Planning for a 12 days trip to Europe

Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 02:14 PM
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Planning for a 12 days trip to Europe

Hi Guys,
This is My first trip to Europe. And these My must Visit places in My First trip.
Paris, Rome, Venice , Florence and Barcelona. And My wife and i am travelling.
Please help me out planning my Arrival , Departure and planning my trip. I am flying from USA.

Thanks,
Sree64
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 02:28 PM
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Pick up a good guidebook. Try the Rick Steves Italy book.

Twelve days isn't nearly enough time for Paris, Rome, Venice, Florence, and Barcelona, given the time it takes to get from place to place. You'll spend half of your time at airports and train stations. Either choose Italy or Paris and Barcelona, I'd say. Even Rome-Florence-Venice in twelve days is a pretty quick trip. See the other places on a future trip.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 02:33 PM
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Paris, Rome, Venice , Florence and Barcelona.>

In 12 days:

Land in Paris
1- Paris
2- Paris
3- overnight train or fly to Venice
4- Venice
5- Train to Florence (3 hrs about)
6- Florence
7- Train to Rome (1.5 hrs)
8- Rome
9- Rome
10 - fly to Barcelona
11- Barcelona
12- Fly home from Barcelona

Barcelona is kind of a outlier here - eliminate it and add days to other places - still rather rushed but you may only get to Europe once. For lots about trains check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 04:02 PM
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Would you rather have a fun vacation and save some money and time or check off a list?
Answer this question and we can help you plan a great trip.

If you want to check off a list, PalenQ has given you a doable suggestion.

If you want a great vacation with built in memories and save time and money, tell us what you want in a vacation? Sites? Hiking? Great evenings?

Many people have spent weeks in Paris and have never run out of things to do, add a day trip or two and you'll talk about it for years and plan more trips to Paris.

Same with Barcelona. The city itself is exciting. Then if you rent a car and go up the coast and into the mountains, it's a whole new experience.

Italy, well... it's beautiful in so many spectacular ways.

There isn't enough time for any of these places for twelve days. Eleven, really because often the first day is spent in a muddled fog.
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Old Jun 4th, 2017, 11:08 AM
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Yes less can be more - remember that relocating takes much of a day -packing up - getting to station - then hotel -unpacking, etc.

try to add a few days if possible and cut Barcelona if possible and it is not so hectic.
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Old Jun 4th, 2017, 12:02 PM
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First, once you have decided in the itinerary, buy "multi-city" or "multi-destination" tickets. These are into one city and out of another, not two one-way, or round trip. Even if it costs more, it saves a whole day of travel so you can have another day of sightseeing, and the cost of backtracking.

Moving from place to place involves checking out of hotel, getting to train station (or airport), actual transport time, then getting to new hotel and checking in. Don't underestimate how much time this will take.

You first day will probably be jet lagged. Do not count on doing much on day of arrive, so add a day to that city.

Do the 12 days include travel days?
How many days exactly will you have on the ground?
When are you going?
Where is your departure city in the US?

Right now, you are seriously shortchanging all your stops and spending a great deal of money to do it. Flying to Barcelona for 1 day uses most of another day for travel as well, so a very expensive day, time-wise and money wise. Better to add a day each to Paris and Rome, and if you must, do day trips from each, or add a day to Florence and add a day trip there.

How much of an interest do you have in Art? Is Florence very important to you? If yes, then add a day there. If no, then I suggest

Day 1, depart home
Day 2, arrive Venice
Day 3, Venice
Day 4, up early, train to Florence, stash luggage at station. Tour Florence, catch evening train to Rome
Day 5, Rome
Day 6, Rome
Day 7, Rome
Day 8, Fly to Paris
Day 9, Paris
Day 10, Paris
Day 11, Versailles (edge of Paris)
Day 12, depart for home

If you have more time, add a day to Florence or Venice
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Old Jun 4th, 2017, 12:34 PM
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If you only have 12 days -- stick to Italy. Rome, Florence and Venice would totally fill the 9.5 useable days you'd have on the ground if your trip is 12 days.

You'd lose another day total w/ the travel between the 3 cities. So IRL a little over 8 days which is good for a first visit to Rome/Florence/Venice. And fly open jaw in to Venice and home from Rome or you'll lose yet another half day getting back to your departure airport.

If you actually have 12 days on the ground (14+ days total) then you could add a couple of days in either Paris or Barcelona - but making it even MORE important to fly open jaw.
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Old Jun 4th, 2017, 01:13 PM
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Day 8, Fly to Paris>

save a day by flying into Rome -Florence-Venice by taking overnight train to Paris from there and flying home from Paris. Flying does take much of a day.
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Old Jun 5th, 2017, 09:09 AM
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Thank you for the Suggestions Andrew,PalenQ ,LSky ,Sassafrass ,janisj.
As of Now i am in Initial stages of planning. I was planning start from Dallas on August 25th , Arrive in My first location on August 26th and fly back from Last Location on September 10th.

i promised My wife that i will take her to Paris for sure. So i can not skip Paris.

We are kind of food lovers and Exploring Places.
Please suggest if i can skip Italy and Spain for this Time and suggest what all i can include below list .

Paris- Frnace
Amsterdam,
Bruges - Belgium,
Brussels - Belgium,
Munich- Germany
Prague- Czech Republic,
Lucerne - Switzerland
Swiss Alps- Switzerland

Thanks for all the suggestions and helping me out make a good plan.

Sree64
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Old Jun 5th, 2017, 09:34 AM
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You have from about early afternoon 25 August through the evening of 9 September. So 15.5 days -- But even that longer duration is not nearly enough for your new list (which is totally different than you first plan)

You list 8 destinations -- so with all the travel your 15.5 days quickly becomes 11 days free to see and do things.

Paris, including a couple of day trips, two cities in Belgium, and Amsterdam. would be good for your little over 2 weeks.

OR Paris, a bit of Switzerland and Munich.

But definitely not 8 major destinations.
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Old Jun 5th, 2017, 09:44 AM
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It sounds like you have 14 full days not impacted by arrival and departure.

But your thinking is all over the place. Most of the places that were 'must visit' have now disappeared, so we don't know what your priorities are any more. Paris is the only constant, so you'll either start or end there and spend 3-5 days in Paris depending on what you want to see/do.

Now, you need to look at some guides, either paper or online, and narrow your plans for the other days. Every time you move from city to city you lose time, so if you keep lots of destinations on your list, you're going to lose lots of time moving around. As you research, figure out the travel logistics between points, train v. plane, time, cost. Train journeys start and end in the centers of cities, while airports are usually some distance from the centers and have security check-in requirements.

Bear in mind that there are many options for day trips from big cities using public transportation.
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Old Jun 5th, 2017, 10:11 AM
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You can skip or see anything you want. It all depends on your personal interests. Your new list is completely different than your first. What made you change your mind? Those areas will be cooler in August, but do they represent your interests?

Start with three places or areas. Decide how much time you need for each. Add some day trips. Then see if you have any time left.
Another layout just for you to see how quickly the days go, rearrange to suit.

August 26, day 1, arrive Amsterdam
Day 2, Amsterdam
Day 3, Amsterdam, day trip to Haarlem or Delft
Day 4, train to Bruges
Day 5, Bruges, day trip to Ghent or Brussels
Day 6, travel to Paris
Day 7, Paris
Day 8, Paris, day trip to Versailles
Day 9, Paris
Day 10, travel to Switzerland
Day 11, Switzerland
Day 12, Switzerland
Day 13, depart for home
Put extra days anywhere you want more time or another day trip, or cut and add other places.

You now know how to plan and how much time travel will take. Up to you what to see and where to go. Be realistic!
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Old Jun 5th, 2017, 10:33 AM
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I would skip the northern destinations and suggest you just do Paris, Venice, and Florence OR Rome.

12 days = 3.5 in each of three cities, allowing the 0.5 day for changing locations.
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Old Jun 5th, 2017, 10:59 AM
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>>12 days = 3.5 in each of three cities, allowing the 0.5 day for changing locations.
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Old Jun 5th, 2017, 11:00 AM
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Paris- Frnace
Amsterdam,
Bruges - Belgium,
Brussels - Belgium,
Munich- Germany
Prague- Czech Republic,
Lucerne - Switzerland
Swiss Alps- Switzerland>>

I would have dropped at least EITHER Barcelona or Italy, you really couldn't do both in the first case.

You have to drop Prague, it's too far, or Switzerland, you can't do both.
Assuming you have 12 full days,

Paris 3 days
Bruges 1 day
Brussels 1 day
Amsterdam 2 days
Munich 2 days
Switzerland rest of time, I don't know about the alps or what that means. And 1 day in Bruges and 1 day in Brussels are only going to be afternoon and evening as you'll need the morning to get there.

I think you could do Paris, Belgium, Amsterdam and Munich if you want.

Unless your heart is set on Belgium, you might prefer Paris, Amsterdam, then either Prague or Switzerland. That wouldn't be too bad in 12 days, actually.
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Old Jun 5th, 2017, 01:45 PM
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Less can indeed be more!

Stick to your must wish list in your OP (Original Post) and cut Barcelona if possible.
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Old Jun 6th, 2017, 08:11 AM
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Thank you for all the suggestions . Looks like I ca not cover more than 4 cities in My Time frame.
I will stick with My original Plan and drop Barcelona so that i can have good time in Italy and paris and spend more time there instead of rushing through.

Thank you for all the advises.

sree64
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Old Jun 6th, 2017, 01:32 PM
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Good decision have fun!
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Old Jun 6th, 2017, 02:55 PM
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I think there will still be a certain level of rushing if you're seeing Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome in 14 days, especially if you plan day trips from any of these cities.

Make reservations for any sights you want to see that offer them.
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