Feedback Please - 17 Day Itinerary

Jun 27th, 2014, 11:01 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 692
Rome to Venice by train is less than 4 hours. The night train takes about 6 hours. So, you get on the train and settled = one hour plus. You MAYBE sleep for 4 - 4.5 hours and then you get ready to de-train. How is your day in Venice going to feel after so little rest?
jane1144 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 11:13 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 692
I would try something like the following:
Nov 20 land in Milan, train to Venice
Nov 21 Venice
Nov 22 Venice
Nov 23 Train to Rome
Nov 24 Rome
Nov 25 Rome
Nov 26 Rome
Nov 27 Fly to Paris
Nov 28 Paris
Nov 29 Paris
Nov 30 Paris
Dec 1 Paris
Dec 2 Train to London
Dec 3 London
Dec 4 London
Dec 5 London
Dec 6 London
Dec 7 Fly home from LHR
If you are set on Amsterdam I would take a day from Paris and London to accomplish that, but I wouldn't personally do it this trip. As others have said you have incredibly short days and "iffy" weather. I think sticking with Zermatt is really "iffy"!! Even with cutting down the number of moves, you will want to be returning to all of these places to see more. You will only scratch the surface so to speak.
jane1144 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 11:45 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 151
There's probably no convincing you to remove Zermatt from the itinerary since others have mentioned it before. Since you are arriving at Milan, why not take a day to enjoy the city rather than rushing off to another place after a long flight. Book an afternoon ticket for the Last Supper, see the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and then either wander around Navigli or Brera and have an aperitivo there.

I would then go to Rome, Barcelona, and Paris and split my time there accordingly. The rest can be saved for a summer trip. I don't mind fast travel, but I've never really understood Eurotrips like these that are done any other time besides when you're a recent high school graduate (and drink rather than see) or a gap year post-college.
LR220 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 12:14 PM
  #24  
 
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Posts: 9,555
Sometimes it seems logical to get up super early and rush to get to the next place early to mid-day, but it may not always be best, especially in winter. Since it may start to get dark by four, it can be better to travel late in the day, get settled into the new place and wake up rested with the whole day ahead. The complicated travel you have planned may go off perfectly, but is more likely to have some glitches. I would still cut one more place. Four major stops with a short stop in Venice is the maximum.

1. For a more enjoyable trip (also possibility of poor weather), skip Zermatt.
2. Change tickets and fly straight to Rome. Removing the cost of getting from Milan or Zermatt to Rome, it may not cost more.
3. That gives you an extra two full days to see your other places or do day trips to nearby areas.
4. If you must fly into Milan, train straight on to Rome or go to Venice first, then to Rome and fly to Paris from Rome.
5. From Rome to Venice (or Venice to Rome), forget the night train idea.
Take an early evening train from Rome and wake up in Venice (or from Venice to Rome), rested and ready to walk.
6. If you go to Rome first, then Venice, you could take a night train to Paris.
You could also take part of one of your extra days for Venice and still fly to Paris late in the evening.
7. If you do Paris first, take a late train to Amsterdam and stay three nights
8. You could also fly to Amsterdam from Venice, train to Paris and train to London


Ok, looks like you must land in Milan. Example of possible itinerary.
Nov 20, land, train to Venice, arrive mid-after noon
Nov 21, Venice
Nov 22, Venice, late afternoon train to Rome
Nov 21, 22, 23, Rome
Nov 24, morning flight to Amsterdam
Nov 25, 26 Amsterdam
Nov 27, late afternoon train to Paris
Nov 28, 29, 30, Paris

Dec 3, train to London
Dec 4, 5, 6, London
Dec 7 fly home

I left out two days. Add them to one of of your base cities or use them to visit a nearby place. Keep in mind any travel time needed to get anywhere else. There is not time for another base requiring major travel. Even if flights are short, there is time getting to the airport and time waiting.

You could add a day to Paris for Versailles or stop for a day in Florence (it is not out of the way, so no lost travel time) on the way from Venice to Rome or stop in Bruges (slightly out of the way, but easy connections) for a night on the way from Amsterdam to Paris.

You could cut Amsterdam altogether and fly from Rome to Barcelona for three or four days, then fly to Paris. You could also fly from Rome to London, train to Paris, fly to Barcelona and home from there.

So, other options
Venice, train to Rome
Rome, fly to London
London, train to Paris
Paris, train to Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Fly home from Amsterdam


Venice
Rome
Barcelona
Paris
London

Venice
Rome
London
Paris
Barcelona

You still have time to consider, check costs of flights and trains and make good decisions.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 12:21 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,000
Your itineraries would give you a good picture of airports and train stations - of the places you say you want to visit, not so much. Think about how you want to spend your time in Europe. I could be wrong, but I would bet that being in transit for half of your time isn't your goal. In general it takes from half a day to a full day to change locations - I don't think any of your location changes would be as little as half a day. Also consider that three nights somewhere is just two full days. I figure anything I see/do on a travel day is a bonus. I don't expect be be able do much. In addition to travel time, you have check in/check out time, waiting in stations or airports, taxi transit time, etc. With 16 days on the found, at most I'd choose 4 locations.

I think you have a romantic idea of Zermatt which we can pretty much guarantee will be disappointing.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 01:49 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,809
There's nothing that I can add to this accept to agree with all of the above - by the time you've got to your 3rd destination you'll be exhausted and needing a good night's sleep.

Places like Zermatt and are so much nicer in good weather, it seems such a waste to go there for such a short time when It's almost guaranteed that it will be bad. it's not as if there is a shortage of things to see in your other destinations - you could spend the whole holiday in any one of them and have a great time.

as you are flying into Milan, i agree it's a good idea to spend a few nights there, then either head for Florence and Rome or Paris and London. personally, that time of year I'd head south. you could squeeze Venice into the italian programme if you wish.
annhig is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 03:00 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 367
Hey Matt,

Just curious - what's the fixation with Zermatt? It really does seem like a flyer and you still have it after many have suggested dropping it - so just wondering what the thought is. Do you have some special attachment to it? If so, I get it - because I am that way, if I have it in my mind I can be pretty stubborn. But usually, cooler heads and the good advice on fodors wins the day.

My first thought was the same as the others - rushed. My second was that I would hate my luggage by the end of this trip - hauling my suitcase around to all these places --- phew!! No thanks.
jujubean is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 03:35 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 251
I would skip Venice (just not enough time to appreciate it) and do Barcelona instead of Berlin. Remember that part of the joy of Europe is relaxing a day or two and experiencing the culture, not just the main sights.
sanderskn is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 07:58 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
A week ago
janisj on Jun 20, 14 at 10:57am
Realistically this is a mess in the making.


And it isn't getting any better.

Consider cancelling your flight to Milan. Fly to Amsterdam, train to Paris, train to London, and fly home. Five days in each city.
spaarne is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 06:01 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,254
So we first have to get over the Zermatt problem, unless you are proposing there for special reason Drop It!

Venice in Novemeber is great (well a bit damp and chilly) but few cruise ships and more normal. You need at least 2 nights there better 3. So when you land at Milan catch the train over even if you had to drop by the "last supper" on the way.

Now Venice is a good flight base for cheap airlines so you can go to Paris or Amsterdam, have a couple of nights there and then catch a train to the other for a couple of nights and finally London.

All will be a bit chilled and damp but move you days around as you wish.

But Zermatt is kinda in the way.
bilboburgler is online now  
Jun 28th, 2014, 06:28 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,447
The chances of seeing the Matterhorn are 50%. Too risky. DON'T GO TO ZERMATT!
kleeblatt is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 07:28 AM
  #32  
 
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We sound like a broken record . . . but you really REALLY need to drop Zermatt. All that faffing about on the very slim chance you'll be able to see anything. Not sensible

But it does seem you are fixated on Zermatt for some reason. Tell us what you expect there/why it is so important to you.
janisj is online now  
Jun 28th, 2014, 09:53 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,936
>>>>Nov 20 -- Arrive in Milan at 7:45am from NYC. Travel to Zermatt after landing via train (allows for some relaxation, sleep if needed on the way), arriving at about 3:15
Nov 21 - Day in Zermatt.
Nov 22 - Travel to Rome in the morning, arrive around 1:00pm.<<<

Simply not practical at all. Assuming you have no delays, it would be 4pm before you reached lodging (after traveling all night and all day). It will be getting dark very early and at that time of year, the weather will be iffy. Like others, I don't see the fascination with Zermatt especially going so much out of the way for one day at that time of year. As for sleeping, someone will have to stay awake to make sure you don't miss your train stop. These trains stop for 1-2 minutes and won't wait on you to get to the door with luggage.

Are you seriously going to get up at 4 or 5am, trek to the train station in the dark/cold to make a 6am train to Rome? Many small hotels/b&b's would require some kind of special arrangement to check out that early as they aren't always staffed.

>>>>Nov 25 - Rome. Night train to Venice. <<<

Also makes no sense. Day trains are only 3 1/2 hours. To take a night train, you would have to check out of your hotel (in the morning), carry your luggage around all day or go to the train station and pay to store it in the luggage room (means an extra trip to the train station) or store it at your hotel IF they have storage (means an extra trip back to the hotel to retrieve it). Sometimes you may stand in the luggage storage line for an hour (ditto to retrieve), but probably unlikely in Nov. You still would likely have to hang out with your luggage as the luggage rooms might not be open late enough.

You may have looked at a few trains or flights, but you have not taken into consideration the logistics of checking in/out (can you at those hours?), getting to and from hotels to train stations/airports, orienting to a new city, etc.
kybourbon is online now  
Jun 28th, 2014, 10:04 AM
  #34  
 
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Posts: 47,461
I don't think Matt really wants feedback.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 12:47 PM
  #35  
 
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Posts: 78,322
Nov 21 - Day in Zermatt, night train (8:00pm) from Zermatt to Venice via Milan.>

There is no regular overnight train between Switzerland or Milan and Venice - unless you call the Paris to Venice Thello night train that leaves Milan about 6 or 7 in the morning a night train!

You will be sleeping in (or out of if they kick you out) a station for several hours.

Rome to Venice yes last I knew - a dumpy Italian night train.

the one you could take but are not is the Thello Overnight Train Venice to Paris (www.thello.com) - for lots of good info on trains and night trains check these superb IMo sources: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. YOu are not taking enough trains to even consider any kind of railpass.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 01:54 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 7,864
I am not sure why you are flying into Milan since you seem to have no interest in seeing that city. However, It sounds like that flight is booked.

As others have mentioned, your trip is still too busy. Your stays in Venice and Amsterdam are too rushed to be enjoyable. I would eliminate one of those places since they seem not to be priorities to you and add on that extra time to the other location.
KTtravel is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 08:47 AM
  #37  
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Again, thank you all for the feedback. Contrary to what somebody else said, I do want feedback. What I have found frustrating are the few posters who have simply criticized/mocked our itinerary with simple "no don't do that" or sarcastic replies. How is that helpful? I am here for everyone's constructive feedback, and thoughts on possible solutions or alternatives. For those of you who have been helpful...THANK YOU! We truly appreciate it!

We don't plan on bringing more than a backpack with us and staying in hostels. I wouldn't think luggage would be a big concern.

Zermatt is included for a couple reasons. This will be my girlfriend's first trip outside of North America (and one of only a few times that she has even been outside of Ontario), she has a fascination with seeing mountains and the Alps...has always wanted to see a Swiss village and the Matterhorn. Arriving in Milan, only a few short hours away it seems like a waste to travel all of that way and not go. I do understand the risk with weather, but it's something special for her that even with not the greatest weather, it might still be worth going. Besides, wouldn't it be something to experience it in Winter? It is a ski village after all. If there are other suggestions on a different Swiss town/city that might be worth checking out in place of this, by all means please bring them up. As I said, being a few short hours away in Milan it seems like it would be a waste not to go.

For flights, the flight into Milan is booked. We lucked out and got a super cheap ($150 total...$75/person!) one way tickets. Pretty sure this was a price error on the airlines part, but our tickets are confirmed and we are on the way. It's the whole reason we are going in November...or at all for that matter! If it weren't for the price we got, your right I would not have flown into Milan.

Now with all that said, based on the feedback, our own research we are debating Zermatt or Venice. It seems like we really can only do one or the other. My personal though based on the time of year, it seems like it may be best to go to Zermatt rather than Venice. Especially since we plan on going to Amseterdam as well (girlfriend wants to see the Canals and what not). I would sooner go back to Italy/Venice again in the summer months.

So with that said, below is an idea that we put together last night. In truth, we've done more research on transportation for the early part of the trip rather than the latter (London/Paris/Amsterdam) segment, because we haven't sorted out an order to these cities entirely and are open to different ways of going about them all in the hope of maximizing the amount of time in each.

Now,this is what we were thinking:

November 20th - Arrive in Milan at 7:45. Head to Zermatt after landing (For the one individual, yes I understand that it is going to take time to get bags, clear customs, etc. We will head to Zermatt immediately - once possible)
21st - Zermatt
22nd - Zermatt (evening train to Milan...around 7:00pm)
23rd - Morning train to Rome (arrive between 9-10am depending on train)
24th - Rome
25th - Rome
26th - Rome
27th - Fly to London in the morning. Arrive around 8:15am.
28th - London
29th - London
30th - London
1st - London (evening train to Paris)
2nd - Paris
3rd - Paris
4th - Paris
5th - Amsterdam
6th - Amsterdam

We can play with this, travel days are still debatable ofcourse (as is the whole itinerary). If possible, we would like to add a day to Paris (perhaps by removing one day from London or by catching an evening flight to London from Rome rather than a morning flight).

But overall, an improvement?
Matt_1313 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 09:36 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,000
Better, but still too busy, IMO. I find it helpful to count nights in a place - one night is no time at all to see a place, two nights is just one full day, three nights is just two full days. I try to never schedule stops of less than three nights. So you have two stops that wouldn't make my cut: Zermatt and Amsterdam. We have all weighed in on Zermatt already. I'd suggest cutting Amsterdam, as it looks like you might have just two nights there. That would enable you to add a day or two to Paris.

The fewer stops you have, the more time you will have to enjoy your travels. Rome, London and Paris are all amazing destinations. You could spend your whole trip in any one of them and not run out of things to do/see/experience.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 10:11 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 171
Well, at that price, Milan was a no brainer. Maybe keep your plan on landing fluid. If the weather is clear, head to Switzerland and see an Alp. If it's messy, no Alp and head straight to Venice or Rome.

If you have been around this forum long enough, you will have seen far too many totally unfeasible plans. Once convinced, the proposers change plans and get a better vacation. You have joined the club.
Caliban is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 11:14 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 118
I think logistically it may make more sense to do your trip in this order instead so that you don't do any backtracking:

Train to Rome from MXP
Fly from Rome to London
Train from London to Amsterdam
Train from Amsterdam to Paris
Fly or train from Paris to Bern and from there train to Zermatt or Bernese Oberland area
Train from Zermatt back to MXP
Blaise22 is offline  

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