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Itinerary Help for France/Germany/Italy for how long?

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May 31st, 2011, 02:57 PM
  #1
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Itinerary Help for France/Germany/Italy for how long?

I'm taking a trip with 3 friends and we are all in are mid twenties. We have 2.5 weeks planned to go to Europe in September (the non-tourist season) and are having trouble planning how many countries and cities to see. We generally want to backpack and take the EuroPass and at least see two of the countries. What is the best route for this trip? Cheapest/easiest cities to fly into/out of for open jaw?

We generally want to see Rome, Vennice, Pisa, Paris, and Berlin, but are open to ideas/suggestions.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! We are all excited about the planning of this trip but just can't seem to put all the pieces together.
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May 31st, 2011, 04:04 PM
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Where are you flying from? Are you in Europe, the US, etc...
Have you been to Europe before?

That info will help everyone give better advice.
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May 31st, 2011, 04:21 PM
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Fly into Paris and home from Rome and give both at least 4 days each.
That leaves you 12 days for other destinations. I would skip Berlin and hit the Berner Oberland in the Alps, then Venice, then Tuscany and on to Rome. Sep is still high season, especially in Italy.
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May 31st, 2011, 05:38 PM
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You are in for a surprise if you think September will be devoid of tourists. It is always tourist season in the capitals of Europe.

You have 5 cities listed and with about 18 days, you are able to spend 3-4 days in each, including travel time. That is a fair amount of time, but won't allow for much in the way of smaller, or non-city sights.

Whether you should start in Paris or Rome, or other cities depends, probably, on the pricing and availability of flights. It is always surprising to see people ask for the cheapest cities to fly into without stating where they are coming from ---?????


Berlin is a bit of an outlier - are you willing to take an overnight train between Venice/Berlin AND Paris/Berlin? If not, you will use up an entire day for each of those legs. Paris to any of the other cities is good long ride even without Berlin, so you might need to consider one overnight train ride or slip something else in as a stop.

Munich, on the other hand, would fit nicely into a general route involving Rome-Venice-Paris.

More info please tony
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May 31st, 2011, 06:15 PM
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How old are you - if under 26 then you should seriously look at the Eurail Youth Selec t4-Counry Railpass - valid in, of course, France, Italy and Austria (if going to Italy from Munich) = and be sure to not be swayed by a FodroOligarch mantra that railpasses are always a BAD idea - nothing could be farther from the true IMO - the youthpasses are an especially great option for you for at-will fully flexible travel to hop any train anytime - anyway for lots of great info on planning a rail and or railpass trip I always hype these IMO fantastic sites - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.
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May 31st, 2011, 06:16 PM
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September is very much high tourist season in Europe.
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Jun 1st, 2011, 12:10 AM
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Unfortunately we are all 26 and can't receive the YouthPass. We would be flying out of Seattle, WA. We also each have a budget of 2,000 to 3,000 after air fair.

I have been to Amsterdam, Ireland, Scotland, England, while the others have traveled through Spain as well as England.

We all agreed that overnight train rides would be acceptable. Thanks for the tips about it being busy, some people had mentioned that it would not be as touristy but at least now we won't be overwhelmed when we see so many people. We are all prepared to do plenty of walking on this trip. Thanks for the continued advice about this trip, do you have any suggestions for how many days in each city?
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Jun 1st, 2011, 02:31 PM
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Well my experience has been quite different from St Cirq - and I highly value her expertise but perhaps she is judging it from southern France where she spends lots of time I think - but in many large tourist meccas things IMO clear out or become much less crowded after Sept 1st when Europeans go back to school and work from their often long August breaks. The change in Paris itself IME is dramatic with lines at places like Louvre and Eiffel Tower being much much less. September to me is an ideal time for nothern Europe - the usual funky IME fall wet weather has yet to set in days are still long and the tourist hoards are dramatically reduced - even on places like the French Riviera if not the spanish coast where Brits come by the plane loads for a taste of summer they often it seems do not get at home!
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Jun 2nd, 2011, 12:01 PM
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Thank you all for the advice given. I will continue to look into a good route from France to Italy or vice verse. I do know that we will see: Paris, Versailles, Pisa, Rome, and Venice. From there we will have to check out others such as Pompeii, Normandy, or any other city if time allows.
Now we just have to figure out what we want to do on each day.
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Jun 2nd, 2011, 02:12 PM
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there are the Artesia overnight trains running between Paris and Venice, Florence and Rome if you want to relocated quickly - otherwise go thru Switzerland and put up in the fantastic Interlaken (Jungfrau) area - to me the very essence of the Swiss Alpine Wonderland etched in your minds' eyes - smack on a main rail route between Paris-Switzerland-Italy - about half way to Rome or Florence or Venice.
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