Europe solo by train

Dec 27th, 2006, 05:09 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,592
When I'm planning such a trip, I always count the NIGHTS in each city. To me 3 nights means 2 days. Any extra time you have for a city on the day of arrival or the day of departure is a sort of bonus, but for actually exploring and experiencing a city I only count the full days between the actual nights there.
And frankly if I were doing a overnight train and arriving at 7 in the morning without a hotel and without a shower, I might as well write off most of that day as I'll feel like crap anyway. That's just one of many reasons I don't do overnight trains. Some say you gain a day that way -- I see it as losing a night (of sleep) and losing most of the next day as well.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 05:15 AM
  #22  
 
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See how your proposed itinerary works out if you always ride the LAST train that arrives at your destination before midnight.

That way, all the time you spend enroute is "down time" in the evening, and you don't actually cut into your sightseeing time.

Your hotel should allow you to check out at its normal time, and stash your bags for you until you're ready to leave.

We only rent cars to explore a region where we've exhausted all the public transport possibilities.
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 07:33 AM
  #23  
 
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I wouldn't go to any city for 1 night. That doesn't make sense to me. By the time you get there, it's practically time to leave. Also I wouldn't split cities like you've done for Paris and Dublin. Staying, leaving, returning to same. I can tell you want to cover a lot of ground, but think you are devoting way too much time to moving around and not enough to being in any of the places on the list.
suze is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 09:00 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Like a couple people already said, shoulder season isn't necessarily the low season for tourists in some places-Sept and Oct are actually the busiest months in Paris, and if you happen to arrive during fashion week (early Oct), good luck finding a hotel. Definitely book ahead for at least the most popular cities.

Also, don't split cities like you are with Paris and Dublin-you are doing so much moving around already that it doesn't make sense to do so unnecessarily.
christy1 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 09:44 AM
  #25  
 
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If you travel from city to city in the evenings (see my note above), then you have one entire day - or at least until the last train leaves - to explore. Some destinations demand no more than morning 'til evening.
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 05:54 PM
  #26  
gwm
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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I included Ireland in my itinerary because the France to Ireland ferry is included (at least it's a lot cheaper) with a Eurailpass. But having already "done" Paris (which is why I'd be spending practically no time there), it would mean a quick sprint across France and back from where I'll be spending most time, central and eastern Europe. So as I said in an earlier post I think I'll leave Ireland for another trip.

Now that I've discovered that an unrestricted 2-month Eurail pass doesn't cover anywhere near all the countries I thought it did, I'm having a major re-think. I may even do a package tour of Greece-Turkey, then spend a month doing a slimmed down version of my original itinerary, possibly just buying individual train tickets.

Discovering and reading all the different forums (or should that be fora?!) is keeping me busy. Again I thank everyone for all the tips. When I've put a lot more thought and research into an itinerary some months in the future I'll run it by you all again! My plans for the more immediate future include Tasmania, China and driving round Australia.
gwm is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 06:06 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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"I may even do a package tour of Greece-Turkey, then spend a month doing a slimmed down version of my original itinerary, possibly just buying individual train tickets."

Congratulations. Now you're showing how smart a person can get using Fodors. I think that's a fantastic plan. Take an interEurope flight to Istanbul and work your way to Athens, then fly to more central or Western Europe for the rest. A month for Greece and Turkey is perfect.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 06:08 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Ooops. It wasn't until I saw my copied post that I realize you said "package" tour -- I'm not sure why, but I guess that's a possibility. You can easily do Turkey and Greece on your own though and at your own pace.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 06:30 PM
  #29  
gwm
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Well, not necessarily package ...
gwm is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 07:16 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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This is shaping up much better. Seems many people jump into the train pass thing without really figuring out if it is valuable for their trip. Point-to-point tickets work nicely unless you are moving every single day.

I'm not sure why you would want to do a packaged tour for Greece and Turkey, and not even sure they offer them that last an entire month. Why not self plan?

And if you have already "done" Paris, why did it show up twice in your first itinerary. If you aren't spending time in a place, I don't see the need to even pass thru.

Have fun planning! Check back with us. Your China Tasmania trip sounds much more complicated to plan, than Europe.
suze is offline  

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