Need help: Paris, Swizerland, Rome

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Mar 13th, 2016, 09:35 PM
  #1
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Need help: Paris, Swizerland, Rome

Hi,
I am planning a surprise trip for my husband's 33rd birthday to Europe in May.
Wish list : Paris city, Interlaken & Mount Titlis Switzerland, Venice & Rome. anything else are fantastic bonuses.
We have a total of 22days, starting from 2nd May 2016.

I am at total lost as to where to start planning.
Transportation wise, I would love for us to experience both train and driveing in Europe.
I am open to suggestion of flying in from Paris or Rome. Although since he really really really wanted to visit the colosseum, I am hoping we can land in Rome and see it first.

For starter, can please help to suggest what transportation to take to which city? where do we drive and where does it make better sense to take train or even another flight?

He usually plan our trips so any help I can get to plan is greatly appreciated.
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Mar 13th, 2016, 09:53 PM
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22 days is nice -- but not very much for Paris, Rome, Venice AND Switzerland. You will have 19.5 days after accounting for the flights to/from Europe. And then you'd lose another 2 or 3 days traveling from place to place.

You could drive from Venice to Interlaken - plan on about 7 hours. However the drop off fees will be very high.

You'd should probably book open jaw in to Rome, home from Paris. Train from Rome to Venice, drive from Venice to Interlaken, train from Interlaken to Paris. Fly home.

If it was me, I'd just do Paris, Venice and Rome, and forget about having a car.

But you could still squeeze it all in . . .
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Mar 13th, 2016, 10:21 PM
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I would fly into Paris ( I prefer a shorter flight going .. ) and fly home from Rome.
I would allow 4-5 days each for both Paris and Rome , Venice 2-3 max The rest of the journey I would take via train..
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Mar 14th, 2016, 01:59 AM
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There is a direct Paris - Interlaken train (until May 8th): Paris dp 18.23 - Interlaken Ost ar 23.53

Venice - Interlaken is faster by train (6 1/4 hrs) than by car: Venice dp 8.12, 14.20, 15.20, 16.20; 2-3 train changes.

In May, Titlis is best reached from Lucerne. Spend 1 night at Lucerne on your way to or from Paris
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Mar 14th, 2016, 04:27 AM
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Going to see something you really, really want to see right off the bat after traveling overseas is IMO not a good idea. I usually can hardly remember what I did on the first day.
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Mar 14th, 2016, 08:37 AM
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I presume you have not looked at interested destinations in depth as well as how they are connected?

If you spend a couple of hours per site, you can get an idea of how much time you care to spend there. You might also find similar attractions you might be able to remove from your itinerary to make rooms for something else you would rather have done.

Google.com search and www.rome2rio.com gives you a quick initial grasp of how you can move from one place to another before having to delve into numerous web sites to actually make final plans.

Once you understand what each site really offers YOU, not only by the name recognition, along with how well they are connected, you can quickly prune out many unrealistic itineraries competing for your attention right now and concentrate only on a few options meaningful to YOU that you can actually achieve within your constraints.
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Mar 14th, 2016, 08:50 AM
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Interlaken and Mt Titlis don't compute - Mt Titlis is near Lucerne and Interlaken is near the Jungfrau Massif and the whole area here is IMO much more awesome than Mt Titlis - I'd take a train to Interlaken and then go up into the hills to stay in a small town like Wengen - a perpetual favorite of Fodorites - or Grindelwald where you will be eyeball to eyeball with soaring glacier-girdled mountains hovering over lush valleys - toylike trains and thrilling gondolas go off in all directions - hiking paths from super easy to difficult - this is where I advocate a first-time Swiss traveler head to and cars are useless above Interlaken though you can drive to Grindelwald above that they are banned and you must take trains or gondolas.

The fabulous Jungfrau Region: https://www.google.com/search?q=jung...w=1920&bih=955

Mt Titlis is neat but pretty much a solitary mountain - the Interlaken area also offers sweet boat trips on the lakes bookending Interlaken and you can day trip by train or car to lovely Lucerne.

You may want to drive in Italy though driving there in large cities is tough as large swaths of town centers are off-limits to private vehicles and many city hotels may not offer parking on premises.

But to drive from the Swiss border to Venice may be neat as you can go via the Italian Lakes District - Lake Garda - gorgeous Lake Garda being right on the way and also Verona is a nice stop. I'd return the car in Venice and take the train to Florence and Rome - though you could drive if you want to go thru Tuscany and hit some hill towns however.

If going by train from Paris to Interlaken area the Swiss Transfer Ticket may be great for you - take a French TGV to Basel and then the ticket lets you take any train from Basel to any place in Switzerland and then from that place to any border station - like the last one before Italy - Domodossola usually. The drive from there goes along gorgeous Lake Stresa - then cut over to Brescia and onto Verona and Lake Garda - return your car in Venice or some nearby town. that will get you a good taste of driving in a country where driving is a passion - trains are best though for where you want to go in Switzerland.

For lots on Swiss trains and passes like the Transfer Ticket check www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.
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Mar 14th, 2016, 11:05 AM
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Really you should consider the Swiss Transfer ticket + Half-Off Half-Off Card - with the Half-Off Card you get 50% off everything that moves, including such expensive trips as the Jungfraujoch train, on which the Half-Fare Card would save more than you bought it for under this Swiss Transfer Ticket + Half-Off Half-Fare Card. See sites I mention above for details.
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Mar 14th, 2016, 12:56 PM
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You don't say if your 22 days includes travel from the US. Don't forget that you travel overnight from here so would lose a day.

When I travel with something high on the list of things to see, I often save that for last so I'm not seeing it under the influence of jet lag. Something to look forward to, although you can't knock Paris at the end!

You have long distances to go - count a day of travel for Paris to Bernese Oberland as suggested above (and I agree) or anywhere in Switzerland, another for Switzerland to Venice and another for Venice to Rome.

Depending on how the days actually stack up, I would start planning with 5 days in each Paris, Switzerland and Rome, and 3 in Venice. Look at what you would like to do in each place and adjust the days in each accordingly.

For me, I would stick with the train, or perhaps drive between Venice and Rome if driving is that important, driving through Tuscany on the way. This would be a place you could add a night if you wanted, but you'd have to take away from somewhere else. You shouldn't drive the car into Rome though - drop it another town and continue on in by train.

It's hard to make definite recommendations without knowing exactly how you counted your 22 days. Have fun planning though - that's one of my favorite parts of a vacation for me as I start to dream of it all!
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Mar 17th, 2016, 09:42 PM
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Hi, Everyone.
thank you very much for all the pointers. will take this weekend to look into each and everyone of your feedback and act on it (hubby is away so i can plan this in peace) Thank you very very much.

janisj:- sorry i wasnt clear. the 22 days excludes the days we travel into Europe & the day we need to fly off (because normally we cant do much on the day of flight, anyway).

justineparis , StCirq & kwren :- will look into your suggestion on flight in and out. you are right, longer flights are very tiring & we should keep the places we really wanted to see when we are well rested.

greg :- you caught me:- i panicked and have not really spend time planning. so i reach out for help first to see where to start. feeling much better now with all these feedback. thnk you :_

PalenQ:- i like the idea of focusing 1 place in Switzerland. driving through Switzerland to Italy sounds soooo niceee. Note to self: check the drop-off rate for cross border. and thank you so much for the Swiss train trip- i am sure it would be mighty useful.

neckervd - thank you for the train suggestion

Again, thanks, everyone!!
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Mar 18th, 2016, 04:06 AM
  #11
 
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I know you are excited about a 'surprise' but I think you are making amistake--and you really don't have a whole lot of time to plan this trip.
I think you need to surprise your husband with this idea and plan it together, especially since you seem to have so very little experience in planning--or in the destinations you want to see.
I assume (big word) that you made the 3 original destinations with him in mind because he has talked about them.
Have either of you been to Europe previously? If you have then you probably have a budget in mind--or is budget of no matter?
Not wanting to rain on your surprise parade, but 3 weeks is a LONG time to plan for. I would want support--and I would also enjoy the camaraderie of the planning together.
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Mar 18th, 2016, 07:13 AM
  #12
 
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For the places you say you are going cars will be a problem once getting to those places - Italian cities do not allow private vehicles in many city centres - cars are great for countryside like driving thru Tuscany but not for Swiss alpine areas where they are also banned or in large cities like Paris. re-think that - maybe the extra drop-off charge will change your mind.
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Mar 18th, 2016, 10:16 AM
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Again a good place to drive would be in say Tuscany - from Rome drive via Orvieto - great hill town - and then cut over thru the heart of the Tuscan hill town areas- driving thru the hills to say Siena then over via Chianti-en-Greve (Chianti wine country and the city has several places to tour and sip) to Florence, returning your car there or if not into Florence drive all the way to Venice and then west via Lake Garda and the Italian Lake District, returning your car in Italy and then taking the train in Switzerland - a Swiss Pass would be very useful then getting to Interlaken and in the Jungfrau Region, lake boats fully covered by the pass - if you want to go to Mt Titlis you can take the scenic Brunig Pass railway and change off it to Engleberg and Mt Titlis as an easy day trip.

But again Titlis is neat but you will have seen many awesome Alpine peaks in the Interlaken area.
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 11:48 PM
  #14
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Hi, Guys,

I am halfway there.
Our flight is from London on 8th May (yay!) and flying out of Rome on 30th May. That would give us enough time at each place to explore and rest.

One thing:- I am stuck in Interlaken. how do i get to Venice from there? i really wanted to drive in Italy- at least for part of the way as PalenQ suggested. Again, taking PalenQ's suggestion of takin train up to Domodossola, how do i cross to Italy & where can i pick up the car?

Last issue, guys. I think after that I would be able to figure it out.

thank you, thank you so much for your input.
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Apr 3rd, 2016, 05:23 AM
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Interlaken - Domo - Milano:
http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html
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Apr 3rd, 2016, 08:20 AM
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PalenQ's suggestion of takin train up to Domodossola, how do i cross to Italy & where can i pick up the car?>

Domodossola is in Italy - check for cars near the station or if not just buy a local train ticket to the next city on the Milan line that offers car rentals - Stresa is on that line in case you want to spend some time on beautiful Lake Maggiore - to me as nice as any of the Swiss lakes - the three unique Borromean Islands lying just off shore - each having a different surprise on it:

https://www.google.com/search?q=borr...w=1745&bih=868

May buy a Domodossola to Stresa ticket, spend a night or two there without a car - boats IME are the best way to get around the lake and of course to the Borromean Islands - then rent a car in Stresa and motor on.
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Apr 3rd, 2016, 08:38 AM
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You seem to very much want the rental car and driving experience? For me it is soooo much easier when you plan around what you can do using the trains. Also more relaxing once you're there, but I'm just not a fan of driving in foreign places myself. YMMV (literally!)
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Apr 3rd, 2016, 08:42 AM
  #18
 
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22 days is doable.

1 - 5 days: Fly to Paris
6 day: Train to Interlaken
7 - 10: Interlaken
10 - 11: Train to Venice
11 - 15: Venice
16 - 17: Train to Rome
18 - 22: Stay in Rome and fly back.

Have fun!
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Apr 4th, 2016, 03:22 AM
  #19
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PalenQ:- you're such a life saver. so helpful. if ever you find yourself in KL, do give me a holler:- i will take time off work to show you around. Oh.. one more. any suggestion where to drop off the car near Rome? i have not book that accomodation as my transportation is not confirmed. so i am open to suggestion. i know driving into the city is a bad idea. what about one of the airports?

Suze:- if i dont do it at this trip, i am not sure if i ever would do it once i am exposed to the ease of trains.

kleeblatt :- that is almost correct. except like Suze pointed out, i am being mule-headed and wanted to drive Venice to Rome. or now... Stresa, i just need to see where i can cut to accomodate that beautiful detour.

Gretchen:- i totally get what you mean. i am almosttttt at a point where i wanted to give up and tell him so i can have his input and maybe get him to plan the rest of the way.
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Apr 4th, 2016, 03:44 AM
  #20
 
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"PalenQ's suggestion of takin train up to Domodossola, how do i cross to Italy"
I'v given the resposne above:
"Interlaken - Domo - Milano:
http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html"

"Stresa, i just need to see where i can cut to accomodate that beautiful detour"
Why should Stresa be a detour?
.,m-., m
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