there well ahead of choof off time..just think..unless youre staying right by the airport, you have to get to the airport from wherever you are and then theres obligatory time you have to check in etc ..then at the other end you have to get to your accommodation and settle in...it is really hours per day that you lose so your travel days are eating into your sightseeing time

id choose three countries and do ten days in each..or at the most four and start planning seven days and then add a day here or there as you find something that appeals to you
(i go on youtube and watch peoples vids of the area im interested in)

i think ..seriously ...do your research and map out your itinerary according to the sights rather than alloting time to each place first...that way you get to see exactly more or less what you really are interested in

your trip sounds a bit like a contiki tour that the young ones embark on...and there is some merit in them ( at least your transport and hotels are organised and you have a guide)...but following that pace on your own defeats the purpose of being independent and being able to savour places...so single days in any one spot isnt all that economical time -wise ...unless you plan to hire a car and just do a loop of a an area ( which im gathering youre not going to do)

if you want to start in london then id base myself there for about a week...do the city itself and do daytrips out to bath and the cotswolds etc...the usual places....maybe every second day

then id go to paris...do the same...a week there..base yourself there and do daytrips

then get to switzerland....spend five to seven days....so much beauty awaits in this country and it feels so different from the others...awesome yet quaint!

and then to italy...the sights/towns in italy are fairly close together...we saw quite a bit in just ten days on one trip we did back in 2005

if you want beaches then perhaps Greece would be the go...although...the beaches are not sandy

(skip switzerland then)

we caught the ferry from italy to greece...an overnight one and saw olympia and delphi before heading to athens and then meteora..meteora needs an overnight from athens because it is quite far away meteora is a must-see

you dont need more than two days in athens ...
we stayed in santorini for five days but you could do it in four and still go out to the other nearby little islands as daytrips...santorini is very beautiful and again theres a very different atmosphere in greece so youd be getting that contrast

the remaining days: tack on as you see fit
have another think about the travelling time youre investing in...you may well be jetlagged and early starts, catching trains and planes are exhausting
lanejohann is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 01:11 AM
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I do not know if you have booked your flights from/to Europe or not...
I would try to get a flight arriving on Spain and departing Greece or v.v. and skip London, Dublin and Vienna this time . -By the way Vienna is in Austria so not sure if you are interested on Vienna and somewhere else in Switzerland or there is a mix up there (?) -
This means an odd suggestion at first, but think about it: London is a major transport hub, it is very likely you'll visit on a future trip and very easy to fit on most itineraries. I do not see it in your top priorities either. Dublin is a place people tend not to rate high, actually I am very fond of it and I disagree with most people advising against it. But again it is not on your priorities, it is on the opposite direction of your other destinations too, it is an easy and usually cheap flight from London and you can fit in in a future trip too.
I say skip Vienna because I got the impression it is mostly a last minute add on on your list and low on your to visit destinations, but I might be wrong...

I would try to fit some more "off" days towards the end of your trip. Doing laudry, sleeping in till late, just enjoying a long meal or even having a spa treatment.

I know you like to fit a lot in a trip, but I would look closely on the details. For example Meteora sounds nice as a side trip from Athens, but it is a good 4-5 train ride away. Too long ride as a day trip and even rushed as an overnighter, especially considering monasteries their selves are spread out and lots of climbing is required to reach them. If you do this towards the end of the trip where your stamina levels get low, it might be a torture, a mission to see this because it is on your list rather than as pleasant experience. Just an example.
mariha2912 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 01:26 AM
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Thanks so much everyone for your help. I get a little ahead of myself everytime I plan trips as I am always going to so many places at one time. I think everyone is right that I need to scale down my plans to 3-4 countries. My husband has a few places he wants to go which I am not really thrilled to go to as France, Spain, Italy & Greece are the countries I really wanted to visit.
syrin_karma is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 04:01 AM
Join Date: May 2013
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I don't see how you will visit France, Spain, Italy and Greece in the smount of time you have... But it is the most you can do. So I suggest you stop with those 4 and start planning the specifics.

Santorini was not my favorite place ... I was pretty luke warm on it actually. But I loved Athens and Meteora.

For any prayer of this to work, I would fly into Paris and home from Athens. If it were me, I'd give up Spain. Italy and France are too lovely countries to visit with so much to see. And if you make it all the way to Greece, 5 or 7 days will never do it justice.

Good luck.
centraleurope is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 04:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Pleased you are considering narrowing your scope--your trip will be so much more rewarding. Flights, even short hops, eat up a minimum of a morning or afternoon, door to door. None of your choices are "wrong" you are just on balance moving way too much.

I would give Naples and Portofino a miss this trip, very hot and very crowded, at least Portofino, in August. Add the time to Florence and Venice. Trains from city centre to city centre make the most sense in Italy, imo. Regarding Greece, maybe drop Meteroa and add to Santorini.

Narrow down the Germanic choices--you mention Switzerland, Vienna, Bavaria, Rotheberg. Choose one base from which you can see several things, as an example Vienna-Salzburg-Melk-Danube Valley. Or Munich, Bavarian castles, Salzburg.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 09:43 AM
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Since you know your top 4 countries, that is a good way to start narrowing your focus. Keep in mind you lose at least 1/2 a day in travel time each time you move from place to place. I would still cut Naples and Portofino.

If you have 33 days you could do something like:

Day 1 Departure
Day 2,3,4,5 Paris
Day 6 Travel to Venice
Day 7, 8, Venice
Day 9 Travel to Florence
Day 10,11,12 Florence
Day 13 Travel to Rome
Day 14,15,16,17 Rome
Day 18 Travel to Barcelona
Day 19,20,21 Barcelona
Day 22 Travel to Greece
Day 23, 24 Santorini
Day 25 Travel to Athens
Day 26,27, 28 Athens

Day 33 Fly Home

This gives you days 29,30,31 & 32 to play with.

I am not saying this is the ideal itinerary but think it is helpful to look at written out. Now, on your travel days you might have a chance to see something of the place you are arriving in but not much. You might want to add another day to your first arrival location to help get over jet lag. You may also want to add extra time to a location to allow for day trips.
KTtravel is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 12:27 PM
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Thanks everyone for your help. As for doing four countries in a month I can do it easily. My trips I am always on the go I am not big on sleeping in the way I see it if I am traveling & spending the money I want to do as much as possible as I can. Meaning I am up @ 7am and going til about 9pm at night. I love being on the move constantly and easily get bored. I do agree I got to much listed there lol and will scale it down a lot. However Japan I went all over that country in two weeks and travel times are ridiculous there due to all the mountains, did the same thing in thailand went from phuket island to chaing rai so from south to north then back down again on a train. I know all about travel times and taking trains and how time consuming it could be and I did both those countries in two weeks. I know I am looking at more countries this time in Europe however most my transportation will be flights not by train this time around as going a long distance on a plane is wayyyy quicker then a train. I would rather go from point a to point b so I have choose to fly to save time and to go to the countries I want which has to include greece. So time wise the train is not an efficent way considering to get from london to paris it takes 12 hours where as a flight even arriving 2 hrs earyly prior to departure to go to paris is a 2 hr flight plus 2 hr prior arrival time and about an hr threw customs which is a whole lot better then 12 hrs. While I know I could spend a month in any of the countries and stay busy that is not me. I have to be on the move
syrin_karma is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 12:34 PM
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I am thinking I need to spend no less then 3-4 days in the cities that I narrow it down to. Santorini I want to be my end point as there is not to much to do there it will be more relaxing trip for me and my husband and romatic too. I think I could a much better unsterstanding after everyones help and am also thinking about maybe starting my trip in September as I did not realize how bad the tourist season was in all those areas that many of you have pointed out. I would prefer to go at a calmer time
syrin_karma is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 12:42 PM
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Where in the world did you get the idea it takes 12 hours by train from London to Paris???

Most trains, London city centre to Paris city centre, are UNDER 2 1/2 hours.


You need to look at every transfer and evaluate train vs plane or you will in many cases be wasting much time.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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Cathinjoetown I was on some website and it said 12 hrs. When I saw that lol I was like no way am I going ot be on a train for 12 hrs. I will check out your link. Obvioulsy I need to do more research to make sure I got the right information. Thanks for the link I am chekcing it out now. That is a big help.
syrin_karma is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 01:05 PM
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Everyones has been very help as I can see I got a lot of research to do and rethink some of my travel plans & maybe changing it to September or October which would give me almost a year to plan it. I was trying to go in August for my 10 year wedding anniversary but I think I would like it much more when there is less tourists and smaller lines. Maybe my husband will be able to get more then 33 days off so I can spend more time in Europe. Someone told me I can get a European rail pass for a month which I think I am going to look into. I think spain, france, Italy and greece is what I will focus on.
syrin_karma is offline  
Sep 30th, 2013, 04:38 AM
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Certainly look into a rail pass but as your trip comes together I think you may be happiest with a mix or rail and air.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Oct 6th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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Forget Barcelona. The two places to visit in Spain are Granada and Cordoba.
Bedar is offline  

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