Europe in 20 days

Apr 16th, 2013, 02:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 2
Europe in 20 days


I'm looking for advice. I am planning to do a bit travelling around Europe for 20 days in July, but never having been anywhere I have no idea where to start. My husband says we can fly edinburgh - nice and then get a rail pass, but I'm wondering how many cities we can expect to see in those 20 days, and a suggested route to take? Places I had hoped to go are Rome, Pisa, Cannes, Paris, Venice, Florence, Vienna and Switzerland, but not sure if this is ridiculous expectation from 3 week holiday! Any views/advice would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
peridot1984 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 02:55 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,074
Hi, As nost travelers Ipwill agree I am afraid you will have to leave out some destinations of your itinerary. This is a very personal choice, I would leave out Nice and Cannes even through it is Summer I do Not think you will have time to spend in the Beach and surely you will find them expenisive in high Season.
Have a hard look at the map trying to visit whatever you end up with in a wAY that will save time.
París, Rome and Vienna are magnificent destinations and they require I would say .5 days.Good luck.
Graziella5b is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 745
Seven cities and one country in twenty days. Even if you only chose one city in Switzerland it will still be eight cities. No, wait, you have ten cities if you include Edinburgh and Nice in the beginning. That sounds like a very hurried and stressed trip. It can be done, but you will not have time to see much in any of the places.

Each time you move from one place to another you lose at least half a day, maybe an entire day. You have to check out of one place, get to the train station (you mentioned a rail pass), find the right train, sit on a train a few hours, get to the new city and try to find your new hotel and check in. That takes time. And energy.

Is there something you actually want to see in each of these places?

In my opinion Rome needs a week, or at least a few days. Pisa can be done in a day. I don't think I've ever been in Cannes, so I have no idea if there is anything to see there. Paris really needs a week, but if you only want to see the Eiffel Tower you can rush through in one day. Venice probably needs two days, but you can rush through it in one day. I know I've been in Florence, I don't really remember it (what? I was eight or nine years old) but I think the big church thing needs lots of time. I don't think I've been in Vienna and don't know what to see there. Switzerland is beautiful, but it's still a country not a city.

My advice would be to drop a few places. Unless all you want is to be able to brag to your friends about how many places you've been to.
anyegr is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 03:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 983
My brother is going to Rome in July. He is going to want my advice, and I won't know what to tell him, because so many (like anyegr) feel that Rome needs a week (or at least a few days). I've been to Rome a few times, and once even went with my cousin and his family as a daytrip from Florence - - we saw the Sistine Chapel, St. Peters, Piazza Navonna, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Forum, and skirted past the Colisuem - - we got in around 10am, and left about 530pm. It was a very nice visit, and very satisfying. I was then plenty happy to be elsewhere for the rest of the trip.

I supposed we could have stretched the visit out to a full week (but I can't really see why), but that is why there are other posters in this Forum to tell you how to make that worthwhile. For me, it is not worthwhile, because Rome is congested and a big hassle, whereas other places, like Turin, Bologna, Ravenna, Amalfi Coast, every town in Umbria, are just as nice, if not way nicer. But that is why it is good to get lots of opinions.

My brother and his wife INDEED may be able to appreciate Rome for a full week this coming July. Me, I can't imagine attempting to do so. But I would love to hear how others manage to do so, and to gain from their flights of imagination, and to learn from their perspectives.
dfourh is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 05:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,434
Yes, it is ridiculous and wouldn't be any fun as you'd be spending every waking moment on some train and not actually being anywhere or seeing anything.

Get out the guidebooks and a detailed map of Europe and start narrowing things down according to your interests. When the trip is more about moving from place to place than actually experiencing things, it's a no-go.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 16th, 2013, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,362
Don't buy tickets or a rail pass until you have pinned down your itinerary. Start with the top four or five places, cities or areas you want to see. Build from there. Link them in a sensible manner logistically. Allow plenty of travel time in between places. Figure out what you want to see there, then see what else you have time to fit in. Look at what there is to see close by your main destinations. Example: add a day to Paris for a day trip to Versailles. Stay in Florence 3/4 days and visit Siena or Lucca. Add a day to Rome and visit Orvieto or Ostia Antica. You will see a lot more and spend less time traveling.

Buy multi-city tickets, flying into your first destination and out of your last to save time backtracking.

You might end up not wanting a rail pass at all. Example: if you start in Paris, you might then fly to Venice and buy cheap, point to point train tickets in Italy.

Decide for sure where you want to go. Then figure out how to do it. If you don't know where you are going, you can't know a best route.
Sassafrass is online now  

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