Around Europe in 40 days

Jul 11th, 2014, 11:57 AM
  #1  
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Around Europe in 40 days

Hi guys
um going backpacking to Europe from 10-8 to 20-9 and I have this basic idea of where I want to go
(Rome>Barcelona>Madrid>Paris>Amsterdam>Venice>Vienna>Prague>Budapest)
so my Questions are
1- are the cities ordered properly?
2- in general which cities I should stay long (5:7 day) and which less (2:3 days)
3- what is the best way for transportation and how to book !
and Thanks in advance
Rozza is offline  
Jul 11th, 2014, 01:45 PM
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Yes it seems in a generally logical order but I would see what airfares are available and how much for several different landing and departure cities and then work around what is cheapest - maybe ending in Munich instead of Prague or Budapest would be a lot cheaper (may be not).

Venice is the city that seems out of kilter with your itinerary - Consider landing in Venice, going to Rome then flying or boating to Barcelona (or about a 24-hour train trip) - then from Amsterdam go via Munich to Vienna - then Prague and Budapest. Otherwise Venice is a big detour off your latter part of you route.

But otherwise yes it flows if that's what you want.

Amsterdam to Venice is long train ride so fly or break up your journey in beautiful Switzerland, bout half way by train from A'dam to Italy - can take a night train A'dam to Zurich and then go right to Italy the same day or head to the hills in the nearby fantastic Jungfrau Region - a town like Grindelwald has lots of hostels to stay.

Rome to Barcelona is obviously some place to fly (or take the overnight ferry from Italy to Barcelona - save the cost of a night in a hotel - ditto for any night train you take - for lots of info on cheap flights check www.skyscanner.net or www.whichbudget.com.

Trains are obviously the best for most places on your trip - and if under 26 you can get the bargain Eurail Youthpass that will let you chose which trains to take once there - there are discounted tickets but those are sold in limited numbers thusmust be booked far in advance to guarantee and then often have draconian restrictions on changing or refunding.

for lots of great info to plan a European rail trip I always spotlight these IMO superb sites: www.seat61.com - good info on discounted tickets; www.budgeteuropetravel - download their free and excellent online European Planning & Rail Guide for a wealth of info to plan a rail trip and www.ricksteves.com.

As for time in each city I think an average traveler would want at a minimum (and this is very subjective so you will get conflicting opinions on this)

Major cities like Rome, Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam 3 or 4 full days; Viena, Venice, Prague, Budapest 2-3 full days.

You could easily hit Florence when going between Venice and Rome.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 11th, 2014, 05:06 PM
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Paris to Amsterdam is via high-speed Thalys trains and if you have a railpass there is an obscene surcharge of about $40 plus using a day on your pass - so if doing most of those cities by rail as makes sense don't use a day on a flexipass for the Thalys train but go to www.thalys.com and book months in advance if possible and you can get 39 euro tickets - same price or even cheaper than using your pass (a lot cheaper since you also have to burn a day on your pass).

Railpasses can be used on Italian, French and Spanish trains with much smaller supplements and in other countries you can just hop on any train anytime with few exceptions.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 11th, 2014, 06:12 PM
  #4  
 
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Well going in August I would start in the north and leave the south to last to avoid the worst of the summer heat.

Agree with: Major cities like Rome, Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam 3 or 4 full days; Vienna, Venice, Prague, Budapest 2-3 full days. But I would do only 4 days (5 nights) in the larger and 3 days (4 nights in the smaller).
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 11th, 2014, 06:25 PM
  #5  
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I like the idea of getting to venice first, I will work on that
.
another thing
1- should I plan everything like booking hostels and tickets and deciding where to go in each city for the whole trip ahead before going there or just leave every step at it's time as I'm afraid I plan something but when I stay in a city or visit a certain place I get hooked and want to stay more !
2- I heard that trains are expensive compared to planes ! Is it true ! and which is cheaper and which is more Fun ! As if train are not that expensive, of course a train travel would be much fun !
3- a question to someone who traveled before, Is it a good idea to stay minimum (a lot is 6 and few is 2) at every city so you can have time to see and explore all cities, or should I give every city its proper time (7s to 5s in each) even if that's mean missing a city or two at the end !
how about (Venice 2 > Rome 5 > Barca 3 > Madrid 4 > Paris 6 > Amsterdam 4 > Berlin 4 > Prague 4 > Vienna 4 > Budapest 4)
Rozza is offline  
Jul 11th, 2014, 07:16 PM
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"how about (Venice 2 > Rome 5 > Barca 3 > Madrid 4 > Paris 6 > Amsterdam 4 > Berlin 4 > Prague 4 > Vienna 4 > Budapest 4)"

For me, that would be not enough time in Venice and possibly more time than I would need in Amsterdam. But this is your trip, and I'm sure we have vastly different interests. You need to decide what you want to see in each destination and how much time that will take. Then you have to figure out how long it will take to travel from place to place and deduct that from the time you would have for sightseeing everywhere.

Whether trains or planes are more expensive for each segment of your trip is for you to find out by researching the options (tedious, I admit) for the days you want to travel.

Whether you are willing/able to travel without confirmed reservations depends on your budget. If your goal is to stay in hostels, I think you'd need reservations. But consider also university dorm accommodations. (www.universityrooms.com) If you travel without lodging reservations, you might need to spend valuable sightseeing time looking for lodging in your budget range. You might find something right away, but since you're traveling at a very popular time I wouldn't count on it.
Jean is online now  
Jul 12th, 2014, 05:35 AM
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2- I heard that trains are expensive compared to planes ! Is it true ! and which is cheaper and which is more Fun ! As if train are not that expensive, of course a train travel would be much fun !>

check out the various railpasses and if traveling on several longer trains as you seem to plan the railpass could make train travel cheaper than flying and you also see something of the Europe in between cities and not just airports and tarmacs and a handful of large cities.

And taking overnight trains with a pass can mean saving $30-40 minimum on even hostels as you sleep on the train.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 12th, 2014, 10:29 AM
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If you sleep on a train, make sure your belongings are totally secured. My brother had a camera stolen when he dozed off. He was lucky it was "only" his camera and not his money, passport, train tickets, etc.
Jean is online now  
Jul 12th, 2014, 10:37 AM
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Yes sleeping without a compartment that locks from the inside is inviting theft when you snooze - I have witnessed several such thefts in days I use to sleep in regular seats or open-seating cars with reclining seats, etc.

Strap your camera around your neck and put anything of value in a secure money belt inside your street clothes, which most folks sleep in unless they have private compartments.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 12th, 2014, 11:42 AM
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IMHO sleeping sitting up in a chair is close to madness. For overnight trains you MUST have a locked cabin (only with people you know or alone) to secure your belongings.

A friend of mine decided to be cheap one night and sleep in a seat. She saved a little but lost a $500 camera.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 12th, 2014, 01:09 PM
  #11  
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Great thanks guys ... now I have some ground roles and basic ideas to build my trip on
Rozza is offline  
Jul 13th, 2014, 09:10 AM
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the problem with locked cabins is that IME after taking zillions of overnight trains is that some folks just will not re-lock the cabin from inside after they return from a mid-night trip to the loo - so not 100% safe - again having the topmost bunk with all your belongings there is the best IME - things stowed on the floor can be quickly snatched during the night if the door was left unlocked as it often is IME.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 15th, 2014, 10:12 PM
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My take on Prague: 4 days is usually good enough. It isn;t as big as many other cities. Vienna,again 3 days or so, but here are some good day trips like the Wachau valley, which deserve a day.
You can read my report here: ashwinbahulkar.wordpress.com/my-travels-2/central-europe-austria-and-czech-republic/wachau-valleymelk-durnstein/
Between PRague and Vienna and Budapest,there exist good bus services which are fairly cheap.
ashwinb is offline  
Jul 16th, 2014, 06:30 AM
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To me Prague after two full days was enough - Vienna to me would be better with 4 days there and 3 in Prague and yes the fantstic day trip to the Wachau Valley is awesome baby!
PalenQ is offline  

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