Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Paris, Switzerland and Italy itinerary needed. Please help.

Paris, Switzerland and Italy itinerary needed. Please help.

Dec 6th, 2012, 09:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2
Paris, Switzerland and Italy itinerary needed. Please help.

We are a couple with two children( one aged 10 and the other aged 3 yrs). We are traveling to Paris, Switzerland and Italy during may 2013. We would like to spend 4 nights each in Paris and the other two destinations. We however are not sure what our itinerary should be. We want to make out our most in Paris including the Disneyland in those 4 nights. We want to see Jungfrau, and some lakes in Switzerland. We wish to see venice, murano glass factory, Naples-Capri island and of course Rome. Please suggest an itinerary that should also include a TGV ride. I would also like to know how i can conveniently travel from switzerland to Italy. Thanks a lot in advance..
Lunaroy is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 01:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,301
I think you are trying to do too much in 16 days. 16 days would be about right for your Italy portion – 5-6 nights in Rome, 3-4 nights in Venice and the remaining in Naples/Amalfi Coast/Capri. It would be difficult to squeeze in Switzerland and Paris and all of what you want to see in Italy. I would pick 3 locations tops – especially when travelling with a family as it will take longer to do everything than you think it will. You will lose approx. ½ a day every time you chance locations with checking in and out, getting to the train stations, waiting for the train, travelling, finding your new hotel etc.

I personally cannot imagine taking a day from Paris to go to Disneyland so that’s the first thing I would drop.
jamikins is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 02:39 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
I agree with the previous post! definately think ur trying to do too much...& will end up exhausted n cranky & therefore not enjoying the beauty of everything around u like u should.
I know the feeling of trying to see everything all at once, its hard to narrow down choices especially when there r so many must-sees. but its something u should do! 2 yrs ago i went to paris for 4 days and barcelona for 6, definately not enough for paris! my husband n i ended up beyond exhausted as we were rushing around trying to see everything all at once - which we didn't as there wasen't enough time which till now i'm disappointed about as there's loads more I wanted to see, plus i didn't take the time to actually enjoy everything around me as i was too busy thinking how i can cram everything into the 4 days! which has kept me wanting to go back n c paris properly...but if u do decide on paris i definately think disneyland should be on ur itinerary! we went n don't regret it - it does need pretty much a full day but its loads of fun esp. if ur going with kids (we were just us 2 & had a blast). Also if u do decide on paris make sure to pre-book ur entrances for things like the louvre n even tour eiffel to cut the cues, saves so much time which u'd want to use for other things! Also I agree with jamikins on the time frames for italy, we went last yr and definately learnt from our mistakes - we wanted to give each city enough time to enjoy the ambience n take in the atmosphere - rome needs a minimum of 6-8 days in my opinion, there's just to much to see n its too big to cram into less than that. Venice needs 3-4 nights, its a shame to give it less its such a magnificent beautiful city, especially if you wanna go c murano & burano (don't miss burano, its not something u won't see anywhere else). and don't forget that it does take some time to get from one city to the next, especially when going down to naples, so if u spend it all on trains its also a waste!
I think u should narrow down ur choices, maybe make it an italy trip and spend proper time exploring this truely stunning country as best u can - its so worth it!
areejdaoud is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 04:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,672
You appear to have only 12 days, not 16. That being the case, you cannot possibly manage all of the destinations on your list. I suggest you choose two destinations. Either Switzerland and Rome, Paris and Rome or Italy. You do not have enough time for all of those destinations in Italy in 4 days - you would need 2-3 weeks.

Let us know how many days you have in Europe, not including your travel days, what your interests are and we can provide some help.
mamcalice is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
for 4 days in Switzerland then the 4-day consecurtive Swiss Flexipass may make a good deal - kids always go free with the free Family Pass you get with the Swiss Pass - even on things the Swiss Pass only gives a discount on - cover all your travels getting to and from Jungfrau and from French border and to Italian border - hop on any train, lake boat (great lake boat rides on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz - two lakes bookending Interlaken - kids will love these old boats that still have paddlewheels on some at least.

Pass also gives free entry to 400+ Swiss museums like the fantastic Ballenberg Open-Air Museum overlooking Lake Brienz - take a boat to Brienz from Interlaken then postal bus to the museum (postal buses also covered free by pass and city trams and buses - practically everything that moves in Switzerland except trains or cable ways to mountain tops - those are usually 50% off but still a big savings.

For loads of great info on Swiss transports, passes, etc I always spotlight these IMO superb sources - http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id3.html; www.swisstravelsystem.com and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 7th, 2012, 09:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2
Thanks all of you for your great and helpful suggestions. I will definitely plan my travel accordingly. Since I have kids i will prefer going to disneyland. I have now decided to cut naples-capri out and would reserve it for my next visit. While in paris, is it worthwhile to go to loire valley since it has both the castles and vineyards that i want to see. Thanks again.
Lunaroy is offline  
Dec 8th, 2012, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,728
If you have only 4 nights in Paris and are planning to visit Disneyland (not advisable whether you have kids or not), no, a trip to the Loire is a bad idea. What's wrong with just being in Paris? If you're not interested in Paris itself, go elsewhere, but there's really no point in landing in one of the top cities of the world and then leaving it to go to other places.
StCirq is online now  
Dec 8th, 2012, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
Disneyland (not advisable whether you have kids or not)>

so very judgmental! - what is advisable to one person may not be advisable to another. I eagerly visited Disneyland Paris because I am an aficionado of Disneylands and wish to see what European influences have on Paris' Disneyland.

Perhaps Limaroy's family has never been to any Disneyland and this is the best opportunity for her kids to see one and yes if you have 4 days in Paris where kids have to go to stuffy museums, walk around and not really have many kids things to do perhaps the carrot can be OK let's do the usual Paris stuff and on the last day we'll go to EuroDisney!

It just seems so so haughty for someone to say 'no never advisable' and autistic too without a thought for what kids may want to do. Kids should have some imput too and not just be forced to traipse around museums, churches, etc.

Go for Disneyland - it will be the highlight of your kids trip and ignore IMO those who say it is a waste of time and money.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 8th, 2012, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,278
I thought Disneyland Paris was beautiful and would recommend someone with children visit if it works into their Paris plans. I am so happy I visited several years ago.

I do agree with others to limit your destinations given the time you have. Perhaps Paris and 1 or 2 locations in Switzerland and save Italy for a future visit. Or Paris and the Loire if that's what you most want to see. 16 nights seems like a lot of time but the travel in between destinations and changing lodging can really eat up time especially when the locations are as far apart as Paris and Rome.
Scootoir is offline  
Dec 9th, 2012, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
Some things my 10-year old kid liked when we spent a week in Paris once - renting a toy boat in a pond in the Tuileries Gardens - so quintessentially Parisian - these are remote-controlled boats that kids love propelling around the pond.

And just taking the metro - going thru the gates - getting on the train - small things for adults which can be mesmerizing for kids.

And be sure to take a boat ride on the Seine.

The Cite of Sciences in La Villette is also a great place for kids as are a trip thru the Catacombs! Lots for kids to do in Paris besides get bored on a parade of museums and churches as some would have it. Put your kids' interest at heart as well IMO.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 9th, 2012, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Agree with others that you are trying to do way too much - especially traveling with two kids.

In the time you have I would do no more than 3 hotels - so you limit the time wasted getting from one place to another and have enough time to actually see something besides the top 2 sights in the places you stay.

Otherwise you may find yourselves disappointed and dealing with two very cranky kids (unless you give them time each day just to be kids - run around or go to a playgrouns).
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 9th, 2012, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
. I would also like to know how i can conveniently travel from switzerland to Italy.>

Well depends on what you call easy - it takes all day by train to go between Interlaken (Jungfrau Region) and Venice or Florence or Rome - easy enough with one change of trains in Milan but a long day and you do not have that many days to spend. maybe fly from Zurich to Rome and work you way back to Venice and fly home from there.

You are trying to way too much in 4 days IMO in Italy - Naples and Capri are great but you have to chose between them and either Rome or Venice IMO and I would personally never do that if I had never seen those two simply stunning and amazing cities.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 9th, 2012, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 19
I am tagging onto this question...I would like to include Switzerland in my travels in May this year, any advice on the train ride between Switzerland and Paris or Venice?
DianaHuerta is offline  
Dec 9th, 2012, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,728
Don't tag onto this question - start your own thread. And we'd need to know where you would be originating in Switzerland.
StCirq is online now  
Dec 10th, 2012, 01:19 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 108
We are planning a similar trip for autumn 2013. We are taking the train from London to Paris, staying overnight. Next day leaving by train for Zurich, Switzerland. Look at www.seat61.com for train travel information. There is a train from Paris to Zurich then another which travels the Bernina Express then to Italy. Looks like an amazing trip and a way to see Switzerland a little anyway. Something to think about. Good luck!
ptm is offline  
Dec 10th, 2012, 02:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 53
I believe DianaHuerta's question is about *including* Switzerland on a trip that already planned for Venice and Paris, not starting from Switzerland.


+1 what ptm said, but would add that if you want to get off the train in Zurich for a few days, you can use trains from there to access lots of spectacular Swiss scenery and hiking destinations, plus pleasant Swiss villages, and then return to Zurich and continue on with the Bernina express. But there are other routes as well. What kind of experience of Switzerland do you want to have -- and for how long?
eurotravelplan is offline  
Dec 11th, 2012, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
am tagging onto this question...I would like to include Switzerland in my travels in May this year, any advice on the train ride between Switzerland and Paris or Venice?>

Switzerland is neatly about half-way by train between Venice and Paris - if in a hurry then go via Milan - change trains there and then head to either the Zermatt or Interlaken/Jungfrau areas - the two Alpine Wonderland areas that will fulfill the dreamy picture of Switzerland perhaps etched in your minds' eye but which will not be fulfilled in cities like Zurich, Geneva, etc - nice fine cities as they are.

So break the trip in either Zermatt or Interlaken - my preference is for Interlaken/Jungfrau region as it has much more varied things to offer.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 12th, 2012, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
There is also an overnight train between Paris and Venice - www.thell.com - obviously won't see much but it can be economical if you get deep discounted ducats far ahead of time online (limited in number) - save on the cost of a hotel and wake up bright and early in Venice - saving daytime travel time to boot!
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 13th, 2012, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 203
what is up with www.thell.com...?????
I just got a political ad....!!!
Nottingham is offline  
Dec 13th, 2012, 10:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,301
It's www.thello.com I believe
jamikins is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:59 PM.