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need help with travelling direction when travelling thourgh central Europe

need help with travelling direction when travelling thourgh central Europe

Old Oct 5th, 2015, 08:59 PM
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need help with travelling direction when travelling thourgh central Europe

Hi everyone, first time poster an traveler to Europe. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and helpful as its easy to get overwhelmed with where to begin. Im hoping to go for my honeymoon in August next year for around two months. We're from Australia, and the countries an approx days we would like to spend in each include;
Netherlands/Belgium- 7 days
Germany-12 days
France- 14 days
Spain-12 days
Switzerland 7 days
Slovenia- 2-3 days
Czech Republic- 5 days
Austria- 4 days

Just wanting some input as to whether this may be too many countries and also which direction we should start when it comes to travelling between each country. We're looking at tickets now so we're not too bothered which country we fly into.
I would also like to do a bit of driving as well to see the countryside an any advice on which countries/areas would be best to see, would be awesome as well.
Thank you in advance.
Guy86 is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2015, 11:12 PM
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Welcome to Fodors, Guy66!

To be honest, I think that some of your questions are a bit premature -- you might do well to do a bit more prioritizing first! And I would encourage you to stop thinking about countries, and think instead about specific cities. See below....

And of all the decisions you need to make, deciding which cities to fly into and out of is, IME, among the MOST critical, so you might want to defer booking until you make a bit more progress with your plans. JMO.

Here's what I recommend: Get a few GOOD guidebooks (always a worthwhile investment, IME, or consult several at your local library with an eye to deciding which guidebooks best serve YOUR interests), identify the SPECIFIC places / things you want to see / experience (e.g., not "Spain," but "the Alhambra, Mezquita, and el Prado"), note their opening times, and mark them on a calendar or map. Identify your transportation options and mark them -- and how long it will take to get from place to place -- on that map. Add some time -- at least one hour, if not two, on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.) I wouldn't be surprised if at that point you say -- oops! too much! (I'm sure you don't want to spend more time in transit than in actually visiting places!) Then use the info you've collected to start paring your trip to a more manageable level. And think about what you and your partner want for a honeymoon, and include that in your plans.

Once you know a bit more about your wish list, you can begin to identify a route. Doing that will also require paying attention to opening times and transportation options. For example, you don't want to find that you have arrived in Vienna with the specific goal of seeing the Secession, only to find that you are there on a Monday, when the Secession is closed. (Many museums in Europe are closed on Mondays, and on part /all of Sundays, and during chunks of the middle of the day....)

I'm sure you realize that driving in continental Europe is on the right, not the left. (Its on the left in Australia, isn't it?) And also keep in mind that public transportation is excellent in Europe, and that it is much more difficult to appreciate the scenery when driving than when riding. You can certainly visit charming places in the countryside without driving!

As to your specific questions, yes, I think you are trying to visit too many countries -- but it really depends on what YOU want to see and experience! And again, please think about cities, not countries. Cities like Paris easily merit 6 nights (5 full days) on a first visit; in contrast, charming but small cities like Ljubljana might work with just a night or two.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2015, 11:17 PM
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A quick glance says your itinerary is fine.

Since we don't know your destinations in each country, it's rather hard to say if the itinerary makes sense or not.

I find your Austrian part is a bit weak on days considering Austria is quite big. However, if you're just planning on seeing Vienna for a few days, it may well be enough.

You mentioned scenic driving in another thread. Switzerland has some fantastic passes to drive over but only in the summer months. The passes can close anytime from November onwards.
kleeblatt is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2015, 11:22 PM
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Wow what a great problem to have, welcome to Fodors.

What I would start with is to mention is that July August is hi season for holidays for Northern Europeans to go to Southern Europe. So prices and crowds will be big in the south at the time.

Things get better, almost like a switch, at the end of August.

Numbers of countries look great.

Switzerland is one of the maybe two (Austria is other) where the countryside is better than the cities, Vienna is worth some time though.

So I'd start north and work my way south, N/Belgium and Germany, then France, Spain, Italy then the Alp countries.
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Old Oct 6th, 2015, 01:58 AM
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Kja has given sound advice: think in places, not in countries.
Having said that, as a whole this is a sound schedule. I've seen itineraries with the same destinations in two weeks.
There are two tools which can help you with the more detailed planning:
- www.viamichelin.com/ gives a detailed map with a handy »Tourist sites« button to have a first impression of what to do where; and
- www.bahn.de/p_en/view/index.shtml is, courtesy German railways, a pan-European railway planner, perfect to see what can be reached by train and how long it takes. (Present schedule doesn't go further than mid-December, when new timetables arrive. Changes won't be dramatical.)
tonfromleiden is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2015, 03:36 AM
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One factor to keep in mind is the money and time you can save with a multi-destination air ticket, especially since you face that long flight to Australia. Using a multi-city search function, you fly into one of the major international gateway cities and home from another. On your list, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt (not Berlin), Zurich, and Madrid or maybe Barcelona would be the obvious entry/departure cities. I don't know about Austria. To compare fares, no site covers all airlines but www.itasoftware.com comes as close as any. Owned by Google, it will show plenty of combinations although it does not sell tickets. In your case, flying through an intermediate stop such as the Emirates airports may enter into the equation too. Other tools for stitching together your route in Europe are www.skyscanner.com for budget airlines and www.seat61.com for everything about railroads.
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Old Oct 6th, 2015, 09:23 AM
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I think it's a reasonable itinerary myself given you have two months and the way you've laid it out. Haven't been to Slovenia bus presume there is one place there you wnt to see, and probably only one city in Austria?

Logistically, I'd think it would make sense to start Slovenia/Austria, move up to CR, go to Germany, then Netherlands/BE, France and end in Spain. You could fit Switzerland in however it works best, maybe between Germany and Netherlands or Netherlands and France. I'd probably drop Slovenia, seems to complicate things a lot for only a couple days. And I imagine will increase costs a lot to fly into Slovenia rather than, say, Vienna. Or, you could just do that sequence in reverse, starting in Spain.
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Old Oct 6th, 2015, 09:29 AM
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Agree with others that you really need ot list cities and not countries.

For instance, you have 12 days listed for Spain. Is that supposed to include Madrid, Barcelona and the cities/town of Andalusia. It's plenty of time for the former 2 with day trips - but won't let you include Andalusia as well. Or you could do Andalusia - but then have to drop Madrid and Barcelona.

So I would do a lot more research on specific places so you can see if the itinerary works for you.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2015, 03:30 PM
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thanks everyone for taking the time to reply to me an giving great advice, will start doing more research into specific areas i want to travel to within countries an then post a more detailed itinerary. Thanks again everyone much appreciated
Guy86 is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2015, 04:22 PM
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You have lots of time for specifics. As a starter you may want to take a look at my travel blog which covers part of some of the countries listed. I have already put earlier blogs on France and Spain in archives.

After reading them you are welcome to ask questions.

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Old Oct 8th, 2015, 08:20 PM
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thanks rogandgee ill have a read appreciate it.
Guy86 is offline  
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