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Looking For Travel Suggestions -- Europe By Train

Looking For Travel Suggestions -- Europe By Train

Feb 1st, 2013, 10:24 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Looking For Travel Suggestions -- Europe By Train

Repost From Travel Tips Forum ---
Some background -- Wife and I live in Florida, USA -- Both recently retired. In our early 60's, reasonably healthy/fit. Have traveled to Ireland every year since 1999. Have also made brief visits to Cotswold's (4 days), Amsterdam (3 days), Edinburgh (3 days), Paris (2 days), Bruges (2 days) and Brussels (1 day). Have traveled via train in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Paris to Bruges (Thalys) and in Belgium. Wife is 'Iffy' about the Eurostar, though, as she has 'Tunnel' issues -- even in cars. Not opposed to occasionally renting a car for SOME of the trip -- if appropriate.

Have been thinking about flying into Europe and 'Sampling' major destinations by train. Looking for route, itinerary and time table ideas/suggestions/advice: i.e., "Fly into Hamburg, spend 2 days, train to ... ???"
Will also be incorporating 4-6 day visit to Ireland, so flight will Definitely be Open-Jaw / Multi-City.
Have NO set preconceptions -- Include Denmark/Norway/Sweden? Spain?
I'm thinking of 20+ days -- ON THE GROUND -- Budget of $&-10,000 -ish.
Am thinking Vienna, Venice, Rome, Turin, Switzerland, Berlin and Budapest are likely candidates. Don't expect to see EVERYTHING -- looking for a 'Check The Box' SAMPLING, to get a feel as to what 'Grabs' me, once I'm there -- if that makes sense???

Appreciate any and all help.

Bob

P.S. Looking for less of a 'How To' than I am looking for a 'WHERE To' ...




Southam on Feb 1, 13 at 12:31pm


Basic train research:
www.seat61.com
www.bahn.com
You can Google to find the train sites for individual countries, helped by Seat 61's advice.


janisj on Feb 1, 13 at 12:44pm


You'll really want to re-post over on the Europe forum. There are tons and tons and TONS of threads about train travel.

seat61 is a fabulous site . . .
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 10:51 AM
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Have been thinking about flying into Europe and 'Sampling' major destinations by train. Looking for route, itinerary and time table ideas/suggestions/advice: i.e., "Fly into Hamburg, spend 2 days, train to ... ???">

Well check out the yes fantastic www.seat61.com site and also www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - for answers to your "where to" suggested rail itineraries download that latter's free online and superb IMO European Planning & Rail Guide (http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id2.html).

When are you thinking of traveling - this would make a difference in my advice - weather and seasons are factors in several places - such as Switzerland and northern Europe - dank and dark with very short winter days, etc.

I've had zillions of railpasses over some decades and always found them a great deal but it depends on how many train travel days and where you will use them that may tell whether a pass if a good deal for you or not.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 12:17 PM
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What time of year?
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 1st, 2013, 02:13 PM
  #4  
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Sorry... Meant to say September, though we could do almost ANY month, except June.

Could even post-pone THIS trip until Spring if that is deemed advisable.

Both of us are Retired, so ...

Bob
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 10:39 PM
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Does the 20+ days on the ground include or exclude the 4-6 days in Ireland?

"Am thinking Vienna, Venice, Rome, Turin, Switzerland, Berlin and Budapest are likely candidates." This is definitely a "sampler" of big European cities. If your "sampler" list is generally what you want to do, you should decide how many hours you want to spend sitting on trains and consider flying between some destinations.

No one can tell you how much time you need to "Check the Box" on a place. (Even your "sampler" list would not be my sampler list.)
Jean is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2013, 05:57 AM
  #6  
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Time on ground listed would EXCLUDE Ireland. I'm looking for suggestions / recommendations on WHICH destinations to see.

As in, WHERE would YOU go?

Thanks,

Bob
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2013, 06:36 AM
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I'm not sure how helpful some else's list would be but here's mine for 20 days. A sampling of Italy.

Trieste, Venice, Bologna, Verona, Ravenna, Parma
adrienne is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2013, 07:09 AM
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Hi Bob
We are returning to Europe this March for our second Europe adventure. Our itinerary in 2010 included Paris and Barcelona. The usual tourist places we covered - loved the Musee D'orsay, a 'free' (paying a small recommended fee at the end of the 2 hour walk) to our guide, a Parisian of the Right Bank, and Notre Dame; Montmartre; we stayed near the tree lined Canal St Martin, the Eiffel Tower, etc....and just soaking in the atmosphere...and loving every bit of it. Barcelona was great...especially the Sagrada Familia, all things Gaudi inspired, the La Ramblas, tapas eating, stumbling on the best gelato, we stayed in la barceloneta (fishing village) on the beach, long walks on the promenade, fantastic!!
We also drove and spent four nights in the Loire valley....beautiful...even my daughters age 6 and 9 were inspired by the chateaus they saw...Rome we stayed 3.5 weeks and still did not see everything...the Colosseum, Palatine, long walks, Vatican City (we attended the canonisation of Australia's first saint, Mary Mckillop), Pantheon, just a sampling...other places Lake Como, Nice, Monte Carlo for a day visit, London...
This trip we will revisit Paris, Barcelona, drive to San Sebastián, Madrid, Seville, Granada, Lisbon, Amalfi, Athens, Crete, Santorini, Tuscany, Venice...it's a big trip but we are doing it over 4 months...can't wait!!
Have fun on yours!
rg12345 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2013, 11:51 AM
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See if you can find a copy of "France on the TGV." It has good suggestions for itineraries by train.
Underhill is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2013, 05:07 PM
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Two printed rail guides that may be helpful:

http://www.amazon.com/Europe-Eurail-...+rail+journeys

http://www.amazon.com/Europe-Rail-De...+rail+journeys
Jean is offline  
Feb 4th, 2013, 10:50 AM
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Sorry... Meant to say September, though we could do almost ANY month, except June.

Could even post-pone THIS trip until Spring if that is deemed advisable.>

Well IMO September is a fine fine month - summer tourist mobs have dissipated most places and the boiling heat of southern Europe is also gone - that said I would start such a trip in northern Europe as the weather there IME can deteriorate rather quickly as that month drags on.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 4th, 2013, 12:38 PM
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Scandinavia IME can be awfully rainy even in early September so where you go should consider the weather as well. if going north the earlier in September the better - even late August here is fine as they do not have the tourist crush in southern Europe at that time.
PalenQ is offline  
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