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College friends traveling through Europe for 2 weeks!

College friends traveling through Europe for 2 weeks!

Nov 24th, 2012, 02:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
College friends traveling through Europe for 2 weeks!

My friends and I (3 college guys) are planning a trip to Europe Mid-May to travel around for 2 weeks. We were wanting some advice on our itinerary, what to expect to spend, the weather, how crowded to expect the cities to be, advice on what to do and see, also, any secret treasurers (bars, restaurants, hostels, etc.) we must experience. I have only been abroad once for a few days in Brussels and a day trip to Bruges, so I am not well versed in traveling abroad. We are planning to go around May 16-31 our proposed itinerary is as follows:

Fly into London May 17
London 4 days
Amsterdam 2 days
Brussels 2
Bruges 1
Paris 4
Fly out of Paris May 31

My questions are as follows:
Is this a good and doable itinerary?
What will the weather be like during May 17-31 in these cities?
What can I expect to spend, conservatively?
Will it be very crowded during May?
What are the must see's and do's in these cities?

Any and all suggestions and advice will be greatly appreciated.
kavol03 is offline  
Nov 24th, 2012, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I would consider staying in Ghent, between Brussels and Bruges, and taking day trips.

What are the must see's and do's in these cities?

Given the short time that you are staying in each location, it might be best to find guidebooks that give suggestions for one, two, three, four day stays.
Michael is online now  
Nov 24th, 2012, 03:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,918
"Is this a good and doable itinerary?" Doable but probably not all that much fun. IMO too many places in too little time. Are those the number of days or the number of nights? In other words -- to get one full day in Bruges would mean staying 2 nights.

"What will the weather be like during May 17-31 in these cities?" Absolutely no way to know until about May 15 or 16.

"What can I expect to spend, conservatively?" Also just about unanswerable since we don't know your travel style. And are you just asking about food/admissions? or do you mean hotels/admissions/transport/food?

"Will it be very crowded during May?" Not overly - that is not yet high tourist season.

"What are the must see's and do's in these cities?"

There are (literally) hundreds - start by clicking 'Destinations' at the top of the page and read up a bit on all those cities.
janisj is online now  
Nov 24th, 2012, 03:59 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,810
I think you're trying to do too much. I'd cut Brussels and Bruges.

Don't forget that it will take half a day to a full day to check out of your hotel, travel to the new place, and check in to your new hotel. Therefore your two days in Brussels will be 1 to 1/2 and your day in Bruges will maybe be half a day.

What you can expect to spend will depend on what you want to do and what your tastes are.

Really, you need to buy a guidebook--maybe one of those "best of Europe" guidebooks so that you can get an idea of what you'll need to spend and what sights you'll want to see.

May won't be as crowded as some other times, but there are always lots of travelers in Europe. When we went to Italy in October, we didn't think there would be lots of people because school was in session. We didn't realize that lots of seniors would find October a good time to travel. Whether you'll consider places to be "crowded" will depend on what you think "crowded" really means. Some attractions will always have large crowds.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Nov 24th, 2012, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
To get good ideas on how to travel inexpensively (all of these places will be significantly more expensive than the US ofr anything) have a look at a couple of the Let's Go student guides. Also the Thorn Tree section of the Lonely Planet Guide.

Most of us are not students and while there is definitely a range of budget I would suggest that most of us are traveling in the modest or moderate range - rather than the budget. In terms of costs, one thing to keep in mind is that local wine or beer is usually quite inexpensive, while hard liquor and mixed drinks are very expensive (largely due to government tax on alcohol).

May should not be uber crowded (as late June through Aug are - but do expect plenty of tourists) and weather should be pleasant - but a little chilly to somewhat warm. Plan on some rain. Pack layers so you will be comfy in temps from 50 to 80 (50s to 60s is more likely).

As for your itinerary - IMHO you are trying to see too many places - since one full day in a city requires 2 nights. Don't know your interests - but I would suggest that for either London or Paris 4 full days (5 nights) is a minimum to see anything. In two weeks I would do London, Amsterdam and Paris.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 24th, 2012, 04:31 PM
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I love Brussels (best food in Europe, IMO) (and Bruges), but if you are male college students I'm guessing they won't do that much for you (and will add expenses to get to). I'd ditch those destinations and add those days to Amsterdam (with daytrips to Ghent and Utrecht and maybe other places).
StCirq is online now  
Nov 25th, 2012, 12:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,298
I recommend also posting your question on the thorntree message board as there are more people your age that post that can give you more relevant advice! Have fun!!
jamikins is offline  
Nov 25th, 2012, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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I'd skip Brussels and Brugges too , and divide time between London , Amsterdam , and Paris.

Two weeks is not a really long time, and getting from place to place eats a half day away minimally, so the less travel the more you can see. Depends on tastes though, some like to rush about more.

For train travel between cities book in advance as far as possible think its 120 days for Eurostar and 90-120 days for the Thaly( amsterdam-paris) , check websites , that way you will pay the least, booking last minute is highest prices and it can be considerably more.

For hostel stays I would book well in advance also, May won't be uber crowded, but here in Canada colleges and universities generally end terms at end of April so lots of students start travelling in May
justineparis is offline  
Nov 25th, 2012, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,420
I wouldn't skip Brussels and Bruges, but I would devote just two days for that and stay in Brussels, making Bruges an easy day trip.
kerouac is online now  
Nov 25th, 2012, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I like kerouak's suggestion. Don't skip Belgium.
Grassshopper is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 04:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,313
I, too would skip Belgium and concentrate more on London and Paris.
mjs is offline  

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