Enough time for these European cities?

May 14th, 2012, 06:50 PM
Original Poster
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Enough time for these European cities?

I'd like to visit several places, but am not sure if I have time for it all, and if it would be better to cut something out.

Amsterdam - 2 days
Berlin - 2.5 days
Switzerland - 3.5 days (Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt)
Rome - 3.5 days
Barcelona - 3 days

I'm considering scrapping Barcelona since it's kind of out of the way and I really want to see Berlin, and using those days for Amsterdam, Berlin, and Switzerland.

What do others think?

(FYI: I am visiting other places along the way, these aren't my only destinations. I just want feedback on my scheduled time in these cities.)
anom217 is offline  
May 14th, 2012, 07:00 PM
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Whenever I aee a question like above, I answer no and then read it. Now the answer is really no. You will never see anything but an airport or in the inside of a train.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
May 14th, 2012, 07:56 PM
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Cutting out Barcelona is a good start. But you should post your full itinerary if you want to get meaningful feedback.

At first glance though, you really are rushing things, like Adu has already said.
Apres_Londee is offline  
May 14th, 2012, 07:59 PM
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Let me clarify a bit. This is the free time I've calculated after I've accounted for traveling in between places (time being on the train and such).

For example, I intend to spend 2 full days/nights in Amsterdam (taking into account getting out of the airport) and then the next morning take the train to Berlin. I'm only counting half a day for Berlin here.

And I realize some people will say things like "you need to spend at least X days in Amsterdam alone to really see it", but I don't have the privilege of being able to spend that much time/money in certain places. So I just want to see if this schedule provides me with enough time to see the essentials (i.e. in Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall, Holocaust Memorial, Reichstag, a few other things) and get a brief feel for the city.

All input is appreciated. Thanks.
anom217 is offline  
May 14th, 2012, 08:46 PM
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I think this type of question is unproductive unless the poster really does not know how to add traveling, sleeping, and eating time to arrive how much time is left for visit. "Enough" is a subjective term. Why does it matter if it is enough or not enough for someone else? You are using you time and money. You decide when a city merits visiting or not visiting. Do you have some guide books? For example, Rick Steves, if you agree with him, offers suggestions for the clueless how much time to allocate for major destinations and what such stay consists of. You can agree with them, add to them, or reduce from them to match your constraints.

You have 2 days for Amsterdam. No problem if you defined your priority and did only things that met the constraints. That is "enough" within how you defined the term. Your time there is not "enough" if you insist on doing things beyond your constraints. Is it necessary to stick with someone else's definition of "enough?"
greg is offline  
May 14th, 2012, 09:26 PM
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What about each of those cities and the one country made you choose to go to them? What kinds of things are you interested in?

For example, I am veyr interested in art and history, and LOVE museums. And, in my non-vacation life, I live in the mountains. So, Switzerland (as I, also, have a finite amount of vacation time) is less interesting to me, and I'm more attracted to urban locales. Based on MY interests, I would spend more time in Rome and Amsterdam, and because Berlin doesn't appeal to me (just personal taste), I wouldn't go there at all. And I loved Barcelona, but you're wise to drop it in the interests of time.

So read, read, read up on your planned destinations, and make lists of what appeals to you most in those locations, then figure out how many days you'd need to see/do what you want to see/do in those locations.

Also, in terms of planning, it makes more sense to think of it as how many nights you have in a place. For example, if you have 2 days in Amsterdam, does that mean you have two nights (one full day and some partial days) or three nights (two full days)?

There's never enough time to visit everything I want to.
Lexma90 is offline  
May 14th, 2012, 10:53 PM
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Cruise passengers could spend 6 - 10 hours in a city.

Europeans often do long weekend city breaks, e.g. Thursday - Sunday, giving two whole days in a city like Barcelona or Rome.

Some people spend a week or more in large cities like Barcelona and Rome.

It is very difficult to advise. You will have enough time to see the "must sees". You can use a hopp-on hopp-off bus and see the major sights in one single day if you just want to see them. If you want to add a museum or two you need more than a day. In summer, be prepared for long queues to some sights, particularly in Rome and Barcelona.

Some people fall in love with a city they visit and never want to leave and will say that a week is a minimum for a city like Rome. Some people find 2 - 3 days enough and will happily move on to a new place.

Some people think that "people watching" at a street cafe is a complete waste of time when visiting a city. For some people activities like this is one of the high lights when travelling.

You will have time to see the "must sees" but don't get lazy and don't sleep too long in the morning, particularly not in Rome!
hoxa61 is offline  
May 15th, 2012, 12:40 AM
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My thoughts on this are "what do you expect to see in a short time" I think you will be left with a rushed holiday and not a great experience. Why dont you spend some relaxation time and soak up some atmosphere from your destination.
Tuscany_Villas1 is offline  
May 15th, 2012, 12:43 AM
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Amsterdam - 2 days,
Berlin - 2.5 days
Switzerland - 3.5 days (Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt)
Rome - 3.5 days
Barcelona - 3 days

I've sat looking at that list for some minutes and I cannot really help; this is how long I've spent

Amsterdam - 5 days, then at least 3 days each in nearby cities
Berlin - 6 days but did not make it to the lakes
Switzerland - 21 days nearly all the time in loads of places but none of the ones you have proposed (Lucerne 2 days but my gosh was I bored, Interlaken 0 days, Zermatt 0 days)
Rome - 5 days and missed so much
Barcelona - 5 days and then add in three more days for local visits.

Clearly youcould spend 1 minute in each town, what do you like, art, history, food, culture, drink??? I think I suggest you get a book and work out what you want to see.
bilboburgler is offline  
May 15th, 2012, 04:55 AM
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No. If it's Tuesday it must be Belgium has never worked for me.
kfusto is offline  
May 15th, 2012, 08:13 AM
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If you want to stick to your original plan be sure to add Lagos.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
May 15th, 2012, 08:46 AM
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It might help to partition your trip into half-days: go to Fodors Destinations (see it up there on the top bar?) and click on a city of interest, say Rome. Then find the list of ``top things to do in Rome.'' Allocating roughly 1/2 day per top thing, will you be satisfied seeing 7 or fewer things from that list?

This will give you a rough idea of what to plan for (you'll have to search around for similar lists for your smaller cities, as they're not all on the Fodor's list.)

Note that many travelers would find it exhausting to visit big tourist sites at a rate of two per day, and want to leave some time that does not involve standing in line and maneuvering in crowds but instead: wandering around, sipping wine, observing life, and checking out lesser-known sites. I generally try to leave about half my time for low-key activities.
capxxx is offline  
May 15th, 2012, 08:52 AM
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This question is impossible to answer because everyone has different personal feelings and expectations. For me with only 10-12 days, no way would I try to do 7 cities in 5 different countries! Personally I think that's crazy, it wastes money and time moving place to place, checking in and out of hotels, taxis or public transportation to and from train stations and airports... just not how I'd personally prioritize my time.

Berlin (since you're specifically interested in that) plus the three places in Switzerland would make a reasonable itinerary.

2-3 cities in 10-12 days to me is still a fast-pace but more do-able.
suze is offline  
May 15th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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No - this is not enough time - even to se the basics.

And the worst part is Swtiz - when you are trying to see 3 places (plus more - I assume yuo actually want to get into the mountains) in only 3.5 days. You have also not take into account the weather. In Switz your maountain trvel is oftne limited byt he weather - since the tops can be in clouds and youwill see nothing. We waited in Interlaken (touring other towns and lakes etc) for 3 dys before we got a day clear enough that it made sense to ascend the Jungfrau. And to go to Switz and not head to the mountaintops makes no sense at all.
nytraveler is offline  
May 15th, 2012, 09:25 AM
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Sorry - it also depends on what your must sees are. I know in Berlin I had 4 days of must sees for my first visit. If you don't have as many (although I would argue that missing the Ishtar gate at the Pergamom is a crime) then you can do it in less time.
nytraveler is offline  
May 15th, 2012, 09:25 AM
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Short answer - NO. Waste of time and money to cram all that into such a short timeframe...unless your objective is to throw money at being able to say you "did" this place and that.
StCirq is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 04:44 AM
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Interesting choices in Switzerland. I would have expected to see Bern, Zurich or Geneva on the list ...
Kirkesgaard is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 04:53 AM
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No. But depend on you, how much you want to see. Maybe will help if you will make a list with what you want to see in each city and then you can estimate how long you need to stay.
valtor is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 05:00 AM
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"What do others think?"

You sure you want to know?

Anyway, FWIW, I think no - not even close.
bardo1 is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 05:03 AM
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Is the goal to "see" or to say "I was there"

If it's the later go for it. If you want to enjoy your trip... Start over.

Even with your "explanation" it's still way to much "moving around" Just transport between Switzerland, Rome and Barcelona is eating up a lot of time.
CarolA is offline  

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