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Help on My 3 Months in Europe?

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Jan 16th, 2015, 05:07 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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Help on My 3 Months in Europe?

Hello Everyone
I am planning a 90 day trip to Europe beginning around the first of April.
I like history and nature, trekking and bicyling. Don't care about nightlife, restaurants or shopping.
I am in the 40+ age and am not on a tight budget, but just the same I do travel budget class. I stay in hostels and keep my expenses in check as much as possible in order to travel longer. I don't mind slower, cheaper transport since I have the time to move slowly. I don't want to fly by places but take time to see them. Prefer ground transport to planes when possible.
Below is my first draft. Not sure yet how long to stay in each place. I hope to decide as much as possible along the way. I started in Rome because the weather looks decent in April and I enjoy warm weather. I need to visit family in Baumholder, Germany for a few days.

1- I have put some length of stays next to some places but it is just ballpark figures.
2- If anyone is interested and has the time to look this over and see if it looks okay for a 90 day trip and not be rushed. Add or delete anything?
3- Also, I have read a lot and some say to book trains in advance and others say it is not necessary. So, I am a little confused about that. Are busses a good option if I have the time?
Thanks for any input.

I will fly from Bangkok in to Rome, Italy (not booked) Around April 1

ITALY
----Rome 4-5 days
----To Florence
----To Venice 4-5 days
----To Cinque Terre (?) 2 Days + Travel time, I need to research this more


SWITZERLAND
----Zurich 1 Day
----Lucerne 1 Day
----Interlaken 1 Day (?) Train from Lucern? Train over Alps to Junfrau Region?

*****Interlaken, Switzerland to Fussen, Germany****

GERMANY
Fussen, Germany 4-5 Days
Munich 4-5 Days
Regensburg 2 Day
Nuremburg 1 Day
Bamburg 1 Day

*****Bamburg, Germany to Prague, Czech Republic*****

CZECH REPUBLIC
Prague 5 Days
Kunta Hora 1-2 Days

*****Kunta Hora, Czech Rep to Krakow, Poland****

POLAND
Krakow 4 days

****Krakow, Poland to Berlin, Germany*****

GERMANY
Berlin 4-5 Days

*****Berlin, Germany to Amsterdam, Holland*****

Amsterdam 3-4 Days

****Amsterdam to Bruges, Belgium*****

BELGIUM
Bruges 1-2 Days
Brussels 1-2 Days

*****Brussels, Belgium to Cologne, Germany****

GERMANY
Cologne 1-2 Days
Baumholder 5-7 Days?

*****Baumholder, Germany to Strasbourg, France****

FRANCE
Strasbourg 1-2 Days
Colmar ? Days
Orleans ? Days
Paris 4-5 Days

****Paris to London, England (Eurostar?)******

ENGLAND 10-14 Days
London 3-4 Days, Day Trip to Stonehenge, Bath
Oxford ?
Liverpool

*****Liverpool to Edinburg ******

SCOTLAND
Edinburg 2-3 Days
Glasgow

*****Glasgow to Dublin, Ireland******

IRELAND
Dublin 2-3 Days

Fly Dublin to U.S. (not booked)
usa_texan is offline  
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Jan 16th, 2015, 06:13 AM
  #2
 
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Sorry - but with so many days to travel I would not do one nighters anyplace. To much time in getting to or fro versus actually being somewhere.

Also you need to relook at Switz. Zurich is a business city and you can simply ignore. Lucerne is a charming tourist town - but while there is qute a bit to see in the town the best activities are ascending nearby nmountains and taking the lake steams to quaint villages - so you nee dmore time.

The Jungfrau region starts at Interlaken. You don't go OVRR the Alps - you stay IN them. You are getting to Switz fairly early in the trip and it may still be chilly and somewhat snowy (tops of mountains are definitely snowy). One can stay in Interlaken or at one of the villas in the foothills and ascend the Jungfrau from there by train/tram railway. But at the higher altitudes the hiking paths may still be snowy/muddy. Not sure when the steamers start to run on lakes Thun and Brienz (these are the lakes Interlaken is between) but you should consider both as charming towns with a to to see/do.
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Jan 16th, 2015, 06:23 AM
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- Also, I have read a lot and some say to book trains in advance and others say it is not necessary.>

Not necessary but full fare is steep - if you do half of what you envision some kind of railpass is to me a no-brainer - in most countries can still hop on any train anytime. Anyway scour these superb sources for great info on European trains and railpasses and discounted tickets: www.budgeteuropetravel.com (check out their free online European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of rail itineraries in every country; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com - best info on discounted tickets which you may want to use in Britain which is not a participant in any Eurailpass scheme.
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Jan 16th, 2015, 06:24 AM
  #4
 
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For someone who doesn't care about nightlife, restaurants or shopping, but does like trekking, nature, bicycling there are an awful of of major cities on the list, with not much time planned for nature, trekking or bikes.
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Jan 16th, 2015, 07:53 AM
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Definitely visit seat61.com for info on train travel. I have never used a pass for train travel, if I am visiting an expensive country I buy ahead of time for discounts for long journeys, but seat61 has a section on whether rail passes are worthwhile.

Given your interests your Swiss section is odd. As nyt says, the point of going to Switzerland is to visit the mountains, not the cities. If you want similar scenery at lower cost you could spend time in the Tirol in Austria.

I would change the front end to visit the Cinque Terre between Florence and Venice, and then spend a couple of days or so in the Dolomites before taking the very scenic train to Innsbruck.

I haven't looked at the rest of the trip in detail, but at first glance I would drop Belgium altogether. You need to lay this out on a calendar, counting nights rather than days (two nights = one day of sightseeing) and allowing for travel time. Also, on a three month trip you are going to need some down time to relax and regroup and take care of housekeeping things like buying more toothpaste.

Buses are an option, but in general I prefer trains as you can keep an eye on your luggage and get up and move around. Some have reasonably edible food, too.
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Jan 16th, 2015, 08:09 AM
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Lots of visits to cities. seat61 a must before you go much further. Have a look at bikeline for possible long distance bike rides or www.mybikeguide.co.uk for some especially easy ones.

I'd ease back and see more. I'd look at the whole Strasbourg, Bruge, Colmar, as one bit of the trip and not separate them into countries (they all just blend and since there is no border to speak of why would you?)

In all honesty I drop Kunta Hora (unless you are really into tea dances), Brussels, Orleans??????????

"Edinburgh" (it's more vikiing than german )
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Jan 16th, 2015, 08:28 AM
  #7
 
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Sorry, but w/ 3 months why are you dashing around so much? In three months I'd not have ANY one night stands (except maybe in transit where necessitated by weird train or flight schedules)

You are traveling on at least 33 different days out of your 3 months. This is crazy. You will be packing and moving more than being most places.
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Jan 16th, 2015, 08:40 AM
  #8
 
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"...some say to book trains in advance and others say it is not necessary. So, I am a little confused about that."

Things are different from country to country and within specific regions in the same country.

Booking Berlin to Amsterdam in advance makes sense; 92 days in advance you can pre-book at German Railways (DB) for €39 - regular price is €120 plus. The price rises as tickets sell. But that may not make sense for you; if you don't want to commit to a specific train on a specific day at a specific time, you will not want this train-specific "savings fare" which can be used only for the itinerary you book.

For shorter trips in Germany, you normally don't need to book since there are excellent day pass fares available in most states. You can do a day trip from Munich to Regensburg, Bamberg, or Nuremberg (please note correct spelling) or anywhere else in Bavaria on regional trains for €23 using a Bayern Ticket day pass. That will save you money even to Regensburg. It would save you €20 to €40 to Bamberg, depending on which trains you might otherwise use.
http://www.munich-touristinfo.de/Bavaria-Ticket.htm

You should probably use Nuremberg as a base town and do day trips to Bamberg and Regensburg. N-berg - Bamberg would cost €18 round trip with a VGN Tagesticket plus. Nuremberg - Regensburg - Nuremberg can be done on a Bayern ticket (€23 round trip.)
http://www.vgn.de/en/dayticket?Editi...gesticket-plus

Would also recommend a day trip from Nuremberg (€18 again) to Iphofen (photos below.)

http://www.stadtbild-deutschland.org...&threadID=2985

But of course, once you start adding up individual costs for all your routes around Europe, it may work out that a railpass is right for you. But you should remember that you may not need a whopper railpass that covers every day of travel. You might still want to use the cheap day pass or pre-book strategy for certain routes - that way you can get by with a cheaper railpass good for fewer travel days and use it just for the LONGER trips that otherwise (if you had to pay for them out of pocket) would be more expensive.
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Jan 16th, 2015, 11:35 AM
  #9
 
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Fussgaenger's last paragraph above is exactly what I would say as well - use some of the cheap local passes for short distances (but not nearly every country has them - Germany is one of the few that I know of) and get a Flexipass, good for X number of unlimited travel days over a 2-month period - chose the days you want to use them as you go along - and keep in mind night trains can save time and money on a hostel or hotel.

The 7pm rule on overnight trains means you can travel literally across Europe and only use one day on your pass.
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Jan 17th, 2015, 11:55 AM
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There are few trains that completely sell out where buying in advance would be necessary, but it does happen, perhaps some popular run on holiday or something. I've seen that on one train in about 20 years in Europe (I've seen it in the US, ctually, NY to DC Sunday after Thanksgiving). Otherwise, it's just to get a better fare.

It is never necessary for a train that doesn't require seat reservations, which would be local runs, as they don't discount fares in advance, anyway.
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Jan 17th, 2015, 11:58 AM
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oh, as for you itinerary -- if you are going by train, are you sure you want to stay in Kutna Hora in the CR for 2 days? I didn't know it even had a train station. I did visit it while staying in Prague, but it's not very far by bus, I just went to see the main sites for a day trip. I think the bus trip was only an hour or so.

As for France, is there some reason you want to stay in Orleans? Just seems kind of out there when going from Strasbourg to Colmar. Not to mention convoluted to get there by train. If you want to see someplace else, go to Dijon from Colmar, that would make sense logitiscally and by train.
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Jan 17th, 2015, 05:09 PM
  #12
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Thanks for all the good responses so far. I have copied them all to my notes and will be looking at each suggestion in detail to rework my plan. It seems the general consensus is that my route is a little rushed. I will look at that. I would rather move slower and save some for next trip. I get 90 days as a U.S. citizen is why my time frame is 90 days. I hope to keep my budget not over $3000 U.S. a month, but not set in stone. I like the hostels and guesthouses because I meet other travelers there more than I would in hotels. The days in each place do not include travel time. I researched travel between each place before posting but did not post those results. I used google maps which gave the distance in km and time to travel the distance in a car. I realize using public transport will take longer. I will look at the web sites suggested to try to figure out the train schedules also. Once a few days are past and I have had time to come up with a revised plan I will post it again. Thanks for the help and I will check back for any additional comments in the next few days.
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Jan 17th, 2015, 05:23 PM
  #13
 
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For train schedules see: bahn.de

You may find viamichelin.com more accurate on drive times than google, but if you're not driving they are irrelevant.

England and Scotland do not count to the 90 days in Schengen. I believe you get six months in the UK, depending on your nationality.
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Jan 17th, 2015, 07:17 PM
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You will find google maps is nearly useless for drive times. It usually gives wildly optimistic results.
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Jan 17th, 2015, 07:20 PM
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oh - meant to add -- $3000 is pretty low for a full month. $100 a day is certainly doable for modest accommodations and food/drink . . . but not enough for local and inter-city transport, admissions, etc.


• Hopefully that $3000/month does not include your airfare to/from Europe - because then it would be just about impossible •
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Jan 18th, 2015, 10:37 PM
  #16
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Thanks for the links. They will be helpful. Wow, thanks for that info about Eng and Scot not counting in the 90 days. I will research that more.
$3000 does not include the airfare and is only a target I hope to stick with. But, I have more available if needed to do what I want. I'm reworking my plans that just include Germany, the Netherlands and UK. But, if I get more than 90 days then I can add some of the other countries back in. Thanks for your advice. Now, back to the research for me!
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Jan 19th, 2015, 02:03 AM
  #17
 
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The 90 days rule only applies to Schengen countries. You can stay in the UK and Ireland for up to six months, in addition to your 90 days in Schengen, so if you have the time available you could slow things down somewhat and see everything, bearing in mind your 90 days in Schengen includes the day you arrive and the day you leave.
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Jan 19th, 2015, 09:55 AM
  #18
 
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Like one of the earlier posters, I'm curious about most of your time in cities when you seem to be more interested in the outdoors?

As a Scotsman, I have to recommend more time in Scotland, particularly if you are interested in hiking and mountain biking.

If you research more you will find that Scotland has some great scenery, and accessible hiking and biking: May and June are the times to visit to get the best chance of good weather.
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Jan 19th, 2015, 12:46 PM
  #19
 
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janis makes a salient point about one-night stays - lots of time spent packing up - relocating - unpacking - porting heavy bags around - I always do base cities now - so nice doing day trips on trains sans luggage - just get up and pop to the station and if you have a Eurailpass which for your itinerary may be highly advsiable - you can hop on any train in most of the countries - get to the station and pop on the next train. Day trip out an hour or two and then go back to the station and hop on any train back to your base.

Yes you spend time on trains day tripping but I'd rther spend time on trains than packing up - relocating - packing down, etc.
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Jan 19th, 2015, 01:18 PM
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PalenQ makes a good point. Having a base city for a week or so allows you to branch out without spending all that time and hassle packing/unpacking, checking in/out, train-riding, etc.

With a base city you are communting to the places -- ideally within an hour or so train ride from your base...so you have a nice cozy hotel room and bed waiting for you when you return.

For instance, there are tons of great day-trips from Paris, London, and Rome. With a ten-day stay, you can do three or four nice ones and still have quality time in each city.

With three months, I pick out about ten or twelve base cities and plan accordingly.

SS
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