Help with European Itinerary

Old Feb 13th, 2024, 06:54 AM
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I should clarify. I was commenting on Italy
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 07:01 AM
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Oh -- we weren't posting about the same thing at all
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Traveler_Nick
No it'll be a holiday schedule. Basically like most other Sundays.
Oh, I知 not familiar with Sundays? Does public transport have lesser running times on Sundays?
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by wiegord
Oh, I知 not familiar with Sundays? Does public transport have lesser running times on Sundays?

Are you asking about London or Italy???
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj
No - New Years is fine. The transport in London basically shuts down late Christmas Eve and resumes partially on Boxing Day. Also museums and such will be closed on Christmas Day and fewer will be closed Jan 1st. You will definitely want to pre-book Christmas lunch/dinner - and far ahead for some venues.

The problem with NY Eve/Day: there is a big NY Eve fireworks show along the river near Westminster and a large section of central London is fenced off for ticket holders, then NY Day there is a parade which does cause crowded public transport/congestion.
Thank you for this info.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 07:28 AM
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Before discussing all kinds of details, it might be a good idea to tell us something about your interests and priorities.

Are you interested in History, archeology, medieval bulidings, castles, art galleries, technical museums, open air museums, ethnographc museums, concerts, theatre and opera performances, modern architecture, nature and outdoor things, caves, gorges, stunnning landscapes, glaciers, alpine peaks, fun parks, winter sports, battlefields, top restaurtant, panoramic touristic trains.............?

You can then define the places you plan to visit according to your priorities.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by wiegord
Oh, I知 not familiar with Sundays? Does public transport have lesser running times on Sundays?

Many people don't go to work . Kids don't go to school. So ya they reduce the number of buses and trains.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 11:52 AM
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I guess you don't do public transport much. Even in Sydney all the public transport has a timetable that is different for Sundays and public holidays (fewer services), so you have to plan your trip better if travelling on a Sunday. It's the same deal in most of Europe. In many countries you will also find shops are shut on a Sunday (Germany for instance), although you will often find that restaurants are open. In some places museums, galleries, etc are closed on a Monday, so do your planning carefully. Your plans are too high-level so far to be able to task about specifics here, but if you get a good guide book you will find all this sort of nuts and bolts stuff will be covered.

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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 01:09 PM
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Looking at guidebooks should help you figure out which places appeal to you most. Try the library, op shops, or a bookshop. Older guidebooks are fine, hotels and restaurants come and go but the main attractions, layout of the city, public transport etc will be the same.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj
Are you asking about London or Italy???
Generally, whole of Europe. Thank you.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by lavandula
I guess you don't do public transport much. Even in Sydney all the public transport has a timetable that is different for Sundays and public holidays (fewer services), so you have to plan your trip better if travelling on a Sunday. It's the same deal in most of Europe. In many countries you will also find shops are shut on a Sunday (Germany for instance), although you will often find that restaurants are open. In some places museums, galleries, etc are closed on a Monday, so do your planning carefully. Your plans are too high-level so far to be able to task about specifics here, but if you get a good guide book you will find all this sort of nuts and bolts stuff will be covered.

Lavandula
Yes, unfortunately not familiar with public transport much. I will keep that in mind. Thank you.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by KayF
Looking at guidebooks should help you figure out which places appeal to you most. Try the library, op shops, or a bookshop. Older guidebooks are fine, hotels and restaurants come and go but the main attractions, layout of the city, public transport etc will be the same.
What I知 doing is scouting Instagram for the Europe tour as well. I will need to collate everything.

Thank you.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by neckervd
Before discussing all kinds of details, it might be a good idea to tell us something about your interests and priorities.

Are you interested in History, archeology, medieval bulidings, castles, art galleries, technical museums, open air museums, ethnographc museums, concerts, theatre and opera performances, modern architecture, nature and outdoor things, caves, gorges, stunnning landscapes, glaciers, alpine peaks, fun parks, winter sports, battlefields, top restaurtant, panoramic touristic trains.............?

You can then define the places you plan to visit according to your priorities.
Will do. Once, I致e mapped out my itinerary then I値l ask help for specifics. I will have to work out with the numbers of days of stay in one area then once, I have it, I will update the group of it and ask for opinions.

Thank you.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 04:59 PM
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Wouldn't your itinerary reflect your interests?
Me, I wouldn't plan a trip to Kosovo or East Timor or Tajikistan, and once I had flights and hotels lined up, ask if any of my interests would be satisfied there.
Just because you're not going there, but rather Europe, doesn't change the point. IMHO, there's a profound difference between France and Slovakia.
There are some "dull" areas of Germany and France, not to mention Switzerland, UK and?
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tomboy
Wouldn't your itinerary reflect your interests?
Me, I wouldn't plan a trip to Kosovo or East Timor or Tajikistan, and once I had flights and hotels lined up, ask if any of my interests would be satisfied there.
Just because you're not going there, but rather Europe, doesn't change the point. IMHO, there's a profound difference between France and Slovakia.
There are some "dull" areas of Germany and France, not to mention Switzerland, UK and?
LOLI will map out the countries/cities/regions that interest me then see what places to see there. The number of places to see will reflect the number of days we will be spending there.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 05:41 PM
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Very exciting trip; I am jealous. There are a few things you need to figure out. Longest I did europe has been 3 weeks this past Nov - Dec for Christmas markets.

1) Do you want to see the big cities or are you also interested in small ones? This forum loves villages, for example, but I say for a 1st time trip to Europe, focus on the large cities. There are plenty of those for 50 days.

2) Duration per place. You will be tempted to stay in some cities for a night or 2 to maximize the number of places you see. Don't. Never plan less than 3 nights and up to 5 or 6 nights. You can have day trips if you want. This will reduce waiting time on travel, hotel and luggage and will also allow you to rest.

3) Make sure you schedule rest or very light days in between. I would say every week or so you should have a lazy day to rest. Otherwise you will be so tired and won't enjoy or be in shape for latter part of the trip.

4) Make a list of all the cities you may want to visit. Prioritize them in order of importance and assign a duration for each. Then figure out how to get between them.

5) Transportation. Figure out if car or train is cheaper. In winter you may not want to drive in some spots. Also look into Train passes as they should save you money given they are made for long trips like yours.

5) Are you interested in Christmas markets? If not skip Germany. If yes then Germany becomes an option. Strasbourg and Vienna are amazing cities and second to none during Christmas markets. In Germany itself I have been to Heidelberg (awesome but small) and Nuremberg which had a great market but city was not worth visiting over other larger cities.

Here are the list of places I would recommend.

France:
1) Paris (my fav city as I speak French, love the food and the city is beautiful) is a must and I would say 5 nights minimum. You could spend a couple weeks just going from tourist to tourist spot. Take a day trip to Versaille which is worth it.
2) Strasbourg is great for the Chrismas market as I mentioned but also a very beautiful city. These are the only cities I have been to in France. Riviera in winter is weird IMO as it is a summer destination. English is common in all service places so no worries.

Italy:
1) Venice: people would say 2 nights but I disagree. I think 3 nights as you could get lost in it for weeks. The most magical city in Europe and there is nothing else like it. This is a must do.
2) Florence: 3 nights if you are into museums otherwise 2 nights is enough. You can do a day trip into Tuscany for the 3rd. I think it's a beautiful city but a bit overrated. People love it though.
3) Rome: I have never been to it but it's a must. I have been doing research as it's on my to do list and 4 nights is probably good and the minimum.

I don't think Milan is worth it based on research and talking to others only. Never been anywhere else but I would say south would have better weather but not sure worth it either. Naples and Sicily are the attraction but too far. Surprisingly English is not as common in Italy as the other major tourist countries but you will be ok.

Austria:
1) Vienna is a magical city. So beautiful and white and clean. Also some nice day trips from it. On top of that it is a great Christmas market city. Been to like 9 of them and did not see all of them. Should be on your list.
2) Salzburg is a beautiful small town. Probably the smallest city I would recommend. It is 2.5 hours by train from Vienna and borders Germany if going there. English is common

Belgium:
1) Brussels does not have a lot of fans around here but I loved it. Such a vibrant city. The Christmas market (Belgium not famous for them) had a great atmosphere.
2) Bruges is a big favourite here but I was disappointed. The Christmas market was tiny and clearly more a tourist thing than a real tradition. It can just be a day trip from Brussels. Pretty town but I think it is overrated. I visited in winter only. Amazing restaurants though! English is common

Prague: you did not mention this but it is another magical city. It is extremely touristy but for a reason. Been here in summer and winter and it's always great. It has a Christmas market but it's nothing special. This is the second "city frozen in time" IMO after Venice. Really worth it and is about 4 hours by train from Vienna. You could also take a day trip to Dresden which is 2.5 hours by train. It is a beautiful city and has a good Christmas market. 3 nights and add a 4th if visiting Dreden. Cheapest city among the large touristy ones so that helps. English is spoken everywhere.

Amsterdam: Beautiful city with lots of museums and it's just nice to walk. I would say 3 nights and is 3 hours by train from Brussels. Everyone speaks English.

I am planning to Visit Lisbon and Madrid this summer so I researched them and they are beautiful. They are all the rage with my friends lately. The weather will be better as they are south. I was told 3 and 4 nights respectively. I don't plan to visit Barcelona but I have a friend who has traveled all over Europe and Barcelona is her favourite city.

I have never been to London but my wife loved it. There are also several Premiere league clubs there so a good chance to watch a soccer/football match. Your kid probably watches EPL due to language and it is the best league in the world.

The above should be more than enough for 50 days. They also represent most of the largest and most beautiful/popular cities and capitals in Europe.

As others have said look up these places on a map to get idea of the route you could take and then just Google train and car times. If you plan it right you should not spend more than 4 hours on a train. Anymore than that is too long and look at planes or other places.

One last thing; layer and dress warm. It is going to rain and snow in spots. It hit -10 (coldest) in Virnna while I was there. The rest were mostly 0-5 and up to 9-10 a couple days. This is excluding Italy as was there in summer only.

Hope this helps. Have fun!



Last edited by Travel_To_Eat; Feb 13th, 2024 at 05:48 PM.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Travel_To_Eat
Very exciting trip; I am jealous. There are a few things you need to figure out. Longest I did europe has been 3 weeks this past Nov - Dec for Christmas markets.

1) Do you want to see the big cities or are you also interested in small ones? This forum loves villages, for example, but I say for a 1st time trip to Europe, focus on the large cities. There are plenty of those for 50 days.

2) Duration per place. You will be tempted to stay in some cities for a night or 2 to maximize the number of places you see. Don't. Never plan less than 3 nights and up to 5 or 6 nights. You can have day trips if you want. This will reduce waiting time on travel, hotel and luggage and will also allow you to rest.

3) Make sure you schedule rest or very light days in between. I would say every week or so you should have a lazy day to rest. Otherwise you will be so tired and won't enjoy or be in shape for latter part of the trip.

4) Make a list of all the cities you may want to visit. Prioritize them in order of importance and assign a duration for each. Then figure out how to get between them.

5) Transportation. Figure out if car or train is cheaper. In winter you may not want to drive in some spots. Also look into Train passes as they should save you money given they are made for long trips like yours.

5) Are you interested in Christmas markets? If not skip Germany. If yes then Germany becomes an option. Strasbourg and Vienna are amazing cities and second to none during Christmas markets. In Germany itself I have been to Heidelberg (awesome but small) and Nuremberg which had a great market but city was not worth visiting over other larger cities.

Here are the list of places I would recommend.

France:
1) Paris (my fav city as I speak French, love the food and the city is beautiful) is a must and I would say 5 nights minimum. You could spend a couple weeks just going from tourist to tourist spot. Take a day trip to Versaille which is worth it.
2) Strasbourg is great for the Chrismas market as I mentioned but also a very beautiful city. These are the only cities I have been to in France. Riviera in winter is weird IMO as it is a summer destination. English is common in all service places so no worries.

Italy:
1) Venice: people would say 2 nights but I disagree. I think 3 nights as you could get lost in it for weeks. The most magical city in Europe and there is nothing else like it. This is a must do.
2) Florence: 3 nights if you are into museums otherwise 2 nights is enough. You can do a day trip into Tuscany for the 3rd. I think it's a beautiful city but a bit overrated. People love it though.
3) Rome: I have never been to it but it's a must. I have been doing research as it's on my to do list and 4 nights is probably good and the minimum.

I don't think Milan is worth it based on research and talking to others only. Never been anywhere else but I would say south would have better weather but not sure worth it either. Naples and Sicily are the attraction but too far. Surprisingly English is not as common in Italy as the other major tourist countries but you will be ok.

Austria:
1) Vienna is a magical city. So beautiful and white and clean. Also some nice day trips from it. On top of that it is a great Christmas market city. Been to like 9 of them and did not see all of them. Should be on your list.
2) Salzburg is a beautiful small town. Probably the smallest city I would recommend. It is 2.5 hours by train from Vienna and borders Germany if going there. English is common

Belgium:
1) Brussels does not have a lot of fans around here but I loved it. Such a vibrant city. The Christmas market (Belgium not famous for them) had a great atmosphere.
2) Bruges is a big favourite here but I was disappointed. The Christmas market was tiny and clearly more a tourist thing than a real tradition. It can just be a day trip from Brussels. Pretty town but I think it is overrated. I visited in winter only. Amazing restaurants though! English is common

Prague: you did not mention this but it is another magical city. It is extremely touristy but for a reason. Been here in summer and winter and it's always great. It has a Christmas market but it's nothing special. This is the second "city frozen in time" IMO after Venice. Really worth it and is about 4 hours by train from Vienna. You could also take a day trip to Dresden which is 2.5 hours by train. It is a beautiful city and has a good Christmas market. 3 nights and add a 4th if visiting Dreden. Cheapest city among the large touristy ones so that helps. English is spoken everywhere.

Amsterdam: Beautiful city with lots of museums and it's just nice to walk. I would say 3 nights and is 3 hours by train from Brussels. Everyone speaks English.

I am planning to Visit Lisbon and Madrid this summer so I researched them and they are beautiful. They are all the rage with my friends lately. The weather will be better as they are south. I was told 3 and 4 nights respectively. I don't plan to visit Barcelona but I have a friend who has traveled all over Europe and Barcelona is her favourite city.

I have never been to London but my wife loved it. There are also several Premiere league clubs there so a good chance to watch a soccer/football match. Your kid probably watches EPL due to language and it is the best league in the world.

The above should be more than enough for 50 days. They also represent most of the largest and most beautiful/popular cities and capitals in Europe.

As others have said look up these places on a map to get idea of the route you could take and then just Google train and car times. If you plan it right you should not spend more than 4 hours on a train. Anymore than that is too long and look at planes or other places.

One last thing; layer and dress warm. It is going to rain and snow in spots. It hit -10 (coldest) in Virnna while I was there. The rest were mostly 0-5 and up to 9-10 a couple days. This is excluding Italy as was there in summer only.

Hope this helps. Have fun!
Wow!!! Thank you so much for the detailed insights. It will surely help me a lot in my planning.

The longest that we have travelled was 4weeks and so this is a milestone for us for my big 50. Big trip for the big number. 😉
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tomboy
Wouldn't your itinerary reflect your interests?
Me, I wouldn't plan a trip to Kosovo or East Timor or Tajikistan, and once I had flights and hotels lined up, ask if any of my interests would be satisfied there.
Just because you're not going there, but rather Europe, doesn't change the point. IMHO, there's a profound difference between France and Slovakia.
There are some "dull" areas of Germany and France, not to mention Switzerland, UK and?
This is an excellent point. Usually one decides on things and/or places they want to see, which ones have priority and how long that will take. Then they plan an itinerary based on the places they wish to see.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Sassafrass
This is an excellent point. Usually one decides on things and/or places they want to see, which ones have priority and how long that will take. Then they plan an itinerary based on the places they wish to see.
We've had quite a few threads recently, this one included, where the OPs just jump the gun and buy flights without first figuring if it makes sense or if they even want to go around where they booked (the recent person who bought RT out of Bulgaria comes to mind here, too). I will never understand that.

With that having been said and while I do not have any advice for the OP of this thread that has not already been given. I look forward to your updates once you've spent time fine tuning and paring down.

Last edited by Travel_Nerd; Feb 13th, 2024 at 06:35 PM.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Travel_Nerd
We've had quite a few threads recently, this one included, where the OPs just jump the gun and buy flights without first figuring if it makes sense or if they even want to go around where they booked (the recent person who bought RT out of Bulgaria comes to mind here, too). I will never understand that.

With that having been said and while I do not have any advice for the OP of this thread that has not already been given. I look forward to your updates once you've spent time fine tuning and paring down.
Yes, it could be frustrating for some but for us, all of our International and domestic travels are like that and it works well.
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