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MilinS Dec 21st, 2015 06:45 PM

Advice for 1 more country/city to visit.
Hello All,

This is the first time I am travelling to the Europe and am really very excited. I am travelling in Feb 2016

I need you help to finalized my Itinerary. Below is my rough Itinerary. I want to add a couple of days(2/13,2/14) to the start of the trip i.e before Amsterdam. Can you recommend a country/city in Europe which is worth going? Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

15-Feb Amsterdam
16-Feb Amsterdam
17-Feb Brussels
18-Feb Train from Brussels to Paris
19-Feb Paris
20-Feb Paris
21-Feb Paris
22-Feb Paris
23-Feb Rome
24-Feb Rome
25-Feb Florence
26-Feb Venice
27-Feb Venice
28-Feb Como Island
29-Feb Home

MmePerdu Dec 21st, 2015 07:16 PM

I'd like to see a re-do of your itinerary counted by nights and with travel time noted. For instance:

15 Feb. Arrive Amsterdam/2 nights. (This means you have 1 full day)
17 Feb. Train to Brussels/1 night. (This means you have less than 1 day)
18 Feb. Train to Paris/5 nights. (4 days)
23 Feb. Fly? to Rome/2 nights (1 full day in Rome? Not good)
25 Feb. Florence/1 night (Less than a day. Consider going straight to Venice)

Etc. You can see how this is shaping up. Consider adding more than 2 more days or fewer stops. I suggest possibly adding the 2 days to Amsterdam and then just Paris, Rome or Venice.

Jean Dec 21st, 2015 07:20 PM

Where/what is Como Island? Do you mean Lake Como?

From what city are you departing? It sounds like Milan...? Depending on your departure time, you might need to spend the last night there.

If it was my trip, I wouldn't add more destinations. I would add a day to Rome (you have only 1+ day there) and a day to Florence.

If you meant Lake Como, I personally would skip it in February, but that's you're call. Ferries will be on off-season/reduced schedules, and many restaurants and hotels will be closed. Needless to say, it will be cold (there will be snow on the nearby mountains), and most of what you'd want to see is outdoors.

greg Dec 21st, 2015 07:49 PM

And the way you stated your itinerary makes it difficult to understand how much time you are spending at each location.
While it might be obvious to you, it does not help us to understand to give to inputs. For example,

26-Feb Venice
27-Feb Venice
28-Feb Como

This can be interpreted in roughly three ways to come up with vastly different amount of time

Interpretation #1 = one night in Venice. Two calendar days in Venice. An example might be:
26-Feb Venice = arrive Venice at 2pm 26-Feb. Visit Venice
27-Feb Venice = visit Venice, leave venice at 4pm 27-Feb
28-Feb Como = spend most of the day in Como

Interpretation #2 = two nights in Venice = one full day in Venice. An example might be:

26-Feb Venice = arrive Venice at 2pm 26-Feb. Sleep in Venice
27-Feb Venice = spend a day in Venice. Sleep in Venice
28-Feb Como = leave Venice, arrive in Como, sleep in Como

Interpretation #3 = three nights in Venice = two full days in Venice. An example might be:

25-Feb Rome = leave Rome, arrive 10pm in Venice
26-Feb Venice = Full day in Venice. Sleep in Venice
27-Feb Venice = Full day in Venice. Sleep in Venice
28-Feb Como = leave Venice 9am, arrive in Como, sleep in Como

It is least confusing if you list where you are sleeping = number of nights in each city. Unlike the day time where you can be at two or more places on the same day, one (usually) sleeps only in one location each night.

bilboburgler Dec 21st, 2015 11:46 PM


hetismij2 Dec 22nd, 2015 12:03 AM

The logical place to add is the city you are arriving in, assuming you are flying from outside Europe.
Otherwise just add the days to Amsterdam and visit another Dutch town/city if you don't think you will have enough to do in Amsterdam.

Sassafrass Dec 22nd, 2015 12:08 AM

Agree with others about itinerary.
You need to allow travel time to see exactly how much time you have in each place, and it seems you are not. Include time getting from and to hotels in each place for total travel time. You can layout by nights in each place, but perhaps for you to see what you really have, you need to list days with travel times.

Where are you going from to Amsterdam? If you have a long flight you may be a bit tired the first day.

From Amsterdam to Brussels by train is 2 hours. Add 1/2 hour from your hotel to the train in Amsterdam, and 1/2 hour to get to your hotel in Brussels, all together 3 hours. That leaves 1/2 to 3/4 day in Brussels.

At best, getting from your hotel in Paris to the airport, waiting and checking in for flight, flight time to Rome, getting from airport to your hotel in Rome, will take at least a half day. Which date are you going to Rome, in the evening of the last day you list as Paris or the first day you list as Rome?

When you depart on the 29th, where is your departure city? How will you get there? How much time will it take? You will need to be in the city of departure the night before or a short drive or train trip if your flight is early in the day

Feb 15, arrive Amsterdam - 3/4 (possibly jet lagged) day in Amsterdam
Feb 16, Amsterdam - 1 whole day
Feb 17, train to Brussels - 3 hours travel, 3/4 day in Brussels
Feb 18, train to Paris - 1/3 to 1/2 day of travel, 1/2 + day in Paris
Feb 19, 20, 21, 22, Paris - 4 whole days in Paris
Feb 23, travel to Rome - 1/2 day of travel, 1/2 day in Rome
Feb 24, Rome - 1 whole day
Feb 25, train to Florence, 1/4 day travel, 3/4 day in Florence
Feb 26, train to Venice, 1/3 day travel, 2/3 day in Venice
Feb 27, Venice, 1 whole day
Feb 28, travel to ? 1/2 day of travel, 1/2 day ?
Feb 29, travel to airport and home. From where? What time?

You have
1 & 1/2 days - Amsterdam
3/4 day - Brussels
4 & 1/2 days - Paris
1 & 1/2 days - Rome
3/4 day - Florence

Looks like Rome could definitely use any days you have extra.
Florence could certainly use an extra day.
If you mean Lake Como, you might skip it this trip, but others may advise differently.

sandralist Dec 22nd, 2015 12:58 AM

If you decide you want to see Lago di Como in February, the best way to do it is to book a hotel in Milan and go by train if the day is sunny. Even if it is sunny it will probably be cold, even colder than Milan, so dress warmly. You will only find a few places open, not many restaurants. From Milano Centrale train station, you take a train to Varenna, or you can sometimes find tour operators who do day trips by bus. But I would not book a tour in advance because if the day is raining or snowing, it is not a good idea to go to the lake. Make a day trip to Bologna instead (one hour away by train) and have a nice lunch.

As for where to go at the top of your trip, I suggest you visit Antwerp rather than Brussels but also add some days to Rome -- just to warm up if nothing else!

Have a great time wherever your trip takes you.

sparkchaser Dec 22nd, 2015 04:35 AM

I'd skip Paris and spend 1 more day in Brussels, then a day in Brugge then two days in Munich before heading to Italy.

Sassafrass Dec 22nd, 2015 07:14 AM

Sandralist's suggestion of Bologna is excellent.

I would never skip Paris in favor of Brussels, Bruges or Munich. Also, since you allotted more time to Paris than any other place, Paris must be important to you.

traveller1959 Dec 22nd, 2015 07:47 AM

Your itinerary sounds quite reasonable.

As other mentioned, if you mean with "Como Island" Lake Como, skip it. The main attraction of Lake Como are the gardens of the stately villas at the lake shores, but there won't be any flowers in February. And it will be ice cold.

Insteand, I would add one or two days to Tuscany. Besides Florence, there is Pisa (it so SOOO beautiful - it is a must-see), Siena, Volterra, San Gimignano, Lucca...

Also Venice deserves more time than just 1 1/2 days.

Answering your main question: I would also vote for London. Or Berlin. In any case, a big city. In February, the countryside is not very attractive (unless you go into the high mountains for winter sports) while in the cities you have heated museums, cafés etc. to warm you up.

sandralist Dec 22nd, 2015 10:11 AM

Flowers are not the main attraction of Lago di Como for most people. The beauty of the lake and the mountains is. Many people would not enjoy being there when it was very cold. Others would enjoy seeing it, provided it is a sunny day. Often there will be snow on the mountains, and mist rising from the lake.

These pictures were taken in February

HappyTrvlr Dec 22nd, 2015 10:34 AM

Add a day each to Amsterdam and Rome, or Florence or Venice. I love Lake Como but would not visit it in the winter, cold, fog.

pariswat Dec 22nd, 2015 11:20 AM

Don't skip Paris.
Add the 2 days in Rome or Venice...
No need to add another destination in my opinion.
If really you want to add some place, yes, why not London.

MilinS Dec 23rd, 2015 06:42 AM

Thanks all for your reply.

I agree i wasn't very clear in my question..So this is now more detailed. I do understand its cold in Feb and Lake como is not a good option but I want to do something different than the usual attractions(museums,cathedral etc). I did check Tuscany but I guess its nothing different that any other city.

Please suggest anything different if anyone has any suggestions. As per your suggestion I might increase a day in Florence and Rome. Currently below is the plan

Amsterdam: 1 3/4 days
Brussels: 1 day
Paris: 4 days
Rome: 1 3/4 days
Florence: 3/4 day
Venice: 1 3/4 Day
Lake Como : 1 day

14-Feb Leave from India to Amsterdam reach amsterdam at 7 AM 15 Feb local time
15-Feb Amsterdam-Full day siteseeing
16-Feb Amsterdam-Siteseeing till 6 PM.Travel to Brussels and reach by 9 PM
17-Feb Brussels- Full Day Site Seeing
18-Feb Morning Train from Brussels to Paris-Half day site seeing
19-Feb Paris-Full day siteseeing
20-Feb Paris-Full day siteseeing
21-Feb Paris-Full day siteseeing
22-Feb Paris-half Day Site seeing. Travel to Rome by flight at night
23-Feb Rome-Full day siteseeing
24-Feb Rome-Half Day Siteseeing.reach Florence at night
25-Feb Florence-Full day siteseeing and take a train to venice and reach at 9 PM
26-Feb Venice-Full day siteseeing
27-Feb Venice-Full day siteseeing. Reach to Lake Como
28-Feb lake Come: Full day at the lake and then travel back to Venice
29-Feb Late Flight from venice to India

nytraveler Dec 23rd, 2015 06:54 AM

Tuscany is NOT a city. It's a province, of which Florence is the capital.

There are numerous towns and small cities in Tuscany, many of which are charming, esp Siena and San Gimignano. There is also a lot of countryside (wine and olives mostly) but at that tie of year it's not at it's best.

What is most different on your list is Venice and you're not giving it much time - esp if you want to see any of the outer islands we love Torcello and like Burano; Murano is great if you want to buy glass/see it blown).

Tulips Dec 23rd, 2015 07:18 AM

Do you really want to take a 4 hour trip to go and see lake Como, only to return to Venice to take your flight?
Add that day to Venice instead.
Drop Florence and add that day to Rome. 1,5 days in Rome is nothing.
And I would also skip Brussels and add that day to Amsterdam; it's not worth the hassle of checking in and out of another hotel. Stop there on your way to Paris, if you can leave your luggage at the station you can go and see the Grand Place and get back on the train to Paris.

You have 7 different locations here - that's a lot of checking in and out of hotels, and a lot of train stations and airports. Every time you move you loose time that you could spend actually seeing something.

pariswat Dec 23rd, 2015 07:47 AM

Tulips said it perfectly.

Leave Amsterdam in the morning train, visit Brussels and get back on the train to Paris. (you need 2 tickets one Ams-BXl, then Bxl-Paris) it is roughly 1 hour Ams - Bxl and 1 h 20 from Bxl-> Paris. one day in Bruxelles is enought to see the must sees (grand place, sablon..).

And defintely Rome 1,5 days is way too short - add one at least.


sandralist Dec 23rd, 2015 08:31 AM

If you want to see Lago di Como, put it after Florence, before you go to Venice. You can do it 2 ways by train:

1. Go from Rome to Florence, but spend the night in Florence. Take the morning train from Florence to Varenna , spend the night in Lago di Como. Next day, take the train to Venice


2. Take the train from Rome to Florence, do a half-day sightseeing, then take the train to Varenna, spend the night. Next day, enjoy the lake, take train at end of day to Venice.

Or, it might be better if you spent one more night in Paris, took a morning flight to Milan (Linate airport would be best), take the train to Varenna when you arrive in Italy, spend the night in Varenna, then the next day take the train to Florence, then onto Rome, then onto Venice.

sandralist Dec 23rd, 2015 09:09 AM

I meant to add that you need to think about what you will do if you book a flight and it is cancelled due to bad weather.

Also, Siena and San Gimignano are often just as cold as Lago di Como in February, and sometimes harder to get and walk around to if it snows. And I dont find either place particularly charming as compared with the lake. Right now I think you are planning a trip in winter where bad weather could mean you end up having a difficult time, and having to cancel things. All could go perfectly, but you don't have a lot of margin for correction if it doesn't.

If you don't like imagining spending all that time doing cultural sightseeing at famous photo-ops, don't do it. Pick a different itinerary that you wo

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