plan for Europe -help please

Jun 1st, 2011, 12:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 15
plan for Europe -help please

Just starting to plan for trip in Sept we are flying in and out of Amsterdam from New Zealand

2 nights Amsterdam
2 nights Brugge Fly out of brussels
4 Nights Glasgow (visiting family) have seen a lot of Scotland
3 Nights Switzerland flying to Geneva then train to Lucern
4 Nights Budapest
5 Nights Italy based in Sienna is this a good choice ? then day trips Have been to Rome (I loved it) Venice&Florence would like to seen more smaller places
5 nights france based Aix-en-Provence (sister said we must go not sure as I really like Italy)
would we really need a car for such a short stay ?

I know the general feeling on this board is to not try to jam to much in , but will this work
we don't get to do this kind of trip often and we(husband and I) want to see as much as possible I have been trying to work this out with the use of the cheaper airlines would love to hear your thoughts
kiwicher2 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2011, 03:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You're really all over the place but if it's what you want to see then go for it. You'll spend lots of time getting to/from airports and hotels.

I would base myself in Florence as there should be more options for public transport to other towns and more to see there than in Siena. Siena is an hour away so you could day trip to Siena from Florence.

In Aix you will need a car to get around to other towns. Aix is small and there is not enough to do there for 5 nights - probably 1 day. But it's a sweet town. You'll need a car for easy access to other small towns in the area.

Brugge and Amsterdam look very much alike so perhaps you could take the 2 nights there and apply them to someplace else - another night in Amsterdam to recover from the journey and a night in Amsterdam at the end of the trip since you'll have to get there from Aix.

Personally I would have flown into one airport and home from another.
adrienne is offline  
Jun 1st, 2011, 05:17 AM
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I advise skipping Brugge and staying longer in Amsterdam where there's more than enough to occupy you for 3-4 days. Also it gives you some time to recover from the long flight. Can't comment on other destinations except Italy. I'd echo advice above to base yourself in Florence and have side trips from there.
bellini is offline  
Jun 1st, 2011, 05:28 AM
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Hi Ki,

Brugge and Amsterdam are not at all alike.

2 nights Brugge is just about right.

I would take away one night from Budapest and add it to Amsterdam.

I agree that Siena is not the best place to be without a car for nights. Are you really that jaded with Florence?

As noted, you are all over the place.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jun 1st, 2011, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,518
I just never understand trips ike this---except on TV when they call it a race.
Tell me how you plan to get to Budapest from Luzern and to Siena from Budapest. It just does not fit.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 1st, 2011, 11:51 PM
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Posts: 15
trying to re jig it so we wont be moving about so much,very hard to let go of some of these idea's just wish we could go more often.
I did think of staying in Florence and am defiantly not jaded with it just thought maybe somewhere smaller might be a little more relaxing( I know I know the whole trip is not relaxing lol) would Lucca have better trains or bus's for day trips?
I do already have 1 night planed in Amsterdam for the end of the trip.
Thinking Prague might work better for flights than Budapest
or maybe leave that or France off the list well as you can see driving myself and other quite
Anyway thanks so much for your help
kiwicher2 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 12:16 AM
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Florence has more to do but Siena is so much nicer and with these time scales you can get out and tour the area around pretty well (i'd recommend a car). I understand that Florence has position from a transport point of views.

Other possible centres, Lucca, I like it. Genoa, often over looked but the position would make up for fewer museums.

On another note I prefer Budapest to Prague but I'm pretty keen on spas, given you are kiwis then you may have had too many of them but if you get out on the roads you will even be able to visit underground spas.

Brugge/Amsterdam are very different think Auckland and Hastings. Though Brugge is vary old and lovley to visit. Yoiu might also look at Ghent which has fewer tourists and is similar

If Aix is not for you look at the three of Avignon, Arles and Nimes. Loads of Roman bits which are still being used plus van gough.
bilboburgler is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 04:42 AM
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Florence can be very relaxing. Stay south of the Arno so you're away from the tourist chaos. You can take a bus to Fiesole for a few hours. Many tourists hit only the "hot spots" and don't have time for lesser known sights. You can visit these and have a relaxing time. I once went to look at the Baptistry doors before breakfast (my hotel was very close) since I couldn't get near them during the day. It was a great time. Long lingering looks at the doors and then back to the hotel for breakfast. Schedule some of your sightseeing for a time after the tour buses leave the city, i.e., after 5:00.

From my last trip, Siena is no longer the sleepy town it once was. The Campo is filled with tacky souvenir shops and bad restaurants and tons of tourists; there is a 400 person limit to get into the cathedral and there was a long waiting line.

Regarding your statement about seeing as much as possible - you will visit a lot of places but won't have time to see much in each place.
adrienne is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 05:06 AM
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We find Florence far more relaxing than Siena. Perhaps because we have visited so often and feel at home there. And it is the ideal place to take trains and buses to other locations in Tuscany - easy to get to Siena, Lucca, San Gimignano, the towns of Chianti, Pisa, etc.

If it were my trip (and it most certainly is not), I would eliminate either Budapest or Aix and apply those days to the remainder of the trip thus making your journey a little less hectic and allowing mmore time in Switzerland and Italy.

If you have already purchased your tickets into and out of Amsterdam, you might see what the change fee would be to do an open jaw ticket into your first stop and out of your last. The cost of returning to Amsterdam might offset the cost of changing the flight. And save you a day.

Happy planning and happy travels!
mamcalice is offline  
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