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Help me decide which major city to cut based on time of year.

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Sep 20th, 2017, 08:53 PM
  #1
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Help me decide which major city to cut based on time of year.

Hi,

Im planning my first taste of western europe type tour with my partner. Our goal is to try a few places, figure out what we like, then do a more in depth trip at a later date at the favourite one or two countries, with some smaller towns included.

The trip will likely be Feb-march for about 3 weeks. We have 6 cities but i'd like to cut it down to 5.

Current itinerary:

Fly to Rome
Jetlag day in Rome

Rome (explore)
Rome (Pompeii Vesuvius Day Trip)
Rome (Night train 7pm-8am)
Munich from 8am (rest/explore)
Munich (neuschwenstein day trip)
Munich (rest legs, beer hall dinner)
Munich to Interlaken
Interlaken (explore)

Interlaken (jungfraujoch if clear)
Interlaken to Paris
Paris (walk & see pretty buildings)
Paris (maybe Disneyland)
Paris (rest/explore as needed)
Paris to London
London (super touristy things)

London (unsure -possible day trip)
London (rest/explore as needed)
London to Edinburgh
Edinburgh (arthurs seat & explore)
Edinburgh (look at pretty buildings)
Edinburgh (sleep in a castle)
Fly home
Jetlag day before work

Based on February (weather, events, holidays etc) which would you exclude as a first impression of europe? Would you split those days equally or does one spot require more attention than the others?

I'm open to suggestions but I have absolutely no interest in is Venice.
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Sep 20th, 2017, 11:33 PM
  #2
 
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What do you and your partner enjoy? Do you like skiing? If so, why not add more time in the Alps? If you actually prefer warmer weather, why wouldn't you consider Spain or Greece?

If it were me...

I don't believe you can spend too much time in Rome or Paris. I would give Rome 4 whole touring days. And Paris, you only have 3 days of which one might be in Disneyland. I would do 4 or 5.

I have been to Scotland twice and hope to go back again. But in February? No. Dark at 5 pm. Cold and wet. And I'd be tempted to cut London too--as much as I love it--and promise myself a visit to both places in a warmer month than February.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 04:18 AM
  #3
 
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You have chosen a number of cold destinations, so I suppose that you like that.

I might skip Interlaken.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 07:43 AM
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You have really given short shrift to some major cities: Rome, Paris and London. You could easily spend a week in each not not see even all of the major sights. If it was me (and I know it isn't), I'd cut both Munich and Switzerland, leaving Rome, Paris, London and Edinburgh. You are spreading yourselves too thin, IMO.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 07:45 AM
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>>I have been to Scotland twice and hope to go back again. But in February? No. Dark at 5 pm.<<

The OP does say Feb/Mar so I'm guessing the end of Feb and into March. The days are longer then. By the first week in March sunset is about 6PM.

You have very little time in Rome. I'd add a day or two there and drop either Interlaken or Edinburgh (and that is from someone who LOVES Edinburgh most than almost any other city). Don't count on climbing Arthur's Seat in March -- you might luck out but it will very likely be wet.

I'd also add a day/night to Paris IF you plan on using one day for Disneyland.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 09:18 AM
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I was in Edinburgh at the beginning of January and nearly froze to death, but I loved the city anyway. I did make it up to Arthur's Seat on a nice sunny day, but parts of the path were muddy and slippery. Also, the wind was blowing a gale.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 09:31 AM
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I would counsel you to go at any other time of year than February and early March.
The weather will be miserable, the days will be very short, and you will mostly be confined to indoor activities, or getting very wet.

All of the cities you have chosen will not be at their best.
No flowers, maybe no snow, but a lot of rain and wind.

I'd go at any other time of year - unless you're from Alaska.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 09:54 AM
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I've been to Rome many times, as well as other parts of central to southern Italy, in January and weather was great and tourists were, relatively, few.

I agree with Kathie about just going to the big three: Rome Paris and London. Maybe add Venice, after Rome and before heading to Paris. Although those months can be windy and very cold there, at least you will not contend with the hordes of tourists that descend in milder months.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 09:56 AM
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You are right about the weather, fuzzbucket. But London, Paris and Rome have enough to see and do indoors that I wouldn't hesitate to go at that time of the year, but I wouldn't plan any outdoor activities.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 10:14 AM
  #10
 
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Night trains can be great or a drag if you cannot sleep with some noise from inside and outside the train - in any case book ASAP - often possible up to 3 months in advance for discounted prices - ditto for all longer train rides. See www.seat61.com for great advice on booking your own tickets online - for general info on night trains and European trains in general also www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Munich-Fussen for Neuschwanstein you and your partner can travel all day on regional trains for around 30-35 euros and only regional trains run Munich-Fussen - no need to pre-book but buy day of travel at station.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 10:24 AM
  #11
 
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Can't tell you what to cut. That is personal preference, but Pompeii as a day trip from Rome is not great at any time of year, and certainly not then.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 10:35 AM
  #12
 
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If I had to cut I'd cut Interlaken if just going to do Jungfraujoch - nothing much in Interlaken but there are lots of other mountain trains and gondolas to take - may have trouble finding hotels for a few days stay in this popular winter resort?
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Sep 21st, 2017, 10:43 AM
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Cut Munich, for sure. I liked it (in December) but the whole time I was thinking it must be nicer in the summer!

Cut interlaken (partly, I admit it's not interesting to me, but partly it doesn't fit your itinerary.)

Maybe cut edinburgh. 2 of your planned days are outside. I wouldn't make any hiking plans at all for that time of year.

your loss on Venice, seriously, I thought I'd hate it but it's glorious, like an open air museum. If you were add anything, I'd add a night in Naples- Pompeii and the National museum are a bit too much for a Rome day trip.

Forget Disney. It's foul in the rain and cold. I mean, I'll admit it's kind of interesting in a torturous sort of way to ride Thunder Mountain in winter, but no. I'm glad I went as I'm a Disney park fan, but it's the worst park I've been to, before you add in the climate.

It's just my opinion...but I feel like you haven't done enough destination research. One or two days in Paris, Rome, London? Not enough time to even get a feel for the cities and a nearly criminal waste of a plane ticket.

So let's see. Assuming 21 nights

That's
6 nights Rome
2 nights Naples
5 nights Paris
5 nights London
3 nights edi

If you don't want Naples, you could do 7 nights rome and 6 nights Paris. I personally would want a smaller place between Rome and Paris, Rome is exhausting, but I don't know what your interests are.

I don't agree with others about the weather, but I do live in a rainy, windy climate, and it doesn't stop me from going outside. I was told that Pompeii is pretty miserable in the rain, so you may want to stay in Rome and just keep your schedule flexible so you can go if the weather is nice.

So I did the same sort of sample thing- it didn't narrow it down, and it exhausted me. How much is weather a priority?

If it's a priority: I would do Spain/Greece/Italy
Not a priority: Britain/France

Basically, make time for a smaller place or two. I went to a few smaller places and they were my favorites.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 11:47 AM
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It's hard to advise as your interests and passions may be different to mine, but I would add in Naples and take out Interlaken or Munich, maybe 3 nights in Naples (inc 1 for jetlag), 4 in Rome, 4 in Paris, 3 in Munich/Interlaken, 4 in London and 3 in Edinburgh. That way you are south and in the warmer weather at the start of the trip and travelling north over a couple of weeks, so maybe it will be slightly (very slightly!) warmer amd lighter in Germany and the UK.

If the weather is bad, there's plenty to do indoors in the northern cities, lots of galleries, museums and stately homes etc. Is there a reason why this trip will be Feb/March?
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Sep 21st, 2017, 11:48 AM
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Or decide between Edinburgh, Munich and Interlaken and just visit one of those 3
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Sep 21st, 2017, 12:09 PM
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I'd drop both Interlaken & Edinburgh.

Rome, Munich, Paris, London would be a great 3 week trip.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 12:17 PM
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but Pompeii as a day trip from Rome is not great at any time of year, and certainly not then.>

check out Ostia Antica - a Pompeii-like ruins right on a metro line from Rome - as impressive in its own way though not as famous:

https://www.google.com/search?q=osti...w=1745&bih=863

Yes Pompeii is a long day trip from Rome - about 3 hours by train (changing in Naples) - to do a Vesuvius day trip too would be hard - stay in Sorrento or Naples if you want to do that.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 12:30 PM
  #18
 
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Some journeys from Rome to Pompeii could be as short as 2 hours. The fast train Rome-Naples is 1:10 hours, and the commuter train to Pompeii is 35 minutes plus 15-30 minutes between trains.

But I wouldn't go to Pompeii if rain is in the forecast.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 12:36 PM
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Well, let's not forget that the name of the OP is SnowMonkey, and places like Rome, Paris and London are not known for their snow.

It would probably be good to know how the OP is planning to get to these places -- air or rail, I presume, but it does make a difference.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 12:38 PM
  #20
 
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Oh, I see that the OP did mention at least one (night) train trip, but the few remaining night trains in Europe do not have a great reputation for comfort...
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