Too much for one trip?

Old Aug 14th, 2014, 05:15 AM
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Too much for one trip?

My friend and I are planning a two to three week vacation to Europe. We are planning to start in London, stay 2-3 days, take the Chunnel to Brussels for a day, take the train to Paris for a few nights, train to Lucerne Switzerland for 2 days, and then spend about two days each in Venice, Rome, and Naples. Are we going to have enough time in each place to really enjoy the cities? Any suggestions for simplifying the itinerary? Help with saving money (we're both students)? She has been to Venice before and I've been to Paris Rome and Naples before.
newtraveler832 is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2014, 05:24 AM
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I get the sense that you already know the answer to your question and that is you are trying to do way too much in the time you have. I think London, Paris and Rome deserve at least 4-5 days each and that already puts you on or around 2 weeks.

Please think about what you want to do most and we will help you to revise your plan.
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Old Aug 14th, 2014, 05:28 AM
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Since the two of you have been to some of these places before, I think you should discuss with your friend whether there are very specific sights in those places you want to show to each other, or whether you are going back because you are really sorry you missed something specific there, or whether you both might do better to be focusing on the places neither you have seen before -- or perhaps if she is really enthused about returning to Venice and you are eager to go, but you are kind of lukewarm about Naples and she could give up the idea of seeing it, that would be something to drop (or vice versa).

But I see a real potential for trouble if the two of you don't sort out ahead of time what you are both enthusiastic about seeing, and whether you could both knock something off this list without regret. Since you asked whether you can really enjoy these cities by only visiting them briefly, the answer is probably no if you aren't both pretty focused on what you will be doing in them together. If you both really enjoy sightseeing the major sights non-stop, even a short stay can be thrilling. If one of you thinks the way to "really enjoy" a city is meandering and shopping without a plan and the other one wants to see the Louvre, you'll end up arguing or splitting up.

On a minor note, I would substitute Antwerp for Brussels if you are planning to spend the night and also point out (on a major note) that there is a huge difference between 2 weeks and 3 weeks if you are hoping to make it to a lot of different destinations.
sandralist is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2014, 05:33 AM
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After Parris, you would probably be tired. So, you may want to stay longer in Switzerland and take some scenic train rides to recover. Consider a four-day train pass in Switzerland. As students, you should be able to get discounts. Switzerland is expensive, however. But you would be fine if you don't mind eating sandwiches from Co-op supermarket.
2 full days in Rome is fine if it's at the beginning of your itinerary. But trust me, you will be tired by then. Add at least another day so you won't feel rushed. You've been there before, so you must have an idea.
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Old Aug 14th, 2014, 05:50 AM
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I totally agree, for once, with Sandralist. Figure it out NOW. Sure you can visit all of these places and yes you'll find plenty of enjoyment. It all depends on the types of things you want to do which you have not said anything about.
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Old Aug 14th, 2014, 06:04 AM
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How you decide to split up old seeing again and new you have to decide between you.

BUT, I don;t see that you have allowed ANY time to travel between cities/countries. In any case moving from one city to another will take half a day (London to Paris, cities within italy) but it might take as much as a whole day depending on what you keep.drop.

Please lay out your itinerary day by day. Indicate where you will wake up, where you will visit/tour and where you will sleep that night. If you are waking up and sleeping in different places have you allowed 4 or 5 hours of the day - or perhaps the whole day - for travel?

You really can't count one day 3 times - for instance - seeing London, taking the train to Paris and seeing Paris. There just aren't that many hours in the day - especially hours with sights open. Somehow you have to account for the travel time.

As for me in 2 weeks I would do 3 or 4 places (depending on if you have been there before and how large they are/how much to see/do). For 3 weeks I would do 4 or 5. IMHO more than that and there is just to much time getting places and not enough time seeing/doing things.
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Old Aug 14th, 2014, 06:09 AM
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Help with saving money (we're both students)?>

Check these sites laden with info on European trains and look at discounted fares you can book online - much cheaper than just showing up and buying tickets - like on the Chunnel trains at - book weeks/months in advance and score deep discounts over just showing up. Also if you are under 26 then you qualify for Youth Railpasses though I do not know if you are traveling on trains enough to make it pay off - check these sites: - great info on discounted tickets; and

I'd say skip the day in a Brussels that does not turn many people on and add it elsewhere and also cut one travel day off your list - go London to Paris.
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Old Aug 14th, 2014, 06:11 AM
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Also check where you could combine: base in one place and visit towns as day trips. This might not appeal to you but DH and I visited Bruges from Paris (a bus tour).

After travel, allow at least 1/2 day each time you change hotels. For me, 2 days isn't enough for most of the cities you've mentioned.
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Old Aug 14th, 2014, 06:33 AM
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I don't mind moving around, as long as I have 3-4 nights MINIMUM in each city.. If it's only 1-2 nights, I find it's too much packing up, traveling to and checking in and out of hotels. On my next trip I'm making an exception and staying 1 night in Dresden Germany, highly recommended by Fodorites here, but I am only doing it because it's RIGHT on the route I'd take anyway.

The cities you've mentioned I could easily spend 5-7 days each...
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Old Aug 14th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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Yes base cities make sense - places where you can spend all your time in the city or do easy excursions from it - packing up and settling down inevitably take hours away from your sightseeing time.

Dresden is a great town for a one-day stop - can see most everything in town but could be a sweet base from which to hop to nearby Meissen (neat old town and world-famous ceramics factory/museumn of Meissen porcelina and Saxon Switzerland - one of Europe's loveliest river valleys, etc.

I now do base cities as much as possible - always nice to return to a town you know fairly well at night.
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Old Aug 15th, 2014, 06:14 AM
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"Are we going to have enough time in each place to really enjoy the cities?"
Skip Switzerland and take a plane or a night train from Paris to Venice.
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Old Aug 15th, 2014, 08:31 AM
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Official site for City Night Liner (CNL) night trains - Cologne to Prague - book far enough in advance and get a good deal on those limited in number discounted tickets.
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Old Aug 15th, 2014, 05:30 PM
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I would narrow it down to London, Paris, Switzerland and Venice. That way you are both going to one place you have already been before and three you haven't. Also, logistically this is much simpler and you will have much more time to enjoy each place.

If you want to save money reducing the amount if travel and also minimizing your time in Switzerland are paramount.

I would do London 3 days, train to Paris - 4 days, train to Switzerland - 4 days(figure out what will give you most bang for buck in a few days), train to Venice - 3 days.

If you haven't already booked your tickets make sure you book an open jaw (flying into London and out of Venice on my itinerary) to save flying back to London.

Hez is offline  
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