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Europe trip,Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, Spain

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Europe trip,Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, Spain

Old Jun 15th, 2011, 07:15 PM
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Europe trip,Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, Spain

Hello,
Im planning a last minute trip to Europe with my boyfriend, trip lasting 5-6 weeks. We both have never been. We are planning on traveling the first week of July, we will arrive in Frankfurt, Germany. Other than that we haven't planned much other than the fact the we are interested in going to the following countries : Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, Spain and end our trip in London because its cheaper to fly out of London to the states. We will be staying in hostels and with friends and family. We don't have an itinerary or a specific order of how we should travel. We have heard great things about Amsterdam, Lucerne, Vienna, Roma, Venice, Paris, South of France, Madrid and Barcelona. We will be using the Euro rail as means of transport. We have tried to map it out several times but any suggestions would really help... Also any suggestions of how long should be spent in each place? Or If there are any countries not mentioned, cities/towns, hostels, eatery, sightseeing, attractions that you would recommend we be really appreciated!
Thanks!!
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Old Jun 15th, 2011, 07:48 PM
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I think that even with 5 or 6 weeks, you have too ambitious an itinerary. I suggest you get a general guidebook for Europe and read up on some of the places you might want to see.

I think if you plan on hitting just the big cities, you'll miss a lot. The only trip I've made in which I concentrated on big cities was after I'd made many single-country trips. In Bavaria, I like to see a big city like Munich, for instance, and then visit Neu Schwanstein amd Linderhof (castle and palace), then visit some attractive small towns such as Meersburg, Beilstein, Bamberg, etc. Generally I travel for two or three weeks in one country, except when I've gone to a place like Amsterdam for a few days and then spend perhaps two weeks in selected areas in Germany.

On my trip last year, I spent three weeks just in Spain after having spent two or three weeks there in 2006.

How much time you spend in one place will depend on your interests. Again, I'd suggest getting a general guidebook and checking out various cities and/or countries. Don't forget to include travel times in your calculations.

Look at a map of Europe and see which countries and which cities are close to each other so that you can plan efficiently.
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Old Jun 15th, 2011, 07:50 PM
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You have named at least 11 places in 8 countries that you will be in or want to go to. That should be enough.

You have 4 distinct "legs" you need to make.

I suggest;

Frankfurt - Paris - Madrid

Madrid - Barcelona - S. France - Rome

Rome - Venice - Vienna

Vienna - Amsterdam - London

This routing has no backtracking, except across central Germany to get to Amsterdam from Vienna and you are going to have to do that at some point.

Lucerne is kind of the odd man out here, or something else is, like Vienna.

This is some serious trekking you are planning - from central Europe you are heading out to central Spain and Italy, then the eastern edge of W. Europe and back to London. Make sure that you want to spread yourself that far out and back and then you can fill in along the routings you have chosen
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Old Jun 15th, 2011, 07:57 PM
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"We will be using the Euro rail as means of transport."

"Eurail" is not a train system. It usually refers to a pass that visitors purchase to ride the various national railway systems in Europe. Such passes will not get you from or back to London, as the UK is not included.

Where you go and how long you stay is just not a good question. Only you know your interests, and only you can choose. You can follow a standard commercial tour itinerary if you don't want to choose, or you can narrow down your choices on your own based on your interests, then come back with more specific questions. To do this, get a guidebook or two and read them over with your boyfriend. A plan will emerge.
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Old Jun 16th, 2011, 03:57 PM
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hi,
i can't believe you are doing the same type of trip i am planning. we leave june 20. will have a home base in stuttgart and travel on a eurail global pass to different areas (you must purchase this in US. I have divided my trip into 3 short trips, (this is my first time to europe also). we want to take a trip to paris and normandy but haven't decided whether to do this first or go to london first nor have we decided how long we will stay but will return to stuttgart for a short rest.

next trip out, we go to rome, pompeii, venice, and anywhere else we can sqeeze in. would like to put switzerland and austria into this trip also. I have it planned no further than this. do not have schedules worked out or places to stay.
Then back to Stuttgart to rest.

third trip is amsterdam, berlin, karrowk stopping in as many towns as we can.

we are planning to take car trips to areas around stuttgart that i am interested in.

we leave the 27 july. I know i am stretching this too much! I plan to use hop on hop off buses to tour the larger cities. and do day trips to stonehenge, bath etc. have no idea where we will stay.

any suggestions or advice on this adventure would greatly be appreciated.

lost one
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Old Jun 16th, 2011, 04:36 PM
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Oh, Sigh! The reason you don't know how to start planning tis trip is you are trying to do too much. Of course, there are tons of places we all want to see, but you have to make some choices and narrow it down if you want some help. As it is now. I don't even know how to start except say get a Europe guidebook, read it, narrow your choices, and then come back. Maybe Rick Steves or a Rough Guide.

Also, you are going in high summer, and most of the budget accommodations will be booked already. So you will spend a lot of time searching for a place to sleep in each town, and barely see a thing before you rush off to somewhere else and start the process over.

Cut your list to about one-third and things will begin falling into place.
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Old Jun 16th, 2011, 04:58 PM
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Agree you are trying to do way too much. You are traveling at the height of the season - every student, family and elderly couple with their dog will be traveling - and they snapped up the decent budget accommodation weeks ago - if not more.

I hope you have spent more time organizing your budget than you have your itinerary - or you may find yourself out of money about half way through.

Besides the fact that you have included some very expensive places, the more you move the more you spend. Even if you have a full Eurial pass for the entire continent, that doesn;t include the UK, and in Italy you need to pay for seat reservations (unkless you take the snail train). Never mind the time, money and energy getting from the train staion to yor hotel and back - assuming you can get hotels at this point.

If you are going to try to get lodging as you go either start looking no later than noon (and be prepared to move on to aothter town if there is no room) or make reservations for the next town once you decide to leave the current one.

(I would never consider going without reservations - even though I have a generous budget - since I want a nice place in a central location - with good AC - not offered many budget places in europe and a room bigger than the bed.)
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Old Jun 16th, 2011, 05:37 PM
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Take your trip, not theirs, and ignore the condescension.

You will find accommodation; with a rail pass you can stay just outside the bigger centres, if necessary. You may need to warm up the idea of staying in a private residence.
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