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Need advice on a two-months Europe itinerary

Need advice on a two-months Europe itinerary

Old Jul 14th, 2022, 12:05 PM
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Need advice on a two-months Europe itinerary

Hello everyone,
After an almost two-year long lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to treat myself to my first-time trip in Europe. I'm planning to leave for almost 2 months (1 month & 3 weeks to be exact).I had been planning this for a long time prior to the pandemic, but I had different live events preventing me from leaving.

Here is the itinerary I came out with so far. I would like your input on it. Is that too much ? Are certain places not worth it ? Any suggestions of things to add ?

- London, UK (5 days), including daytrip to Bath

- Brussels, Belgium (1 day)

- Bruges, Belgium (2 days)

- Amsterdam, Netherlands (4 days), including daytrip to Rotterdam

- Berlin, Germany (4 days), including daytrip to Potsdam

- Prague, Czech Republic (3 days)

- Vienna, Austria (2 days)

- Budapest, Hungary (3 days)

- Salzburg, Austria (2 days)

- Munich, Germany (3 days)

- Verona, Italia (2 days)

- Milan, Italia (2 days)

- Geneva, Switzerland (3 days)

- Paris, France (4 days), including daytrip to Versailles

Thank you in advance for your assistance !

Oleonius is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2022, 12:47 PM
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How are you getting around? Are you including travel time in those days in each place?
Train from Amsterdam to Berlin will take the best part of a day, flying will be no quicker with getting to and from airports and hoping your flight goes.
Work out travel times, think it terms of nights not days - 2 nights=1 day.
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Old Jul 14th, 2022, 02:38 PM
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Sorry but that is a REALLY hectic itinerary (was going to say miserable but it isn't that bad)

As Hetismij2 says to get 2 days in a place requires 3 nights, 3 days = 4 nights, etc.

So to cover your list is::
- overnight flight to London 1 night
- London, UK 6 nights, including day trip to Bath
- Brussels, Belgium 2 nights
- Bruges, Belgium 3 nights
- Amsterdam, Netherlands 5 nights, including daytrip to Rotterdam
- Berlin, Germany 5 nights, including daytrip to Potsdam
- Prague, Czech Republic 4 nights
- Vienna, Austria 3 nights
- Budapest, Hungary 4 nights
- Salzburg, Austria 3 nights
- Munich, Germany 4 nights
- Verona, Italia 3 nights
- Milan, Italia 3 nights
- Geneva, Switzerland 4 nights
- Paris, France 5 nights, including day trip to Versailles

Which does just fit into your 1 mo+3wks. But including day trips you will be in transit 20 days So 51 days total and 20 of those days you will be sitting on a train or bus.


You have really generous amount of time -- why not slow down just a bit, enjoy being there, and not try to cover half of Europe.
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Old Jul 14th, 2022, 04:44 PM
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Everyone travels differently but I would HATE hopping around all over the place so fast. If I had 7 weeks to travel, I'd pick 7-10 places. You have 18 on your list. And you haven't allowed travel time. When you have 2 days here then 2 days there, you need to subtract the time you are taking a plane or train between the two. Typically you can expect to "lose" at least a 1/2 day every time you change cities (checking out of hotel, transpo to train station or airport, flight or train trip, transpot to next hotel, check in next hotel, etc.).

Also I have more than a few "why there"? Switzerland is an incredible country, but I sure wouldn't spend the 3 days in Geneva! For example. I wonder how you chose the places you did?

Happy planning. It should be a wonderful trip (if you cut that list in half -lol).
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Old Jul 14th, 2022, 04:55 PM
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I would reverse the length of stay between Brussels and Bruges. There is enough to see in Brussels to take up two full days, while I consider Bruges predominantly a strolling city that can be done within the day that the important sights are visited.

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Old Jul 14th, 2022, 06:41 PM
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I disagree with Michael a bit -- Yes, Bruges is small and can be 'seen' in a few hours. But it is the evening hours when the masses of day trippers and tour buses are long gone that the city blooms. Plus sites are pretty crowded so trying to squeeze them in to one full crowded day is unsatisfying IMO.
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Old Jul 14th, 2022, 11:27 PM
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I think you have listed the big ticket cities. But a country is not a city. I suggest you should visit the countryside. Have a look at world UNESCO sites in Europe and consider visiting those outside the big cities.

What are your interests? Have you incorporated these in this holiday.

I too would "see more and travel less". The amount of time you will spend in trains/planes/taxis is incredible.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 12:09 AM
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Perhaps I just missed it, but when is your trip?

I agree with others that you are hitting some major cities, and seeing few of the real gems in terms of smaller towns, villages, etc. Of course, even with seven weeks, you can see only the highlights of a few cities or countries, but your choices seem almost random and somewhat unusual, IMHO, for a first trip to Europe. Maybe you have specific things in mind in your choices though, and it should suit your interests.

Would you mind sharing your interests and what you want most to see and do for a first European experience? Historic sites, archeological sites, Art, Food, Museums. Adventure, Cafes, perhaps some lakes & mountains, things related to literature? People can give opinions about places to include or drop based on what you are wanting.

It is good that you are including some day trips from the cities. In general, I don’t like one night stays, but think about staying overnight in some that are a bit far for good day trips. Bath deserves one night. I agree with Bruges being better at night than during the day, but IMHO, does not need two days, unless you want to meander outside of town, bike along a canal, etc. and other places are, also IMHO, nicer for that. There are places near Amsterdam and Paris, for example, that are easy day trips and make sense to do that way.

Great opportunity! Enjoy!
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 03:37 AM
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I think this is too much too attempt at a very rapid pace. While locations are you "5 star" places? I would try to cut out at least two or three places so you can add more time to your priority stops.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 07:57 PM
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I think if you cross off 3-4 from that list and distribute those days to the other stops, it would be much more enjoyable trip. Prioritize places you are really crazy to see, skip the ones that are one the list but without a burning desire to see them.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 08:33 PM
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I agree with some of the others that this seems more like a 'laundry list' or darts thrown at a map than an actual itinerary.

London for example -- 4 days one of which will likely be a jet lagged fog filled with getting settled/acclimated. What sites are you hoping to see while there? London is ENORMOUS with more world famous sites than several of your other cities lumped together, and with just 4 days you won't see many of them.

Or 3 free days in Paris -- that's not many for a first visit.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 09:13 PM
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Too little time for Vienna. I would cut out Munich and Geneva for starters. But I guess this is based on train connections as much as anything.

I understand the impetus for moving around. I think it's ok to spend as little as three nights in a major city. That will be enough to walk around and get a taste for a possible future visit. But always try to think about your trip, not in days, but how many nights you will spend in a given place.

There are some super cheap intra European airlines that can help you hop over otherwise difficult legs of your journey, so you might want to check out those possibilities to save you time and effort as you cut out some of your destinations.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 10:19 PM
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Depending on your age and energy, the trip is doable. My first return to Europe in 1967after my student year was a 10 week trip that started in Berlin (after an overnight ferry/train trip to Wolfsburg to pick up a car) going through Austria, traveled around Yugoslavia, and then round northern Italy down to Florence, back through Switzerland to Chamonix, the route des Grandes Alpes to Nice, travel from the Côte d'Azur to the Pyrenees, on to the Dordogne, to the Loire valley, the Mont Saint-Michel, to Paris and then a drive to Antwerp to turn in the car for shipment to the States. I still have fond memories of that trip.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 11:37 PM
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That was with a car though Michael, and in 1967 when there was a lot less traffic, no LEZs, no high prices for fuel, parking, tolls etc. We have no idea what OP means to use to get around.
We don't even know when they are planning to make this trip.
Flying within Europe is not a great idea for many reasons, and often saves little if any time over taking a train. The trains do need planning and booking though, just as flights do.
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Old Jul 16th, 2022, 04:26 AM
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I did a lengthy and fast-paced train trip when I was in my late fifties and enjoyed it very much, although I travel more slowly these days. My stops tended to be closer together, and there were night trains for the longer legs back then, but I wouldn't say this trip can't or even shouldn't be done. I did build in a few longer stops, but it was a ten month trip (plus I had to pick up some visas along the way). Itineraries here: Rails Around the World 2004 -- Wilhelm's Words
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Old Jul 16th, 2022, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
Flying within Europe is not a great idea for many reasons, and often saves little if any time over taking a train. The trains do need planning and booking though, just as flights do.
We took a flight from Paris to Malaga that was dirt cheap and easy. I can't possibly believe that a train is a better decision.

The days on the OP's itinerary do not add up to 7 weeks,there is at least an 8 day gap. So there is a lot of wiggle room, even keeping the number of destinations.
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Old Jul 16th, 2022, 10:53 AM
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Personally, I don't see anything wrong with flying within Europe. We have done that on several vacations, and we have also used trains and buses. One problem with trains is that you are responsible for your own luggage. That means you have to carry your luggage on to the train, and lift it and put it up on the racks. I am sure this is easy for younger people but not necessarily for older people. I have my husband to help me, but if it were only me, I don't think I could physically handle it. Unless I only use carry-ons, but so far I haven't learned to pack that light.
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Old Jul 16th, 2022, 11:02 AM
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Of all the beautiful places in Switzerland, why on earth Geneva?
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Old Jul 16th, 2022, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by KarenWoo View Post
Personally, I don't see anything wrong with flying within Europe. We have done that on several vacations, and we have also used trains and buses. One problem with trains is that you are responsible for your own luggage. That means you have to carry your luggage on to the train, and lift it and put it up on the racks. I am sure this is easy for younger people but not necessarily for older people. I have my husband to help me, but if it were only me, I don't think I could physically handle it. Unless I only use carry-ons, but so far I haven't learned to pack that light.
There is quite a bit of luggage space at floor and waist level on the trains. Even standing room only trains had room for my luggage. I am too old to lift a 22"case into the overhead space and had no problems storing my luggage this past May.
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Old Jul 16th, 2022, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
That was with a car though Michael, and in 1967 when there was a lot less traffic, no LEZs, no high prices for fuel, parking, tolls etc. We have no idea what OP means to use to get around.
We don't even know when they are planning to make this trip.
Flying within Europe is not a great idea for many reasons, and often saves little if any time over taking a train. The trains do need planning and booking though, just as flights do.
This year was the first year we did not rent a car while traveling in Europe. I agree that the ZTLs are a pain, but as to pricing gas prices then were much higher in Europe than in the States although the difference is that the dollar was much stronger. Traveling through Portugal in 2019 was no problem, with little traffic on the road. The same was true in 2018 when traveling through the French Alps, the Côte d'Azur and the Provence. It's around the cities that traffic gets bad, and if the OP is interested mainly in cities, car travel is less appealing. I would say the same thing when traveling in the States if the primary interest would be 3 weeks to see Boston, NYC, Philadelphia and DC.
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