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Europe in 2 Weeks, starting in Frankfurt

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Aug 10th, 2013, 01:26 PM
  #1
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Europe in 2 Weeks, starting in Frankfurt

Hi! So my friend and I are going to Europe together after our study abroad program ends in Sydney at the end of April 2014. We have a friend in Frankfurt who is allowing us to stay with him, so we want to land in Frankfurt. We wanted to see Paris, London, Rome, and Florence while we were there. I would appreciate some thoughts and advice!

How do you recommend we travel from city to city, and where can I find cheap hotels to stay at? Would it maybe be easier if we arrived in another city and made a stop at Frankfurt to see our friend throughout our trip? Thanks!
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Aug 10th, 2013, 01:38 PM
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That's one heck of an ambitious program for such a short time! A lot of money spent and a lot of hours wasted in transit for very little return - you'll hardly experience any of these cities in a meaningful way.

After you land in Frankfurt, coming from Sydney, you'll be wiped for a day or two - I've done it a number of times.

These days the low-cost airlines are your best bet - check them out at www.skyscanner.net and www.whichbudget.com. They have stringent luggage restrictions - too much stuff and they are no longer "low-cost"! Read the fine print.

Note that some leave from an alternate airport way outside of Frankfurt, called Frankfurt-Hahn (there is a bus of course).

Trains are your second-best option, and to save time, look for night trains - www.seat61.com has good info on that.

The national train systems you're likely to use are www.bahn.de, www.voyages-sncf.com, www.trenitalia.com, and www.tgv.com and www.eurostar.com
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Aug 10th, 2013, 01:49 PM
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Thanks for your response! Do you recommend we lengthen the trip or we cut a few cities? We are trying to make this trip affordable so we don't want to stay for more than two weeks if we don't have to. From Frankfurt, where should I go first?
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Aug 10th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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Why not Frankfurt, Paris and London? Less time and money spent moving around. Paris and London especially have so much to see and do you will run out of time before you run out of things to do.
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Aug 10th, 2013, 02:12 PM
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If you want to save money, cut your cities. Rent an apartment for a week.

Since you're coming for 2 weeks, stay with your friend for 3 days, (Frankfurt isn't that exciting but it's a decent base) Then go to another city for a week.

I recommend Paris because there is so much to do that a week will fly by. Plus, once you get to Paris you can walk and/or take the metro anywhere.

If you're in good shape then rent an apartment without an elevator and you'll save some money. Also by renting an apt, you'll save on food.

What is your budget? It will be much easier for us to give you advice if we know what you can spend.

This is the most common question on this board. You must deal realistically with your budget.
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Aug 10th, 2013, 02:12 PM
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I would go to either Paris/London or Rome/Florence, but not all four. From any of these cities, you can make interesting day trips and/or short detours to small towns for a couple of days. If seeing your Frankfurt friend is a priority, then make the itinerary Frankfurt/Paris/London or Frankfurt/Florence/Rome. Fly into Frankfurt and out of either London or Rome, or vice versa.

But IMO skipping Frankfurt would make more sense.

FYI, Frankfurt to Florence (or perhaps Pisa) would be better by air. Everything else is easy by train.
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Aug 10th, 2013, 02:15 PM
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Thanks, that is probably a more realistic itinerary. How much do hotels cost in Paris and London?
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Aug 10th, 2013, 02:17 PM
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I think I will do Frankfurt - Paris - London. Staying with my friend in Frankfurt is a priority. Our budget is about $3000. Is that realistic/do-able? Where can I find apartments to rent for a week?
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Aug 10th, 2013, 02:23 PM
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You can stay in hostels very reasonable, probably E25 to E35 per night. Most hotels will cost more than that per person. Some hostels have single and double rooms as well as dorm rooms.

Hotels are all prices, just like anywhere else. Probably E85 for a double is the lowest price you'll find within the city.
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Aug 10th, 2013, 02:33 PM
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After Paris if you decide to go to London or another city then plan to fly into one city and home from your final city.

It will save time getting back to FRA and money on the train.
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Aug 10th, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Is the 3000 each or all together?
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Aug 10th, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Oh and is the budget including airfare?

What does your airfare look like?
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Aug 10th, 2013, 02:59 PM
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That budget is not including airfare. We are booking the airfare through a travel agent.
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Aug 10th, 2013, 03:36 PM
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Also, how do you guys recommend getting from Frankfurt to Paris? I was thinking by train but it says that it's about E200 per person for one way! Am I researching this correctly?
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Aug 10th, 2013, 05:24 PM
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I see fares Frankfurt to Paris for E39.

The least expensive tickets are purchased about 3 months ahead. You can buy etickets and print them at home. Have the same credit card that you used to buy the tickets with you.

http://www.bahn.de/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml

BTW - when quoting prices please specify the sites you use. That would be helpful to responders so we know what you're looking at.
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Aug 10th, 2013, 05:25 PM
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Have the same credit card that you used to buy the tickets with you.

That should be: with you on the train.
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Aug 10th, 2013, 05:27 PM
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Where are you seeing that train fare of 200 EUR? I see a "Standard Fare" of 119 EUR on the German railway site, and there may be possible discounts I'm not aware of.

http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml

You should also investigate budget airfares, but pay attention to baggage fees and restrictions.
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Aug 10th, 2013, 06:59 PM
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bahn.de shows Frankfurt Hbf - Paris for as little as 99 Euros, mostly 119 or 120 Euros - that may be more than a budget flight costs, or not - depends on the day and time. Look it up yourselves, you have the websites.

If you think one more city might be fun, consider a couple of days in Amsterdam, it's not as huge a detour as Italy would be, and maybe you would have fun taking the boat across from there to England - www.directferries.co.uk
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Aug 10th, 2013, 07:09 PM
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>>Our budget is about $3000. <<

For what?? Everything besides the airfare? And is that for both of you or EACH of you.

If you mean $3000 total for the two of you - that is only $1500/€1100/£950. That is very VERY little for two weeks.

If you mean $3000/€2200/£1900 each - then it is much more doable.
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Aug 10th, 2013, 11:31 PM
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If you get your tickets 3 months ahead of time, you can get one way tickets to Paris for 39 euro. Check on the Deutsche Bahn website, but also the TGV for France.

Reasonable hotel rooms in Frankfurt would be Motel One, or Ibis. Cost between 59-69 euro per night for a double. Eat breakfast at a bakery. Getting an apt. through air bnb is also a good place to look, as you should be able to find something here in the city for even less per night.

Frankfurt as a hub is great. You can do day trip to the Rhine, Heidelberg, Büdingen, or Würzburg using the regional trains.

Make lunches your main meal of the day, and you can easily eat as well as have a drink, for under 10 euro, and be stuffed. Go grocery shopping for dinner. Aldi, Lidl, and Penny are the cheapest grocery stores. Eat ethnic for even cheaper meals. Lots of Asian places offer a lunch special for about 4 euro.
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