Paris, Brussel, Prague, Lucerne, Venice

May 20th, 2014, 01:42 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2014
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Paris, Brussel, Prague, Lucerne, Venice

My family of 4 is travelling to Europe in August for 12 days. Our trip starts in Paris and ends in Venice. I'm trying to make the itinerary below and would appreciate any suggestions you could provide to make the trip less taxing and at the same time will not blow our budget:

Day 1 - 3 Paris
Day 3 Brussel - drive from Paris to Brussel - rent a car
Day 4 Paris - drive from Brussel to Paris - return the car
Day 5 - 8 Prague - fly from Paris to Prague
Day 8 - 10 Lucerne - ?? How do we go to Lucerne from Prague?
Day 10 - 13 Venice - ?? how do we go to Venice from Lucerne?
Day 13 fly back home

Any recommendation would be greatly appreciated.
msun65 is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 02:10 PM
  #2  
 
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My suggestion is to cut 2 of the 5 destinations. That will give you more time in each and will cut down on your transportation expenses significantly.

With the above itinerary you will have the merest glimpse of each place and spend much of your time in transit - basically, a whole day each time you change locations.
Kathie is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 02:56 PM
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You do not need a car to travel between Paris and Brussels although in the end it might be a bit cheaper than taking high-speed rail. Have you compared the costs?

I would eliminate Luzern from this itinerary entirely. I would probably also eliminate Brussels.

You can fly cheaply between Paris and Prague on Smartwings. www.smartwings.com

You can use the site www.skyscanner.com to look for other budget flights as well
Dukey1 is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 03:22 PM
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i agree with Dukey. save Lucerne for another time
tailsock is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 03:31 PM
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Who is this family of 4. Is it 4 healthy adults who can move with speed and decision and enjoy long days of travel and little sleep.

Or do you have any seniors that might want a slower pace? Or any kids that will have to have a slower pace?

As it is you have 11.5 days on the ground (even counting the jet lagged day you arrive in Paris) minus the 5 days you will e raveling between cities - so 7.5 days for 5 locations.

It will be not only very time-consuming btu also very expensive to do all this bouncing around - and you will end up seeing little.

I see no point in renting a car and driving to and fro Brussels to spend one evening and one morning there. What will you see and do?

And much as I love Lucerne Switz is shockingly expensive. I would cancel that and divide that time between Prague and Paris (where you only have 2.5 days).

I'm sorry to be discouraging, but unless you like very expensive forced marches you will have a very lengthy tour of the train stations and airports of europe.
nytraveler is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 03:41 PM
  #6  
 
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Posts: 7,563
Why overnight in Brussels and return to Paris and overnight again only to fly to Prague? Makes no sense. And there are flights from Brussels to Prague.

And why would you drive to Brussels from Paris? Train would be quicker and likely cheaper considering the parking, advance tickets, availability of trains, and the $8/gallon fuel.

<<[I] would appreciate any suggestions you could provide to make the trip less taxing and at the same time will not blow our budget>>

And that budget would be ___?

Don't want a taxing trip, don't go to five different places in 12 days. Use a hub-and-spoke approach to spend more time in places that are the most interesting. And realize that Switzerland is really bloody expensive.
BigRuss is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 04:06 PM
  #7  
 
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For a start, do not count your days twice. If day one is your arrival day, allow more time in Paris. Don't backtrack from Brussels to Paris. Fly directly from Brussels to Prague. If Belgium is a must, then visit Bruges and possibly Ghent and skip Switzerland. If Switzerland is a must, then skip Belgium. Avoid one night stops if possible. I suggest Staying in Bruges rather than Brussels as you might want to go there anyway. You could also just stop in Brussels for a bit on day 5, continue on to Bruges for the night, so on day 7, go straight to the airport for a flight to Prague, still avoiding 1 nighters.

Possible itinerary.
Day 1, arrive Paris, check in.
Day 2, 3, 4, Paris
Day 5, train to Bruges (or Brussels)
Day 6, Bruges
Day 7, train to Brussels (if you stayed in Bruges), tour a bit, fly to Prague
Days 8 & 9, Prague
Day 10, fly to Venice
Days 11 & 12, Venice
Day 13, Fly home

That gives you
Paris - 4 nts, 3 days
Bruges - 2 nts, 1 & 1/2 days
Prague - 3 nts, 2 days
Venice - 3 nts, 2 days

Or - very, very rushed
Day 1, arrive Paris
Days 2&3, Paris
Day 4, train to Brussels
Day 5, day trip to Bruges
Day 6, fly to Prague
Day 7, Prague
Day 8, fly/train to Lucerne
Day 9, Lucerne
Day 10, train to Venice
Days 11&12, Venice
Day 13, fly home

This gives you
Paris - 3 nts, 2 days
Brussels - 2 nts, 1 & 1/2 days
Prague - 2 nts, 1 & 1/2 days
Lucerne - 2 nts, 1 day
Venice - 3 nts, 2 days

If flights from Brussels are too expensive and train is a lot less, you could head straight to Brussels/Bruges on arrival, train back to Paris for your time there, and catch the flight to Prague from Paris.
Sassafrass is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 04:09 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,302
Great advice from all above, especially about the cost of all that moving around and not backtracking. Actually, in twelve days, why not just do Paris, Prague and Venice and plan one great day trip from each?
Sassafrass is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 08:13 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Remember that European cities are car-hostile, with poor access and no (or extremely expensive) parking. Basically, you don't hire a car to go between cities, you hire a car to explore the countryside and small towns for a few days. If you want to go between city centres, just take a train.

Paris-Brussels by 186mph Thalys train from 35 euros per person, www.capitainetrain.com or www.thalys.com

To get from Brussels to Prague:

(1) Brussels-Cologne by high-speed Thalys or ICE (there's an ICE at 18:25) from 19 euros at www.b-europe.com

(2) Cologne (depart 22:28) to Prague (arrive 09:27 next morning) by excellent City Night Line sleeper train, saves a hotelk bill, unique European experience, book at www.bahn.de.en looking for the direct CNL train with 0 changes, fares from 69 euros with couchette in a 4-berth compartment. A couchette is a flat bunk with sheet rug and pillow.

Prague to Zurich and on to Luzern using the Prague-Zurich City Night Line sleeper train: Book Prague-Zurich at www.bahn.de/en from 69 euros per person with bunks in a 4-berth couchette. Add an open Zurich-Luzern ticket either bought at the station (no reservation necessary ore possible) or bought online at www.sbb.ch

Luzern to Milan: www.sbb.ch

Milan to Venice: www.trenitalia.com

(You can book Luzern to Venice at www.sbb.ch if you like, but it will charge the 50 euros full-price Milan-Venice segment, not the cheap advance-purchase fares from 19 euros which trenitalia.com can sell)
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  

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