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Help to plan a better itinerary for 12 days Europe tour in Winter 2015


Oct 8th, 2015, 01:06 AM
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Help to plan a better itinerary for 12 days Europe tour in Winter 2015

Hi, we are planning for our first Europe tour in mid-Dec'15.
Tentative itinerary:
Paris (2/3 nights)
Disneyland (2 nights)
Arrive at Zermatt (2 nights) from Paris via TGV
Interlaken (1 night)
Murren (1 night)
Lucern (1 night)
Zurich (1 night)
Innsberg (1 night)
Rome (2 night)

Please suggest whether the itinerary is perfect or needs to be modified. We prefer to stay in hostels throughout our journey and opt for a Swiss pass. Does the price of Swiss Pass vary. Which is the best site to purchase it online?

Also guide us regarding skip the line pass in Paris and Rome. Are these passes necessary? where can I get them?
MrSaurabh is offline  
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Oct 8th, 2015, 04:10 AM
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Too many places to stay. Many so close to each other. Why bother changing accommodations? Look at the map and compute train travel time using www.bahn.com.

Paris + Disneyland: No need for 2 places to stay. Unless you are traveling with small children where Disneyland must occupy a significant portion of your trip, you can do it as a trivial day trip from Paris, if you must.

Zermatt: Are you a skier? You are there during the peak ski season with high occupancy and prices to go with them.

Interlaken + Murren: These are another places so close to each other and does not make sense moving around. Murren is also a ski town during the peak ski season.

Luzern + Zurich: another nearby city pair. Zurich is a financial center. Also Luzern-> Rome connection by train is usually faster than Zurich-> Rome connection.

Inssberg -> Innsbruck? Another ski town in the middle of the peak season.

Rome: If you are not a skier, you might want to spend more time in non ski town, like Rome instead of Innsbruck.
greg is offline  
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Oct 8th, 2015, 04:31 AM
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The logic of this trip got me puzzling a bit, unless it is to see three well-advertised highlights of Europe: Paris, Alps and Rome.
I agree with Greg that visiting the Alps at your time of the year is only advisible if you're into winter sports.
Disneyland is only advisible if you've got some children to entertain. And even then it can easily be done as a daytrip from Paris.
With this itinerary you've got hardly time to visit more than a few »must sees« in Paris and Rome.
I would say: skip the Alps if you don't plan to ski, and rearrange your trip to allow you more time to visit some wonderful cities. Why not Paris, Vienna and Rome, each for 3 full days? With some careful flight planning that should be possible.
tonfromleiden is offline  
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Oct 8th, 2015, 05:35 AM
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Sorry - you are bouncing around lie a ping pong ball.

A couple of notes: Paris Disney is not very pleasant and one day there (no nights) is plenty if you must go. Spend all of the nights in Paris.

In Switzerland you are staying in many places that are very close together. There is no need for all of those hotel changes - they are a complete waste of time. Pick just 2, stay there and do day trips to see what you want.

Stay 1 place for the Berner Oberland - either Murren or Interlaken - not both.

There is no need to stay in Zurich - Lucerne is only an hour by train from the airport in the Zurich train station so leave Interlaken for 2 nights.

Please remember that it takes 2 nights in a city to have a full day there - other wise you have only partial days in any places.

Cannot imagine any reason to go to Innsbruck (if that is what you mean for one night - this day should be moved to Rome to which you are giving very short shrift.

Now Zermatt - are you going for the skiing? If not, this is a very expensive resort and you can see snow just as well in the Berner Oberland. If, on the other hand you are serious about skiing - then I would cut the BO and spend that time in Zurich. Also, note that in resorts in season it's often difficult to get rooms for less than a week.

You really need to define why you are going where, esp since travel can be slowed due to the exigencies of travel in winter - while snow is not common except in the Alps cold weather and rain/sleet are possible everywhere.
nytraveler is offline  
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Oct 8th, 2015, 08:43 AM
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This stupid website has been having a problem for a few weeks and I am unable to post my detailed reply.

So the readers digest version. Ignore the 'anti-Disneyland' advice. If you are 'Disney person' you know it. Anti-Disney people just don't get it. (I am relatively sophisticated - frequently travel to London, Paris, San Francisco, etc . . . and have been to DL Paris (and go to DL Anaheim every 3 or 4 years)

But I would never EVER stay at DL Paris 2 nights. Even one night is not necessary. It is a very easy RER ride from central Paris and you can see it all in one long day trip.

Your Switzerland plans are plain nutso. If you plan on skiing you will want 2 or 3 days (3 or 4 nights) in ONE place. Not a bunch of time wasting one night stands.

And Unless you have no interest in Rome, you need to add at least 2 more nights there. As it is you have 2 nights/1 day there.
janisj is offline  
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Oct 8th, 2015, 10:02 AM
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I don't like to repeat one's post, but Janisj just put it like i would have.

I'd recommend not going into the Swiss cities but to book some days in a ski resort (plenty of those in CH), I really didn't like the cities in CH (but it is me) -maybe Geneva, not in your list.

Switzerland is quite expensive so you may want to go and see the alps in France instead (any of the 'portes du soleil').

Rome definitely needs more days as indicated.

My only divergence with Janisj is that I would spend one night in DLP if you plan to stay 2 days (and if you want to see both parks, you need 2 days) I hate commuting from DLP - and there is some fun in staying there the night (not unexpensive though).
pariswat is offline  
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Oct 8th, 2015, 10:17 AM
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pariswat: I do agree that one night might be fun. Like I said one night is not 'necessary' but would be understandable if one is the sort that wants to see and do everything in DL. But the OP's trip is in December and it might be cold/miserable/wet and one full day could be more than enough.

DL Anaheim isn't great in pouring rain @ 65F -- DL Paris would be even less great at 40F and sleet
janisj is offline  
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Oct 8th, 2015, 12:39 PM
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Unlikely to be sleet or snow in Paris area - rarely occurs but it could be chilly and damp and I agree go for Disney if that is what you want - I've been there twice when me son was young and and love Disney parks - there are some differences between ones abroad and those at home but not a whole lot but it's interesting for me to see how Europeans act in a place like that - like Italians were trying to cut in lines-

Does the price of Swiss Pass vary.>

Yes and no - prices vary between those sold here in the U.S. and those in Switzerland and since I've been tracking them for a decade or so often the U.S. price is better but not always so check both sources and figure in any foreign transaction fee you may have for foreign purchases and any mailing fees for American ones (many agents don't have any) - in Switzerland you can buy at the counter in most train stations.

for lots of info on Swiss trains and passes check - www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is online now  
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Oct 8th, 2015, 12:58 PM
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>>Unlikely to be sleet or snow in Paris area - rarely occurs<<

I've had sleet or freezing rain as late as March. It does snow every single year in Paris but usually doesn't stick. Maybe you didn't notice because you are used to Northern Michigan-type snow. One meteorological site says it snows on average 2 days every December.


>> Snow falls on an average of two days each December and is most likely to occur on December 31st, when it falls on 9% of days. Although the chance of snow lying on the ground is very low, . . .<<


I am not saying it WILL snow. I am saying it will likely be cold and there will possibly be rain or sleet/snow.
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