Itinerary and Planning Help

Old Aug 21st, 2016, 09:30 PM
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Itinerary and Planning Help

Hello! So me and a friend( both female 19y) will be traveling through Europe for 8 weeks( December 12 - February 5), starting and ending in Milan, which was the cheapest option considering where we are from.
We Will most definitely be buying an Eurail Global pass for 2 months unlimited, because we really like the freedom you get to make changes to your itinerary as you go.
But I still want and need your help with our ideas of where to go and our budget, because we would like to spend as low as possible without sleeping in a dumpster. But we are completely fine with hostels and buying food on the street and supermarkets.

Ideally we would like to go to
Slovenia( Ljubljana, Bled)
Croatia( Zagreb, Split,Hvar)
Austria(Vienna, Salzburg, Hallstatt)
Czech Republic( Praga, Cesky Krumlov)
Poland( Krakrow, Wroclaw, Auschwitz)
Germany(Berlin!, Munich, Nuremberg, Dresden, Hamburg, Fussen)
The Netherlands( Amsterdam, Delft, Utretch)
France( Lyon, Bordeaux, Tours, French Rivera, Annecy, Carcassone)
Spain( also Portugal, but we know it is to far away so we will probably just end up going to Barcelona)
Switzerland(? not sure because it is really expensive
Italy( Florence, Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre, Sorrento)

These are just ideas I would really apreciate your thoughts and comments on it; it is not definite and can be changed according to what you say. We would also like suggestions on places to add and/or omit! and what would your ideal 8 weeks winter Europe itinerary be!!!
Please! all comments are appreciated!
Also what are the best places to spend Christmas and New Years that wont break our bank?
We are both history buffs!(especially WW2) and like pretty places and cool places with lots of stuff to see and do!

Thank you very much!!
marionrogers is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2016, 10:24 PM
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Honestly, our 20 year-old son who lived with us in Europe (Vienna) before leaving for university in the US would not attempt an itinerary like yours.

You have 35 individual destinations plus 1 entire country on your itinerary. That gives you approximately 1.5 days per destination, not counting travel time.

Please borrow some guidebooks from the library, or research online each of your destinations. Map out the time it takes to travel between each destination and what you might like to do in each place. Also consider that winter travel means shorter daylight hours, and around the holidays, closures. Then, return to the forum with a more thoughtful itinerary.
fourfortravel is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2016, 10:45 PM
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Two months sounds like a lot but it isn't if you are trying to hit nearly 40 destinations in a dozen countries.

Scale waaaaaay back, maybe even cut your list by 1/3 to 1/2.

Travel from place to place eats up a LOT of time and you don't want 60 days of train stations/trains/buses.
janisj is online now  
Old Aug 22nd, 2016, 12:58 AM
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Your trip is firmly set in the winter, so short days as fft says, with summer resort areas like Sorrento and Cinque Terre being very limited in their winter offerings. Generally, that time of the year is more suited to a city, unless you go further South, say to Andalucia or Sicily.

Get out a map of Europe and if you have to fly in and out of Milan, set out a logical circular itinerary taking you as janis says, to no more than half your target places.

A week at a time in 8 locations will often get a better deal for accommodation than a night here and there and will still give you the chance to day trip, such as Auschwitz from Krakow, only an hour away by bus.

There are train buffs on here who will comment on how useful or otherwise a Eurail Global pass is. In the meantime, have a look at for probably the best rail advice and timetables.
Rubicund is offline  
Old Aug 22nd, 2016, 01:17 AM
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Just an idea for the Barcelona part, given your interests, budget etc.

Stay in great value Hostal Orleans in the medieval and cutting edge Born district.

Beautiful El Born IS history and lots of cool places with lots of stuff to see and do.:

Here you have the Catalan culture center with excavations of Barcelona when the city and the region lost their independence to Spain in 1714:

Here is narrow Carrer Montcada with the Palace houses, the most important street in the city from the 13th Century:

The beautiful Gothic Santa Maria del Mar Church, built 1329-1384:

Passeig del Born is the heart of the Born district:

Plenty of bars and cool nightlife:

The history museum with the remains of the more than 2000 year old Roman Barcino is close by. Lies underneath the Placa del Rei where queen Isabel and king Fernando received Columbus after his first journey to the Americas in 1492:

You are also close to Placa San Felipe Neri with its tragic Civil War history. This is as Barcelona as it gets:

Lots of budget food options. Restaurante Bar Navia is next door to Hostal Orleans, open almost 24/7. Here you can have the excellent and hearty soup or stew of the day (Sopa/Cocido del día) for some 3-4€. A three course lunch with wine/beer/whatever included is 11€. Very popular with locals. Groups of friends often come here after midnight for a glass and a bite, or even a full meal:

Very popular and affordable self service seafood restaurant La Paradeta is 200 meters from the hostal:

And you are close to the excellent Santa Caterina food market. Fabulous produce, and you can have a luxcury picnic for just a few euros:

There are also some tapas bars/restaurants in Barcelona that keep the Spanish tradition of free tapas with every glass in the bar:
kimhe is offline  
Old Aug 22nd, 2016, 04:28 AM
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There are a couple of overall problems with your idea:

Eight weeks may sound like a lot but it's only 56 days and you have listed 35 (at lest places). It almost always take one half day to get form one city to the next. So by the time you subtract 18 days for travel you have 38 days for 35 places. This is one day per place. If this is a smaller town one day may work, but for lager towns or cities you need at least 2 or 3 days to see much of anything.

You are traveling in the middle of winter, which means that not only will it be cold most places, with chilly temps. cold rain or snow, very short daylight hours and grey/dreary skies. Outdoor activities will be limited due to weather and not open the longer hours they are in summer. Also there is a much greater chance of travel delays due to bad weather.

You have not taken into account that every couple of days you will be moving to a new country, with a new language, new culture, new foods/meal times, new local transit systems, new ways of doing things.

Granted that this is a great opportunity to visit a number of different places and really expand your horizons but I think you will find that what you have here is a VRY expensive blur that is frustrating, exhausting, and will leave you with nothing of a blur of train rides.

Our 19 year old DD went to europe two years ago with a couple of friends and in 6 weeks they went to 8 cities (plus a couple of day trips) and felt that they should have had more time almost everywhere - missing a lot of things they wanted to see. And thee were 3 girls that hd traveled in europe with their parents when younger and spoke basics of 4 foreign languages between them. They also did not have such a tight budget, although they did not do any shipping, had limited student nightlife (inexpensive pubs or clubs) and stayed in modest hotels so they could get AC in the heat of summer.

So I would start at zero. Make a list of the places you want to go, list what you want to see there and figure out how long that will take. If you can;t figure out the sights you need to do a lot more research (including logistics and costs) before your plans ar emore than pie in the sky.

One note: not sure of your currency but do figure out a basic budget including:

1 air in and out of Milan
2 cost of eurail pass
3 daily expenses (if you look at the student guides: Let's Go Europe or the Thorn Tree section of Lonely Plant. The given basic number seem to be about 70 euros per day per person, which means at least $4500 each just for lodging, food, in-city transit (but mainly getting around on foot). It may not cover the more expensive major tourist sights.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 22nd, 2016, 05:42 AM
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You can add Netherlands and Luxembourg.

But yourself a map of Europe. Pin each location you want to go to.

Estimate travel time to each location. Add waiting time. Add time for check in and check out. See what is left.
Whathello is offline  
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