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-   -   First time in Europe for 10 days! Help! (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/first-time-in-europe-for-10-days-help-1183502/)

shoppeher Jan 16th, 2017 05:34 PM

First time in Europe for 10 days! Help!
 
Hello! First time visiting Europe with a group of friends during the first weeks of May. Only there for 10 days flying into Charles de Gaulle airport from the US and also flying back out of Charles de Gaulle to the US.
Would love to visit London, Italy, Spain, Rome, Switzerland, but know that it may not be possible in 10 days.... Hoping for some recommendations?? What would be the best itinerary where we can enjoy and soak in the culture :) Thank you in advance~

janisj Jan 16th, 2017 05:43 PM

>>Would love to visit London, Italy, Spain, Rome, Switzerland, but know that it may not be possible in 10 days….<<

Your got that right -- that would not be possible :)

Paris is sort of a given since you are flying in out of there -- then pick one other city -- London, or Rome, or wherever.

Please clarify -- is your trip 10 days, or do you have 10 days 'on the ground' (which would mean 12 days for the trip)

If it is truly 10 days total -- you will only have 7.5 days free, and one of those will be spent getting back to Paris to fly home. another half a day or so will used getting to the 'other' city. So say 4 days in London and 3-ish in Paris or vice versa.

IF the trip is 12 days -- then you will have 9.5 days free (again minus a day getting back to CDG) -- so you <i>could</i> maybe squeeze in one other city but losing half a day+ w/ each move you'd end up w/ 2.5 - 3 days per city.

dreamon Jan 16th, 2017 05:47 PM

I hope this isn't rude but you really need to grab a map and one or more guidebooks. Yes, you could travel to all those places, providing you don't want to get off the train/plane. For an enjoyable time, I recommend one country/one region in 10 days. Pick your favourite and let us know - then we can help with an itinerary. People on this forum love to help others but your question is too broad at the moment.

For train timetables, start with bahn.de and flights skyscanner. Remember that whenever you have to move on, you have to plan the time between checking out and checking in - so a one hour flight can take a good part of a day. Groups generally travel more slowly because there's always someone to wait for.

Also, it's better to plan your itinerary to consider where you will be sleeping each night (town, not hotel) as two nights gives you one full day, for which you can plan what you'd like to do that day.

shoppeher Jan 16th, 2017 05:51 PM

First, thank you so much for replying!
We have 9 days on ground. Out of Italy, London, Rome, Amsterdam , Switzerland- which would be the most realistic city ? Thank you again.

Kathie Jan 16th, 2017 05:57 PM

Nine days on the ground means 10 nights in Europe. Is this how much time you have or do you have 8 nights on the ground and are counting your arrival and departure days?

shoppeher Jan 16th, 2017 05:57 PM

@dreamon you're absolutely right :) We would love to go to Italy and maybe Rome. We have a place in Paris since we will be flying in and out of there.
Thank you again for your time. Much appreciated!

janisj Jan 16th, 2017 05:57 PM

This is your second post -- and you have yet to mention <u>Paris</u>. Since you are flying in and out of Paris one would think Paris would be your main destination . . . Otherwise why are you flying in to CDG?

So assuming you are visiting Paris (AND have to be back there the evening before your flight home) pick one other city. London or Amsterdam are easily reached by train, Rome would require flying. Switzerland is a whole country (as is Italy but you did mention Rome specifically) -- so do you have any particular place in Switzerland in mind?

Your choice whether you want to get a glimpse of Amsterdam or London or Rome -- pick one.

Maybe you need a guidebook or two???

janisj Jan 16th, 2017 05:58 PM

oops we were posting at the same time -- so yes, Paris - check.

Pick ONE other place.

shoppeher Jan 16th, 2017 06:00 PM

@Kathie, we fly in on a weeknight so that day is gone. So counting from the next day on we have 9 full days in Europe. I didn't count the last day since that day we fly out. Does that sound right? Thanks again!

janisj Jan 16th, 2017 06:38 PM

If you do have 9 days not counting your arrival and departure days -- then you will have about 8 days to play with. You will lose half a day when you move cities and then have to return at least the evening prior to your Paris departure.

If this was my trip (it wouldn't be because I would have booked open jaw tix - but just for discussion) I would fly immediately on to LHR from CDG that night and spend the first 4 or 5 nights in London, then take the train to Paris and spend the last 4 nights in Paris, then fly home.

If your flight arrives too late to do that -- I'd travel on to London very first thing the next morning . I'd want to have the Paris bits a the end so I wouldn't have to rush back to catch my flight home.

Kathie Jan 16th, 2017 06:53 PM

Thanks for answering our questions about timing. As you can see one person's "10 days" is another person's week. So with 9 full days, I'd do exactly what Janis says and fly to London immediately, 4 or 5 nights in London, then fly or train to Paris and spend the rest of your nights there. It doesn't give you much time in either city and there si so much to see and do, but you'll get an introduction to both cities.

shoppeher Jan 16th, 2017 07:04 PM

Thank you Janis & Kathie for your help!

mjs Jan 16th, 2017 07:34 PM

I agree with Janisj and Kathie. Save Rome for another time when you can visit other parts of Italy such as Venice, Florence, Amalfi etc. The same goes for Spain and Switzerland.

dreamon Jan 16th, 2017 10:40 PM

You could reasonably substitute Rome for London in Janis' itinerary. The problem I see with either of these alternatives is that you have two big cities. I would prefer to have one city (Paris, because you're flying in/out there) and one or two small towns in France or maybe Switzerland.

janisj Jan 17th, 2017 07:19 AM

I agree that any 2nd city could substitute - I just used London since it is my personal favorite and is so easy/quick to get back to Paris via the Eurostar. But A'dam or Rome or any second city would work.

mjs Jan 17th, 2017 08:49 AM

Could TGV from CDG to Avignon and spend 4-5 nights in Provence in May for a country experience before returning to Paris.

mjs Jan 17th, 2017 08:50 AM

Still like the London -Paris combo

PalenQ Jan 17th, 2017 10:26 AM

There is an overnight train Paris to Italy - ends in Venice - to me the most sublimely gorgeous city in Europe if not the world.

so maybe Paris 3 days - Venice - 2 days - Rome - 4 days - fly back to Paris from Rome

can't you fly home from Rome -did you check on that?

suze Jan 17th, 2017 10:31 AM

Since you are flying in and out of Paris. I'd spend 4-5 days there.

Then add one other city. Heading to Switzerland by train would work. Into Geneva or Lausanne, then spend time in the Lac Leman area. That would give you a nice balance of city (Paris) and smaller towns (Vevey, Montreux, etc.).

Or you could add either London or Amsterdam.

Paris and any other ONE place will work OK.

vdubtx Jan 17th, 2017 10:44 AM

London is very easy to get to from Paris. 2 hours on Eurostar. Can get first train out at 7am and be in London by 830(time change).

That is one leg we are doing on our upcoming trip. Couple days in London and then a flight to Madrid for a few more days.


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