first time europe-help

Oct 9th, 2005, 04:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
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first time europe-help

Hi all, in Feb i'm going to germany to visit a friend, but i'm there for two months. I want to visit a friend in switzerland and i want to see france, ireland austria and who knows where else?! would you suggest getting a eurail so i have the freedom to go where ever, whenever or get an itinerary set before i leave?

or are charter flights a smarter way to go then rail?

what do you suggest seeing in europe? or places that are a must see?

or any general comments, as this is the first time i've left home...?
balonsgirl is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 05:06 AM
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<<are charter flights a smarter way to go then rail? >>

No. Regular flights. See - - the days of air travel being considerably cheaper than train travel (for many routes longer than 4 hours by train ) are abundantly upon us.

See also (ThornTree) for budget/backpacker-style travel tips.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Take a look at for your journeys through Europe
CU is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 10:54 AM
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As mentioned above, I also highly recommend The Thorn Tree at for advice on backpacking and budget travel.

It is impossible to decide if a rail pass (or which one) would suit you without having a more firm itinerary outlined, so you can compare prices, length of journeys, etc. Also a train pass does not necessarily give you the "freedom to go where ever, whenever"... as there are different packages, covering different numbers of days of travel, different country combos, varying restrictions, etc.

In the most general way I would advise using a day train for trips less than 3-4 hours, night trains in a couchette for 7-9 hours duration, and low cost flights for anything greater distance.
suze is online now  
Oct 9th, 2005, 02:18 PM
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Hi B,

Before we can help you, you have to have some idea of your itinerary.

At this point, all we know is that you want to visit at least 5 countries in 8 weeks.

ira is offline  
Oct 9th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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February is anything but high tourist season, so there's no need to worry too much about what to do until you are actually there in Germany with your friend.

However you must purchase a Eurail pass off-shore, so if you intend to travel that way you must alredy have it when you arrive in Europe.

I don't favour flying on the Continent itself, unless you get a sudden urge to go to say Athens or Lisbon; and of course you will fly to Ireland.

harzer is offline  
Oct 10th, 2005, 05:31 AM
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<<I don't favour flying on the Continent itself, unless you get a sudden urge to go to say Athens or Lisbon; and of course you will fly to Ireland.>>

I really believe that this is the perpetuation of old school thinking.

Flying mkes sense even from Germany to neighboring countries - - in some cases, it might be the best way to start a big, asymmetric "half-loop", returning by train to see places in between.


Berlin (Schoenefeld)-Geneva - 12.99 euro one way on Easyjet; 90 minutes flight time. Train: roughly 10 hours, with a change in Basel at over 200 USD!

Berlin-Nice? 2 hours and 22.99 euro - - I don't even want to look up how agonizingly long and expoensive the train would be!

Better advice for pamela would likely begin with knowing where in Germany she is starting; obviously Baden-Baden to Strasbourg would not be appropriate for air travel.
rex is offline  
Oct 10th, 2005, 06:53 AM
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Unless it's a true heartfelt destination I might suggest skipping Ireland and sticking with Switzerland, France, and Austria (including Germany, Italy maybe?) just because they are nearer each other and easy to do by train.

You might want to research and start making a list of cities, towns, rural regions that interest you in each country to see how your itinerary would shape up. Even if you don't decide everything for certain before you leave, this could help you plan transportation and lodging options.
suze is online now  
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