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help! planning 8 day trip to europe for first time...where to go?!

help! planning 8 day trip to europe for first time...where to go?!

Old Jan 9th, 2007, 09:33 PM
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help! planning 8 day trip to europe for first time...where to go?!

i am planning a trip for myself and my best friend. we are two single 30 year old girls. looking to travel in april or may (preferably may). is this as good time to travel? we've both never been to europe. we would like to sightsee, love to eat, a little history, love to shop, and nightclubs (although we are not really big partiers). we love big cities, but would also like to see the countryside. we were thinking we'd like to see london, paris, venice and rome. we will have 7 full days in europe. trying to stay within $1500 per person total for the entire trip.

is this enough time? if not, what can we do in this amount of time? are these good cities? if not, where else? also, how would we book this trip? i'm having a hard time figuring that out. do we book flight separately and then just stay in different hotels in each city and rent a car? or do we stay in one hotel the whole time and travel by train?

help! help!
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 09:49 PM
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I assume you are not including airfare in your budget.

Four cities is a bit much with only seven days. For two cities I'd rec'd fly into London for three nights, take the Eurostar over to Paris for the remainder, and fly home out of CDG. Just my .02 euro.



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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 09:53 PM
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I agree.... you'll have jet lag and be tired, so landing in London will be the least stressful. Then off to Paris and fun and the thrill of something really foreign. You will be ready to return another time and see more. But in such a short period of time two cities is really max...and these two cities are a wonderful introduction. I'd take a "hop on hop off" bus tour in each city so you get an overview of where you are. Bon voyage......
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 10:18 PM
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W/ 7 days your practical choices are either one city w/ maybe a day trip out into the countryside, OR 2 cities like London/Paris or Rome/Venice

If you are on a tight budget - then London/Paris may be the best. The airfare would be lower, you can use Priceline for London (it is a GREAT option in London, not so good for Paris), and there are a lot of budget hotel options in Paris.

Many folks will say London is too expensive - but w/ PL and all the free museums and galleries you CAN manage London on a budget.

You 100% for sure do not have time for London, Paris, Venice and Rome
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 11:03 PM
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Since it's your first trip, Paris and London would be highly recommended. However, the farther north you go in Europe, the more expensive it is. A good choice for weather, economics, and tourist friendliness would be Spain or Italy. Also, try to avoid changing money at airports, they have surcharges and other rates on top of the current foreign exchange rate. If you go to London and then continental Europe, you will have to change currency twice. I would really say a week is not enough time to really enjoy Europe but you can't pass on the opportunity to travel. But if you're savvy enough travellers, I would recommend taking small flights to other cities within Europe. Carriers like easyjet and ryanair tend to have excellent deals for air travel. Personally, I know a 24 year old male world traveler has different tastes than 30 year old females, I would fly into Paris and eat and live Parisian for 3 days. Then I would fly to Venezia and Firenze(Venice and Florence) for the remainder. If you can still afford it, try to fly between Venice and Florence to save time. Otherwise, you lose half a day to travel by train. You get the hustle and bustle of Paris. Excellent food and beautiful people. Venice is well...Venice. An absolutely beautiful city literally sitting on the water. You can cap off your trip in Florence and take in the art and splendor of the Italian countryside. It's a great city to relax and just let your mind wander. You can also get in any last minute shopping there as well. Then just have a nice flight back home relaxed, comfortable, and just happy that you've seen some of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world.
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 11:04 PM
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Wow, didn't realize it was that long. Sorry for the essay.
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 11:09 PM
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I agree with the previous posters. With only 7 days (I'm hoping you aren't counting travel days as part of the 7), don't do more than 2 cities. If the 7 days includes travel time, then I'd stick with just one city....and my first choice would be Paris.

You won't need/want a car, unless maybe you want to rent one for a day to take a day trip outside of the city, but you can easily do that by train or tour.

$1500 per person is doable if you stick to a reasonable budget, but of course that's not including airfare...that will add another $800 or so (depending on the dates/departure city) to your expenses.

I suggest to keep it simple....and with such a short time and limited budget, stay in one place. You'll have more time for seeing the sights and you won't lose an entire day traveling between cities.

Have a great trip!

Margy
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 11:10 PM
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London and Paris or
Prague and Vienna or
Rome and Naples are three good combinations, but whatever you do, I think two cities in your timescale is max.
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 06:21 AM
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Another option would be to spend 1 week in 1 of those ciies and do some day trips. There is so much to see and do in the cities you are considering that you can keep quite busy for 1 week in any 1 of them, and it would give you more time to absorb the culture, adn not feel rushed.
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 06:45 AM
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Hi

With only seven days I would go for one or two cities. You have some amazing places to choose from...both Paris and Rome are wonderful cities that has lots to offer. In April/May I think I would have gone for Venice and Rome as the weather is probably better there. My wife and I went to Rome in the summer of 2005 and you can read my trip report with pictures, links and maps on http://gardkarlsen.com/rome_italy.htm . Good luck with the planning. Let us know where you end up going

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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Sorry, waverunner, but it would take the same amount of time to fly between Venice and Florence as it would to take the train--the flight is short but add time and agony getting to and from airports. Easier to go by train from city center to city center in three hours. Since the OP never mentioned Florence, perhaps waverunner really meant Rome. I still think the 4.5-hour train ride between Rome and Venice would be more pleasant than the flight plus airport agony.

In any case, Yellow2525, four cities in seven days is really too much any time you change locations, even when it's within the same country and only two hours travel time, it takes at least a half day of checking out of the hotel, getting to airport/train station, travel time, checking into new hotel, getting oriented in new place. For travel between three different countires as you hope to do, the change of location could eat up most of a day. I think you would lose at least two days to traveling between cities. Then you have 5 days to see 4 places.

Choose a two-city combination as others have suggested.

London + Paris
Paris + Venice
Venice + Rome
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 07:13 AM
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Some interesting suggestions, but for the first time in Europe I would pick one city and several side trips.
The jet lag can take a good part of the first day in any city.
London and Paris are huge, getting to and from airports and /or train stations , and the cities itself ( no money for cabs) takes longer than you think.
Instead of shopping, eating and sightseeing you may end up spending time on trains, plains and subways!
 
Old Jan 10th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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How important is seeing the countryside?

I would pick either 2 cities (London & Paris or Venice & Rome) or 1 city with some time in the countryside.

You can not reasonably do 4 cities in 7 days unless you go on an organized tour. Realize traveling on your own it necessarily takes a certain amount of time checking in and out of hotels, going to and from airports and train stations, etc. 4 cities in 7 days that's about the only things you'll be doing.
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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Another important tip is to book your plane ticket "open jaw" which means into one city and out of another, this avoid backtracking to your arrival airport.

So you fly into Paris and out of Venice, for example, spending 4 days each place.
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 07:23 AM
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Maximum for 7 days: either 2 cities OR 1 city and its surroundings. Anything else is a rat race.
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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nbujic
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Foe something a bit different:
Paris and a train trip to Cote d'azure?
 
Old Jan 10th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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When you say 7 full days, does that include getting there and back?

London for 3 nights, last Eurostar to Paris, 3 nights and home from CDG.

Maybe 1 day trip from each capital (Bath? Normandy?)

Train travel everywhere. Change cities at night (most people chew up their sightseeing time on day trains).
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 08:35 AM
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Hi! Wow sounds like you have some amazing ideas. I just took a trip to Europe over the summer and it was my first time there. I decided to go with a tour company called Contiki Holidays so that I wouldn't have to worry about finding hotels or transportation for the entire trip and I had a person on hand 24-7 to answer any questions I had about the cities we were in (which included London, France, Venice, Rome and Florence).

If you are interested in what a trip might be like you can check out my blog:http://rae-does-contiki.blogspot.com/. My trip was two weeks (and I'd recommend trying to stay in Europe more than 7 days if you are able) and I got to do so much. See the top sights, eat amazing food, do some adventure sports. The trips also are reasonably priced.

I'm sorry if this sounds like an ad for the company but I had the most memorable experience on this trip and I'm recommending it to everyone (even looking to go on another this summer).

Good luck trying to figure everything out!
~Rachael~
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