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Europe Itinerary, train and Germany advice

Europe Itinerary, train and Germany advice

Old Apr 30th, 2008, 12:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Europe Itinerary, train and Germany advice

Hello Fodorites!

I'm 23, and traveling in Europe for 3 weeks this summer. I've been to Italy and Vienna before. I would love your feedback on my destinations, the time spent in each city, and the best transportation between them. I'm thinking train between the destinations is a good idea. Where are good options for night trains, and are there tips that I should know about? I'm flying open jaw into Prague and out of London.

Prague: (3 nights)
Germany (suggestions on the best places?) (3 nights)
Amsterdam (3 nights)
Bruges (2 nights)
Paris (4 nights)
London (4 nights)

Next, I want to pick a few cities in Germany to visit. Some thoughts have been Berlin, Munich, Rothenburg, and the Rhine Valley. I am open, and have about 4 nights in between Prague and Amsterdam.

Is it an option to switch things around so I can go through Austria, or is that not worth it? I don't want to go to Vienna.
pchen is offline  
Old Apr 30th, 2008, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I'd consider the Eurail Select youthpass that would cover all train travel in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and France - a 3 country Eurail Selectpass Youth (under 26 yrs old)- $307 for 5 days of unlimited travel in a two-month period - any days, calendar days you want - consecutive or not - also comes in 6- 8 and 10-day versions.
This = about 190 euros or about 38 euros a day - Berlin to Amsterdam regular fare would cost maybe $100 or more (but can get discounted fares at www.bahn.de if you want to lock yourself into a certain non-refundable non-changeable train) but for fully flexible tickets to hop any train any time practically the Youth Eurail Select Pass is a bargain IMO.
I always refer folks planning a rail trip who have not traveled extensively by train to two great sources IMO - www.ricksteves.com has lots of railpasses (as well as bus and cheap airlines) and www.budgeteuropetravel.com which has a lot of stuff on using trains and passes and which sends out the free European Planning & Rail Guide that is a great primer on using trains in those countries - rail maps, etc.
The eurostar Paris-London train has especially good rates for youths under 26 but be sure to book far in advance to get the cheaper fares as you could literally pay $100 more by just showing up.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Apr 30th, 2008, 01:21 PM
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Most logical city IMO considering your itinerary Prague ... Amsterdam is Berlin. For a 23 years old in any case ;-)
Ingo is offline  
Old Apr 30th, 2008, 01:25 PM
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And from Prague to Berlin you go smack thru Dresden (where Ingo i think lives) and Dresden is one of the most fascinating cities in Germany IMO

PalenQ is offline  
Old Apr 30th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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You're correct, Pal
Ingo is offline  
Old May 1st, 2008, 06:52 AM
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Yes indeedy Ingo

Dresden could be a few-hour interruption of a Prague-Berlin trip - put bags in station locker and walk to the riverfront, less than a mile i'd think and the famous Florence on the Elbe part of town - perhaps visit the famous Zwinger art museum, etc. then back to station for frequent trains to Berlin
Of course Dresden would merit an overnight stop or even more (Saxon Switzerland on its southern doorstep is to me one of the most overlooked scenic river valleys in Europe) but if can do only a short look go for it too.
PalenQ is offline  
Old May 26th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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On a Berlin - Zurich routing i took a day train to Dresden, put my bags in a locker and then hopped local trains to look over Saxon Switzerland and the sandstone gorges along the river there. (I had visited Dresden three times before so was looking for things i had not seen)

But as you go along the train line (part of the mainline to Prague) you are mesmerized by these weird sandstone cliffs, at places topped by mighty fortresses like Konigsberg (sp?) and the unique Bastei pinnacles. these summits are accessible by a cable car from towns at their base i believe.

I headed to Bad Schandau, a very popular resort riverside city - a pretty city with a famous tram-like train that takes you into the surrounding forests.

Anywhere if you have a whole day here you can hop up to some of the forts or the Bastei pinnacles or even take a boat cruise in season, with some services from Dresden.

Anyway Saxon Switzerland - very neglected by many tourists and i don't know why it doesn't get the ink like the Mosel Valley, etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Old May 28th, 2008, 02:19 PM
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The Rhine Valley is a popular stop say between Munich and Amsterdam - stay two nights in a cute riverside town like St Goar, etc. then spend the next day leisurely exploring the Rhine Gorge by K-D boat (railpasses 100% cover them) - each dock seems to have a train station to whisk you back to your base.

get off the hourly or so boats - trek up to a castle, visit a winery, lunch in a riverside town, etc.

With a pass just flash it when boarding.
PalenQ is offline  
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