Europe-21 days in September 2014

Old Feb 6th, 2014, 11:22 AM
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Choice between Low Countries and High Country (Switzerland) is personal--do you like culture or scenery?

I think you have too many days in Amsterdam and Paris for a first trip and not enough in Florence.
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Old Feb 6th, 2014, 12:08 PM
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vishal- why are you now abandoning Munich?

I think bvlenci's itinerary was great, and agree with annhig that just the first day or two is getting out the jetlag.

There is very much to see/do in Paris. I think once you browse a good guide and/or read some trip reports here, you'll see that. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Rodin museum, the Arc de Triomphe, a ride up the Siene, Sacre Couer, etc. So much to see and do.

I really like the fly into Paris and home from Rome idea.

As far as romance, you can't beat Paris and Venice, for sure. I personally love Rome best of all the places I've been in Europe. I think for history.. you can't beat that. Don't miss the Vatican Museums, the Colosseum, the Forum. You could do a 1/2 day by taking the train from Rome out to Ostia Antica. Google it. Fabulous place.

Also please note that Rick Steves has free app for downloading walking tours and maps. Love those! (Rick Steves Europe).

It's be a great trip and your wife will be thrilled!
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Old Feb 6th, 2014, 02:50 PM
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i agree that if you are going to drop Munich, the 2nd PARIS - ROME option is best - i particularly like the Swiss part in the middle as I strongly believe that the best holidays are the ones where there is a good mix of activities - a museum a day makes jack a dull boy, to mix my proverbs.

i might eve "borrow" a night from Paris and give it to Switzerland, depending on how the transport works out.

are you going to get the train from Switzerland to Venice? I've not done it, but I understand it's a very scenic trip.
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Old Feb 6th, 2014, 07:38 PM
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There is no way you can see all the major sights in 4 countries in 21 days. You can't even fully do one country in 21 days. I have been to europe more than 100 times (granted about half were business trips but I always attached at least a day or so in the city for touring - and sometimes several days.

And no matter the city or country there are more things that I want to see or do.

Especially if you want to get any sort of feeling for the history and culture of the country you need to 1) do at least some reasonable level of research in advance - as in several books and not just guide books) and spend some time just sitting in a cafe or pub and watch the (very different) world go by.
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Old Feb 7th, 2014, 01:23 PM
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Okay its official...we are doing Oktoberfest!

You guys are all AWESOME!!

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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 10:22 AM
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Most people have recommended for us to go oktoberfest in the weekeday because it gets too packed and hard to find a seat.

Anyone know if its worth going to the opening ceremony 20th Sept. I am sure its super crowded..

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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 11:40 AM
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Wife Really want to go to Switzerland. Do any of you think its feasable to go to switzerland for 2-3 days?

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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 12:05 PM
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We went to Switzerland for an afternoon (Geneva, which we left very rapidly as it did not appeal to us).

So sure, if your wife really wants to go to Switzerland, then two or three days is feasible. Based on my own preferences, I'd say that two or three days is the max I'd want to spend there, but to each his own.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 12:22 PM
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Why not?? I have been to Europe many times and have always spent 2,3 or 4 days at any one stop!

I love Switzerland (it's the most beautiful place I've been to) but I wouldn't go to Geneva or Zurich! It all depends what you want. If you like beauty, some light hiking in the mountains, I would go to Grindelwald and take gondolas,trains, etc. to Jungfrau, Lauterbrunnen, etc. If you want to visit a nice little city, Luzern is a great call. Beautiful town built on a glass lake, beautiful (but unfortunately, very touristy).

Lots of folks on these boards always say..."you can't see ___ in only 2,3 days." I disagree! I might have only been in Amsterdam for 2 days....but I was in Amsterdam!!! I have wonderful memories of Amsterdam, Luzern, and other places even though I only stayed there 2 nights. IMO, better than not having gone there at all and spending 7 days in one place!

You can always cut short time spent in Paris or Rome by a day. I loved Paris and have returned there often. Rome was just OK to me. I actually had 4 nights allocated for Rome and changed it to 3 nights. (We did a heck of a lot of walking in 3 days!) Venice is so small, 2 nights is sufficient IMO.

Good luck! Planning is half of the fun of travelling! I also make changes on the fly! 70% of my trips are planned, the other 30% are open to improvise!

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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 12:38 PM
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Masterphil--agree 100% re spending a few days somewhere. It's better to spend two or three days in Paris (or London or Switzerland, etc) than not to go at all.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 01:26 PM
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Wife Really want to go to Switzerland. Do any of you think its feasable to go to switzerland for 2-3 days?>>

of course you can go to Switzerland for 2-3 days, but you will only be able to see a small part of it, as it's quite a big place. if that is going to be enough for you/your wife, that's fine.

you will need to plan quite carefully to ensure that you make the most of such a short stay.
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 11:29 AM
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You are right every person I talk to that you need more time in the Paris and Rome because of XYZ.

hows the Amsterdam to Paris train?
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 11:32 AM
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Thalys is the only train going direct between Amsterdam and Paris - - I recently on a few days notice got 39 euro fare - non-changeable non-refundable so be sure of your dates but lots cheaper than just showing up - takes about 3.5 hours. For lots of info on Thalys and other trains check out these IMO superb sources - (good news on discounted tickets); and

Thalys trains go about every hour - via Antwerp, Brussels to Paris.
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 11:41 AM
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Last September/October my boyfriend and I did a road trip from Munich for Oktoberfest, to Innsbruck, to Venice, to Rome, back up north to Florence, Innsbruck again, and Munich again. It was the most amazing trip ever! Yes, we drove the whole way, which many people think is crazy, but it was amazing!

It was so awesome, we are doing another similar trip September 2014, but plan to fly into Frankfurt, from there drive to Rothenburg, then to Nuremberg, then to Munich for Oktoberfest, then Innsbruck, then to Salzburg. From Salzburg, we plan to do a couple day trips to Hallstatt and some other surrounding cities.

I think it really comes down to what your interests are, which would determine what things you want to do. Of all the places I went to, the most memorable were Oktoberfest, Innsbruck, and Rome.
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 04:56 PM
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I like your Paris/Rome itinerary and would recommend considering Grindelwald, Lucerne or Bern for places to visit in Switzerland. The country is so beautiful that I hope you get to see it. We did a previous trip in late Sept/Oct that was similar to your schedule. We loved Rome and spent 5 nights there and were able to see all the sights at a leisure pace. You can consider taking day trips from Rome to Orveito or Pompeii if you want to travel outside of the city.

Rick Steves has great walking tour apps that you can download to your iPod for Paris, Florence and Rome that are terrific. Bon voyage!
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 10:11 PM
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when do you think i should squeeze switzerland in there?

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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 11:07 PM
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Your last itinerary is doable. Shave off a day in Paris and add to Switzerland. Skip Oktoberfest. There are other local festivals to see during that time that are just as wonderful. Do not stay in Zürich but go right to Berner Oberland for those your stay in Switzerland.

And whoever said he's been in Switzerland for a 1/2 day while in Geneva has never really been to Switzerland. Sorry.
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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 07:38 AM
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I had been to Austria, Switzerland and Italy in August 2012. From my experience, add one more day to Florence .. you will not regret it as lots of tourist attractions available over there. You may cut one day either from Rome or even Venice (preferably from Venice). Everything is possible if you have the energy to withstand a hectic schedule. While in Austria, we had done a day trip to Munich by train !! Sounds crazy, but as I mentioned before, everything is possible in Europe mainly because of the excellent train connectivity. Enjoy your trip !
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 02:25 PM
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This is what we are doing. I know many of you folks will say we are doing too much in 21 days but I believe its doable.
Yes, we are going to barley scratch the surface with some of these locations but we are okay with that. Tell me what you guys think also any places we MUST go see in the that city please share.

Day 1 Paris

Day 2 Paris

Day 3 Paris

Day 4 Paris


Day 5 Zurich

Day 6 Zurich

Day 7 Zurich


Day 8 Rome

Day 9 Rome

Day 10 Rome


Day 11 Florence

Day 12 Florence


Day 13 Venice

Day 14 Venice


Day 15 Munich Oktoberfest

Day 16 Munich ( Day trip Vienna)

Day 17 Munich ( day Salzburg)


Day 18 Berlin Day ( day Salzburg)

Day 19 Berlin

Day 20 Berlin
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 02:34 PM
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I think that Basel is more interesting than Zurich, but for Alpine Switzerland, the city is Luzern.
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