Month in Europe

Jul 10th, 2014, 09:08 AM
  #1  
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Month in Europe

Good morning, all!

I am graduating from college this December and heading off to law school in the fall (2015). My mother, a returning student, is graduating in May and then going to pharmacy school in the fall. To celebrate (and to give ourselves a brief break before graduate school) we want to spend a month traveling through Europe. We have never been so this is completely foreign to us. We are on limited time and we both know it will be a while before we are able to travel again so we would like to see as much as possible. We both love museums and the rich historical aspects of Europe.

We have no idea how we would like to structure this trip, but we know we would like to see Paris, Rome, and Athens. Anyone have suggestions on where else we should go and in which order? This would likely be a July trip.

Thanks!
arianabusby is offline  
Jul 10th, 2014, 09:27 AM
  #2  
 
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How much time do you have for the trip?

Are you aware that Rome and Athens will be VERY hot then - paris may be hot as hell (I've been there in June when it was 95) or it may be moderate.

As for other places - depends on the time you have - and budget (Switz and Scandinavia are shockingly expensive).
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 10th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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Rome and Athens will likely both be VERY hot - and Paris can be hot as hell (95 and humid) or pleasant. So I would pick 1 or 2 more places with more moderate weather - perhaps someplace in Germany or Austria. (Switz or Scand would be great in the summer but are shockingly expensive).

For a first visit I would not do more than 5 places in a month - esp since these are not cities you can see in 2 days - and you will probably want to do day trips from them.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 10th, 2014, 09:46 AM
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While your cities will be hot, I, as a fellow history lover, don't think you should substitute somewhere else just because of that unless you or your mother has a health problem connected with the heat. Get to the tourist spots early in the day--which you should do anyway so you can see them before the tour buses arrive--then take a siesta or go to the museum, and go back out in the evening. Check to see what would be open in the evening--many places are open late.

I'd do Athens for a day or to and perhaps somewhere else in Greece (Delphi, Corinth), Italy (Rome, Napoli, Florence and Venice), then Paris. It would be great to get to London, but I don't think you've got time. I'd do them in that order as it follows history to some extent. I'd spend most of the time in Italy.

This would be rushed in a month, but I think it's doable. Fly Athens to Rome and Venice to Paris, and train between the other cities. Fly into Athens and out of Paris, if possible. If not, fly to Venice, see Venice, then fly to Athens. That's a little unhistoric, but it would be a lovely place to start a European tour in a way that Athens is not.

In any event book open jaw tickets.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Jul 10th, 2014, 10:23 AM
  #5  
 
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Paris, Rome, and Athens. Anyone have suggestions on where else we should go and in which order?>

For a month let's see - Land in Paris - 4 days or so there is enough for the average traveler but maybe you want to do a day trip to say nearby Versailles, Chartres and its famous Gothic cathedral or to Reims for a nice town with tours thru its famous Champagne Houses all easy done by train from Paris

or even to the D-Day Beaches in Normandy - ony a few hours away by rail.

Then how about Switzerland for a week or so - I'd go to the fantastic Jungfrau Region around Interlaken - right on a main rail line from Paris to Italy (assume you are going by train - cars in most big cities these days are liabilities - cars are great for rural areas but not useful in cities like you mention)

Then head to Venice, Florence and Rome - say ten days

Then either fly to Greece or take an overnight ferry there from Italy's Adriatic Coast, from any of several ports.

spend the remaining time in Greece - Athens area and the islands. Fly home from Athens.

There are obviously multiple various routing but one I outline is in a fairly straight line.

If going by train check out these superb IMO sites: www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - download the latter's free online European Planning & Rail Guide for lots on trains and suggested rail oriented itineraries; if traveling for a month or so on trains and taking several separate trips look into the Eurailpass, which for folks over 25 is automatically first class only:

My decades of incessant European train travel tells me to suggest to someone on the trip of a lifetime and someone traveling with an older (not ancient just not a youth) adult to consider first class - the benefits of which is a more relaxed ride - seats are bigger, there are fewer in each train car, easier to stow luggage, etc.

If you want to speed things up a bit land in London and take the Eurostar trains to Paris in about two hours after spending 4 days or so in London.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 10th, 2014, 10:48 AM
  #6  
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Thank you everyone for your responses! I should add that my mother is rather young (just 41!) and very fit and agile. No special accommodations are necessary for her.

I should also add that we are very interested in checking out Barcelona if we can find a way to sensibly add it to the itinerary.

Thank you all again. You're suggestions have been so helpful.
arianabusby is offline  
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