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Europe Itinerary

Old Aug 1st, 2012, 02:33 PM
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Europe Itinerary

Hello all! My husband and I are traveling to Europe in May 2012. We are needing a little help with our itinerary with the more research we do on the four areas we plan to visit. Our trip consists of 24 full days and 2 days for travel from and back to the US. This is what we would like to see:

London: with guided tour group day trip to Stonehenge,Bath and Windsor castle

Paris: with day trip to Versailles

Switzerland: Zurich, Swiss Alps,Berne, Montreux

Italy: Venice, Florence, Rome, Cinque Terre, Pisa(couple hour day trip), Pompeii(day trip), Amfali area, Capri

How much time should I plan for each place? I understand the bulk of our journey will be spent in Italy. This is my husbands second trip to Europe and my first time out of the country (besides tourist Mexico). We are young and relaxation for us is exploring. Any tips, suggestions and help is much appreciated. Thank you!
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 02:47 PM
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I meant to write May 2013, not 2012
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 04:43 PM
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You are trying to go to 14 places in 24 days. But - to get from one place to another will take AT LEAST 1/2 day each. So 13 city transfers will be 7.5 days out of your 24 - so now you are trying to see 14 places (plus two extended day trips) in 16 sightseeing days (if there are no delays or glitches).

This is doable - in the sense that you can get to all of these places - but you won't really see much of anything.

I suggest you

1) get a map and look at where these places are
2) look at train schedules to see how long it will take to get from one place to another (including packing, checking out of hotel, getting to train station, getting out of train station, finding new hotel and unpacking)
3) Make a list of each day of your trip - with the name of the place you will start and the name of the place you will spend the night (and how many sightseeing hours - if any) you will have after deducting travel time.

I think once you do this you will see why your plan simply won't work - unless your goal is just to keep rushing around and checking off names on a list
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 04:46 PM
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You have too many places.

London - you're doing Stonehenge, Bath, and Windsor in one day? I'm thinking it's probably 2.5 days. Then you need a few days to see London so add 3 days for London and let's round this up to 6 days.

Paris - minimum of 3 days plus a day in Versailles (or most of the day).

Venice 2 to 3 days
Florence 2 to 3 days (including a day in Pisa)
Rome at least 3 days

I would base in Sorrento for the AC, Pompeii, and Capri. That's 3 days.

CT - 2 days

That's 18 days excluding Switzerland. You also need to allow for traveling from place to place.

London to Paris - good 1/2 day
Paris to Italy - good 1/2 day if you fly
Add another day for travel within Italy (Venice, Florence, Rome, Sorrento)

You have 4 days left for Switzerland.

However, I would read about what you want to see and then decide how much time to spend in each place. I gave you what I think are the minimums.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 04:51 PM
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Hmm--looked at the 24 days....

If you do London, Paris and Switzerland (your city listing actually can be done well from Zurich on down), you're good.

If you do Switzerland (your current itinerary) and Italy (that order would be adjusted)you're good.

Otherwise, not so good.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 05:11 PM
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Thank you for your replies. I have cut out the Amalfi coast and Capri, opting to do a guided day trip from Rome to Pompeii. I am planning on doing a guided day trip from London to Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor Castle. We also plan to "wing it" in Switzerland and just explore. Thank you for the tip to check out travel times between each place, I started doing that and realized I had too many places. If anyone else has suggestions I am very open to them.

This is what I have figured so far based on the two responses:
Day:
1-Rome
2-Rome
3-Rome
4-Rome with day trip to Pompeii
5-Florence
6- Florence
7-Pisa, then onto Cinque Terre
8-Cinque Terre
9-Venice
10-Venice
11-Zurich
12- Lucerne
13- Wilderswil, Lauterbrunnen
14- Gimmelwald,Wengen
15-Murren
16-Montreux,Murten
17-Berne
18-Paris
19-Paris
20-Paris
21-Paris with Versailles day trip
22-London
23-London
24-London with Stonehenge/Bath/Windsor Castle day trip
25-Home
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 05:15 PM
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(Will fly from Venice to Zurich to save on travel time)
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 05:23 PM
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It's 6.5 to 7.5 hours from Venice to Zurich. You'll get there in time for dinner. You won't have a day in Zurich.

Berne to Paris is 9 to 10 hours so you're giving up 1 day in Paris and you won't want to take a night train on that route since there are quite a few transfers and you'll get little sleep.

You're not factoring in the time it takes to pack and unpack, get to the train station and get from the train station to your hotel.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 05:25 PM
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I was looking up train schedules so I didn't see your post about flying from Venice to Zurich.

Will you be flying to Paris?
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 05:55 PM
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Yes, we will be flying to Paris.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 07:09 PM
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My my. I would be exhausted the entire time, and stressed to make the next train, plane, etc. Consider prioritizing. Then spend a few days in each place. It's good you're at least three days in Paris and Rome. Two days including travel are not enough for Florence or Venice. You'll see little and stress much. They are gorgeous, fantasy land cities. I guess I'm more into quality visits than quantity of locations. Just my view. You'll see amazing things, but will you enjoy them if you're looking at your watch the whole time? Your call.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 08:38 PM
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Seriously, search the train and plane timetables, then write down this entire itinerary with the required travel times (including getting to/from stations and airports).

If you're checking destinations off a life list, then it will work. If you want to see the sights in these beautiful and/or interesting spots, it won't.

http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html

http://www.fsitaliane.com/homepage_en.html
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 10:08 PM
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Thank you for the link to sbb, it has many more connections that I have been searching for. What is sbb? I also cut out Zurich and am going straight from Venice to Lucerne as a travel day. Otherwise the rest seems to be going exactly how I thought it would, looking at the time tables and adding all travel times. I am glad for the suggestion to do so, it is easing my mind! Thank you very much! Also we are used to moving quickly on vacation, we couldn't even stay at our resort for our honeymoon, we traveled to a different city every day, out of boredom.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 10:28 PM
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What is sbb?

The Swiss train company.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 04:56 AM
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>

I would die of boredom at a resort too but what you're going to see in Europe is nothing like a resort. Things will look very different than they do at home. There are amazing things at every turn and you're going to get to any one of these places and want to stay longer since there is so much to see and do. You can't compare cities like Paris and Rome to resorts.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 05:00 AM
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ttt
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 07:19 AM
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Adrienne, I completely agree with what you said. I have already revamped much of the itinerary thanks to these replies and figured out timetables etc. Thanks!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 07:37 AM
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I think you're still doing too much.

I hope you realize that Europe will still be there for as long as you're alive. You're young, and you'll undoubtedly have time to visit Europe in the future.

You're also seeing pretty much only big cities. For me, half of the charm of Europe travel is seeing some smaller towns. When my sister and I used to travel together, we'd visit ONE country per trip. First France, then England, Italy, Germany, Spain, Ireland and a mop-up trip of some capitals. We'd spend 16 to 18 days per trip.

She is no longer able to travel, but I still go to one country, or better yet, one part of a country per year. My last two trips were to Spain, and my next will be to eastern Germany--and I'm 76 years old, so it's not like I've got unlimited time left.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 07:44 AM
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I agree that seems like a lot of place. Try sticking to one or two countries. You don't want to be exhausted from all the travel and not be able to enjoy the sights. I have taken the chunnel from London to Paris and it is a very cool experience, I would definitely recommend. Let us know what countries you decided on, I have tons of recommendations for Italy, Paris and London.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 08:11 AM
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We still plan on going to all three countries, however we are going to add three days to Italy. Auburn07, I would love to hear some of your recommendations!
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