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Help : Torn between having to decide between Florence / A'dam & Bruges

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Aug 2nd, 2013, 12:08 AM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2013
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Help : Torn between having to decide between Florence / A'dam & Bruges

Yeah the title of my post might be confusing and annoying even...but I am in a situation that I am having to make such decisions..

I travel on the 12th of September.

My current itinerary looks like this
Rome - 3 Nights
Venice - 2 Nights
Florence - 2 Nights
Wengen - 4 Nights
Lucerne - 3 Nights
Paris - 4 Nights
London - 4 Nights.

Due to the above itinerary, I had to take an appointment for Schengen Visa at the Italian Embassy, since its equal with Switzerland in number of max days and it comes first.

The appt date they have given me is 23rd August. In emails they have mentioned they should process in 5 days. That would mean I would get my Visa around 3/4th September. I think thats too close to call. I have heard a couple of cases where they mentioned during submission it would take 3 weeks.

So I inquired with Switzerland and they have given me appointment dates a few days earlier than Italy. They state on the website it takes 5-15 days and would recommend we apply 3-4 weeks in Advance. This gives me the comfort factor.

Please note, I can book all my train tickets only after I get my VISA. Accommodations are done at Flexible Cancellation rates

Due to this I am thinking of reducing my number of days in Italy so that Switzerland becomes max number of days and I can apply there.

I also thought of reducing a day from Lucerne.

This gives me an option of exploring some other options of Amsterdam and Bruges. Ive seen the photos and read up on both...and both seem equally appealing....Bruges slightly more...But I understand Bruges is smaller and might require fewer days..

This would make my new itinerary like this :

My current itinerary looks like this
Rome - 3 Nights
Venice - 2 Nights
Wengen - 4 Nights
Lucerne - 2 Nights
Paris - 4 Nights
Amsterdam - 2N & Bruges 1 N OR Amsterdam 3 N OR Bruges 3 N
London - 4 Nights.

So fellow forummers : Please help me decide

1) Is 2 days in Amsterdam enough? Can it be skipped altogether for some other time in favor of Bruges.
2) I absolutely want to do Bruges, but not sure if I should do 1 N or all 3.
3) None of the above. I should not cancel Florence for these 2. No competition. Apply @ Italian Embassy and hope for the best.

Thank you for reading such a long post...and thank you for replying in advance. :
Neerav is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 12:30 AM
  #2
 
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You have such a short time in each location that I would go to Florence before taking long train rides out of the way to Amsterdam and Bruges.

You do not have any travel time built into your itinerary and are going by number of nights which means fewer days for sightseeing (i.e., 3 nights = 2 days). At least Florence is between Rome and Venice so on the same train route.

If your itinerary is not firmed up until after you get your visa how does any embassy know how much time you'll spend in each country? Why not go for the Swiss visa no matter where you decide to visit?
adrienne is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 12:38 AM
  #3
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Thanks adrienne for the reply...

I forgot to mention that the itinerary I listed above was the order of my travel too..

So I am going in this order
Rome-Venice-Florence-Wengen-Lucerne-Paris-London.

In my option I am going in this order

Rome-Venice-Wengen-Lucerne-Paris-Amsterdam-Bruges-London

so they are actually not out of the way.

Regards to Visa, we need to show the itinerary in advance and the max number of days in a location decides where I need to apply...I understand people can change itineraries after getting Visa...but that would mean hotel changes, availability in new location etc etc...also there is a small risk of me being question when I start my Schengen trip in Italy that why I haven't taken Visa from them when I am going to stay there maximum or from Swiss Immigration Officers, that why I took from them when I was going to stay maximum in Italy.
Neerav is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 12:53 AM
  #4
 
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Posts: 11,240
Lucerne Amsterdam Bruges Paris London makes more sense.

Personally I don't like Bruges but that is a minority opinion. Given your timing maybe it makes more sense to skip Amsterdam all together since you would have barely any time there with all the train time. You would normally need a minimum of 2 full days there just to see the museums, nevermind seeing something of the city and it's atmosphere.
hetismij2 is online now  
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 01:23 AM
  #5
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Hi,

Thanks for your advice....

But can you please let me know why

Lucerne Amsterdam Bruges Paris London is better?

Than

Lucerne Paris Amsterdam Bruges London ?

From what I understand there are no direct trains from Lucerne to Amsterdam and one with 1 change via Paris.

And there are direct trains between Paris - Amsterdam , Amsterdam-Bruges (one change in Brussels) and Bruges - London (one change in Brussels)
Neerav is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 01:42 AM
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I'd rather break up some of these trips than spend 8+ hours on a train (Lucerne to Amsterdam).

I really think you have too many locations for 14 days. You're spending a lot of time on trains. 1 week out of 2 will be spent getting to places and that takes a lot of time. You have to count more than the train time as you need to be at the train station before your train leaves and allow for about 1/2 hour on each end to get to and from the station plus packing and unpacking, checking in and out of hotels.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 01:43 AM
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I didn't mean to say that you would spend a week getting to places but that 7 of the 14 days will be travel days, taking more than half a day in most cases.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 02:00 AM
  #8
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Yeah adrienne I understand what you are saying...but this is a once in a life time opportunity for us to travel like this while we are young....I have a 2 yr old kid and for this trip we are keeping him with his grand parents ...

So I have to get the most out of this trip...

As such I dont think its that hectic...there are 7 travel days...but the whole trip is 23 days

Thanks again for your advice..!
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