First trip to Europe

Dec 27th, 2006, 07:07 AM
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First trip to Europe

My husband and I are traveling to Europe for the first time this coming June. We are trying to decide between Paris/Venice or Venice/Florence/Rome. Any suggestions?? Thank you!!
kstoby is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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IMo you'll get more help if you

A. tell us some of your interests

B. tell us why you picked these particular cities

I say this because if it were up to me I would do them ALL but you don't say how long you have to spend, what is most important to you, whether or not you prefer one over the other in ANy way shapr of form either from what you've read or other sources.

Dukey is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 07:16 AM
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How long is the full trip?

1 week? Choose one city
2 weeks? Either option will work.

Plus as Dukey says, we need more info about what you like/want before we can give much useful advice.
janisj is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 07:30 AM
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We are only going for a week. At this point I'm pretty overwhelmed with the decision. For some reason Rome seems intimidating?? We are most interested in scenery and getting just a general feel of an area, versus visiting museums and standing in long lines. I know we are traveling at a busy time, but this is unavoidable...but I do wonder if there are a few less popular areas in Italy to visit that would be less crowded. I think the only must see at the point is Venice.
kstoby is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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>We are only going for a week.<

In that case, I suggest

1. Paris
2. Paris
3. Paris
4. Venice
5. Florence
6. Rome

You don't have enough time to go city hopping.

ira is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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I love the Venice/Paris combination.

It is not intimidating to plan, or to travel. Fly into one city and out of the other. Take an overnight train, booking a private compartment between the two. For your Venice hotel I highly recommend Book early it is very popular. For Paris we liked in the Latin Quarter near the Sorbonne.

There... your trip is now planned -lol!

p.s. One week is not enough for the 3 cities in Italy imo.
suze is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 03:16 PM
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suze is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 03:32 PM
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Five days is not enough to even smell Paris. Stay in the city.

hopscotch is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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I would have to agree with most everyone else. I kind of snuck Paris into our one month trip to Europe last summer. I managed to pull off 6 days (which included, flying in and out) leaving us only 4 full days; trust me when I say, it is just not enough.

I asked DH if he would return with me in '07, without the kids but he wasn't into it. I am now planning a "girl" trip to see what I missed out on.

Do yourself a favor,and really spend time in one or two places or you may end up feeling like you missed out.
namaka is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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No question...Paris/ Venice
mrsgo is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 04:51 PM
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If Venice is a must-see, and you prefer scenery over museums, what about going to stay in the mountains or by the sea, after visiting Venice for three nights? Like to Trento or Bolzano (sp?) in northern Italy (I think that's the Dolomites?), or heading to Santa Margherita Ligure or another place on the Ligurian Coast and/or to Cinque Terre?

Or do the Paris/Venice split, if you can spend three nights in each city. Less than that, I think it wouldn't be enough time in Paris.
Dec 27th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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If you have only one week do Paris - with one or perhaps 2 day trips - depending on your interests and the weather. (Versailles is only 30 minutes away.)
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 10:23 PM
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I agree with nytraveller--with l week go to Paris and do one or two day trips--for scenery I'd recommend Giverny.
artlover is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 10:40 PM
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I would recommend Switzerland.A compact country you'll love travelling through.Start form Zurich-Luzern-Bern-Geneva or visa versa.Breath taking mountains and countryside.Quaint little towns.Bustling metros.Gourmet's delight.You have it all( in a week's time).That dosen't mean the other places are less intresting.But, considering their size you'll need more time.
harsha is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 11:58 PM
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Decisions decisions It is actually quite a difficult choice as Paris and Rome are two of the greatest cities in Europe in my opinion. Why do you find Rome intimidating? In my opinion Paris is more intimidating as it is bigger and you have to use the metro to get around. Inner Rome is quite small and you can walk to many of the places. I will leave you with links to my trip reports and maybe you can get some useful info from that. Good luck with the decision

Here are my trip reports:
Rome -
Paris -
Venice -

Gard - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 03:54 AM
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Thank you for all the input. I think we are now considering staying in Italy for the week and splitting our time between Venice and Florence with day trips to the Dolomites and Cinque Terre. We may also rent a car for the day to tour Tuscany. Since we are completely inexperienced travelers (with the exception of Disney with toddlers), we decided to keep Paris for a seperate trip. Any more input is greatly appreciated.
kstoby is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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Since you mention your inexperience, honestly doing Paris and Venice together is a MUCH easier and simpler trip than the one you are now contemplating!!! You could do it without renting a car and would only need 2 hotel reservations and 1 train trip (fly into one city and out of the other).

Nothing wrong with your plan below, but it is much more complicated, includes car rental in Italy, and is an awful lot to squeeze into 7 days.

<<Venice and Florence with day trips to the Dolomites and Cinque Terre. We may also rent a car for the day to tour Tuscany.>>
suze is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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Renting a car for one day to tour Tuscany is really expensive and a total pain. If you're inexperienced travelers and it's your first time to Europe, driving in Tuscany will be difficult and stressful.

Example: In Tuscany, after being driven around several days already, the one time I was supposed to pay attention and navigate to get back to the villa, I put the driver onto a freeway off-ramp into on-coming traffic (although there were no cars at that moment and we ended up doing a U-turn over an island). Navigating freeways, directions, exit signs you can't read, and roundabouts can be difficult and stressful. By the time you start to kinda figure out what you're doing, you'll be dropping the car off (hopefully, without damages).

If you're intent on Italy, then staying in-town in Florence and Venice will produce far fewer openings for shouting matches, finger-pointing, and all manner of accusation.
fishee is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Here is another twist in our trip planning adventure. We could possibly arrange a 9 hour layover in Paris prior to flying on to Florence. Is it possible/reasonable to leave the airport for that time frame to do some quick sight seeing in Paris? Do you have to clear customs, wait in long lines to leave and re-enter the airport? I think the suggestions on this trip have been very helpful. We are definately reconsidering the day trips and car rental.
kstoby is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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Nine hours is enough for a whirlwind trip into town and see the major sights. Buy a one-day Paris Visite pass for 5 zones at the RER station in CDG-T2.

This will buy your transport into town and back, plus unlimited use of the Métro, buses, trams, and trains in and around Paris.

Ride the RER to St-Michel Notre-Dame or Luxembourg and take a walk around. Or alight at Gare du Nord and ride bus N° 42 over to the Eiffel Tower, passing many historical monuments on the way.

Here are some basic maps (you can get the real thing at Métro stations):

And here's a condensed bus map to tourist sights you can print out at home:
Robespierre is offline  

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