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Dec 10th, 2015, 08:39 PM
  #1
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Europe Trip. Itinerary Help Please!

Hello. I am planning for a trip to Europe around March 2016. Just me, taking a break from my busy life and exploring the beautiful Europe. Shopping, food, culture, architecture etc. I would like to take this trip in a relaxed way and roam like a local . I would appreciate if I could buy groceries from the local market, cook a meal, sit by the balcony with a glass of wine and enjoy the lovely streets (Atleast in one city in my whole trip. Please suggest the best city for such agenda. I'd stay for a 10 days span to live like so)..

Trip Duration: Around 2 months (mid of March to May).
Budget: Not restricted. €10000 - €14000 if I had to quote a figure.
Travelling from: India

Here are places I would like to check out:
1. Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Velencia(for las fallas carnival if it is worth it. lemme know)
2. Italy: Florence, Rome, Milan, Venice
3. Austria: Vienna
4. Czech Republic: Prague
5. France: Paris, Nice
6. Switzerland: Zurich
7. Netherlands: Amsterdam
8. Belgium: Brussels
9. Hungary: Budapest

Now, I am super confused about where to start-where to end, the order of travelling these cities and how.. Please help me plan my itinerary.

Any tips on how to carry my luggage from the place to place? I am a moderate shopper, love collecting local specialities. I am worried of how to manage my cases with increasing weight from place to place.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance.! xx
Divia is offline  
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Dec 10th, 2015, 09:25 PM
  #2
 
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Posts: 228
For starters, you are just going to have a limit on how much you can carry. You should get a smaller backpack (carry on size)plus a full-size wheeled suitcase (wheels not spinners!).

As for what order to do things, it's really just a matter of looking at a map of Europe with major rail lines drawn in. How you do this is up to you.

You could, for example, start in Spain, then take an overnight ferry to Rome, then Florence, then Venice, then Vienna, then Budapest, then Prague.

From Prague, fly or long train to Amsterdam, then Brussels (don't linger too long!), then Paris. You can squeeze in Switzerland either after Venice or between Prague and Amsterdam, or after Paris. I haven't included Nice; put it where you want it if you must.

Buy your train tickets in advance.
FHurdle is offline  
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Dec 10th, 2015, 09:43 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 19,720
A guide book for Europe instead of individual countries or regions might be the right thing for you. It would tell you about the highlights to visit and the transportation options.
Michael is offline  
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Dec 11th, 2015, 01:12 AM
  #4
 
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I'd start with the rough guide for europe.

2 months march to may going to till need the odd warm clothing but at least you are starting in the warmer bits.

Over 2 months, you are probably going to need to ship. France has a good deal on shipping at their post office.

But I suggest, don't bother. I'd restrict yourself to photos.

In terms of luggage keep to sub 20kg max and use washing machines

One technique I use is to take old clothes and throw them away during the trip, it means you end up with very little washing to do when you get home
bilboburgler is offline  
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Dec 11th, 2015, 01:32 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Wallakam

you have 14 destinations -> count 7 days of traveling to reach these destinations, check in etc.

2 months -> 60 days, you have 46 days on the ground, on average 3 days per destination.
Quite doable.

Spain : Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia : I'd say at least 4 days in Madrid and Barcelona, 2 in Valencia = 10 days

Italy : Florence, Rome, Milan, Venice : we did the same in 14 days : stay 2 days in Firenze, 5 in Rome, 2 in Milano, 3 in Venice = 12 days + some daytrips (Sienna, San Gimigiano, Lucca...)

Austria : Vienne : 4 days

Prague : 3 days

BeNeLux: Amsterdam, Brussels : 3 days in Amsterdam, 2 in Brussels, one daytrip to Bruges, one to Gent, maybe one day in NL somewhere. -> 8 days

Budapest : never been;, must do : at least 3 days.

France : Paris, Nice : 5 days + 3 days = 8 days
You should add daytrips to some chateaux or Reims or Strasbourg -> add 3 days.

Switzerland : Zurich : 1 day (I don't like the cities of Switzerland, I love the mountains though) : cannot tell you here.

I'm at 49 days = 3 too many. Not bad, I didn't put in a lot of effort !

It will be interesting but intense and you don't see anything (or hardly) outside major cities (ok for me, just for you to know).

Tips :

Pack light, so that you can take inexpensive internal flights without luggage penalties/added costs.

Travel : look at trains on capitainetrains.com, sncf, thalys.

Paris - Brussels is done via thalys, brussels -> Amsterdam too.

Flights : Ryanair, easyjet, vueling, germanwings are some low cost flights. Look at kayak.com to find the flights, book direct after.

And yes, look at a map, plan : you're in for a great trip !

Namaste.
pariswat is offline  
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Dec 11th, 2015, 01:58 AM
  #6
 
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Good intro guides to

Barcelona: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/
Madrid: http://www.esmadrid.com/en
Valencia (Las Fallas): http://www.visitvalencia.com/en/what...ies/the-fallas
kimhe is offline  
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Dec 11th, 2015, 02:29 AM
  #7
 
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I suggest occasionally renting apartments to do a laundry, or set aside some of your budget to have your laundry done for you by hotels. It can seem very expensive to do that, but it will enable you to pack light. In addition you should plan on doing some handwashing of small items every day or so.

I also suggest moving Switzerland to the very end of the trip if possible, to maximize your chance of clear dry weather to view the mountain scenery. Prague, Budapest and Vienna are close to each other, so put them closer together in your itinerary.

It is very tedious work to figure out whether it would be better to go to Nice and Paris ahead of Venice, and then work your way to somepace else or go to Italy first and then Spain -- or vice-versa -- blah blah.

You will not be traveling in the "best" weather months for sitting outdoors on a private balcony, so I suggest you think twice about paying for one. In most European cities, there is a strong component of public shared space to be enjoyed -- parks, piazze, sidewalk cafes, markets. If you want to experience Europe, sharing space with other Europeans is the thing to do.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 05:48 AM
  #8
 
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OK doing March through May I would do the southern areas first so the temps are more moderate and leave the colder areas (anything north of the Alps to May).

As for you budget it is doable but is not generous, assuming you intend it to cover air fare, long-distance trains within europe, hotels, meals, sightseeing AND shopping. The former are more or less controllable - but shopping can totally wreck your budget, since there are few bargains to be had.

And agree that a balcony can de a deal breaker in modest lodgings in most places - except for the most southern - and it can easiy be too cold to enjoy it even if you can find one.

Now for an overview you are going 15 places in 60 days. When you take out about 10 days just for travel from one place to another that leaves you an average of 3 days per city. This isn't bad for some places but for others, esp Paris and Rome I would want more.

As for Swtiz - Zurich is a VERY expensive business city and you will want to do Switz near the end of the trip and get out into the countryside to see the Alps, meadows and natural beauty. Consider Lucerne or one of the smaller towns in the foothills of the Berner Oberland.

Finally, you have listed only sizable cities and not really any time in the countryside. If you decide to do day trips form these cities you will then only have 1 or 2 days in major cities - not really enough to see much and certainly not enough to immerse yourself in the local culture (for which you would need at least a couple of weeks in each place).

So I think you have a lot more reading/research, thinking and planning to do - and consider dropping some less important places so you can get a better feel for those you are most interested in.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 08:00 AM
  #9
 
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People who don't pack light usually can't be convinced, until AFTER they've done a trip like this....so I'd say you're destined to be taking trains, not the short flights which have worsening bag restrictions all the time, and charge an arm-and-a-leg if you go over the limit.

Since Rome needs 5 nights anyway, I'd probably pick that as the live-like-a-local 10 days city, sit back and settle in. But the 10-nighter also depends on the weather, you'd probably want to do it at the very end of your trip when things are warming up.

So I would start with Spain/Belgium/France and end the trip with the Italian cities.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 08:09 AM
  #10
 
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I assume you will be going by train - and if not on a budget with those many places some kind of Eurailpass would be a great deal - in most countries can still hop any train anytime - in some you have to get a seat reservation first at an added small charge (usually) - anyway for loads of great info on trains and passes check www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.

Eurailpasses are first class so that is an added benefit - if not on a tight budget don't skimp on train travel as you will be doing a lot it seems (nothing wrong with that!).
PalenQ is offline  
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Dec 11th, 2015, 11:09 AM
  #11
 
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Here are places I would like to check out:
1. Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Velencia(for las fallas carnival if it is worth it. lemme know)
2. Italy: Florence, Rome, Milan, Venice
3. Austria: Vienna
4. Czech Republic: Prague
5. France: Paris, Nice
6. Switzerland: Zurich
7. Netherlands: Amsterdam
8. Belgium: Brussels
9. Hungary: Budapest

Now, I am super confused about where to start-where to end, the order of travelling these cities and how.. Please help me plan my itinerary.>

fly into Spain - warmer there is spring than northern Europe

1- Madrid
2- Train to Valencia
3- Train to Barcelona
4- Train to Nice or fly
5 -Train to Milan
6- Train to Florence
7- Train to Rome
8- Train to Venice
9- Train to Vienna (overnight train available)
10 - Train to Budapest
11- Train to fly to Prague (overnight train available)
12-
10 - Train to Vienna
11- Train to Switzerland - Zurich
12 - Train to Paris
13- Train to Brussels
14 - Train to Amsterdam - fly home from there.

If doing that by train largely a Eurailpass (Saverpass) is a no-brainer, especially for someone on no real budget. 1st class - go in style.
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