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Europe in 20 days February 2016

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Aug 21st, 2015, 11:25 AM
  #1
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Europe in 20 days February 2016

Me and my boyfriend are travelling to Barcelona on February 8th 2016 and vising Europe for the first time so we have no clue how we will manage..

Ideally we would like to visit a few main cities and spend time skiing somewhere.. vaguely this is our plan the order can change:

Rome (2 night stopover)
Arrive in Barcelona 3 nights
London 3 nights
Amsterdam 2 nights
Paris 3 nights
Ski village not defined
We need to return to Barcelona for our flight back so that day is lost.

Any recommendations on Germany, Andorra, Chamonix or somewhere in Switzerland to ski? Cant be to expensive because we are on a tight budget, but we want to ski in a big resort that is worth a visit..

Our interests are:
-main historical places, buildings, churches and museums
-ski
-my boyfriend suggests to drive from Barcelona to Nice but Im not sure this is the perfect time of the year for it, and not sure we have enought time to enjoy it.
-might visit Valencia where my cousin lives, which is 3 hours from Barcelona..
-we want to visit at least one gorgeous castle!
I will hate to leave so many places behind but I feel it's the least we should do on our 1st visit..

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!
florenciat is offline  
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Aug 21st, 2015, 12:04 PM
  #2
 
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If you want a chance to see/do/experience anything in these wonderful places, you will need to cut some destinations. Two nights in Rome is just one full day, likewise your other stops - you'll have 2 days in Barcelona, one day in Amsterdam, 2 days in London, 2 days in Paris and some time at a ski resort. If you are trying to travel on a budget, you may need to cut the skiing. And moving around so much costs money. Fewer destinations will give you more time (and money) to explore each place.

It sounds like you are aware that it takes time to get from place to place, but if you boyfriend has his way and drives from Barcelona to Nice, you'll be wasting a lot of time unless you decide to cut the skiing and make the drive a way to explore the area, a night here a night there.

For a first trip, you don't have nearly enough time in the major cities For me, such short stays would just be frustrating. Each new city you need to learn the transport system, explore the neighborhood you are in and find places to eat/buy food, etc.

Take a look at what you hope to do in each city on your itinerary and see if you have given yourselves enough time.
Kathie is offline  
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Aug 21st, 2015, 12:21 PM
  #3
 
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to quote your post "We need to return to Barcelona for our flight back so that day is lost."
I feel you have lost a lot of days due to traveling.
Please slow down and see more of where you visit.
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Aug 21st, 2015, 12:51 PM
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Chamonix or somewhere in Switzerland to ski? Cant be to expensive because we are on a tight budget, but we want to ski in a big resort that is worth a visit.. >

Stick to Chamonix and France for anyone on a tight budget - Switzerland is so so expensive - much more than France - for everything from restaurants to groceries to cups of coffee and probably for skiing though I do not know anything about that.

But Chamonix hosted the winter Olympics once I believe so it has it all and the highest mountain in western Europe - Mt Blanc.

Going by train - I suspect as cars are useless in cities and you could never ever keep such a scheudle by driving - for lots of great info on European trains check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Aug 21st, 2015, 01:25 PM
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Too many places, too little time. I'd cut either London or Amsterdam for starters. But I personally would include Valencia, since I think it's always more fun to visit a place when you know someone who lives there.
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Aug 21st, 2015, 01:28 PM
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I see.. I cant really change the 2 nights in Rome because it's a stopover so the flights are configured like that. But I agree it's best to stay a minimum of 3 nights in each city.

Maybe I should cut out London, so therefore:

Rome 2 nights

Barcelona 3 nights / half a day is lost on arrival because I get there 4pm so its 2 days and a half. Leaving on 4th day

Paris 4 nights / I guess the best way to arrive in Paris from BCN is by plane there I lost half a day so it 3 days and a half. Leaving on the 5th day

Amsterdam 3 nights / leaving on the 4th day. Then flight or train to a ski resort not sure where.

Andorra sounds best because it's close to Barcelona where my trip ends, plus one of my friends will be there. But I've always heard so many nice things about Chamonix and the ski lifts are affordable.

There are so many ski resorts in Europe I'm finding myself completely lost..
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Aug 21st, 2015, 01:36 PM
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I'd stick with Rome to Barcelona. If you want to ski, then you can head up to La Molina for a few days (www.lamolina.cat).

And if you wanted to see Paris, and spend three or good days enjoying the city, then you can take the high-speed train that runs between Paris and Barcelona. You would also be able to take the train down to Valencia to visit your cousin, with out wasting so much of your time hopping around Europe.
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Aug 21st, 2015, 01:56 PM
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If you cut both Amsterdam and London, that will give you more time. Each time you change locations you lose from half a day to most of a day, as you have to count from when you check out of your lodgings in one place until you are checked in at the next. So if you fly, you have to consider the time it takes to get to the airport outside the city, your wait time, then from the airport to your next lodgings. Train stations are usually centrally located, so it takes less time to get there from your hotel and to get from the train station to the next hotel, so the actual travel time (flight or train) doesn't tell the whole story.

Also consider that traveling in February mean daylight is very short which may limit some things you want to do. And of the places you have listed, daylight hours will be shortest in London and Amsterdam.

Choose the ski resort you most want to visit whether that is Chamonix or somewhere else rather than getting overwhelmed by all of the options. We can likely help you figure out how to fir it into your itinerary.
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Aug 21st, 2015, 01:57 PM
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You could take an overnight train connection from Barcelona to Paris too - with one change over the French border to a French night train.
PalenQ is offline  
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Aug 21st, 2015, 02:07 PM
  #10
 
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Rome, Barcelona, Paris, and skiing for a week is plenty for a 20 day trip.

Especially in winter-time I wouldn't head north (Amsterdam, London). Save those for a trip of their own at another time.
suze is offline  
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Aug 21st, 2015, 06:30 PM
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You have not allowed for:

the time wasted due to your plane routing (much better to fly into your first city and home from your last - otherwise you are wasting a lot of time and money)

Feb days are very short and will be cool to cold, with possibility of cold rain, sleet, ice and snow

You lose at least 1/2 a day each time you move from one place to another - so at least 3 days of your 20 will be lost (plus arrival and departure days can't be counted)

This is prime ski season and in many resorts they expect you to stay for a week at a time so your lodging opportunities may be limited

You are talking about multiple different countries, multiple different languages, cultures, dining habits and local transit systems

Assuming your 20 days is really 19 nights on the ground (and the first day will be jet lagged) I would limit yourself to 4 cities/places (you're already making a nonsense going to Barcelona twice) if you really want to see much of anything.

Otherwise you can have a very expensive blur of which you may enjoy or remember little
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