Travel Plans

Jan 17th, 2008, 03:46 PM
  #1  
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Travel Plans

Hello! My best friend and I are planning a month long journey through Europe. We are going to begin with a week in Ireland and then traipse through the following cities at two to three days each, utilizing a Eurorail Global pass for the majority of our travel. Any suggestions for perhaps better cities in the countries or must sees in the cities or something like that. Here's what our tentative itinerary is looking like.

Dublin to
London to
Paris to
Amsterdam to
Hamburg to
Munich to
Rome to
Milan to
Marseilles to
Barcelona to
Madrid

As I said spending a two or three days at each location. I have some family we are hooking up with in a couple of cities (the vatican, london, coleraine-Ireland) I'm currently developing a short list of must sees for each and notes on travel suggestions. Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can offer. Oh yes and we'll be traveling in August. I know it's an ambitious undertaking but we're young and determined!
emekct is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 05:09 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi em,

I look forward to your trip report.

What draws you to Hamburg?

Wouldn't you reduce your travel time if you went
London-Amsterdam-Paris-Strasbourg-Munich?

Have you considered Genoa instead of Milan?

Enjoy your expedition.

ira is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 07:23 AM
  #3  
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No I hadn't considered doing amsterdam first. I just presumed we'd chunnel over to Paris, b/c that is how I did it when I visited London when I was quite young. What do Strausburg and Genoa offer?
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Jan 18th, 2008, 07:55 AM
  #4  
LJ
 
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I am assuming there is a lot of flexibility in that 2-3 day thing that will emerge in a more detailed itinerary. There is help available if you want to come back to the Forum with more detailed questions closer to the dates. And would advise more specific titles, too!

For example, I can't imagine you will be satisfied with only 3 days in Rome and would add two more on to Rome and make Milan a 1 day and 1 night deal. But do ensure your Rome hotel has air-conditioning and that you have accounted for the heat in your detailed plans. Our first visit to Rome ( a million years ago) was in August and we needed a lot of cool museum time to balance the blazing heat of the sidewalks!

Now having said that I would listen to Ira with regard to the change from London-Paris to London-Amsterdam...you might even want to leave Paris until the end (assuming you fly home out of Dublin again and are not open-jawed out of Madrid?)

In any case, have a wonderful time and do post a trip report.
LJ is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 09:56 AM
  #5  
 
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Ireland, Scotland, England, and Paris will take a month.

After 24 trips to Europe my best advice is to spend half of your time in small cites or rural locations. This itinerary is merely an expedition.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 10:30 AM
  #6  
 
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sorry - but your math just doesn't compute. You have listed 10 cities (not counting Dublin which would fall in your Ireland week)

2 - 3 days in each plus 1/2 to 1 full day travel from one to the next, equals much more than the 3 weeks you have set aside. It would take an absolute minimum of 4 weeks to see all those cities spread that far apart - and even then it would be a blur.

2 days each plus about 7 days travel time = 27 days
3 days each plus about 7 days travel time = 37 days

just doesn't add up . . . . .


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Jan 18th, 2008, 10:55 AM
  #7  
 
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Remember that if you take the last train of the day from each point A to point B, your moving about doesn't cut into sightseeing time nearly as much as getting on a morning train does.

Example: you spend 3-4 nights in London. On the last day, you check out of your hotel and take your bags to Waterloo, where you check them. You then enjoy a full day of sightseeing, arriving at the station in time to claim your luggage and check in for the 20:05 Eurostar.

So you don't actually need to add "7 days travel time" to your days on the ground. Plus, you can ride overnight trains on some of those legs and save a hotel bill.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 11:16 AM
  #8  
 
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hi emekct,

A month SOUNDS like long time, but it will fly (I've been there). It would be shame to go to Europe and only see the surface tourist highlights of only major cities. Maybe narrow your focus - give yourself enough time to see some villages, towns, side trips - not to mention really explore the cities you do have time for.

Have you been to Europe before? There is so much to do in a place like Paris or London - rushing may just frustrate you once your on the ground.

Just food for thought.

Have fun,

MollyB
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Jan 18th, 2008, 11:41 AM
  #9  
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Thanks for all the advice. My friend and I will have to sit down again and take your suggestions into consideration. We were intending on cutting travel time down by taking late sleeper trains and saving a charge of a night in a hotel or hostel. To answer your question about Rome, my Uncle is a priest in the Vatican and is going to put us up, so we don't have to worry about a hotel. I am going to consider cutting a few cities and lengthening our stay in others. Thanks!
emekct is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 11:43 AM
  #10  
 
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If the point is just dipping your toe in the water in each of these cities, then you're on the right track.

If you want to have time to see and do anything in any of them, I would cut your list by half.

Start by adding up the hours on a train you will be spending with this itinerary. I'm guessing you haven't done that?
suze is online now  
Jan 18th, 2008, 11:51 AM
  #11  
 
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just another couple of quick comments. Many folks say (and it is a legitimate idea) to save travel time/hotels by taking sleepers.

But for various reasons, MANY people find it difficult to sleep on trains. It would be a shame to build a trip around sleeper trains, only to find night after night of sleeplessness. Makes for a long trip. I would personally not plan more than 1, or at most 2, overnight train trips.

If you have places to sleep in London and the Vatican/Rome - I'd build the itinerary around those two cities. Why cut London and Rome to 2 or 3 days when you can stay there for free.

London, Paris, A'dam, and Rome would be a great 3 weeks
janisj is online now  
Jan 19th, 2008, 07:35 AM
  #12  
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Thank You, You have all given us a lot to consider. I'll post a revised itinerary as it forms!
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Jan 19th, 2008, 07:55 AM
  #13  
 
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If you have a free place to crash in Rome (an uncle at the Vatican!!!), consider lengthening your time there to spend more time in Rome, plus day trip from there. Especially if it's in the middle of your whirlwind tour, this is a great chance to slow down for a bit, do laundry, sleep in and regroup. Maybe lose one stop in Germany and one in spain to ease things.
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Jan 23rd, 2008, 07:53 PM
  #14  
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Thanks so much for the advice...we have added a few days to places here and there and dropped a stop in germany and spain, as well as one in Italy...I think we will be less stressed with this new itinerary, and I'll post it in more detail as it firms up. Here's how it's looking.

Ireland to
London to
Amsterdam to
Paris to
Munich to
Venice to
Rome to
Nice to
Madrid

With a month of travel time.
emekct is offline  
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