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Paris round trip with Italy and Switzerland

Paris round trip with Italy and Switzerland

Mar 1st, 2014, 12:02 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 24
Paris round trip with Italy and Switzerland

I am seeking this help to do travel plan for my friend.

Two couples and 3 children (6, 13 and 16). Travelling from India to Paris and returning to India from Paris (12-May & 25-May).

Plan is to visit Italy and Switzerland apart from Paris. I know that this is extremely tight but he doesn't have much choice.

Firstly, what is the best route to follow (preferably train) to cover Rome, Florence, Venice and Switzerland. As they have to do the round-trip back to Paris, which is the most efficient sequence which can avoid duplication?

In other words, is it good to travel to Rome from Paris followed by Florence, Venice and then Switzerland or its better to go to Switzerland first from Paris? He has yet to finalize the places in Switzerland.

Many thanks in advance and sorry if the post is too wordy and lengthy...
bijusamuel1970 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
You should either fly into Rome and home from Paris or the reverse as you'll spend time and money returning to Paris.

<< I know that this is extremely tight but he doesn't have much choice. >>

Unless someone has a gun to your head and insists that you go to all these destinations, you do have a choice in the number of places you visit.

If you insist on starting and ending in Paris I would fly immediately to Rome (upon landing in Paris). Take trains to Florence and Venice.

Since you have no particular destination in Switzerland you'll need to figure this out but trains/buses from Venice would be the best way. From some unnamed destination in Switzerland take a train or bus to Paris.

I would cut out Switzerland and fly from Venice to Paris.

You do realize that you'll have almost no time to see anything on this trip, especially with getting 7 people organized. Just because you have a limited time it doesn't mean that you have to pack in so much travel. Your trip will look like this.

May 12 - leave India
May 13 - Arrive Paris, fly to Rome
May 14 - Rome
May 15 - Rome
May 16 - train to Florence
May 17 - Florence
May 18 - train to Venice
May 19 - Venice
May 20 - travel to someplace in Switzerland
May 21 - someplace in Switzerland
May 22 - train/bus to Paris
May 23 - Paris
May 24 - Paris
May 25 - return home
adrienne is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 12:56 AM
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thank you so much adrienne..indebted! his return flight is booked from Paris. rest are all open.
bijusamuel1970 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 09:45 AM
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If his flights are already booked, it's risky to book a flight to Rome the same day he arrives in Paris. Since they're on separate itineraries, the connection isn't guaranteed, so if he misses the flight, he'll have wasted the money on those tickets.

You've already been told that this is far too many places to visit in such a short time, and I agree. However, if this is what you friend insists on doing, I would suggest the following, modifying Adrienne's advice slightly:

May 12 - leave India
May 13 - Arrive Paris, spend one night in Paris
May 14 - train to Switzerland
May 15 - Switzerland
May 16 - train to Venice, changing in Milan
May 17 - Venice
May 18 - train to Florence
May 19 - train to Rome
May 20 - Rome
May 21 - Rome
May 22 - Fly to Paris
May 23 - Paris
May 24 - Paris
May 25 - return home

The first night in Paris will really be a wasted night, as you'll all be tired that day. I would suggest getting a hotel near the Gare de Lyon, which is where the trains for Switzerland leave.

I don't know which would be the best place to stay in Switzerland. I would suggest Bern or Lucerne. The total travel time would be less if they go to Bern. In both cases, they'd have to change trains at least once on both trips.

I've included only one night in Florence, which is very little if you want to visit any art museums, but perhaps, since you're traveling with young children, art museums are not a priority. If you leave Venice early in the morning, you'll have time for a walk around the city, and maybe one of the smaller museums or one of the churches famous for Renaissance art masterpieces.

Make sure your friend realizes that they must all pack very light. There aren't people to help with your luggage in most European train stations. Getting large suitcases on and off the trains can be a problem, and the storage space is often limited.
bvlenci is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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>>I know that this is extremely tight but he doesn't have much choice. <<

Except for the RT in/out of Paris . . . they have TOTAL choice. I agree w/ both adrienne and bvlenci. Flying straight to Rome is best . . . AND . . . Flying straight to Rome is risky since they might miss the connection.

IME here on Fodors - just about every visitor from India 'must' visit Switzerland. It is a lovely country for sure -- but the Swiss Tourist board must do some amazing marketing in India

If it was me -- and with 2 families with children. I'd sit down and decide which two areas are 'Musts". Presumably Paris is a given since the flights are booked. So EITHER Paris and a couple of places in Switzerland . . . OR . . . Paris and two cities in Italy. Navigating six people around is difficult enough without jumping all over three countries in two weeks.
janisj is online now  
Mar 1st, 2014, 11:17 AM
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Posts: 9,302
It is actually seven (7) people, four adults, one child who is only 6, and two teens.

Really, these travelers are spending the maximum travel time and money for a minimum of sightseeing. One day of travel for one day Switzerland?

Give an extra day to two of any of the other places. Do a day trip even, if they want to rush about.

At least they are going in May when the weather should be beautiful in Italy.

They may not have the choice of Paris, but the rest seems to still be open for an itinerary that would give more optimal sightseeing.
Sassafrass is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 11:22 AM
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oh yes - its seven people -- Travel party size is like the Richter Scale a small increase has a HUGE effect. 1 is easier then 2, 2 is MUCH easier than 4, and so on. So seven is like 7.4 earthquake
janisj is online now  
Mar 1st, 2014, 12:32 PM
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Sorry - but a trip like this with 7 people is close to madness. You will be popping on and off trains - possibly with short transfer times depending on what you do in Switz - each person must be able to pick up all of their luggage and walk briskly with it for a couple of blocks as well as lift it over their head to put on a rack. This is assuming you are each bringing one small wheelie bag. If anyone has something larger than that they may well have trouble getting it up the 3 steep narrow steps to ascent onto some trains - and getting is down the aisle in time to detrain quickly.

And there IS limited room for luggage on the trains and no one to help you with it - either on the train or in the station. (If anyone offers to help you with your luggage - do NOT let them pick it up - it's quite likely they are thieves.)
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:17 AM
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A big thank you to everyone for these invaluable inputs. Its very clear that he needs to do some major restructuring in the light of these sincere suggestions. Will work it out with him.
bijusamuel1970 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2014, 10:27 AM
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Count AT LEAST 4 FULL days for a somewhat decent visit of Rome, 2 full days for Venice, 2 full days for Florence and 4 days for Paris.
May be you visit first Paris, go on by overnight train to Venice and by day trains to Florence and Rome.

If you want to include a high mountain, leave Paris at 18.50 by train TGV to Bellegarde and by bus to Chamonix ar 23.50, go the following day by cableway to Aiguille du Midi, leave Chamonix by train at 16.54 to Martigny - Visp - Milan ar 21.35, sleep there and go on to Venice the following morning (2 1/2 hrs train journey).
neckervd is online now  

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