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Just Returned From 2 Months In Europe

Old Apr 23rd, 2003, 04:19 PM
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Just Returned From 2 Months In Europe

At some point I'll get around to posting a trip report. In the mean time I wanted to thank all of the people on the Fodors Message Boards for the great advice. It's definitely better than any guidebook could be and it made my trip so much better and less stressful.

We went to Paris, London, Brugge, Brussels, Heidelberg, Munich, Budapest, Vienna, Venice, Siena, and Florence, all by train travel. If I can help anyone else that has questions about any of this I'd be happy to.

Thanks again for all of the help and advice!
Jessica
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 05:58 PM
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Hi Jessica, any advice on must-sees/do's in Venice will be gratefully appreciated!
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 06:21 PM
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Hey,
Nice to see you had a nice trip. I am going in 10 days for a month long trip. I'll be traveling all by train. How hard are the trains to use in Europe? Any advice on the trains would be great. Thanks.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 06:36 PM
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Hi jessica, I will make a trip like yours to paris, belgium, rome, venice, frankfurt by train during about 3-4 weeks, please tell me about your trip, any advice for me.
- how to buy train tickets, is it required to buy 1-2 days in advance
- how about hotels at the price under 40 USD for single?
----- I appreciatedfor your reply
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 07:26 PM
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I LOVED Venice, it was definitely one of my favorite cities that we went to. I was a little concerned about getting lost in the tiny streets but we managed just fine. If you like are definitely go to the Peggy Guggenheim collection and of course, the Academia. We waited about an hour to get in, they suggest afternoon visits so you might want to try that. We spent a whole day on the island of Murano and I think that was a mistake. It's very fun to see and buy the glass but it doesn't require more than 3 hours in my opinion. Obviously St. Marks's Sqaure with the Basilica and the Doge's Palace are an absolute must. You can buy a Venice museum card which will get you into just about everything BUT the Academia for about 15 Euros and it's well worth it if you're planning on going to museums. Other than that I think that Venice is such a beautiful and charming city to wander around and soak up the atmosphere. Venetians are absolutely charming! Oh, one last tip, the water taxis can be very confusing so if you're planning on using these make sure you know exactly what you're doing and you have the right tickets etc. Have a great time!
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 07:39 PM
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college travelers:
The trains in Europe are really easy to use. I'm from Texas so I knew nothing about traveling on trains before this and I did just fine. We used a railpass with supplements for Eurostar and Thalys at first and then at the end of the trip we bought tickets (after we'd used all of the days on our railpass). You can buy tickets ahead of time or you can buy them right before you leave. All of the train stations will have departure boards that list the times of train departures on a 24 hour schedule. If you're going to a small town then you'll need to look carefully in the departure list because likely it's a stop between two major cities. If you're not carrying a train schedule with you then you might want to check the departure board before you leave the station to get an idea of when you can leave for your next destination (whenever that may be). We were traveling in off season so our trains were not that crowded at all. We only got seat reservations one time, the rest of the time we were told that we didn't need them. We never locked up our luggage but I did bring a lock and cable with me thinking that I would.
In Italy they often do not announce the station that you're arriving in so you have to be aware of where you are so you don't miss your stop. Also, in bigger cities there are several different train stations so be sure to get off at the right one.
Other than that my suggestion is to get some great food and wine before you get on the train and sit back and enjoy the scenery. Have a great time!
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 07:48 PM
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khoalh: You don't have to buy train tickets one or two days in advance, most of them sell up to an hour in advance and many of them you can get tickets right before the train leaves. That said, there are usually pretty long lines so it might be better for your peace of mind to buy your tickets when you arrive at the train station. Keep in mind though that if you buy your tickets ahead of time that's going to lock you into a schedule so if you want to be very laid back you might not like that.
As far as hotel rooms go, I was traveling with my brother and all of our rooms were doubles. It was also the off season so rooms were cheaper. You might want to check Rick Steves guidebooks or website and see if he has any advice on hotel rooms. Lonely Planet books or website might be helpful as well. Have fun!
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