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Insights needed! 2 weeks Travel Itinerary Europe :)

Insights needed! 2 weeks Travel Itinerary Europe :)

Jun 19th, 2019, 02:45 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2019
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Insights needed! 2 weeks Travel Itinerary Europe :)

Hello,
I thought of posting this to get helpful insights on places to visit in Germany this October to have a good travel itineray. Me and a friend (both female) are visiting Europe this coming Sept. 28 until October 12. Our first entry will be France planning on arriving morning of the 28th Sept. then Belgium - Netherlands on the first week then the rest will be Germany. Since we will be coming out of The Netherlands to Germany, the sequence of places that I thought of will be Cologne - Frankfurt - Rothenburg ob der tabuer - nuremberg - Munich. Munich will be the departure city by October 12 back to Singapore.

My question are as follows:

(1) which of the following places will be the best base for us as we don't want to always drag our luggage everytime we go to one place to another. We are more into visiting castles, old towns but a little city site seeing won't hurt as well.
(2) Preferred mode of transportation in Germany - Trains or buses
(3) Other acitvities, recommendation for food and lodging?

We are still on the planning stage so the sequence of countries and cities to be visited can still be changed. Any inputs or recommendation will be much appreciated!

Thanks!
Trender03 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2019, 03:39 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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What are your plans for visiting France? If you're not going to visit it, why fly into it?

Where are you planning to stay in Belgium and The Netherlands? You say you can change the sequence of cities, but you haven't specified any yet.

It's way too early to be recommending food and lodging, since you haven't decided where you're going yet, and haven't proposed a budget.

It seems you need to hunker down and do more research at this point. We can't be of much help until you have a better plan in place.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 19th, 2019, 04:51 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for the feedback. Here is roughly we have in mind.
Sept 28-30(AM) - Frances (2 days Paris Hop on hop off Tours)
Sept 30(Afternoon) - October 1(PM) transit to Bruges, Belgium stay for the night.
October 1(PM) - transit to Antwerp then Amsterdam (base for Netherlands)
Oct 1(PM) - Oct 4(AM) - Stroll in Amsterdam, canal cruise, visit Holland - zaanse schans windmills, river cruise.
Oct 4(Afternoon) - Transit to Cologne, Germany via train (is it worth spending the night here? Or just go straight to Frankfurt?)
Oct 5(AM) - Cologne to Frankfurt where we will be spending the night.
Oct 6(afternoon) Oct 11(AM) - Places that we want to cover if possible Rothenburg ob der tauber, Nuremberg, Wurzburg.
Oct 11(AM) - Travel to Munich and to a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle and go back to Munich. Spend the night to Munich until our flight departure on Oct. 12 (PM).

Many thanks!
Trender03 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2019, 05:29 AM
  #4  
 
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Ok, that's a bit better.

1. Do not bother with the Hop-on Hop-off tour(s) in Paris. They are overpriced and will really slow you down. Paris is an extremely walkable city and has a superb metro/bus system. If you feel the need for an overview of the major sights, take the Batobus. Study this - https://www.ratp.fr/plan-metro - to learn about public transportation. Also, I hope you realize that your first day in Paris will essentially be lost to jetlag and logistics, leaving you practically no time at all to enjoy the city.

You'll also have virtually not time at all in Bruges or Antwerp.

Not sure what "visit Holland means," but with your meager time in Amsterdam, I doubt you'll have time for much wandering the country.

I haven't been to Cologne for a long time, but have pleasant memories of it. Others can tell you if it's "worth" spending the night. I will say that few things could propel me to spend a night in Frankfurt.

I'll let the Germany experts weigh in on the rest of your trip, but in general it seems like a lot of rushing around to me.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 19th, 2019, 05:39 AM
  #5  
 
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Sorry -- but that is not a very good itinerary. Unfortunately you are brand new so can't post again until tomorrow, so read what others will post today and then come back with some new ideas/questions.

Breaking down your itinerary, here is what you have:

Sept 28 to 30 afternoon Paris. You will only have one full day plus a morning free in Pais. The 28th will be mostly immigration, transfer, jet lag, and maybe some light sightseeing.

Sept 30 Afternoon train to Bruges stay the night. One morning in Bruges October 1 (just a few hours in Bruges)

October 1(PM) - Oct 4(AM) Amsterdam (2.5 days in Amsterdam)

Oct 4(Afternoon) - Transit to Cologne, Germany via train (is it worth spending the night here? Or just go straight to Frankfurt?)
Oct 5(AM) - Cologne to Frankfurt where we will be spending the night. (Either a few hours in Cologne or no time in Cologne at all depending on which you choose)

Oct 6(afternoon) Oct 11(AM) - Places that we want to cover if possible Rothenburg ob der tauber, Nuremberg, Wurzburg.

Oct 11(AM) - Travel to Munich and to a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle and go back to Munich. Spend the night to Munich until our flight departure on Oct. 12 (PM). (You won't have time for Munich plus a trip to Neuschwanstein. First you have to get to Munich which will take 2+ hours from Wurzburg. Then castle is a 2 hours drive from Munich)
janisj is online now  
Jun 19th, 2019, 05:59 AM
  #6  
 
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You could take a direct train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, leaving at 14.38 getting to Frankfurt 18.30. Move the Wurzburg etc bit forward a day and add the extra day onto Munich if the castle is a must see, or add it to either Paris or Brugge if either of those is a must see.
It will still be rushed and a lot of trains and one night stops but skipping Cologne altogether may be best for your plans.
Alternatively stay the night in Cologne and push on from there only changing trains in Frankfurt. You can stay by the station in Cologne and the Dom is right outside the station.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2019, 06:12 AM
  #7  
 
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I try not to click on such threads because they enervate me (a very common word in French but very rare in English -- look it up if you are not familiar with it).

You need to eliminate some of your cities for a trip of just two weeks. Pay attention to StCirq for her advice about Paris.

You should also tell us what your prime interest is. With your "and the rest in Germany" statement, it sounds like Germany is your real destination. Cut out some of the other stuff. There will be other trips. You can come back and see things you missed next time.
kerouac is offline  
Jun 19th, 2019, 06:34 AM
  #8  
 
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Ditto to suggestions provided above.

You need to think of each destination in terms of nights. For example, 4 nights in a city equals to (roughly) 3 days of sightseeing. Your underestimating how long it takes to check out of lodging, get to train station (or airport), transit and then on the opposite end of navigating from train (or airport) and checking in to the new city's lodging.

Your current plan does not have time for you to get lost - and even with smartphones, you will get lost - much less for other incidentals that may pop up during the course of travel.
Travel_Nerd is online now  
Jun 20th, 2019, 03:12 AM
  #9  
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Thank you all for the feedback and suggestions. I know that my current itinerary needs alot of work. Me and my friend will be working on it this weekend. We'll be doing a lot of research of each country.

I've already been to Paris and Belgium some years ago but only for a few days because of work so I decided to get the hop on and hop off tour instead due to time constraints plus I'm alone. But this time I will try the advice of @StCirq regarding Paris. We are interested to see the major tourist spots in each country. I might suggest to my friend to skip Belgium and head straight to Netherlands.



@kerouac - It's true that our main destination is Germany. But I can't get enough of Paris so that's why I want to go back plus it's my friend's first time to go there as well.

What we'd like to do is to visit the historical places, castles and old towns in Germany. I've read about the Romantic Road but I don't think it's ideal if we will use trains as a mode of transportation.

Plus considering our time left to do it all.



@janisj @Travel_Nerd - Thank you for your inputs. i will take note of it all while updating my itinerary.



@hetismij2 - Thanks for the tip, I will note that one when updating my itinerary as well.
Trender03 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2019, 03:16 AM
  #10  
 
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<< But I can't get enough of Paris so that's why I want to go back plus it's my friend's first time to go there as well. >>

Then it should be clear that you should rearrange your itinerary to allow you to spend several days there and enjoy it.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 20th, 2019, 08:07 AM
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Trender03 View Post
Thank you all for the feedback and suggestions. I know that my current itinerary needs alot of work. Me and my friend will be working on it this weekend. We'll be doing a lot of research of each country.

I've already been to Paris and Belgium some years ago but only for a few days because of work so I decided to get the hop on and hop off tour instead due to time constraints plus I'm alone. But this time I will try the advice of @StCirq regarding Paris. We are interested to see the major tourist spots in each country. I might suggest to my friend to skip Belgium and head straight to Netherlands.



@kerouac - It's true that our main destination is Germany. But I can't get enough of Paris so that's why I want to go back plus it's my friend's first time to go there as well.

What we'd like to do is to visit the historical places, castles and old towns in Germany. I've read about the Romantic Road but I don't think it's ideal if we will use trains as a mode of transportation.

Plus considering our time left to do it all.



@janisj @Travel_Nerd - Thank you for your inputs. i will take note of it all while updating my itinerary.



@hetismij2 - Thanks for the tip, I will note that one when updating my itinerary as well.
The two of you need to discuss what your goals are. You aren't going to see every major tourist attraction in each city (or country). Germany alone is huge with hundreds of major attractions.

You don't have to cover everything on one trip - you will be back. And keep in mind that tourist crowds may need to be navigated at some (all) of these sights. I went to Neuschwanstein in 2013 with an advanced time entry ticket - and the place was a madhouse. It has onky gotten worse. And I was disappointed with it. I'm glad I saw it, but definitely do not need to go back. Not trying to steer you away from seeing it or any other attraction - I am one of those that believe that if you will regret seeing it and is YOUR major goal, to include it. But, you also need to be realistic, too.

Less is more. If you have not ever actually been able to spend that much time in Paris and Belgium because you've only been there for work, then spend your time in Paris and Belgium, especially if that is also your friend's goal. If you would prefer to cover Paris and some of Germany, then do so. But you aren't going to have enough time to see every city you listed in the time you have. You're going to see train stations - which, look all about the same.

ETA: if your goal is to go to Bavaria THIS October, you are planning to go right smack dab in the middle of Oktoberfest, which is held in Munich. This WILL make the Munich area extremely crowded - including Neuschwanstein and Munich itself. You may even be hard-pressed to find lodging this late (I'm serious) and if you do, you may pay a hefty premium per night. If this area is a goal that cannot be budged, plan to end your trip in Munich as Oktoberfest concludes on Oct 6th, assuming your travel end date is truly Oct 12th.

Last edited by Travel_Nerd; Jun 20th, 2019 at 08:16 AM.
Travel_Nerd is online now  
Jun 20th, 2019, 07:38 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Travel_Nerd View Post
The two of you need to discuss what your goals are. You aren't going to see every major tourist attraction in each city (or country). Germany alone is huge with hundreds of major attractions.

You don't have to cover everything on one trip - you will be back. And keep in mind that tourist crowds may need to be navigated at some (all) of these sights. I went to Neuschwanstein in 2013 with an advanced time entry ticket - and the place was a madhouse. It has onky gotten worse. And I was disappointed with it. I'm glad I saw it, but definitely do not need to go back. Not trying to steer you away from seeing it or any other attraction - I am one of those that believe that if you will regret seeing it and is YOUR major goal, to include it. But, you also need to be realistic, too.

Less is more. If you have not ever actually been able to spend that much time in Paris and Belgium because you've only been there for work, then spend your time in Paris and Belgium, especially if that is also your friend's goal. If you would prefer to cover Paris and some of Germany, then do so. But you aren't going to have enough time to see every city you listed in the time you have. You're going to see train stations - which, look all about the same.

ETA: if your goal is to go to Bavaria THIS October, you are planning to go right smack dab in the middle of Oktoberfest, which is held in Munich. This WILL make the Munich area extremely crowded - including Neuschwanstein and Munich itself. You may even be hard-pressed to find lodging this late (I'm serious) and if you do, you may pay a hefty premium per night. If this area is a goal that cannot be budged, plan to end your trip in Munich as Oktoberfest concludes on Oct 6th, assuming your travel end date is truly Oct 12th.
Yes, i do appreciate what you are saying. I will defintely discuss this with my friend and will streamline the itinerary. Not planning to see the whole Germany in one trip but somehow be able to get in one of the Bavaria towns. Will post the updated itinerary next week once we figured out what we really want to see for this trip. Thanks alot for the advices!
Trender03 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2019, 02:26 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Trains are the best for visiting cities and German trains are Wunderbar - so nice and fast. booking fares early online can yield a big savings- www.bahn.de/en - www.seat61.com has loads on booking own tickets; general info also BETS-European Rail Experts.

If traveling Frankfurt area to Rothenburg you can take the Castle bus via Heidelberg and a castle-rich river valley to Rothenburg - trains are fine but require 2-3 changes and do not take the scenic route.
PalenQ is offline  
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